Monday, April 30, 2012

Menu Monday: Chicken pot pie

I've also heard this called cobbler chicken pie ...
 2 cans cream of chicken soup
 16 oz package of frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup biscuit mix

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Mix soup, vegetables and chicken. Pour into 9-inch pie plate Mix egg, milk and biscuit mix, pour over chicken mixture Bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees

 Variation: use 2 cups of chopped cooked turkey and 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Garden report: Now this ain't right

It's mid (well, almost late) April, and my roses are blooming!

 Unfortunately, the poor thing has spent the past few nights under a bucket because we've had frost warnings in the area.

 The rest of the plants ... including the Roma tomato plants I just bought, are spending the nights in the garage until we get back to more springlike temperatures.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Menu Monday: Chocolate Zucchini bread

In case you'll be looking to get rid of some extra zucchini in the next few months ...

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 cup baking cocoa

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup grated zucchini

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon water (if needed)

1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2.In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and cocoa. In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients, except water.. Stir zucchini mixture into flour mixture.

About the water: The first time I made this, I found that there wasn't enough liquid to absorb all of the dry ingredients. So I added the tablespoon of water, a little at a time, until I got a thick, but workable batter.

3.Grease and flour a 9- x 5-inch loaf pan; pour mixture into pan.

4. Bake 60 to 70 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

5.Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pan. Cool completely before slicing.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What does this say about my shopping habits?

Perhaps we're spending too much time at the thrift stores? Actually, it seems like a cool-enough deal. Can't wait to see what my holiday and birthday surprises are.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Today's tip

Still on the subject of plastic coffee cans ...

Should there be a frost/freeze warning, and you need to cover a small plant in the garden, a coffee can works pretty darn well. (The warehouse-club-sized cans are good for taller plants)

Admittedly, the bushier plants had sort of an odd coffee-can shape when I took the cover off, but they snapped back very nicely.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

You'd think I'd learn

In my attempts to declutter, I thought I'd give the online auction site another try. Hey, they weren't charging a listing fee, so what did I have to lose? (famous last words).

I listed a sports T-shirt for 99 cents in hopes of getting some bids. (First mistake.) In case you know where this is going ... you're right. It sold -- for 99 cents.

The real shock came when I saw the fees. I expected to pay a fee on the sale price. I expected to pay a fee to the online payment folks. I didn't expect that the auction folks also were going to take a cut of the shipping and handling costs. (Second mistake: I should have read the rules again ... and yeah, I know, some folks likely charged whopping S&H in an attempt to circumvent fees, thus the charge.)

And one more mistake: I should have sent it 1st Class mail ... not Priority. Would have saved on postage costs.

So, when all was said and done, I made a whopping 30 cents on the deal. Fortunately, I sold something else for more than 99 cents, so the exercise wasn't an entire bust.

Sigh. I know, this is business and folks have to make $$. But it's discouraging. I have a couple of other things to sell, but this time I'll be adding on even more $$ to cover the fees. I suspect though, the higher prices will mean fewer buyers ...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mark your calendar

Just a heads-up ...

The annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive will be Saturday, May 12.

If you run across any good deals in the next few weeks, please consider picking something up for this food drive. All you have to do is put the items in a bag for your letter carrier to pick up.

I know that food banks in my area are still seeing a lot of folks...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ahh ... that's more like it

There's a new addition at my office: one of those single-cup brewers that uses the little "cups" of coffee, tea or whatever.

While I understand the convenience, (especially in an office setting, where traditional coffee pots can be a real mess) I've been kind of skeptical about these brewers. I personally think the price of those "cups" is insane. (I know, some folks don't ... YMMV.)

Anyway, I was checking out the new machine and discovered this one had an extra part: A little holder with a mesh filter inside. Turns out you can use any loose coffee or tea you want ... put a tablespoon or so of grounds in the mesh basket, pop the holder into the machine and hit the button. Voila! Fresh-brewed coffee.

'Course, you gotta wash out the holder and filter. But a small can of coffee is still less expensive than the single cups ... and there's less waste going to the landfill.

And now I can get my caffeine fix in a hurry! Bwwaa haa!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

For all those who celebrate ... have a wonderful day with family and friends!

(And just think, the Easter candy gets marked down tomorrow, LOL!)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

March freebies

A light month, but some good stuff:

1 pizza
1 bottle Sierra Mist
Tide Pod
Bounty paper towel
Brown sugar oatmeal squares
2 mp3 songs

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Today's tip

Should you need a sprinkling can in a hurry, grab a plastic coffee container (the blue ones with the handles work well) and punch a dozen or so holes in the bottom. Bingo! A sprinkler!

It does have one drawback ... it works best with a full load of water ... it's a gravity thing.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The retailer strikes back

A couple of the big gasoline retailers in town apparently are striking back at credit-card fees with a couple of new programs

Retailer 1 is offering its own debit card. In exchange for letting it take your $$ out of your checking account, it's offering a 10-cent-per-gallon discount.

Retailer 2 is trying out a program that offers a 5-cent per gallon discount if you pay cash.

For those who don't mind using debt cards, or those pay cash for everything, I can see how these might be nice deals.

At the moment, I'm not inclined to switch ... I don't like debit cards (have friends who were theft victims, and I've seen what they've gone through ). Smaller purchases on the second program might work ... but a fill-up ... now that's a scary thought!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Lots of 'green'

I was perusing the ads today and came across this:

1 dozen premade Easter eggs, $3.99

Not candy, but fresh eggs, hard-boiled and dyed. I couldn't tell much from the photo, but they did look to have a nice marbled design.

Admittedly, I'm out of touch on these things, but eggs are are sale here for about $1 a dozen. What the heck does an egg dye kit cost these days?