Saturday, December 8, 2012

Alternative Protein

So in my attempt at budgeting and saving money for my family...I need to figure out some frugal / yummy protein alternatives.  

The cost of good meat is just getting too expensive most of the time.  Every once in a while I can find boneless/skinless chicken breast on sale for a good price.  But once we run out of what I have in the freezer, I have to check the adds weekly waiting for it to go on sale again.

And good quality ground beef seems to never go on sale anymore.  So I've been forced to start to pay the higher prices and it makes our budget suffer.

So I'm in search of some alternatives to meat protein to add to our meals.  

I came across this list that lists practically every food that contains protein alphabetically.
And then this website has the foods separated by category.  And if you look around the website you can find  some extra info too.

There are some foods that have decent amounts of protein that I didn't expect!

Let me know if you have any tips or recipes that you guys use.
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Homemade Taco Seasoning

So this is a recipe for homemade taco seasoning that I have been using instead of the packets for about 6 months now.  My husband thinks it tastes even better than the packets so it'll be a keeper.

Reasons for making it homemade:
no weird products/chemicals
what other reasons would you need?...   ;)

I buy all my spices at Winco in the bulk section for unbelievable prices!

1/2 C + 2 Tbsp chili powder
2 1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 1/2 tsp onion powder
2 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp paprika
1/4 C + 1 Tbsp ground cumin
3 Tbsp + 1 tsp sea salt
3 Tbsp + 1 tsp black pepper

This makes enough to fill a large spice bottle.  It might seem like a lot but when you're using 2 Tbsp at a time for a recipe it takes a chunk out.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Menu Plan (8/27 - 9/1)


B:   toast / orange juice
S:   grapes
L:   pizza / green peppers
S:   no bake energy bites
D:   spaghetti / salad   (in case you haven't noticed by now...we love salad around here!)


B:   cereal / plum
S:   grapes
L:   pepperoni rolls / cucumbers
S:   yogurt
D:   loaded baked potatoes / broccoli


B:   flax carrot apple muffins / orange juice
S:   strawberries
L:   mac & cheese / broccoli
S:   no bake energy bites 
D:   peurto rican beans & rice / salad


B:   oatmeal / strawberries
S:   fruit leather
L:   hot dog / carrots
S:   cheese
D:   mexican summer salad


B:   flax carrot apple muffin / orange juice
S:   plum
L:   apples w/ peanut butter
S:   rice cakes
D:   date night


B:   toast w/ peach raspberry jam
S:   craisins
L:   tuna sandwiches w/ apple and cucumber slices
S:   nut crackers
D:   leftover bar


B:   oatmeal / orange juice
S:   rice cakes
L:   chili dogs / carrots
S:   yogurt
D:   mushroom sausage penne / green beans
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Menu Plan (8/20 - 8/26)


B:   toast / orange juice
S:   plum
L:   potato soup / corn   ...Rayelle asked for "white soup" :)
S:   nut crackers
D:   lasagna / salad   ...we never got to this last week


B:   cereal / pear
S:   apple
L:   cheese quesadilla / cucumber & black olives
S:   rice cakes
D:   ham fried rice / mixed veggies


B:   flax carrot apple muffins / orange juice
S:   carrots
L:   apples & peanut butter
S:   yogurt 
D:   chef salad


B:   oatmeal / craisins
S:   fruit leather
L:   hot dog / cucumber
S:   cheese
D:   chicken spinach pizza / salad


B:   toast w/ raspberry peach jam
S:   plum
L:   ham roll / green pepper
S:   pretzels
D:   sausage w/ white pasta / salad


B:   cereal / plum
S:   peach
L:   peanut butter toast / apple
S:   nut crackers
D:   fish fillets / sweet potato fries


B:   flax carrot apple muffins / orange juice
S:   rice cakes
L:   smoothies
S:   yogurt
D:   left overs / green beans
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Monday, August 13, 2012

Menu Plan (8/13 - 8/19)

B:   flax carrot apple muffins / pineapple
S:   Fruit Leather
L:   tuna w/ crackers / carrots
S:   yogurt
D:   chicken quesadilla / corn


B:   oatmeal / craisins
S:   plums
L:   ham, cheese, cucumber kabobs
S:   nut thins
D:   ham & white pasta / salad


B:   cereal / pears
S:   strawberries
L:   hotdogs / corn
S:   pretzels 
D:   vegetarian taco soup / salad


B:   toast / strawberries
S:   applesauce
L:   tomato soup w/ toast
S:   sweet potato chips
D:   chicken quesadilla / mixed veggies


B:   smoothies
S:   peach
L:   apple slices w/ honey / cheese
S:   rice cakes
D:   beef lasagna / green beans


B:   flax carrot apple muffins / pears
S:   plum
L:   mac & cheese / carrots
S:   yogurt Dots
D:   tuna pasta salad / salad


B:   oatmeal / peaches
S:   dried apples
L:   PB&J / apples
S:   flax cracers
D:   family dinner

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Flax Carrot Apple Muffins

It was a very busy afternoon around our house during nap time today.  Our house was turned into a bakery!  I found a couple of muffin recipes that I wanted to try out.  Mainly because they are super healthy and I have been looking for snacks that I store away for when we get the munchies.  

The two that I tried today were:


Lets just say that the fruit and veggies ones will never be made again.  I probably added too much broccoli on my part.  

But the flax carrot apple muffins were so delicious!  I even made them using Rayelle's gluten free flour so that she can enjoy them too.  And she completely gobbled it down.  So I don't see the point in making the fruit and veggie ones when the flax carrot apple ones are so yummy.  And yes, those are cranberries inside them too!

You will definitely have to make some for yourself!

But be warned...this is probably what your kitchen will end up looking like:

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Family Fun

I went to a meeting after church yesterday and the topic of journaling came up.  It was a subject that was spoken on in sacrament meeting last week also.  I used to be a good journal. writer.  I kept a consistent journal up until right before Matt and I got married.  I got sketchy about the time we got married and eventually stopped writing all together.  So I don't have many documented memories of our newlywed years.  And I only have a couple entries about Rayelle as a baby.  And I don't have any entries about Cason.

Well, seeing that I'm haunted by the topic of journal writing, I figured I better hone in on my jouraling and write a few more entries about my family.  I could hand write it, which would be cool for my posterity.  But it's just quicker and more realistic that I type it up.  And I can add pics that way.

So I've decided to share with you all some pics of my family over the last couple of months.


Rayelle fell asleep after she scribbled on her Etch-a-Sketch

Cuddled up backwards with her beddig

She likes to play in the baby's swing

Look at Cason's big smile

He likes to pull on Matt's ear

Rayelle is obsessed with's her new nail polish

She is so cute all cuddled up with her baby


Rayelle's first time at a beach...she made a new friend

She got brave and went in pretty deep

Rayelle got the ingredients out for chocolate milk

But the milk jug was too heavy

I found them cuddled up like this on Father's Day when I woke up

Then later that day Matt took a nap and Rayelle went and got her blanket to cover him up

At the park she got into someone elses fire-pit soot

Cason just learned to use a sippy cup

He was so excited to be next to his daddy

We took Rayelle to ride some rides and Cason got to sit in with her

I woke up to Rayelle yelling for help...I found her in the bathtub too soapy to climb out on her own

She rubbed shampoo all over herself

She put Matt's socks on while we were folding laundry


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Bento Lunch #10

Sometimes I just feel like throwing something together really quickly and I just don't think they all deserve a pic.  But I do think I'll take the time to post about a variety of lunches so you can see an average moms attempt at feeding my kiddos.

*diced peach
*chicken nuggets (gluten-free)
*root beer flavored milk

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Bento Lunch #9

"I Love You" Lunch

This is my attempt at using a cute background.  Sorry the pic isn't the best.  I'm still trying to figure out how to take better pics.  I just have a basic digital camera.

But onto the lunch.  It turns our Rayelle likes celery.  Who'd of thought?!

*celery w/ peanut butter (actually it's "toasted soy spread" since she has a peanut allergy)
*heart pepperonis
*heart cucumbers
*orange slices

She ate everything!  She has quite the appetite these days.  :)
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bento Lunch #8

My second attempt at turning a cucumber into a flower.  And yet, another fail!

*ham & cheese kabobs

She gobbled up every single thing!  Yes!

This is what I want my flowers to look similar to.  I bet they used a cookie cutter though.  Maybe I'll make it to the store today.  
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bento Lunch #7

I came across the idea of pepperoni rolls on the web one day.  And it turns out that Rayelle loves them.  She like to open them up and eat the cream cheese and then eat the pepperonis.  

*pepperoni rolls
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Bento Lunch #6

This was Rayelle's lunch yesterday.  
She absolutely loves her bread.  Which I am grateful for since it is $7 a loaf.  And it isn't even as big as a regular size loaf of bread.

*ham sandwich
*wild berry applesauce

I need to go t the store to buy some small cookie cutters.  Most of ours are too big to cut Rayelle's sandwiches since she only uses one slice of bread that I cut in half for the top and bottom.

You guys should have seen my attempt at turning a cucumber slice into a flower.  It just ended up looking like a weird box shape.  I'll try again and though.  
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Friday, June 22, 2012

Book Review: The Frog Princess

The Frog Princess
E. D. Baker

I checked out this book when we went to check out the Orem library not too long after we moved here.  It was about a month ago that I finished it now.  Anyways, we were wandering around and it caught my eye.  Turns out that it's the book that the Disney movie "The princess and the Frog" was loosely based off of.

Emeralda, aka Emma, is the only princess in Greater Greensward. But she is clumsy with everything, including the magic touch she inherited from the first green witch centuries back, and has a laugh like a foghorn. When her mother says she has to marry the stuck-up Prince Jorge from East Aradia, her worst enemy, she runs off to the swamp where she meets Prince Eadric of Upper Montevista. The only problem is that he has been turned into a frog by the witch Mudine. Emma kisses him and tries to reverse the spell, but her whole life changes when she turns into a frog. Emma and Eadric set off to find the witch that turned him into a frog and ask her to change them back. With what little magic Emma has learned from her Aunt Grassina, the current Green Witch, Emma tries to save Eadric and herself.

I enjoyed it.  It was funny in parts and kept me interested the whole time.  Partly because I wanted to see how the movie went along with the movie.  But after starting, I quickly realized that when the say it was "loosely" based off the book, they mean loosely.

I liked the creatures, the witches, and the touch of romance that is inevitable in a girly book. :)

All in all, I would recommend it.  I've started reading the second part and it's pretty cute as well.
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Bento Lunch #5

I know, I know.  I need more color in her fruits and veggies.  But I don't have anymore frozen corn right now.  And she finished the strawberries yesterday.  

But she loved this lunch anyways.  She gobbled up the ham rolls first.  Then the grapes.  And then her green beans.

Kindda strange though, she initially asked for cheese when I started preparing lunch, then she never even touched it.  Oh the mood of a 2 year old.  

She is so cute because whenever she eats, she usually pulls up her shirt and tells us that it went in her belly.  Gotta love their personalities.  :)

I ate leftover pasta from last night and a banana.  

I'm excited to share our dinner with you that we are having tonight.  It's going to be an amazingly delish salad.  That post coming soon.   

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

My First Garden

I finally got a garden!!!

I told Matt when we just friends, before we started dating, that I wanted to have a small farm someday.  I have always been a country girl at heart.  Then when I was 16 and moved to Minnesota and actually got the chance to live on a farm, I knew that was what I wanted.  

Well, when Matt and I got married we bought a condo pretty much downtown Salt Lake and I said "bye-bye" to my farm.  After four years we finally bought a home that has a yard!

It's not a big yard by any means, but it is big enough to have a small garden.

So Matt agreed to help dig up the back strip of grass so I could start planting.  I'm so grateful for his hard work because I got so tired after the 1/3 that I dug up.

This is our neighbor's cat who always walks along the back wall.  She thinks she owns the place or something.

Rayelle helping me plant the veggies.

Cason just chilled in his bouncer.

Then Rayelle decided to plant a tool garden.

We planted cucumbers, 2 tomatoes, 2 pumpkins, jalapenos, red & green peppers, and 3 strawberries.  I'm excited to see what we grow this year.  

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