A Great New Freebie Site I found!!! Check this out!

I love freebies!  I love opening my mailbox to find something in it to try.  That is why I love Julie’s Freebies. 

Julie’s Freebies is a new site that has a lot of great freebies and deals.  I don’t always like freebie sites, but this one has some great new foods to try on it.  Being the frugal person that I am, I love to try out new products.  By trying out new products, I am able to find those that I love. 

I love finding free samples like this one here .  When getting free samples in the mail, usually the company will also send a coupon with it.  Coupons are one way I buy groceries.  I wait for a great sale and then use my coupon.  Many times I am able to buy items I wouldn’t otherwise buy for much cheaper than without the coupon.  Sometimes, I can even get the item free.  Don’t we all love to get something free?

Please check out http://www.juliesfreebies.com and try one of her great offers today!

Like Julie’s Freebies on Facebook

Find Julie’s Freebies on:

Like what you see? Be sure to SHARE on Facebook!

This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking these links you are supporting Frugal Cooking Corner

Pin It


Springtime Party

This morning I was feeling crafty and made a great new dress for my daughter's American Girl doll.  I have been making lots of clothing from material I have had in my stash..Very thrifty because it isn't costing me anything.  I love being able to sew and make things for my family.

Tonight's Dinner Pepper Steak

Last week I bought a big bag of tri colored peppers.  My store had these for $2.99 a bag and I was chopping these and adding to salads.  Last night I made fajitas and tonight I am making pepper steak.  I have had many meals from this one bag of peppers.  Very worth it for fresh produce.  Here is the recipe I am making.

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 1/2 pound beef loin sirloin steak, cut crosswise into 3- by 1/4- by 1/4-inch strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 4 bell peppers in assorted colors, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • 1 large onion, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
Stir together soy sauce, cornstarch, and 1/3 cup water in a cup.
Pat steak dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Stir-fry half of steak until browned but still pink inside, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon and repeat with remaining steak, adding 1 tablespoon oil to skillet.
Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet and stir-fry bell peppers, onion, and garlic, until onion is golden, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons water and cook, covered, 3 minutes. Return steak to skillet, then stir in cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, 2 minutes

Pin It


Menu Plan Monday March 26

Pin It

I am looking forward to getting back onto a schedule.  This past week I was on vacation and so was my daughter.  It was a long sort of relaxing week.  Then it happened.  The old beater care we have decided to finally have a problem that may cost us some money...the garage is so busy it can't be looked at until Wednesday this week.  Hopefully, I won't need to get my husband a new car.  We have been following the Dave Ramsey method to get our finances in order and we were hoping to wait until next year to buy a car because then we will have enough money to buy a "new" car totally with cash.  We have $8000 saved up right now in the car fund, but by next year we would have enough to buy something better.  Oh well, this is how life goes.  We will keep praying and see what the next few days bring us.  Whatever we do, my husband and I are on the same wavelength we do not want car payments if we can help it. Needless to say, I am trying my hardest to stay out of the grocery store this week.

Here is the menu for the week

Monday: Pepper steak

Tuesday: Pork roast and asparagus

Wednesday: Chicken pot pie

Thursday: Leftover

Friday: meatless meal, I am thinking an egg caserole not sure about this yet.

Saturday:  Homemade pizza

Sunday: Roasted chicken potatoes and a veggie 


Friday Finds

A great cake to get me in the mood for outdoor fires!  The weather is getting there.

A great spring project to use in my decorating!

An Easter dessert?  (Might entail a bunch of work)

And finally a great spring dinner..Easy and light!!!  A great something to fill in my week!

Pin It


Happy First Day of Spring!

I have been fairly stressed out lately and needed to find something to do to keep me busy.  My frugal self turned to an old pastime of mine, cross-stitching.  Before my kids, I had lots of time to spend stitching.  After I had my kids, then I found many other things to do to keep me busy. I have many charts and lots of thread, so this was a cheap something to do.  I have considered selling all my supplies, but after beginning this hobby again, I have decided that it is definitely something I love to do. 

While spending my days in worry about my mom's health, I found time to stitch this cute little stitch.  It is called spring thyme from waxing moon desings.  It was a free pattern I had accumulated many years ago, but it is so cute stitched and is a welcome addition to my kitchen. It has also helped to remind me to take time for myself and to do something I enjoy.  The time I spend stitching is also a time of meditation for me.  Which helps me focus to get the rest of my tasks completed during the day. 

Pin It

Blueberry Lemon Bread

This week is spring break in my world.  It feels like spring break and this has put me into a summer baking mood.  I found this wonderful recipe in The American Country Inn and Bed and Breakfast Cookbook.  Happy baking on this first day of spring!
Blueberry Lemon Tea Bread

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, or margarine
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 -1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

In large bowl with mixer at low speed, beat butter and the 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating in thoroughly each time. Combine flour, salt and baking powder. Add milk and dry ingredients alternately. Gently stir in blueberries (don't thaw, if frozen). Spoon batter into greased and floured 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350º for 70 to 75 minutes, or until paring knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Combine lemon juice and 1/3 cup sugar and spoon over bread. Let stand about 20 minutes and remove to rack to cool completely. Slice and enjoy!
Pin It


menu plan week of March 19

Today I am joining with others at http://www.orgjunkie.com for menu plan monday.  I have noticed my grocery bill creeping up because life has happened in my house and I have been making frequent trips to my mother's house 2 hours away to help with her illness.  This has put a great dent in my budget.  This week I plan to get back into my menu planning and hopefully I won't have to go back to the grocery store this week. 

Monday: Reuben Sandwiches (using leftover brisket from St. Patty's Day)

Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: out of town

Friday: out of town

Saturday: Oriental Chicken Salad

Sunday: Beef Roast in crockpot

Pin It


Frugal Lenten Dinner

Around my house, my go to lenten meal is linguine with clam sauce.  It is the cheapest meal to make and the best part is that it comes all from the pantry.  Here is my recipe and the cost is about $5 to make 6 servings and it cooks while the pasta cooks in about 15 mins.  I also feel as if I am eating at a great restaurant.

Linguine With Clam Sauce

1 pound Linguine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 6 ounce can minced clams
oregano to taste
minced parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the linguine according to the package directions.  While the pasta cooks prepare the sauce.  In a saucepan fry the garlic in olive oil.  When the garlic turns light brown add the juice from the clams.  Add the seasonings.  Bring to a boil; simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the clams a few seconds before serving otherwise, they will be rubbery.  When the linguine is done drain it well.  Pour the sauce over the pasta and serve immediately.
Pin It

Get your garden growing!

Here in Iowa the sun is shining and the temperature feels like early summer.  Don't let it fool you, there could still be a little bit of winter left.  I have had the itch to garden this week.  Here is the tasks that can be completed in the garden in March.  Happy growing this season.


Early in the month:

  • Start seeds indoors of slower-growing annuals that you should start 10-12 weeks before the last average frost date. These include snapdragons, annual salvias, and impatiens.
  • In the second half of the month:
  • As temperatures and soil moisture allows: Direct sow seeds of fast-germinating cool-season vegetables, such as radishes, spinaches, and lettuces, and onion plants.
  • Divide any perennials that are an inch or so high and don't bloom in very early spring.
  • If you didn’t do it in the fall, apply compost to perennial, annual, and vegetable beds.
  • Clean up perennial beds that didn’t get done last fall. Rake up late fallen leaves that have accumulated around plants.
  • Uncover mounded roses and clean up dead/diseased foliage as soon as new growth begins to swell.
  • As soon as the snow melts, rake up leaves that remain on the lawn. Begin mowing as soon as necessary.
  • The last week of March or first week of April: Start seeds indoors of annuals that you should start 6-8 weeks before the last average frost date. These include marigolds, globe amaranth, sweet alyssum, flowering tobacco, peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant.
  • Cut back ornamental grasses to 2-3”.
  • Start visiting the Garden Center to see the early arrivals.
Pin It


Smoothie a breakfast basic

Fruit Salad Smoothie

1/2 c. low-fat plain yogurt
1/2 c. milk
1 small ripe banana
6 - 8 strawberries
2 TBS. frozen raspberries, thawed
6 - 8 ice cubes.
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
2 packet sweetener or 2 tsp. sugar

I put the banana in the bottom of the blender followed by the other fruit. Then I add the yogurt and the milk, the protein powder, and the ice cubes. Blend until well mixed.

This will make a thick smoothie. If you prefer to have it a thinner blend, add a few more ice cubes.

If the strawberries are very sweet, you can omit the sweetenerPin It


Warm Pasta Salad

It has been very warm this week around my area and it really got me into the summer spirit.  I made this wonderful salad this week and it will be going on my summer menu.  It was great warm and the cold leftovers were also wonderful.  Enjoy!

Warm Tortellini Salad

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. frozen tortellini
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
1/4 cup
salt & pepper to taste

In large skillet, saute onion, garlic, & bell peppers in olive oil until tender. Cook tortellini as directed on package. Drain. In small bowl mix together vinegar, thyme, tarragon, parmesan & salt & pepper. Put tortellini in large bowl. Add balsamic mixture & stir to coat.
Pin It

Irish Green Apple Meringue Dessert

I have married into an Irish family and this is a dessert they eat each year on St. Patrick's Day..I am going to make it this year for my family.

Irish Green Apple Meringue Dessert
For a great combination of baking apple; use Granny Smith, Braeburn, Jonagold,
Empire, Regent, Spartan, Newtown apples or a mixture of your favorite apples

Pan size: 8 x 8 x 2 baking dish
Temp: 350°F degrees
Baking time:30 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8

6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted flour
6 tablespoons finely chopped almonds
3 teaspoons shredded lemon peel
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and quartered
6 tablespoons raspberry jam
4 egg whites
Dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar

Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in 2 egg yolks. Add flour, almonds and lemon
peel; mix well.

Press dough evenly in the bottom of a 8 x 8 x 2 inch baking dish. Brush dough with slightly beaten egg white. Using a small amount of the egg whites from which the
meringue will be made.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350°F, for 15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Set
the crust aside to cool. Meanwhile, place sugar and lemon juice in a large skillet. Add apple quarters, cover tightly and cook slowly for about 6 minutes or until apples are just tender. Be sure not to over cook apples. Drain off liquid.

Spread raspberry jam over cooled crust, then arrange apple quarters over jam.

In a medium glass or stainless steel mixing bowl. With an electric mixer, beat egg whites, vanilla, salt and cream of tartar till soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar beating till egg whites are stiff, glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved.

Carefully spread the meringue over cooked apples. Seal the meringue to the edge of the baking dish all the way around. This will help to prevent the meringue from shrinking away from the edges.

Bake Green Apple Meringue Dessert at 350°F. for 12 to 15 minutes, or until meringue is golden browned. Cool before serving. This rich dessert will serve 6 to 8.Pin It

Tamale Pie Casserole

Tamale Pie Casserole

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef- can also use ground chicken or turkey
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
1 can (11 to 15 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained or use frozen corn
2 1/2 teaspoons salt- I omit this
1 1/2 teas
Dash of hot sauce - optional
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup water
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives- we like black olives best

1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 eggs, slightly beaten

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef in oil. Add onion, garlic, and bell pepper; cook for 2 minutes, until just tender. Pour off excess grease. Stir in tomatoes, corn, and seasonings; simmer for about 5 minutes longer. Mix 1/2 cup cornmeal with 1 cup water. Stir into the mixture in the skillet. Cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the sliced olives and pour into a lightly greased shallow 2 1/2-quart or 13x9-inch baking pan.

Make topping:
Heat 1 1/2 cups milk with 1 teaspoon salt and the butter. Gradually stir in the 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal. Cook, stirring, until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and beaten eggs. Pour the topping around the edge of casserole. Bake in a preheated 375° oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to bake. Can also assemble and freeze for future baking.
Serves 6.
Pin It


Do many of you use these frozen biscuits? I have the recipe for you!  I recently decided to make up a buch of convenience freezer items.  These biscuits are like those you buy in the freezer section and are easy to make.  These have saved me money because I always have the items to make these on hand and instead of paying $4 a package to buy these in the store ready made. 

5 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup shortening
1 envelope dry yeast
2 Tbsp warm water
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into bowl. Cut in shortening until crumbly. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Mix with buttermilk. Add to flour mixture; mix well. Roll to desired thickness on floured surface; cut with biscuit cutter. Place on baking sheet. Freeze until firm. Store in airtight container in freezer. This recipe will make enough biscuits for 4 people for 6 meals. Dip desired number of biscuits in melted butter; place on baking sheet. Bake in preheated 400º oven until brown.
Yield: 24 servings
Pin It

It is Spring--Or Summer!

Well, in my area it is now 80 degrees...In March..definitely a record.  It seems odd wearing capri pants and having the windows open, but also great!

I have taken a few months off from blogging for yet more family issues.  My mother was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and has only a few months left to live according to the Dr.'s.  This has put me in a bit of a depression, but I am now dealing with it.  Today, I am sharing with you my spring cleaning schedule in hope that you will all get on the wonderful fun job of making your home fresh again. 

I plan on taking next week to clean my house and freshen it up a bit after a long winter..Although here in Iowa the winter was very mild.  By breaking up my tasks into a week long process, I am able to get the jobs completed without it feeling like a chore.

Clean window sills and tops of windows.  wash windows also.

Clean  and dust blinds in all rooms.  This is a job I absolutelty detest, but I have beautiful custom made wood blinds that need to be dusted.

Look at the tops of the walls and corners and get all the dust bunnies out

Clean sofa cushions and have floors cleaned

Deep clean the bathroom and bedrooms

There it is, my spring cleaning list.  Sometimes I also clean my kitchen cabinets, but I am not sure I want to tackle that project next week.

How do you spring clean?
Pin It