Thursday, May 31, 2007

Crockpot Peanut Chicken

This was originally titled "Thai Peanut Chicken" but since there is nothing authentically Thai about it I changed the name.

4 chicken breasts (frozen or thawed doesn't matter)
1 1/2 cups salsa (mild, medium or hot according to taste)
2/3 cup peanut butter
4 Tbs. Lime Juice
2 Tbs. Soy Sauce
2 tsp. grated ginger.
1/2 cup peanuts

Place chicken breasts in crockpot in a single layer, or as close to a single layer as you can get.

Combine salsa, peanut butter, lime juice, soy, and ginger and pour over chicken.

Sprinkle with peanuts.

Cook on low for 8 hours or until chicken if fork tender and falling apart.

[If you want, squeeze a little fresh lime juice over the chicken before serving]

I serve this with Jasmine Rice and Broccoli.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My Goodwill List

I mentioned in a post the I have a mental list of things that I am looking for at Goodwill and other thrift shops.

1. A Popover pan
2. Domed Cake Pedestal
3. Hemstitched linens (any persuasion)
4. Large, Good Quality, Leather Tote
5. Immersion blender

My mom found me the popover pan not too long ago and over the weekend found my the domes cake pedestal. Maybe I will be able to find that leather tote after all!

Bedroom Renovation III -- Confession

I played little to no part in the actual renovation of our bedroom, other than buying the bedding and liking the paint color. My hubby actually did all of the work.

What a wonderful husband I have!

I apologize for the pervious version of this post sounding snotty... it was not my intention.

New Purse

So perhaps I have fallen off the frugal wagon a little bit... I will pull myself back on, don't your worry.

Anyway, here is the new Vera Bradley bag I am sporting for summer.

Naked to the World...

Is how I feel today. Not because I forgot to get dressed this morning, but because I am without my engagement ring.

In the 4 years since hubby slipped that baby on my finger, I have grown pudgier and pudgier and in recent months have not been able to get either my wedding band or my engagement ring off my finger. Yesterday I was able to wrestle it off thanks to lots of hand cream and some pulling and I thought it was time to have it resized, especially since I swell like a balloon in the PA humidity.

So my engagement ring is at the jewelers being resized.

I miss it and quite frankly feel a little naked without it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bedroom Renovation II -- Pictures

As promised, here are the pictures from the bedroom renovation.

Here is the before:

This is the color and the curtains that came with the house. This is the bedding that matched our apartment, and this is mismatched furniture that is soon to be replaced.

Here is the work in progress:

(this is the back of hubby's head... isn't he cute?)

And finally the after with the painting finished and the new bedding.

You'll notice that the furniture is still mismatched and that the windows lack blinds and curtains. All of these things are too come. I ordered the blinds today, and curtains are in the works.

Bedroom Makeover Part 1

This memorial day weekend was a very tiring one in our house. Hubby and I are in the beginning stages of a bedroom renovation. This weekend we painted and bought new bedding.

This is not a frugal endeavor I am sad to say, although on the upside Home Depot (or the Home Despot, as we like to call it) was offering $5 rebates on each gallon of paint your buy, so there is some money coming back. Also, we bought way more supplies than we needed, so we were able to return approximately $120 worth of stuff to H.D..

I promise I will post both before and after pictures when I get home tonight.

Anyway, here is our bedroom renovation to do list:

1. Paint Bedroom
2. New Bedding and Blinds for Bedroom
3. New Carpet for Bedroom
4. New Furniture for Bedroom
5. New Curtains
6. Get Really Big Mirror

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Please Bear With Me

This week I am in a very intensive class that goes from 9 -5 everyday with homework and other assignments at night.

I promise I will begin posting again one the class is over.

Hubby and I are re-doing our bedroom, so hopefully I will have pics to share.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Produce Outlet

Around here (SE PA) they are called Produce Junction, I don't know what they are called in other parts of the country. What they are is a no-frills produce outlet with great prices. What they can do is save you a bundle on your grocery bill. I stopped on my lunch hour after going to GoodWill (I will post about that trip later) and for $10.25 I got:

  • 5 pounds of all purpose potatoes
  • 5 pounds of yellow onion
  • 1 pound of lemons
  • 1 pound of limes
  • 3 pounds of zucchini
  • 3 pounds of peppers (red, yellow, and green)
  • 1 container of grape tomatoes
I can't imagine what that would cost in the supermarket.

Produce Junction also has great prices on eggs (3 dozen extra large for .99) and on cut flowers and plants.

You might want to investigate the produce outlet in your area.

Here are a few produce outlet tips:

1. Everything is bagged and that is the quantity you buy, you can;t just buy 1 apple.
2. They only take cash, plan ahead.
3. They are not always the cheapest game in town, shop smart and know your prices.

Beef Recall

Be aware. The USDA has recalled beef of all cuts and varieties in 15 states.

Here is the link for more information:
Save NowPDF/Recall_023_2007_Release.pdf

Thursday, May 17, 2007

It's a Dog's Life...

And a tough life at that...



Clematis in Bloom

The clematis in my backyard is in full bloom. Don't be too impressed it came with the house.

And now up close and personal...

Frugal Habits

There are lots of ways to save money or to make money go farther... here are the frugal habits that I have cultivated that I am proud of

1. Wash and re-use Ziplock bags or better yet, use Tupperwear instead
2. Take my lunch to work everyday
3. Take my tea/coffee in a thermos to work everyday
4. Stopped buying books (very hard for a bibliophile) and use the library
5. Buy most, if not all, gifts and wrapping at Goodwill
6. Replace disposable Swiffer cloths with reusable microfiber
7. Replace disposable pads for Swiffer Wet Jet with reusable terrycloth
8. Refill Swiffer Wet Jet with my own cleaning fluid
9. Make cleaning fluid by reconstituting Simple Green Concentrate purchased in bulk and use it for everything
10. Make bread
11. Use my clothes line as much as possible
12. Wash all clothes in cold water
13. Make my sugar scrub instead of buying it.
14. Buy most of our produce at the produce outlet (5 pounds of bananas for $1.50)

Here are the habits I will cultivate when I deplete stockpiled items

1. Make laundry detergent
2. Make dishwasher detergent

Here are the non-frugal habits I need to break

1. I am still fat and fat us not frugal!
2. I have a tendency to shop when I am feeling blue/stressed
3. I LOVE Prestige cosmetics like Nars, Shu Emoura, Kheils, Benefit, and Philosophy
4. I give into laziness too often and rely on things like chicken fingers and tater tots for dinner.

What are your frugal habits/non-frugal habits?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I have been tagged

Susan had this on her blog and I thought it was neat so here goes.

Literary Meme

How it works:

1. grab the book closest to you

2. open it to page 161

3. find the 5th full sentence

4. post the text of the sentence to your blog

5. don't search around for the coolest book you have, use the one that is really next to you.

6. tag five people to do this meme

The book next to me is Talk About Sex: The Battles over Sex Education in the United States

The Sentence is "And there was a lot of residual resentment as a result of it"

I'm not sure if this is trying to tell me something about my life or not, but it was an interesting experiment. Try it and let me know what you get!

New to Me

Here is a new to me website that looks really interesting: recipes for homemade Febreeze, Homemade weedkiller, and crafts with empty juice bottles... what more could a girl ask for?

Thrifty Fun

Monday, May 14, 2007

8 Things About Me

I was tagged by reading Candy's blog... so here are a few things you probably didn't know about me.

1. I am an only child

2. I am seriously overeducated, I have a BA in literature and linguistics, an MS in library and information science and in a few weeks will have an MEd in human sexuality education.

3. I have a tendency to think of the characters in the books I read as real people and consider them friends.

4. In a fire, assuming that my hubby and my puppies were out of the house I would save photo albums.

5. I make all of my own greeting cards

6. I can spin wool into yarn

7. I was a vegetarian for 8 years but now I love meat!

8. I have a pair of socks that are 17 years old and not worn out yet.

If you have read all of this consider yourself tagged. :)

Could it really be that simple?

Don't Buy Stuff You Can't Afford

Friday, May 11, 2007


That last post about the hummus was my 100th post.



So for some reason I couldn't stop cooking last night. I have never made hummus before but I had a taste for it so I thought I'd try. I found a bunch of good recipes on the web, and mixed and matched until I came up with one I liked. Here is it.


4 tsp. minced garlic
2 15-oz cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Combine all ingredients in food processor and blitz until smooth.

I am having it for lunch today with some feta cheese, green olives, and carrot sticks.

My Favorite Bread

I was in a baking frenzy last night making Blackberry muffins, Cranberry bread, and Whole wheat bread.

I have been playing around with the bread recipe and have finally got it to a place where I am consistatly happy with the bread it produced. Here is the recipe:

Whole Wheat Bread with Flax Seeds

1 1/8 cups Hot Water
2 Tbs. olive oil
3 Tbs. honey
1/2 Tbsp salt
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup toasted whole flax seed (I get mine at Trader Joe's)
2 tsp. Vital Wheat Gluten
1 packet Instant Yeast

Put ingredients in bread machine in order (wet on the bottom, dry on top, yeast last). Select the rapid whole wheat setting. I also chose the light crust option, otherwise my bread machine chars the bread but all machines are different.

This makes 1 1.5 pound loaf.

Green Iced Tea

Hubby came home the other day with a bottle of Lipton Diet Iced Green Tea with Citrus.

I tasted it and it was overpoweringly sweet. But it did get me to thinking, that I could probably replicate it with relative ease. So I did!

This is my first ever food clone and I am pretty pleased.

5 green tea tea bags
1 orange
1 lemon
1/2 cup Splenda or sugar

Take a 2 quart sauce pan and fell with water. Heat over high heat until water boils. Remove from heat add tea bags. Let tea steep for at least an hour (I like strong tea). Remove tea bags and discard.

Let eater cool. Pour into pitcher, fill with cold water until pitcher is full. Juice one orange and one lemon and add to pitcher. Add 1/2 cup Splenda or sugar (more if you like it sweet). Stir and then chill.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Lot of Posts for a Wednesday...

This is me procrastinating.

I am getting the urge to bake again, which is actually pretty good since I am out of bread and will need to make some soon.

I was inventorying the freezer and found some blackberries and some cranberries that should be used up.

I am thinking about making these Blackberry Muffins and a classic Cranberry Bread.

Old Softie

I don't crochet but if I did I would make every single one of these animals. The patterns are for sale, sadly the critters (already completed) are not.

Check out the turtles!

Hand Sanitizer

Tammy, at Tammy's Recipes, has a great post about hand sanitizer and frugality. In this case it looks like homemade is neither better for you nor frugal. Interesting!

She also has a great link to a New York Times article about the same topic.

Library Land Revisted

Every now and then someone, perhaps a stranger at a party, upon finding out that I am a librarian tells me how much they dislike libraries.

Why they think they should share this with a library professional I will NEVER know but it happens more than you would think.

Anyway, I always ask why they don;t like libraries and inevitably the response I get is something along the lines of "librarians are mean."

That hurts people. Not all librarians are mean! I am not mean!

I can admit that there are days when I give better service at the Reference desk than others, but I have never been mean.

Librarianship is not the stressless job that many people think it is. Contrary to popular belief I don't just sit around and read all day. I can't think of a single librarian I know who does that.

The following article tells the truth about some of what librarians have to deal with:
There is a great deal of frustration in my profession. We a people who want to help and in many cases we can't because politics, budget, staffing issues get in the way.

So for those of you out there who don't like libraries because of those mean librarians you have encountered in the past. Read the article and then maybe give them another chance.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Spring has... Sprouted?

I am really not much of a gardener, but this year I decided to star some herbs from seed. I planted peppermint, chamomile, parsley, lavender, and some cacti while Hubby started a bunch of different hot peppers. They are all doing really well!

I am hoping that the herbs do well so that I can dry/freeze them.

More Baking

Last night I got the baking bug and made a loaf of Hawaiian Bread. Boy is it good! Very moist and dense yet light at the same time. When I read the recipe, I was a little skeptical, but this bread is good. I wonder what kind of french toast it will make? I found the recipe here.

Also, in honor of Cinco de Mayo I tried a new recipe for margarita cookies. They are essentially a shortbread cookie that has lime and orange zest in them as well as tequila. Then they are rolled in a combination of sugar and salt.

Here they are getting ready to be sliced.

And here they are getting ready to go in the oven.

And here is where I found the recipe: Smitten Kitchen.

Hopefully over the weekend I will get a chance to break in my popover pan. If I do I will take pics and let you all know how they turned out.


My Lilac bush has exploded in this warm weather. How nice they look on the buffet in the dining room.

Goodwill Pays Off... Again

Much like Meredith and her mangle, I too have a "wish list" of things that I am looking for at Goodwill and other thrift shops. My list contains nothing so grand as a rotary iron, but I am pretty specific about the things I am looking for and not all that confident that I will find them

1. A Popover pan
2. Domed Cake Pedestal
3. Hemstitched linens (any persuasion)
4. Large, Good Quality, Leather Tote
5. Immersion blender

Well, my mom was poking around Goodwill the other day and found the popover pan, still in its original box... for $2.99

I guess I can cross that off the list!

Thanks mom!

So... What do you think?

I thought it was time to give this blog a little more personal feel. I was looking for a three column design and I am very in to pink & green right now.

I'm pleased. It needs some tweaking, but I think I'll keep it.

I know that I have been slacking in the blog-updating-department this week. I didn't realize it was that bad until I heard from both my mom and my husband "you haven't updated your blog!"

I'm working on it guys!

Anyway, I have a whole bunch of pics to post when I get home tonight.

And as far as Wellness Wednesday goes... I slacked on that to. I was not very good about either taking my vitamin or drinking 8 glasses of water. So I am sticking with that goal for this week. So far, I have done both of those for the last 3 days. It is a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Salad for Lunch

I usually don't eat salads... well, salads that I make anyway. if someone else makes a salad I will eat it... it doesn't make any sense I know.

Anyway, I have come up with a salad combination that I really like and I brought it for lunch today.

2-3 cups of greens (I use organic spring mix, it was on sale)
1 apple
1 handful of nuts (today its walnuts)
cubed cheddar cheese (2 oz. maybe)

Good Seasoning salad dressing made with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Combine all ingredients, dress with dressing, enjoy! :)