just a little preface...
This blog consist of meals that are practically all purchased with the help of my footstamp budget, I work full time, but as a single mom with two children at home I am classified as "poverty level". I thank God everyday that my children get good homecooked meals, because there are so many kids in the USA that go hungry every day. I just wanted to add this so if you think you cannot purchase good food and create good meals on a tight budget I hope my blog makes you think of food in a different way. noturtypicalgma

the only thing i ask in sharing these recipes with you, is that you must really love the person you serve them to....cooking is how i show my love to the special people in my life.....

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Simple Easy Thanksgiving Recipes

Time got away from I was supposed to post this last weekend and then some stuff called life came up...so I am sorry I did not get back to it. So here we go... late is better than never. Just some simple basic recipes, unfortunately some of my video was deleted, my rolls and gravy. I will add those at a later date. I hope you and your family and friends enjoy the day with good food, good drink and good company. From my Family to yours Happiest Thanksgiving Wishes!

This green bean recipe came about because I wanted something fresh...no canned, no frozen, fresh greenbeans, the kind that when you bite into them they still have that snap! If you want a cleaner version omit the bacon altogether.

Mushroom, Onion, Garlic and Bacon Greenbeans
1lb of Fresh green beans ends snapped
6-8 fresh white or crimini mushrooms sliced
1 small white onion sliced
3 cloves of garlic minced
6 slices of bacon fried and crumbled
1-2tsp of olive oil
pepper and salt to taste

These are simple garlic mashers, I use both white and russet to balance out the waxiness of the white and the starch of the russet, the garlic adds a nice taste to these simple potatoes, if you have sour cream use dollops of that intsead of milk!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
3 russet potatoes peeled and cut into equal size pieces
3 white potatoespeeled and cut into equal size pieces
3 cloves of garlic peeled
2 tsp salt added to water when boiling
splash of milk or 2tbsp of sour cream
2 tbsp butter or margarine
Boil till soft, drain water leaving garlic in and add milk, and butter and mash away, add salt to taste if needed

Wanted something different but my daughter wanted her good ole marshmallows so the video has two toppings on it, the grown up and the kid friendly version of  Sweet Potatoes
Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Pecans, Brown Sugar and Honey
4 med size yams boiled
2 tbsp margarine or butter
2tbsp of milk
1/3 c. of brown sugar
2-3 tbsp honey
1/3 cup of pecans


This stuffing is a recipe my Grandma Katie used to make, hers was a lot moister.. I prefer mine stuffed in the turkey. From the pan or in the turkey it is a hit at my house.

Grandma Katies Sage Sausage and Olive stuffing
2 packages of bread cubes
2 cups of chopped celery
2cups of chopped onion
2 cans of  black olives, sliced
2 packages of Farmer John Sausages
2tbsp of poultry seasoning
1stick of margarine or butter
2 cans of chicken broth

Turkey is basically like a big chicken! Just make sure you have the right times for your stuffed or unstuffed turkey and follow the guidelines in the link I provide. If you are worried about your turkey being dry cook it in a Reynolds Oven bag...guaranteed moist turkey!

Roasted Sage Turkey
1 turkey
1 bunch of fresh Sage
1tsp of poultry seasoning
1 to 2 tsp Paprika
1/2 to 1 tsp of Garlic powder
1/2 to 1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp of canola oil or olive oil
Mix all of your dry powdered spices and salt together

Before roasting your turkey go to this link to get the correct roasting time time for your size turkey
visit this link to learn how to use your meat thermometer correctly


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thanksgiving.....or the day most first time cooks go BONKERS!

To be honest with you I had a little anxiety about cooking my first turkey way back years ago. After watching the Martha Stewart show and pouring over recipes I just created what still remains my Thanksgiving meal. Some things have changed a little bit like the greenbean casserole which is now fresh green beans, and the yams which are not covered in marshmallows but a more grown up brown sugar honey and pecan although Kassi does want the marshmallows version.
I am doing these recipes early so I can share them with you. These posts are geared to first timers who have never cooked a turkey. Let your anxiety and fears go. Trust in your oven and the fact that cooking a turkey is like roasting a big chicken. Your first Thanksgiving is no time to fuss with some gourmet recipe where anything like brining and marinating, injecting and using a weird stuffing is the highlight of the recipe.
This is a simple no nonsense oh so good recipe! So this is for you my daughter Destinee hope that you like it and your Thanksgiving Dinner is a success.

Thanksgiving Menu
Sage Roasted Turkey
Sausage and Black Olive Stuffing
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Whipped Honey Pecan Yams
Fresh Mushroom Onion Garlic Green Beans
Homemade Gravy
Homemade Refigerator Rolls
Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Most of these recipes have less than 6 ingredients and this menu should feed about 4-6 people so I hope you enjoy trying them. Here is your shopping list.

1 13-15 pound turkey
Fresh Sage
poultry seasoning
Paprika, Garlic powder, Pepper, Salt
olive or canola oil
3-4 russet potatoes
3-4 white potatoes
1-2 pounds of Fresh Green Beans
2 white onions
1cup fresh sliced mushrooms
1 pkg bacon
2 pkgs Farmer John Sausage
1 can black olives
1 can or 3 fresh large yams
brown sugar
1/2c pecans
All Purpose Flour
unsweetened cocoa powder any brand
Milk any kind
instant yeast
1 package of margarine or butter
Whipped Cream/Cool Whip or Vanilla Ice Cream

This is all you will need to make this Thanksgiving Meal!
By all means if you like cranberries get a can and add to your meal. My kids dont like it so I do not want to waste it!
Stay tuned as I post video recipes throughout the day!


Feta stuffed chicken is one of my daughter Kassi's favorites, she has been asking me to make it for a while and so I thought it would be a nice change from the comfort foods we have been gorging on lately....creamy soups, and gravy laden meals....gives me a warm fuzzy feeling just thinking about it! This meal is light and refreshing and also clean eating...yes I do eat that way occasionally! I aspire to eat more like that but its hard being the lover of food that I am.
Last week Madera had their first ever Pomegranate Festival, and I was working so did not go. Next year I cannot wait to go. Pomegranates take me back to my Grandma Katies house. I remember being in her back yard where there were fruit trees and lots of plants, it felt like a magical forest back there. I would sit out there and just enjoy nature. It was her tree that I first had a pomegranate from and I fell in love with the sweet yet tart taste and I liked that it stained my lips a pretty natural color. I remember Grandma Katie peeling one showing me how to pick one off of the tree that was cracked a little bit. She assured me the cracked ones would be the sweetest. Her old fingers peeling back the leathery flesh to a soft creamy white pith and membrane that kept those sweet seeds safe. She peeled back the membrane and the crimson juice stained the white napkin as she sat and gently freed the seeds from their strong hold. She handed me one and I have been  a lover of pomegranates ever since! We grow a lot of pomegranates here locally and even have pomegranate honey at a local growers. Time for a field trip! To complete this simple meal I will show you how to make couscous. Rachel Ray ain't got nothing on this Gma, this meal takes less than 20 minutes to make. People will think you have slaved over it!


Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c. feta cheese
1/4 tsp dried parsley
small lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
Garlic powder to taste about 2 tsp.
 No Salt Seasoning/ Mrs Dash for chicken
1 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp olive oil for cooking chicken

Cous Cous
1 and1/2 c. cous cous instant..
1and 1/2 c. broth
salt and garlic powder to taste
1 tbsp of olive oil

Winter Salad
Fresh Greens of your choice or Spinach
1/2 large orange peeled and segmented
1/4 c. pomegranate seeds

3tbsp of pomegranate red wine vinegar
1/3c. honey

Video Recipe