Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Reader Suggestions on How to Maintain a Grocery Budget

 As food prices continue to rise, how do you, dear reader, manage and  maintain a reasonable grocery budget?  This morning I clicked here to read an on-line article regarding the steady increases we've all experienced at the grocer.  The article points out that although our government reports that national inflation is low, grocery and utility pricing is not factored into government inflation statistics.  Thus, significantly higher food and utility costs coupled with stagnant wages are the primary culprits as to why the American worker knows our federal government has grossly skewed inflation figures.

Over the years I've shared numerous suggestions on how to reduce, manage and maintain a reasonable grocery budget.  Since we all know what works for me, today, I'd love to hear from you.  How do you manage and stay within your grocery budget?  Have you tried any of my past suggestions or ideas? Do you have any tips or suggestions that may be helpful to others?

I am very exited to hear from you!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Strawberry & Cream Cheese Crepes

They say breakfast is the most important meal of they day and at the B house we eat breakfast every day.  Songbird and Farmer Boy have let it be known that they are bored with the usual bacon, eggs, oatmeal, potatoes or pancakes.  In fact they are so bored with their usual selection, one of this year's Christmas gifts was a crepe pan.  For yesterday's breakfast, I blessed them with strawberry & cream cheese crepes.  My family enjoyed this recipe so much I've decided to share it with you.
Mrs.B's Strawberry & Cream Cheese Crepes

Mrs.B's Strawberry & Cream Cheese Crepes

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Using a hand mixer, mix all ingredients until smooth and creamy.

Strawberry Sauce:
8 oz. strawberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Combine all ingredients over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Continue to boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, until mixture begins to thicken and sheets off the back of a spoon.
Note:  Other berries or fruits may be substituted for the strawberries.  We especially enjoy blackberries or peaches.

Whipped Cream:
1 c. heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp. powder sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

In a cold bowl (I place mine in the freezer for about 10 min. prior to use), beat all ingredients, using a hand mixer on high, until light and fluffy.

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Beat with a whisk until smooth.  Allow batter to sit for 15 minutes.  Lightly butter a crepe pan; heat over medium heat until bubbly.  For each crepe pour a scant 1/4 c. batter onto heated pan.  Immediately rotate pan so batter spread across the bottom surface.  Cook over medium heat until underside is lightly browned.  Use a wide spatula to flip the crepe and cook the second side until lightly browned.  Stack crepes, placing waxed paper between each one, covered until ready to fill.
makes about 1 1/2 dozen
Note:  Crepes may be frozen.  Cool completely.  Place waxed paper between each crepe and place in a zip type freezer bag.

Smear approximately 1 Tbsp. of the filling mixture onto each crepe.  Gently roll the crepe into a cylinder.  Place each rolled crepe onto serving plate or platter.  Drizzle with fruit sauce and garnish with whipped cream.

On another note ...

Whilst Songbird and Farmer Boy were enjoying our local high school basketball game yesterday evening, I indulged in one of my most favorite Christmas gifts.  My dearest Mrs.A shipped a carton of Blue Bell's Rocky Road ice cream to me this year.  Yes!  I said Blue Bell - absolutely the best store bought ice cream money can buy ... it isn't sold anywhere on the Montana prairie and only in the past few years has it become available outside of Texas .  I have been rationing it because I want it to last as long as possible.  Blue Bell's moto is "We eat all we can and sell the rest."  I wish they'd quit eating so much so they could sell some up here.  Here's a photo of last evening's indulgence ... don't you wish you had some?

Blue Bell Rocky Road Ice Cream

Saturday, January 3, 2015


Songbird's new beau, Willy, had his official 4-H weigh-in today.  He came in at 618 lb., which means he will need to gain an average of 75 pounds per month between now and August.  Our extension agent was very pleased to see that this little fella is already halter broke.  Songbird is proud of herself for being the first 4-H'er in the county to have completed the halter breaking phase of her beef project.
Willy & Songbird, lovingly gazing into each other's eyes.

Kiss, Kiss, Kiss ... that sound means "follow me".

Oh No!  Mr.B smacked Willy's back end ... It scared him ...

Most kids have to walk their dogs ... 4-H'ers walk their livestock.