Recipe: Baked Chicken Lasagna Rolls



Baked Chicken Lasagna Rolls

Makes: 8 rolls

2 cups ricotta or cottage cheese
1 1/4 cups mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp. garlic powder or to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley {or I use about 1 - 2 tbs. dried}
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 cups shredded chicken breast
8 lasagna noodles cooked according to package directions
1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  1. Mix together first eight ingredients, reserving 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.
  2. Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on countertop.  Lay noodles flat on top of plastic wrap and top each with a layer of ricotta or cottage cheese mixture and 1/4 cup of shredded chicken.
  3. Fill the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish with 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce.
  4. Starting at one end, roll each noodle and place seam side down in the baking dish.
  5. Cover noodles with remaining spaghetti sauce and sprinkle with reserved mozzarella cheese. 
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
NOTES: Cook noodles just until "al dente."  If the noodles get too soft, they are much harder to roll {I've learned this from experience!}.  When these first come out of the oven they may look very messy, but once they cool you will be able to lift these out of the pan very easily and neatly.  This recipe can easily be doubled.


A New Discovery and a Few Values at Walmart Today

Shopping at Walmart with two young children is not my favorite thing to do {you can read about my shopping days at Walmart here}.  Today was no different as I walked into Walmart armed with snacks of all flavors and enough juice to hopefully keep the screeching to a minimum. 

And that is when I noticed them...the Shop Rite carts.  These wonderful inventions are attached to the cart and have two seats so that the children are facing forward with seat belts so that they can't fall out.

There was no more worrying about children touching things, throwing things, or falling out of the cart.  No more worries about children wondering away, breaking things, or bothering other customers with all their noise.

So while I was enjoying a peaceful shopping trip, I was also able to find a few Walmart Values:

Crush 2 liter Price: $.98

Ocean Spray "Ruby" Juices Price: $2.00

Total Plus+ Omega 3s Cereal Price: $2.50
  -$1.00 off 2 from 9/19 newspaper insert
Final Price: $2.00 each wyb 2

Trix Cereal 9.6 oz Price: $2.00
  -$1.00 off 2 from 9/19 newspaper insert
Final Price: $1.50 each wyb 2

Quaker Instant Oatmeal Price: $2.58
  -$1.00 off 1 from 9/12 newspaper insert
Final Price: $1.58

Pop Tarts Whole Grain Strawberry or Brown Sugar Price: $1.78 
-$1.00 off 3 coupon from 8/29 newspaper insert
Final Price: $1.45 each wyb 3

Sunbelt Fruit and Grain Bars Price: $2.00
  -BOGO printable coupon
Final Price: $1.00 each wyb 2

Wheat Thins Stix Price: $1.98
  -$1.00 off 1 from 9/19 newspaper insert
Final Price: $.98

Old El Paso Heat and Serve Side Price: $1.50
  -$1.00 off 1 coupon from 8/22 newspaper insert
Final Price: $.50

Ragu Pasta Sauce 26 oz. Price: $1.50
 
-$1.25 off 3 coupon from 9/12 newspaper insert
Final Price: $1.08 each wyb 3

Progressive Soup Price: $1.50
  -$1.00 off 4 from 9/12 newspaper insert OR
  -$1.00 off 4 printable coupon
Final Price: $1.25 each wyb 4

Healthy Choice Steaming Entrees Price: $1.78
 -$1.00 off 1 printable coupon
Final Price: $.78

White Cloud 4 double rolls Price: $2.00
  -$1.00 off 1 from 8/8 newspaper insert
Final Price: $1.00

Whiskas Cat Food Trays Price: $.55
  -BOGO coupon from newspaper insert
Final Price: $.28 each wyb 2

Follow the Directions...Or Not

I have often wondered if companies exaggerate.  Let's use laundry detergent as an example.  They put those handy measuring caps right on the bottle for us, but do we really need to use that much detergent to get the laundry clean?  And what about those very handy, extra large laundry sheets {the brand name shall remain nameless}.

My husband and I have made an extra effort to find ways to save money over the last couple of months and I have learned a very important lesson.  You don't have to follow the directions!  Now I know that in school we were taught to follow directions, but it's time to break free of those rules and start saving!  At my house we only use about 1/2 the recommended amount of laundry detergent and I have found a way to make the box of laundry sheets last for 120 loads!

You may be interested in reading Five Ways Companies Trick Us Into Buying New Stuff on mint.com.  It will give you a few more ideas on how you can stop following the manufacturer's directions and save money!

Freezer Cooking: Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Applesauce Cookies


Our youngest has a peanut allergy so I adapted this Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie recipe so that our whole family could enjoy them.

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Applesauce Cookies

Makes: About 3 dozen

1/4 cup {1/2 stick} butter softened
1/3 cup applesauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick oats
12 ounces {2 cups} chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Cream butter and sugars together in a large mixing bowl.  Add eggs, vanilla, and applesauce mixing together until well combined.
  2. In medium-sized mixing bowl, combine flour, soda, salt, and oats.  Add to wet ingredients and mix well.  Add chocolate chips.
  3. Place by heaping teaspoonfuls {or tablespoonfuls} onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes, until lightly browned. 
NOTES:  I took out the peanut butter and used applesauce to replace some of the butter that was used in the original recipe.  The result--a healthier, very moist, soft cookie.  Instead of regular applesauce, you can also use unsweetened applesauce to lower the amount of sugar in the recipe.

To freeze: Cool cookies completely and arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Put in the freezer for approximately 30 minutes.  Remove from pan and put into freezer bags or containers.








Our youngest keeping busy in the kitchen while mommy was making cookies.

Saving on a Summer Trip


In the spring we discovered that Thomas the Tank Engine was going to be at the Boothbay Railway Village this summer.  Our oldest is a huge Thomas the Train fan and we were very excited to take both the boys to the "Day Out with Thomas" event.  With our new commitment to spend less, we were able to find a few ways to save on our trip.
  • We noticed the special offer in the {very} fine print. Children under 2 years of age were able to ride for free. Our youngest is not quite two yet, so this was like getting a "4 for the price of 3" deal. When you are going on vacation do a search first to look for coupons or other special offers.  You may be surprised at what you find!
  • We packed our own lunch. I estimate that we saved at least $15 by bringing our own lunch, drinks, and snacks. We do this often if we are going on a day trip, and we have found that with a growing family this saves us between $15 - $25 each trip.
  • We used cash. My husband and I believe strongly in using cash and only keep debit cards. By not having credit cards, we don't have the temptation of buying more than we can afford. {i.e. While I was ordering our tickets, I also had the option of ordering a gift pack for the boys for an additional $20 each which I had to decline.}

Save on Printer Ink

I have been printing a lot more coupons online to save money at the store, but I have also been using a lot more printer ink! I have shopped around for the best price and service and really like 4inkjets.com.  They sell remanufactured ink cartridges for just a fraction of what you would pay at the stores and I have had very fast delivery.

Right now you can get 10% off your order using coupon code SUMMERTEN at checkout {excludes OEM ink and toner} and free shipping on contiguous U.S. orders over $50.  Sign up and order through Ebates and receive 13.5% cash back on your order!

Swag Bucks: Virtual "bucks" = Actual Bucks


Swag bucks is a virtual currency that you can earn while doing searches online. To get started, you can earn 30 FREE swag bucks just for signing up.  Once you've signed up, you can download the search bar and start earning!

You can also earn swag bucks by taking polls, doing surveys, and finding codes. Your swag bucks can be redeemed for many different prizes. You can also redeem your "bucks" for gift cards to amazon.com, paypal, itunes, and many more!

Get Great Deals at Your Local Bread Outlet!

For the last 5 years I have driven by the Country Kitchen bread outlet in the next town over at least once a week.  My sister-in-law even mentioned the great deals to me once, but with two small children and so much to do in such a short amount of time, I wasn't even tempted to check it out. 

About 2 months ago, I saw some new signs in the windows and I knew I was going to have to make an extra stop on my shopping days.  To make things a little easier, I have decided to try to go once a month and buy everything that I will need for the whole month.

On Fridays and Saturdays everything in the store is either 5 for $5.00 or 3 for $5.00.  They also have a different item on special for $1.00 each day during the week {be sure to check your local store for sale days and prices as they may be different}.  They are able to sell it very inexpensively because it is about to expire, so as soon as I get home anything that we aren't going to use right away goes in the freezer and the rest goes in the refrigerator.

Here's what I picked up this week:

3 pkgs. bagels
1 pkg. hot dog rolls
1 pkg. sesame seed buns
3 loaves of bread

Total Cost: $10

Savin' In The Kitchen....Waste Not, Want Not


Ok. I'll admit it. A lot of food is thrown away at our house.

I never plan to throw food away...it just...happens.  All the leftovers that are saved in containers get pushed to the back of the refrigerator, and before I know it, I've got a science project {or two} growing in there. Ick.

One of my money saving goals for September is to stop this waste!  Here are a few online resources that I was able to find to help me get organized in the kitchen:



$5 Dinners
They have a wonderful menu planner and many other planners to help you get organized in the kitchen.

Allrecipes
If you're not sure what to have for dinner, enter any ingredient(s) in the search box to get some ideas!

ehow
This is a very informative article on what to do with leftovers.

Money Saving Mom
This site has information on freezer cooking and how this can save time and money!

Do you have any creative ways to use leftovers?  Please share them!