Category Archives: Food

Peach State says: Party Time Recipes

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Anyone thinking about a rich-yummy-tidbit-of-chocolate with a cup of coffee? Have I got something to share with you! I have a few recipes, that I recently found, you will love…and that are relatively easy. With the 4th of July coming up you may need a few tasty ideas for those parties and Bar-B-Ques! Here we go…

“Party Time Recipes”

Let’s start with the “Chunky Chocolate Coffee Cups:

(Before going any further…I made a batch without coffee and they were just as tasty!)

Preheat oven to 375F
Coat(spray) 36 mini muffin cups with cooking spray…after placing them in a mini muffin tin…

In a large bowl 1 tsp instant espresso/coffee in 1 Tbs of water. (I used 1Tbs of a shot of espresso)
Add 1 package of Betty Crocker double chocolate chunk cookie mix
1egg
3 Tbs of oil
Stir until a soft dough forms

Place 1″ balls into coated mini muffin cups and bake 8-9 minutes or until set.
Make an invention on the top of each and let cool.

Now you can serve these delectable treats as they come out of the oven or continue with the next steps…

Combine 1 can of vanilla frosting
2 Tbs caramel liqueur of cold coffee
Once blended add 1/2 cup of marshmallow creme into the icing mixture.

Spoon frosting onto each little cup of deliciousness and store in the fridge. Before serving drizzle caramel syrup over the cups with a fork. Makes 36 servings

The next one was to die-for! It is great with vegies or crackers!

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My Favorite Onion Dip:
This one may sound complicated but it is far from it…just a few steps to follow.

2 Tbs EVOO ( translation..Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
2 cups of chopped green onion
1 medium minced red onion
1 tsp Thyme
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese ( I used a fat-free version)
1 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt ( less is more and I chose a fat-free version)

Heat the EVOO in a skillet and add the green onions and Thyme
Lower heat and stir until the onions begin to brown
Place the green onions and Thyme on a paper towel and dab the excess oil

…you can mince the red onion while cooking the green onion and Thyme…

Meanwhile…combine the creme cheese and yogurt and red onion
Once combined add the cooled green onion and Thyme and stir.

It can be made up to 2 days ahead of time!

Both of these recipes were recently used and inhaled enjoyed by all. You should really try them…I know I will be preparing these for our celebration coming up!

I hope you enjoy these…

Have a great day!

Peach State

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Peach State says: Facebook Status Updates Could Replace The Calendar

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I am taking a breath this morning as I sip on my “beloved-caffeinated-breakfast-in-a-cup”. I seemed to have made quite the mess this morning sorting and gathering the old-unused-out-of-date-coupons before taking out the trash. Just a few minutes and I will get back to work…”As I hope for a temporary mind-over-matter cure to my oncoming headache!” You know what that means…FACEBOOK TIME! One of the first pics I giggled at, as I shook my head in agreement, was the above pic. Monday already! I thought time flew when you were having fun! Back to the topic…

“Facebook Status Updates Could Replace The Calendar”
What a concept…there it was for all to see! It’s Monday and I will feel cruddy and in need of a nap as soon as I wake up. The reminders eventual ending of the weekend and the return to regular-toil-filled-obligations was posted throughout the page. Then I came upon this one…

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Grumpy Cat was a happy cat!

Events and birthdays fill my page and I never need to lift a finger. I do not need to pencil in or look back at last years calendar for VIP events. Parties and promotions flash onto my screen and with a press on the screen I can send the information to my personal organizer. “Does touching the screen mean I lifted a finger?” Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are hard to miss will the continuous stream of wishes flowing down the page. Countdowns to holidays appear amidst the well wishes for a safe and prosperous season. “Who needs a conventional calendar anymore?”

I DO!

The strategic placement of traditional calendars around my house serve my disability…ADHD!
No…it is not because I have ADHD…some would call it Type A personality and I call it organized! “I also have my major calendar on my iPhone that floats on my little fluffy iCloud to my iPad. At the touch of the screen I can see what my day holds for me. But I depend on my Facebook to add a bit of humor to my straight-black-white-lined screen.

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Personality Pics know just what we are thinking…and often say it better when we can’t say it out loud. (I Love Grumpy Cat!)

Well my reminder chime is going off telling me the next lovely task on my daily calendar…

twiddly twiddly twiddly…Don’t forget to change the TKD days and times!

As for the replacement of conventional calendars…it’s not going to happen. Facebook, however, will continue to add gentle hints of those important dates that never show up on the generic-printed-calendars I use for the fridge. And who would ever want to miss the humorous-personality-filled ways friends and family share these reminders.

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Being one who generally likes reading between the lines one might assume a play-date is in order due to it being Monday! Wouldn’t you agree? Now I need to decide if I should just comment and make plans or use my trusty calendar on my phone to send me a reminder to call. (Insert chuckle here) I think I will call…this will give me a chance to pause the normal day-to-day activity I have on schedule today.

Here is one last reminder for you…Check your calendar! Then you can check your Facebook…Have a great day!

Peach State

Peach State says: It’s Not Just For Zapping Coffee Anymore or Learning to Work A Convection Microwave

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Oh Joy…Oh Thrill…my NEW Microwave!. Let the fun begin!

Take heed brownie and muffin mixes! No use hiding refrigerator biscuits! I have a convection oven…well I have the convection oven feature on my NEW microwave.

“It’s Not Just For Zapping Coffee Anymore or Learning to Work A Convection Microwave”!!!

It’s Not Just For Zapping Coffee…can you believe it? (insert chuckle here…) You and I both know I used my microwave for many functions, all the same, I cannot wait to become a Mad Scientist again. And without all the sweltering-radiating-heat-from-the-almost-out-of-date oven I can roast and bake to my little heart’s content. “Yea Me!” (Doing the dance of joy….okay I stopped!).

Now all I need to do is locate the book…you know the one…:

Fantastic Recipes For Your Convection Oven

If it is not available I will just look for a copy of:

“Convection Cooking for Dummies”

Now is not the time to be a chicken and not experiment. “OOO…Chicken would be good for dinner!….Roasted Chicken!” Wait a minute… I have thought of one major drawback! How will I be able to know when my brownies are done…”you know!”…oooey-gooey-rich-and….WONDERUL!. This could be a BIG problem!

I am pleading with all Convection Oven Cooks…send advice, recipes, tricks of the trade and shortcuts. All will be appreciated!

Well…Precious Princess is having a spa day…(translation: the groomer is here!) and not a moment to soon. Precious Princess will be racing up the stairs in a moment while the groomer cleans up after the bath portion of the session. I will then let her run freely, in her curl free cut, before herding her out the door.

I look forward to sharing my new, highly anticipated, recipes.

Have a great day!

Peach State

Peach State says: Pick Me Mentality!

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First of the month…first day of the week…
“Me…I’m not busy!…”

APRIL FOOLS!

I am sitting here at my kitchen table looking out over my backyard. The rain soaked ground looks a little greener and the yellow haze is gone…for the moment. The bare leave-less branches are beginning to show signs of new life as the fresh green splashes resemble a paint brush dipped into paint. Puffed blossoms of white and pink fill the flowering trees as the signs of Spring complete this picturesque scene. Me…well I will enjoy what I can because my lists are yelling at me. Can you hear them or are you busy tuning your own list out?

Pick Me Mentality!

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Each list craving to be completed…begging to be number one. It is so bad that I have started a Master List in my head this morning. “Scary…I know!” ADHD ALERT!
I had placed a piece of paper and a pen next to my latte’ containing cup before deciding to write my blog. I need to go grocery shopping, pick up medicine, drop of medicine for my son at school, drop off dry cleaning and pick up dry cleaning, PT, Chiropractor…( Wait! The last two are not today but Tuesday and Thursday.) I need to re-schedule the one Thursday to accommodate my previously made plans.

(squealing air-brakes from the racing garbage trucks break through interrupting my train of thought)

These far-from-unusual items/duties are nothing compared to the list I am working around. I have penciled in time with a dear friend for lunch this week…time in the music library at church (boy is that needed!)…shopping for some pants to fit a 12 year old who has once again grown out of his jeans and shorts just bought at Christmas. My entire schedule pivots on one certain phone call…

“This the _______ from the surgeon’s office. We have scheduled your surgery for _______.”

We should know something today or tomorrow. The surgeon, my son was sent to, is off this week…soooo…my son asked if one of the other surgeons in the same practice would be able to proceed in a rapid/timely manner. If not we will have to wait till next week to find out a date. “Great…that is Spring Break!” The good news is the fact that we would not have to worry about my youngest’s schedule at school.

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Can you hear them? The lists have begun jumping around in true “Donkey” fashion. “Pick me…Pick me!” I have got to work on my menu for the month and from that list make a grocery list…taking into consideration an easy meal for the day of surgery.

Crock-pot meal!

Just thought of another list…things I need to buy not available at the grocery store. Why could I not have a list containing:
Spa day.
Shopping trip with friends.
Trip to the beach.
Maids coming.
Hire a decorator?

I should count myself lucky…I did get my nails done last week and I will be having a maids day ( everyday…I am the maid) and I will be spending quality time with friends even though it won’t be a spoil-me-rotten day of shopping. Time to zap my coffee…Ah! Now that’s better! The constant calling from the jumping-bean lists has been slowed by the flowing warmth from my oversized cup.
Precious Princess is snoring at my feet, content lay curled up in a furry ball.

Call the groomer!

The sun is trying to peek through the overcast morning sky. The dancing shimmers from the wet leaves brighten up the yard. Wow! My ADHD is working overtime this morning. My mind must look like a corporate mail room. Each list is zooming back and forth in to vacuum tubes. As I sit here clicking away each list is growing. Phone calls have been answered adding to the tasks on hand. Fortunately this last call was something my hubby will have to take care of…I had to call and leave a message Friday about changing our landscaping and the possibility of needing approval. The sad thing is we are just making the existing flower beds smaller and leveling out and putting in more grass. You would think we were considering taking down the trees and cementing the front yard. “HeHe!”

This has been fun…just relaxing with you as I tried to organize my thoughts. But I know it is time to face the music and attack the composing of the lists. Have a great day!

Oh…

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Peach State

Peach State says: What A “CEB”…Clever Easter Bunny!

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The Saturday before Easter…Boy, do I remember those long drawn out days of my mother putting finishing touches on the Easter outfits and preparing our hair for the perfect hairstyle. The rigorous battle with my tangled bird’s nest to part and separate then apply curling gel and curl. The afternoon excitingly standing around the table, covered with newspaper, as vinegar scented color stations appeared for coloring our allotted hard boiled eggs. Once dry these splendid artistic masterpieces, with designs specific to the creator, would be place in the fridge to magically appear in the Easter Basket the next morning with a collection of Easter confections surrounding the unique Chocolate Easter Bunny. We knew which Easter Basket was ours by the decorated eggs placed strategically in the basket. The Easter Bunny also knew our likes and needs providing just the right non-food item next to our treasure.

What A “CEB”…Clever Easter Bunny!

Little did I know that one day the empty basket would be passed to me and I would be the “CEB” for my own children. And as you know…I took it a step further! I will prepare the meal in advance today except for the baking portion. I am looking forward to a day with my family tomorrow and do not want or need the added stress of cooking and cleaning. As for the baskets…we have downsized this year. My youngest announced that there was no Easter Bunny. His brothers told him he would regret that…and I just smiled! What a cost-cutting Easter this will be. The decorating of eggs is a thing of the past and the elaborate staging of the baskets and gifts…vanished like the infamous Bunny himself. The family Easter bowl will be the centerpiece with various chocolate bunnies present for each family member.

I will begin the mixing of the casseroles and the baking of the cake today…after a meeting. The stage will be set and I will be able to enjoy my family! What A “CEB”…Clever Easter Bunny!

Whatever your traditions…I hope you have a wonderful and blessed Easter.

Have a great day!

Peach State

Peach State says: “PT”- Physical Therapy or Pure Torture?

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There I was…sitting in a chair across from my new PT (Physical Therapist). He began listing his goals for me as he discussed, in length, my Epic Fails!

“Wait a minute! I am not here to find out what you think is wrong with me!”

No…I did not say that out loud…but boy was the thought bouncing around my head like a high-scoring Pinball game. He said “Here is what I see:”

You limp and tend to put you weight on the right side of your body. (genius!)
You slump over a bit when sitting…possibly due to upper back pain. (wow…really)
You don’t exercise! (I had finally had it!)

Have you read my chart?
He gave me this look and it was at that point I began to wonder what this physical therapist really knew. “PT”- Physical Therapy or Pure Torture! Pure Torture…obviously! With a syrup-dripping sweetness I offered the information he had missed when reading my chart. “I love to walk and was walking 3-4 miles a day 4-5 days a week…then I fell!” He began flipping through the chart and finds the information. Excited he then moved to the diet portion of the discussion. “Diet…portion…hehe!”
You will need to watch you calorie intake because you are OBESE! “EXCUSE ME!”
He began telling me the ways to cut calories and how to choose my carbs and avoid sugars…or and portion control.

“Have you read my chart?”
His blank stare and quick shuffling of the pages told me, once again, that he had somehow missed that information. So I filled him in on that…I told him about being diagnosed with Diabetes and overcoming it with diet and exercise. I also told him I had been “OBESE” when I weighed over 300 pounds but lost almost 145 pounds when I cut my carbs and sugars. The color began to drain from his face. He re-grouped and said…”I assume you have cut out Alcohol and Caffeine?” With a raised eyebrow I smiled and sweetly responded…”Nope!” “I don’t drink alcohol that often and as for caffeine…well…I probably drink more coffee in a year than the population of a small country.” I knew what was coming next as his “Cheshire Cat grin” slowly crept onto his face. I beat him to the punch. “I was told by several of my doctors year ago to continue with my caffeine due to migraines and asthma. Caffeine is readily the best method due to moving the blood at a faster rate and opening the blood vessels. The main problem with both migraines and asthma is the contraction of the blood vessels.” He nodded in agreement and said he wanted to perform a strength test. After that he seem surprised and said I was stronger than most 30 year old women. I then laid down on a table and he asked me to breathe in and out. I did! He asked for me to take a deep breath…go ahead…”I did!” The problem was he was waiting for my shoulders to move…”How do you breath?”

“Have You Read My Chart?”
“I am a singer…trained…long-time singer and learned a long time ago to breathe using my diaphragm.” As I laid there I could hear the flipping of pages. I sat up and smiled…”I am here to try and find relief from this pain so I can return to walking and loose this weight I have gained back. I am not your average person and have overcome many obstacles. Can you help me?”

“How about we try and find out why you started falling and work on balance and re-strengthening of your weaker muscle groups?” We shook hands and set up a plan.

I start next week…we will see how well this goes! As for today…more pain management injections and a visit with the chiropractor. Goody…Goody! I am off to start my day and what a day it is. Wish me luck!

As for you…Have a great day!

Peach State

Peach State says: Cooking On The Light Side!

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Last Saturday I was asked to share my recipe for the Dump Cake I served.
I warned them it was not the usual recipe and that they may not like the list of ingredients.
With each new bite their need-to-know-mentality insisted. Well here it is…Cooking On The Lighter Side !

Dump Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

(I recommend using a 9×9 square glass baking dish or a pan close in size)

Lightly grease the pan
Dump a can of crushed pineapple (not drained) and spread evenly
Dump a can of lightly drained cherries (the ones packed in water) and space them around evenly
Dump a Sugar-Free Yellow cake mix and spread evenly
Pour a half a cup of melted Unsalted butter
evenly over the top of the cake mix.

I bake it until the cake mix is not gooey! I know that sounds slightly childish but I was at a loss for words to fit the description. I cooked mine for about 45-50 minutes but I was cooking two…one for my family and one to share.

The wonderful thing about this recipe is the fact that my hubby could not tell the difference. He loved it…but he did have his with a scoop of ice cream. I love this recipe because of the versatility it allows. It is a great breakfast dish for special occasions as well as a warm dessert dish. I know some of you might remember my posting this recipe before…but being the friend I am…I am sharing it again. But there is something new I found the other day…a Chocolate Dump Cake!. Do you want the recipe? I took a screen shot so I would not forget about it. It looks wonderful and easy! Needless to say I will try this recipe after I tweak it a bit…then I will share what I did as I do love Cooking On The Lighter Side!

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Have a wonderful time trying the recipe. Have a great day!

Peach State

Peach State says: Yummy Homemade Soup

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Inspired by recent recipes and the fact of two left over ham bones I had in the fridge I had to act. It is time to share a recipe for a Yummy Homemade Soup!

It started with a Hambone and diced onion:

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I brought hambone and onions to a boil in a large pot of water.

I sorted and rinsed the split peas</em.

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HINT) Once boiling…reduce the heat and simmer for abut 30 minutes.
Also skim the foam off the top of the peas.

I drained the split peas once they tender. I removed the hambone leaving the soup base/broth in the larger pot. I poured the drained peas into the soup base/broth and stirred.

The soup has taken on a wonderful smooth, creamy texture and the aroma is to die for. I dipped a spoon in and tasted the delightful soup. It is wonderful!

I will enjoy this tonight with a lovely grilled cheese sandwich. I hope you enjoy this recipe…my family will!

Have a great day!

Peach State

Peach State says: Waiting for Normal

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It is still dark outside and there are no morning shadows moving across my floor. I have finished my first over-sized espresso and am preparing hubby’s commuter cup. “Signs of normalcy! Finally!” This limbo of sorts, with two holidays smashed together, has really thrown this semi-chaos-organizing-freak-queen to quietly plead for the return of the chaotic normal. The light is teasing me from the end of the tunnel…as it inches closer and closer. Sunday with be the official start of my oh-so-typical-routine. And then the blessed routine of Monday! OMG…I am “Waiting for Normal!

My family have been the house too long and I have not been able to peruse my daily chore list like usual. My fridge has been stack and packed, vicariously with leftovers, and resembles the Leaning Tower of Piza. (My sons are quite talented at food storage…NOT!) Removing the wrong item could cause a landslide of leftovers to cascade onto the floor. “I personally would not want to see that…much less clean that!” I guess I know what I will be doing this weekend!

Speaking of leftovers…my menu planning is returning to normal. My oldest just came upstairs to eat breakfast and wanted to know what was for dinner. It was not even 8:00 and this sleepy old brain was asked that question. “Hmmm…How about Hashbrown Casserole?” What a great way to use the leftover ham from New Years and the frozen bag of Hashbrowns. That was easy…yea! One less thing to worry about today and I am all for that. The rest of the Ham will be put with a meal that “our mutual cat loving friend” and I are taking to a family who just experienced a loss of a child.

My hubby is having issues of his own. Situations at work have caused him to question remaining there. “He is making less than several of the low-of-the-totem-pole employees and he is management.” I told him he would know when it is time and that God would open a door for him…he agreed! Monday…New Year’s Eve…my hubby got a phone call from a previous work associate. “Do I have a job for you!” The short of it is my hubby interviewed for this new position yesterday and it would mean more $$$$ and, of course, higher title. The downside is the longer commute! I know he plans to talk with his present boss, and long-time friend today. This will be a very long day for my hubby!

Oh No…my coffee is empty! BRB!

That was close! Another reason for my ever-growing-need for Normal is the fact that my youngest brought home a bug…from school. “No, not that kind of bug, but a lovely little cold that has finally reached every person in the family.” Aren’t I thrilled! The supply of daytime and nighttime medications are readily available for all to take…except me. Yea…goody…thrill of a lifetime! I cannot take these convenient meds…so self treating until my doctor gets back in town. Fortunately…no fever or loss of voice…just boxes of Kleenex in every room and the sound of echoing blowing noses. Oh and my youngest is feeling fine NOW. Come Monday he is back to school and TKD and homework and relaxing normalcy.

Time for me to get my life back into the cleaning-organized-list-provoked-menu-planned-schedule-driven routine. Shh! I can almost hear the Blue Bird of Happiness singing it’s happy little song. Sorry…it was just a scampering pair of squirrels chasing each other through the trees.
Well I am still motivated and excited to return to the same old daily routine. I have decided to add something else to my plate but that is something I will share on another day.

The sun is up and the morning shadows are stretching across my floor as my Precious Princess snoozes on the couch. She has her “Spa Day” tomorrow and will be groomed and bathed. She will be back to normal and hopefully will stop leaving those little furry souvenirs around the house. As for me…I am off to make an Apple Crisp, for later, before the end of holiday roar between the siblings penetrates my day.

I am seeing more coffee in my near future…Do you want a cup?

Do you have a routine or desire a schedule led day? Let me know!

Have a great day!

Peach State

Peach State says: It’s Called Economic Fasting!

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We have all felt the effect of rising grocery prices and know the hardship caused by necessary cutbacks. The “little extras” we had on hand have disappeared along with items of monetary frivolity. I have gotten used to saying “We don’t have that!….and We haven’t had that in quite a while!” to the curious starving mouths in my home. “WHY?”

It’s Called Economic Fasting!

I made myself a bowl of quick oats and realized I had used the last of my hoarded Splenda Brown Sugar for Thanksgiving. “Yes I use Splenda…I have been using it since I was diagnosed with Diabetes and even after losing all my weight and having a normal A1C level.”
Needless to say my oatmeal was a bit tasteless and was not as comforting and satisfying as I had hoped. I ate it anyway! My convenient little snack bars and crackers disappeared almost a year and a half ago. You would think I would not have a problem dieting…wrong! I can no longer buy the low-calorie-carbohydrate-deficient-sugar-regulated-between-meal supplements. If I snack…well it is not pretty! “Truth be told…I walk around with a growling stomach.” The healthier food I used to purchase and prepare have become unaffordable and I have had to resort to creative and less expensive substitutes. I still watch my sugar intake and watch my carbs but, it is difficult to watch those blasted portions!

Items on my Economic Fasting list:

Special K ( cereal, bars, etc.)
Splenda (white and brown)
Lean cuts of meat
Sugar free syrup ( This is for waffles and pancakes…I am now out of this!)
Low fat or fat free yogurts
Low fat and sugar free desserts
Fresh fruits and veggies (they cost more than the canned substitutes)
Unlimited supply of lettuce and specialty dressings
Snacks for the family ( hubby and boys)
Individual bags of chips for my youngest’s school lunches ( large cheap bag of plain chips in a Tupperware type of container)
Individual cookies packs for his lunches ( old-fashioned pack your own in a Baggie)
Cereal bars and pop tarts for the boys to grab in a hurry
Yogurts for the boys
Sugar free Hot Chocolate ( I added dark chocolate chips and little non-fat milk to it…)
Low calorie sliced bread

“Okay…I am getting hungry and my tummy is rumbling.”

I know there is more and I know I am not alone in this struggle. We all feel the pinch when it comes to the trip to the grocery store. My hubby, at least, is beginning to understand the reason I am running out of grocery money so quickly. How you may ask? I let him cook dinner one night and he went to the store with one of the boys to pick up the items he needed. “It didn’t cost this much last time I cooked this meal!” he said.

So…we will march on! Doing what we have to when it comes to feeding the family. Sacrifices will be made and complaints will be heard. “I double-dog-dare the boys to complain!”

Have a great day!

Peach State