Showing posts from 2016

Never Any

The Never Any products pictured to the right are staples in my house, especially the bacon. I have a 12 year old son who LOVES his bacon, and since he's not much of a meat eater I am all for him getting protein from this bacon. The Never Any Hickory Smoked Uncured Bacon contains pork that has:

No AntibioticsNo HormonesNo Animal By-ProductsIs Vegetarian FedNo MSG Like I said, I am okay with my boy eating this delicious bacon. On occasion we even end up with two packages in one week.

The Never Any lunchmeat is also a staple in my house. It's a favorite when we have toasted sub sandwiches for supper.

Other Never Any products I have found at Aldi: Ground Pork Sausage and Chicken Sausage links.

Cage Free Organic Eggs $3.49

Yet another thing on my Aldi wish list showed up in stores! Cage Free Organic Large Brown Eggs - Thank you Aldi!

This is why I LOVE Aldi!

Below is the response that I received after inquiring about a few products. The reason I sent the email is because the clerk at my local store told me to email and let them know and sometimes they are able to send more. Talk about amazing customer service!

Dear Mrs. Gonzales,

Thank you for reaching out to us regarding our Easy Home Robotic Vacuum and the Specially Selected Indulgent Popcorn Tin.
Our "Special Buy" program allows us to provide customers with unique items available for a limited time. With new Special Buy products coming in every week, we have to sell them quickly to make room for the next exciting offers. The item(s) in question was a Special Buy we carried in our stores while quantities lasted. Unfortunately, we are unable to get any more at this time.

Please feel free to visit our website,, to register for our weekly e-mail newsletter that includes information regarding upcoming Special Buy items. Please note that some advertised items may not be av…

Coffee Lovers Christmas Present

Barissmo 12 Coffees of Christmas For only $6.99 you can get your coffee lovers Christmas present at Aldi!  I saw this in the ad a few weeks ago, but today I saw it while doing my weekly shopping and I couldn't resist. Reading the flavors made my mouth water: Santa's  Blend, Gingerbread Cookie, Christmas Cookie, Peppermint Mocha, Java Jingle, Spiced Eggnog, Hot Buttered Rum, Chocolate Coconut Blizzard (my son asked if he could try this one), Candy Cane, Oh Fuuudge!, Glazed Cinnamon Roll, and Roasted Chestnut. I told my son we were getting this for Dad, but I'm thinking I may have to get into it this week!  I'll keep you posted!

Dessert and Coffee

So here's that post I mentioned in the Pumpkin Pie Bar post. I found the perfect coffee to pair with my dessert, and yes I wasn't patient enough and took a bite of my dessert before the pic. If you are lucky enough to find this coffee, grab it and enjoy. Caramel Creme is another one of Aldi's seasonal individual coffees and it won't disappoint! I'm down to only 4 left and I can't find it at my local Aldi, so I need to send Katie to her side of town.

Pumpkin Pie Bars

So it's November and my husband is in one of those pumpkin everything moods. He said to me, "Honey, I'm hungry for pumpkin pie." To which I responded to wait until Thanksgiving when my Mom makes it. Katie heard about this conversation and said, "You have the best pie crust recipe and you don't want to make a pie?!" Nope, too much work. So Aldi, I have to thank you for this simple box mix, that hopefully satisfies my husband until Thanksgiving.

All you need to make this delightful dessert is water, eggs, and butter. I also used my silicone dish baking dish from Aldi, but I wouldn't suggest using silicone. Stick with a pan. It suggests an 8 x 8, I grabbed this and used two boxes. It was delicious! Stay tuned for my coffee and dessert post!

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee

I LOVE coffee, and that is just one of Aldi's great products that I can not live without. My favorite ground coffees from Aldi are the German Roasted Mild Ground Coffee that can be purchased year round. Most recently, my favorite seasonal coffee is the Seasonal Blend Pumpkin Spice which is a light blend. Of course I am not a dark coffee drinker and I like to fufu up my coffee with creamers. Just recently I noticed Aldi is carrying a new line of creamers, Delightfully Pure. In Katie's words, "that's a creamer I can live with; I like the short ingredient list." I have only tried the vanilla flavor, but I just picked up the sweet cream flavor to try. These amazing creamers can be purchased for just $1.79.

Ingredient list for Delightfully Pure creamers:
nonfat milk, heavy cream, sugar, natural flavor

Serra Ladies Camisole Review - 2pk $7.99

I just picked up a package of these camis for $7.99 for a 2 pack (so $4 a cami!) from Aldi. The packs that came out this time had navy/gray or black/white sets. I was so happy with the fit and feel that I ran back and bought another package in the other color set so now I have all four. The came up high enough on the chest to be useful as a modesty layer and are stretchy enough to stay flat under clothes. I also felt that the small was true to size. Awesome find ALDI!

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce in the Slow Cooker

Jarred sauces can sometimes have a fair amount of ingredients I am trying to avoid, so I really was on the quest for a good sauce that didn't take forever. My mom made her own sauces quite a bit when I was growing up, so I've never gotten used to jar sauces that can be too acidic or bland. 

Serves 6, Cost per serving with pasta $.83 Ingredients 3 cloves of garlic, minced 2 T. Olive Oil 2 cans Crushed Tomatoes (28 oz) 2 T. Basil 1 T. Oregano 1 T.  Agave Nectar, honey, (or sugar) 1/4 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper 4 T. red wine or port (not available at ALDI in KS) if you don't have any, omit, but it's not the same
1 tsp. Sea Salt
Directions 1. Add onion, garlic, and oil to slow cooker and cook on high until onions begin to become translucent. In my slow cooker this is about 30 min. If you want to do this step on the stove, you could.
2. Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker and reduce to the lowest setting. Cook at least 2 hours on low. If you are going to leave this one …

World's Easiest Black Bean Soup

Ingredients4 cans black beans, drained and rinsed1 can SimplyNature Mild or Medium Salsa (approx. 2 cups)1 c. frozen corn1 can of broth (chicken or vegetable)2 T cuminSour Cream or shredded cheese for garnish Directions Dump all ingredients into large pot and heat through on medium heat.Top each bowl with a dollop of sour cream or cheese. Pairs well with corn bread or tortilla chips.

2 Ingredient Pork Roast

I had heard about this easy roast from my sister in law, so I finally decided to give it a shot. The result was amazing, and really it doesn't get much more simple than two ingredients, yes two! We have had shredded pork burritos, pork nachos, and pork sandwiches this week. I still have pork left, but I think I will freeze the rest otherwise my family might get a bit burned out if I serve shredded pork for every supper this week!

1 Jar pepper rings
1 pork roast (any cut would work, and I am sure beef would too)

Place roast in slow cooker and dump the jar of pepper rings over the roast. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. I had a giant 7 lb roast, so it took the entire 10 hours.

Product Reviews

Products that are considered staples in our house! 
100 Calorie Guacamole Minis: I thought I was the only one addicted to these delightful things. However, I noticed they kept disappearing and I knew my kids weren't eating them. Well, low and behold I caught the husband snacking on these after work one day. He said it was the perfect amount so he didn't eat too much before supper, and you know what?...He's right (we won't tell him I said that!)!  Of course I use the multigrain tortilla chips or carrot sticks to dip with. I also use these during the year in my lunch to spread on my wraps as well or for dipping. 
Simply Nature Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing: If you can still find this one, consider yourself lucky!  This dressing has become my absolute favorite, especially with summertime salads. My latest go to salad has been baby spinach topped with tomatoes, blueberries, and slivered almonds and a tablespoon (or more) of this deliciousness!  
Simply Nature Multigrain Tor…

Yummy cookies...darn you, Aldi!

Fudge Mint Cookies....aka Girl Scout Thin Mints     Darn you, Aldi!  I had mentally prepared myself prior to entering Aldi that I was going to eat healthy this week and not snack on my kiddos' junk food. I was doing so well the first two aisles of this shopping endeavor, then I spotted these wonderful cookies!  I thought, hmm I wonder if those taste anything like the Girl Scout cookies?  Mind you it was 2:30 in the afternoon so I was getting a bit hungry, and I'm pretty sure the conversation in my mind went something like this, "I will grab them and see if the kids like them (yeah right!)! Maybe I will eat a couple on the way home from the store since I am kind of hungry." 

Well, Aldi has done it again, these cookies are fabulous! Notice the second picture? All those cookies were consumed on the way home from the grocery store by none other than yours truly.
I did skip the cookout at the campsite tonight with my family, but opted to ride my bike to the lake to visit …

Heatless Meals

That's right, heatless, as in I didn't have to heat up my house by using the oven or stove! This is a big deal when the heat index is well above 100 and the air conditioning seems to be constantly running to keep up!

Meal 1: Shredded Chicken Bacon Ranch Wraps or Sandwiches

3 Never Any Chicken Breasts1 pks Ranch seasoning1 or 2 chicken bouillon  cubes2 slices Never Any Smoked Bacon1 cup of water Directions: Place Chicken in slow cooker, cover with Ranch, place bacon over the ranch, put bouillon cubes in bottom of slow cooker, pour in water, cook on low for about 8 hours or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred.

For a Wrap: I like the Fit N Active wraps, any of them. Place shredded chicken in wrap and top with lettuce, tomato, avocado, cucumber, and salsa (this is how I like to prepare mine). Wrap and serve...delish!  
Pretzel Bun Sandwich option: Slice pretzel bun, place shredded chicken, tomato, lettuce, and cucumber, and a slice of cheese (this is how…


The title has a story behind it. Whenever Katie and her family come to our house her husband always notices my overly full pantry and fridge of snacks, and says to Katie, "We need more shnaacks!" So I thought today's shnaack post would be perfect.
     I know when we are heading to the pool I just grab random boxes of whatever is almost empty from the pantry and then I don't have to buy ridiculously priced junk food from the concession stand. We love our Benton's Vanilla Wafer cookies, Savoritz cheese crackers, and Clancy's Pretzels just to name a few!
     Well, news flash....I actually planned ahead for today's pool trip and even impressed my own kiddos...WHOA!  Frozen grapes, that's all you need to impress your kiddos at the pool, who knew?! Last night I washed the grapes and put them individually in a big freezer bag in the freezer. Today, I grabbed them to take along in our cooler and they were a HIT! And with the Kansas heat index of 105, t…

Updated Wish List for ALDI

It seems like when I post a wishlist, a few more things show up in stores because someone at ALDI loves me?

1. Organic Whole Milk Thank you ALDI! Keep it coming!
2. Organic Block Cheeses  Would love to see more though
3. Whole Wheat Bread with shorter ingredient list Thanks! Loving the "Knock Your Sprouts Off" SimplyNature bread!
4. Cage-Free/Free Range/Organic Eggs
5. Organic Unsalted Butter
6. Cayenne Pepper  Thanks ALDI!
7. Bay Leaves (Thanks "T")
8. Whole Wheat Tortillas (Thanks Erin!) Thanks for those ALDI (less ingredients please or I will have to continue making my own)
9. Corn Tortillas - bring 'em back Thanks ALDI
10. Organic Chicken!  (Thanks ALDI- the new chicken you rolled out is pretty close!)
11. More frozen, wild-caught fish from time to time
12. Grass-fed beef steaks
13. Whole Wheat Flour (all the time)

Thank you ALDI for some of the newer items like the NeverAny bacon, Knock Your Sprouts Off bread, unsalted cashews, non-GMO cane sugar, and the L…

Costco Vs. ALDI

My husband has this thing for thinking he knows more than me about finding and good deals, so to amuse him, we purchased a LivingSocial deal for Costco a while back that gave you Gold Membership for a year, a $25 giftcard, and free merchandise that totaled to well over the cost for the deal. I figured if membership worked out to "free" then I would be willing to give it a try. Mind you, the nearest Costco is more than an hour from our house, so he can't make me go that often.

We made the mistake of going on a Sunday afternoon which meant that the aisles of pushy people nearly gave me a panic attack, my toddler was having a total meltdown, and there was not a thing that fit my clean eating requirements in the food court, so my breakfast and lunch that day consisted of dried apricot and olive medley samples from the demonstrators. Needless to say I was a little "hangry." I plan on going back to Costco again, but on a weekday during the day so as not to …

Whole Wheat Pancakes with Blueberries

This is my go-to recipe for pancakes when we need a quick breakfast. I used to buy pancake mix but once I read the ingredient list, I decided this is "cleaner" and almost as quick. I figured out to let the batter rest a bit while I heat the pan so that the whole wheat flour has a chance to soften. My boys love these with blueberries. Whole wheat flour is back right now at ALDI. Ingredients 2 c. whole wheat flour 4 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. salt 2 T sweet- choose from cane sugar, honey, maple syrup, OR agave nectar 2 eggs 2 c. whole milk 1/2 c. coconut oil - melted Optional: fresh or frozen blueberries, chocolate chips, banana slices, granola
Directions 1. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. 2. Whisk in eggs and milk until well combined. 3. Melt oil and pour in slowly while mixing batter. Coconut oil will turn back to a solid when it hits the cold batter. I find mixing while you stir helps prevent oil clumps. 4. Heat a skillet to medium heat. You may need to oil your…

Homemade Vegetable Broth

I love making homemade stocks and broths, not only because it saves me money, but because I can use up ingredients that would otherwise be wasted. Whenever I have wimpy celery I know it is time to make stock and the other ingredients are fairly flexible. This can be done all day in the slow cooker or stove top in a large pot.

Ingredients1 onion, peeled and quartered2 carrots2 stalks of celery4 cloves of garlic, peeled3 other veggies (potato, zucchini, yellow squash, 1 c. mushrooms) or add more onion, celery, and carrot.1/2 tsp. black pepper2 tsp. salt1 tsp. oregano1 tsp. parsley1/2 tsp. thyme, basil, or bay leafwater to fill
DirectionsAdd all ingredients to large pot or slow cooker and fill with water. For slow cooker, set on low for 8 hours. For stove top, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 2 hours.Let cool some and then strain stock thought a fine strainer or sieve into freezer-proof containers. Carolyn and I use mason jars or reuse plastic containers tha…

ALDI takes credit cards!?!

Just recently ALDI has started taking credit cards! My husband had been pushing me to shop elsewhere because we were missing out on hotel points with only using debit for groceries. Now I get to save money and get the points - SWEET!

Taj Mahals

This recipe comes from my husband's side of the family and I have no idea why they are called Taj Mahals, but they are a quick, delicious, open-faced sandwich finished in the broiler. I prefer them vegetarian but Carolyn likes to add some turkey slices for her family.

IngredientsSandwich Bread (I prefer a whole wheat)Avocados or Prepared GuacamoleTomatoes, slicedRed Onion, slicedMushroom, slicedVinegar or lime juiceCheese, I used the Organic Cheddar but you can use pretty much any real sliced cheese you like *These were made depending on what everyone wanted in my family. Some were no cheese, some no mushrooms - this is a recipe where it is fairly easy to be accommodating.  Directions On a cookie sheet, lay out single slices of bread. (How many will depend on how many you want to serve)Mash ripe avocado slices into a quick "guacamole" and add a little salt or garlic salt. If you want to make a full blown guac, be my guest.Spread a thick layer of guacamole onto each slice …

ALDI Freezer to Crockpot: 10 Meals in 90 minutes for $77.20

I love my slow cooker in the fall and winter for all sorts of soups and stews. The problem is that most recipes call for shorter cooking times of 4-6 hours and I am gone for my work day for 10 hours most days. I need recipes that I can prep ahead of time and throw in the slow cooker in the morning. Inspired by plenty of Facebook and Pinterest posts about freezer to slow cooker meals, I set out this week to build a collection of Aldi-friendly (standard Aldi ingredients only) that work for freezer to slow cooker. In 90 minutes I was able to prep 10 main courses that went straight to the freezer ready to be pulled out any given morning and thrown into the slow cooker. The research, organizing, and shopping time were substantially more but since I am nice person, I will share my shopping list and meal plan. If you want to double any of the recipes you will really increase your meal count without a lot of extra work. Just bag two meals at a time!

(If my meal list is not to your liking, ch…

Lasagna Soup

This recipe was a hit on a freezing Kansas day!  I have heard about slow cooker lasagna soup, but there's something about heat and a wonderful smell coming from my kitchen on such a cold day!  Of course if I were to make this during the week I would put all the ingredients except the pasta in the slow cooker on low and then add the noodles in the evening!  This will definitely become a repeat menu item for my family!  

1 28 oz crushed tomatoes (I used organic)
1 6oz can tomato paste
4 cups beef broth (1 container organic)
1 cup water
1.5 cups vegetable or tomato juice
1 lb ground beef
1 T parsley
1 T Italian seasoning
1/2 cup diced onions
4 cloves garlic or 2 tsp minced garlic
2 cups Pipe Rigate pasta

1. Brown ground beef, drain if necessary.
2. I also cooked the onions and garlic towards the end of the beef being fully cooked.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir over medium heat.
4. Reduce heat to a simmer for about an hour.
5. In a separate pot, bri…

Easiest Appetizer EVER!!!

This has become my "Go To" appetizer recipe for any and all parties that we attend, even those last minute invites!  Lots of things about this appetizer make it my favorite, but most of all is that with the chips included it's right at $10 and oh so easy!  I'm sure many have heard it referred to as 1,2,3 dip or 3, 2, 1 dip. I like to call it 3, 2, 1 Dip because that's the order I place the ingredients in the slow cooker. I'm posting this one tonight because we have football on right now and are headed over to a party to watch basketball! Gotta love winter sports and comfort food!                                                          

Ingredients: 3 packages cream cheese 2 cans diced tomatoes and green chiles 1 lb sausage Directions: 1. Brown sausage 2. Place cream cheese in slow cooker 3. Pour diced tomatoes and green chiles over cream cheese 4. Add sausage 5. Depending on when you need your dip and when you place in slow cooker depends on time and temp.  …

Product Review: Crofton Enameled Cast Iron (Dutch Oven and Braiser)

I have two tiny Le Crueset pots (cocottes) that I inherited from my grandmother, but just about fell over when I looked to buy larger pieces at a Le Crueset outlet this summer. The 5 quart Dutch Oven that I could get at ALDI for $29.99 would run me $270 to $300 in Le Crueset. I purchased the braiser as a Christmas gift for myself and asked my mom to pick up the dutch oven.  I am thrilled with the performance of both and honestly notice no differences between them and the LeCrueset. Having said that, I also don't have any new LeCrueset pieces to compare it to so it's not a fair comparison. If Le Crueset would like to send me a new piece - I wouldn't turn it down, but this Aldi Girl is content with her $29.99 steal ;)

 I have used the Crofton Dutch Oven to make Chicken and Whole Wheat Dumplings and the Crofton Braiser to cook Homemade Marinara and Chili. I wanted to have enameled cast iron specifically for my tomato dishes that can get a little "tinny" or metallic …

100% Whole Wheat Bread (Homemade)

Inspired by the Simple Whole Wheat Bread recipe, I worked and tweaked to get a 100% whole wheat bread that was still soft enough to use for sandwich bread. I finally got brave enough to try bread without my bread machine and I am finally getting it down.  Yields 3 loaves so you will need 3 bread pans. Ingredients3 c. warm water (about 110*)2 packages rapid rise yeast (you could use regular as well but I don't have as good of luck with rising with that)2/3 c. honey (divided 1/3 and 1/3)9-11 c. whole wheat flour (5c and 2c. and about 2c. more when kneading)5 T. butter melted (divided 3T and 2T)1 T. salt Directions 1. In a big bowl mix 3 c. warm water, 2 packages of yeast, 1/3 c. of honey, and 5 c. sifted whole wheat flour. Mix until combined and then set aside for 30 minutes to rise. I like to place it in my microwave to help make sure there are no drafts.

2. Mix in  3 T. melted butter, 1 T. salt, 1/3 c. honey, and 2 c. sifted whole wheat flour.  Heavily flour a surface to knead on…

Fruit Smoothies

This is my kiddos favorite thing to drink in the morning! I like it because they are getting more than a serving of fruit, and I'm not just serving them an entire glass of juice along with their breakfast because I only use about one cup of juice for the entire pitcher which serves both my kiddos and I even have a little left for me!

2 bananas
1 to 2 cups frozen fruit (fresh is best when in season)
1/2 to 1c fruit juice of any variety
2 c. Organic Whole Milk Yogurt

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend away!  I like to serve these in the canning jars with the Ball lids and straws because the straws are larger. I have used the flavored yogurts as well, but I prefer the Organic Whole Milk Yogurt when Aldi has it on hand. I also tend to use whatever juice I have open or prepared in a pitcher at the time, orange juice happens to be my favorite.

Beer Cheese Broccoli Soup

Ingredients2 crowns of broccoli -steamed and trimmed into bite size pieces4 T. butter4 T. flour1 block of cream cheese8 oz. of sharp cheddar, shredded1 c. to 12 oz. of pilsner-style beer (or chicken/veg. stock as a substitute) Directions 1. Trim broccoli and steam in microwave or stove top until fork tender. I like the microwave method. I add the broccoli and about 1/4 c. water to a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 2 min. increments over and over until fork tender. 
2. In a large sauce pan or stock pot melt butter on med-low heat. Then add flour to butter to make a paste.
3. Next melt cream cheese into the flour-butter (roux). Then melt the cheddar cheese into the sauce. You will be doing a lot of stirring!
4. Next add the beer or stock and keep stirring until well incorporated. A full 12 oz. of beer will yield a very yeasty tasting soup (YUM!), if that's not your thing back it off to a cup of beer or use stock.
5. If you want a chunkier soup, cut the broccoli to bite size p…