Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Leftovers - frugal living

How was your Thanksgiving? Ours was good, went to my mom's house. My oldest son (along with Ms. Sassy pants) and middle son were there as well. My baby's in TX :( BUT I will see him for Christmas! YAY

Today is moving day. If you missed it, I'm leaving my home of North Carolina and headed South. South Georgia, deep in peanut and peach country and let's not forget the Vidalia onion which I do dearly love.

My husband lost his job back in August and we have made lots of adjustments, however, we needed to make a decision. That decision came in the call from family. My husband's family, they need help running the business, my father-in-law is failing in health and we needed a job.

I am sad to leave my home state, two of my three boys, my mom, Ms. Sassy Pants and friends. However, with the wonderful technology of Facebook, Skype and the Internet, they will not be far away. So on to new adventures and who knows, maybe old family recipes to revamp. Only time will tell.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, do you have a ton of leftovers? Wondering what to do with them all? Well, you could eat turkey sandwiches, but you'll tire of that quickly. Here are a few things I do:

turkey sandwiches
Thanksgiving Day after plate (the meal all over again)
Turkey tetrazzini (this recipe calls for chicken but you can use your leftover turkey)
Turkey and rice
Turkey Pot Pie (instead of chicken)
Ham casserole
Turkey leftover dinner
Breakfast casserole (use the leftover ham instead of sausage)
FREEZE it.. yes you can freeze the turkey to pull out later and use
Any recipe you have that calls for rotisserie chicken, substitute the turkey. Great in casseroles!
hash-brown and ham casserole

Revamp those leftovers, take the turkey slices, dredge in flour and pan fry. You just need to heat it up, make gravy if you don't have any left and serve with mashed potatoes or rice. A different meal but delicious and the family won't think about it being leftovers.

Dice up leftover turkey and add to salads for a healthy meal. Also make turkey salad instead of chicken.

So many ways to use up those leftovers, new dishes, revamping old and being frugal by using what you have.

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

That's Fresh Friday #6

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Thanksgiving 2013

I hope you are all enjoying your day with family, friends and eating lots of fabulous food.

I am at my mom's, helping out in the kitchen, watching/listening to Ms. Sassy Pants and having a good time.

The next several days will be very full and emotional. We are moving from NC to GA. So tomorrow morning we load up the truck and head out. Don't worry, my post will continue. The beauty of working from home and a laptop, you take it with you.

Remember to be thankful today and everyday, none of us are promised tomorrow, so let's eat , drink, love, live, and laugh while we can.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Gooble til you wooble
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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Country meal in a crock

The day before Thanksgiving and I'm sure you are in a cooking frenzy. I normally am, this year is weird, I'm not cooking and going to my moms. This will also be our first Thanksgiving without my mother-in-law, my aunt/friend and my Daddy. I'm flooded with memories and missing them all. Trying to stay busy and remember the good times, which there are a lot of. Smiling through the tears.

So, today I'm fixing a quick easy meal that combines meat, vegetable and starch in one pot. Yep, I love cooking this way. Quicker clean up and more time with family.

This was really good and enjoyed by all. I'd love to say I had a ton of leftovers for later, but I didn't. Which is okay because with the move, I don't need a lot leftover.

Country Meal in a Crock
1 lb kielbasa sausage, sliced (I used turkey)
1 lb frozen fresh green beans
5 medium red potatoes, diced
1/2 red onion diced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 TBSP parsley flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika

Mix all ingredients in your slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high. This was served with fresh baked cornbread. 
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Best Chicken and Two Potato Hash

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? It's almost here! I will be at my mom's with 2 of my three sons, my mom, my husband, my grand daughter (Ms. Sassy Pants) and my cousin Tina. I am really looking forward to it. I will have the day off from cooking but am sure I'll be helping my mom in the kitchen while all the men watch football OR the back of their eyelids. (napping)

So with all the holiday preparations you're looking for a quick easy meal, right? I'm sure you've seen it on Pinterest or maybe even on Facebook, but everyone claims this is "THE best chicken" recipe ever.

I tried it and it was good but I won't say the best ever. Easy, yes. Good, yes. Best ever, no. At least for me. Now you may try it and swear it is the best thing since sliced bread.

I served mine with a salad and this super easy two potato hash. For cooking the hash, I used Pompeian Grapeseed oil* to spray the pan with. *Coming from delicate wine grapes, the Pompeian Grapeseed Oil reduces the absorption of food, preserving its natural flavor. And its high smoke point makes it ideal for your heavy load of holiday baking.
*Click here* for a chance to win a $200 gift card!!
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BEST Chicken
4 chicken breast, boneless and skinless
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 tsp rosemary

Marinade the chicken for at least an hour, then slide it in the oven. bake at 350 degrees until done. Mine took 30 minutes as the breast were thick.

Two Potato Hash
1 large sweet potato diced
4 small red potatoes diced
3 large green onions diced
Spray pan with Grapeseed oil
1 tsp chili powder
Saute potatoes in a skillet with olive oil and chili powder until tender. Medium heat about 15 minutes.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Butternut Squash Round Up

This year our garden went nuts, we had the largest plants I've ever seen. Not sure what happened. We had 4 butternut squash plants and only two survived. Those two plants gave us over a dozen squash. Almost two dozen and as you can tell, I've been cooking them a lot.

At one point my husband called them the "alien" plants and joked about them taking over and he saw them move while he was out working. ha ha crazy man but they did grow at such a ridiculous rate I swear you could watch it happen.

I had eaten butternut squash for the first time a little over a year ago and really loved them. So to have my very own plants was exciting.

Also knowing that if kept in a cool dark dry place, they will stay fresh up to 4 months! YES four! That means I can keep eating them. However, if after that time we have not consumed them all. I'll just peel and diced them up, toss them into an air tight bag and freeze them. They can be frozen up to a year. Now that's what I'm talking about.

After having so many, I decided to look up the benefits of butternut squash. They are WONDERFUL for you. How wonderful you ask. This wonderful

Here are a few of the recipes:

Carnival Squash
Butternut Squash and Lentil Stew
Spicy Beef and Butternut Squash Stew
Dinner Guest - butternut squash massacre of 2013
Roasted Delicata Squash
Black Bean and butternut squash chili

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fun Holiday Photos

Have you been to #catchacharacter or ?

This is great fun for the holidays. Upload one of your photos and insert a Santa photo. So many options to choose from!

I had fun playing around with this. You can try it for FREE with this code #SantaShare but ONLY for a limited time!! So hurry!!

This is fun for the whole family with several options, let the kids choose or sneak a photo of them and "Surprise" them with a Santa photo!

This is whimsical, fun, creative and great for a cold day of indoor entertainment.

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Imagine the look of wonder and surprise when a child receives a photo of Santa caught in the act in his or her very own home. is a unique website that helps visitors create those memorable keepsake photos.

Six years ago I wanted to surprise my kids with a picture of Santa Claus caught in the act in our living room so I created Thanks to bloggers like you tens of thousands of visitors all over the world have 'caught' Santa.  For this, we want to say "Thank You".  To celebrate our 5th year anniversary we'd like to invite you and your readers, friends, etc. to catch Santa for FREE through December 10th. 

**this post was sponsored by Tomoson
Image and video hosting by TinyPic I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Hodge Podge Salad revisited- #FlyOnTheWall

Time for another #FlyOnTheWall post. Which means, laughter, crazy insights to my home, another recipe and a list of great bloggers to visit.
Karen our illustrious leaders writes:***Happy Birthday, Fly on the Wall group challenge. Fly on the Wall posted for the first time on November 16th, 2012. Today I post a Fly on the Wall piece for the 13th time.

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 13 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.
Inline image 1 

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:                                     Baking In A Tornado                                  Just a Little Nutty                         Follow me home . . .            Stacy Sews and Schools                              The Sadder But Wiser Girl                             Menopausal Mother           Moore Organized Mayhem                                        The Momisodes                      Spatulas on Parade                                 The Rowdy Baker                       Sorry kid, Your Mom Doesn’t Play Well With Others                                     Moms Don’t Say That                           Juicebox Confession    
Crazy things that happen:
My husband takes the dog out at night just before heading to bed. She is now 11 almost 12. She comes running up the steps, through the door, into the screened in porch and BAM right into the glass door. Scared the cats half to death and once we knew she was okay, we almost wet ourselves laughing.

We are getting ready to move and my husband was looking at my list of who/what/when and all that for the next week. He says " South West pottery?"
Me: what?
dh: you have SW pottery
Me: laughing! Ugh No I don't, that is sweet potato casserole
dh: OH, yeah
*On the list it said "make sw pot cass" WHERE did he get South West pottery? lol

Say what?:
My friends mom says" hand me my hook up for my toothless"
friend: what?
mom: my phone, without the hook up, its bluetooth doesn't work, so I say it is toothless.

D: Hey, what'd you do today?
J response: Yes I want some ice cream
D: ? I didn't ask you if you wanted ice cream.
J: No but I do.

WHOO is ready for another great post???

Ms. Sassy Pants
She wakes up, at my moms house, looks at my mom and says "how I get here?"
Your daddy brought you.
"Oh" and falls back over.

Me: Hey, what are you doing?
J: "I free now"
Me: You're three?
J: "that's what I say"
Me: Okay Ms. Sassy pants
J: "Why you call me dat?"
Me: If the shoe fits
J: "I no got on shoes"

J: HEY know whut
Me: what
J: why you say whut
Me: you asked me if I know what
J: no I didn't
Me: okay never mind
J: whut dat mean
Me: what's what mean
J: deep sigh, neber mind, giggles, you crazy
oh this child!

Hodge Podge Salad
1 diced yellow squash
1 diced zucchini
2 diced tomatoes
1 diced onion
2 diced cucumbers
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 diced bell pepper(I used yellow)
All ingredients go into a large bowl, add 1/3 - 1/2 cup of your favorite dressing, I used house Italian. Stir well and refrigerate for 2 hours and serve.
A crowd pleaser and great for potlucks, picnics, hot nights when you need a cool side and now that it is Fall, a great dish that requires no cooking.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Joey's Favorite Recipes - Happy 20th

Today is my baby boy's 20th birthday. I can not believe it has been twenty years. 

This is the hardest birthday, it is the first one without him. I love my boys and miss them all terribly. I am one of those moms who LOVED being a mom, being with my kids and seeing them grow. I thoroughly enjoyed all the stages. Until now...

An empty nest is no fun for someone who adores their kids and finds herself alone and miles away. Joey is in the Air Force and recently married. He lives in Texas. We are very proud of him but I miss him every single day.

When he was growing up, people would say, he'll never get married. He's a momma's boy and you'll be stuck with him forever. I was okay with that thought and really believed it. Then came Katie. I lost him or a big part of him, but am very happy for them. They are young, in love and very devoted to each other. They have a mature relationship like nothing I've seen in a couple so young.

So today, many miles away, I send my love, prayers and Happy Birthday wishes to my son!

So in his honor, I thought I'd share some of his favorites. Joey was the picky one, so his favorites are few. (Next month for Jesse's birthday, I'll have a hard time picking just a few. He, like his momma, is a foodie.)

Joey's Favorites:
Penne Bean
Chicken Noodles
Beef Stew
Snicker Doodle Muffins

Michigan Chicken
Bacon BBQ Chicken Sliders
Pasta E Fagoli Soup
Molasses Cookies

Cherries on a cloud
Philly Cheese Steak sloppy joes

Taco Salad

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Over the Top! Pecan Pie

 My husband is a pecan pie lover. He has many favorites, (well, not much he doesn't like) , but he has two desserts that are his all time favorites: pecan pie and key lime pie. 

My mom knows this and in my hometown many folks request her pecan pie for their birthdays. My husband is not exception. He gets one of these pies for his birthday, Christmas and any time in between that he can bat his eyes and get her to fix him one.

He has been after me for years, seriously, years, to fix him a "loaded" pecan pie. Well, while looking through this lovely cookbook from Southern Living, we found a Bourbon Pecan Pie. Yes, he loves bourbon.

He knew I wanted to fix one more recipe to show case this book for the giveaway. So he said "there ya go". Which translates to "fix my pie woman!" lol

 I have in the past fixed him a coconut pecan pie and another time a chocolate pecan pie. So this time...... it is a LOADED OVER THE TOP pecan pie.

Chocolate Coconut Bourbon Bacon Pecan Pie

Yes, you read that right. ALL that is in the pie and believe it or not, it was FREAKIN' fantastic! I really can't tell you just how good it was, there are no words, except WOW WOW and WOW.

Yeah , taste bud heaven. My husband was so thrilled with this pie. It did not last long. 8 slices, 2 people and only 48 hour survival time. I had 2 if that tells you how much he liked it. AND he is requesting another.

Now the recipe in the book is for a Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie, in the bluegrass region of the book. So I added a few things.

Over The TOP! Pecan Pie (chocolate coconut bourbon bacon pecan pie)
1 pie crust (I used a deep dish premade)
baked and cooled
1 1/2 cups pecans
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup toasted coconut
6 slices bacon, cooked crispy and broken up
1 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup Bourbon (
4 large eggs
1/4 cup butter melted
2 tsp cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt

In the pie crust, baked and cooled, sprinkle the pecans,chocolate chips, coconut and bacon. Set aside.
Combine the corn syrup, sugar, brown sugar and bourbon in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium heat and cook , stir constantly for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Whisk together eggs, melted butter, cornmeal and salt. Stir in hot mixture in small amounts to temper the eggs (careful or you'll have scrambled eggs). Once all ingredients are incorporated, pour into the pie pan.
Careful or you'll overflow.
Wrap the edges of the crust in foil so as not to burn them.
Place the pie on a cookie sheet, with sides in case of overflow.
Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.
Slice and ENJOY!!

Other recipes from the book, or my take on them:

WINNER: Heather B

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Taste Like An Almond Joy - Cookies

almonds + dark chocolate + coconut + dough = almond joy cookies! And MAN were they ever good! Notice I said "were" past tense, yes they were gone in less than 2 days. 4 dozen to boot! *blush* thankfully I can blame my husband for eating most of them :)

I love almond joy, which is interesting because growing up I hated anything with coconut. Now, I could eat it everyday. Funny how our taste change. I made an almond joyful pie that was a big hit. So much so that the brother of my sons girlfriend ask for one for his birthday. He had seen the photo on Facebook and sent me a message with a request. No present, just a pie. DONE!

Not only do these cookies look lovely, they taste...OUTstanding!

Now after the first batch I did discover that if I did not smash the dough down some, they baked in a big ball. hmmm

Almond Joy Cookies (as close as you can get without chopping up Almond Joys and adding them to the dough)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick room temp)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour (all purpose)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped almonds

Cream the first 3 ingredients together. Next add in the eggs, one at a time and vanilla. Sift your dry ingredients together and gradually stir them into the creamed mixture.
Place on wax paper, parchment or silpad sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool and enjoy! 375 degrees
We did.

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Breakfast smoothie with Cocozia 100%organic coconut water #review

I have been trying, trying being the key, to eat healthier and loose weight. So far, I'm doing pretty good.
Since 1 October, I have lost 12 lbs. I am able to keep up with this because I am using the #EatSmart Precision Digital Scale.

Today I made a great smoothie using Cocozia 100% organic coconut water. It was quick, easy, filling and added vitamins I needed. I really enjoy using coconut water in my smoothies as I do not use/drink milk. Not cow's milk anyway.

The product is USDA Certified Organic, Kosher, Fair Trade Licensed, it contains no GMOs and preservatives. COCOZIA is fat and cholesterol free. 

You can purchase the Cocozia on Amazon. A case was $25 and if you use the Amazon Prime you get free shipping. That was cheaper than my local health food store, plus I didn't have to drive 35 minutes into town and battle traffic. yay me! Ordering through Amazon and using the AP feature it came in less than 48 hours to my door step. Who doesn't love that?

For my smoothie I used:
1 frozen banana (this makes it thick and creamy)
1 small container of probiotic Strawberry yogurt
1/2 terra pack of Cocozia (6 oz)
1 scoop of pea protein (for the amino acids and food craving buster)
All ingredients were added to the VitaMix and blitzed up. 

I really enjoy a good smoothie for breakfast and adding cocozia is just the thing to help me. It has electrolytes as well as:

Organic* USDA certified
100% organic
fair trade
70 calories per serving
preservative free
no artificial colors or flavors

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sweet Potato Hash - #TheSaladBar

I am part of the once a month group #TheSaladBar and we come up with a recipe based off of the 'main' ingredient or theme we are given.

This month, keeping with Fall and the holidays, we were given sweet potatoes for our ingredient and were told we could  make it a salad, main or side dish.

I chose to make a main dish and we loved it but we really enjoy sweet potatoes. We eat them fried, baked, mashed, fries, in a casserole and now in this hash.

Sweet Potato Hash
1 lb sausage (casing removed)I used fresh bratwurst from my butcher
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/4 cup sliced carrots
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 small onion
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 small celery rib sliced
Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Use about 1 TBSP of olive oil in a skillet and add the sausage, cook this until pink is almost gone. Now add the spices and vegetables and cook until tender. About 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Dinner Guest - #SecretSubjectSwap

Welcome to the 26th Secret Subject Swap. This week 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. 

Secret Subject Swap

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:                            Baking In A Tornado                  The Insomniac’s Dream              The Gamer’s Corner                             Moms Don’t Say That        Stacy Sews and Schools                       Home on Deranged                    Juicebox Confession             Discovering Me          The Black Sheep Mom                      Spatulas on Parade                     Confessions of a part-time working mom                    Rants From My Crazy Kitchen           

My subject is “ your favorite five fictional characters converge on your home for Thanksgiving Dinner”.  Tell us who attends and what happens during the meal. The subject was submitted by Home On Deranged.  Here goes: 

Thanksgiving Dinner Guest

I was in the kitchen, like most days, preparing our meal. All of a sudden I hear this racket outside. I look out the window and see...nothing. Hmm that's strange.
So I dry off my hands and walk outside.
Imagine my surprise to see not 1 but 3 guest sitting in my swing!!
Uh...can I help you? I asked
That what when their cloacking spell wore off and 


I see not plain old butternut squash sitting in my swing, which was weird enough! BUT 3 characters from Veggie Tales!
Here is Jr Squash, Momma Squash and BIG Sheriff Poppa Squash!!
But now I'm confused, what are you guys doing here? I asked.

Popppa says

Shocked and dismayed, I reply "murders! What on earth are you referring to?"

The killings of our kin folk, that's what we're referring to, said Sheriff.

I can barely contain my shock, hurt and outrage!
Murders! Are you kidding me? I take the lizards away from the cat and set them free! I pick up spiders in the house and put them outside, what could you be referring to!?

HERE is a photo of the recent deceased he says:
 Before the killings
 After the killing and HORROR of being baked! We found these photos on YOUR Facebook! Don't deny it!

Our cousin with his family, last time he was seen alive! AND YOU took their photo right here in this very yard!
And later in YOUR kitchen! Stewed like some meal for a cannibal tribe! Cries Momma Squash
OMG, hysterical laughter, whew. I thought you were referring to someone, you're talking SQUASH!
Good grief ya'll, I'm a food blogger, cooking is what I do.
I now notice the not so humorous look on their faces...maybe that wasn't the right thing to say.
Let me appeal (haha get it) to their other side.

Come inside, I was just preparing dinner, and we can talk about this.

MU WAH HAHA little do they know they are walking into a Thanksgiving Dinner feast, featuring none other than...

dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnnnnnn


ARGH I wake up, shake my head and say "what in the world kind of a dream was that?" my husband still sleeping soundly just grunts.
HEY, wake up! I poke him and not gently either.
huh? ugh what? he groggily says.

I tell him about my dream, he looks at me, throws his head back and laughs! THAT'S sick, awesome and I love it!"

"Really?", I said, "go back to sleep."

The end...or is it?

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Butternut Squash and Lentil Stew
Spicy Beef and Butternut Squash Stew
Carnival Squash