Friday, May 16, 2014

What we ate this week, a recipe, and a tip

Here's what we ate this week (we are trying our best to not eat out!).  We actually made a goal at the beginning of April to not eat out the whole month, and we did really well!  (I didn't say we were successful because the girls and I got a $5.00 Little Caesar's Pizza at the very end of the month because we went to the park and it was a treat).  But, $5.00 isn't too bad.

I know this isn't April, but Jared and I are making that goal again (in the middle of May).  So, I wanted to keep track of what we're eating and post some recipes.

I have a few recipes on this blog already.  I started a recipe notebook awhile ago, but then thought that this blog would be a great place to store them.  That way I can easily access it, as well as the girls when they get older, and in the process, I can share our favorite recipes.  And, I can include pictures!

I would also like to post how much we spend on groceries each week (because I'm always trying to save as much money as possible), but this week I wasn't organized enough.

Anyway, here's what we ate this week for dinner, followed by a tip and a recipe.


Buffalo chicken sandwiches with baked french fries (the girls weren't with us so I don't know what they ate)


Red beans and rice (recipe below) with french bread (the girls had a bean and cheese quesadilla with corn)


Potato Soup with french bread (the girls ate this with us)


Vegetable Enchiladas with rice and beans (the girls, again, had a bean and cheese quesadilla with rice - they don't get tired of the same ole' stuff, ha)



Jared gets a free lunch every day at his job (it's school food, though, so don't be envious).  The girls eat typical kid food for lunch, and I either eat what the girls eat or have leftovers.

Moving on to the recipe!

Red beans and rice is one of my go to recipes when I want an easy meal to prepare.  It's pretty much a one-pot meal; just add some bread (Jared likes crackers), and you're good to go!  This is our favorite Red Beans and Rice recipe and I make it a few times a month.

Yummy french bread!

The girls aren't a fan of beans unless it's a bean and cheese quesadilla.  Which is what they get instead!

The recipe is at the bottom of this post, but first I wanted to share a tip that I use to save time and money on a common cooking ingredient:  bell peppers.

Bell Pepper Tip:

When bell peppers go on sale, I stock up.  A pretty good price is around 50 cents per pepper.

I slice them up (or sometimes chop), put them into freezer bags, and freeze!  (I'm pretty sure my mom shared this tip with me.)

They last several months in the freezer. I currently have some in my freezer that have been frozen for 4 or 5 months.

When I need bell peppers for a recipe, I just pull out what I need, chop them up if needed (they're not difficult to chop when frozen), and throw them into a skillet.

(*Note - this will only work if the peppers are going to be cooked; otherwise, they will be very mushy and gross.)  

Red Beans and Rice (2 to 4 servings)

½ onion, chopped 
½ green pepper, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
9 oz sausage (or more), cut up
1 ½ - 2 cups red beans or kidney beans (I like red beans because they're smaller)
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes and green chiles
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp salt (or more to taste)
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
cooked brown rice 
  1. Saute onion, green pepper, and garlic in large skillet 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add sausage and cook about 5 minutes.
  3. Add all other ingredients, except the rice, and simmer about 30 minutes (sometimes I don't let it simmer for this long - maybe 15 minutes - and it always turns out fine).
  4. Serve over rice.

Enjoy!  If you try it let me know how it went!

Happily shared with:


  1. Great bell pepper tip! We do gumbo and red beans and rice a ton, so I need to be doing this. We go through them so fast!

    1. I use bell peppers for lots of dishes too, so this really helps because, goodness they can get expensive!