Archive | January 2012

This Week’s Supper Plan

This is a real sloppy joe, also known as a smo...

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Here is this week’s supper plan.


  • Sloppy Joes
  • Salad
  • Baked Beans


  • Chicken Alfredo
  • Glazed Carrots
  • Biscuits


  • Spaghetti
  • Garlic Toast
  • Cauliflower


  • Waffles
  • Eggs
  • Sausage


  • Slow cooker meatballs
  • Rice
  • Peas


  • BBQ chicken
  • Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
  • Stuffing



Homemade Granola Bars 2

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The kids really loved the homemade granola bars I made last week.  However, Brian’s comment was “They’d probably be good if there was no peanut butter in them.”  Today I decided to try another recipe (no peanut butter).  It might be more healthy than those you can buy in the store, but I don’t think they are very low-cal!  The kids like them, however, so I can send them to school for snacks this week.  I love that this recipe is very versatile – use whatever you have on hand.  Here is the recipe I adapted from

Easy Granola Bars


  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  • 3 cups whatever else you have on hand.  I used:  rice crispy cereal, silvered almonds, sunflower seeds, chocolate chips.  Other options:  flaked coconut, raisins, crasins, reeces’ pieces, trail mix.
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 TBS butter – melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Put the sweetened condensed milk in a bowl of warm water.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the other ingredients with you hands until well blended.
  4. Add the sweetened condensed milk.
  5. Press firmly into the prepared pan.  (I wet my hands and use them for this step, also.)
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven, depending on how crunchy you like them.  Let cool for 5 minutes, then cut.  Let cool completely before serving.
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Do you use coupons?

Image representing as depicted in ...

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I got into a discussion today about using coupons.  Do I use them?  Yes and no.  A coworker uses to print coupons.  I checked them out this afternoon.  Out of 15 pages of available coupons, I printed 2.  Yes, there were only 2 coupons I felt I might really use.  I use coupons mostly for health and beauty items and personal care items.  I have found that for most grocery items, it is cheaper to shop at Aldi‘s than buy the name brand items with a coupon.  Besides, at Aldi’s I don’t get distracted by all the extras the bigger stores offer.  It’s just the basics.

I have checked out several coupon sites and found that they all seem to offer the same or similar coupons.  I like to download coupons right on to my store card:  No clipping and no leaving the coupons at home.

In review, if I shop mostly at Aldi and plan my menu I don’t need to clip a lot of coupons.

Supper Menu for the Week

One of the things I’m working on this year is menu planning.  I find the week goes much better and I make fewer stops at the grocery store if I plan our supper menu for the week.  I always have things on had for breakfast, so I don’t plan that by the week.  The kids have to take their lunch every day, so they take leftovers or a sandwich or roll up.  So, I sit down on Sunday evening or Monday afternoon, browse the ads and make a menu for the week.  I made a chart for the called My Weekly Docket.  It covers Menus, Daily routines, and Weekly routines.   It has been a big help to me.   Here’s what I came up with for this week’s menu.


  • Lasagna
  • Broccoli


  • Soup Supper at Grandma’s church


  • Spaghetti
  • Salad


  • Hot Dogs
  • Baked Beans
  • Green beans


  • Sloppy Joes
  • Steamed Veggies


  • Mini pizzas
  • Steamed Veggies



Homemade Granola Bars

Earlier this week I took my first stab at making granola bars.  They turned out great and the kids loved them.  I love that they are made with ingredients that I have on hand in the house.  They are very sweet, though, so I’m going to have to play with it & try to tweak it.  My husband’s comment was “They would probably be good if they didn’t have peanut butter in them.”  Next time I might try replacing the peanut butter with chocolate chips.

English: A "panoramic" image of a ch...

Here is the recipe I used.

Granola Snacks

  • 2 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter  (I used smooth)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the rice cereal, oats, and raisins. Set aside.
  2. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Combine the brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat just until boiling, then remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Pour over the cereal and oat mixture, and mix well.
  4. Press into the prepared pan using the back of a large spoon. Allow to cool, then cut into squares.

I actually use wet hands to press it into the pan.  I have no trouble with it sticking this way.

Packing School lunches

My children attend a small private school.  There is no hot lunch program.  So, every day they have to take their lunch.  Recently I have started having my kids pack their lunches for school.  Each night after supper the kids decide what they want for lunch the next day.  They know that they need a main item, 2 fruits and/or veggies, and a snack.  I make sure there are several choices from which they can pick.  If they want leftovers, they get it ready before I put them in the fridge.  If they want a sandwich, they make it at that time.   Each child (I have 3) has a shelf in the fridge where they put their lunch.  Each morning I grab what they have prepared and pack their lunch.  If they want something in their thermos, I warm it up & put it in.  

This has worked out great.  They take things that they like.  No more complaints about what they had in their lunch.  Also, they are eating more of their lunch and bringing less home. 

Hot Fudge Sauce

I was looking for a sweet treat for the family the other day so I decided to try to make some hot fudge for our ice cream.  I adapted a recipe I found on and it was excellent!  Smooth and creamy…yum!  I decided I would share it with you.


  • 1 c. butter
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 c. white sugar
  • 1 (12 oz). can evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt

Combine butter, cocoa, sugar, salt and evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and boil for 7 minutes.  Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.  Carefully pour hot mixture into a blender and blend for 2 to 4 minutes.  Serve immediately.  Store in refrigerator.

I used my hand blender and blended it right on the stove instead of using a blender.  This recipe keeps well in the fridge & reheat great.  The kids & I love it!  Enjoy!