This and That

Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Dash and Mickey Mouse could not have been more excited for Treat or Treating.

They were going candy hunting with their cousins.

Nothing could be better than being with their cousins: Pirate, GI Joe, and Minney Mouse.

After all the pot luck food was eaten, it was time to go.

All the kids posed for one more picture and then we were off.

Dash remembered the concept from last year.

Mickey went to a few doors but he was having fun just watching everyone.

Then Dash and Mickey went back to their Uncle and Aunt’s house and had chocolate cake…

.. because what says Halloween more than chocolate cake 🙂

Hope you had a great Halloween!!


Isaac won OC Family’s Anaheim Duck’s Wild Wingers Kids Club membership from Jenelyn Russo.

(Great smile, huh?)

Besides getting this cool box filled with goodies like T-shirt, gloves, calender, dog tag necklace, puzzle, and fake mustache (the Duck’s Captain George Perros has a mustache); Isaac also gets to go to VIP events like watching a real Anaheim Duck’s practice.

This was so fun.  Watching an actual practice was so interesting and Isaac just loved it. He immediately asked if he could play hockey too (which I know makes Canadian hubby jump for joy)!

Besides the box and this event Isaac won a free ticket to see a home game, food at the game, and he gets to go to other Wild Wingers Kid Club VIP events. What an amazing giveaway!

But the good news for you parents with little ones is that the membership is only $25. That’s it! So go buy it and then we could all go to the VIP events together!

Check it out

To see the great article by Jenelyn and see the cute picture of my son go here to the OC Register:

As I have mentioned many times, hubby and I LOVE food and as such food is usually the number one culprit when we go over budget. But I have learned that meal planning is a great effective way to stay on budget. Over the weekend I plan out what dinner meals I am going to make each day of the next week. Then when I go to the store all I buy is the ingredients for those meals. It also takes the stress out of deciding what to make for dinner at five o’clock every evening.

Before meal planning I would go to the store and basically buy everything just in case I was inspired to make this or that or something brand new during the week. Our pantry and refrigerator would overflow with food… food we didn’t eat or need…until it was too late and then the food spoiled.

Now, I know that meal planning may sound boring and if you don’t ever change your weekly meals then yes it will be boring. But as long as you have enough different meals in your recipe book to rotate each week it won’t get dull. Also every couple of weeks I try a new recipe and add it into the rotation.

Meal planning really helps keep your budget on track and under control. It also has helped hubby and I put food in the proper priority in life. We eat to live, we don’t live to eat

Some additional tips:

  • Only make one complicated recipe a week (complicated meaning uses a lot of ingredients). Making too many complicated recipes in one week can put you over budget.
  • Only make one expensive meal a week or every other week. You can’t cook filet mignon every night and stay on budget.
  • Don’t forget to assign one night a week as left over night. Besides getting rid of extra food this too will keep your food budget down.
  • I normally don’t get creative or complicated with breakfast or lunch. Because who doesn’t love a big bowl of cereal in the morning? No need to fix something that’s not broken!
  • I always buy generic brands. They are usually just as good as name brand items just cheaper.
  • Utilize frozen vegetables and fruit. Sure fresh is best but fresh can be expensive…very expensive. Frozen still gives everyone the nutrition they need and a thawed strawberry still tastes like a yummy fresh strawberry but at sometimes half the price.
  • You may have to go to more than one store. My main grocery store has super expensive fruits and vegetables. I shopped around and found a different store that has better prices. So I go to two grocery stores every weekend. Now, I do not advocate going to four or five stores because who wants to do that and who has that kind of time. But you may have to go to two to keep your budget on track and find the good deals.

Can’t wait to hear how this helps your budget. Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Credit for teaching me meal planning goes to my mom. Dave Ramsey also promotes the power of meal planning and has tips on his website

There are many dance crazes in the world that promise you can exercise, loss of weight, and a great time. But none compare to the Booty Dance (patent pending).

The Booty Dance is great for kids and adults of all ages, any body type, and fitness level. The Booty Dance helps promote good self esteem about your derriere, which leads to good self esteem about your whole body.

Watch the video below to see how easy and fun The Booty Dance. Even a three year old and one year old can do it!

Fitness and weight loss results may vary but entertainment value is  guaranteed 100% of the time!

Have you ever wondered how to make pickles?

Of course you have. I mean who hasn’t.

Making pickles is surprisingly easy and the end result is yum yum yummy!

Now, before I tell you how to make pickles I first want to make sure you know what a pickle really is. A pickle really is a cucumber. A cucumber! Did you know that? I didn’t. And I have it on good authority that other people were as amazed as I was. Or my friends are lying to me to make me feel better…which is entirely possible. But I am going to assume they aren’t lying and we were all in the dark about this pickle conspiracy.

Knowing this has made all kinds of pickle-cucumber jokes suddenly make sense. And yes I hear a lot of pickle-cucumber jokes. Ever heard of the video series called “Veggie Tales”? Jam packed with pickle-cucumber jokes that I always used to just smile and nod at but not anymore!! Haha! So funny!

Anyways….back to making pickles. I will be showing you how to make

Garlic and Dill Pickles.

You will need:

2-4 cucumbers (about 2-4 depending on how many pickles you want and depending on the size of the cucumbers)

1 gallon jar/pot (I used the pot from my crock pot)

2 1/2 quarts of water (about 10 cups)

1/4 cup of salt

1/4 cup white vinegar

2-4 tbsp of dill (depending on how strong a taste you want)

4-5 crushed and chopped garlic cloves ( I love garlic but if you don’t use less)

First -Boil water then add salt and vinegar. Stir until the salt dissolves.

Let cool. This is called brine.

Second -Wash, scrub, and chop up cucumbers into spears

Third – Alternate layering the cucumbers, dill, and garlic into your pot.

Leave 1-2 inches of empty space at the top.

Fourth – Pour in the brine.

Cucumbers need to be submerged so add a glass on top to push them down. (Please note I am giving props my hubby’s fraternity Delta Chi on my cup. Go Delta Chi!!)

Fifth -Cover pot with lid and drape a cloth or towel over it.

Sixth -Let it sit for 2-5 days (depending on how strong a flavor you want)

Seventh -Transfer the pickles into small containers with the brine and put in your refrigerator to be eaten at your leisure.

How easy is this??  So easy. Can’t wait to hear how your pickles turned out!!!

Hope you enjoy! I know we will!