Gotta pinch those pennies!

After splurging last week on my grocery trip I needed to pull from a colleague’s blog, all about cooking on a budget. As a fellow music teacher she knows all about making those dollars stretch.  I was inspired by 3 of her recipes and was able to come up with a remix of chicken alfredo, vegetarian quesadillas, and a polenta bake; the remaining 2 recipes for the week are basics: pork chops with new potatoes and veggies, and salmon burgers with a quinoa salad. I seriously planned this menu is record time! Sometime I’m beyond stumped on what to make and today I didn’t feel like dwelling on my grocery trip so I went to her blog, knowing I’d find something yummy! I’ve made a few of her recipes in the past and they were successful.

I’d also like to brag that last night I wrote on my menu board: “goal: leftovers” … WINNER WINNER! I cleared out the remaining containers and put together a real meal for myself! THIS NEVER HAPPENS. My human garbage disposal (aka my husband) takes care of any and all leftovers so I never have a chance to revisit my dishes.  His work schedule was in my favor – there was not enough for both of us. Anywho, with the fridge being cleared out I’m definitely ready for what this next week brings 🙂

On to the remaining of last week’s meals – gourmet grilled cheese (Wed) and blue cheese turkey burgers (Thurs)


I used smoked provolone cheese and sauteed yellow onions, swapped out regular white bread with sour dough – so good! I brushed the bread with melted butter (you need something to keep it from turning rock hard!).  Nix the mayo (some people use it on grilled cheese).  I baked sweet potato fries; let them soak in evoo/garlic powder/smoked paprika – what a combo. This is absolutely diabetic friendly – surprised? You shouldn’t be if you actually listen to your doctor/nutritionist/dietician. And as always, we had a side salad… because who doesn’t love some greens in their life? It keeps you regular, people!!!


Who doesn’t love a good burger? 1.5 lbs of ground turkey makes 4 perfect burgers 🙂 It’s cheap too! After I measured each patty, I flattened it out, sprinkled blue cheese in the center and mixed it. After the blue cheese looked to be evenly distributed I formed the patty, done! It was beautiful weather so Josh got to man the grill; he was off on Thursday so I took advantage of me not having to actually cook. I really do loathe cooking on Thursday’s – it’s my longest day with zero breaks, the last thing I want to do is stand for another hour prepping/cooking dinner. I was able to prep the burgers & corn in the morning before I left for work. I had 1 potato leftover from the day before – 1 large sweet potato makes enough fries for 2 people (good to know!).  I microwave-boiled them in quarter size chunks for faster cook time (12 minutes!); once they came out I sprinkled cinnamon, ground nutmeg, s/p, and topped them with hunk of butter… mashed them up in the skins and voila! A perfect side dish.  For the corn: rubbed on butter, sprinkled s/p and parsley, wrap in foil, and grill it. Top each burger with MORE blue cheese and dinner is ready!

Get your cookin’ started! Where do you get your inspiration from … a family cook book, TV shows, your favorite restaurant… tell me!

I don’t care; I love it!

Sometimes your body needs to indulge on some bad decisions … like pizza balls & blue cheese fries.

It’s a known fact that I take the weekend off around here.  I work my butt off during the week and prepare 5 decent meals … I use the weekend to relax and clear out whatever leftovers may be in the fridge.   Weekend meals usually get thrown together without rhyme or reason, but food is food and stomach’s don’t judge.

This weekend was no exception.

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This gem of a “recipe” came from Carl’s Jr – we stopped there on Friday after having a FOUR HOUR meeting with our loan officer.  A warning would have been nice from that guy, “hey, this meeting will be more than 2 hours” … We figured, pop in, go over our stuff, be out in an hour-ish, and we’ll  go to lunch. After sitting in a small and frigid office for FOUR HOURS we decided to start off the weekend right with fast food.  Just to note, it’s not like we do this everyday. I had 45 minutes to get to a lesson (we were 30 minutes away), desperate times call for desperate measures.

Okay okay – I ordered this from Carl’s Jr:



and then I realized I could make this at home. OMGosh.  Bad decision #1 figured out for the weekend (yes, I ate this 2 times in 3 days … leave me alone). You need three *maybe 4* items: blue cheese crumbles (I suggest mixing it with salad dressing as well, to turn out like the Carl’s Jr version), buffalo hot sauce, and waffle fries.  Layer like nachos and you’re done!

Bad decision #2 is next in line … as per a request from Josh.

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PIZZA BALLS! I made this a few years ago; Josh saw the recipe on his FB news feed via a share. So of course he tags me in the post and that is my cue to make it at some point.  He forgot about all of that so it was time to make them again.


Josh even helped!  I can’t stand opening biscuit packages so he got that duty. He then insisted on becoming a professional “dough tosser”. You are more than welcome to try this in your kitchen however it won’t work. Flatten the biscuits on a cutting board 🙂

Before baking, spread on the egg and sprinkle on the 3 seasonings (I don’t make a butter mixture… it turns out fine my way).


20 minutes would have been fine in the oven; some of the cheese oozed out at 25 and the lower rack burned (on the bottoms only).


This little diva is going to make it difficult to keep typing!