Mama Duck
Once again I went over my estimated budget. This was my estimate from the other day with the actual #'s in bold

shopping list: estimated at approx $50 - actually spent: $85.49
frozen veal patties $2.19 $0.00 - didn't have
rolls for meatball parm hero's $2.00 $2.00
small sour cream $.99 $1.19

the meats weren't on sale as expected, I was a day early. Changed some choices based on not wanting to shop twice.
chicken (bnls breasts $1.99/lb) $7.00 Bone-in $1.49lb - $7.73 and $6.23 - 2 pkgs
Ground beef (1.99lb) $6.00 - didn't get
london broil (1.99lb) $4.00 - didn't get
meatloaf seasoning packet - hey not everything is from scratch, lol $2.00 $2.29
butter $2.00 $2.50
half gallon milk $2.00 $2.04
bread $2.00 had to get a couple of varieties - total $6.58
soda $5.00 $4.32
mozz cheese? $2.00 $2.50
peanut butter - health food store $3.50 - had more then i thought - not getting this week
sliced cheese - swiss? $5.00? $5.06
bologna? $4.00 $3.02
bake trays - Gladware microwave safe $2.74 - .90 more at this store - didn't get
foil broiler tray - $2.00 - didn't get
cereal for JP $1.50 $3.19 - got a larger size
lettuce - didn't get
cucumbers - didn't get
tomatoes -$1.76
fresh fruit $ 4.72 - bananas, peaches, mango, orange
choc sauce - sugar free $1.66

actual cost: $56.79

items not on original list:
veggies $4.89 onions, corn, carrots
laughing cow baby cheddar cheese wheels $2.49 - don't go shopping hungry
soy sauce $1.99 - on sale
sink strainer $3.29
magazine $1.99 - article on saving money at the grocery store
bisquick pancake mix - $1.99
Pasta sauce for meatball parm $2.09
Dawn direct foam $3.99 - this better last longer then the less expensive ones
nice and clean wipes $3.49
chinese 5 spice mix -$2.49 - I keep seeing this for recipes and found it. Picked up before I forgot where I saw it

additional cost: $28.70

not bad, but over what my goal is again. This is partly due to me not having a complete list every time I go shopping. I'm going to keep working on this and also set a buffer budget for things that aren't on the list like the sink drain thing or the chinese 5 spice.
Mama Duck

I love ham and this just looks and sounds amazing. I have to grab the magazine from work, there's an entire menu with this that sounds devine. I'll post the works when I can.

Honeycomb spiral ham


1 (8- to 10-pound) bone-in, fully cooked, spiral-cut smoked ham half
1 (11-ounce) honeycomb square
1 tablespoon orange zest (from 1 orange)
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper
Rolls or mini croissants


Unwrap ham and place in a roasting pan. Gently separate the slices.

Drizzle 3 tablespoons honey from honeycomb or honey jar over the ham. Bake ham, uncovered, at 325° for 25 minutes.

Remove ham from oven, and transfer to a serving platter. Slice honeycomb into 1/4-inch-thick slices with a sharp knife dipped in hot water. Place slices of honeycomb between slices of ham. Sprinkle with orange zest, cranberries, rosemary, and pepper. Serve with rolls or mini croissants.


Makes 10 to 12 servings

Coastal Living, SEPTEMBER 2008

while looking for one of them I found this. Dark choc is my fav and pot de creme is so decadent... another must try

Dark Chocolate Graveyard (halloween theme) Pot de Creme
Mama Duck
Sunday - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, string beans, sliced cucumbers
Monday - Broiled honey chicken breasts
Tuesday - Malaysian fried chicken - spring rolls? still haven't made them but have the wrappers
Wednesday - Beef stroganoff over buttered noodles
Thursday - Meatball Parm or spaghetti and mb's
Friday - veal parm
Saturday - chicken and peach tossed salad with ginger dressing

shopping list: estimated at approx $50
frozen veal patties $2.19
rolls for meatball parm hero's $2.00
small sour cream $.99
chicken (bnls breasts $1.99/lb) $7.00
Ground beef (1.99lb) $6.00
london broil (1.99lb) $4.00
meatloaf seasoning packet - hey not everything is from scratch, lol $2.00
butter $2.00
milk $2.00
bread $2.00
soda $5.00
mozz cheese? $2.50?
peanut butter - health food store $3.50
sliced cheese - swiss? $5.00?
bologna? $4.00
bake trays - Gladware microwave safe $2.74
foil broiler tray - $2.00
cereal for JP $1.50
rye bread
fresh fruit
choc sauce - sugar free
Mama Duck
Homemade Oreo Cookies

Cookie Wafers:
1 (18.25 oz) box Dark Fudge Cake Mix (Do not follow directions on box!)
1/3 Cup Water
2 tablespoons Shortening (no substitutions)

Creme Filling:
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup shortening (no substitutions)
3 tablespoons HOT water

Preheat oven to 325*F. Blend all ingredients for wafers, then knead with you hands until pliable like dough. Form 3/4 inch balls and press flat (the bottom of a glass works great for this.) space 1/2 inch apart on cookie sheet. Bake 4-6 minutes or until cookies are crunchy. (I do 7, but that's just my oven).
Now, combine the filling ingredients and mix well. Form into balls about 1/2-3/4 inch. Sandwich between two cookies and press until filling is almost to the outer edge of cookies.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies (I got away with 3 dozen though..depends on how thick you want them.) or 4 dozen wafers.
Mama Duck
I can't believe how much we spend on food. There has to be a better way and I am determined to cut our grocery bill to $50-$75 weekly. .....somehow. I kept my receipts from this weekend beacuse there was no reason to spend that much! I only needed a few things to finish out the weeks already planned meals and STILL spent $80.00!

Hannafords Grocery Store $87.38

$22.13 was for ingredients for raw Food recipes for my presentation on Monday night .

$6.25 for a coworkers bday cake

Grocery total of $60.50. Acording to my estimates this should have been no more than $25. Which puts me about $35.00 over budget.

What was needed:
Milk $1.90
eggs $1.42
bread $1.39
cheese for 2 different dinners - $10.00
chkn nuggets $4.99
bologna and cheese $9.23
elbow mac $.75
sour cream $.89
4oz can green chiles $1.39
cream cheese $1.19


conditioner $1.76
veal patties for Joe $2.19 - has some thought he was low
cukes $1.78
soda $1.34 - joe's big weakness, i can live on filtered tap water mostly
disposable casserole dishes - $2.74 - makes freezer meals so easy
potato salad $2.07 - don't go shopping hungy
smoked ham $4.27 - don''t go shopping hungry
stage 3 veggie mix $1.29 - trying to get JP to eat veggies again
gerber turkey sticks $1.19 - snack idea - JP says never again, lol
buttermilk pancakes $1.69 - me being lazy and not making the mix I have at home
box mac and cheese $1.00 - tired and thinking of lunch
salad dressing 2 for $4.00 - not necessary, but we did need some new bottles


adds up to $86.35 but the difference is tax.

Not terribly over budget, I just estimated wrong. One meal I did make though was an add on of homemade mac and cheese. I'm sick of how I'm letting my weight go up again so that will be a rarity. I'm going back on my Take Shape For Life Program of which I already have a ton of meals.
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Mama Duck
I decided to take stock of what I have on hand. I know I've been buying meats regularly on sale over the summer. Good side is I get them on sale.. bad news is that my grocery bills are always higher then they should be. For the family size that we are, our grocery bills are terrible. Partly because Joe goes shopping because he can't make anything.. or so he claims. (This is not a Joe rant.. just the way some men .. or women are) Joe likes foods that are easy to prepare (microwave or cold cuts) and because he's picky I let him do his shopping. This past week that resulted in total spending of somewhere around $200.00 with other incidentals tossed in (diapers, flexible cutting mats I want for working with meats, and a few other things) My goal this week is to have the smallest shopping bill I can. I want it to be under $50.00. I do NOT need meat even if it's on sale, lol. I have 7 meal size pckgs of boneless chicken breasts, one pkg of bone in chicken breast, 1 london broil and ...NINE packages of ground beef, lol. I am NOT buying any meats unless its $1.50lb or less. Plus I have several boxes of rice mix in the pantry, so they can be used with the meats.

Sunday - lasagna based off of this recipe, but not exactly like it-making 2 small lasagnas - tossed salad - and maybe the homemade italian bread experiment I'm determined to win, lol
Monday - chicken enchiladas - this was a really good recipe and I'm going to double or triple it to make meals ahead. - red beans and rice. steamed squash
Tuesday - moo shu beef - not multiplying this - spring rolls? maybe this time?
Wednesday -Frogmore stew - I have to try this , lol
Thursday - spaghetti and meatballs - again making multiple batches of meatballs for future use - tossed salad
Friday - malaysian fried chicken - can you tell this is a favorite in this house? - spanish rice and misc veggie
Saturday - No clue as we're at Sesame Place all day - will most likely be takeout of some kind if we're home for dinner.

seems i went over my budget goal for the weekly meals. However I forgot that I needed to get some ingredients for doubling some meals and I also picked up some lunch foods for Joe and JP.

I decided to go ahead and plan the following weeks meals so that I know I don't need to pick up more than a couple of things. For 8/17 - 8/23:

Sunday - MIL's bday - family dinner at their house
Monday - Lasagna as I forgot I had a presentation after work and got home late
Tuesday - Sauteed chicken breast for Joe - leftovers for me.
Wednesday - If Joe did what he was supposed to I'm making enchiladas when I get home... if not then it's sliced chicken breast over lettuce wedges.
Thursday - Homemade pizza
Friday - sandwiches from favorite deli
Saturday - freezer restaurant specials (AKA leftovers)
Mama Duck
Sunday - MB's Chicken Stuffed Shells (see recipe below) with green beans and brussel sprouts (Joe hates brussel sprouts and I hate green beans)
Monday - Southern Fried Chicken and tossed salad
Tuesday - Steak tips in marinade with fresh corn salad
Wednesday - Meatloaf with steamed carrots
Thursday - Chicken enchiladas with beans and rice
Friday - malayasian fried chicken over salad
Saturday - misc sandwiches - Joe is now working a 16 hour shift on saturdays. he'll grab something at work and I just want something easy

MB's chicken stuffed shells:
Cook stuffing shells, use leftover baked chicken or broil, bake or boil some chicken - or even use the canned stuff (but I think the canned stuff makes it way too salty), mix it with Stove Top stuffing (instant stuffing/dressing), stuff balls of it into the shells and pour cream of mushroom soup over it all and bake.

Time for a minor soapbox vent. I look for a lot of recipes online, specifically No particular reason except that I tend to end up there all the time. Some people that write reviews are just not making sense. They will review a dish as terrible... or say they didn't care for it.. then go on to explain how they altered the recipe! You can NOT critique a recipe properly unless you have made it as directed. It's ridiculous to say something is terrible because it wasn't made as written.