Posts Tagged 'real simple'

6 ways to save on groceries

  1. bigger is better
  2. skip the name brands
  3. think outside the package
  4. become a club member
  5. clip coupons to save
  6. warehouse it

check out this great article from

<3 kt

menu planning monday!

hope you had a glorious weekend!  i know that they are never long enough.  it’s that time again, monday. ugh!

here’s my week’s meals

monday:  sun-dried tomato sausage and penne in vodka sauce, Caesar salad, and garlic bread

tuesday: baked tortilla crusted tilapia with a southwestern salad (i bought some preseason-ed frozen tilapia this weekend)

wednesday: chicken pot pie empanadas

thursday: frozen pizza and a salad

friday: leftover chili with cornbread

saturday: going to Erin’s birthday party dinner!

sunday: chicken noodle soup

plan your meals!  it makes your busy week easier to manage!

<3 kt

menu planning, back in action!

okay y’all, i’m back in action and ready to attempt this menu thing again! :) here’s my plan for the week:

monday night: it’s football season. i am going to play this by ear. it’s an intense and epic game: Minnesota Vikings VS the Green Bay Packers. Brett Farve VS the Packers essentially…so i might just have to order some sloppy pizza and beers for this one.

tuesday: pork chops with apple, spinach & bean salad. this idea was inspired by this recipe from


Serves 4

* 4 bone-in pork chops (about 9 ounces each)
* 2 teaspoons coarse salt
* Freshly ground pepper
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 cup (6 ounces) canned unsalted chickpeas, drained and rinsed
* 1 pound escarole, leaves torn
* 1 medium apple, preferably Gala, cored and cut into matchsticks
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon lemon zest


1. Sprinkle pork chops on both sides with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and season with pepper. Heat oil in a large high-sided saute pan over medium-high heat. Add pork chops. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until browned around the edges, about 4 minutes. Flip, and cook 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer chops to a plate.
2. Add chickpeas to pan, and cook for 2 minutes. Working in 3 batches, add escarole and cook, stirring, adding additional batches as the leaves wilt. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and season with pepper. Remove from heat, and stir in apple and lemon juice and zest. Serve with chops.

wednesday: lasagna & a salad…i forgot where i picked up this recipe, but i love lasagna & am looking forward to making it!

Serves 8

* Vegetable-oil cooking spray
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 1 pound ground turkey breast
* 3 cups tomato sauce
* 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning (or 1 tsp each dried basil, parsley, and oregano)
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* teaspoon garlic powder
* 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
* 6 cups chopped fresh spinach
* 2 cups fat-free ricotta
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1 package whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 8 oz, or 9 noodles)
* 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella


Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a medium-sized nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Sauté onion for 2 minutes, then add turkey and cook an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomato sauce, all seasonings and mushrooms and simmer 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. In a bowl, combine spinach, ricotta, and nutmeg. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water.
For assembly
Coat a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with cooking spray. Arrange 1/3 lasagna noodles (3 noodles) on the bottom of the pan. Spread a layer of ricotta mixture, then turkey mixture, then 1/3 mozzarella. Repeat layers, ending with mozzarella. Bake 20ozzarella. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese bubbles. Cool at least 5 minutes before cutting.

The skinny: 310 calories per serving, 6 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 31 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 33 g protein

thursday: spicy orange glazed chicken & green beans, i found this easy and delicious recipe in October’s issue of Real Simple magazine (also available online).

Serves 4  Hands-On Time: 15m  Total Time: 45m

* 1/4 cup orange marmalade
* 1/2 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce (found in the Asian section of the supermarket)
* 8 chicken drumsticks (about 2 1/2 pounds)
* kosher salt and black pepper
* 1 pound green beans
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 4 corn bread muffins, warmed


1. Heat oven to 400º F. In a small bowl, mix the marmalade and chili-garlic sauce.
2. Season the chicken with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Roast on a foil-lined baking sheet until cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes, brushing with the marmalade mixture during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the green beans until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain and toss with the butter and 1⁄4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Serve with the chicken and muffins.

i’m not sure if i will cook this weekend, as i might be going out of town to visit my cousins for a very belated birthday celebration.  i’ll keep you posted on the progress of my menu planning!

<3 kt

alternative ways to eat waffles

im always looking for exciting new ways to freshen up breakfast and lunch.  sometimes you are in a hurry and don’t have time to fix an appropriate meal.  frozen waffles are easy, something to grab on the go.  thanks to, here’s some ways to dress them up:

They’re not just for breakfast anymore. Try these delicious ideas for waffle sandwiches.

by Kate Merker

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat. Heat the sandwich, pressing occasionally and flipping once with a spatula, until the waffles turn crisp.

Frozen waffles can be more than just a vehicle for butter and maple syrup. When used to make grilled cheese or panini-style sandwiches, they really are the greatest invention since sliced bread. Using your choice of fillings or any of those below, assemble a sandwich, then follow the directions.

  • Bacon, avocado, and Cheddar
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Red onion, black olives, and Feta
  • Egg, spinach, and Swiss cheese
  • Smoked turkey, watercress, and Brie
  • Butter, banana, brown sugar, and cinnamon
  • Chocolate bars and marshmallows or Marshmallow Fluff

<3 kt

new toppings for corn on the cob

butter gets old people!  using the same old on top of corn on the cob makes it dull & boring.  plus, butter isn’t the healthiest solution for you.  one of my favorite magazines, Real Simple, posted this fantastic article on their website:

Ground Cayenne and Lime

Sprinkle with cayenne pepper (sparingly or to taste), and serve with lime wedges for squeezing. Add salt, if desired.

Sour Cream and Chives

For each ear of corn, combine 1 tablespoon sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh chives, and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Spread on warm ears just before serving.

Grated Parmesan

Brush corn with extra-virgin olive oil (or melted butter, if you prefer) and sprinkle each ear with 1 to 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan. Also try other hard cheeses, such as aged Gouda, Pecorino, or aged goat cheese. Add salt, if desired.

Vinaigrette and Herbs

Brush ears with vinaigrette and sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, chervil, or oregano (use more or less according to taste). Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


i love sriracha!  the spicy rooster is the best Thai hot sauce.  i add a little butter (sometimes none at all!), salt, pepper, lime, and dip my corn in sriracha.  spicy sour yumminess!

i learned this trick from seanalyn:

tequila lime hot sauce

mix a two shot of tequila, 1/4 cup of sriracha, 1/4 cup of ketshup, and 1/2 a lime.  enjoy!

<3 kt

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