Out ‘Shoppin’! (or – subtitle: I LOVE A GOOD BARGAIN!)

Today found me out & about – first trip was to the Salvation Army looking for a chest of drawers for middle son. Didn’t find one BUT found two very nice long ‘church’ skirts ( 99 cents each!), some yarn (of course) and three very lovely hand knit baby blankets (each around $3.99). I have learned to search for these (if they’re a good price and in almost new condition) – they get added to the many blankets & items we donate to the Detroit Veteran’s Baby Shower in September. For $3.99 I couldn’t MAKE one so these were a really good find. Next was WalMart (no, I don’t shop there often but when I do…look out!). Best deal? a VERY large black forest ham/Swiss cheese/lettuce sub sandwich for $3.29! Why so low a price? It was made yesterday – normal price: $4.99! It was large enough for me to have a quarter of it and husband had the rest – VERY big lunch and very reasonable, too!

Tomorrow night is my special needs group’s last Gym Night until Fall – we’re doing Bingo. Our kids love this as we have small prizes for winning (and, of course, enough for everyone to win at least one thing). Some of the other leaders have already found some nice small items so it was my turn. Let me tell ya – trying to find something small & reasonably price for a GUY is not easy! I ended up buying four key chains that have foam ‘floats’ on them (in case you drop them in the water when boating or swimming) – weird, I know – but I was desperate! Bought 2 big boxes of the ‘theater candy’ (99 cents each) – I kind of gave up. I’m pretty sure there will also be individual bags of chips as prizes, so we’ll be ‘good’.

=============

Chocolate Caramel Poke Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1 1/3 C. milk
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted
2 C. chocolate chips
1 C. caramel sauce
1/2 C. (from a can of vanilla
prepared frosting)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In bowl beat dry
cake mix, milk, eggs & melted
butter until fully combined & smooth;
pour batter into prepared dish.
Sprinkle top of batter with chocolate
chips & press them down slightly.
Bake 30-35 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into cake comes out clean.
Let cake cool 30 minutes.
Spray  long fork tines with nonstick
spray: using fork, poke holes all over
top of cake. Pour caramel sauce on
top. Let cake stand 1 hour to allow
caramel to soak into cake. Microwave
prepared frosting about 15-30 seconds
until it is thinned out & easy to drizzle.
Drizzle frosting on top of cake before
serving. Serves 12-15
Store leftovers, covered, in refrigerator

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)
———————————-

Bacon/Cheeseburger Casserole

1 uncooked pie crust
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
5 slices bacon, chopped
1/3 C. panko bread crumbs
1 tsp. yellow mustard
3 T. BBQ sauce
1 T. ketchup
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 egg
1/4 C. milk

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Brown ground beef, onion & bacon
until no pink remains; drain well.
Remove from heat & stir in bread
crumbs, mustard, BBQ sauce, ketchup,
Worc. sauce & pepper – place mixture
into pie crust. In small bowl combine
cheese, milk & egg – spread over
meat mixture. Cover edges of pie
crust with foil (or a pie shield) to
prevent over browning of crust edges.
Bake 15 minutes, remove foil & bake
an additional 15 minutes.

NOTE: you can also add diced pickles
to the dish, omit them or serve them
on the side.

(recipe: tasteerecipe.com)
———————————

Greek Pasta Salad

1 (12 – 16 oz) box curly pasta
(radiatore or ruffles)
1 (10 oz) bag fresh spinach,
rinsed/drained/coarsely chopped
1/2 lb. (8 oz) feta cheese, crumbled
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 C. pitted Kalamata olives, drained
1 C. bottled Greek salad dressing
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain, rinse & drain again. In large bowl
combine remaining ingredients; add
pasta & toss gently until evenly coated.
Serve or refrigerate until ready to
serve. Serves 8

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————
Hawaiian Party Salad

8 oz. elbow macaroni, cooked/
rinsed in cold water
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks,
drained (reserve 1/4 C. juice)
2 C. cooked/cubed ham
1/2 C. shredded carrot
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. sour cream
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

In large bowl combine cooked
macaroni, pineapple chunks, ham,
carrots & onions. In small bowl
whisk reserved juice, mayonnaise,
sour cream, vinegar, sugar & salt –
pour over pasta mixture & mix
until evenly coated. Serve or chill
until ready to serve. Serves 6

(recipe: mrfood.com)
————————————

Crockpot Green Beans

4 (14.5 oz, ea) cans green beans,
rinsed/drained
8 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked/
crumbled (reserve 2 T. drippings)
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 C. ketchup
1/3 C. brown sugar, packed
1/3 C. BBQ sauce
1/4 C. honey
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste

In large bowl combine ketchup, brown
sugar, BBQ sauce, honey. Wors. sauce &
cayenne until combined – season with
salt/pepper. Heat 2 T. reserved
bacon drippings in large pan or skillet
over medium-high heat. Saute onions
until softened & translucent – season
with salt/pepper & red pepper flakes –
remove from heat. Spray crockpot
insides with nonstick spray; place green beans
& onions (including remaining bacon
grease) in crockpot. Pour BBQ/ketchup
mixture over beans. Mix together then
top with crumbled bacon. Cover & cook
on High 2-3 hours or Low 4-5 hours.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)
———————

Sweet Honey-Mustard Chicken
(crockpot & freezer meal)

4 chicken breasts (or 10-12 thighs)
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 C. honey
1/4 C. (4 T.) butter
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
salt/pepper, to taste

Crockpot:
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place all ingredients in crockpot.
Cover & cook on High 3-4 hours or
5-6 on Low. Remove rosemary sprigs
(discard) & shred chicken. Place chicken
back in crockpot – stir.
Serve over buttered rice, mashed
potatoes or noodles.

Freezer Meal:
Combine all ingredients & place in
freezer ziplock bag; label & freeze flat.
The day before you plan to cook, place
in fridge to thaw overnight. Next day
follow above directions for crockpot
cooking.

(recipe: auntbeesrecipes.com)
————————————–

Simple Caesar Salad for a Crowd

2 bags romaine lettuce
2 bunches green onions, sliced
1 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 bottle (good quality) Caesar
salad dressing
(toasted croutons, if desired)

Place both bags lettuce in large
salad bowl. Scatter sliced green
onions on top & sprinkle Parm.
cheese on top – toss well.
Drizzle salad dressing, a little
at a time, over mixture & toss
well as you add dressing.
Sprinkle a little more Parm.
cheese on top (& add croutons,
if using).

(recipe: lifeinmyemptynest.blogspot)
—————————-

Triple Chocolate Punch Bowl Cake


Cake:
1 1/2 C. hot brewed coffee
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
(finely chopped – or use chips)
3 large eggs
3/4 C. vegetable oil
1 1/2 C. buttermilk*
3/4 tsp. vanilla
3 c. granulated sugar
2 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 C. cocoa powder (regular,
not Dutch)
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt

Pudding:
2 (3.4 oz, ea) boxes instant
chocolate pudding mix
3 C. milk
1 C. cream

Whipped Cream topping:
2 C. heavy whipping cream
6-8 T. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
(fresh berries – optional)

CAKE:
Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Place chocolate in heat-proof bowl;
pour hot coffee over chocolate & let
stand, stirring occasionally, until
chocolate is melted. Beat eggs (using
elec. mixer) until thick & lemon-colored.
Slowly add oil to eggs, then slowly add
buttermilk – then vanilla. Add chocolate
mixture slowly & beat until well combined.
In another bowl, sift sugar, flour, cocoa, soda,
powder & salt – add gradually to liquids &
beat on medium speed just until combined.
Spray 8 or 9″ baking pans with nonstick spray.
Pour batter into pans & bake 40-60 minutes
(until center is set – do not overbake).

PUDDING:
Place pudding mix, milk & cream in large bowl
& whisk until mix is totally dissolved, 2-3
minutes. Chill until ready to assemble cake.

WHIPPED CREAM:
Place all ingredients in stand mixer with
attachment & beat until firm peaks form.
(NOTE: the amount of powdered sugar just
depends on personal preference)
——————-
TO ASSEMBLE:
Break up baked cake into bite-sized pieces.
Place about 1/3 of cake in bottom of large
punch bowl or trifle bowl. Add 1/3 of pudding
(in even layer) then 1/3 of whipped cream (evenly).
Repeat these steps 2 times, ending with whipped
cream. Top with fresh berries, if desired.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 16

*If you don’t have buttermilk:
Pour 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar into
a 2-Cup measuring cup. Pour in enough
milk to read 1 1/2 Cups. Stir then let
set 5 minutes – now you have 1 1/2 C.
buttermilk!

(recipe: neighborfoodblog.com)

======================

My ‘car saga’ yesterday worked out, finally –
they were able to finish all the work by 4:45 p.m.;
by then my husband was home & could drive me
back to the dealership. I was able to leave there &
make it to my special needs group a little early.

Thanks for your suggestions/ideas on
how to fix my car! You know me & my
ability to ‘pick up people’? While sitting
in the dealership waiting room a lady
came over & asked what I was knitting
so I explained about the charity baby
blankets. She mentioned she belongs
to a group in a nearby city that provides
clothing for needy families; the one thing
they don’t seem to be able to get is:
BABY HATS … you guessed it, she asked
for my business card and was interested
in whether I would be able to knit some
for their group. (You know me & a good
cause – guess I’ll be switching ‘gears’ for
awhile & knitting baby hats for them.
I think I’m not the only one knitting baby
hats for our local hospital so they can
be put on hold for awhile. Hey – IF I can
fill a need for a good cause – I’m there.

I’m truly grateful for air conditioning as the weather
has turned really hot (in the high 80’s/90’s).

Gas prices are now down to $2.26/9 – dropped
another 3 cents – YAY!

I’m sitting here enjoying my ‘off day’ from
babysitting & other appointments; feels
nice to know that I don’t have to GO anywhere
later on. Dinner is Enchiladas – easy & lasts
more than one meal – YAY!

Have a GREAT Day!

Hugs;

Pammie

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Sounds like you found some good deals. I need to start making the rounds of the thrift shops. I’ve lost enough weight that my clothes are getting pretty baggy, but I don’t want to spend a lot of money on new clothes yet. Hope I do as good as you did.


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