Friday, November 11, 2011

Busy Be.

So true to my busy life, I wasn't able to get to the next recipe. I bought all those ingredients but yet I have been spending more time with the folks. I guess I just want to treasure the time that they are still here. So Mama Mila has been fattening us up with homemade soup, rice, and chicken adobo. I do however still have that leftover pork from the "Brown Sugar Pork Roast Slow Cooker Style" recipe. Today since my family especially my son LOVES meat, I have put the Pork back into the crackpot, letting it heat up in its own juices then added about 2 tbsp of Brown Sugar and 2 cups of BBQ. This will be good tomorrow afternoon for some Pulled Pork Sandwiches!

I also had some catfish nuggets I defrosted. I don't want to leave them too long in the fridge so I seasoned them with Vegeta, Pepper, & Dill. Laid out the catfish nuggets on a waxed covered sheet and baked in the oven for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Saving this for some fish tacos tomorrow!

I am also going to attempt to making some Butternut Squash soup tonight!

Yes, I am cleaning out the fridge. I absolutely HATE wasted food. I know where my dad came from and I know how I grew up. Food is the one thing you shouldn't waste if you have enough to buy what you want! It just doesn't make sense. Especially with all the people I see begging on the streets! I did donate some money to St. Jude's when I was shopping with my mom at New York & Company. Anything to help save a kid's life.

Well let me get off my soapbox and continuing cleaning my kitchen and making more food!

"Just keep swimming..." Finding Nemo.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Brown Sugar Pork Roast Slow Cooker Style

The Crock Pot is one of the best inventions for your culinary needs. Especially for moms that have no time. If you do prepare ingredients ahead of time, you'll be able to cook yourself or your family hearty and healthy meals. The Pork Shoulder Roast is on sale this week until Wednesday at ShopNSave market.

Cook Time: approx. 9 hours


1 boneless Pork Shoulder Roast, 4 to 6 pounds
1 clove Garlic, halved or Garlic Powder if you don't have garlic cloves
1 tablespoons Salt
2 tablespoons Pepper
1 1/3 cups Brown Sugar, divided
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
6 cups Orange Juice
2 cups Water
1 cup of your favorite wine, I used some Angioletta Moscato


Wash your Pork Shoulder Roast. Place in Crock Pot. Pour Orange Juice, Water and Wine over the Pork Shoulder Roast. Cover and cook for about 4 Hours on Low or 2 Hours on High. Drain all but about 2 cups of the liquid. Rub with Garlic halves or Garlic Powder. Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper. Prick the Roast all over with a fork or skewer. In a cup or bowl, combine 1 cup of the Brown Sugar, the Dijon Mustard, and Balsamic Vinegar. Rub all over the roast. Cover and cook on LOW for about 5 Hours on Low or 2 1/2 Hours on High. Pour off the excess juices. Combine the remaining 1/3 cup Brown Sugar with Cinnamon; Spread the mixture over the top of the roast. Cover and continue cooking on LOW for 1 hour longer.

Serve with Mashed Potatoes or Rice and a Side of your favorite Veggies!

Serves 6 to 8.

Modified from

Monday, November 7 Week's Grocery List

This week's grocery list:

Pork Shoulder Roast $.99/lb - 3lbs (ShopNSave)
Angioletta Moscato $5.99 (ShopNSave)
Strawberries 1 lb $.99 - 3 (ShopNSave)
Green Cabbage $.19/lb - 2lbs (ShopNSave)
Cauliflower $.59/lb - 2lbs (ShopNSave)
Butternut Squash $.39/lb - 2lbs (ShopNSave)
Uncle Ben's Rice 25 lbs $19.99 (ShopNSave)
Buttermilk $.99 (ShopNSave)
Catfish Nuggets $2.99 (Aldi)
Pasta $.99 - 2 (Aldi)
Sweet Mini Peppers $1.99 (Aldi)
Potatoes 5 lbs $1.99 (Aldi)
Orange Juice $.99 (Aldi)
Garlic Powder $1.09 (Aldi)
Salt $!.09 (Aldi)
Pepper $1.09 (Aldi)
Dijon Mustard $.99 (Aldi)
Balsamic Vinegar $1.99 (Aldi)
Cinnamon $1.09 (Aldi)
Chicken Leg Roast $.59/lb - 3lbs (Cermak Produce)
Ground Pork $1.69/lb - 3lbs (Cermak Produce)
Tomatoes $.49/lb - 2lbs (Cermak Produce)
Avocados $.49 each - 6 (Cermak Produce)
Squash $.49/lb - 2lbs (Cermak Produce)
Bosc Pears $.49/lb - 2lbs (Cermak Produce)
Yellow Onions 3 lbs $.69 (Cermak Produce)
Beef Chuck Roast $2.78/lbs - 2lbs (Food4Less)

Approximately $75.00

Remember most of these products like the spices and juices, you probably already have in your kitchen. If you can't afford the fresh vegetables I would go for the frozen vegetables that are on sale. They have less sodium than the canned veggies. Buy the meat that you like and can afford. Usually you can find chicken on sale at any grocery store. I just buy the meat that is on sale for the week. My budget is $80 usually for groceries. I want to see if I can lower my budget each week by using leftovers and added ingredients to make a new meal and to only buy what is needed each week.

Tonight's Dinner: Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Pork Roast

Tomorrow's Dinner: Slow Cooker Beef Roast Casserole

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Saving Money on Groceries: Aldi.

When I was a teenager, I was trying to figure out where was the cheapest place to shop for groceries. Yes, you usually depend on your parents to buy your food and whatever you wish, but even at a young age I understood that my parents were living on my dad's income.... paycheck to paycheck. When I worked at 7-11 on 55th and Kostner, I had regular customers. They would always hang out at the store. One of the guys, talked ALOT. We got on the subject of food and I mentioned this place I just found out about, Aldi. He ranted and raved about how he would never shop there, the food was cheap because it was bad quality, and how he would rather spend more money at Jewel for "quality" food. I didn't see eye to eye with him because my parents were very hard-working but could only afford so much for food. So when they discovered Aldi it definitely kept more money in their wallets. I didn't see anything wrong with most of the food since my mom works miracles with anything in her kitchen.

Fast forward 13 years later and its the "2nd Great Depression." More and more people are spending much less, on the link card, shopping at dollar stores, going to thrift stores, or just saying I can go without instead of spending more money they cannot afford. We also have this super-couponing "craze" where some people spend hours clipping coupons or printing ones online. Then they spend more hours shopping around to make sure they get all they deals and sometimes making multiple trips to different CVS, Walgreens, or Target in their area.

I depend on 3 things: My local sales papers that come in the mail every Wednesday; maximizing sales by looking online if I can combine with any printable coupons; and ALDI. Even Aldi has their sales paper come every Wednesday! Plus if you have an Android, iPhone, or iPad you can download the Aldi app. This app is helpful especially if you have a young puppy that loves to chew on paper! The Aldi app tells you the sales for the current week and the following week. It also will help you shop by giving you an approximate total on the current products in your virtual shopping cart.

I made up my list for Aldi and went shopping on Wednesday November 2nd. STICKING to your list will help you save money. They call it an "impulse buy" for a reason! Here is what I walked away with for UNDER $15:

White Bread .89
2% Milk 1 gal 1.99
Protein Cereal Bar 1.69
Smoked Ham 3.29
2L Cola .59
Sandwich Sliced Pickles 1.29
BBQ Potato Chips 11oz 1.39
Baby Carrots 1.29
Lynder Sliced Cheese .99


Wonder Bread Classic White 2.99 buy one get one free
2% 1 gal Milk 3.49
Kellogg's Meal Bars 4.99
Oscar Mayer Ham Lunch Meat 4.99
Coca-Cola .99
Pickles 2.09
Lays Potato Chips 4.29 buy one get one free
Baby Carrots 2.99
Kraft Singles 3.49

$25.32 (not including tax)

Comparing the two stores, you save $12!! That is $12 extra dollars in my gas tank! Just because its a name brand food doesn't mean its better. Yes there are some things I won't go generic on like Sun-Chips. The Aldi version just doesn't compare. But since I am eating healthier anyway, I shouldn't worry. Talking about 5-10 minutes just to make out a list, checking out what is ALREADY in your fridge or pantry will save you time at the store and also in your wallet!