Archives for September 2010

the Penny Pinching Pastry Princess

In my original blog I admitted my addiction to trying new recipes along with finding ways to live frugally. I have stumbled upon a recipe that I just have to share. Hopefully you will all like it as much as we do. I found this on www.onceamonthmom.com which is a blog that includes monthly recipes, grocery lists, and step-by-step instructions for assembling an entire month of meals in one day. All the recipes included for the month are freezer friendly. I really like the concept and plan to incorporate it with my own recipes in the near future. Using this method allows me to buy in bulk, which is definitely cheaper than multiple purchases. It also frees up more time for me to experiment with new recipes. Once the stand-up freezer in my garage is up and running, I’ll blog in more detail about the process.

Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti

  • 1 lb. spaghetti, fully cooked and drained
  • 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 c. chicken stock
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 c. hot sauce (more or less, depending on desired intensity. 1/4 c. will be mild to medium in flavor.)
  • 1 c. Ranch or Bleu cheese dressing

1. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste. Place in a skillet with chicken stock, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked. Remove chicken and reserve 1/2 c. cooking liquid.

2. In a saucepan, combine the cream cheese, hot sauce and reserved cooking liquid. Cook over medium-low heat until the cream cheese is completely melted. While the sauce is cooking, shred or cube the cooked chicken.

3. Add the dressing and chicken to the saucepan, stir to combine, and then toss with the cooked spaghetti.

I tasted this right after I made it and noticed that the heat increased a little after it had been sitting in the refrigerator for a few hours. So if you are making this ahead of time, you might want to keep that in mind.

the Penny Pinching Pastry Princess

Coupons! Did you notice the abundance of coupon circulars in Sunday’s Savannah Morning Newspaper? It must have sounded like Santa had made a surprise appearance in my kitchen as I discovered the treasure chest that had somehow slid its way into this week’s newspaper.
So far this month I have spent $420.48 and saved $70.00 which means I’ve saved 16% just by using coupons combined with sale items. I have to admit the numbers are a little skewed since I spent $112.52 at Sam’s Club and they don’t accept coupons. Since I don’t have any more trips to Sam’s Club scheduled this month, my percentage of savings should increase by the end of the month. In fact, if I re-work the math to show my savings at stores that accept coupons, I’m up to 23% savings.

By the way, in case you’re unaware, Walgreen’s uses an outside company to administer their register rewards program. If you use a coupon with an item that is advertised as a register reward, the register reward does not apply. For example, this week’s ad promoted toothpaste for $2.99 plus a $2.00 register reward. But when I tried to use a coupon, the register reward became invalid.

City Council Heats Up over City Center

City Center vs Richmond Hill Restaurants

Everything was very calm and quiet at City Hall on Tuesday until the management group that runs the City Center proposed having a $18 Sunday Brunch and Friday night tapas & drinks for $9 plus cash bar.

City Center Proposal

Richmond Hill  restaurants parried with the reason the City Center was built, to bring out of town people to Richmond Hill to spend money in our hotels, restaurants, and shops.

Restaurant Owners Parry

General questions that need to be answered:

How does a Sunday Brunch appeal to Savannah’s populus?

Or does the $18 brunch target after church crowd from Richmond Hill?

Why did the tax payers build the City Center?

Is the City Center management group focusing on bringing out of county business to Richmond Hill businesses?

Is there a public list of the vendors used to plan, decorate, and facilitate functions? are Richmond Hill businesses given priority?

As a recent new comer to Richmond Hill, I’m perplexed by the building, the concept, and the City Center’s management style that was demonstrated tonight. When you have direct conflict with multiple businesses that make up the tax base that fund the very building that is occupied by the management company, something has to change.

When you drive by City Hall on Tuesday Night and the parking lot is full, you know there’s going to be fireworks tonight.

Hope to see ya next time, Dr. Trace

the Penny Pinching Pastry Princess

Hi. My name is Nikki Palmer and I am an addict. My vices are baking and learning to be frugal. Now please don’t get me wrong … I’m no cake decorator and my dishes rarely turn out picture worthy, but I’m hopelessly addicted to trying new recipes. I mean, hey, just because I love that meatloaf recipe in my box doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try the next one I find because it might be better! My recipe box has more than tripled in size simply because I tried a new recipe and my guinea pigs loved it.

Becoming a coupon clipper has allowed me to test new recipes more often. I can’t wait for Sunday afternoon when I log onto Coupon Mom to print the deals I want to take advantage of. Next I grab scissors, paperclips and every coupon circular I have hoarded over the last few months, and commandeer the kitchen table for a twenty minute immersion into couponing. Here I combine coupons with my selected deals. This system provides for a wide variety of meals so dinner is never boring at our house! Seeing what items I am purchasing this week and taking inventory of what I already have in the pantry helps me create my menu.

Next I look for coupons that will expire this week because it really irks me to pay full price for something when I could have saved at least 55 cents or more! (Remember, Kroger always doubles coupons up to 50 cents.) Then it’s off to the grocery stores. I zoom up and down the aisles grabbing every deal I’ve got a coupon for and checking items off my grocery list. When I get the groceries loaded in the van and can finally look at my amount of savings versus the actual total, well let’s just say I get some pretty strange looks when people hear all the whoopin’ and hollerin’!

Between office hours, helping three children with their homework, and getting everyone to bed at a decent hour, I don’t have much time to cook dinner each weeknight, so Sunday evenings are spent pre-cooking anything possible for the week. While we don’t exactly slip into dreamland with visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads, it is a great way to head into Monday. I hope you’ll join me in my quest to become more frugal and please feel free to pass along any tips you may have.

Richmond Hill Fishing Tournament for Kids

Bass Masters of Bryan County

Richmond Hill Fishing Tournament for Kids – Bass Masters of Bryan County

Hats off to the Bass Masters of Bryan County and their fishing tournament for our kids at J.F. Gregory Park. Anglers of all ages from 1 to 15 took out their rods and reels to land some fish. Bass Masters had prestocked the pond with some fish and even a few “red tagged” fish worth prize money for the 131 kids that participated in the tournament.

My girly girl and her mom

When I told my 7 yr old daughter that a red tag fish was worth 30 weeks of allowance, baiting her hook with chicken livers was no problem for my girly girl. Of course she had to wash and sanitize her hands afterwards, but she was out to land a “Moby Dick” fish with a red tag.

Most fish that were caught were on the smaller size, but a few crafty souls landed some biggies. Here is the Diesman Family and their monster.

Diesman Family and the Catch

Occasionally someone landed a turtle or two and which were caught and released. One of the kids hooked a 20 inch wide sea monster or better known as a Florida Softshell (Apalone ferox) . This female turtle (males don’t get this big) took more than 10 minutes to get close enough to net so she could be unhooked and released.

Florida Softshell – Female

Amongst the 131 kids that participated, both boys and girls earned trophies for their finesse of a cricket on a hook or odoriferous chicken livers on the bottom of the pond. Prizes for the largest fish and the top 3 weight totals were given to each group.

4-7 Age Group Winner

8-11 Age Group Winners

 

The Bass Masters of Bryan County topped off the day by giving each of the 131 kids a new fishing pole, a Zebco 202 or Zebco 33. The kids were giddy over their new treasures and just to see the smiles on their faces was priceless.

Prizes for Everyone

Hope to see you all there next year,

Trace Palmer