Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Tea Party

Several days ago, my daughters hosted their annual Christmas Tea. We had 16 young ladies and 6 (old?!) ladies in attendance. Everyone said it was a smashing success.

The theme the girls chose was snow and snowmen. The invitations, which I neglected to photograph, were purchased as blank cards at Michael's for $1 for 10. We embellished them with scrapbook supplies and printed wording from the computer. For decorations, my husband, Mr. Christmas, strung white icicle lights from the ceiling, as well as his usual multi-colored lights around the edges of the ceiling. We also put icicle lights and white tulle across the hearth. As always, I placed about a dozen votives in the fireplace to give light, but not heat. We used Debbie Mumm paper plates from Jo Ann Fabric over heavy red octagonal styrofoam plates. I know, not fancy, but clean up after 16 little girls and you'll understand. After the first year, we switched to fancy disposable. The tables were covered in red cloths with squares of matching Debbie Mumm wrapping paper to accent. Centerpieces were red and green floral candle rings around candles floating in footed glass ice cream dishes. I wove a long strand of white snow flake garland around the centerpieces.

This is the bigger girls' table.

The little bags on the plates were little bead snowflake ornaments that we made together for the girls to take home.

This is the littler girls' table. No candles on it! Our menu was:

Tea sandwiches (chicken salad, turkey and spinach pinwheels)

Mini ham and cheese quiches

Fruit kabobs with vanilla yogurt dip

Mini muffins (strawberry cheesecake flavor)

Cookies (meringues, macaroons, white chocolate/dried cherry, lemon bars, peanut butter, gingerbread stars)

Scones with strawberry jam and mock Devonshire cream

Cranberry tea

I love our Christmas teas. I wish you all could have joined us!

I hope your Christmas was lovely!

Warm regards,

Shannon

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pumpkin Delight

This is a nice, but very rich, alternative to pumpkin pie. It is a little like a pumpkin pudding with a buttery crust on top. I think it is absolutely delicious. My 2 year old loves it, too. She calls it "Punk."

Pumpkin Delight

Beat together:

5 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 29 ounce can pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Pour the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish.

Sprinkle over the top:

1 standard sized yellow cake mix (butter flavor is REALLY good)

Thinly sliver 2 sticks of butter and lay on top of the cake mix.

Sprinkle over the butter 1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional, I don't).

Bake at 300 F for 1-1 1/2 hours until set (no butter pooling on top) and crust is a nice dark golden color.

Serve with whipped cream if desired.

Warm regards,

Shannon

Thanksgiving Menu

Here is the menu for Thanksgiving at our house.

roasted turkey (15 pounds)
sage dressing (some in the bird and some in a pan)
pan gravy
mashed potatoes (Yukon golds)
sweet potato casserole (lots of marshmallows)
green bean casserole
cloverleaf rolls
cranberry relish
stuffed eggs
olives, pickles
orange fluff
apple pie
German chocolate pecan pie

This is a very traditional menu for us. The only new additions this year are the pies. After 16 years of marriage, I just found out my husband likes pecan pie. I was going to make a Pumpkin Delight, which I like better than pie, but I my husband doesn't really like it. I think I will post the recipe for you in case you want to make one yourself.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Warm regards,

Shannon

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Saving Money at the Grocery Store Part 4

These books have helped me the most in learning how to save money grocery shopping. I am including the links to Half.com where they can be purchased used at a huge discount. Of course, I would advise taking them for a test drive from your local library or through inter-library loan before purchasing.

Cut Your Grocery Bill In Half, Barbara Salsbury, 1982 here

The Complete Tightwad Gazette, Amy Dacyczyn, 1999 here
Also available as 3 volumes:
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3

Miserly Moms: Living on One Income in a Two Income Economy, Joni McCoy, 1996 here

Miserly Meals: Healthy, Tasty Recipes Under 75 Cents Per Serving, Joni McCoy, 2002 here

Please post your favorite money saving books in the comments.

Warm regards,
Shannon



Monday, June 18, 2007

Saving Money at the Grocery Store, Part 3

I have a few final ideas about saving money at the grocery store. I’m just listing them by subject as that seems easiest.

Breakfast:
I’ve heard so many ladies say they can’t cook breakfast—they’re too rushed in the morning--so the children and husband have to start their day with cold cereal, which is not only expensive, but very unhealthy. I allow it once per week, on Saturday morning. I look for the cheapest one on the shelf—my limit is $1.50 for a standard sized box (one whole box will be consumed in one sitting at my house). If it is a treat and not a daily staple, then the children will take whatever they are offered. Personally, I do not believe that a cooked breakfast is a big deal to produce. I cook breakfast nearly every morning, and except when I have a newborn under six weeks or the absolute worst morning sickness, my husband gets a cooked breakfast everyday he works a day shift. That has been my practice since we were married almost 16 years ago. Even when I can’t get up due to nursing or nausea, I arrange something hot for him—toaster waffles or a plate he can heat in the microwave. I feel my husband and children are too important to me to shove a cold bowl at before they start their day. You can make lots of nice breakfasts the night before. If you do an internet search for make-ahead breakfast, you’ll get more than you’ll know what to do with.

Eggs are a good value as far as protein goes, especially if you are going light on meat to save money. They are also easy to cook. Our standard breakfast is scrambled eggs and toast with juice. I can make a big pan of scrambled eggs (I scramble 8 at a time for me and 5 little people), and 8 slices of toast in less than 5 minutes. Oatmeal is probably the cheapest choice for breakfast, but everyone I know has a definite limit as to how much of it they can tolerate. I have a hard time with the texture and can’t eat it very often. We usually have it with milk to drink, so it’s a complete protein. My children like applesauce spooned over the top.

Juice is outrageously priced. We have one glass (6-8 ounces) per day, usually at breakfast. Any more than that is really unnecessary as it is so high in sugar. Children (and adults) should be taught to drink water when thirsty and not require a flavored drink. That will lead to a soda habit later on. Whole fruit is much better for your body, anyway.

Lunch:
If I don’t have any leftovers, then I have a rotating schedule of lunches that the children and I eat everyday. My husband takes a lunch to work, but wants the same thing everyday. If I had to pack a school lunch for the children, I suppose I would make a rotating schedule for them, utilizing the least expensive things I could find. I think putting individual servings in small reusable containers would be cheaper than single-serving containers. Also making sandwiches from leftovers would be more economical than deli meat.

Milk:
Milk is unnecessary. There, I said it. Cow milk is meant for calves; people do not technically require cow milk to be healthy. There are tons of good (even better) sources of calcium. Broccoli is one. If you cannot afford milk, you shouldn’t feel bad—unless of course you can’t afford milk in order to buy cigarettes or something. Just investigate other good sources of calcium and work them in. If we have 2 8-ounce glasses per day (the recommended amount), this would be 1 and ¾ gallons per day. At $3 per gallon, that would be $36.75 per week in milk alone!! I cannot fathom spending that on a beverage. If you have milk, treat it as what it is—a protein source, not a beverage.

Baby items:

Formula: I nurse my babies for 6-12 months and wean them to milk in a soft spout cup, so I don’t have any advice here except WIC.

Diapers: Cloth are better for the environment as far as trash goes. Money-wise, take the cost of laundering them into account. I use disposable at present, at my husband’s request. He doesn’t want the extra wash water in the septic tank. I have used cloth in the past. I like cloth and would switch in a minute to save at the store. I buy Wal-Mart brand or Luv’s. They perform at an acceptable level and are not too expensive for me.

Diaper wipes: Unnecessary, but SO convenient! A big stack of white face cloths are very cheap at Wal-Mart or a similar store. Of course you have to treat them like cloth diapers as far as washing goes.

Baby food: Not needed. Mash table food with a fork, mix in milk or formula or whatever they are drinking at the time. A baby food mill can be found at thrift stores or fairly cheaply at a discount store like Wal-Mart. It is a real help, especially for meats.

Pet items:

Dog/cat food: I spent years buying an acceptable inexpensive cat food. I then read that a good quality food is a better value in the end. The reason: less waste. The animal requires a smaller serving of high quality food and uses more of it for nutrition. Consequently, they produce smaller, less-smelly piles of waste. I believe this. I switched to Iams cat food (dry). Our cat eats about 1/3 less of it than she did of the Wiskas we used to buy. She now only has one pile in her litter box daily. She used to have much more—and they smelled A LOT worse.

Cat box litter: I also spend more here to get better results. I buy the white crystals, which cost a bit more, but they cut the smell so well I don’t mind. Now that the cat goes less, the crystals last longer than they used to as well. I have to remind the children to stir the box daily, though, when they scoop it, to dry the urine.

Produce:

Buy fresh produce in season from local growers. I wrote about this here. If you can garden, do so. Even a tomato plant growing in a bucket will cut down what you have to buy. I can’t afford all fresh so I buy some frozen and canned as well. Frozen is preferable to canned, as it retains more of the health benefits of the food. I plan for fruit at one meal every day, as well as a glass of juice at breakfast, and at least 3 vegetables. I try to plan different colors everyday for health benefits. When planning a menu, I don’t count potatoes as a vegetable. I count them the same as bread.

Meat:

We are carnivores at my house. However, I try to have a “meatless Monday” on my dinner schedule, as well as a soup night and dried beans every week or so. My husband doesn’t like fish so much, but the children and I LOVE it, so we have it while he is at work. You have to investigate meat prices and cuts, so you know when you have a good price. I will not go above $2.39/lb for boneless, skinless chicken breasts. When I lived “down south” (in the lower 48), my limit was $1.99. Everything is more expensive here—except fresh salmon, but it’s not as cheap as you’d think unless you fish for it yourself or have generous neighbors.

We also eat wild game meat that my husband hunts and we process ourselves. Moose is delicious, as is caribou. I never cared much for the white-tailed deer we had in the mid-west, but if you have the opportunity and inclination, do try to supplement with game meat. Even just fishing a little in the summer will bring down the food bill.

Cook from scratch:

Most convenience foods can be reproduced with a little effort. I use thick white sauce instead of cream of whatever soup in casseroles. I also use white sauce with cheddar cheese in it over macaroni instead of boxed mac-n-cheese. Cookies are fun and very cheap to make (healthier than store bought, too). Ultimately, bread is better to make at home, too, but this is an advanced step for most people. Home made pancakes, biscuits, noodle and rice mixes, even my beloved cappuccino mix is cheaper than pre-made, processed packages from the store. Try just one item at a time if the idea of scratch cooking scares you.


I hope you are blessed by this information. I recently had to cut my grocery money by $10 per week, from $125 to $115. I did really well this first grocery trip, but am always looking for new ways to save. Please add your favorite grocery dollar savers in the comments, if you are so inclined.

Warm regards,

Shannon

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Saving Money At the Grocery Store, Part 2

Note: All the forms and worksheets I refer to in this article are located here, at Apron String’s Kitchen Things.

When I was growing up—and even to this day—my mother would grocery shop by walking up and down every aisle, tossing whatever sounded good into the cart. While this method did provide us with groceries, usually A LOT of them, it was really ineffective in the meal preparation department as my father would have to stop on his way home from work almost every day to purchase an item or three that my mother forgot until she was in the middle of making dinner. I can only speculate as to the astronomical amount my parents must have spent on food over the course of each month.

I can’t remember where I learned about making a meal plan, but I know that when my husband and I where newly married I made out a meal plan every week and then made my grocery list from the meal plan. I would go off to the commissary and spend my $50 on hamburger and frozen burritos and toilet paper and cat litter and be happy as a clam knowing I kept to my budget. I know I did it because I recently found that very first meal planning notebook. Oh how I laughed at that old thing. I am afraid my culinary skill at the time was…uh…nonexistent. I had to look up how to cook a baked potato. I remember how excited I was to discover lemon pepper seasoning. I put it on everything!

Well, I guess I’ve dragged you far enough down memory lane for one day. Perhaps next time we can explore how poor my housekeeping skills were…But for now I’ll get on to what I’m supposed to be talking about: meal planning.

If you are driving somewhere, do you map out the route to save time and money while maximizing the sightseeing value? If you are grocery shopping without a meal plan, it is as if you are driving without a map. You can do it, but it is ineffective. If you are deciding what you are going to be eating all week while walking the aisles, you will forget items, or worse, be suckered into buying everything the store pushes at you.

There is a way of shopping and meal preparation called cooking from the pantry or something along those lines, whereby you buy whatever is on sale in bulk and then just cook from what you have. With all deference to those who can pull this off successfully, I believe it takes more creativity than I at least am able to muster. I’m afraid I’d stare blankly into that full cupboard and order a pizza. If you can do it, God bless you. You don’t need the rest of this article.

I am sharing with you MY way of planning meals. I am not an expert nutritionist. I haven’t taken classes in meal planning. I have 15 years of experience in meal planning and preparation in my own home for my own family that I am offering to share. If you don’t like my way, develop a way you do like. The point is that planning ahead will save you money at the store and time at home.

Firstly, I think it is very important to develop a workable template of meal ideas from which to work. I have seen several ways to do this. I have provided an example of the template I use here. There is also a blank one for you to use if you so choose. A template of meals is simply a list of what kind of meals you would like to have during a week. For example, meatless on Monday, chicken on Tuesday, beef on Wednesday, etc. I also have a template for lunches, provided there aren’t any leftovers, because I home educate and have to prepare a lunch for all the children every day. Since I already have these templates in place, I did one for breakfast. It eliminates thinking before 7 am. My template is a rotating 2-week plan, since I grocery shop every two weeks. You could just as easily plan a whole month.

I use my meal template to make a more specific menu every two weeks. I like to do it this way so I can shop according to what’s on sale, what’s in season and for special occasions. I have seen menu plans done without the template, just listing a month’s worth of meals and repeating it every month, which is a good idea, but it doesn’t provide me with enough opportunity to be creative. It would probably be a great way to get started meal planning, or when tending an infant (eliminate thinking for those first foggy months), or if your entrĂ©e repertoire is limited, or if you just don’t want to deal with planning a new one every month. Either way, the key is to plan ahead. I have provided a blank copy of my meal planning worksheet here. I like to plan side dishes, vegetables, salads—anything I’m going to buy and cook gets written down. If I’m consistent in this area, I ensure my family is getting enough fruit and vegetables, and I’m not buying things that end up not getting served.

When I am ready to plan my meals, I first go to my kitchen cabinets and freezer and pretend I have to shop from what is already there. Usually, I come up with a couple of meals or at least the main part of a few meals. Then I look at the current grocery store fliers to see what is on sale. For example, the local Safeway has boneless skinless chicken breasts on sale this week for $2.18 lb. That is an awesome price in Alaska. They also have frozen hamburger patties for $1.49 lb. Since this is grilling season, I will definitely include those. After the store fliers, I fill in the rest using what I know to be in season, taking into consideration any special meals, like birthdays or holidays.

It is wise to plan to cook more than one meal at a time. For example, a large beef roast cooked in the crock pot all day with a packet of onion soup mix and a can of cream of mushroom soup can be shredded and served over rice on Monday and on toasted buns on Wednesday. Likewise, one or two chickens can be “crocked” and spread out to two meals, and the carcasses simmered down to broth for noodles or dumplings or soup for a third.

When the plan is finished, all that’s left to do is make the actual grocery list. I divide mine by meat, produce, packaged items, bakery, frozen, dairy, and non-food. I have also arranged it by aisle, but I usually get several items in the wrong aisle, so that doesn’t work so well for me.

Just taking a few minutes to plan ahead will save money at the checkout. Your plan can be as simple or as complex as you wish, but having a plan is a guaranteed way to leave the store without feeling robbed.

One final note: I try not to make my plan so inflexible that I miss out on unadvertised sales and specials. Also, my grocer may be sold out of an item and I need to improvise at the last minute. I just try to get something similar or cheaper in price or that will go with the meal as it is planned. For example, if I’ve planned to grill steaks, but chops are cheaper, the substitution is easy. However, if I’ve planned, say, corned beef and cabbage, but there isn’t any corned beef, I may have to get an entirely different meal.

In Part 3, I hope to discuss some good shopping habits.

Warm regards,

Shannon

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Saving At the Grocery Store, Part 1

This post is at the specific request of my dear husband, who apparently works with people who are completely stymied by the fact that my grocery budget, including diapers and household items, is $500 per month. With my $500, I buy enough food, paper items, bathroom supplies, and diapers for 2 adults and six children, ranging in age from 11 years to 6 months. I also buy cat food and litter for one medium-sized cat.

My husband, like everyone else in America’s military, is paid twice per month, on the 1st and on the 15th. I go grocery shopping around those dates. I try to do all my shopping in one day, as any extra trip to the store will cause me to overspend. I have determined that the amount of willpower required to go into a grocery store or, even worse, into Wal-Mart, for one item is more than the average person possesses. It is far too tempting to buy a few extra things, especially if they are on sale. One gallon of milk ends up costing $20. Better to stay home and drink water.

I do not believe that saving money at the grocery store requires a family to survive on beans and cornbread, unless that’s what they like to eat. What I do believe is that smart shopping habits, a plan, and an understanding of the whole retail grocery industry will result in saving without much change in the way a family eats. Of course, some food is just plain cheaper, beans being one of those, and working in more cheap food will bring down the bill even further.

First I want to address a few things about the grocery industry in general. Did you know the grocery industry produces a professional journal? Further, did you know that said journal provides its readers with constantly improving ideas for wringing the last penny out of the shoppers’ pockets? They do a tremendous amount of research on how shoppers shop in order to get them to spend more. You MUST be aware when you enter the store that millions of dollars are spent by the grocery industry to entice you to buy. You MUST be smarter than the average shopper or you will succumb to their tactics. Like all retailers, grocers are in the money making business and are not past using deceit to make as much of it as possible.

For example, do you buy from the special displays that are just inside the entrance or stacked at the end of the aisles? Do you bother to check the prices on those “specials” against the same or similar items on the shelf to see how “special” the price really is? Chances are that the “special” price is just the regular price in a different location and may even be higher than a similar item in the regular spot. The manager is counting on the fact that most people will never bother to check the price. Most people will ASSUME the price is good. After all, it’s stacked at the end of the aisle! However, stacking it at the end of the aisle, also called the endcap, is just their way of screaming “HERE, BUY THIS!!”

Here is another example. About twice a year, the military commissary hosts a huge “case lot” sale. They erect a giant circus tent in the parking lot and fill it with cases of all sorts of grocery items, mostly things like canned vegetables, paper towels, laundry soap, snack foods, bottled water and the like. Sometimes, they stage it in the warehouse to give it even more of a “special” feeling. They hype it for a month beforehand, putting up signs and handing out fliers. It is a very big deal for the store. The implication is that by buying things by the case, you will save money. It is the same idea as shopping in a members-only warehouse chain like Sam’s or Costco. However, they are relying on the IMPLICATION that the prices are better and that the consumer will FEEL they are getting a good deal. Unless you are shopping with a calculator and know the prices of what you normally buy, you will be suckered into overspending in ways you were not expecting.

This example is from the actual case lot sale my local commissary is hosting this weekend. My husband likes to drink those no-calorie flavored waters. I found a brand of them that regularly costs $1.75 per 6-pack. There were cases of a similar drink “on sale” by the case for $11.88. I pulled out my calculator and quickly determined that the by-the-case price worked out to $1.98 per 6-pack! So, the case was actually MORE than the off-the-shelf price by $1.38 for the same amount. The fact that there were coupons on the shelf with my regular brand made the deal even sweeter. Those took another $.75 off every 2 6-packs, saving me another $2.25 off the by-the-case price. In total, the 36 drinks that were $11.88 in the case cost me $8.25 by the 6-pack. This is just one example, there were many more instances where I found the same kind of hidden mark-up. You can find this same thing at warehouse stores if you are looking for it and are armed with a calculator.

The other problem with by-the-case and bulk pricing in general is that you are temped to buy things you wouldn’t normally buy because you think it is a good deal. For instance, I noticed a lot of snack food items like little individual pouches of chips and puddings and other “lunch box” items, which are outrageously overpriced to begin with. Someone who ordinarily wouldn’t buy that sort of thing might be tempted if they thought they were getting a better price. Some shoppers might also be tempted to buy more of something than they really need. By this I mean that if you buy a case of paper towels, you are apt to use more paper towels because you know you have so many of them on hand. Excess often leads to wastefulness if you are not vigilant.

Do you see what I mean about the subtle ways you are being coerced into spending more than you need to?

Now, I am not saying that it is never good to buy by-the-case or in bulk. The truth is that there are often very good deals to be had. There are questions you must ask yourself, though, before you buy the gallon of mustard or the case of toilet paper. First, will I use this much before it goes bad? In the case of paper items, sure, they store forever. But with perishables in giant containers, you may have to repackage and freeze the extra until you need it. Secondly, can I find a cheaper brand not in bulk? My water bottle deal is an example of that. Thirdly, is this something I even need to buy at all? I priced out a case of Capri-Sun drink pouches at a savings of $.25 per 10-pack. That is a good deal, except I don’t need Capri-Sun drink pouches. I would have wasted $10.44 to “save” $1.50. Better to keep the $10.44 and buy a packet of lemonade mix for a quarter, or forget the whole thing and drink water.

Coupons are another trick of the grocery industry. Coupons are generally designed to generate brand-loyalty. Manufacturers will issue coupons for huge savings on items to get you to buy the item. Once the initial purchase is made, you are much more likely to continue to buy that item even when you have no coupon. Please don’t do this. You are not married to Proctor and Gamble. You won’t hurt their feelings if you use them for their coupon, and then buy the store brand next time. Kellogg’s isn’t going to call and ask you why you didn’t buy the $4 box of cereal this time, even though you bought it last time. Most coupons are issued for non-essential and overpriced items, as well. When was the last time you saw a coupon for, say, ground beef or broccoli? I bet you’ve seen a bunch for cold breakfast cereal and disposable cleaning items, though. Most of the time, you can locate a similar item that is still cheaper, even if you used the coupon.

Brand loyalty should become a thing of the past if you are trying to save grocery money. I buy VERY few specific brands. Most branded items are pretty much the same anyway. You may perceive a difference, but honestly, they are all very similar. That being said, you can often save quite a bit by buying the generic or store brand of many items with no noticeable difference in quality. Where there is a difference, you have to decide on what your level of comfort is and go with the item that is the cheapest for that level. Toilet paper is the prime example here. The very cheapest brand I can find is $4.07 for a 24-pack. That works out to just under $.17 per roll. However, it shreds and disintegrated when wet. Not a good property in toilet paper! So, I moved up to the next best price: $4.99 per 24-pack. That’s a little over $.20 per roll. It does what it needs to, no frills, but who needs frills on toilet paper. It really just has to do the job without sanding off skin, right? This level is acceptable to us, so this is the one I buy. However, if someone needs more out of there toilet paper, they may need to move up to the next best price until they reach their lowest acceptable comfort level.

This works for most items, not just toilet paper. Here is another example. We eat quite a few saltine crackers. The children use them as snacks and my husband likes them in soup. The cheapest box of saltines I can find are $.99 at Wal-Mart. They are acceptable, but not exactly what we need in a cracker. They are mostly broken, which is fine in soup, but hard to have peanut butter or cheese on. So I buy the next best price, which is $1.07 per box on sale at the commissary. If there are no brands on sale there, I buy the Wal-Mart ones or skip it and adjust the menu so we don’t need crackers.

A final word on the grocery industry: use their tactics against them. Every week, I get sale fliers from the two main grocers in my town. Sometimes there is a really good price on one or two items at each store. Often, I will go and buy just that item and nothing else. As I said earlier in the post, though, it takes a HUGE amount of effort and willpower not to buy anything else. I do not make a special trip to do this. Buying the extra gas would negate all but the very deepest of discounts. However, both those stores will price match exact items, so sometimes it only takes one stop. You must be careful not to eat up potential savings buying extra gas or unneeded items. By the way, walk right past that refrigerated soda case next to the register, and use the aisle without the candy display. One soda and candy bar twice per month is over $52 per year. You can buy 26 pounds of hamburger for that!! Small savings make a huge difference in the end.

In the next installment of this series, I will address the need to plan your family’s menu to maximize your food dollar.

Warm regards,
Shannon

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ice Box Lemonade Pie


Ice Box Lemonade Pie

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, regular or pink, thawed
1 container Cool-Whip
1 graham cracker crust

Beat cream cheese until smooth.
Gradually beat in condensed milk, then lemonade.
Fold in whipped topping and pour into pie shell.
Cover and refrigerate until set.
This is my favorite dessert in the spring/summer. It is especially good on a HOT day! Enjoy!
Warm regards,
Shannon

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Springtime cupcakes!




This has to be the cutest cupcake I've ever seen. The recipe and directions are here. I am planning to make these as a surprise for my littlest ones. Last year, my 4 year old daughter and I watched a robin nest all spring and summer. It is such a joy to experience nature with a child.

Green Challenge #2 later today.

Warm regards,

Shannon