And the winner is…

Just a quick blog post to announce the winner of the Gooseberry Patch “Dinners on a Dime” cookbook!



Are you ready?

Are you sure?


(Sorry, I love suspense!)

And the winner is…


Laine Hasper!

Which is completely crazy, because she won a cookbook from me way back when…but a totally deserving person. And I know she’ll use the cookbook well! 🙂

Congrats, Laine! And message me for pick up/mailing details. And perhaps you should head to Vegas, seems like you have some pretty awesome odds going in your favor!

Gooseberry Patch Recipe #10 – Spicy Layered Enchiladas – and a Giveaway!

I did it! Recipe number 10 is in the books! And now that I’ve finished, you can win this great cookbook yourself!

Here’s my recipe #10:

Spicy Layered Enchiladas


  • 1 lb. ground beef, chicken, beef, turkey or beef (the extra beef’s are for a friend!)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 1-1/4 oz. pkgs. taco seasoning mix (or use this recipe!)
  • 15-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 18 to 20 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 16-oz. pkg. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Optional: chopped green onions or fresh chives

All those lovely tortillas, lined up and waiting for sauce!

Brown meat and onion in a skillet over medium heat; drain. Stir in beans, water and one package of taco seasoning; simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat. In a bowl, combine tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with juice and remaining taco seasoning; mix well. In a lightly greased 9″X13″ baking pan, spread enough of sauce mixture to just coat the bottom. Layer 1/3 of tortillas on sauce. Evenly spread half of meat mixture on top of tortillas, layer with 1/3 of remaining sauce mixture and 1/3 of cheese. Add 1/3 of tortillas, remaining meat mixture, half of sauce mixture and half of remaining cheese. Top with remaining tortillas, sauce mixture and cheese. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into squares; sprinkle with green onions or chives, if desired. Makes 12 servings.

Note: I skipped the first part, because I used the leftover taco meat that I had from Sunday. Layered it all together, like you would lasagna. Hubby gave it two thumbs up!

A BIG hit in our house!

Cost breakdown:

  • Leftover meat – $0
  • Sauce – $1.50
  • Tortillas – $1.50
  • Cheese – $1.97
  • Total – $4.97, that totals out to 41 cents a serving!!! Woohoo!

That is recipe #10 – and here’s a recap of my other nine recipes:

  1. Iowa Freezer Corn
  2. Easy Cheesy Potatoes & Sausage
  3. Country Chicken & Dumplings – a family fave!
  4. Taco Ole’ Bubble Bake
  5. Creamy Macaroni & Beef
  6. Mini BLT Cups
  7. Buttery Parmesan Potatoes
  8. Magic Peanut Butter Cookies
  9. Taco Seasoning Mix

Now…to get on to the winning! You will have until Dec. 11 to enter, using any one (or ALL) of these 11 methods!

  1. Follow me through Twitter @wagfarms
  2. Become a fan of Wag’n Tales on Facebook
  3. Follow Real Farmwives of America and Friends through Google
  4. Follow @realfarmwives on Twitter
  5. Becoming a Fan of RFOA &Friends on Facebook
  6. Follow GP on Twitter @gooseberrypatch
  7. Fan Gooseberry Patch on Facebook 
  8. Leave a comment on Gooseberry Patch’s blog 
  9. Join the Gooseberry Patch Circle of Friends email club 
  10. Leave a comment on this blog, giving one sure-fire, money-saving tip for the kitchen
  11. Leave a second comment on this blog post listing out how many of the above methods to register for this giveaway you have completed and which ones.

And a quick reminder! Please, don’t forget about the Christmas Angel Project going on now (until Dec. 15)…we would love to share our love with those that need an extra hand this holiday season! (Check out details by clicking on the Blue Angel in the right hand corner at the top of the page!)
Pin It

Gooseberry Patch Recipe #9 – Taco Seasoning Mix

I would have finished up my last few recipes a week or two ago, but my camera ate my pictures and wouldn’t give them up! I have it fixed now, so I will finish up my last two recipes today and tomorrow. Are you ready for a giveaway?

Here we go with recipe #9:

Taco Seasoning Mix


  • 3/4 c. dried, minced onion
  • 1/4 c. salt
  • 1/4 c. chili powder
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 2 T. red pepper flakes
  • 2 T. dried, minced garlic
  • 2 T. ground cumin
  • 1 T. dried oregano

Makes a pretty little pile, eh?



Mix all ingredients well; store in an airtight container. Use 4 tablespoons mix in place of a 1 -1/4 ounce package of taco seasoning mix. Makes about 1-3/4 cups.

So simple and so frugal!



And the lowdown on the cost? Another freebie. I had all the ingredients (although, I will admit, I did not use them very often). I LOVE it when I find a way to save a dollar, and didn’t even realize it was under my nose!

I used it this week to make up some taco meat for a church lunch. My boys absolutely loved it and told me that it was MUCH better than the other stuff I had been using. I will admit, it was pretty darn good!


Gooseberry Patch Recipe #8 – Gluten-free Peanut Butter Cookies!

On Sunday, Mark and I were ushers/greeters for church…and so I thought it would make sense for us to bring treats for our Fellowship Time after church. I decided to bake some cookies, but didn’t know what my second choice should be, since I knew that there was at least one church member who followed a gluten-free diet. (Not that I had to supply something special, but I wanted too.)

And there, in my “Dinners on a Dime” cookbook was the recipe I’ve been looking for! It’s a super easy, super simple peanut butter cookie recipe, minus any flour. And according to my husband, they are delicious! (I’m not a peanut butter fan. I know, don’t throw your Jif at me!)

Anyway, enjoy this simple gluten-free cookie recipe. And it’s very economical (as long as peanut butter prices stay reasonable, but resources tell me that it might go up in the coming weeks/months. Just a heads up!).

Magic Peanut Butter Cookies


Simple as this!

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 t. vanilla extract

Mix sugar well with peanut butter, add remaining ingredients. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, until cookies are puffed and golden. Cool; remove from baking sheet. Makes 2 dozen.

Make sure to mix your peanut butter and sugar well...doesn't take long!

My cost analysis for these cookies? Sorry, can’t give you one…I had all the ingredients on hand! 🙂 YAY!

Great cookies, so easy and gluten-free!

Pin It

Gooseberry Patch Recipe #7 and a KitchenAid!

Last night I was planning on being involved in a great online connecting party with Rockin’ Rural Women…but fate stepped in. At about 8:20 p.m., our power went out. And it stayed out forever (according to my boys).

Things that I learned last night:

* Four-year-olds will turn on every light in the house, and then report back that, yes, the light in such-and-such a room is not working either.

* For some reason, my boys cannot fall asleep if the power is off. I don’t know why, but believe we should have a federal study regarding this phenomenon. Really, it makes more sense than some of the other things they study.

* LeapPads make great flashlights when surprised with a power outage.

* Throwing out all my candles when my boys went through a stage of playing with them, was (in hindsight) not the greatest idea I’ve ever come up with.

* During a power outage is not the best of time to find out that your children have taken all the batteries out of your flashlights. But, I mean, how else would they power their toys when you refuse to replace dead batteries? I may have to rethink my decisions here.

Yes, it was an interesting, exciting and quiet evening. But we got through it. And thankfully, I had put some potatoes in the oven before the power went out…and they were the only thing done enough to eat for supper! But the boys LOVED them! And I’ll make them again (along with the rest of supper), tonight.

Here is Gooseberry Patch Recipe #7…Buttery Parmesan Potatoes


All you need, and I had it all on hand!



  • 3 T. butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 redskin potatoes, halved

Everything, ready to go. So simple!



Pour butter into a 9″X9″ baking pan; sprinkle cheese over butter. Arrange potatoes cut-side down over cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, or until tender. Serves 4.

*Notes: You can easily bump this recipe up to serve more. And it’s absolutely, wonderfully easy and delicious. My boys requested more…and were disappointed that the power was off and we couldn’t make more. But I promised more tonight, and that’s what we’ll have!

Just to prove the power was out. (Actually, I took this photo minus the flash...didn't work so well in the dark.)



After serving each child half a potato, I thought I might have some left to taste!



I was wrong.




Cost : Are you sitting? Nothing. Nada. Zip. I had the butter and Parmesan on hand, and the potatoes were from the garden. So, it truly, truly was a “Dinner on a Dime.” Love it!

Now, be sure to enter my KitchenAid giveaway. I will be drawing a lucky winner at NOON on Monday! What a way to celebrate the end of a great Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Halloween…all in one! 🙂

Hunk of Meat Monday – Gooseberry Patch Recipe #6

Here we are, another Hunk of Meat Monday recipe. This time, I’m featuring BACON! Yum!

Mini B-L-T Cups


All you need!

  • 16 oz. tube refrigerated biscuits
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheese
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 t. dried basil

Halve biscuits horizontally by separating the layers. Pat biscuit halves into mini muffin tins that have been sprayed with non-stick vegetable spray. Combine remaining ingredients and spoon into biscuit cups. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 8 servings of 2 cups each.

Happiness is bacon in the kitchen.

All mixed up and ready for the oven.

Now, for my variations: My boys don’t like tomatoes, so I didn’t include them in the recipe. But I did dice some up for Boss Man to add to his cups. Also, I used Grands biscuits, so I used a normal sized muffin tin. It worked splendidly! And did I mention they were delicious!?!

Seriously delicious, seriously!

Now for the frugal part:

  • Biscuits – $1.50
  • Bacon – $1
  • Tomato – garden!
  • Cheese – $2
  • Total – $4.50 (the rest is all stuff I had on hand, as would most kitchens!) That’s a staggering 56 cents a serving! They’d make great appetizers, after-school snacks, or a quick, fast meal for a family on the go! Very portable!
Hunk of Meat Mondays

Pin It

Gooseberry Patch Recipe #5 – Creamy Macaroni & Beef

Half-way done with my recipes, before I give away a Gooseberry Patch cookbook! This was a big hit in my house, and very easy and cheap to make…the only thing that I had problems with were my noodles, but that was because I didn’t read the directions close enough! Ugh…I need a proofreader for my recipe-following! But it was still absolutely delicious! Just be sure to use elbow macaroni (as instructed) and do NOT substitute egg noodles. They melt into the dish. Still delicious, but we ended up serving it on toast…which was amazing!

Here it is:

Creamy Macaroni & Beef

All together now!




  • 1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
  • 2 10-3/4 oz. cans cream of mushroom soup (I used cream of chicken)
  • 8-oz. pkg. shredded Cheddar or mozzarella cheese
  • 7-oz. pkg. elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1/2 to 1 t. onion powder
  • 1/2 to 1 t. salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 t. pepper

All mixed together, ready to cook.



Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker; mix well. Cover and cook on low setting for 6 hours, or until macaroni is tender. Serves 8. (I cooked on high for 3 hours or so…just need to make sure macaroni is cooked, or in my case, dissolved. Oh, and when I realized that the noodles were going to be nonexistent, I added in a can of drained whole kernel corn, just to give it more substance…yummy!)


  • Beef – $2.98
  • Soup – $1.75
  • Cheese – $1.50
  • Macaroni – $1.25
  • Total – $7.48, which serves 8, making it about 94 cents a serving. Not too shabby!

It was quickly devoured by my tribe...definitely a seal of approval!



Hunk of Meat Monday – Gooseberry Patch Recipe #4

It is definitely Hunk of Meat Monday…and today I’m featuring another fantastic recipe from my Gooseberry Patch Cookbook “Dinners on a Dime.”

And I’m also reminding you to head over to my latest blog post and sign up to win a Pink’ed-out Kitchen! That’s right, a pink Kitchenaid complete with accessories! Who can beat a deal like that? Check it out!

But now on to my recipe…this was a great one, but I learned a lesson or two!

Tac-Ole` Bubble Bake


Simple, just the way I like it!

  • 2 12-oz. cans refrigerated biscuits, quartered
  • 1/2 to 1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
  • 1 1/2 c. salsa
  • 1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Optional: sour cream, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes

This is my meat of choice...hamburger!

Arrange biscuit quarters in the bottom of a 2-quart casserole dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Spread beef (or leftover taco beef) evenly over biscuits. Spoon salsa over beef; top with cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes. Garnish as desired. Serves 4 to 6.

Little did I consider that the full dish would cause a problem...but still looks yummy!


  • Biscuits – $2.27 each – $4.54 total
  • Beef – $2.97
  • Salsa – homemade (free!)
  • Cheese – $1.97
  • Total – $9.48 (6 servings = $1.58 per serving!)

Follow directions and be ready for some amazing food!

Lessons I learned:

1) Only use ONE layer of biscuits (one bigger container of biscuits will do it, don’t need two!) – Otherwise the biscuits rise to the point of making a mess while baking, then the inner biscuits don’t get done…and let’s just say that it makes a mess and a headache that’s not needed. One layer, one layer only.

2) Put a pan or something under it to catch the overflow…just in case you do something like what’s listed above and it makes a mess. Just a warning. 😉

Although it wasn’t an error-proof attempt (follow directions, Val, follow directions), it was absolutely yummy! And my boys ate it up like crazy!

Hunk of Meat Mondays

Gooseberry Recipe #3 – Crock pot Chicken and Dumplings

As promised…recipe number 3 from Gooseberry Patch, and a reminder about my Crock Pot giveaway!

Country Chicken & Dumplings


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 10-3/4 oz. cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 T. butter, sliced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 10-oz. tubes refrigerated biscuits, torn

    So simple, yet so good!

Place chicken, soup, butter and onion in a slow cooker; add enough water to cover. Cover and cook on high setting for 4 hours. Add biscuits to slow cooker; gently push biscuits into cooking liquid. Cover and continue cooking for about 1-1/2 hours, until biscuits are done in the center. Makes about 6 servings.

Simply add it together, minus the biscuits!

This was soooo easy and DELICIOUS! My family cleaned out the crock pot in a second and asked for me to make it again! (Which I will, in a heartbeat! And I will add potatoes, carrots, etc.!)

*Forgot to add costs!:

  • Chicken – $3.40
  • Soup – $3.00
  • Dough – $4.96
  • Total – $11.36 – at 6 servings, that’s less than $2 per serving. Not too bad for a great tasting meal, that would be easy to serve guests!

I barely was able to get a small salad plate of supper before the food was gone!

Hunk of Meat Monday – Gooseberry Patch Recipe #2

It is Labor Day, our first week of school is done, a fun weekend was celebrated and here we are…back at Monday.

I promised last week that there was going to be a special surprise added to my “Celebrate a Year of Blogging” celebration, so here it is: added to the prize package is a Smart Pot 5 1/2 qt. Crock Pot and a Gooseberry Patch Slow Cooker cookbook!!! With the crock pot craze of late, and with school starting and activities picking up, I thought that a crock pot would be a perfect addition to my celebration! Be sure to go to this blog post, and post a comment…or go to Facebook and “like” Wag’n Tales!

Celebrate a year with me! Win a Crock Pot!

I know that I L-O-V-E my crock pot…and I know many of you do as well! This crock pot is great! It cooks to your desired time, and then switches to keep warm! As soon as my old crock pot decides to kick the bucket, I’m getting myself one of these babies!

Well, enough about that, on to my Hunk of Meat Monday recipe!

Easy Cheesy Potatoes & Sausage

All ya need!


  • 6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 lb. smoked pork sausage, cubed
  • 16-oz. pkg. pasteurized process cheese spread, cubed
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 1/2 c. milk

I left my sausage in bigger chunks, that way it's easier to pick out for George.

Mix all ingredients together and transfer to a greased 10X8 baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for one hour, or until potatoes are tender. (I would suggest stirring occasionally.) Makes 6 servings.

All done!

Cost for this meal:

  • Potatoes – $1.77
  • Sausage – $1.50
  • Cheese spread – $2.50
  • Total – $5.77 – and since it makes 6 servings, that’s less than $1 per serving!
Hunk of Meat Mondays