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Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

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I made The Prudent Homemakers Lemon Poppyseed Muffins.
I was thinking about making them for a little while, but I didn’t have access to poppy seeds except at Kroger where they are $4.99.  I read on her website that she orders them in bulk, but I didn’t want to do that unless I was sure that the kids would like them. I even looked into the bulk supplies, but there was a minimum of $30 or $35 and I couldn’t come up with that amount if stuff to buy.

Anyway, we had a Rural King open up in our town and I went to check it out. They are kind of like a Tractor Supply, only better, says my husband. They have farm stuff and a variety of other stuff. They had a spice section and lo and behold they had Poppy Seeds for 99 cents!!
I bought them and tried them. They were easy to whip up and other than the poppy seeds, lemon juice is the only other special ingredient. I keep lemon juice, so it didn’t bother me.
This first batch of muffins were a little bland according to M my volunteer taste tester, but that may have been because my lemon juice was getting old.
I just purchased some organic lemon juice from Costco. I want to try them again! I will double the lemon to give them some zip!
I will let you know how the next batch turns out.

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Cherry Coffeecake

I follow a lot of money-saving blogs.  One of them is called The Path to Frugality.    I love her ideas.   She thinks an awful lot like me.  At the bottom of one of her posts that I read, it said something like “you might also like” and there was a picture of her cherry coffeecake.  It didn’t look all that special, but I had some cherry pie filling I was wanting to use up as it was in the pantry for a long time.

This was absolutely delicious.  I ate like half of the 9 x 13 pan by the time it was gone.  The ingredients were already in my pantry or refrigerator, so no extra trip to the store to get extra items.  I used margarine in it as I had some left over from making Christmas cookies.  We use butter normally, but I find margarine works better with cookies.  I also didn’t use the nuts because I didn’t have them on-hand.

This coffeecake had a delicious taste and the topping was crunchy.  Pure heaven.  Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed…at least I wasn’t.

Cheesy Ham And Potato Soup

I have been trying some new recipes around here just like I stated in my goals.  I have a ton of ham in my freezer.  When I was cleaning out my freezer which was a mess and needs to be defrosted terribly, I found 12 hams…12!  That is a lot of ham.  I am trying to defrost the freezer, so we need to eat the food in it soon.  So, I have been looking for recipes that use ham.

This recipe came from food.com and I thought it was delicious.  I doubled it and we had some leftovers.  The kids ate it, but weren’t all that thrilled about it, but my husband and I liked it very much.  He said I should add some more cheese, but I thought it was awesome just as it was.  We had all of the ingredients on hand, so that was nice.  I made a loaf of homemade white bread and it was a delicious meal.

I hope you enjoy.

Do One Thing…

Half of my kids are out-of-town.  One is in New Mexico with the Boy Scouts on a trip to Philmont.  The other 2 are with my SIL in Kentucky.  With this little bit of freedom, I am trying something new.  I have several days to get a good start with this while there is less stress and fewer demands on my time.  Here is my brilliant thought…do one thing.

I am trying to do one thing each day that I don’t really want to do, but needs to be done.  For example, yesterday I cleaned out the fridge.  I certainly didn’t want to do it, but it needed to be done.  I bit the bullet and did it.  It took all of 30 minutes to get it done.  It wasn’t that big of a deal, but since the fridge closes, I close it and forget about it.

Another day this week, I baked 2 loaves of banana zucchini bread from a recipe at food.com.  Here is the link if you are interested.  http://www.food.com/recipe/banana-zucchini-bread-96994  It turned out great!  The only thing I did differently was add some extra banana since I had some lying around that needed to be used up.  Again, no big deal.  It probably took 10 minutes to get the stuff into the pans to bake for 45 min. to an hour.  I don’t know why doing this is so hard for me, but it is.

I have a tendency to let things build up, and then it is a bigger deal than it needs to be.  For example, if I were to work on baking something every day, the kids would always have stuff for breakfast and their lunch, but I get lazy and then we have nothing in the house and I have to bake and cook like crazy to fill the freezer again.  The kitchen gets completely trashed and it takes me 2 days to recover from the mess and exhaustion.  Then I don’t bake again until I’m close to being out of stuff again.  If I am tired when I run out of food, I buy stuff to fill the freezer at a much greater expense!  So I am going to do one thing…

I’ll let you know how it goes!

Quick, Easy, and Inexpensive Meals For Large Families

As our family has grown over the years, we have been more and more likely to eat at home.  For a while when the children were small, it wasn’t a big deal to split our food with them.  As each new family member was born, it became a little more expensive each time we would eat out.

We now rarely eat out.  Do I like to eat out?  Yes, but I have decided it just isn’t worth it….most of the time.  My boys are 15, 14, 12, 10, and 7.  My daughter is 5.  Just to eat out at a fast food restaurant is close to $60.   All except the two little ones eat more than my husband and me.  They want triple sandwiches, extra fries, shakes, etc.  The food is unhealthy, and overpriced.

To counter this desire to eat out, I have a few go-to meals that everyone likes, that are quick, and don’t break the bank like eating out does.

1.  Pre-prepared pizzas.  Wal-Mart and Aldi have pretty nice sized pizzas.  They vary in price from $6-10 and I need 3 pizzas to make a meal, but it is fast and way cheaper than eating out for the 8 of us.  I buy a family size salad mix to serve with the pizza.  Total Cost: around $22-$34.

2.  Spaghetti and meatballs.  I buy spaghetti on sale or at Sam’s club.  I buy meatballs when they are on sale.  I keep pasta sauce in the pantry most of the time.  Serve with garlic bread.  I buy the whole loaf garlic bread, instead of the pre-sliced kind with 8 pieces.  This way I can cut the garlic bread into the size I prefer which serves way more than 8 slices.  Total Cost: around $8.

3.  Little Caesars Pizza.  We have a Little Caesars Pizza about 10 minutes from us.  They have $5 pepperoni or cheese pizzas.  This is a splurge for us, but the kids love it when we purchase this.  We need 4 pizzas.  Total Cost: $20.

4.  Pita bread pizzas.  I go to the bread store about once a month and buy 20 loaves of bread.  I also see what they have on their reduced shelf.  Often they have pita bread on the 75 cent rack.  I buy as many as they have.  I use 4 bags per dinner.  We use it to make pita bread pizzas.  I use spaghetti sauce instead of pizza sauce–it goes farther for the price.  We use 1 pita bread per mini pizza.  I allow the children to make their own with their choice of toppings, which they love to do.  I set out various toppings that I have in the fridge.  Usually we have pepperoni, cheese, black olives, banana peppers, green peppers, and anything else I am trying to get rid of.  Bake at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Serve with salad.   Total Cost: around $13 depending on what we use.

5. Breakfast for dinner.  Scrambled eggs, hash brown potatoes, sausage or bacon, and toast.  Fast, tasty, and economical.  Total cost: around $10.

6.  Meatball subs.  I use frozen meatballs, hot dog buns, spaghetti sauce, and mozzarella cheese, or provolone if I have it on hand.  I normally have all ingredients excpept hot dog buns on hand.  I stop at the discount grocery and get the buns for 79 cents. I also pick up a bag of chips or pretzels to serve with the meal. I need 2 packs of buns.  I use 2 small bags of meatballs.  Total cost: around $11.

These go-to meals keep me from resorting to spending a small fortune for a single, unhealthy meal.  I try to keep all of these ingredients handy so that I can quickly get a meal on the table that everyone enjoys without breaking the budget!

Easy Salsa Dip

My kids love chips and salsa, but salsa doesn’t last very long in my house.  My son T did “Snack Attack” for a 4H project this past year.  We just made the salsa that he made for the judging for the fair last summer.  It is quick, easy, tasty, and really stretches the salsa. With 6 hungry kids this recipe is a keeper.

1 can whole kernel corn

1 can black beans (I use a big can)

1 jar salsa (I buy it at Sam’s in the gallon size)

1 bag of tortilla chips

That’s it.  Mix together and serve.  We have tried it with mild and medium salsa, and we feel like the medium salsa isn’t too spicy for our little ones and adds better flavor.