SOS Cuisine

Thursday, February 25, 2010 AnnMarie Brown 0 Comments

I came across the neatest website yesterday. It is not new by any means just new to me. I thought I would share it with fellow Canadians as this is the only one I know of like this here in Canada.

The site originates in Quebec and some of the reviews on the recipes are only in French there are some English but I think with more people using it then more English reviews will pop up so it will be easier for the french challenged to read the reviews.

I used to take hours cruising through all the websites of all the local grocery stores for their sales every week but not any more. SOS Cuisine does more than have the pricing all together in one spot it plans a menu complete with prep time and nutrition information and calculating the cost for the number of people for whom you cook. You can choose menu preferences such as budget, low calorie, and exclude certain foods. The site tracks what is on special at local supermarkets and chooses what recipes would be most economical to make each week. I also love the $1 max/serving recipes and often they are much cheaper than $1/serving.

Say you are out of just potatoes... you click on the SAVE MONEY Tab... and look down to potatoes and it will tell you who has the best deal on right now. Seriously isn't this cool!!!!

I will now share the website link: SOS Cuisine

Defniitely worth watching... Canada and the USA

Monday, February 22, 2010 AnnMarie Brown 0 Comments

2010 Olympics in Vancouver, BC, CANADA celebrating a GOLD medal!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 AnnMarie Brown 2 Comments

It seems most of Canada has Olympic Fever and who can blame them. It is so exciting to watch all the athletes compete and represent their countries.

I know here at our house we were screaming like crazy to watch Alex Bilodeau win the gold in mogels. Seriously if you haven't heard his story or do not know much about this fine young man you really need to do a search on him and find out what gives him his never give up attitude. Okay... I can't wait for you to google about him... it is his brother Frederic Bilodeau who has cerebral palsy. At age 28, his body is betraying him. Anytime Alex things of leaving the gym or he has pain he thinks of his brother Frederic who truly is his inspiration to go on and keep going on every day.

When you live with a special needs child, it changes your perspective on things completely. The struggles you see them go through on a daily basis as they go about their every day life is sometimes the only inspiration you need to get through your day. I will never forget at our house when my oldest daughter did an art assignment on her hero and I got to read who her hero was and why... and it was her baby sister. A little girl 13 years younger than she is. Her baby sister who has lived and conquered a lot in her then 3 short years of life. She had beat the odds and was still moving forward. And when it is all said and done... I agree with her this priceless daughter I have.... she is my hero too! Beating the odds every day.

Just celebrating a wonderful Olympian!

2010 Olympics in Vancouver, BC, CANADA

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 AnnMarie Brown 0 Comments

I can not think of a better theme to do right now then the Olympics. It seems most of Canada has Olympic Fever and who can blame them. It is so exciting to watch all the athletes compete and represent their countries.

I am going to be adding links and stuff we do at our house to celebrate the Olympics in our homeland of Canada.

Colouring Pages:
DLTK - coloring pages
Activity Village - coloring pages
First School - sports coloring pages
Olympic Coloring Book
Primary Games - coloring pages
Kid's Turn Central - coloring pages

Craft Ideas:
First School - Lesson Plan
Craft Jr - Olympic Crafts
Free Kids
Kaboose - Olympic Torch

For craft time we are making Gold medals today. I think maybe torches on Friday. Thursday we go to a local playgroup so that eats up most of the day for us.

Letter Mm

Monday, February 15, 2010 AnnMarie Brown 0 Comments

slice & bake refrigerator cookies

Friday, February 12, 2010 AnnMarie Brown 0 Comments

Easy kid-friendly recipe for slice & bake refrigerator cookies.

1 1/4 cups butter, softened (2 1/2 sticks)
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, preferably with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add milk and vanilla, beat again and scrape bowl.

With mixer on low speed, add flour one cup at a time and beat after each addition.

Shape into logs approximately 2" in diameter. Roll the logs in parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat liner and give them a light spray with vegetable shortening.

Unwrap logs and slice into 1/4" thick slices or roll out to cut out shapes. Place cookies on prepared cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until very light brown and the sides are slightly firm.

Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack. Cool completely before storing in air tight containers.

Saving More....

Friday, February 12, 2010 AnnMarie Brown 0 Comments

We are a family of six living off of one tight income presently and it does have it challenges.All of which are always worth it. It forces you to evaluate and sometimes re-evaluate what's necessary, what you can do without, and what things (though maybe not necessary) are worth some sacrifice to get.

While there are definitely exceptions to this rule, I have found that if you can make it or grow it yourself, you will save a ton of money! A few years ago I purchased some material with the intent of learning how to sew better. I have started to make a few things and my oldest daughter is always sewing. I cook most of our meals from scratch for two reasons it is cheaper and tastes much better. I even learned how to make pies and I don't care for pies so this is a big step for me. I am still trying to perfect a bread recipe so that I do not have have to purchase the dreaded bread that is so expensive but much more convenient.

There is another thing I need to go back to making and that is my laundry soap for years I was making my own laundry soap and then I slipped back into convenience with my youngest child came into our lives. It is time to get back on track as I am always breaking out from the detergents I buy. So off to make some laundry detergent and fabric softener and putting some more money to better use to support our family.

What are you doing to save money?

Valentine's Day ideas...

Thursday, February 04, 2010 AnnMarie Brown 0 Comments

Do you decorate for Valentine's Day???

I love decorating for every holiday and I am searching the internet for some new ideas. I plan to post all my links here of neat finds I come across.


Woven Hearts

Valentine Tree

Valentine Banner

Heart Doily

Framed Heart

Licorice covered in chocolate and decorated with hearts.

Southwest Brown Rice and Black Bean Burgers

Wednesday, February 03, 2010 AnnMarie Brown 5 Comments

2 cups brown rice, cooked
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1-3 tablespoons minced jalapeno or green chilies, (canned is fine)
1/4 cup salsa
1 egg white
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
2 tablespoons olive oil
cheese, if desired

Mix rice, beans, chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic, onion, cilantro, chilies, salsa, and egg white in large bowl.
Mixture will be very moist.
Add flour, using only enough so that you can shape the mixture into patties.
Dust the outside of the patties lightly with flour. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and warm.
Add patties and cook until nicely browned, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Sprinkle with cheese, reduce heat to low and cover with lid to melt cheese.
Serve with guacamole, if desired.

Lentil Tacos

Wednesday, February 03, 2010 AnnMarie Brown 0 Comments

1 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup salsa
12 whole wheat tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
6 tablespoons fat free sour cream

1. In a large nonstick skillet, saute the onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Uncover; cook for 10-12 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly.
2. Stir in salsa. Spoon about 1/4 cup lentil mixture into each taco shell. Top with lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream.

No-Bake Mac and Cheese

Wednesday, February 03, 2010 AnnMarie Brown 0 Comments

8 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles, (2 cups)
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped broccoli
1 3/4 cups low-fat milk, divided
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
3/4 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta for 4 minutes. Add frozen broccoli and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the pasta and broccoli are just tender, 4 to 5 minutes more.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 cups milk in another large pot over medium-high heat until just simmering. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup milk, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl until combined. Add the flour mixture to the simmering milk; return to a simmer and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in Cheddar, Parmesan and mustard until the cheese is melted.

3. Drain the pasta and broccoli and add to the cheese sauce. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, over medium-low heat, until heated through, about 1 minute.

Valentine Gift Package Giveaway!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010 AnnMarie Brown 0 Comments


I came across this wonderful blog today and she is giving away a terrific gift package for Valentines Day! I highly recommend you checking it out and entering of course if you live in Canada. ♥

Grocery Challenge ... Accountability

Tuesday, February 02, 2010 AnnMarie Brown 0 Comments

Lean hamburger (enough for 7 meals)
Roast Beef (total splurge) (2 meals)
Dog Bones
Assorted buns/bagels
cashmere toilet paper = FREE (SCOP)
Dog Treats no pictured here

Total spent $30.43 with taxes included

$1 - for a cute bag/purse - handmade

Monday, February 01, 2010 AnnMarie Brown 0 Comments

I attended a sewing circle at our church on Saturday morning.

We all purchased some fabric 1 1/2 yards to make the bag above or was it almost 2 yards.
Anyway it was not in my budget to go to Fabricland or Baskins (local store) for fabric. Our income is very limited so I have to be very wise with my spending. So off I went to BFM (Bibles for Missions) to see if they had any fabric I could use. I know they have fabric but I was looking to strike it rich with choices. Well low and behold I found this brown cord fabrics for $1 and purchased a complementary fabric for the liner for $1. I know what you are thinking the purse/bag then cost me $2 right well nope... I have enough fabric leftover to do another purse/bag which I plan to make. So then the purse cost me $1. It was so easy to make. Once you make one you can make many more. I am really thinking about making the bottom part (bag part) larger in the next one I make so I have more room to put stuff.

Thought I would share my sewing circle project with you all.

Grocery Challenge... $80/week

Monday, February 01, 2010 AnnMarie Brown 0 Comments

I was really debating as to what dollar value I would do for a grocery challenge and I came up with $80 because I can do $100/week no problem and I want it to be a challenge for me. That and I would love to cut down my grocery bill even more but still maintain healthy meals for my family of 6 (5 adults and 1 child) as well as extra children during the week.

My first step was menu planning which I did already. Does that ever feel good. It is the first time this year I have sat down and menu planned for my family. That alone is an amazing feeling. Check that off my list that is for sure. Now on to my grocery list and keeping track of my purchases. I think I will end up just posting here pictures and maybe a list of what I buy for accountability purposes. If you are reading this why not join in on the challenge and see how much you can save.

Menu Planning Monday

Monday, February 01, 2010 AnnMarie Brown 1 Comments

I have a really busy week this week.... and have to plan for two potlucks. One on Friday and one on Sunday. We also have our early and quick meal Thursday as my husband has night school out of town.

B- Toast with honey, banana
L- Mac N Cheese, apple slices
S- Meatload, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli

B- Bacon, eggs, homefries
L- Soup
S- Roast Beef, mashed potatoes, green beans

B- Waffles, fresh fruit
L- Vegetable Fried Rice
S- Vegetable Beef Soup

B- Cold Cereal
L- Leftover Soup
S- Meatball Subs, carrot n' celery n' dip

B- bagels n' cream cheese
L- waffles (breakfast for lunch)
S- potluck dish

B- bacon n' eggs
L- chicken noodle soup
S - Turkey dinner

B- yogurt n' fruit
L- church potluck
S- something light

Groundhog Day!

Monday, February 01, 2010 AnnMarie Brown 0 Comments

Groundhog Songs:

I'm A Little Groundhog (sung to I'm a Little Teapot)

I'm a little groundhog, furry and brown,
See me pop while I look around,
If I see my shadow, down I'll go
Six more weeks of winter, oh no!

On Groundhog's Day
(sung to "Mary Had a Little Lamb" )
Do you see your shadow, shadow, shadow?
Do you see your shadow?
On Groundhog's Day.

Yes, I see my shadow, shadow, shadow,
Yes, I see my shadow
On Groundhog's Day.

I don't see my shadow, shadow, shadow,
I don't see my shadow
On Groundhog's Day.