CHICKEN TORTELLINI SOUP (Video Included) #WhatsCookingWednesday




Fall temperatures are officially here! Time to get out my soup and stew recipes to warm us up come dinner time. This recipe is often requested by my daughter. She loves Tortellini Soup and with Rob working outside most of the day this fits the bill of filling and warming him up. I often serve this with some fresh biscuits out of the oven. 

We got our Shopease Foods shipment of food in last week so my freezer is full when it comes to making meals for my family. The choices are unlimited! We get a delivery of meat that will last us 3 months and our freezer is full to the top. It is so nice to have everything I need to make a good meal for us for dinner each night without having to run to the grocery store.


1 container (28 ounces or 946mL) chicken broth
2 cups water
1 pound cooked Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a soup pot combine broth and water and bring it to a boil, add all the other ingredients. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until tortellini is cooked.

When I make this for my family of 4 I double the recipe and it usually makes enough for leftovers for lunch the next day. We often serve it with bread sticks.



LET'S CHAT! 

Have you ever thought of having a meat delivery like Shopease? If you have done the meat delivery for 3 months, 6 months or year how did you like it?




Meal Planning on my $50 Budget - September 26, 2016

This past week we received our food order from Shopease Foods which lead to me not needing a whole lot of groceries to add to it. We do not only get meat from Shopease but we also get some frozen vegetables and dry goods. You are able to even get cleaners with your Shopease order really limiting your shopping trips. I make a lot of my cleaning products so it is not something I need. We like to buy fresh season vegetables to add to your menu every week so we only get a few frozen vegetables in our order.  

I love that they always set up a delivery time with my so I don't have to sit at home all day waiting for my order. My time is valuable and just having 2 to 3 hour window for delivery works well for my family but Shopease is always willing to deliver you order at the best time suited for you. 



I plan on picking up a few other things this week and I will add them as I pick them up so I can keep on budget. 

BUDGET $50 

Shoppers Drug Mart 
Milk 4L - 4.27
Lays Chips - 1.99 x2

   
Total $ 8.25 (Leftover $41.75)

    
~ Menu ~ 

Dinner
Shepherd's Pie
Pizza, Salad
Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, Beans
Lasagne, Garlic Bread
Chicken Parm, Rice, Veggies
Pork Chops, Onions, Potatoes, Veggies
Garden Vegetable Soup
Lunch
- is always leftovers from the night before
Ham Sandwiches 

Breakfast
Waffles
Eggs
Cereal  
Smoothies


LET'S CHAT!

I really need some breakfast inspiration besides my go to smoothies. What do you have for breakfast?





Meal Planning on my $50 Budget - September 19, 2016

With the money I saved in my budget for food last week I am able to stock up on some sale items this week. I do shop the flyers and I price match most of my food purchases and use coupons when I can on items I am already purchasing to save money.


I managed to do some shopping at a few stores I was passing by while taking my daughter to Cheer this week. I figured I should just stop in there because their sales were too good to pass up.

BUDGET $50 + 56.16 (from last week) =106.16

Giant Tiger  
Ragu - 0.98 x 6

No Frills
D'Italiano Bread -1.77 x 2
Yogurt/Fruit Pouches - 1.00
Celery - 0.87
Carrots 10lb - 1.97 x 2  

Real Canadian Superstore
Coleslaw (bagged) - 0.88

More to come

   
Total $

    
~ Menu ~ 

Dinner
Turkey Dinner & Fixings
Turkey Pot Pie & Salad
Hot Turkey Sandwiches & Stuffing
Chicken Tortellini Soup
Sloppy Joes & Fries
Homemade Pizza
Shepherd's Pie & Salad   
 
Lunch
- is always leftovers from the night before
Egg Salad Sandwiches
Ham Sandwiches 

Breakfast
Waffles
Eggs
Cereal  
Smoothies

With cooking a turkey dinner this week we will be eating leftover turkey most of the week and we are okay with that. Who doesn't love turkey!

LET'S CHAT!
   
What do you make to use up your turkey leftovers?




THE LITTLEST BIGFOOT




We all go through the awkward years when we are 10 to 12 years old. We feel like we don't really fit in at all no matter what we try and do. You know the age I am talking about. When you feel like you are growing out of your body and you have no control of anything.

In my house I had a young 10 year old girl who would never smile. It wasn't that she was unhappy but it was more that she really disliked how her adult teeth had come in. She was always very petite and it seemed like these big huge teeth had taken up residence in her mouth that was way to small for them all.

As her mother I did my best to explain to her that the way she felt about herself and how awkward she felt was not going to last that she was beautiful and she would soon see what the rest of the world could see. She took my advice as I am sure every child does from their parent. How could I possible know what she was going through right?



Here is one of the few photos I could find of my daughter at that age because she didn't like her picture being taken because of her teeth. Fast forward years later and she is always smiling.



Title: The Littlest Bigfoot
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Series: Book #1
Pub Date: September 13, 2016
Publisher: Aladdin
Pages: 304


About the Book:

From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner comes a laugh-out-loud funny and painstakingly real tale of friendship, furry creatures, and finding the place where you belong.

Alice Mayfair, twelve years old, slips through the world unseen and unnoticed. Ignored by her family and shipped off to her eighth boarding school, Alice would like a friend. And when she rescues Millie Maximus from drowning in a lake one day, she finds one.

But Millie is a Bigfoot, part of a clan who dwells deep in the woods. Most Bigfoots believe that people—NoFurs, as they call them—are dangerous, yet Millie is fascinated with the No-Fur world. She is convinced that humans will appreciate all the things about her that her Bigfoot tribe does not: her fearless nature, her lovely singing voice, and her desire to be a star.

Alice swears to protect Millie’s secret. But a league of Bigfoot hunters is on their trail, led by a lonely kid named Jeremy. And in order to survive, Alice and Millie have to put their trust in each other—and have faith in themselves—above all else.
My Thoughts:

The Littlest Bigfoot is a wonderful book about acceptance and finding your way. The characters in the story all had their own unique strengths that they also couldn't see just like my daughter. As a homeschooling parent I love the message about public school not being the right fit for everyone. This book is a great read for both girls and boys with so many different scenerios they can relate to.


Others on the Book Tour:

September 12th - Lost in a Great Book
September 13th - Cindy's Love of Books
September 14th - Brooklyn Berry Designs
September 15th - Laina Has Too Much Sparetime
September 16th - It's Just My Life (Me!)

~ WIN ~ 
One of my lucky readers will win a copy ofThe Littlest Bigfoot


Disclosure: It's Just My Life was provided with an advanced readers copy from Simon & Schuster Canada for my review and participation in the tour. 

Meal Planning on my $50 Budget - September 12, 2016



This week I am using up what I have in my pantry and freezer. It is time for some fresh items in our house so use what we have is the motto this week. 
Have you ever eat all week out of your pantry? What kind of meals do you make during a week of eating from your pantry?



This week I went to No Frills to do most of my shopping. There might be a few things I still need to pick up but this is it for now.

BUDGET $50 + 20.35 (from last week) = 70.35

Costco
Milk 4L - 4.25
Chicken - 7.99
Half and Half Cream - 1.95
   
Total $ 14.19 (leftover $56.16)

    
~ Menu ~ 

Dinner
Taco Soup
Rotisserie Chicken, Seasoned Rice, California Veg
Chicken Potato Casserole
Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Rice and Veggies
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken Taco Salad
Pork Chops, Potato Wedges, Beans
 
Lunch
- is always leftovers from the night before
Egg Salad Sandwiches
Ham Sandwiches 

Breakfast
Waffles
Eggs
Granola
Cereal  
Smoothies

This week I have a lot of money leftover in my budget for this week coming up so I can stock up on some other things that are needed in our household.
 
LET'S CHAT!
   
What do you make when eating from your pantry for a week? Please tell me in the comments.



SLOW COOKER/INSTANT POT MARINARA SAUCE (Video Included) #WhatsCookingWednesday

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Today I am making my Marinara Sauce that is perfect to serve on top of some pasta noodles or make a lasagne with for your family to enjoy. The beauty with this sauce is that you can make a large batch and freeze it for later so you are making two meals at once while you are busy doing other things that need to get done. 

This week the ground meat is from Shopease Foods. I love using their meat because I find it is really lean and I have never had to drain any fat off of it. They deliver right to my door making it easy for me to maintain a healthy menu for my family. All their meat is 100% Canadian Natural Meats and Shopease Foods will customize your meat order to your dietary needs.




1 TBSP Olive Oil
1 pound Ground Meat
1 Onion, diced
2 Celery Stalks, diced
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 Cup Chicken Stock
2 Carrots, shredded
28 Ounces Tomatos (canned or fresh)
1 tsp Basil, dried
1 tsp Oregano, dried

1. In a large pan add Olive Oil and brown ground meat - drain if required. Add in onion, celery and garlic. I added chicken stock to this to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.  

2. I tossed my carrots into the vitamix with my tomatoes to puree before adding it into the slow cooker with the meat sauce. Mix all together. Add in spices to your taste. 

3. Set slow cooker to 6 hours to cook while you are away at work or if using an instant pot set to cook for 15 minutes.

Use for your meal that night and freeze the rest of the sauce for another meal at a later time.   
   




LET'S CHAT!

What meal do you make two of when cooking it?


*** It's just my life... was supplied meat and cookware from www.ShopeaseFoods.com. The recipes, video and photos are my own. The opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author. ***

Meal Planning on my $50 Budget - September 5, 2016

It is a week of change at our house as kids head back to school. I have planned my meals and picked up any items on sale we use or will be using this week for meals. 

The idea for me is to always be stocked up so I don't have to end up paying full price for items needed to make dinner for the week. It allows me to shop the sales to stack up instead of because I need an item. 



This week I went to No Frills to do most of my shopping. There might be a few things I still need to pick up but this is it for now.

BUDGET $50 + 22.36 (from last week) = 72.36

No Frills
Orange Juice $2.97
Cherries $2.99
Steak $5.07
Unico Pasta $0.99 x 3
Armstrong Cheese $3.97 x 3
6 Corn $1.00
Yogurt $3.97
Salad Greens $2.97
Carrots $0.97
Onion Soup Mix $2
Egg Noodles $0.99
Butter Chicken $2.47
Soy Sauce $2.47
Beans $0.88 x 2
Kidney Beans $0.88
Ketchup $1.47
Chicken Breasts $5.15
   
Total $52.01 

    
~ Menu ~ 

Dinner
Tacos
Burrito Bowls
Chicekn Alfredo with Salad
Baked Potato Buffet with Salad
Chicken Stir Fry, Noodles
Chicken Parm, Rice and Veggies
Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Rice and Veggies
 
Lunch
- is always leftovers from the night before

Breakfast
Toasted Tomato Sandwich
Waffles
Eggs
Cereal  
Smoothies

I do carry the amount I do not use forward each week as it stays with my grocery money and I can use it to stock up when I see a sale. Every week I add $50 to my grocery budget no matter how much I have left over from the previous week. This can also continue to grow so we can eat out some time if we are so inclined.
 
LET'S CHAT!
   
How did you do with your meal planning and shopping this week?



CROCKPOT CHICKEN POT PIE (Video Included) #WhatsCookingWednesday #CANRecipe


I'm glad to say that starting this month I will be sharing recipe ideas from my Canadian blogging friends under the hashtag #CANRecipe. This month we are celebrating the change of season with fall comfort in the kitchen. The links to all their posts can be found at the bottom of my post.

I am trying to refrain from decorating for the fall. The fall is my favourite time of the year so I always want to get started on it as soon as a hint of it is in the air. I was just notified that our local apples are ready to pick already so that means it is fall now right! 

I thought I would feature one of my go-to recipes in my slow cooker. This is the pie without the crust and so easy to make. It cooks all day while you are busy working. Just pop some biscuits in the oven or pick some up on your way home from work. Dinner is ready when you walk in the door.




1 pound Chicken Boneless (I used leftover chicken)
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 bay leaves
1 cup corn kernels, (frozen)
1 cup peas, (frozen)

salt & pepper


For the sauce

3 tbls butter
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock

1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt & pepper


1. Add chicken to the crock pot, then add potatoes, onion, carrots and celery.

2. To make the sauce, melt butter in a large saucepan. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Lower heat and whisk in flour until lightly browned for about 2 minutes.

3. Whisk in chicken stock, thyme, basil, oregano. Keep whisking until there are no more lumps. Whisk constantly until sauce begins to thicken, season with salt and pepper. 

4. Stir in chicken stock mixture and bay leaves into the crock pot.

5. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours. (Add corn and peas during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.) 

6. Add in Corn and Peas and cover and keep warm for an additional 30 minutes.


NOTE - If using full chicken pieces - remove chicken from the slow cooker and chop/shred the chicken then return to the pot. 

Serve chicken pot pie in a bowl topped with biscuits.






Do you use your slow cooker more in the fall and winter?



From the top left the dishes are:
Rustic Apple Tart @ Red Cottage Chronicles  
Spicy Vegetarian Chilli @ Allergy Girl Eats 
Indian-inspired Vegetable Pilaf Topped With Crispy Brussels Sprouts @ Maple and Marigold 
Maple and Oatmeal Ale Pulled Chicken Sliders @ Mommydo 
Mushroom Hand Pies @ Dish 'n' the Kitchen 
Maple Bacon Mini-doughnuts @ Everyday Allergen-Free 
Chai-Spiced Apple Sauce, Apple Butter and Apple Leather @ Making Healthy Choices 
Spaghetti Squash Bake @ The Inspired Home 
Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie @ It's Just My Life