Mommy’s Meat Sauce

It’s another Tuesday, and that means another cheap but delicious meal. This time I made Mommy’s meat sauce. It’s cheap, easy and VERSATILE.  You can add your own pureed veggies (broccoli, green beans, spinach, carrots, peas) and meat (ground beef, chicken, sausage, pork). Isn’t that great?

pureed broccoli and green beans mixed into a sauce the kids won’t even notice all the veggies…moms have to be sneaky

see…you don’t see the sauce, but the smell and taste is out of this world.
Can you see the steam rising off the sauce? What a hearty and healthy meal this will be.

He ate it all and asked for more! How great is that?


1 jar of sauce didn’t have a great sale 🙁 $2.50
1/4 cup of frozen broccoli and green beans $0.50
ground beef already divided package into thirds $1.17
box of store brand ziti $1.00

1. Puree 1/4 cup frozen veggies and add to pre-seasoned sauce
2. Season and cook ground beef until cooked half way though (still slightly pink)
3. Add to sauce and simmer until meat is fully cooked and sauce has delicious flavor
4. At the same time cook pasta
5. Serve meat sauce over pasta…

5 servings, COST PER SERVING $1.04

Chicken, potatoes, and french onion soup

This recipe was inspired by Saved Sister’s turkey recipe


1 can french onion soup $1.00
5 small potatoes $2.00
3 chicken drum sticks-shredded (bought by my mother so they were free) $0.00

1. Slice raw chicken and potatoes into tiny cubes
2. Season chicken and potatoes to preference and cook
3. Heat soup in pan
4. Mix chicken and potatoes into soup and serve.

  4 servings, COST PER SERVING $0.75

Chicken and Potato Lentil Soup

It’s Tuesday again, and time for another meal

This time I made ~chicken and potato lentil soup


1 can of lentil soup 10 for $10 – $1.00
1/2 package of chicken tenders $2.08
4 small potatoes  $0.75

1. Slice raw chicken into tiny cubes
2. Season chicken and potatoes to preference and cook
3. Heat Lentil soup in pan
4. Mix chicken and potatoes into soup and serve.

3 servings, COST PER SERVING $1.28

Chicken and Veggie PastaRoni

It’s Tuesday again, and time for another meal

I am going to write up my meals differently now, I’ll tell you…
how much each ingredient costs
the total price
the price per serving
If it was Dinosaur approved or not



2 pkgs Pasta Roni 10 for $10 – $2.00
1/2 package of chicken tenders $2.58
1/2 cup frozen peas/carrots – 10 for $10 .50c

1. slice chicken raw in tiny cubes
2. cook chicken and season to preference
3. Cook PastaRoni according to instructions, I substituted dairy free butter
While cooking pasta, add frozen veggies.
5. Mix together with chicken and serve

4 servings, COST PER SERVING $1.27

hopefully the adds will no longer be at the bottom of my posts

Fruit Couscous

After my debacle with the fruit on the outside of the pancakes and the chicken and fruit kabobs, you would think I would have learned my lesson right? WRONG. I am just as stubborn as Dinosaur, but my stubbornness doesn’t allow me to give up, just get more creative.

I had to try the fruit in his food somehow. My thinking was if I cut up the strawberries and blueberries and added them to the garlic and onion couscous he would LOVE it. To accompany the couscous, I thinly sliced homemade chicken cutlets.


I should have cut them smaller, but I was in a rush.

Doesn’t that look so yummy?

So here is what was presented to Dinosaur. Did he eat it? Did he refuse?

Scroll down to see











He ate it up like mad… after the first bite he politely asked for barbecue sauce, he sure does love a variety of tastes all mixed together. Just look at him stuffing that couscous into his mouth. I was so relieved and am saving this recipe.

How did I make this?
I used boxed garlic couscous (yes…boxed and it was the store brand too…LOL)
and added olive oil, more garlic, curry, ginger, and diced onions.
Once cooked, I added the diced strawberries and blueberries and mixed it in the pot.

Success and Failures

Sometimes recipes work, sometimes they fail, and sometimes you can use leftovers to make a better meal.

I made pierogie lasagna the other day. We ate every single bite, well at least Dinosaur and I did.  Hubby just couldn’t handle that it wasn’t traditional lasagna, he is VERY picky, but I love him. I didn’t use all the frozen pierogies, I decided to try some with eggs the next morning and it was a SUCCESS! 

frozen pierogies
spice mix

heat up pierogies in iron cast skillet on stove top
add scrambled eggs and spice mix

Dinosaur ate EVERY bite of his…with ketchup it was a heavenly breakfast.


Normally I make pancakes with fruit INSIDE of them, but this time I decided to try fruit on the outside in the shape of a smiley face. Dino was NOT having this at all, he refused to eat any of the fruit. He clearly explained that it is supposed to be inside his pancake. He at least ate some of the pancakes and politely asked for cheerios. I smiled and gladly fulfilled his request, knowing I should have NEVER deviated from my usual pancakes.


I took the left over pancakes and decided to try the same trick with the eggs. Dinosaur LOVED this too. Anything with eggs seems to be a MUST for Dino. I bet with fruit inside, it would be even better.


I did NOT learn my lesson from the smiley face pancakes, and attempted to make chicken and fruit kabobs. Since it was a last minute recipe I made it up as I went along

~At the time, I was hoping it would come out good~


chicken breasts
olive oil
seasoning mix

Pour lots of olive oil into cast iron skillet
add a good amount of spice mix
Add chicken breasts and brush on spice mix and olive oil mixture onto to both sides
Add squash around the chicken, cover and bake at 250 degrees for about 45 minutes.

I then cut the chicken, strawberries, and grapes. I carefully added the pieces on the kabob sticks and presented them to Dinosaur. He was impressed with the design, but only ate the chicken. Did I really expect anything? So silly mommy. But I have another idea for the chicken and fruit and will post about it next Tuesday.


 I quickly gave made a peanut butter and jam sandwich, he ate almost all of it.

What are you recipe successes or disasters?

I FINALLY caught up with my cleaning schedule. WOOOOHOOOO

Pierogie Lasagna

After seeing this fabulous dinner, that I now call pierogie lasagna, on There’s Just One Mommy, I had to try it. When I can get a recipe, turn it into a delicious dairy-free one, I’m a happy mom. She has great ideas and wonderful posts, you won’t be disappointed. PLUS now I have another recipe I can add to the list under “ground beef”. A mom should have lots of recipes for different foods, right?

Dairy Free Version:
Two boxes of Mrs T’s Potato and Onion Pierogies
olive oil
raw chopped meat
spice mix
pasta sauce
shredded soy cheese

Layer pierogies on pan
coat with olive oil
crumble raw chopped meat on top
Cover with a jar of your favorite pasta sauce
Sprinkle on soy cheese, or rice cheese if you prefer
bake in the oven at 300 degrees for half and hour

It came out so good, so tasty, so perfect. I made hubby try a bite before he headed off to work and he liked it. I didn’t use all the pierogies, I have three left which I will use for breakfast tomorrow. Perhaps defrost, chop up and make into a cheeseless omelet. Sounds good to me!

Just look at how yummy that looks…I couldn’t wait to eat it.

Dinosaur devoured it! He loved every bite of his lasagna, which made me happy.

I also wanted to share that my son has claimed a shot glass as his personal cup. That is apple juice and water in the cup, just in case you are wondering. It’s the perfect size for him to sip, without gulping too much. I may have to buy some more cheap ones. Whatever works to get them to eat, right?

I also mentioned my spice mix in my list of ingredients. On a recent post The Busy Mom’s Diet did a tutorial on a time saving spice mix and I wanted to slap myself at how simple of an idea that was, I have been adding separate spices to my meals for how many years now? Go check out her other tutorials, you will love them. Anyway, I made my own. Of course I took a picture after I used almost the entire mix. I have to make more, but love the concept. In mine, I added: garlic and onion powder,  curry, all spice, parsley, oregano, chives, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Don’t ask how much of each, I just threw in whatever I felt like, each time the mix will differ. You should know by now I kind of follow recipes and improvise as I go along.

I am doing good with my cleaning schedule. How about you? How behind are you…if at all? Or are you ahead of the game and able to enjoy the clean?

Mommy’s Meatballs and Apple Crisp

So after my dealings with the rancid meat and smelly pizza dough, I had to purchase them again. After that set back, I was able to make meatballs with pasta and sauce, (I make my own meatballs now, for financial and health reasons) and meatball pizza pockets, meatball sandwiches.

ground beef
diced zucchini
diced onions
diced garlic
1 egg
milk (I used almond milk)
bread crumbs

Mix together and make into small meatballs. I place them in my cast iron skillet and then cook at 300 degrees for twenty minutes. Once my electric oven is heated up, the food cooks VERY fast, I learned this lesson after a meal was over-cooked. Then place meatballs in sauce and simmer for about ten minutes, to allow sauce to soak into meatballs.

With all the extra meatballs, I was able to make meatball and broccoli pizza pockets (original recipe here) . This time I made the pizza pockets and used pancake mix instead of flour. I’ve been calling them calzones, old habits die hard. We also had lots of meatball sandwiches. I even used some meatballs for my omelets with salsa. Sound gross? Hey, got to use every last bit of food, right?

Quick apple crisp

1 apple, cut into slices
dry pancake mix, mixed with butter (I used non-dairy butter)
cinnamon or other spices of your choice

mix all together and place in cast iron skillet at 250 degrees for twenty minutes, they still have a little crunch. Then top with your favorite ice cream. I used Trader Joe’s chocolate cherry soy ice cream.



run washing machine if full
put away dried clothes
clean up disaster areas from Hurricane Dinosaur

clean bathroom

clean fridge and microwave (hate doing this)

What’s your cleaning agenda today?

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Squash Disappointment

I really like to make my own chicken strips and nuggets. While buying pre-made is easier, I know what is really in my nuggets. It’s really not that hard to make.  I made these chicken strips the same way I made my pork nuggets, only I placed them in the oven for a few extra minutes since they were a thicker cut.
I made a big batch today, because hubby was home for dinner.
Then I decided to try and make breaded squash. I coated them in egg and breaded them, but was in a rush as both hubby and Dinosaur were rushing me with pains of hunger. I didn’t coat them evenly, as you can see.


Even though the squash did NOT turn out how I wanted. How did I want them to look? I wanted them completely coated and to look like round chicken nuggets so Dinosaur would eat them. That didn’t work out and he refused to even have them on his plate. He DID eat every bit of chicken and asked for more.


Despite the way the squash turned out, hubby LOVED everything. He cleaned his plate and asked for more. Now, that makes a wife feel good, but I must plan ahead and take more time to coat my squash so son will eat a few of them.  Hmmmm, maybe I can cook broccoli the same way.
Did any of your meals not turn out the way you wanted, but still rocked?


run washing machine if full, put away dried clothes, clean up disaster areas from Hurricane Dinosaur
clean bathroom
organize/catch-up day (from yesterday-vacuum inside sofa)
What’s your cleaning agenda today? 

You can find me on  pinterest   facebook   twitter

Dinosaur Approved Dinners – Pizza

PIZZA PIZZA We made pizza… PIZZA! Dinosaur LOVES pizza. Making the pizza is ALMOST as fun as eating it.

We add some Ragu pizza sauce, pepperoni, and left over meatballs. Pizza is a great way to use leftovers in the house. Toppings can be chicken, broccoli, sausage, carrots, pineapple, pork, green beans, hummus, olives, or any toppings you like. That’s what’s great about homemade pizza, there are NO rules and you make it the way YOU want.

If I don’t watch dinosaur he’ll eat all the toppings and try to eat the sauce all before we finish the pizzas. He’s a hungry dino.

In our electric stove it only takes twenty minutes until they are perfectly ready for a hungry dinosaur with a huge appetite. I put them right on the rack, to ensure the bottom is crisp but not burnt.

Mini pizza’s are perfect for Dinosaur to hold and take a crazy dinosaur bite. It is important for dinosaurs to try to fit the whole slice in their mouth. YUMMY!

What dinners do you love to make with your kids? How much do they help?