The Thrifty Mama is having a great Giveaway day!

If you regularly check out other peoples blogs you’ll undoubtedly see giveaways. Some good, some great, some Ok.  Today I have found one that interests me.

Check out what the giveaways are for today!

Leave a comment on her blog (NOT MINE) for a chance at her giveaways.  Good luck.

Healthy Kid’s Lunches

I was supposed to blog about my kid’s lunches this week.  And quite frankly I would have preferred that to the chick drama that sashayed itself into my life this week.  But I was overruled.

So here I am… late… as usual. Obviously you will notice a lack of actual lunch in this photo.  But this is what I compiled my children’s lunches from.  All of it relatively healthy.  The Hillshire Farms deli selects are something I found when I started Weight Watchers a few years ago and needed to find a lower “points” sandwich.  Five slices of either ham, smoked turkey or roasted turkey are a portion for only 60 calories total.

So normally lunches for my kids include a main dish (sandwiches this week; and always on whole wheat bread), a dairy item Yogurt and/or cheese cubes, a snack (pretzels this week) and a drink.  note:  I only give my 8 & 5 yr olds half sandwiches.  The reason is a whole sandwich is too much in a school lunch hour (which isn’t an hour) and it’s too much for their little tummies).

I always have them bring a water bottle to school, but in their lunches I try to send milk.  Ahh the great flavored milk debate…  So here’s my opinion.  I don’t mind chocolate milk – ONCE IN A WHILE.  Everyday doesn’t cut it with me.  So my kids suffer through only getting chocolate milk a few times a week.  Strawberry milk looks too toxic for me, soooo… no.

Two things missing from this photo are a sweet and a fruit.  I try to stick a small treat in a few times a week and an apple/banana/berries or melon.  

One of these Dove dark chocolates is what went into lunches a few times this week.

I shall endeavor to expand my healthy repertoire!  To do this I will head to my favorite blogs!  The best places  to start are and  For my 5 year old, I think I’m going to try some ideas from

If you need more ideas check out my blogroll.

This is my vice


This cabinet is what I'm striving for (cabinet included!)

I keep dreaming about splurging on Polish Pottery.


I don’t know if it’s because my Tata (grandfather) was from Poland or if I just love it because it’s gorgeous.  But I think it’s a little bit of both.  Would I really have stopped to look at something this colorful if it hadn’t been Polish? Probably not, but I did.  Now I’m hooked. I currently have serving dishes, large bowls, small bowls, teapot, sugar bowl, an apple baker and random assorted dishes.

My husband recently came home and surprised me by bringing me some new pieces!

My goal is to eventually have a complete dinner set (I’m a long ways away).  Of course at the rate of speed that I make my purchases–it will be a mismatched set.  But that just adds character.

Did I mention it’s not my husband’s favorite?  This is where it gets confusing–for me too.  See I’m still not sure if he doesn’t like it or is desperately hoping I’ll start getting rid of other ceramics (Polish or not) soon. I have no more room.  And that’s why I’m hoping for a buffet & hutch for Christmas this year!  (pipe dream)

Maybe in a year, the photo I post will be an update of my new buffet and hutch filled with my own collection…

Here are a few links to places where you can find Polish Pottery:

Pottery Monster
Polish Pottery & more
Polish Pottery Blog

Pancakes (made from scratch!)

Let me start by saying this: I DID IT!

I have been trying to avoid buying pancake mix for a while.  I never understood why their were so many brand names in the supermarket.  Some add eggs, some only water. It was all too silly to me. So today I did it.  I made pancakes from scratch.  You wouldn’t believe how proud of my self I am.  (It’s a little absurd actually.)

Here’s the recipe I used.  I read tons on the web and came up with this one.  If its a little too thick add water tablespoon by tablespoon til a little thinner. 

This is one of only two pics I could get before the kids got to them


2 eggs
2 cups milk
2 TBS white vinegar
4 TBS melted butter
4 tsp vanilla
2 cups All purpose flour
2 TBS sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
oil for cooking

First:  In a small bowl beat eggs. Add milk, vinegar, melted butter and vanilla.  Mix well.
Second:  In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Third:  Add egg mixture to flour mixture mix ‘til smooth and let batter rest a five  minutes or so. 
Fourth:  Lightly with oil pan and wipe out excess.  Heat pan on medium heat.  
Fifth:  Pour 2 oz (¼C) of batter onto the pan. (Batter is thicker than store bought; you might have to spread out with a utensil)
Sixth:  Cook ‘til bubbles form. Turn over with a spatula and cook until golden brown. (Not too dark)
Seventh: Serve with a pat of butter on top and your favorite syrup.

(Makes about 18 medium pancakes)

Chicken Tortilla Soup (from El Pollo Loco leftovers)

garnished with sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips and salsa fresca

garnished with sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips and salsa fresca

I make this soup the day after we have El Pollo Loco for dinner.  Dinner would usually include a 10 piece grilled chicken, torillas, lg side of rice and refried beans.  I will also get a LOT of pico de gallo, chopped white onions and cilantro; all from the salsa bar.  (The beans are usually gone by the end of  dinner.)

My kids (and husband) do not like to eat chicken on the bone. So I start by picking the chicken off the bone and piling it onto one plate for dinner and saving the leftover chicken and rice for the soup.  I will save the bones in a bag in the refrigerator.

The first step is to make a broth. For this you’ll need:

●       Bones from El Pollo Loco chicken**
●       1 celery stalk, cleaned & halved
●       1 carrot, cleaned & halved
●        Chopped white onions from the salsa bar (¼c-½c)
●       ½ to 1 C of Pico de Gallo***(from the salsa bar) or salsa fresca
●       Cilantro
●       Water to cover (until just covered)

Place all items in stockpot. Simmer. Taste after one hour. Season. Strain into second pot (or bowl then back into empty pot).

For soup ready to serve:

●       ± 1C Frozen corn (or fresh grilled corn removed from cob)
●       1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
●       El Pollo Loco Chicken picked and shredded
●       El Pollo Loco Rice

Add to pot simmer until warmed through.
To garnish at the table:

●       Pico de Gallo (or Salsa Fresca)
●       Sour cream
●       Tortilla chips (crush into bowl)
●       Shredded cheddar (or crumbled Queso fresco)

**1st note: I have made this soup with Rotisserie chicken, El Pollo Loco chicken and chicken made at home; I will tell you honestly it ALWAYS comes out best when I use El Pollo Loco chicken.

***2nd note: Be aware of the amount of spice in Pico de gallo. If pico is spicy your soup will be spicy. If you don’t like spicy try a mild salsa fresco (or salsa Mexicana) from the store.