The Caffeine Addict

Good to the last drop.

Skipping the food thing for a post January 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shannon @ 1:36 pm

You ever feel surrounded by people but not connected to anybody? I have been feeling that way lately. I think I need to get back into the girlfriend thing. I have not done anything besides BUNCO (totally fun) but that is only once a month. I know I purposely distanced myself from ladies from the issue with a woman who was tearing me down.

I know it is also because I am busy with activities and work. I am totally tempted to just walk away from helping with anything but I know when I help others – I am serving the Lord. I just need to know how much is the right balance.

I think that is the thing with resolutions. You think where you are out of balance and want to change them. I don’t know. Blogging because I am void of a friend that I can just talk these things over with at the moment. I am not gonna connect this to Facebook so it is not a public thing. 🙂


Lunches January 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shannon @ 2:12 pm

Lunch is my favorite meal. It normally is my biggest meal of the day.

My kids brown bag it most days. They are allowed to buy twice a month and they get to pick which days. Most of the times it is French Toast Stick day and Bean Burrito day or sometimes Lucky Tray day.

Seth likes to have – rolled ham, string cheese, cereal bar, orange and pretzels with water to drink. For dessert, he has a homemade cookie. Once out of the week, he has peanut butter wheat thins. (well, the healthy ones from Back to Nature).

Audrey likes to have EVERY day – peanut butter sandwich, peanut butter wheat thins or peanut butter celery. She has Stoneyfield BaNilla yogurt (so yummy – you gotta check it out – tastes like banana pudding), pretzels, oranges or dried fruit and a homemade cookie. She likes CapriSun Roaring Waters drinks.

Rachel is normally home with me. She has whatever is available – sometimes it is peanut butter, sometimes rolled sandwich meat (Boar’s Head is normally what we have), Morningstar fake chicken nuggets or sometimes real chicken nuggets, or quesadilla. Most days the request is for quesadillas. She will also have fruit and a dessert – but she considers fruit snacks a dessert.

Jon has leftovers, Amy’s frozen meals (they go on sale here for about $2.50), ham and cheese sandwich or egg salad sandwich.

My very favorites are egg salad, burritos with lots of avocado!!!, ravioli or Amy’s canned soup. (The Black Bean is my favorite)

I think egg salad is the most cost effective lunch out there. We buy free range, organic local eggs for $1.99 a dozen. Instead of mayo, I use greek yogurt. (A container normally is 2 different batches of egg salad which costs about $1.50 here) Make as normal. So yummy and so much healthier. I cook the whole dozen and make sandwiches throughout the week – it lasts about 3 days if everyone is eating it. I am sure there are even cheaper lunches out there and would love to hear ideas!!!

Another idea to make things cheaper – if you go out to eat – is join a restaurant e-club. Most have them and you can normally get free things for your birthday or special deals. Also, if you have not checked out – they have codes to make those certificates even cheaper if you buy from there. I know Chik-fila is one of my favorite restaurants because they have free breakfast days, no purchase necessary and also free stuff when you get their calendar.

I have food and water in the car at all times. Today when I took the Brownies to Denver, I knew they would be hungry after the tour. I brought clementines and pretzels for them all. I also always have snacks in the car because Rachel’s preschool parents have a hard time understanding what classifies as a “healthy snack.” Little Debbie products or Doritos are not a healthy snack so I always have a backup snack – just in case.

Tomorrow I will talk about desserts – one of my favorites also!!!


My bread recipes/other recipe January 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shannon @ 2:12 pm

I promised I would post these:

I was trying to copy and paste but my fingers did not do so well. I edit the recipe above:
2 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 all purpose 1/2 whole wheat flour
Increase to 7 bananas (I buy an extra batch at Costco – 3 pounds for $1.30 and just let them get brown)
Add flax seeds for crunch about 1/2 cup depending on if your kids are used to it 🙂

This makes 4 mini loaves and 1 dozen muffins. If you want to decrease the amounts in the pans (which I sometimes do) it also will make 24 mini muffins. I freeze most of it and thaw as needed. 🙂

Pumpkin bread
Well, I thought I found a great recipe online until my kids told me that another mom made better pumpkin bread. After my bruised ego healed, I asked for the recipe. Here it is and I must say it is the best one I have ever had:

Mix together:
3/4 white sugar
3/4 brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil

21/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 cup flour (I do 1/2 wheat here also)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup pumpkin

I actually triple this recipe so that I can also make 4 mini loaves, 1 dozen muffins and 24 mini muffins. I also freeze as needed. I mainly do this so that I can use the whole can of pumpkin since it was the big one in a multi-pack from Costco.

Here is what I made for tonight: (I did this yesterday so that it was ready for tonight.)

This is totally cheap. I bought a big 10 pound bag of pinto beans from Costco for $5. You make 3 cups at a time. It lasts a long time and is way better than store bought refried beans. I actually use a mix of black beans and pinto. What the recipe does not tell you is that you need to soak the 3 cups of beans overnight – rinse them and then throw them into the crock pot. I use water to make it cheaper. I also do not use any peppers but have done to make originally. Both ways are yummy. It makes alot and I put in three equal portions and eat one for dinner and freeze the other two.



Filed under: Uncategorized — Shannon @ 8:09 am

Good morning all! We start our day with breakfast! Truly, this is my least favorite meal. I am thankful for my coffee though! If momma did not have her coffee, I would resemble a dragon. (Was going to say ogre but was worried I would accidentally spell something less kid friendly to read…)

My kids are toast fanatics. Yes, it is true. I found this wonderful bread from a local store here that is all natural with lots of fiber for the kiddos. We use Earth Balance spread. It is yummo!

Another popular thing around here, are quick breads. The top favorite are Banana and Pumpkin. I can post the recipes later. Jon also enjoys Cinnamon Raisin Bread from Costco.

Cereal is also around but mainly that is something the kids like to snack on.

Drinks around here are orange juice or V8 Splash. (Greatest product ever – fruit and veggie serving in one glass?) Audrey likes her water. You may be thinking – don’t you drink any milk? Well, not really. Seth will sometimes have chocolate milk but we go thru a gallon of milk in about two weeks. Did you know we are the only species that serves milk past babyhood? Recent knowledge points to milk as one component in the increase of disease due to all the hormones. If this interests you at all, google T Colin Campbell (known for the China Study) and Michael Pollan. (I respect Pollan more – check his books out – it depends on the kind of milk you are serving not milk in itself!)

Off my soapbox – I am not a quack – just someone who cares about what is going on in our food system. If you are going to check out any of the above authors, throw Fast Food Nation in your reading as well. Changed how I feel about fast food and would explain why we never get it… 🙂 Not sure if your brain is thinking this but I think I would. “I am totally too busy to think about all these things.” “I don’t have the time to make everything from scratch.” You are right! We moms (don’t want to discriminate – do I have male readers?) are busy. I would be glad to help you get started. My family and I are not vegetarians – we are flexitarians. But mainly, I would check out those books or see Food Inc if you are not a reader.

Thanks for reading my blog!


Next – snacks :) January 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shannon @ 1:28 pm

Hello! Wow – 25 hits in one day! I have not had that in a long time!

So – in the last post – I talked about what we have for dinner.

I thought in the next few days – I would share what we do for breakfast, lunch and dessert. Today, it is snacks.

I feel like the kids are constantly snacking. I try to get them to fill up on nutrient rich foods.

Here are what we eat most days:
dried fruit
fruit leather
Annie’s bunny grahams
Pirate Booty
String cheese
Honey wheat pretzels

I am very picky about what I serve my kids. I know it and they are picky about what they choose to eat. Seriously, do you know what GMO’s are? Do some research – it is kind of freaky to learn that they are in most traditional kid snacks.

Then, you might ask – how are MY kids going to make the transition? Well, with anything – start slow. Take away those Goldfish crackers – I know they say they are all natural but NOPE! Replace with Annie’s Bunny Grahams. So much yummier and healthier.

Today – I have my dehydrator going. I love that thing. Most weeks it is in use! Today, I am making dried pineapple and homemade fruit leather. Am I a domestic goddess? NOPE. I thrive on simplicity!

Fruit Leather

Any fruit puree (throw thawed frozen fruit in the blender)
Same parts applesauce. (no sugar added)

(Example – 6 cups to 6 cups is what I used)

Mix and throw in the dehydrator. Sits for 12 hours.

Dried pineapple

Big can of pineapple pieces (bought at Costco for $4.50)
Drain (save liquid if you want homemade jerky marinade or use for fried rice chicken marinade)
Put on dehydrator trays!
Let sit for 12 hours.

Uses about $1 for electricity.


Grocery challenge January 3, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shannon @ 5:24 pm

Hello all! Thought I would try my hand at blogging again.

We are trying to cut costs in the grocery area. I am trying to be realistic about my budget – we do eat organic whenever possible. I am feeding 5 total.

My goal this month is to spend $600. I have already spent $375 mainly because I menu plan for the month and know what we will be having. The only thing left is to buy cheese, fruits, veggies and milk.

Here is what we are having this week (fruits and veggies are sides):
Sunday: Egg burritos
Monday: Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Tuesday: Homemade bean burritos
Wednesday: Corn Chowder (lots of veggies – kids have NO idea)
Thursday: Meatballs and Mac and Cheese/Salad
Friday: Cereal/yogurt with granola – kid choice
Saturday: Taquitos
Sunday: Fried Rice (using up all veggies that did not get eaten)

I am trying to use what I don’t spend on groceries towards our travel budget!