Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Growing Healthy Homes, makes sense to me

As a member of the TOS Homeschool crew, this year I am reviewing many homeschooling products that I have received for free. I am not paid to say nice things about the products, but I am obligated to use the product and share my honest opinions with you. In today's review, our whole family had no choice but the opportunity to try this program.

I knew I was going to learn something when I looked at the cover to and couldn't identify a piece of produce on there. See that white thing to the far right? It looks like a garlic, supermodel style. If you know what that is, can you leave me a comment below? Terri G. needs help in this area.

We interrupt this review for a short love story:

I haven't discussed this much here, but my love story could be called "The Wendy's drive through gal is star struck for the wanna be earthy crunchy man, who eats for nutrition, not taste". But since I do all of the cooking, he has remained a wanna-be for years. He has lovingly tried to invite me over to his way of eating, but I resisted. I also found created fellow compatriots. One of Paperboy's first temper tantrums occurred driving around the rotary passing a Wendy's crying for "gicken". The Gman was horrified, not about the temper tantrum, but about the processed chicken that I fed the boys while he was at work. I slowly started changing, but it's taken almost 20 years.

This curriculum is the answer to the Gman's prayers. He has always been interested in eating for nutrition. This book has done what I as a mother could not. It's given me knowledge, I knew my kids should eat their greens and fruits, but not all of the why's behind it. We knew the omega oils were a must for brain function, but now we can say we are eating cantaloupe to improve our immune system.

Nutrition 101 contains basic information and fascinating details about the needs of our bodies. The authors did a wonderful job of making learning fun. I felt it lends itself well to be used as a middle school biology unit. I love the way they break down the 12 body systems units into 6 units. Each chapter highlights a system of the body and the nutrition that it needs.
This curriculum includes:
  • food charts
  • hands on activities
  • scientific information with detailed illustrations
  • biblical references
  • recipes
  • review questions
  • fun facts
  • helpful charts
The four authors come from different backgrounds and I appreciate that they all were not healthy eaters their entire lives. They give hope to the nutritionally hopeless. They also equip the ignorant(me) with so many charts, lists, and explanations. I can no longer pretend I don't know.  My favorite and much needed resource is the how to select fresh fruit.

The only two things I didn't like was that it is an eBook. I would definitely recommend getting the hardcover. The price is a little steep, but the value of all of this information in one book that can be used for years, makes it less painful in the wallet.

How can you buy Nutrition 101: Choose Life!?
This comprehensive curriculum is available at Growing Healthy Homes. It is available as a CD-ROM ($79.95), a hardbound book ($99.95), or a combination of both ($129.95).  For an even sweeter deal, there is a 15% discount coupon from Growing Healthy Homes using the code TOScrew11.
Additional products from Growing Healthy Homes include Gentle Babies: Essential Oils and  Natural Remedies ($12.95) and The Raw Food Feast: 7 Days Through the Rainbow ($17.95).
Two FREE downloads are available:  Is There a Dr. Mom in Your House? and Gentle Babies (the download version).

You also can also read other crew members reviews hereIf my glowing review has not convinced you to purchase this, you may want to hear more about this directly from one of the authors, Sera Johnson.  

 FREE TOS webinar scheduled for:
Thursday, April 21, (TOMORROW)
from 4:00pm - 5:30 pm EST 
(1:00 pm to 2:30 pm PST)

If you like to dabble in great nutrition, join me, enter your email address:

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: Send them a love letter.

I have a few grocery items that I am fiercely brand loyal to. These are things that, when they go on sale, I always stock up. If they offer a coupon in the paper, I will shamelessly ask my friends if they can give me their extra coupons. I already love and buy the products, but I want to pay the least amount possible for them.

One way to acquire coupons for a specific item is to let the company know how much you love them. If you are on Facebook, sometimes, if you like them, you can get coupons or deals. I'm not, so I go right to the company. I send them an email and even include that I am looking for coupons, samples or free items. See example below, perhaps a slight exaggeration.

Dear Luscious Cookie Company: I am madly in love with your chocolate-covered dreamy peanut butter cookies. In fact, I dream about them every night. Last night, I dreamed I was stuck on  a desert island with a year's supply of your cookies. I didn't even miss civilization and when a cruise ship offered me passage home, I refused. I told the captain, "There is nothing else in life I desire and you can't tempt me to leave these delicious cookies. Thanks, but no thanks, for the ride home."

Forever Yours, Cookie          

p.s. A coupon would be appreciated.

If love letter writing is not your style, you can always give them a call. Check the side of the package, usually they have a toll free number.  Most of time in less than a week after my phone call, my mailbox has a reply with coupons. Before the holidays, I was particularly happy with a product, so I let them know by email and I told them I was going to blog about their cookies. They sent me a coupon for free cookies. Honestly, I've wanted to blog about this company anyways, because they have saved me enormous amounts of aggravation.

How did they do that?

I have a child that is on a special diet. The Feingold diet is simply a way to eliminate additives and preservatives from his diet.  When we are strictly adhering to this diet, everyone is happy. This is pretty easy to do until the holiday season begins. Most convenience food are loaded with preservatives. There are endless gatherings, where food is needed. Foods that Little Guy can eat. Sweets. Let's face it, he won't always grab the cucumbers and carrot sticks at the parties. Like me, he must have chocolate!

And of course, I tend to procrastinate. I am an Olympian Gold Medalist at this sport. You mean I need two dozen cookies in 1/2 hour? Sure no problem.

 This where the immaculate baking company comes in. They make pre-made cookie dough without all of the additives. I can have quick easy delicious homemade cookies whenever the need arises.  They also make some cinnamon rolls in a can.  I can't try them, because, once I know how delicious they are, I won't be the same again. I'm sticking to the cookies. Chocolate chunk, oatmeal raisin, sugar cookie, gingerbread spice, peppermint chocolate and triple chocolate. It's as easy as one, two, three.

Two, sorry about the flash.

Send a love letter to one of your favorite companies and it can be as easy as one, two, free!

If you know a company that answers their love letters with coupons, let me know in the comments.

If you experience joy in
 thrift, enter your email address:

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I welcome reader comments with open arms. I also understand if you aren't the commenting or hugging type of person, you can drop me an email at

Monday, November 8, 2010

Winner announced!

This means Debra from Footprints in the Butter is the winner of a signed copy of Bottega and a box of Lemon Pepper Panko crispy bread crumbs courtesy of MyBlogSpark. Congratulations! 

I hope Debra enjoys Panko as much as we did. If you didn't win, don't cry in your soggy bread crumbs. Stop by here and get a coupon for $1.00 off any Progresso Panko mix.

I welcome reader comments with open arms. I also understand if you aren't the commenting or hugging type of person, you can drop me an email at

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thrifty Thursday....Enter this giveaway

This giveaway is closed, look for more in the future!
Saving money is near and dear to my heart. Do you remember my long-winded post about thrift here? It's one where I ramble on and on about winning contests.

I am pleased to host a giveaway of a product that I just tried for free. The cool thing is; someone else is going to get something for free. See thrift in action. I will choose the winner on Monday, November 8th.

The chef´s secret is out - panko is in! A longtime secret of Japanese cuisine, panko is now a pantry staple for creating perfect crispiness in any dish. This October, Lemon Pepper will join the ranks of Progresso´s line of panko bread crumbs, which includes Original and Italian flavors. 

Whether frying, baking or broiling, this culinary superstar adds a flavorful crunch to create simple, savory recipes. Made from the soft, tender centers of the bread, Progresso Lemon Pepper Panko combines the perfect crunch with effortless flavor to give any dish that extra punch. The large, flaky crumb has a coarser texture than traditional bread crumbs, delivering a lighter, crunchier coating or topping.

A chef known for his emphasis on creating delicious dishes with fresh, premium ingredients, Chef Michael Chiarello uses panko as his go-to bread crumb for a crunch that won´t quit. An Emmy-award winning TV chef and cookbook author, Chef Chiarello is the tastemaker behind Bottega Napa Valley Restaurant, NapaStyle and Chiarello Family Vineyards, and appears on The Cooking Channel and Top Chef Masters only on Bravo.

Chef Chiarello is helping cooks everywhere use Progresso´s panko to make flavorful, flawless recipes including Crispy Seafood SaladMama Chiarello's Stuffed Eggplant and Turkey Scallopini and Squash Ravioli with Cranberry Brown Butter.

More coupons.

Visit the Progresso website for additional recipes, tips for cooking with pankovideo and a coupon for $1 off any panko flavor. 

My experience with Progresso lemon pepper panko:

I sliced fresh cod into 4-inch chunks and dipped them in a beaten egg. Then coated the fish in a bowl of panko crumbs. The egg worked wonders in keeping the moisture in, and coating the fish with panko.  It is delicious, crunchy on the outside without being deep fried. I must warn you. Don't overdo it. My little ones didn't share my zeal for the lemon pepper flavor. It was very peppery. For the boys, I will try the plain panko. It will be like eating a healthy fish stick.

You can experience panko, too.

My Blogspark has offered a panko gift set for one of my readers. The winner will receive a gift pack including one package of Progresso Lemon Pepper Panko and an autographed copy of chef Chiarello´s new cookbook: Michael Chiarello´s Bottega. I have a copy of this cookbook and the pictures are fabulous.

How to enter, each separate comment is worth 1 entry:
  • First of all follow me or let me know how if have been faithfully following me.
  • Tell me what type of dish you would create with Lemon Pepper Panko.
  • Subscribe to my blog with my new little feedburner thingy at the top right hand corner.
  • Tweet about this giveaway while  adding the hashtag #myblogspark
  • Tell me how much you despise soggy breadcrumbs.

Because, I am an honest person, I need to let you know this:

The information and giveaway were all provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

I welcome reader comments with open arms. I also understand if you aren't the commenting or hugging type of person, you can drop me an email at

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My First Bento...Tightwad American style

I found out about Bento a few weeks ago. Remember my shameless plug for a contest? I didn't win. But I did spend some time learning about Bento. In my past life, before three additional kids, I created wedding cakes. Bento cannot be compared to cakes, but some of the tools and creativity overlap.
Since I didn't win any bento supplies, I had to start a Bento hunt, tightwad style. I raided my kitchen drawers and the playdo box, it held about 20 years of cookie cutters, rock hard playdo and gouging tools.

Then I did what every tightwad does when they begin a quest for more information. I checked out I decided not to part with the bucks. I ordered the book from my local inter-library loan. After an interesting discussion with the volunteer at my library, I was able to peel the book away from him. He will parting with the bucks and ordering it from Amazon for his daughter-in-law, who lives in Japan.

I took notes. I knew LittleGuy was not going to eat seaweed, kimchi or any other oddly textured vegetable that I could not pronounce. After I created my list of ideas stolen gleaned from this adorable little book, I planned on spicing up his lunches. 

First I needed cute containers. I searched the web for bento boxes. My zeal for Bento started to fizzle. He already owns a great lunch box, I cannot possibly buy a custom one for anywhere from 9 to 60 dollars. 
Pottery Barn for Kids did carry a really cute inexpensive one for only $9. Thankfully, they were out of stock until October. That just saved me $9. By then Bento would have been a lost word in my vocabulary.

I had to do it soon.

Hmmmm... I need a new plan.

Here comes the song...........Don't you just love a bargain?  
Yes, I found myself in the Christmas Tree Shop scouring the aisles for all things Bento, after a tip from my buddy Christina, who already serves pretty food to her boys.
I was excited to find a plain 2 tier container for a mere $1.29. 
It could hold a sandwich and it had 3 different compartments. 

Tightwad Wisdom Quote # 573...When something costs less
 than the price of a cup of coffee, unless you are at a thrift shop, chances are it is not worth much.
 I ignored my urge to rip open the package and really check it out. 
I bought two.
Bento here I come!

I assembled my tools. Note the wax paper at the top. I showed the Gman my new Bento box. He said "What about the BPA's?" You know the plastic strong chemical off gases that poison our kids? I smelled the box, they were probably there. I'll fix that, I put the box in the dishwasher. The smell faded a little, the box warped some more. I decided to line the box with wax paper. I must protect LittleGuy from the chemicals.

Inside of my warped box was a peanut-butter and ricemello fluff sandwich, two carrots, a homemade  chocolate cookie(Feingold approved), Annie's Cheddar Bunnies, and  English cucumber slices.

This is the Bento before I closed it. I am going to have to work on stuffing them or finding fillers. I did show LittleGuy what it is supposed to look like.  After I had shut it and reopened it, this is what it looked like.

 I had cut the monster's smile from a cucumber slice and used a straw to cut the eyes out. This left me with a small alien face, I tried him on the cookie, not so cute. 

 I tucked him in with the two dinosaurs.

My quick take on Bento. Yes, I will keep working on it. No, it doesn't take too long to pack. I spent about 10 minutes making and taking the pictures. But I may remain a rookie for a while and I am o.k. with that.
 After all, I am accidental homeschooling mom. 

Failures challenge me. 
How about you?
Have you tried something new lately?

I welcome reader comments with open arms. I also understand if you aren't the commenting or hugging type of person, you can drop me an email at

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I learned something new today and a giveaway

Yesterday, I received one of those comments from a fellow blogger. You know the ones that you want to print, frame and display in your messy kitchen. She appreciated my blog and my style of writing. I had to go peek at her blog and see what kind of person enjoys my long-winded, tangent-filled blogs. I have just learned from an expert blogger, that tangents are a blogger no-no. I should be more precise and to the point. Oh yeah, what was my point?

I did what all new bloggers do. I checked out her profile and visited her blog. I was captivated by her photos. They were of food. Pretty food. Children's food. Food that may not get thrown out. Little animals, that my boys would thoroughly enjoy eating the heads off first and then the arms. Food that won't get wasted. Now this my kind of food. Do you know the average American family throws out 20% of their food? I was told that by my 12 year-old, but I believe it.

First of all, that is the cutest blog name. I have blogger envy at these hip bloggers who create great names for their blog. Accidentally Homeschooling is fine for now, but how about when my life moves on. Accidentally Menopausal or how about Accidentally Working a Real Job? By then those cool names will be taken. I'm on a tangent again. 

What did I learn from Crouching Mother?

She makes these fabulous lunches called Bento. Bento is a single serving meal that originated in Japan. She creates them for her daughter. If you want to know more about them click here. After I spent a little time admiring the adorable food, I decided I must try my hand at this. In order to get started, I need to win this kit from this blog. Bentobloggy is giving away a start up kit, which will help a rookie like myself, create an appealing lunch that every child will be drooling for. 

Go to fullsize image

You can find more Bentos here. Look for some upcoming blogs about bento. I can see myself now. I know it's 2:00 and you are hungry, but I am just finishing up your cheese shaped like R2D2. Oh, my mind is swirling. How about you, have you ever created one of these cute lunches or bought one?

Have a great weekend and don't forget the point of this blog. Enter this fun give-away and if you win, send it to me.

I welcome reader comments with open arms. I also understand if you aren't the commenting or hugging type of person, you can drop me an email at

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thrifty Thursday Java Style

After 5 Question Friday a few weeks ago, I realized most people take their coffee way more seriously than I do. But if money were no object, I would seriously drink a mocha coffee Coolatta made with milk and with whipped cream every day of my life.
Will work for coffee
Let's go down memory lane...There was a time when statue man was an employee of Dunkin' Donuts. He was in high school and was perfectly capable of walking the short 5 minute walk home. But that was not what happened. I spent 10 minutes loading 2 toddlers into car seats made for Alcatraz residents. Then I drove the short 1 minute ride to pick him up. Why? No, it wasn't raining. Did this child have a broken leg? No, he was a perfectly healthy baseball player. Was I coddling this little boy? Of course not, this is the kid that didn't like the conditions at home, so he joined the Marine corps. I was coddling myself. Each time I picked him up, he had in his hands a large hazelnut coffee with extra cream just for me. You know, a little coffee with that cream. Oh, I was addicted. This went on for too many afternoons. Despite my daily four mile walks with my neighbor, I wondered why the dryer was shrinking all of my clothes. I also wondered why I couldn't fall asleep at night. I wondered if I could get a job there. Eventually the job ended and I had to go cold turkey off the afternoon java. I survived the withdrawals and haven't forced MattyG to apply there yet. One day, I made the mistake of tasting a Mocha Coffee Coolatta. I was in a quandary. I fell in love with them. But I also had this weird nagging feeling that paying over $3.00 for a coffee was just a poor investment not frugal. I really am a frugal person in most areas. When I indulged, I really felt bad knowing how hard my honey worked all day and he took his coffee in a mug from home. Where was I? I have a recipe to share. An Aggressive Thrift Recipe SSSHHHH I have a secret...I have learned the thrifty skill of making homemade coffee coolattas at a very reasonable price. Yes, I created this myself. It was not taken from another blogger. I found these at my local Bj's Wholesale Club, near the hot chocolate. They come as a 2 pack of 32 oz. for $1.99.
I started with some ice in a cup, necessary for the brain freeze effect.
Fill it halfway with the leftover coffee from this morning.
Shake the container and pour into glass. Ignore the weird clumps. I did a double take and smelled it, concerned about spoilage. It was safe. It is a concentrate.
It should look like this before you stir it.
Now there are two ways to top this off. I had fresh whipping cream in the refrigerator, but I felt lazy so I cheated.
I went to my freezer, which at any given moment has about 5 containers of Breyer's Ice Cream. (I am not a sales representative for Breyers, but our love affair has been going on for way too long, please don't tell the Gman.) Most of their ice cream is is made up of only a few ingredients. For example the vanilla has only 5 ingredients. I am not an earthy crunchy, but I am the food Nazi. The less artificial flavoring in a product, the more likely I am to be loyal to it. Some of my family is on the Feingold diet and this ice cream works for us.
I topped it off with Breyers Triple Chocolate, which, by the way, was an esthetically pleasing choice.
If I was a serious Coolatta addict: Instead of dropping $3.50 a day, plus tax and tip for a drink, I now can make it at home for about 32 cents a glass. If I did this all year, my potential for savings is about $1343.20.
If I was only a once a week splurger, I could save $191.36. a year.
Dave Ramsey would be proud! My coffee snob friends may start dropping in.
SSSSSSHHHHHH Remember, this is a secret recipe. If you are one of those people that cannot keep a secret, I am O.K. with that. Just let them know where you found it. In fact send them over to my blog. Maybe they want to try my snow monster recipe. Thanks for stopping by, TerriG

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Molly's Money-Saving Digest January 2010

Molly’s Money-Saving Digest:
Evaluate, Prioritize, Organize
January 2010

I read this monthly e-magazine by Molly Green in one sitting. I am a magazine lover, I love to handle them, I keep them in my car for stolen moments waiting for children. I am guilty of hoarding them. This is my first experience ever reading a magazine-e book style. After tweaking the page size and inadvertently scrolling to the end 12 times, I got the hang of it. Just the subtitle appealed to me. I love reading about organizing, I only slightly enjoy doing it.

favorite section was Beginning with the Basics, the homemaker mentor topic of pie making. It correctly assumed, I knew nothing of pie making. Yes, I have made my share of pies in my lifetime. I usually cheated and used a store bought crust just like my mom used to. Better yet, I prepared my all-time favorite no crust apple pie that you scoop blobs of a butter, sugar, egg, and flour mixture that miraculously becomes a crust. This 8 page article even had photos of each step, I was hooked. I tested the easy buttery press pie crust and yes, it was delicious even before I added the chocolate filling.
  • In Tips and Tools for Organization, the practical chart for budgeting is useful, I could have used it last week as I was doing my personal finances. The nice thing about the realistic forms is they include a spending log that matches up to your budget so you can actually evaluate/prioritize your numbers. One thing I would have done differently on these forms is not include too much color. The tightwad in me does not want to waste ink printing it. The clothing inventory form is one that I will use. She explains later on how to evaluate/prioritize and organize clothing. I could figure this out on my own, but it was the pep talk I needed.
  • Feather Your Nest Frugally has a great decorating idea that I actually have done myself. It was a craft that was simple and required no special skills.
  • The check writing lesson was one I personally don’t need, but I had just covered this with sons #2 and 3 in less detail. I plan on using this to review the concept and introduce the register. I like the fact that I can print the sample checks and a register as needed.
  • In the Kitchen with Molly contains menus for a week of dinners and even includes a time saving shopping list to prepare these simple low cost meals. The photos were appealing, the extra tips were great, but it wasn’t food my meat-eating, don’t-let-the-foods-touch gang would rush to the table for. I call it girl food a.k.a. healthy.
  • At the end of the book there are many links to the resources listed in each article. This is one benefit to the e-book, my magazines include no clicks no matter how close to my laptop I am.
The friendly writing style comforts and encourages. She closes her newsletter with a poem written at least 120 years ago, but is timeless advice.

". . . the first lesson to learn in the happy art of making home happy,
is to be content with simple
and common things.
The farther you go from the everyday paths of life in search of happiness,

the less likely you are to find it.
A thankful heart makes the best dinner, a pleasant voice is the
best music,
a kind look is a more beautiful picture than was ever painted by any masters, old or
These are things that all can command.
They can be had for the humblest home without
money and without price."1

Time, money and stuff. These are the 3 things we need to evaluate, prioritize, organize. Molly walks us through the process for each. Her tools and charts are the visual aids we need to implement our goals. Her monthly magazine may be just what you need to begin to take control of these areas in your life. Her love of thrift, natural ingredients and homemaking are already dear to my heart. This e-book would make a nice gift for a newlywed, a young women preparing for marriage, or an experienced homemaker looking for some fresh ideas. This 51 page e-book is published monthly by
It is available for $4.95 at The Old Schoolhouse Store.

Disclaimer: This product was provided free of cost by Old Schoolhouse Publishing for purpose of review.

* 1. Echoes of Life or Beautiful Gems of Poetry and Song was published in 1891 by L.P. Miller and Company (Chicago, Philadelphia, and Stockton, CA) and edited by Mrs. Grace Townsend.