Thursday, February 26, 2009

Not much going on.


Congratulations to (my sister) LORI, KYLE and CALEB....and welcome to ISAIAH DANIEL FEY. (5 weeks early) Check it out in her blog HERE

I have a post that I plan to write sometime this weekend about my 1st graders paint drawings. Hopefully it is fun to look at.

I put on a fashion show for my mom and sister last week with some of my new clothes deals. Here are the highlights:

John on the other hand did not want to put on a fashion show:)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Easy Peeezy Supper plans:)

I am a fan of cheap food, but I am also a fan of EASY -pull it out of the freezer-ready in 10 minutes- yummyness.
For that reason, I have decided to share with you my review of 3 bagged, frozen meals.
I'm not really sure about the prices I am listing here. I know how much I pay, but I'm not sure about the "average" price.

First: Birds Eye Voila meals.

I have only ever tried Alfredo Chicken style, but there are tons of varieties.

Amount of food: It says 3 servings of 1 1/2 cups each. I would say it would feed John and I for one meal, if we each had a piece of bread on the side:)
How it is made: Dump the contents (except the sauce which is in its own compartment) in a pan. Directions say to put the frozen sauce (which is in a sealed bag) in hot water until the pasta and veggies are mostly done. I dump them all in the pan, and stir once in a while.
Taste: DELICIOUS! This is the best tasting one for me overall. The veggies are not soggy, and the chicken is moist.
Price: This one is between $4-5 dollars normal price. I usually find it for #3.50-3.99 on sale, and use a coupon. It says you can print a coupon at the website HERE. Mine didn't work, but it was probably because I already printed it earlier this year sometime:)

Variations: I like to cook regular penne pasta in another pan, and Green Giant Steamers (broccoli cuts) in the microwave to add to the meal. My favorite is to cook 2 bags, add the stuff mentioned above, and have lots of leftovers!
-fairly cheap
-tastey Alfredo and chicken
-easy to add other ingredients too
-each bag contains 2.5 servings of vegetables
-there isn't a huge helping of it
-the amount of chicken in the bag is a little skimpy

Bertolli Classic Dinners
I have tried a few, but we currently like Chicken Florentine and Farfalle.

Amount of food: There is definitely enough for a meal for two.
How it is made: Dump the contents in the pan. Turn on low heat. Stir once or twice. The sauce in this one is in lots of little frozen pieces, so it melts with the rest of the food. Very easy!
Taste: The chicken is "grilled" which makes it taste great. The spinach makes it a little more soggy, but it adds a unique and rich flavor to the pasta and sauce.
Price: This one is a little more spendy. It is probably between $6.50-$8.00. I buy it on sale for 5.99 or a little less (Usually combined with store deals or coupons). I heard Target sells them for 5.99 normal price.
Variations: I have added more bow tie pasta too it before, and there seemed to be plenty of sauce. I have tried adding more vegetables, but it doesn't quite taste the same. Side note about Bertolli: Many people seem to LOVE their sauce in a pouch.

Bertolli website has a coupon for their "oven baked" meals HERE. I tried one, and thought it was OK, but who wants to wait for it to bake in the OVEN?
-a good amount of food
-awesome tasting chicken
-very easy to cook
-"The sauces have a degree of sophistication not usually present in your supermarket freezer."*


-a little more expensive
-only veggie is spinach

*Read more about one persons opinion of Bertolli Complete Skillet Meals Vs. Birds Eye Voila HERE.
She goes into detail about the healthiness of those two.

Third: Birds Eye Steamfresh Meals for Two
I got the Grilled Chicken Marinara
I tried this one for the first time last night. All you do is pop it in the microwave for 10 min. (The picture is not the flavor we tried).

Amount of Food: Decent. It will feed John and I (with a slice of bread:).
How it is made: Tap on counter top a few times, and pop in the microwave for 10 min. Let sit in microwave for 2 min when it is done, and then pour into a bowl/plate.
Taste: The mixture of sauce, tomatoes, yellow peppers, spinach and pasta was delicious. The chicken was kind of crusty on the edges. I couldn't decide if this was because the bag was in the freezer for 2 months before I ate it, or because the chicken in this meal just isn't that great.
Price: The bag I got was $5.50 at Walmart. (I used a $2.00 manufactures coupon and I got a free bag of frozen veggies) I think it is probably normally between $5.50-$7. Sometimes the Sunday paper has coupons for them.
Variations: This food is amazingly good cold. Like I said earlier, the mixture of sauce and tomatoes, yellow peppers, and spinach is amazing (even cold) I tried adding some asparagus I cooked to it, but the crunchy veggie did not mix with the sauciness of the other.
-Very easy to make
-good sauce mixture
-crusty chicken
-not a lot of food
-no printable coupons.

Conclusion: Although the Steamfresh meal is the easiest to make, the chicken wasn't tastey enough for me. I plan on trying another variety (that hasn't been in the freezer for 2 months) next week. Bertolli has delicious chicken, and has the most amount of food in the bag, but is pretty expensive. Birds Eye Voila has tons of varieties, is the most delicious overall, has lots of veggies, and is the cheapest...but it doesn't contain a lot of food.

Have you tried any of these meals? Did you like them? Do you agree are disagree with my statements?

Monday, February 16, 2009


This weekend (plus Monday because of Presidents Day) was pretty fun.
I helped a friend make a valentine for her someone special. It didn't turn out like the picture in our head, but it still looks awesome.

I also spent some of the time getting the xterra checked out before the warranty expires. John came shopping with me while we were waiting and we found some good deals. We've been into watching the show Prison Break lately. We are on the beginning of Season 2. It is suspenseful and entertaining.
I'm not much in a writing mood tonight, so that's all for now:)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Doubly good.

Two reasons for writing this post.
#1 I am teaching my school kids about cooking blogs and how useful/fun/delicious they can be/look. Not that I will be able to create anything like that.
#2 I am trying to eat 2 or more fruits and vegetables each day. This doesn't seem like very much to most people, but we are more of a "main dish" couple, and fresh produce is expensive. I usually get more fruits/veggies mixed in with other food.

Yesterday I checked out cameras to my blogging class, and showed them examples of good "cooking" blogs so they could get some inspiration for thier posts next week. One of my favorites is HERE, but it was blocked by our filter at school so I had to find other examples to show them. Today I plan to show them my mediocre example for Blueberry Pancakes.
First, I started with some blueberries that needed to be used up:

I mixed up some Hungary Jack pancake mix (not pictured because I was really hungry and didn't think to take a picture of it). The recipe is on the back of the box, and included milk, oil, and egg(s).(This is turning from mediocre example to a bad example:)

I poured the batter in the pan, and plopped a small handful of blueberries in it.

I fliped it when it was time...and WALLA!

Yummy fruity pancake goodness.

To be fair to my other post purpose, I also made some scrambled eggs with green and red peppers and onions. Going above and beyond...I ate Broccoli in my pasta and had an apple that day!

Nothing like cheap reading...

I have very much enjoyed the many free magazines I have gotten in the mail.
I usually read about them on blog sites like the ones on the blogroll of my other blog:
Here is a picture of what I have been reading the last few months:

Some of the magazines I get free for 2-3 months, and some I get free for a whole year. Usually I have to take some kind of survey, answer some questions, or watch some short commercials to get them, but sometimes you just have to sign up. Off the top of my head, some companies I have used are Rewards Gold, and Adperks.

Besides these, I know I have some issues of Martha Stewart Living, Family Circle, and Woman's Day on the way:)

I have only ever had one issue with being billed. I told them that I got a free subscription from online (and mentioned one of the companies) and they took care of it. I give away some of the baby/kids magazines I get to the other teachers at school, and they enjoy it.

Now pretty much all I read is magazines and must be the short attention span:)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Cookie Decorating

I love having people over (besides the fact that it forces us to "really" clean and not just "pick up", and because we don't get many people stopping by out in the boondocks.
This week I had a lot of fun when some gals from church came over and we decorated cookies.
Here we are around my table.

Here are some of our finished products.

They are yummy.