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Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Top 5 tips to save time, money, stress and calories for Thanksgiving dinner

Are you having guests over for dinner on Thanksgiving?  Dreading the extra stress, expense and calories? Here are some helpful ideas.

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Holiday Gift Ideas

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Ramen Noodle Skillet

Ramen Noodle Skillet was a hit with my kids when they were in school and it still is one of my favorite recipes.  I think the noodles were the attraction for them. I like it because you can use just about any vegetable that you have in your garden or vegetable drawer, only one pan gets dirty, and you can have the meal on the table in 15 minutes.

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Tailgating … as American as Apple Pie

Tailgating is as American as apple pie, but unless you want some time on the sidelines, take care when planning a party in a parking lot. Last year I cringed a few times as I observed food sitting out 3-4 hours before a football game started and then the same food was brought out again after the game for snacking!

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Hurry-Up Baked Apples

I like baked apples, but when it’s just for me, I don’t want to heat the oven up. Our featured recipe this month, Hurry Up Baked Apples, uses the microwave to do the baking. These are great as a dessert, snack, or for breakfast.

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Crispy Salmon Patties

I grew up on a farm in northwest Iowa.  My dad raised hogs, beef, soybeans and corn.  Guess how many times we had salmon when I was growing up.  That’s right,  NEVER.

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Sweet and Sour Rice Dinner

My daughter shared with me that she spent the afternoon helping her friend make meals to put in the freezer. Her friend has young children, a new job, and a husband who has to be out of town a night or two each week. It sounded like the girls had a great time working together plus they came up with several meals that will be ready to go on hectic nights.

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Quick Garbanzo Bean Soup

I make lots of soup in the winter.  It’s easy to do, lasts for several meals, and I can freeze small containers of it to take to work for lunch.  Most of the soup I make is broth or vegetable-based without lots of cream or cheese so it is low in calories.

meatloaf

Meatloaf… One of My Favorite Comfort Foods

Our feature this month is Mouth Watering Meatloaf which includes grated vegetables and a whole grain (oatmeal). It tastes so good, and it is healthy, providing great amounts of protein and Vitamin A.

chocolate-assortmen

Valentine’s Day

When Valentine’s Day rolls around each year, I’m in the mood for sweet treats. I love baking the traditional heart shaped sugar cookies once a year, but my fiancé complains about how bland those treats taste. This is why he normally buys me a box of individual chocolates every year so that he can eat a Valentine’s Day treat that pleases his taste buds too. For this year, as Valentine’s Day approaches, I am on the hunt for a treat that both of us will enjoy. While searching on various websites, I came across a recipe for Peanut Butter Balls. This recipe has several positive aspects. The recipe has few ingredients—only four items are needed for the whole recipe! Most of the ingredients are staples in the kitchen, and the preparation is simple without the need to preheat the oven! Eating one, one-inch peanut butter ball is low in calories, providing 70 calories per serving. This recipe is also kid friendly! Guide the kids to measure the ingredients, mix, and roll the mixture into 12 balls. Then have them sprinkle red, white, and pink sprinkles on top. Or drizzle with a bit of melted chocolate. Jump in the kitchen and surprise your family and friends with delightful peanut butter balls for Valentine’s Day!

Fiesta Skillet Dinner

Fiesta Skillet Dinner, Easy and Inexpensive

Our feature recipe for March is Fiesta Skillet Dinner. Fixing up the recipe was easy while following the simple directions. The recipe calls for 2 cups of cooked chicken. I decided to cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but you can use packaged, precooked chicken or precooked canned chicken.

grilledcheese

National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day!

The classic grilled cheese became popular in the 1920’s when inexpensive cheese and sliced bread became available.