Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bekcy's Bascs

FOX 13 in Utah has Becky come every Thursday and show you all of the wonderful things you can buy at the grocery store and even some online steals. For all of you like me who don't live in Utah she also has a website. To access some things you need to be a member and I'm not sure if it is free or not. (I'm not a member.) But you can still access her weekly steals which helps! Here is the website:

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Ok, I stumbled upon this this Circuit City you can get this digital photo frame/Alarm Clock for FREE after a mail in rebate! Crazy! You end up just paying for shipping (3.99) in the end. Some places have a site to store pick up but our location didn't have them. Here it is Circuit City

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Studio 5

There is a show at 11 AM called Studio 5 on KSL (channel 5). I'm not sure if the show airs outside of Utah. I don't usually care about TV but this one caught my interest because it covers anything from living on a budget to crafts to recipes to decorations to medical tips for kids and so on. There are some AWESOME articles and resources. If you cant watch the show they have a great website: STUDIO 5

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cream Puffs/Chocolate Eclairs

Okay Stace, I have a good recipe but it's kind of involved. If you can muster up the energy it will hopefully satisfy your craving :). It's the real thing from the California Culinary Academy. I tried it a long time ago and it was good, but I haven't made it in a while. Anyway, here it is:

1 1/3 C. Cream Puff Pastry
1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water (egg wash)
1 1/2 c. Pastry Cream
1/2 c. whipping cream
1 c. Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

1 1/3. Cream Puff Pastry:
1/2 C. water or 1/4 c. water and 1/4 cup milk
4 Tbs. Unsalted Butter cut into pieces
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 c. unbleached white flour, sifted
3 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Place water, butter, salt and sugar in a 2 1/2 quart saucepan; bring to a boil over low heat. The mixture should be heated slowly so the butter is just melted when the water reaches a boil. When mixture boils, remove from heat immediately and add flour all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Return to heat; stir over medium heat until mixture pulls away from sides of pan, begins to leave a white film on pan, and forms a ball (about 30 seconds).
2. Remove from heat, allow to cool 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. The paste should look smooth and shiny but be stiff enough to hold its shape when piped or dropped onto a baking sheet. If paste looks dull and is very stiff, lightly beat another egg and add a little of it to paste; beat until mixture is smooth. Add more egg if needed.
3. Place dough in a large pastry bag fitted with a 3/4 inch tube (#9). Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a baking sheet; using a dark pen or pencil, draw two parallel lines on it 5 inches apart (parallel to the long edge of the paper) and turn paper over on baking sheet.
4. To form eclairs, pipe eight 5-inch strips of pastry, 2 inches apart, onto the paper on the baking sheet, using the lines on the paper as a guide. Brush the eclairs with egg wash. Run the back of a fork along the top of each eclair to score top and keep it flat during baking.
5. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 400 F and bake 15 minutes more. Make a few small slits along the side of each eclair to release steam. Turn off oven; return eclairs to oven for 10 minutes, keeping oven door slightly ajar with a wooden spoon. Cool in wire racks.
6. Prepare Pastry Cream and flavor it as desired. Stir cold Pastry Cream until smooth. Beat 1/2 c. whipping cream until it hold stiff peaks and fold into pastry cream.
7. Just before serving (no more than 2 hours before), place filling in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4 inch tube (#3). Poke a hole in one end of eclair with the tip and fill with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the filling. If you don't have a pastry bag, slit eclairs along one side with a serrated knife and spoon filling inside before icing.
8. To ice eclairs, spread 1 to 2 tablespoons warm Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce on top of each eclair. If you want to do as much as possible in advance, you can ice the eclairs before filling them, up to 4 to 5 hours before serving. Store iced eclairs in a cool, dry place, then fill them carefully just before serving.
Makes 8 eclairs.

1 1/2 c. Pastry Cream:

1 1/4 c. milk
4 egg yolks
1/3 c. sugar
3 Tbs. Flour, sifted
1 Tbs. cornstarch, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Bring milk to a boil in a medium saucepan; remove from heat.
2. In a medium bowl beat egg yolks with sugar until thick and pale. Beat in flour and cornstarch.
3. Pour hot milk into yolk mixture and whisk. Return to saucepan; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Just before mixture begins to boilg, it will become very lumpy. Whisk vigorously until smooth; continue to cook gently for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. (the mixture will thin slightly during this time). Remove from heat and pour into a bowl; stir in vanilla and rub a piece of cold butter gently over the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming.
4. When pastry cream is cool, cover and refrigerate. Will keep up to 2 days in refrigerator.

Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce:

3 Tbs. water
3 Tbs. sugar
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
1 c. whipping cream

1. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan; bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool to 120F (test with an instant read thermometer).
2. Combine semisweet and unsweetened chocolate in top of double boiler; place over hot (not boiling) water until chocolate is just melted. Remove from heaet. Pour in sugar syrup (at 120 F) all at once. Stir until smooth.
3. Heat cream in a small saucepan over low heat to 120 F. Pour into chocolate mixture and stir until smooth and shiny.
Makes 2 cups.

Wow, that was long!

Grocery Smarts

I don't know how many of you are Grocery Smarts members, but if you aren't, you need to be! Grocery Smarts is an awesome website that matches up coupons with current sales FOR you. That's right... they do all the work, and you just sign on! So if you are interested in savings some serious cash, go to, type in the following password - g84cka, and get started with the "Just Getting Started?" button on the left side of the screen. It's a great resource, especially in these tough economic times!

Cream Puffs?

Do any of you have a good recipe for Cream Puffs or Eclairs? I have been craving Eclairs but I haven't liked any of the recipes I have tried.

Spark People

Try just typing in I don't know why it's not working!

Chocolate pies

Oh, I've got a lot of chocolate recipes!! This is one of my favs! THIS REQUIRES A SPRINGFORM PAN!!!
Chocolate Bliss Cheesecake
18 Oreos, finely crushed
2 T. butter, melted
3 pkg (8 oz) Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 pkg (8 squares) bakers semi sweet baking chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
3 eggs
Preheat oven to 325. Mix cookie crumbs and butter; press firmly onto bottom of pan.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add chocolate and mix well. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust.
Bake 55 min to 1 hour or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim.
Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chocolate Pie

Does anyone have a good chocolate pie recipe for Thanksgiving? It can be something with chocolate in it or whatever, I'm making a few pies and wanted one that's chocolatey.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Spark People

I know a lot of moms struggle with losing their pregnancy weight...gosh am I strugglin!! I used a website called spark people to help me after I had Preston and I just started it again. It's SOOO great if you want to keep track of how many calories you consume in a day, need new exercises or want healthy recipes. I've been a little down about the extra weight and I've decided to do something about it!! I love being able to see how many calories I'm taking in and burning etc. Check it out if you want the help!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Baby Wipes: Natural Alternative (cheaper, too)

My Sister in law has a little boy with extremely sensitive skin. Somewhere in her battle to keep him rash free she came across a lady that makes a homeopathic wet wipes solution. Store bought wet wipes actually have chlorine and other harsh chemicals in them. My little Skylar had a yeast rash when he was born and the conventional wet wipes irritated it just awful so I decided to try the alternative. Though I was a skeptic at first, it is a great product in many ways and cheaper in the long run.

Here's how it works:
* Use 'select a size' Bounty paper towels and cut the roll in half. (It's easier than you think).
* Mix 5 teaspoons of the Lavender Moist Wipes Solution to 2 cups of water.
* Pour over the half roll of paper towel and let soak for 1 hour.
They pull out of the middle and are oh so easy to use. They are very soft and yet clean very effectively. In my opinion they wipe poop up better than normal wet wipes and the roll lasts longer than a bag of wipes.

I found an ice bucket on summer clearance for $3.00. My sister in law uses a sterilite container.
The moist wipes solution is about $20 per jar. The lady that makes it also has a starter kit for purchase that comes with the half roll paper towel, solution and a container for about $24.

The solution contains lavender essential oil, pure castille soap, and almond oil.

So figure this. The solution lasted my sister in law 2 years! So if we prorate the cost per year it comes out to be about $35. I think that is awesome, because good wet wipes aren't cheap.

I will never go back to conventional wet wipes. In my opinion, the extra work is worth it, especially for my little guy's skin.

To purchase: Diana Collins Handcrafts
Fair Oaks, CA (916) 965-7993

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wild Blueberry Pancakes

1 box Betty Crocker wild blueberry muffin mix ( this is a must! Don't get any kind of muffin with fake blueberries)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 3/4 cups water
2 Tablespoons Vegetable oil
2 eggs
Into 1 quart saucepan, drain liquid from blueberries. Rinse blueberries; drain and set aside. Stir cornstarch into blueberry liquid until dissolved. Heat liquid to boiling over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, boil and stir one minute. Stir in syrup and remove from heat.
In medium bowl, beat dry muffin mix, water, oil and eggs, using wire wisk, until smooth. Gently stir in blueberries.
Grease griddle. For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle. Serve with warm blueberry syrup.
Makes 12-15 pancakes.
We had these this morning. Super easy and super cheap and super goooooood! I really liked the syrup with it. It wasn't really sweet, it had just enough blueberry taste. YUM!

ALSO!!!! If you sign up at Betty Crocker you get a coupon for .45 off a box of muffins!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Picky Eaters?

Recently, I've noticed my two young kids have become such picky eaters. I have had the hardest time getting them to eat anything, even Macaroni & Cheese! Well, earlier today, I was on Nick Jr.'s Website with my oldest boy and found some great recipes that I think my kids will not only eat, but will be able to help me make too! Just click on the link above and check it out - they have some of the cutest ideas!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Grocery Shopping Help

There is a website out there called It isn't state specific either. You can log in and tell the website which state you live in and it will tell you what is on sale where. This is an easy way to see what is on sale where and who has better deals for the week!

Yummy Chocolate Molten Cake

Chocolate Molten Cake

4 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
6 Tbsp. flour
Ice Cream

PREHEAT oven to 425°F. Butter four 3/4-cup custard cups or soufflĂ© dishes. Place on baking sheet.
MICROWAVE chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min. or until butter is melted. Stir with wire whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar until well blended. Blend in eggs and egg yolks with wire whisk. Stir in flour. Divide batter among prepared custard cups.
BAKE 13 to 14 min. or until sides are firm but centers are soft. Let stand 1 min. Carefully run small knife around cakes to loosen. Invert cakes onto dessert dishes. Serve immediately, topped with ice cream.

This is a way easy version of the cakes but they are delicious and incredibly easy to make.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pear Cherry Buckle

So I saw Sandra Lee make this on Food Network a while ago and decided to finally try it. It was so good and perfect for fall. Here is a link to the recipe:


I made these brownies for my family while I was in Utah and made them the day I came home from Utah for MY family! Simply because I just couldn't get enough of them! They are THE BEST!!!
Oh, I left the nuts off. Brad and I aren't big on nuts in our desserts. ALSO!!! I melted the chocolate first and then mixed in the cool whip. It worked a lot better!

Prep Time:
40 minTotal Time:
2 hr 10 minMakes:
Makes 32 servings.What You Need
1 pkg. (19 to 21 oz.) brownie mix(13x9-inch pan size)
1 cup cold milk
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 cups COOL WHIP Whipped Topping (Do not thaw.)
3 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup PLANTERS Dry Roasted Peanuts, coarsely chopped Make It
PREPARE and bake brownies in 13x9-inch pan as directed on package; cool. Meanwhile, beat milk and pudding mix with whisk 2 min. Add peanut butter and sugar; mix well. Refrigerate until brownies are completely cooled.

SPREAD pudding mixture over brownies.

MICROWAVE COOL WHIP and chocolate on HIGH 1 min., stirring every 30 sec. Spread over pudding; sprinkle with nuts. Refrigerate 1 hour.

short cuts

I discovered a new cool thing!!! It's called Shortcuts. It's a website that you can link your grocery coupons to your Smith's card! How cool is that? You don't have to actually print the coupons. They will be on your values card. Check it out. Just click on Shortcuts and it'll take you there. I tried it last night and it works!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fall Favorite

There is nothing like stew on a cold fall day. Here is my Moms super easy recipe for stew.

Stew Meat 1lb or more depending on how much meat you like

Small Bag of Baby Carrots

5-7 Potatoes

2 Cans of Beef Broth

3 Cans of Cream Of Chicken Soup

1-2 Packets of Beefy Onion Soup (depending on how much flavor you like)

Add water until you reach the consistency you want.

Throw it all in a crock pot and let it cook for the day. If you cook it on low all day the potatoes come out perfect if you cook it on high they sometimes end up a bit mushy.

I would love to hear your favorite fall recipes!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

White Flour French Bread

So we ran out of bread today and I didn't want to make a special trip to the store so I made some of my mom's White Flour French Bread. She got the recipe from someone in her ward when she first moved the United States. It has been a favorite in our family so I thought I'd share this yummy and really easy recipe. One of the best parts is how good it makes your house smell.

2 Tbs. Yeast
1/2 c. warm water
2 c. hot water
1 Tbs. salt
6 c. flour
3 Tbs. sugar
5 Tbs. oil

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Combine hot water, sugar, salt, oil, and half of the flour. Beat well with wooden spoon. Stir in dissolved yeast. Add remaining flour. Mix well. Cover and set for one hour, stirring every ten minutes.

Knead dough lightly on a floured board, coating with flour. Make dough into 2 loaves. Gash tops with knife diagonally. Brush with egg white* and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Let rise 30 min. and bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

*Instead of the egg whites (which gets really shiny), I like to brush it with an egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 Tbs. water). If you don't have a pastry brush, it also works really well to brush the egg on with a bunched up paper towel. You can make this bread in any shape you want. As you can see in my picture, I made one loaf of bread and experimented with 4 bread bowls and another round loaf. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kraft Foods

I just wanted to make sure you all knew that Kraft Foods does a Food and Family magazine that has some great recipes and it is FREE!! All you have to do is go to their website and ask them to send you one. They really are great and hey it is free so why not?!

Great For The Freezer

So I love all sorts of pasta! It is probably what I cook most. (you will find that most of my posts will be for food that is probably not the best for you but it sure tastes good) When I have an hour or two I like to make lasagna. It takes a few hours because I usually make four at one time. Here is what I do:

Shopping List:
3-4 boxes of Lasagne (you can use the oven ready ones but it does taste better if you cook the noodles first)
2-3 lbs of hamburger (more if you like a lot of meat)
4-5 cans of Hunts Traditional sauce
2 large cartons of cottage cheese
2 cartons of grated parmasan cheese
Cheddar Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese
Desposible baking pans with lids (I have found the paper ones work the best but the metal ones are cheaper and still work great too)

First start cooking your noodles. Then brown the hamburger then add the sauce (I usually divide it in half since I don't have a pan or skillet big enough to do it all at once) Mix the cottage cheese and the parmasan cheese together. When everything is ready you just start layering it how ever you want. I can usually get about 4 pans out of it if I do fewer layers I can get five.

These are great to put in the feezer and pull out on a night you don't feel like cooking. They really do freeze great. I have found that making my own is a lot cheaper than buying the frozen ones; and if you can catch the cheese on sale it is really cheap since cheese is so expensive.

Happy Cooking

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


So, a good way to save on groceries is to go to couponmom. There is a link there to check your local store's deals. I get on there and compare prices etc. She also has links for printable coupons. Be careful with coupons because if it's something you buy generic of, the generic may be cheaper. Check it out!
I like to plan my meals around what is on sale. Ground beef was on sale last week, so we had Taco Soup.
I love is this Taco Soup. It makes a lot and it's the best Taco Soup I've ever had. Brad and I can eat it for several days. The cans of food are really cheap. I have also made it and frozen the rest for another time.
1 lb ground beef, browned
1 package Taco seasoning
3 cups beef broth (i use bouillon cubes to make broth)
1 26 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 can corn
16 oz can of tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups picante sauce

Just brown the meat and drain then dump in all the cans! SUPER easy and SUPER yummy!! We eat it with cheese, fritos, sour cream and olives on top.

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Favorite Meal

I decided for the first official post I would blog about my favorite dinner. I LOVE roast and mashed potatoes. But it is expensive so here is what I do to make it last almost a whole week.

Day One
Roast Dinner
1 very large pot roast
3-4 cans of cream of chicken soup (the target brand is half the price of campbells)
2-3 cans of water
1-2 packets of beefy onion soup
salt and pepper

Put everything in a crockpot and let it cook for about 6-8 hours. When finished you will have a yummy roast and yummy gravy for mashed potatoes.

Day Two

Day Three
Beef Enchiladas

Take the shredded beef from the roast and add some rice, cheese, and whatever else you like.
I like to make Lime Rice to go with it; I just add some chopped up cilantro and squeeze in some fresh lime it is really good.

Day Four
Okay this one is a little ghetto

I just take a hamburger helper stroganoff mix and add in some of the roast. It tastes A LOT better with the roast than with hamburger.

You can also use the mean for some sandwiches (which is Steves Favorite).

This Could Be The Start Of Something Great

Following blogs is fun but at the same time so many of you have helpful advice, recipes, etc; so I decided to start one where we can all share helpful hints, recipes, activities for our kids, etc. I hope we can find as many people as possible to contribute to this blog. If we do this could be the start of something great!