Wednesday, October 27, 2010

There go the craft projects!

Seems that a toilet-paper maker has come up with an innovation -- tubeless rolls.

Removing the estimated 17 billion toilet paper tubes used in the U.S. annually could save 160 million tons of trash a year, according to Kimberly-Clark. The consumer products company promises the rolls fit on standard spindles and no glue means every square is usable

Does this mean that a whole generation of craft projects will go, er, down the drain?

See the story here:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Guess it was worth it

We bought a new vacuum cleaner here at the casa de chaos. The 20-year old model didn't seem to be doing the job any more. (I'm not doing vacuum commercials here, so I won't mention the name, but I will say it did not begin with "D")

If I had any doubts about spending the $$, they were dispelled the first time we used the machine. I'm embarrassed to say that this thing pulled a ton of dirt and pet hair out of the carpet. And is still pulling gunk out of the carpet.

Gosh, wonder why I have allergies, eh? ;)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

We are nothing if not flexible

Hadn't pulled anything out of the freezer for dinner yesterday, but I wasn't too worried. I was going to stop at the store and get the chicken breasts that were on sale, so heck, I'd just broil some of those.

Unfortunately ... no chicken breasts. The shipment hadn't come in, the fellow at the meat counter said. (This is also becoming a pattern at this store ... grr.)

So, now what? I was trying to decide when I saw it: A 3lb package of ground turkey marked down to $2.79. Bingo! I grabbed 2 packages.

Those turkeyburgers were mighty tasty!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Curry chicken, reconstructed

There's a crockpot in my kitchen, though I seldom use it. In fact, I think it's main purpose is to keep food warm at pitch-ins.

Don't know if it's our odd schedules or poor planning, but finding a 5 or 8-hour block of time to let something cook is tough. So, when I find a good slow-cooker recipe, I've been known to adapt it to stovetop use.

My latest try is:

Curry Chicken
6 chicken thighs, skins removed (drumsticks work, too)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups salsa
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cups water
1 cup sour cream

In a dutch oven, sweat onion with salt and pepper in vegetable oil. Add chicken and brown on both sides

Add salsa, water, curry powder, garlic and more salt and pepper to chicken. Stir, then cover and cook for 2 hours.

Take chicken out, put on serving platter. Add sour cream to sauce; serve over chicken. Serve with rice.

Notes: I used medium salsa and the 2 tablespoons of curry powder, and it had a pretty good kick. If you like less spice, use mild salsa and less curry. If you like it really spicy, go with the hot salsa and add as much curry as you can stand.

2 cups of water with this makes a lot of sauce. If you want less sauce, try 1 cup.

I added frozen peas to this for some extra veggie servings.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Seeing red at the produce counter

No, I'm not honked off about prices.

Seems that starting Dec. 1, stores in some areas of the country will be selling red celery, the brainchild of a Florida farm. (Actually, from the photos I've seen, it doesn't look all that red. More like a blush.)

Apparently it tastes and crunches the same. It also carrried a premium price.

If anyone sees this in their stores, I'd love to know what they're asking for this. I'm not sure I want color-coordinated celery badly enough to pay a premium for it ...

the link:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Maybe I shouldn't mention this ...

I'm blessed to have a DH who supports my frugal efforts. He recently was in need of a haircut, and wanted to wait until our usual shop offered coupons.

Well, he waited, and waited. Finally, he gave up and paid full price (which isn't that bad ...)

You know what's coming, don't you?

Yep ... he got his hair cut in the morning. That afternoon, guess what arrived in the mail ... that's right ... &&*(!! coupons.

I haven't mentioned this yet ....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A self-checkout? Where?

I've always joked that Costco needs an express lane for folks like me who don't buy things by the cartload. (I seem to puzzle the cashiers when I show up with a gallon of milk. ... or a rotisserie chicken .. and nothing else.)

I was there over the weekend ... and holy moley ... there sat four self-checkout stations!

The two employees manning them were being kept busy ... the stations are a bit, er, touchy. On the other hand, it was nice not to have to stand in a long line just to buy a bottle of vanilla extract ....

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Change of seasons

Well, I think it's supposed to be fall ... they're predicting 87 degrees today.

But I have pumpkins on the doorstep, and fresh apples to eat, so I guess it's fall.

Decided to splurge on a half-bushel of apples from the orchard, so of course, we have to eat them. Here's one of the recipes I tried:

Apple Muffins
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I use regular salt)
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 1/2 medium apples, peeled and coarsely grated

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin (or use paper muffin cups) Combine egg, milk and oil in a medium bowl by hand with a spoon or fork. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder,salt and cinnamon with a fork. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. Add the grated apples, and then mix until all the ingredients are moistened. Spoon the batter into the tin. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins (your mileage may vary depending on the size of your muffin tins. )

Personally, I think these could be a bit sweeter, though I suppose it depends on the apple. Next time, I think I'll boost the sugar to a 1/2 cup, or maybe add a tablespoon of honey.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Stacking the deals: Update

Second time was the charm, it seems .... the exchanged shoes fit very well. And as of yesterday, I still had my rebate.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Insurance matters

Since we're coming up on the health-insurance enrollment season, a couple of things to consider:

  • If you have a flexible spending account, or health savings account, be aware that next year, such things as over-the-counter cold medicines or pain relievers no longer will be covered. But such things as bandages will be, apparently.,0,2871764.story

  • Some health insurance plans offer 100% coverage for preventative care (physicals, mammograms, colonoscopies). Something I almost found out the hard way ... if there's any chance that something may be, oh, removed or fixed during said screening procedure, it no longer is 100% covered. So you could be liable for deductibles and co-pays. (And if you haven't reached your deductible, that could end up being a very large bill.) So adjust your coverage accordingly... just saying ...

Monday, October 4, 2010

September freebies

A bit quiet this month ....

2 Gain dish soaps (1 FAC)
2 Purina pet foods
power bar
adult gummy vitamins
Soyjoy bar
1 20oz coke
1 McDs smoothie
1 McD's coffee
1 pkg Land O Frost ham
Post-it label notes

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Change in the weather

Brother ... a week and a half ago, we had temperatures in the 90s.
Today, I'm covering the garden in anticipation of frost!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Stacking the deals: Update

Well, bummer, the shoes didn't fit.

I returned them to my local Penney's, and asked to exchange them for a different width. I may lose my rebate on this one ... but even if I do, it still worked out to be a good deal.

Stay tuned ...