July – 2010 – Frugal Novice
Monthly Archives

July 2010

Menu Plan Monday July 12-17

Menu Plan Monday

We stayed around the house a lot this weekend and it was really nice! We had some good friends over for dinner, caught up on laundry (well, almost!) and got in a lot of time playing with LEGOs. We waited to try making gnocchi until Saturday, so that we could work on it together. It was SOOOO good! We’ll definitely have it again, although we might try a different sauce just for fun (we did end up making our version of the sauce suggested with the gnocchi recipe – side rant: we could not find prosciutto ANYWHERE so we had to settle for bacon. Frustrating!). It’s a fun team project, too – it’s messy, though, so be forewarned. J wanted to be “silly” and had me put some flour on his face. I wasn’t trying to be silly, but I had flour pretty much everywhere! It takes some prep time – you have to bake the potatoes first, which takes 45-60 minutes, and then you have to rice them. We don’t own a ricer, so we used a garlic press as a substitute. It took FOR.EV.ER. We will be buying a ricer before the next time we make this! Anyway, if you’re looking for a new recipe to try I’d highly recommend this. One note – we did a lot of testing to figure out exactly how long we needed to boil them. That helped us a lot. Plus, then we got to snack while we cooked.

On to the meal plan for the week – we’re actually traveling a bit this week (I’ll write about that next week) – but I’m still going to list out meal options for each day because, if you’re like me and are always looking for ideas, you’d probably appreciate a few extra options. Continue Reading…

Upcoming CSN Stores Review

I’ve written about CSN Stores before, when they let me host a giveaway for a $60 gift card to one of their 200 stores. It’s amazing to me the huge variety of items they offer, everything from a bedroom vanity to Rachael Ray cookware to toys like this adorable kids’ scooter! Continue Reading…

Brugo Mug Review & Giveaway

I recently got the opportunity to review a Brugo Travel Mug. Well, I say I reviewed it, but Brian got to review it too since he is the coffee drinker of the house.  We received one of the Executive Mugs in Seagrass (a light sage green color). I liked the look of the mug right away. The color has a translucent look to it, making it subtle and giving it a modern feel.

Continue Reading…

Friendly Friday – July 9

Hi, and welcome to Friendly Friday!

Remember, YOU can host the link list on your blog too! Just click “Get the code here…” at the bottom of the list. The code is different every week, so be sure to get the new code when hosting Friendly Friday on your blog. Hosting the list is a great way to get even more traffic to your blog and make Friendly Friday even more beneficial for everyone.

Thanks for joining the Friendly Friday celebration hosted by Christi at Frugal Novice, Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier and Charla at Healthy Home Blog! We invite you to join us every Friday to make more friends in blogville, get more blog followers and follow other great blogs out there. Continue Reading…

Menu Plan Monday July 5-10

Menu Plan Monday

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great 4th of July! The holiday has gotten me in the mood for grilling, so I’ve got a little of that on the menu for this week. I’m also planning to attempt a new recipe that I’ve wanted to try forever – I recently saw a Food Network show highlighting how easy it is to make this dish, so I am going to get brave enough to give it a try! What dish, you ask? Gnocchi. Have you ever tried making this before?

Monday Burgers! We are pretty basic when it comes to burgers. We usually put in some seasoned salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. This time we want to try some steak/burger seasoning we bought. We will have baked onion rings and some fruit with it. I bought a watermelon at the farmer’s market last week that is one of the best we have ever had! I am sold on buying fruit locally when we have the opportunity.

Tuesday Chick Fil A Night! I really think this will be a weekly staple for us until we get tired of it. I love that you can get fresh fruit as a side option to provide a little healthier aspect to the meal. It is a fun time for our family each week.

Wednesday More grilling! This time it will be chicken for fajitas – one of our favorites! We like to do sauteed onions and peppers, and have homemade guacamole. Yum!! Whenever we have fajitas I also like to get fresh tortillas. HEB makes them, or sometimes we buy them at Rosa’s (which is like a Taco Cabana, if you haven’t heard of it before).

Thursday Gnocchi! I am going to use the recipe I found on Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. I don’t plan to make her sauce, but I haven’t figured out what I want to do instead. Any ideas?

Friday Grilled chicken, sauteed squash/zucchini mix, and brown rice. This is a really simple meal, but we like it a lot. You could also serve the chicken on a bed of lettuce to make it into a mini-salad. We are hooked on using baby greens when we have salad now!

Saturday Creamed chicken pasta. This is a super-easy recipe, which is nice to have at the end of a week!

Ingredients
Cream of mushroom soup (I get the 98% fat free)
Large can of chicken
One onion
One cup of sour cream (we use reduced fat here, too, and can’t tell a difference at all!
Egg noodles

Directions
1. Cook the egg noodles according to package directions. In the meantime, sauté chopped onion in a large skillet until it is tender and translucent.
2. Add the drained chicken to the skillet, breaking up any large pieces. Add in the can of soup and cook until heated through, then do the same with the sour cream.
3. Voilà! You’re done. Just serve the sauce on top of the egg noodles, and if you want to make it a little prettier you could sprinkle some fresh parsley over the top.

Have a great week! Don’t forget to check out the giveaways I have going on – a stay at the Hotel Valencia, an EatSmart digital scale, and a V.Reader from VTech! I will be posting at least one more giveaway this week, too, so stay tuned for that. :) Take care, everyone!
Christi

Honest Tea Winners

Remember, there were THREE winners for this giveaway! As always, I used random.org to select the winners. Drumroll, please….. The winners of the Honest Tea giveaway are:

Congratulations, ladies!! I’ll be emailing you to get your mailing addresses.

Christi

Friendly Friday – July 2

Hi, and welcome to Friendly Friday!

Remember, YOU can host the link list on your blog too! Just click “Get the code here…” at the bottom of the list. The code is different every week, so be sure to get the new code when hosting Friendly Friday on your blog. Hosting the list is a great way to get even more traffic to your blog and make Friendly Friday even more beneficial for everyone.

Thanks for joining the Friendly Friday celebration hosted by Christi at Frugal Novice, Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier and Charla at Healthy Home Blog! We invite you to join us every Friday to make more friends in blogville, get more blog followers and follow other great blogs out there. Continue Reading…

Citrus Restaurant Review

I have to admit right off the bat that I am not that adventurous when it comes to food. I like to try new recipes, but I still manage to stay within my comfort zone. When Brian and I got the chance to dine at Citrus, I knew it was time to step out of the box and try some new things. We looked at the menu and I realized that wouldn’t be difficult to do – it was filled with a variety of options, most of which I do not eat on a regular basis.

We each had their four-course dinner, which is a LOT of food, but it provided us with the opportunity to try the widest array of their menu items. Our waiter, Michael, was attentive and described options for us so well that you’d think he had cooked them himself. He provided some suggestions for us that helped us make our choices, and was so on top of things that I don’t think my water glass ever got less than half full. Even the water was pretty, served from a glass bottle to reduce use of disposable bottles.

Here’s what we decided on for our four courses:

First Course

Me – Crab cake, toasted pumpkin seed, avocado, mesclan salad

Brian – Pioncillo dusted Texas quail, corn pudding, pepita-ancho mole

Second Course

Me – Braised artichoke-heirloom tomato risotto, local basil

Brian – Peppered chop of sika venison, Oak Hill Farms black eyed pea “Texas caviar”

Third Course

Me – Natural filet of beef with Merlot reduction sauce, bacon-sweet onion potato cake, white wine butter

Brian – Pan-seared Texas snapper, warm heirloom potato salad, baby orange tomato butter

Fourth Course

Me – Rich chocolate gateau, chocolate gelato

Brian – Cinnamon apple tarte tatin, panna cotta gelato

Are you full just reading the menu? We were also given an amuse bouche of a baked, breaded oyster with mushroom sauce. Needless to say, we weren’t hungry for quite a while afterward. I felt like we were on an episode of Top Chef, honestly! Continue Reading…