Archive

Monthly Archives: June 2010

June 26, 2010

Crunchy Cabbage Salad Recipe

This recipe is an upscale Chinese Chicken Salad with toasted pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds along with the traditional ramen noodle. Thanks to Connie for this recipe. Check out Cook with Connie for more fantastic recipes!

Ramen noodles get a bad rap. Many of us enjoyed them while in college since they were cheap, filling
food. But, now that we’re all grown up, we are far too sophisticated to eat lowly ramen noodles. I beg to
differ. Ramen noodles can be eaten raw or cooked and the “bad-for-you” part of the soup mix is the flavor
packet, which is filled with MSG and sodium. So, toss those little packets and you are left with simply
noodles.

I love the crunch of uncooked ramen noodles and when mixed with nuts and seeds then toasted,
this mixture can be a nutritious trail mix or topping for salad. Ramen noodles can be sweet or savory. I use
cooked ramen noodles in yakisoba and lo mein as a substitute for rice.
Cabbage is another thrifty veggie that is full of vitamins and minerals. Cabbage can be enjoyed raw, as in
a cole slaw, or cooked. Cabbage can be sweet or savory, just like the ramen noodles. So, they pair nicely
for a meal that can be served for just cents per serving. My Crunchy Cabbage Salad is perfect with grilled
chicken or pork…great for this time of year when we are grilling out.
For an easy main dish, just slice the
meat thinly and serve atop this Asian-inspired crisp salad. Revisit ramen noodles and give them a chance
in this recipe…you’ll be glad you did.

crunchy cabbage salad

Crunchy Cabbage Salad

2 packages ramen noodle soup mix
½ c. sunflower seeds, untoasted
½ c. pumpkin seeds, untoasted
3 T. sliced or slivered almonds, untoasted
1 T sesame seeds, untoasted
½ c. sugar
2 T. olive oil
¼ c. cider vinegar
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. sesame oil
½ head of cabbage, shredded (or 1 bok choy, chopped)
5-6 green onions, chopped

Remove and discard flavor packets from soup mixes; crumble noodles. Combine noodles, sunflower seeds,
pumpkin seeds, almonds, and sesame seeds; spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 6-8
minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool. Bring sugar and next 3 ingredients to a boil in saucepan
over medium heat. Remove from heat; cool; add sesame oil.

Combine cabbage and green onion in a large bowl; drizzle with sugar mixture; add ramen noodle mixture,
tossing well. Serve immediately.

June 20, 2010

Ask a Daughter and Wife: What Makes a good Dad?

On this day we celebrate the men in our lives for being Fathers. When we think about the importance a Father has in a child’s life it is immeasurable. I think one of my favorite memories of my husband was when he was on the phone with one of his friends and he has said, “being a Dad is the best thing I have ever done.” The fact that my husband was on the phone in the first place was a miracle and the fact that he was explaining how much his kids meant to him was priceless. We often talk about what being a good parent means. It is something we struggle with often. How do you balance love with responsibility? How do you encourage your children to become and do more? My husband makes his point that it is our relationship that will most influence our children. It is what we model that they will take with them when the move on to having a family of their own. It is his job to put us first and make sure we have everything we need. It still warms my heart that every night he comes home from work and the kids climb into his chair with him and he reads them a book.

The fondest memories I have of my Daddy are of us laughing and hanging out. Yup, still call him Daddy well into my 30’s. I know I have a lot of the same traits as my Daddy. I defiently have the same desire to make people happy and buy in bulk. My Daddy also does everything big or not at all. I remember we had the idea to make cookies. We went to the store and he bought the ingredients to make enough cookies for a small country. I am pretty sure we made cookies with those ingredients for a year. I also think back and now realize how your decisions were made based on our best interest. It is funny prior to having kids you never realize how much you do for them.  I know that my Dad and my Mom gave up a lot to give my sister and myself what we needed. They often went without to make sure we had.

I have to say if there was a recipe for making a good Dad it would include all the elements that make up my Daddy and my husband.

I hope you have a Great Father’s Day.

Please feel free to share a favorite memory.

June 5, 2010

Chicken Parmesan Sub Sandwich Recipe

Summer is a busy time which results on eating out or on the go. Connie has some wonderful ideas for portable meals that I honestly would have never thought of! Thanks to Connie for this recipe. Check out Cook with Connie for more fantastic recipes!

This time of year lots of folks are looking for portable meals. You know what I mean…quick, healthy meals you can take with you to the ballpark, swimming pool, and in our case, the hay field. Beyond ham & cheese sandwiches, what should you pack? I have a number of to-go suppers that keep the menu varied and interesting throughout the summer. Burgers, sub sandwiches, wraps, calzones, and oven-baked chicken are among the meals I can easily make and take. Most any portable meal pairs well with a fruit salad, so chop up a mix of your family’s favorite fruits and have it ready-to-go in the fridge.

I try to plan my meals so that the “to-go” meal will be quick & easy to prepare. So, when I want to make chicken parmesan subs, I plan to have spaghetti & meat sauce one night, grilled chicken the next night, and chicken parmesan subs the third night. I use the leftover meat sauce and grilled chicken as the base for the subs. For this week’s recipe, I’ve included grilling instructions for the chicken. Grilling them a night or two before assembling the subs will save you time. Substitute your favorite pasta sauce for meat sauce, if preferred.

Cheicken Parmesan sandwich

Chicken Parmesan Subs

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ t. grill seasoning, divided
½ t. Italian seasoning, divided
12” loaf Italian bread, sliced lengthwise
1 c. meat sauce, warmed
4 slices mozzarella cheese
2 T. parmesan cheese

Season chicken breasts with ¼ t. each of grill & Italian seasonings. Let sit while grill preheats. Grill chicken over medium heat 6-8 minutes, or until meat thermometer registers 170 degrees. Keep chicken warm and let sit 5 minutes before slicing across the grain into strips. Spread chicken slices evenly on bottom of bread. Top evenly with meat sauce, then cheeses. Broil for 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly and cut surface of bread is browned. Close sandwich and slice into quarters.

*Wrap each quarter in aluminum foil for an on-the-go meal.

Planning a Wedding on a Budget

It’s wedding season! Some of you may be planning weddings yourself or have friends that are planning weddings. Did you know that you don’t have to break the bank to plan a wedding? With some planning and doing some work yourself, you can have a nice wedding on a budget.

My husband and I had an evening wedding with approximately 150 guests on a very tight budget. For the next few weeks I would like to share a few tips on how to plan a frugal wedding. Now if you are not planning a wedding, I hope that you can implement some of the tips in the next large party you host!

wedding cake

If you have family and friends that are willing to help, don’t be afraid to put them to work! I am lucky to have a very supportive and talented family. My mom and I made a list of people who offered to help. We noted their talents and strengths. My aunt and cousin have wonderful voices so I asked them to sing. The bridesmaid dresses and table decorations were made by my wonderfully talented mom. The party favors were put together by me and my husband. Our engagement pictures were taken by my grandpa. And the food was made by all of us!

From the beginning I knew that we could not afford a catered event. But, I did want a dinner. We ended up having a cookout (or barbecue as we call it in California!) style meal that was made by family and friends. My great uncle grilled beef and chicken. The other menu items were homemade chili beans, green salad, garlic bread and potato salad. My dad arranged a deal on the meat with the butcher at the grocery store. The bread was purchased from a local bread company at a discount. The rest of the items were purchased in bulk at Costco. It took some organization to feed 150 people, but it worked and the food was great!

We did have wine and beer at the reception. At the time, Trader Joes had a good inexpensive Two Buck Chuck Wine. Whenever it was in stock, I would go buy a case. Around New Year’s Eve, I stocked up on the champagne by watching the sales. It was much easier on the budget to buy a little at a time. Plus, it was much more affordable for us to purchase the alcohol versus a catering service.

Ask your friends and family members if they are willing to help out at your wedding or event. Figure out what you can do yourself that will be more cost effective. Although it was a lot of work, I enjoyed doing a lot of the wedding planning. It was sure rewarding when almost everything worked as planned!

Next week, I will tell you how to make inexpensive favors and decorations! Have you planned a frugal wedding? I would love to read your ideas!


Now it’s your turn!

If you are a blogger, write a post about your idea for making dollars out of change. It can be on any topic as long as it has to do with saving money. Please link directly to your post and not your homepage. A link to Madame Deals in you post is appreciated!

If you do not have a blog, we still welcome and encourage your participation! Please leave your thoughts in the in a comment below!

This post is linked at My Coupon Teacher.