Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Halloween Candy Deals in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

It's time to start deciding on what to give the little monsters, cowboys, robots, etc.  All those costumes are available at the Malls, in the super stores such as Walmart, K Mart, Target, TJMax.  That fuel for another posting but today we are going to talk about what to give the children that show up at your door on Halloween expecting a Treat and promising to not trick you.

At Walmart I found a super deal with 350 pieces of Hershey candy for $24.01.  This breaks down to about a nickle per piece of candy.

If you are looking for a smaller amount of candy bars, they also have 95 pieces of Hershey Candy in a smaller variety for $9.94.  This breaks down to around a dime per candy bar.

At KMart they have similar packages which range in price from $9.99 for 100 pieces of Hershey candy.

to 240 pieces of candy for $14.99.  This breaks down to be an average of a dime per candy for either deal.

Now Target is running the same candy bars in a variety of Wrigley's candies to the bag for 130 pieces at $7.99.

I don't think you can get your candy for much less than that.

I sometimes give out potato chips that I buy in a case of 42 bags.  This year the price varies from $5.62 at a local restaurant supplier to $6.36 at Sam's Club.  In years past I have purchased this case for $5.00 from our neighborhood Cogo's  but this year they don't have the cases and are selling Halloween prepared packages with less bag in them.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October And My Most Important Decision For Halloween

It's a day of mixed emotions today.  I have some decisions to make.  What do I want to give this year to the Trick or Treaters is my main thought right now.  In years past, I have baked and made peanut butter cookies and brownies for the rug rats.  The older children were given candy bars.

When my children were old enough to trick or treat on their own with me following behind at a safe distance, one of them received a tampered candy bar.  Luckily it was me who opened and started to eat it while I was talking to a neighbor.  As soon as I placed it in my mouth, I got a burning sensation and the worst taste I have ever had.  I spit it back out and then examined the bar.  It was covered with white granules.  I picked the wrapper out of the trash and found it full of more granules.  I took it to the police and when it had been examined I was told it was saccharin.  I don't believe that because not only did it burn my tongue it left me with no taste buds on that portion of my tongue for quite some time.

I can fully understand why people reject home-made treats now but it is a shame.  In my time to trick or treat it was considered special to be invited in for gingerbread or to be given home-made candy apples.  As we became old enough to trick or treat on our own, we would go to those homes first so that we would not lose out on the special treats these people took the time to make.

Even though I don't bake any more for Halloween, have become known as the cookie lady because for quite a few years I would buy the Little Debbie Filled Oatmeal Cookies as treats.  At the time, I could buy 100 cookies for about $10.  I like being able to give out treats that are good for even the smallest children.   People now bring infants with bags which I think is pushing it if they don't have older children, but I give them treats the same as the toddlers whom I particularly like to watch going up and down the street. 

Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year.  Maybe that is because from the time I was able to remember my Dad made it fun for my brother and I.  It was my Dad's birthday and we would have a special dinner and cake before we were dressed up in homemade costumes out of my Mother's stage trunk and taken out to trick or treat.
Ball gown similar to one my Mom altered for me.

The evening always ended at the Town Hall for a parade to the High School where we were treated to a cartoon movie and a big bag of treats from our volunteer fire department.  On the walk back home from the high school, we would bend the rules and trick or treat at the homes on the four blocks all the way home.

I guess I will make the rounds today to do some comparison shopping and to see what is available at Sams Club and the local supermarkets to help my decision for the end of the month.  In the coming weeks I'll share my findings with my friends on here.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Lenten Alternates to Fish

I'm someone who doesn't really like fish unless it's tuna salad on a bun with lettuce and tomato or a deep fried either beer batter or breaded piece of fish on a bun with ketchup.

Tuna Salad on White Toast

Otherwise, I just don't like ordinary fish.  When I was younger my mom made salmon coquettes but I find salmon to have a very strong taste and I'm not fond of it.

Lump Crab Meat
I do like shellfish and I'm partial to shrimp, crab cakes (either style, Maryland or spiced).  I like cocktail sauce on both of these.  I've eaten lobster but it's out of my price range and I don't use the drawn butter because the first time I dipped and ate butter lobster the butter was rancid and I got sick.  So I tend to just eat the lobster meat without any sauces.

Macaroni and cheese is an option and it's not that hard to make a homemade macaroni and cheese casserole that doesn't contain all the sodium that you get in the frozen trays.  My mom made hers with cheddar cheese that she cubed and mixed with the precooked macaroni.  She poured milk over the casserole and cooked it in the oven until the cheese melted and the milk soaked into the macaroni.

Broccoli  added to Macaroni and Cheese

If you are adventurous you can add a vegetable to your macaroni and cheese for the full meal flavor.  I prefer to use broccoli in my macaroni and cheese.  If you like broccoli with cheese sauce, you are sure to like this version of mac and cheese.

You can make various versions of pasta without using meat in them.  The sauces that you use can also be varied.  In the next few days we will continue to talk about Lent and Lenten Dishes.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Another Friday In Lent - What's For Dinner

In our house today, I'm planning to make a favorite that my youngest step-daughter loved.  We are having pastaneggi.

This is a recipe that is so simple it only takes the time to boil the spaghetti and add some scrambled eggs along with your desired seasonings.

Another fun dish would be Tuna Salad and pierogies.  I make my tuna salad the way my Dad did at his luncheonette.  Tuna drained of the oil or in my case, water, chopped celery and Miracle Whip (salad dressing).  This is one dish I don't use mayonnaise.  My neighbor always put a small bit of chopped onion to spice it up and I sometimes do also.  My mother liked everything sweet so she added pickle relish to her tuna salad and egg salads.  I've never liked it with pickle relish or chopped eggs.

The pierogies I put in boiling water until they rise to the top while I am melting a stick of margarine with onions sliced the length of the onion into little crescents.  I saute the onions and margarine until the onions are transparent.  Then I put the drained pierogies into a chafing dish and cover them with the margarine and onion mixture.  I put these into a low oven until I'm ready to serve them.  Some people prefer to pan fry the pirogi so that they get browned but I prefer mine soft.  We are using a frozen pierogi from the supermarket.  I prefer the potato and cheese variety but you can get sauerkraut.

If you want to avoid the fuss and mess and you don't have a fish fry to attend, I suggest you try some of the delights at Labriola's Italian Markets.  There are several in the Pittsburgh area.  They make wonderful fried fish.  In the past they only made one batch of fish and you had to be early to get some, but now they make it all day long and you can normally get what you want into the afternoon hours.

There are several Fish Fries that I know of in the northern area of Pittsburgh.  St. Scholatica Church in Aspinwall only does one during Lent.  Pittsburgh Moose 46 on Saxonburg Boulevard has one every Friday in Lent.

Oakmont Elks has a wonderful Fish Fry but they only serve between 5 and 7 p.m.  If you know of some good fish fries, please comment their location and maybe we will try those next week.

As I promised I did my homework and surfed the Internet for some great Lenten Menus.  The first dish I want to talk about is a Seafood Lasagna that take 30 minutes to prepare and another hour and a half to bake.  It sounds scrumptious but if there are some ingredients in the seafood you don't like feel free to just eliminate them.  This recipe comes from allrecipes.com.

The second dish I want to talk about is an Imitation Crab Seafood Salad.  This recipe only takes 10 minutes to make.  Not only is it easy to make it sounds delicious.  This recipe comes from homecooking.about.com.

I hope you find some good hints here today and as always come back tomorrow to see what we have for you to try.  Since it is Lent the sales at the supermarket are all wrapped around meatless dinners.  Perhaps we want to make a simple chicken breast and broccoli casserole for dinner.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Lenten Observation: What Goes Around Comes Around

It's not hard to continue going down the path you have chosen if you wear blinders.  By this I mean never looking left or right and never noticing what is going on around you.

I'm a professed people watcher.  When I ride the bus or I'm at the store, I notice the people around me and what they appear to be doing.  Just because the man who got on the bus is wearing well-worn jeans and a scruffy jersey that doesn't automatically tell you he's not someone to come in contact with.  His clothes may be tattered but his face is clean.  His hands show the signs of doing something that involves using them.  His clothes may not only show wear but have stains on them that many times in the washer will no longer remove.

You don't have to talk to him but you do need to show him the same respect you would give to the person who boards the bus behind him.

The second man is dressed in khaki trousers, with a nice polo shirt.  He is clean shaved or he may have a manicured beard.  His hands are squeaky clean and he is carrying laptop case.  When this man gets on you tend to move over to allow room for him to sit down.

Why didn't you make the same move when the first man got on?  It's a simple explanation.  He didn't present himself to be someone you wanted to be near.  His clothes appeared to be dirty so therefore he was an indigent who deserved less from you.
Crowded Bus

Give this person a chance.  Open your heart.  Realize that outward appearances don't make the man.  It's how that man acts towards the other people on the bus that should make your decision for you.  This very same man may find a seat and be aware of what is going on around him when someone with an obvious disability gets on.  He may be the one to get up and offer his seat.  While the well dressed man may be totally oblivious to this person who obviously needs a seat and stay seated in his own comfort.

Welcoming your neighbor is how you seek and find the rewards that God has for us in this world.  As the title of this blog states, what goes around comes around.