Tortellini Pasta Salad

4 small sweet peppers, diced (red and yellow)
1/2 package each of sweet red and yellow cherry tomatoes (or 1 package of mixed)
1 medium sized can sliced black olives, drained
small block medium cheddar, cubed (I might use sharp next time)
small block monterrey jack cheese, cubed
1 jar basil pesto (I used Classico brand)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
4-5 minced garlic cloves
1 jar roasted red peppers (diced)
2 packages of frozen tri-color tortellini (boiled and cooled)
1-2 cups grated parmasean/romano blend (or one cup of each)
Mrs. Dash Italian Blend (or some kind of italian seasoning)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine first 5 ingredients.  Marinade overnight with Pesto marinade (pesto/EVOO/minced garlic).  Combine with cooked and chilled tortellini, roasted red peppers, remaining cheeses, and spices to taste. Refrigerate to combine flavors (can be done overnight).  EVOO is needed to add moisture back into salad before serving (while cooking pasta coat with EVOO while cooling to avoid pasta sticking together).  You could add many different veggies as you desire.  Next time I would add red onions or mushrooms to the veggies that are marinaded.  The olive bars at grocery stores are good places to get add-ins to this salad if you don't have the time to marinade.   You could even replace cheese tortellini with spinach tortellini (it would just not be tri-colored).

2012 Summer Canning

Well, this year we added spaghetti sauce to our list of canning attempts. Along with salsa and pickles which we did last year. I just kind of made up a recipe, but I think it will be good over pasta or lasagna, or over chicken with some fresh mozzarella even. We made a huge batch, of course, but there are 2 families eating it, and we like our pasta!

40 lbs canning tomatoes, blanched and peeled
8 bell peppers, chopped and sautéed until tender
8 vidalia onions, chopped and carmalized (butter, balsamic vinegar, and sugar)
1/2 cup salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup olive oil
6 bulbs of garlic, minced
Garlic powder
Onion powder
30 oz tomato paste

I cut the tomatoes into chunks and added all of the other ingredients (spices to taste). Cook for 2 hours until desired consistency. I used fresh basil and parsley, but dried for the others. we used quart sized jars.

Feb 15, 2012

Baked Fried Chicken Fingers and Scalloped Potatoes
Tyson Chicken Tenders Breasts $4.88 (Rays)
Hungry Jack Scalloped Potatoes $1 (HyVee)

Chicken Tamale Casserole and Rice-A-Roni
Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix 2/$.98 (Rays)
Rice-A-Roni $1 (HyVee)

Grilled  Cheese Sloppy Joes and Fries
manwich $1 (HyVee)
Best Choice White Bread $.98 (Rays)

Breakfast for dinner (Eggs, bacon/sausage, hashbrown)
If you are anything like my family you will have both bacon and sausage!
Eggs $.99 (Dillons)
Bar S Bacon $2.98 (Rays) or Private Selection Center Cut Bacon 2 for $6 (Dillons)
Tennessee Pride Sausage Patties/Links $2.98 (Rays) or Kroger Breakfast Sausage 2 for $5 (Dillons)
Simply Potatoes Hashbrowns $2.29 (Dillons) or Ore-Ida Hash Browns $2.48 (Rays)

Feb 8, 2012

There are no good ads this week... nothing to even post.  So I am trying out a few recipes I have found that look good while also utilizing the abundance of meat I have in my freezer.  Which is a lot.  Dan is always amazed at how much I come home with when I am just "running to the store".  Hope you like them!

Long Boy Burgers and Crispy Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Baked Cheesey Chicken Penne and Salad

Baked Crispy Cheddar Chicken and rice-a-roni

Parmesean Honey Pork Roast and mashed potatoes and steamed carrots

Dessert for the week: Peanut Butter Oreo Brownies... YUMMY!!!

Feb 1, 2012

Grilled Pork Chops and Garlicy Baked Fries
I dont have a recipe for the pork chops, just planning on putting a rub on them the night before and either grilling outside or on my grill pan on the stove top.
On sale this week:
Dillons: Pork Chops $2.69/lb
HyVee: Russet Potatoes 10 lb bag $2.48 in store coupon needed

Pasta Pie and Caesar Salad
I make a mean Caesar salad, it just took trying all of the options for salad dressing.  Finally landed on Ken's steak house caesar dressing.... so yummy.  Also add croutons, bacon bits, and shredded parm.
On sale this week:
HyVeeRagu sauce - buy 2 for $3 get free pasta in store coupon needed & bagged lettuce $.88
Rays Apple Market: Ground beef $1.98/lb
Dillon's: Hunts tomatoes (canned) $.49 & Ragu sauce (if you are not buying at HyVee) $1.26

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Crock Pot Chicken, white rice, and steamed carrots
On sale this week
Ray's Apple Market: Frozen Chicken Breasts (frozen) $1.48/lb & Baby carrots $1.48 for 2 lb bag
If you need any spices for this recipe or others HyVee has mini spices 5 for $4 in store coupon required

Brats and Chips
I am going to make them 2 ways, Apple Cider Sausage Brats Bath (for the little ones) and Brat Hot Tub (for the adults)
On sale this week
Ray's Apple Market: Johnsonville Brats $2.98 (Dillons $3.29 and same price at HyVee for HyVee brand) & buns $.88 (HyVee B1G1 free bakery buns)
HyVee: Lays Potato Chips $1.88

Other good deals (I think at least)
HyVee 2 liters $.59
Dunkin Hines Cake Mix $.99 (I buy these and make crumbles when apples go on sale)
Knorr Sides 10 for $10
Lipton Cold Brew Tea $2.99
HyVee Tomato and Chicken Noodle Soup 3 for $1 coupon needed
Kraft BBQ Sauce $.99
Celery $.77 in store coupon needed

BumbleBee Tuna Salad Kit $.78
Kleenex $.99
Kroger Cheese 3 for $5

Farmland Best Sausage Rolls $1.59
Velveeta $4.98

January 25, 2012

This week there are not as many good deals, so I am using some staples that I hoard almost A&E worthy.  I usually go crazy and buy a number of items that I don't need at the moment in mass quantities.  This includes things like pasta and rice mixes (like pasta-roni), frozen veggies, canned veggies/beans/tomatoes, canned soups and broths, frozen meats, bacon, cheeses, and jarred items.  That way it is only a few items I buy each week at need, and the rest are other hoarding items.  It also makes the rough patches easier to handle, those times when every penny counts.  I write this without good deals this week, there are a few but not as many as usual.  I am using those staples I have, but have tried to find deals on others for anyone out there reading.... if there is anyone!  Remember that I shop for everything else I can at Aldi's and

Meal 1:
Roasted Pork Butt (Pork Shoulder) with Apples and Onions (from the Pioneer Woman - LOVE HER!!)
She calls for wild rice to be a side dish but I plan on using different rice mixes I have collected
On Sale This Week:
Farmland Best Pork Butt Roast $.98/lb - Ray's Apple Market (Friday-Sunday only)
Apples (Gala/Granny Smith/Golden Delicious) 10 lbs for $10 at Dillons ($1.49/lb at Ray's)
Yellow Onions $.98/lb at Ray's and 10 lbs/$10 at Dillons *
* indicates that item located at Aldi and may be cheaper

Meal 2:
Crock Pot Chicken Soft (or Hard) Tacos with Re-fried Beans
Will use this recipe for Creamy Chicken Taquitos later in the week.  My family likes rice, but if you rather beans or taco chips and salsa totally change it up.
On Sale This Week:
Best Choice Frozen Chicken Breasts 3 lb bag $4.88 at Ray's Apple Market (GOOD DEAL!!) **
Kroger Shredded Cheddar Cheese 2 for $4 at Dillons (maybe cheaper at Aldi's I stocked up a few weeks ago at HyVee) *
Kroger Sour Cream at Dillons 4 for $5 (don't have to buy 4 for deal) *
Dole Lettuce $.77 -at HyVee (Thursday-Saturday only)
Taco Bell Taco Shells (if making hard tacos) $.98 at Ray's
Taco Bell Refied Beans $.98 at Ray's *
Kraft Salad Dressing at Dillons $1.79 (need Zesty Italian)*
Avacados $.29 each at Aldi (10 for $10 at Dillons)
* indicates that item located at Aldi and may be cheaper

Meal 3:
Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos and Spanish Rice Bake (leave out ground beef and can sub white rice for long grain rice)
On Sale This Week:
See Crockpot Chicken Recipe above
Dole Lettuce $.77 -at HyVee (Thursday-Saturday only)*
Kraft Salad Dressing at Dillons $1.79 *
Kroger Shredded Cheddar Cheese 2 for $4 at Dillons (maybe cheaper at Aldi's I stocked up a few weeks ago at HyVee)*
Philadelphia Cream Cheese $.99 at Dillons
Bell Peppers (on sale for $.98 each at Ray's but can get cheaper at Aldi if purchased in 3 pack)
Yellow Onions $.98/lb at Ray's and 10 lbs/$10 at Dillons *
Kroger Shredded Cheddar Cheese 2 for $4 at Dillons (maybe cheaper at Aldi's I stocked up a few weeks ago at HyVee) *
* indicates that item located at Aldi and may be cheaper

Meal 4 (Promised Alex these even though they are not on sale):
Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches with Fries (frozen) and Green Beans (canned or frozen)
On Sale This Week:
Yellow Onions $.98/lb at Ray's and 10 lbs/$10 at Dillons *
Bell Peppers (on sale for $.98 each at Ray's but can get cheaper at Aldi if purchased in 3 pack)*
Kroger Provolone Cheese 2 for $4 at Dillons (probably cheaper at Aldi's)*
Frozen Veggies (Bird's Eye at Ray's $.98)
* indicates that item located at Aldi and may be cheaper

Other Sale Items I Found Worth Buying (or stocking up on!)

Hy-Vee  (see above recipes for other deals)
  • Thursday-Saturday Only:
    • Wonder Classic White Bread (20 oz.) $.99 (limit 2) ($1.88 at Ray's) - Thursday-Saturday only
    • Pepsi 2 liter $.99
    • Russet Potatoes (5 lbs bag) $.99
    • Dole Lettuce heads $.77
    • Starkist Sensations $.99
    • Cottenelle 9 Big Roll $3.88
  • Chilean Red Grapes $1.49/lb ($1.69 Dillons/$1.99 Ray's)
  • Hamburger Helper 10 for $10 (never bad to have on hand)
  • HyVee Ketchup $.69
  • HyVee Fruit Bars/Yogurt Smoothie Bars 2 for $4
  • Coupon needed - Buy 3 Special K Products on page get $3 off milk (GOOD DEAL FOR FAMILIES)
Dillons (see above recipes for other deals) Armor Lunch Makers (small lunchables) $.88
  • Pepsi 2 liters $.99
  • Kellogg's poptarts $1.69 (Best Choice at Ray's $.98)
  • Kroger Yogurt 10 for $4
  • Kroger Cottage Cheese/Sour Cream/Dip (16 oz) 4 for $5
  • Kroger Bacon $2.38 (buy and freeze for future use when eggs are on sale)
Ray's (see above recipes for other deals)
  • Friday-Sunday Only
    • Coke 24 pack $4.88 (same price for off brand Kroger/HyVee soda (4-12 pack for $10)
  • Best Choice Toaster Pastries $.98
  • Oscar Meyer Bologna $.98
  • Baby Carrots $.49/lb

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches

2 sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 green pepper thinkly sliced
(1 T butter)
1-2 packages Steak EZ (purchased at Aldi) or Steak-Ums
6 slices provolone cheese
6 hoagie rolls

In a large non-stick skillet, caramelize onions and peppers in butter. Pile to side, heat beef strips then combine. Brush hoagie rolls with olive oil and place under broiler until brown.  Layer beef, onions, cheese slice on hoagie rolls, retun to broiler until cheese in melted. Use condiments as desired (I use mayo).