Saturday, March 30, 2013

Grandma Wilma's Famous Potato Salad

Ok, here I go.  I watched and watched Wilma make her potato salad to see if I could make it like hers.  Wilma, bless her heart, was an amazing cook.  She didn't measure but to quote her " It won't be any good if you don't use ...."  Like, she swore by KC Masterpiece in her BBQ and Miracle Whip in her potato salad.  She wouldn't make it if she didn't have the right ingredients.  Well I did eventually master her potato salad.  I also am not good at measuring, but I did so I could share this recipe.  I am going to tell you, this recipe makes a very large amount of potato salad, but that is what it takes to go around at our house.  It is so yummy! I made this for Easter dinner.  You can cut the recipe in half or even fourths.

To start out you will need

10 lb of russet potatoes, 1 1/2 large onions, one 16 oz jar sweet pickles, 2 dozen boiled eggs,
2 1/2 cups (1) 30 oz jar Miracle Whip, 1/4 cup juice from your sweet pickles, 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar ( I know I have white vinegar shown here. Sorry, you can use it. I just prefer apple cider vinegar.),
1/4 cup yellow mustard,3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup evaporated milk.

Now, make sure you use a large pan because you have a lot of taters there.  Peel and wash the potatoes and put them in the pan, filling it just over the top of the potatoes and cook them until fork tender.  Not to mushy! And, you may also stir them if you use a lot of potatoes.  The weight of the potatoes may cause them to lay right next to the bottom and scorch a potato or two (been there done that).

After they are fork tender, drain them in a collendar and put them back in the big ole pan.  You will be using this pan to add the rest of the ingredients and mix it up.  Let the potatoes cool for a while.  In the mean time, you can dice your onions

I cut my onions in half for easier dicing and then
slice them and turn it to the side and slice again.
Perfectly diced onions.
(The candle is a must when dicing onions, especially 2 large ones.  It keeps you from crying )

Then you dice your sweet pickles and your eggs
 I guess in no particular order I just like to get the
 onions out of the way.

Now you start dicing your potatoes
I just take my knife and start slashing them until they are pretty small chunks.  You will need to use a spoon and stir the potatoes up to get them all cut.  You could use a potato smasher for this but I like chunky potato salad just like Wilma's.

After you get your potatoes diced add you eggs, onions and sweet pickles right into the pan with the potatoes.  Mix this up really well to get your eggs, onions and pickles through out your potatoes.

Next, you start your dressing and this is the important part, besides the eggs,  you need bunches of eggs to make this salad.
You will need the Miracle Whip, mustard, vinegar, sugar, evaporated milk and don't forget the sweet pickle juice.

You just put it all together into a mixing bowl and mix it up good.  I use a large wisk, a spoon works well also.  Dump this dressing into your potato, egg, pickle and onion mixture and mix and mix. When its well mixed you dump it into a large container.

And there you go, Grandma Wilma's famous potato salad.   Put this in the fridge and let sit for at least a day. It makes the flavors of all the goodies go through and Oh its yummy!  ~ Ethel

Good Morning Garden! Welcome Spring!

Here in Northwest Missouri, it is time to start putting in the garden.  I am so excited, I can barely contain myself.  This December, the Stephenson crew moved out to the country.  I have 5 whole acres to fill with garden!
This morning, we rushed out of bed and turned the soil over for the first time at on our new property.
I have decided to put my gardens down in the soil in two long and narrow beds, with a strip of grass between the two for walking on.  I am combining old-fashioned ideas with new ideas.  As we raked the clumps of grass away from the soil, rain started sprinkling on our heads.  So, we hurriedly finished tilling one end of the bed, hoed rows for my potatoes and planted them.  By the time that last eye was covered, it was officially raining.
It is never a good idea to work wet soil, so we all cleaned-up and headed in for breakfast.

This time of year, it is a good idea to always keep an eye on the weather forecast. Keep an eye on your soil moisture too.  As soon as the soil is dry, as in not mud, hurry out and do your work before it rains again.  Or snows, again.  This will be good advice to follow in any type of bed, raised, traditional, vegetable or flower.

As soon as it dries out a bit, I will be putting in a mixture of cutting lettuces, radishes, onions and snow peas.
All of these plants prefer the cooler weather of the spring and fall.  Plant them now, before the average frost date, and don't worry if they get snowed on a little.  Actually snow is good for them.  It covers them with a nice layer of nitrogen.  So, think of snow as a little bit of natural fertilizer straight from heaven.  By the time the plants some up, snow will probably be long gone anyway.  Most plants, except for radishes can take up to two weeks to germinate.

Have you thought about planting your own fruits and vegetables?  There are millions of different ways to grow your own.  Some are old and some are new.  Some are made for large spaces and some use tiny little pots.  Veggies can be grown in beds, planters and even roof tops.  Garden edibles are beautiful enough to tuck into your existing flower beds.  I have done that in town, in years past.  I plan on doing that still.  Cruise around the garden section of Pinterest and get some new ideas.  Then, roll up your sleeves, put on your old shoes and get those hands dirty!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Tip of the Day - Butter

Always keep a few sticks of butter softened and ready to go for baking.  Softening them in the microwave can make the butter too melted too fast. When too melted, it won't cream up when making frosting and your cookies won't hold the correct shape when baking. Get yourself a pretty butter dish to set out on your counter and always keep it stocked.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Baked "Boiled" Eggs

Ok, so today is the day that Gabe said, "Granny we need to color our eggs".  So, I thought this will be a great chance to see if this "cooking the eggs in the oven" really works or not.  Well, you start with putting your eggs into a muffin tin

and then you put it in the oven on 325 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.  You then "plunge them in ice water", but I just filled the sink with cold water and put the pan down in it as the cold water went over them.

They had brown spots on them that kind of looked, ukkk, but they washed off.
So then I peeled one and guess what?  They were super easy to peel.

 They turned out great.

The yolks are even pretty and yellow, not that green tint you get from over boiling.
Happy Easter Egg Dying have lots of fun. ~ Ethel

Coupon Tip of the Day

Remember to check out the sites that have printable coupons when you make your list.  You can find really great coupons to match your sales.

Red plum


~ Ethel

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Coupon tip of the Day

BOGO = Buy One Get One
These are one of my favorite coupons.  
First of all when you get one free that means you are saving 50%
and then if you catch that product on sale and comp it you get even more savings.  ~ Ethel

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mexican Seasoning

Rarely do I bother with spending extra money on a special spice blend.  I am not always confident in what companies are putting in those spice blends or seasoning packets, and they are much more expensive than the single spices at the grocery store. In a homemade spice blend, you can control the ingredients.    You are free to make them more or less spicy, depending upon your own personal taste.  You are also free to control the amount of salt you are seasoning your meals with.
This is how I like to make my spice blend for my Mexican dishes:
3 Tablespoons of Cumin
1 Tablespoon of Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon of Onion Powder
2 teaspoons of Paprika (sometimes I use regular, sometimes smokey)
2 teaspoons of Oregano
1 teaspoon of Garlic
Stir and add to your favorite Mexican Dishes.
If you want a little heat, add some Cayenne.   
Take notice that this recipe has NO Salt.  I recommend you add the salt to your dish, to taste.  Sometimes you need a lot, sometimes you need none.

I use this instead of the little packet of taco seasoning.  Stir a tablespoon or two into your meat, add salt and pepper to taste.
I also like to sprinkle this without salt onto a bean and cheese quesadilla.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Coupon/comp tip of the day

When you are comp shopping at Walmart and you are comping a store brand product .  Walmart store brand isGreat Value.  So if you want to match say a Hy-vee brand or Always Save, Kroger ect.  You buy Great Value.  ~ Ethel

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Couponing Tip of the Day

Watch the cashier. When checking out pay close attention to the price screen to make sure everything rings up at the correct price. Also, make sure that the cashier scans all of your coupons. Coupons sometimes stick together or get dropped or the cashier will scan the coupon but not realize that it didn’t go through. Kindly point out that they missed one and they will correct it.
Check your receipt. BEFORE leaving the store look over your receipt to make sure everything rang up correctly and all of your coupons were scanned. If there is a problem take it to customer service immediately so they can fix it. If you leave the store and come back at another time then it might not be fixable. If the cashier missed a coupon and you notice right away it’s easy to see the mistake. But, if you come back later after several other coupons have been added to the cashier’s stack or the stack is gone then there is no way to prove that they missed a coupon.
I made this mistake and lost several dollars in savings.  It helps to have a partner to unload your cart while you do your price match and coupons so you can keep an eye on things.  I have been charged more than the products regular price becouse i didn't pay attention and I aslo have had coupons that were not taken off.  This is very dissappointing if you don't catch it off hand.  
~ Ethel

Friday, March 22, 2013

Tip of the Day - Garden!

Are you thinking about your summer garden?  If not you should be.  Simply planting one single tomato plant can put a considerable dent in your summer grocery budget.  Now is the time to start planning where you will plant what. Distribute your compost over your beds and start a fresh pile.  Potatoes, peas, and lettuce are super easy veggies that can be planted now, and over the next several weeks.  These three veggies like the nice cool weather.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Menus To Go With The Sales!

I have complied a list of meals that go with Mom's Comp. List for the week.  I hope they are helpful for you.  I have not included condiments in the menus, because I know we all have our own tastes and prefer different stuff.  Heck, just the four of us in our one little family all prefer different condiments.  So, put whatever you have on whatever you want.  I do want to point out though, there are several condiments on sale this week.  Picking up an extra BBQ sauce or Mayo this week may be a good idea!

Click Here for Menu Printable

I also want to include a few simple recipes.  I have some baked goods on this menu.  With salads, casseroles and sandwiches, you can always add a pinch of this and a handful of that, but with baking that doesn't always work.  I don't want you to end up with hockey pucks for biscuits, or soggy carrot cake, so here you go.

3 cups AP Flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
3/4 cup cold butter
1 1/4 cup milk (minus 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons lemon juice

In a 2 cup measuring cup, pour 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.  Add the milk until you have 1 1/4 cup of liquid.  Let this sit and get a little funky.
In a big bowl stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and cream of tarter.
With a pastry blender, potato masher or a couple of forks, cut in your cold butter.  Keep pressing it into the flour until it is coarse crumbs.  Stir in the milk and mix until just moistened and no more.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough just a few times just until the dough sticks together.  Over kneading makes for a tough biscuit.  Don't do it.
Using your hands pat the dough down until it is evenly 3/4 inch thick.  Cut the dough with a floured biscuit cutter, or a glass with a thin rim.

Place biscuits 1/2 inch apart on a ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 450* for 10 or 12 minutes or until nice and golden.

I recommend using this recipe for the carrot cake...lots of baking staples are on sale this week.  It will be a good week to bake!
The Pioneer Woman's Carrot Cake

However, I have to say, I do not put cream cheese frosting on my carrot cakes.  I prefer buttercream.  I'm a buttercream kind of girl. Plus, butter is on sale this week.  Cream cheese is not. Here is my recipe:

2 sticks of softened, salted butter
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups powder sugar
3 tablespoons milk

Beat butter and salt until the salt is completely dissolved.  With the mixer on low, slowly add half of the sugar.  Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk.  Slowly mix in the rest of the sugar.  Stir in the milk and beat until smooth.

Strawberry Clouds Recipe

Coupon Tip of the Day

There are 2 types of coupons, Manufacture and Store.
Manufacture - You can use at any store that accepts coupons
Store - You can only use at the store printed on the coupon
At most stores you can (stack)  use both store and manufacture coupon at the same time on the same purchase.
Example:   If you have a Walgreens store coupon for $3/1 Abreva and you have a manufacture coupon for $3/1 use both and you will get $6/1 all together for that purchase.  Match that with a sale and there you go.

Check with the store coupon policy to see if they do allow stacking.  Its always good to print them off and carry them with you.
~ Ethel

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Strawberry Clouds

Strawberries are on sale this week for $1.29!

I came across a recipe for Strawberry Clouds in the Family Fun magazine.  It had a cute little story about how the dessert was inspired by a Russian ballerina.  I have a little ballerina of my own, so of course we could not wait to try it.  I personally struggle with following a recipe.  So, this is my own version of Strawberry Clouds, and let me tell you, it is Wonderful!
For the meringues:
1 1/4 cups of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
5 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of clear vanilla

For the toppings:
2 pints of fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 carton of whipped topping, thawed

To make the meringue, preheat the oven to 275* and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.  Stir together sugar and cornstarch, until well combined.  In a separate bowl beat together egg whites, cream of tarter and salt until the mixture is foamy and holds soft peaks.  This will take a couple of minutes.
Increase the speed of the mixer to medium - high and add your sugar mixture a little at a time.  Allow the sugar to dissolve completely into the egg whites before adding more.  You may even need to scrape down the sides of your bowl as you work.

Continue to beat the mixture until it hold stiff peaks, then add the vanilla.  Beat until combined well.
With a pair of large spoons, spoon out nice large dollops of meringue.  Be sure to try and make each one the same size as the next. Using the back of a spoon, press a well into each meringue cloud.

Put the meringues into the oven and turn down the temperature to 250*.  Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.  They should be crisp on the outside, but not browned.  After removing them from the oven, let the cool for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the meringues are cooling, combine the chopped strawberries and sugar.  Stir them together and allow them to set until the strawberries are very juicy.

Top each meringue with a dollop of whipped topping and them spoon the strawberries and juice over the whipped topping.
I recommend you only make them when you have plenty of company to help you eat them.
Otherwise, you may eat yourself silly.
Trust me on this one, friends.

Tip of the Day - Check the Ads

Easter is coming up!  Be sure to look over the ads and see if there is anything on sale that you need to stock up on now.  Eggs? Candy? Ham?  Also, look through your coupons.  You might have some to match up with the sales, as well as some for the things you want to buy anyway.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Coconut Angel Cakes

Looking for a dessert for an upcoming dinner party?  Want something easy to make, something semi-homemade, but looks like you slaved in the kitchen? Want something that travels easily?  How about something that is lower in calories?  Like 105-110 calories per serving...well, I have what you need right here!
Coconut Angel Cakes
1 tub Cool Whip Free, thawed
3/4 cup Marshmallow Creme, room temperature
1/8 tsp coconut extract
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut , plus a little more for topping cakes
1 box angel food cake mix
10 oz. water

Preheat oven to 375*.  Line cupcake pans with 24 liners, do not spray with oil.

In a small bowl, beat together Cool Whip, marshmallow creme and coconut extract.  Refrigerate.

Pulse shredded coconut in a food processor until roughly chopped, set aside.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix with water.  Beat at low speed for 30 seconds, then increase speed to medium for 1 minute.  Add chopped coconut and beat for another 30 seconds on low.

Allow cake batter to rest for 2 minutes.  Then fill your 24 cupcake liners.  Bake at 375* for 15 minutes, until tops are golden brown.

After allowing the cakes to cool, frost with Cool Whip mixture.  Top with a few coconut flakes, and sprinkles of your choice.

We're Having a Give-Away!!!

Look us up on Facebook and like our page!  Everyday we will be posting tips and good deals.  When we get to 100 "likes" we will randomly pick a friend to receive a surprise gift!  We will reveal the surprise when the winner is drawn.
Puttin'FoodontheTable Facebook Page Link

Tip of the Day - homemade cleaners

Instead of spending tons of money on cleaning products, and possibly exposing your family to dangerous chemicals, try making some homemade.  You can find some of our recipes under our Frugal Home Care Tips label, and we will always be adding more to that list.  I have found though, the all-purpose cleaner replaces most cleaners in the home.
Don't have many ingredients on hand, but want to try something homemade now?  Mix up a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water and use it to disinfect your kitchen surfaces.  I have read that vinegar kills germs as effectively as bleach.  It removes odors and after it dries, it doesn't leave a harsh chemical smell.  In fact, it leaves no smell at all.
You can also use vinegar and water solutions for cleaning sinks and toilets, spraying down a shower after use and even cleaning windows.  Play around with the water to vinegar ratio for each use until you find the strength that works best for each job you are doing.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Whole Wheat French Bread

1/2 cup milk
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup water, lukewarm
1 tbs active dry yeast
4 cups of ultra-grain whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp honey

Heat 1/2 cup of milk and 1 1/4 cups of water to boiling, then cool to lukewarm.

Sprinkle the yeast over the 1/4 cup of lukewarm water, leave for 5 minutes or until dissolved.
Stir together 4 cups of whole wheat flour and 2 tsp of salt.
Add olive oil, honey, milk, water and yeast mixtures.
Stir thoroughly, but do not knead.  The dough will be soft.
Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours or until doubled.

Preheat oven to 400* F.
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and work it lightly with wet hands.
Divide the dough in half and press each half into a rectangle, about 15" long.

Roll each rectangle into a log, tucking the ends in neatly to round them off.
 Place the loaves on a greased baking sheet and cut shallow slits into the top with a serrated knife.
Cover and let them rise another 15 - 20 minutes, or until doubled.
Bake at 400* for 15 minutes, then reduce heat and finish baking at 350* for 30 more minutes.


Tip of the Day - Toasted Sandwiches

Turn your waffle iron into a multi-purpose tool.
Press a sandwich between the plates for a perfectly toasted sandwiches.

How to make a coupon binder

Organizing coupons in a binder by category requires a few hours of time each week to clip and sort       coupons.  I usually spend an hour to 90 minutes on a Sunday evening.
This method makes preparing to shop quick and easy because coupons are already clipped and organized!  Plus, when you find a clearance item in the store, it only takes 20 seconds to flip to the right category and find the needed coupon.

Use Baseball Card Holders to hold clipped coupons (Find at Target, Walmart, eBay, etc). Spend no more than about $5 for 30 pages. Most binders need around 60 pages.
Label you pages by sections I use stick on tabs.  For example … Air fresheners, Baby,
             Cleaners, Dish soap, Laundry, Baggies/foil, Health, Make up, Hair care, Body wash/soap,       lotion/lip, paper towels, toilet tissue, ect.  I use 2 binders one for my food products and one for my non-food.  What ever works best for you.  You can put your food in the front of you binder and non-food in the back.

 I use an old zip up note book that was laying around from my highschool children It is handy because it has zipper pouches which is handy for scissors, pens, highlighters ect.  The zipper also helps keep coupons in side when you accidently drop it,  (That would be me ).  But a binder like pictured above will do just fine.  ~ Ethel

Couponing Tip

 Finding the right Cashier
I don’t want this to sound bad, but truth is, and you can ask anyone who uses coupons, that your cashier will make or break your coupon shopping trip. Finding the right cashier, is simply making sure that you get a cashier that is coupon friendly, and knows what they are doing.
There are times that I have been coupon shopping, and when I try to use coupons, the cashier acts like I am stealing or taking money straight from their pockets. . . .After a while you will know which cashiers to go to.
 I  find the young men &women are great.  Most of the older women who are interested in learning couponing are great.   You don’t want to get an inexperienced new hire that doesn’t know how to work the register yet, so watch for a minute before you choose a check out aisle, and see if they look like they know what they are doing, or if they are fumbling around and taking a long time.
I could go on and on about the experiences I have had with different cashiers. . If you do get a good cashier that was nice to you and was able to help you without any or little problems, then you want to remember them and go back to that same cashier next time.
 Get to know your cashiers and talk to them a lot. Build a friendship with them and that will often help you as well. ~ Ethel

Sparkle Paper towel coupon

Sparkle paper towel coupon Save $1.00

Some really great deals

 Walgreens has Starbucks Iced Coffee, 11oz. Free  Buy one $.99 Get a $.99 Register Reward  a 100% savings

CVS has Dentyne Ice or Trident White 16 ct buy 1 get 1 free use coupon S-3/17  $1/2  estimated sale price
$.69  final cost  $.15  a 88% savings.

CVS has Colgate 360 Toothbrush 1 ct  for $2.99 buy 3 use 3 $1. coupons pay $1.99 each get $3w/3 Extra Bucks total amout after Extra Bucks = $ .99  each  = 75% savings

Walmart  has Colgate Adult Manual Wave Toothbrush  $1.47 use $1/1 from S-3/10 pay $ .47  68% savings.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tip of the Day - Newspaper

Get your Sunday newspaper early in the day.  If you wait, your regular newspaper vendor may be out, causing you to have to run all over town searching for newspaper.
Trust me, I know. 

Btw, Miller's in Savannah still has a few.  The T-Stop, Country Mart and Break Time are all out by now.