December 06, 2016

How to Lower Your Grocery Bill

This post is about how to make our trip to the grocery store less stressful and more efficient.

Do you feel like your grocery bill keeps going higher and higher? Well, you are not alone!

Yes, we all seen the cost of food going up and if you think about the fact that most consumers throw out 40% of the food they buy, makes us come to the realization that we could do better in lowering our bills by doing a little plan-ahead before actually going out shopping.

Here are a few tips to help save time and money on your next trip to the grocery store.

  • Plan your weekly meals and write them  down. Using grocery coupons and store specials can also help you not only plan your meals but also cut down on your spending. 
  • Make a grocery shopping list! 
  • Check you refrigerator for vegetable and other thing that you might have already on hand so you don't spend extra because you forgot about it. 
  • Shop your freezer and your pantry. 
  • Plan meals using leftovers (if you have any).
  • Go shopping grocery list in hand and stick to the items on the list!  
  • Never shop when you are hungry. You will buy more things than you need! (you mean it never happened to you?)

I found this article on the subject of grocery shopping written by Mairlyn Smith, a Professional Home Economist that is packed with fantastic ideas and suggestions. One that I liked is "When you are looking at vegetables and fruits, buy seasonal and locally grown as they are going to be a better buy". Or how we should also remember to shop the frozen aisle of our grocery store for frozen fruits and vegetables which are nutrition as well as are economical choices...

You can read the whole article here:
  "Grocery Shopping 101"

Hope you find the ideas useful and helpful and help you save on your next trip to grocery shopping!



October 03, 2016

Easy Lemon Cake

Hello again,

I haven't posted in a while...No, I didn't stop cooking... (in case you were wondering) I just didn't do so much of it. My life has been very busy as I find more things that I have to do all the time. I'm sure many of you can relate... Seems there is never enough time to do all that we want to do in a day, is there? That's why we all need simple, easy and FAST recipes. Let's be realistic! Cooking takes time and energy but if you like doing it or you just love your family to pieces, you are going to have to spend some time in the kitchen. So here it is a fast dessert recipe, an easy-breezy lemon cake. Can you do me a HUGE favor? If you do like it, just drop me a comment in the box bellow the recipe and let me know. Thank you so much!!

Here is the recipe for my Easy Lemon Cake

1 Box of Lemon cake Mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup water

Filling and Topping:
1-250 ml (about 8-9 once jar) of lemon curd (or lemon pie filling)
1-1L Container of Cool whip, thawed
lemon rind, optional

Empty the content of the lemon cake mix into an electric mixer bowl.

Add eggs, oil, milk and water. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, than on high speed  for 2 minutes, or until batter is smooth.

Pour into a greased 9 inch by 13 inch pan and bake in preheated oven at 350 F for about 30 minutes or until cake is done.

Let cool in the pan. Remove cake from pan onto a board and cut it in two, horizontally. Place the bottom layer back into the pan. Spread the curd on the bottom layer and cover with the top cake layer.
Spoon  cool whip on top of the cake and sprinkle the lemon rind on top. 

Cut into squares and enjoy!

NOTE: You can also leave the whole cake in the pan and spread the lemon curd on top of cake, than spoon the cool whip right on top of lemon curd.



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November 21, 2015

Chewy Granola Bars

My husband likes granola and the other day, while out grocery shopping, we succumbed temptation, and we bought some. I started nibbling at it myself, even though I didn't think I really cared for it much, (not as my husband, anyway) but I found myself going back to the box for more, until I started reading the ingredients and realized, this sweet treat wasn't quite the best choice for us as it had super high sugar content, (a bad culprit) among other things, so I decided to try and make some home-made granola bars instead.

Using ingredients like oats, nuts, dried fruits and seeds, I ended up with some really delicious granola bars. It was a breeze to make them and they taste way better than any store bought ones, my husband likes them and I feel better knowing all the ingredients I used to make them.

Hope you'll enjoy them as much as we do,

1-2/3 cups oats
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, cashew or almonds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup agave syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoon water

In a large bowl, combine oats, whole wheat flour, salt and cinnamon; Stir to mix well.
Stir in cranberries, apricots, cherries, coconut, walnuts, (or other nuts you are using) pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds; set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together coconut oil, maple syrup, agave syrup, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of water.  Add this to the oat and fruit mixture; stir to mix well adding the remaining water if needed to hold the mixture together.


Pat into a greased 9 inch x 13 inch baking pan.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until edges start to brown.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Cut into bars. Keep in an airtight container. 


Makes: 18 bars
Leia’s Culinary Treasures

November 10, 2015

Stuffed Baked Apples

Baked apples: a quick and easy dessert recipe.

I love to make baked apples. I always look forward to the wonderful scent of the apples and cinnamon baking together filling the kitchen....Yummy! There’s just something so comforting about warm stuffed baked apple. 

baked apple

My love for baked apples started recently when my daughter  kept on making them while she and her family were staying with us.  Since her husband doesn't like cinnamon, ( I know, totally weird, right ?) she would bake them all “naturelle”, than served them with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.  Not bad, but since I do like cinnamon, I was eager to make my own version of baked apples.  So I came up with this simple, easy  filling. Now this is truly a fall dessert after my own heart. I like it. Hope you will too.

8 medium Macintosh apples
1 cup Harvest Crunch Original granola cereal
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. butter (or margarine)
1/4 cup water
Vanilla ice cream, optional for serving


Wash apples and using an apple corer, or a pairing knife  remove the core completely. Do not peal. I used Macintosh but other kind, like Jonagold works too. You just may need to adjust the baking time slightly.

In a small bowl stir together granola, brown sugar, pecans  and cinnamon.

Arrange cored apples into a glass baking  pan. Using a small spoon, stuff each apple with the granola mix. Don't worry if some falls in the pan.

Divide the butter and place about 1/2 teaspoon of butter on top of the filling on each apple.

Pour the water in between the apples. Bake in preheated oven at 350 F for 20-25 minutes, or until apples feel tender when pressed. Keep an eye on them so they don’t over bake and burst and become mushy.

Once done, remove from oven. Let cool slightly before serving.

Great served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (and whipped cream if you really want to indulge).

Makes: 8 serving


Leia’s Culinary Treasures