I have to admit that I have jumped on board the coupon train. I have been loving the savings, and being a long-time stay-at-home-mom, it just gives me something to do that challenges me a little. Extreme Couponing on TLC is NOT how I got involved in this, however. As a matter of fact, we don't have cable or satellite, so I don't even get to watch it! I got interested when several other moms I know where posting their cheap grocery purchases on Facebook. I had to figure out how they were doing these amazing transactions. Turns out, a mom I used to attend church with had started doing free coupon classes and had started a blog. I got on her blog and taught myself a few of her tricks. Since then, I've been hooked! If you're interested in learning about couponing, I highly suggest you check out Carrie's blog. She also has a Facebook page called "Coupon Closet."
Some of the cheapest things I consistently purchase are chicken legs. I can get a package for under $1, so I have a freezer full. I was trying to figure out what to do with all of them when I came across a recipe that sounded interesting. I tweaked it and came up with something that was perfect for my family. The meat was so moist and tender, and they were just slightly spicy. My kids and my niece gobbled them up! Ingredients: 12 chicken legs 1/4 cup butter (cubed) 5 ounces hot sauce (Tabasco or Louisiana Hot Sauce) 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder salt and pepper to taste Directions: Place the chicken legs in the bottom of your crockpot. Mine had to sit on top of each other, but they cooked fine! Toss in the cubed butter pieces, and pour in the hot sauce, trying to evenly cover each leg. This sounds like a lot of hot sauce, but there is really very little spice after it cooks. Sprinkle with all of the seasonings, and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for three (this is what I did).
Wow! It has been so long since I have posted a recipe. I promise that I have been feeding my family, but we've been going the simple route lately (lots of sandwiches and frozen foods). With a new baby in the house and three other small children needing attention, cooking has been the last thing on my mind. I'm so thankful for amazing friends who have helped keep us well-fed over the last month. We had several nights of delicious homecooking thanks to them! One of the meals that was brought was this Santa Fe Chicken. My friend Jordana made it for us, and we all just loved it! It is super-easy and extremely kid-friendly since it involves chicken and chips. I'm making two batches of it tonight to "pay it forward" to a friend of mine who is having health issues and who also has four small children. Hopefully they enjoy it as much as we did!
Here's a treat for you all for being so patient with me. Our sweet Nella had a photoshoot with Randy Coleman Photography when she was eleven days old...isn't she gorgeous? Of course I think so!
Ingredients: 1 package boneless/skinless chicken breasts (I used tenders.) mayonnaise 1/2 bag Chili Cheese Fritos (crushed) cooking spray
Directions: Preheat oven to 425.
Coat both sides of the chicken with mayonnaise. Dip the coated chicken into the crushed Fritos. Make sure to get chips on both sides. Place the chicken pieces in a 9x13 casserole dish. Spray the tops of the chicken pieces with cooking spray. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes, or until chicken is done.
What's the weather like where you live? Here in Oklahoma City, we are having the first snow fall of the season. So far, it's light and not sticking around, but another storm is supposed to bring more in tomorrow.
Cold and snow make me want to cook lots of calorie-filled, delicious, comfort foods. Are you like that? I also LOVE using my crockpot when we are "hibernating" during the winter. Smelling our dinner cooking all day just makes our home seem even cozier!
Here's what's on our plan for this week...a lot of these are repeats from last week because I ended up doing very little cooking again.
I mixed this up last night after I put the kids to bed and then baked it this morning. I thought it would be good, but I had no idea that my family would eat every.last.bite. Oh my! I can already see the day when I'll be making two casserole dishes to feed these hungry mouths. Heaven help our grocery bill!!
I wasn't even able to get a picture of it because it was gone that fast! This recipe was adapted from Mommy's Kitchen.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter (melted) 12 slices bread (I used wheat, but any kind will do.) 1 cup brown sugar 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla 5 eggs 1.5 cups milk
Directions: Pour the melted butter into the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish. Place six slices of bread over the butter.
In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle half of it over the bread slices. Place the remaining slices on top of the first six slices.
In a larger bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla, and milk together. Pour this mixture over all of the bread, making sure it is all coated evenly. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon/sugar mixture over the entire pan. Cover with foil and allow to chill in the refrigerator all night.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350. Take off original foil and replace with a new piece. Bake for 30 minutes. Take out of oven and remove foil. Place back in the oven for 15 minutes uncovered. Remove and pour syrup over the top. Place back in the oven for five minutes to allow the syrup to warm.
I am resolving to start posting more this year. For the last six months, we have been in "survival mode," as my husband calls it. I was super sick for the first 23 weeks of this pregnancy, then I was on bedrest for three weeks, then Thanksgiving and Christmas hit, as well as birthday parties for two of my three kids. I just have not been cooking much. We have eaten a lot of sandwiches, frozen pizza *hangs head in shame,* and take-out. No wonder I've gained more weight with this baby than any of my others! ;)
Anyway, I am resolving to get back in the kitchen to share some more great recipes with you. I also intend to start back up with my Meatless Monday posts and Monday Meal Plans, though I actually think I'm going to make them into Sunday Weekly Meal Plans. All of this will start happening this week, but then I will take a few weeks off when our baby arrives (which probably won't be much longer based on my previous births). Please bare with me as we transition into a family of SIX!
So, let's start off with this week's meal plan, shall we?
Living in small town Oklahoma, I am married to the sweetest man you will ever meet. We have five young children, so I would now consider myself a professional juggler. I'm a wannabe crafter, cook, baker, and gardener. Some might call me crunchy. I'm okay with it.