7.31.2011

Weekly Deals..

If you have a guy in your home the biggest deal this week in my opinion is the Axe line. In todays paper there are four coupon inserts with everything from Listerine, Scrubbing Bubbles, Windex, Covergirl, Tampax, Always, Crest, Dove, Pantene, Gillette, and more..

One of the coupons are for Axe BOGO free.. CVS and Target both have the Axe line on sale for $4.49 this week, however at CVS when you buy 3 Axe products you get $3 EB.

I am going to get two Axe body washes and an Axe Shampoo and Conditioner..

Shampoo             4.49     BOGO      4.49
Conditioner        4.49                       Free
Body Wash 1      4.49     BOGO      4.49
Body Wash 2      4.49                       Free
                                           Total       $8.98 Plus $3EB equals four products for $5.98!! They're more than that apiece normally. Also some people are getting a $2/1 coupon through the CVS kiosk which would make this $2.98 for 4! Normally I would pay about $24 to $28 for that many Axe products for Mike.

Dove/Dove Men Deodorant is on sale 2/$6 and there is a BOGO free coupon for when you buy a Women's Dove Deodorant you get the Men's free. So $3 for two, or four for $6 .. $1.50 a piece, can't beat it.

Gillette Men's Fusion Proglide Razor is $9.99 with $5EB making it $4.99 plus there is a $4 coupon making it .99!!

Soleil Shimmer Women's disposable razor is $5.99 with $3 EB and a $2 coupon making it .99 as well!!

Skinny Cow chocolate candy is .99 with .99EB making it free, use the BOGO free coupon and get two.. for free!

I will try to figure out some more deals and post them later on. I'm not really all that impressed with this week, last week was better in my opinion. In the meantime go get the paper! Get more than one! You're going to save A LOT more than you spend on the papers.

7.29.2011

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Shortcake

Everyone loves a good shortcake but if there is one thing people love more than that, it's chocolate covered strawberries! Let's make that dream happen.

1 Cup Bisquick
1/3 Milk
1 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoons Cinnamon
1.5 Tablespoons Melted Butter



Mix all the above ingredients until a soft dough forms. DO NOT OVER-MIX. Your result will be a tougher consistency rather than a fluffy one if you do.



Gently form biscuit shapes on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in a 425 degree oven for 8 minutes or until slightly golden brown.



8 to 10 Strawberries
1/4 Cup Chocolate Chips
Cool Whip


Melt the chocolate chips in your microwave for about 30 seconds at a time. Stir after each heating. In my microwave it only took two 30 second sessions to easily stir into a chocolate mess. Chop your strawberries and add to the chocolate. Stir until coated and place aside.



Split your shortcakes and then cut in half. If the bottoms burn, which mine did, just thinly slice the bottoms off. Place the quartered cake into a bowl. Top with chocolate strawberries and cool whip! Enjoy!

7.28.2011

Chicken and Biscuit Bake

This is my version of the KFC Mashed Potato Bowl versus chicken and dumplings versus comfort food chicken bake.

Two Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
One Can of Cream of Chicken Soup
Can of Corn
Mashed Potatoes
Refrigerated Biscuits
Salt
Pepper
Chicken Bouillon Powder
Garlic Powder

I used instant mashed potatoes for this recipe because I'm lazy and this blog is titled 20 Something Homemaker for the Working Woman. If I had leftover mashed potatoes I would have used those. I prefer homemade mashed potatoes but I really don't mind instant in recipes such as this. Prepare your mashed potatoes according to the package and put aside. Chop your chicken into bite size pieces and cook in a skillet drizzled with olive oil. I seasoned the chicken with chicken flavor bouillon powder and black pepper.



Once the chicken is cooked add in the cream of chicken soup along with a can of water or milk. You can substitute the cream soup for gravy if you prefer, some people are skeeved out by the canned cream soups.




While that is heating through you're going to want to prepare your layers. Place your mashed potatoes in a baking pan and pat down with a rubber spatula and add your corn. Again, you can substitute the corn for peas or green beans. Pour the chicken and cream mixture over the corn and spread into every nook, especially the corners.



Place the biscuits on top and sprinkle with garlic powder and pop in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.

7.27.2011

Chili Yum

Who doesn't love a good bowl of chili? Even in the summertime it's hard to pass on a bowl of chili.

1lb Ground Beef
Small Onion
Can of Kidney Beans
Can of Pinto Beans in Spicy Chili Sauce
1 Tablespoon Chopped Garlic
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Season Salt
1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 Teaspoon Oregano
1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
6 oz Can of Tomato Paste
20 oz Can of Tomato Sauce
4 cups Water(it's going to keep evaporating so eyeball it)
1 Tablespoon Beef Bouillon



Brown your ground beef sprinkled with salt and pepper in a big saucepan. Drain off the excess grease and add your diced onion, garlic, spices and tomato paste. Mix together and then add the pinto and kidney beans, slowly stir in your tomato sauce. Add the water and beef bouillon.



Simmer for at least two and a half hours.



That's really the only secret to a good chili, the longer you simmer the better, next day is best.



Enjoy with corn chips, cornbread or shredded cheddar cheese!

7.26.2011

Broccoli Cheese Puffs

One night I was bored and I was craving biscuits, but cheese, cheesy biscuits, no wait stuffed bread, broccoli.. shit, I've got it.

It was so simple, I had frozen broccoli florets, shredded cheese, crescent rolls.. I can do this. I also did Pepperoni ones for Mike.

Butter
Crescent Rolls
Broccoli Florets
Shredded Cheese
Garlic
Olive Oil

Cook your frozen broccoli according to the package, if it's steam-able just steam the bag of broccoli and then add to a pot of drizzled olive oil and some chopped garlic. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over it. Open your Crescent rolls, keep two together  to make squares. You should have four squares out of one package. Mix some shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese in with the broccoli. Place a scoop in the middle of each Crescent square.



Bring up two opposing corners and pinch together...



.. then bring up the other two and pinch. 



Brush with some melted butter and pop in the 350 degree oven for 13 minutes. More or less depending on your oven, these are something you're going to want to keep an eye on.



  Serves four, unless you're pmsing.. then it serves two.

7.25.2011

Easy Crockpot Chicken Soup

I had my wisdom teeth out today so in anticipation of not being about to eat I planned ahead. I had a crockpot for over a year before I even used it, once I did I wondered why I had waited so long. You can make anything and everything in there and all you have to do is throw it in before you go to work.

Two Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
10 cups of Water
A Small Onion
Three Carrots
Two Stalks of Celery
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Rosemary
Salt
Pepper
Three Tablespoons of Chicken Bouillon Powder



Throw the chicken breast whole into the crockpot. Cover with water, spices and bouillon powder. Chop your onion, carrots and celery into desired size pieces and toss in. Put on low and go to work.

When you get home you need to boil your pasta or make your dumplings and shred the chicken. Remove the chicken from the pot and place on a cutting board. Using two forks you should be able to easily break apart the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss back in the crock pot. If you are using noodles or pasta, boil separately, boiling in the soup seems to be a good idea initially because it will absorb the flavor but it could backfire and absorb all the liquid or add too much starch to your soup. I like to keep my noodles separate until you're about to eat it. Scoop the noodles in a bowl and pour over the soup. Also you're going to want to store it separately so the noodles don't absorb the broth.



If you are using pasta, you're done! If you want to make dumplings then you're not done..

Bisquick
Milk
Spices

I'm big on flavor so I use pepper and garlic powder in mine. Mix a cup of Bisquick and a 1/3 cup of milk. Test the consistency, I make it a little thicker so it's easy to drop spoonfuls into the soup. Cover with a lid. You're going to want to put the soup on high for maybe a half hour before you do this. The dumplings should float and puff up, so make them small.

7.24.2011

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers won the poll. Stuffed peppers are another one of those dishes I never really wanted to try because I never realized how easy they were to make. And really it's only four ingredients plus spices.

Peppers (I use green but any color will do)
1 lb Ground Beef
2 cups cooked Rice
Marinara Sauce (I usually have some frozen from when I make a big batch.)

I use boil in a bag rice because it's really hard to fuck up, lol. I have this thing with boiling stuff, I either do it too long or not enough so rice in a bag is a foolproof method to my madness. I season my ground beef with salt, pepper, garlic powder and basil. Depending on my mood I might throw some finely chopped onions in there. Brown your meat in a frying pan until no longer pink and then drain and set aside.

I know some people actually cook the rice and mix in the raw meat and stuff the peppers but I can't do that, I would freak out wondering if the meat is cooked in the peppers. The only way to check would be to cut open someones pepper and that's  bullshit.

While the rice and meat are cooking you can prep your peppers. Wash and dry them and then cut off the top of each pepper. If you slightly crunch the pepper before doing this the membranes inside break and most of your peppers will have the insides come out attached to the lid. Scoop out whatever insides and seeds are left inside. Now you have a choice, you can parboil your peppers if you like them soft or if you like them with a slight crunch just start arranging them open side up in a baking dish.

In a mixing bowl combine your beef and rice. Give it a taste to see if you should add more seasoning. Slowly start to stir in some sauce to your desired consistency. You can also shake in some grated Parmesan cheese for added flavored. Overly stuff each pepper but not packed in, just scoop in spoonfuls but don't press down. Cover each pepper with a generous amount of sauce and spoon some sauce on the bottom of the pan around the peppers. Cover the pan with foil.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. 20 minutes foil on, last 10 without.

Half Recipe in two giant peppers. I have to get a better picture the next time I make it.

7.23.2011

Sunday Weekly Deals

This week at CVS

ExtraCare Bucks (ECB) Deal: Buy $20 worth of select Schick or Playtex products, get $10 ECBs (Limit 1)
**Deal Idea**
Buy 2 Skintimate Moisturizing Cream Shave at $2.19 each
Buy 2 Schick Hydro 3 or 5 Razors at $7.99 each
Use (2) $1.50/1 Skintimate coupons or this $1/1 Skintimate coupon
Plus, use (2) $4/1 Schick Hydro Coupons from the 6/12 SS insert (exp. 7/24 or this $3/1 coupon (Facebook)
Pay as low as $9.36 +tax out-of-pocket, get $10 ECBs

Renu Contact Solution $7.89
Get 6 EBs.. price after EBs $1.89



Staples

Staples 8.5″ x 11″ Multipurpose Paper (5oo/sheets – ream) 96 Bright – $5.99
Send in $5.49 Staples Easy Rebate
$0.50 after Rebate

Kodak Premium 4″x6″ Photo Paper Gloss (100pk.) – $13.99
Send in for $12.99 Staples Easy Easy Rebate
$1 after rebate


Big Y
15pk Bounty Paper Towel $9.98 with Silver Coin
Cheerios or other GM cereals .. 4/$6 Must buy six. Use two $1/2 coupons from SS 7/17 and pay $1 a box.


Jello Shots

Who doesn't love Jello Shots? They are so easy and you can make so many flavor combinations. Today for my dad's party I made Raspberry/Banana and Blue Raspberry/Coconut.

1 large package of Jello Gelatin
2 Cups Hot Water
1 Cup Cold Water
1 Cup Vodka or Rum

Mix the Jello with the hot water and stir until dissolved. Add in the cup of cold water first and stir, then add in the alcohol. Fill Dixie or disposable shot glasses and refrigerate for at least an hour. You don't want to add more than a cup of alcohol because the ratio of the water to alcohol is the most alcohol you can add without risking it not setting. No one wants liquid Jello Shots.

Some of my favorite flavor combinations.
Melon Fusion Jello/Smirnoff Watermelon Vodka
Blue Raspberry Jello/Jack's Coconut Rum
Strawberry Jello/Jack's Banana Rum
Black Cherry Jello/Smirnoff Cherry Vodka
Strawberry Kiwi Jello/Smirnoff Passion Fruit Vodka
Orange Jello/Pineapple and Coconut Rum
Orange Jello/Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka

7.22.2011

Five Year Anniversary

Today is my fiance and I's fifth anniversary. Needless to say I didn't cook, so I decided to dedicate this blog post to a restaurant.. Dragon East.

I am always geuninely shocked when I mention Dragon East and someone says "Where?". You know Dragon East.. "Where is that?" Are you fucking serious right now..

Dragon East has got to be hands down the best Chinese food around. They are a little pricer than take-out, which they do offer by the way, but it is totally worth the price. The sit down area is nice with over-sized booths to make you feel as if you are the only people there. The decor is nice with some pieces that stand out and always end up mentioned in dining conversation but the decor is not overly done nor in your face obnoxious. The wait staff is always friendly and ready to come over the second you need them as if they have read your mind.

You get started off with complimentary fried noodles with Duck Sauce and Hot Mustard to dip, and hot Oolong tea. When you order a dinner be prepared to share. You don't get it on a plate but rather a platter. I always get the chicken and broccoli and Mike gets the General Tso's Chicken. It comes with brown or white rice and we normally order pork fried rice. I am not a fried rice fan, I almost always opt for white rice to mix in with my dish. Their pork fried rice is amazing and I would never pass it up. Delicate flavors complimented so well by tender and moist pork seasoned perfectly. I've asked myself elsewhere after having it for the first time, why don't I ever get the fried rice it's so good, and so I get it and I remember.. because it's really not. Dragon East is the only place I can honestly say I love their fried rice.

I encourage everyone to try Dragon East, you will never have a bad experience there. They're always friendly and eager to help and the food is always delicious and freshly prepared.

7.21.2011

Stuffed Mushrooms

I love mushrooms and per Tara's request I am doing this entry on her supposed favorite stuffed mushrooms.. mine! It's a break from the traditional bread crumbs and seafood.

Two packages of Stuffing Mushrooms
Package of seasoned stuffing
Olive Oil
Frozen Chopped Spinach (thawed)
Butter
Onion
Garlic
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Shredded Mozzarella
Salt
Pepper

The best thing about these mushrooms in my opinion is you have usually more stuffing than you need and it makes a great side dish with chicken.

Wash your mushrooms and separate the stems and caps. Place the caps bottoms up on a cookie sheet and put to the side. Finely chop half a small onion, two cloves of garlic and the mushroom stems. Drizzle some oil olive into a hot frying pan and add your chopped veggies. Season with salt and pepper. Prepare stuffing according to package and put aside. Squeeze all the liquid from the spinach and add to the mushroom mixture to cook. Once the onions are translucent turn off the heat and move the pan to another burner to cool down. Add half a cup of shredded mozz and a fourth of a cup of Parmesan cheese to the cooled stuffing. If you do it hot everything will melt and become a mess to mix and fill the mushroom caps. Slowly mix in the cooled mushroom mixture by hand. Once everything is mixed overly stuff your mushroom caps.

Pre-Baked stuffed mushrooms.


Place in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

7.20.2011

Perfect Brownie

I'm a sucker for as seen on TV. I had the turbo cooker and that thing sucked but one thing I must confess is amazing, is the perfect brownie. It really makes the perfect brownie as claimed. The only issue I have with it is if you happen to make something too sticky it will stick to the non-stick insert. I tend to add things to my brownies, caramel pieces, peanut butter. Your best bet with that is to make the brownie and insert those ingredients into the middle of each brownie as not to touch the sides.

When it comes to baking I'm more of an improviser than a from scratch kind of girl. I have made various things from scratch such as apple pie and my Christmas cookies. But a lot of things I buy a mix and add to it. I will make a chocolate cake from a mix but add cherry pie filling to the middle to make a chocolate cherry lava cake. Take a brownie mix and once it's baked melt and spread Andes' mints over them. So even though this blog will mainly be cooking and some discounts along the way, I will from time to time add in a baked item. Especially once it gets colder out.

Comment with any suggestions and things you would like to see a recipe for, or my take on a recipe.

Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala is one of those dishes I would normally order if I seen it on a menu but never even had a thought to attempt making it. I just always assumed it was a difficult recipe but I couldn't have been more wrong. After googling some styles of the dish and trying it a few times (the first time I made it you could definitely taste the wine, no bueno) I think I found my favorite way to make it at home.

Two boneless skinless Chicken breasts
Flour
Sweet Marsala Wine
Butter
Chicken Stock( or a Bouillon Cube and some Water)
A small onion
Small button mushrooms(one package is enough but for mushroom lovers, you're going to want two)
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper
Garlic Powder
Parsley
My awesome Mashed Potatoes

Start by cutting your chicken into your desired size pieces. I like to slice them into cutlets, some people prefer bite size pieces or the whole breast. Mix some flour in a shallow bowl you can use for coating and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley. Drench each piece of chicken in the mixture until it is well coated. Drizzle some olive oil into a big frying pan and cook each piece of chicken until it is golden brown on each side. Once all the chicken is ready transfer it to a plate and cover with foil.

In the same pan you cooked the chicken in add some butter and start scraping the pan. Dice up your onion and slice the mushrooms and add them to the pan. Cook until the mushrooms are soft and the onion is translucent. Slowly pour in the Marsala. I use enough to more than cover the onion and mushroom mixture. It all depends on how much sauce you want, you really can't fuck this dish up. Let it boil out some of the alcohol. You can test it by tasting a bit of it, if the wine taste is over bearing let it simmer a bit more. Once it's not too wine flavored add in some chicken stock and another pat of butter. The butter will give the sauce that shimmery look. Add the chicken back to the sauce and let simmer for a minute or two and that's it! How easy was that?!



I guess I do have to give you my awesome mashed potato recipe since I did say to serve the Chicken Marsala with it..

Red potatoes
Three Bouillon cubes
Small Onion
Butter
Milk
Salt
Pepper
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Parsley

In a two quart pan bring water to a boil. Add in the bouillon cubes, some salt, the potatoes and the peeled whole onion. I don't peel my potatoes because I like when my mashed potatoes have the skin in them but that's your prerogative. Also I find cooking the potatoes in the flavored water actually flavors the potato nicely. Cook until when pierced with a fork the potato slides right off the fork. Drain the potatoes reserving a cup of the liquid. Discard the onion or whatever you want to do with it is fine, I just throw it out. Get out your masher and work out your frustrations on your bowl of potatoes. Add in the cup of liquid, butter, milk, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder and parsley. Mix it all up and give it a taste. Add more milk for a more creamier potato, add more butter for a better tasting more of a chance of clogging your arteries potato.

 Enjoy!!!

7.19.2011

Meaty Balls!

Ah, meatballs. Who doesn't love meat ... balls. Or either or. Start with the meat. I use beef, some people use a combination of beef, pork and veal, or beef and veal, or beef and pork. I'm going to keep it simple with beef.

Ground Beef. Depending on how many people you want to eat your balls, start with a pound.
Fresh chopped Garlic
Salt
Pepper
Onion Powder
Basil
Oregano
An egg per pound of beef
Grated Romano and Parmesan Cheese
Shredded Mozz(optional)
Seasoned Bread Crumbs
Italian Bread

Let your Italian bread sit out for a little bit so it gets stiff. Stiff is better for the balls. Break the bread apart into small chunks and sprinkle with some water. I know, I know, let it dry out then wet it but there is a method to my madness. Everyone loves my balls so I am doing something right.

In a large mixing bowl combine the ground beef, garlic and all your spices. A good way to test how much spice to use is once you mix it all together, grab a tiny bit, mush it together and throw it in a hot frying pan to cook and then taste test it. I can't recommend you try raw meat, I've seen people do it but I don't happen to be one of those crazy people. Once you mix all your meat and spices add the bread and it is time to get the ball rolling.. well not yet. FYI, you want the meat to be seasoned, the breadcrumbs and cheese don't need it, thus why you mix the meat, bread and spices together first. It really makes a huge difference.

I know I've said I don't typically measure ingredients but this is one thing where you do need to eyeball amounts because no one wants a meatball that won't bind together. Start with about 1/3 c of grated cheese and 1/3 cup of mozz per pound of ground beef. Toss those in the bowl. Crack an egg into the mixture and sprinkle in 1/4 c of breadcrumbs. Now for the messy part. WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS. No one wants to eat your balls after your hands were.. well, wherever your hands were. Start mixing. This is my absolute least favorite part of making meatballs. Make sure to get everything mixed as well as you possibly can.

The forming of the balls.
I like my balls smaller, they cook faster and allow for a more thorough cooked meatball. No one wants a dry outside and moist center. You want these to be moist with a slight crunch on the outside. I make mine about an inch to an inch and a half wide. When forming the balls, roll in the palm of your hand and gently toss from hand to hand to form. Don't squeeze because you don't want to let all the air out or condense it so much that when you bite into it you're squirted with hot beef juice.

Cooking
I bake my balls, I know a lot of people fry them but I really don't see the point in that, it's messy and takes more of your attention than had you just popped them in the oven. I put mine down a foil lined baking sheet and put them in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes. The time will vary based on the size of your balls. Enjoy!

7.18.2011

Kid Friendly Chicken Bake

I don't know what it is, but I love chicken bakes for dinner. Even once in a while during the Summer. This one is definitely kid friendly because you can substitute the green beans for their favorite vegetable and the cream soup to any complimenting flavor. Also if you use fat-free cream soup and low-fat or fat-free cheese, you can make it healthier.

This is my favorite version because it reminds me of my favorite Thanksgiving casserole, Green Bean Casserole.


Two Chicken Breast, trimmed and sliced through the middle so you can stuff them.
Two servings of Stuffing mix
One can of Cream of Mushroom soup
Milk(just fill the can halfway)
Mozzarella Cheese
Can of Green Beans
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder

Mix the cream soup and milk, add a little ground pepper for taste. Season the raw chicken breast with black pepper, salt, and garlic powder. Pour a layer of the cream soup into a baking dish. Use half of the stuffing to stuff the chicken breasts. Place them in the pan and sprinkle on some mozzarella.



Arrange the green beans around the chicken.


Pour the rest of the cream soup over the dish making sure to get a little over everything but concentrating on the green beans.

Take the rest of the stuffing and arrange around the chicken over the green beans, placing some but not a lot over the chicken. Sprinkle on a thin layer of mozzarella, cover with foil and place in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the foil and let cook for another 5- 10 minutes for the top layer of stuffing to get crunchy.


Some good variations on this would be
Broccoli with Cream of Broccoli soup
Mushrooms and Spinach with Cream of Mushroom soup
Carrots with Cream of Chicken soup
Cauliflower with Cheese soup

7.17.2011

Macaroni Salad with What?!

I have to give props to Gladys Cifarelli because this is a variation of her macaroni salad. I hate mayo but I always used it in my cold picnic salad dishes. She gave me a recipe using Miracle Whip which I'm also not a fan of but I figured I'd give it a try. The Miracle Whip packs a much tangier flavor than mayo and I never tell people that's what I used until after they rant and rave about how good the macaroni salad was, then the usual reaction is "Really?!" So on with it!

One box of elbow pasta
One medium size jar of Miracle Whip
Milk
Red Wine Vinegar
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Salt
Pepper
Oregano

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. In a large mixing bowl combine the entire jar of Miracle Whip, a few splashes of the vinegar, some shakes of pepper, salt, garlic and onion powder, and oregano. Once that is all combined taste it to see if you need more of a particular spice, I happen to use a lot of vinegar. Slowly add some milk while stirring to thin out the dressing a bit. Keep in mind that the pasta will absorb most of the dressing. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in the fridge.

Diced Ham
English Cucumber(they're seedless)
Can of Black Olives
Red Onion

Dice the onion, peel and dice the cucumber and slice the olives. Mix it all together with the ham. Once your elbows are cooked, drained and cooled add the veggies and ham to the pasta. Make sure the elbows are cool because once you add the dressing it will become a sloppy hot mess. Slowly fold in the dressing and put back into the fridge until it is time to serve. And remember, don't mention Miracle Whip until after everyone has eaten it otherwise most people won't even give it a try! Expect to receive A LOT of compliments on this one. Enjoy!

Some Deals of the Week

Free Samples...





If you don't have an ExtraCare CVS card, get one now and sign up to receive emails on http://www.cvs.com. The first coupon you will receive is $4 off $20. And sign up for BeautyBucks while you are at it, you will receive a coupon for 10% off your next beauty purchase and you will get $5 EB for every $50 you spend on beauty products.

Printable Coupons

7.16.2011

Extreme Couponing

My step-mom is always proud and excited to show her stock-pile in the basement. This week she messaged me some deals on FB. One was a brand of contact solution at CVS on sale for $7.99 and you get $7.99 EB. For those who don't know, EB is short for Extra Bucks which is CVS's style of the reward card, swipe your card, get savings plus the potential to earn a percent of your seasons purchases in EB plus EB on specially marked items.

I bought the contact solution a few days ago and received my $7.99 EB. I also got a $1.50 EB on the same receipt. I received two emails from CVS one for a printable coupon of $3 for my birthday and another for $5 off a $25 dollar purchase. I highly recommend signing up for their email deals, I get $5 off frequently. 


Here is the rundown of what I got
Crest Whitening Toothpaste          $3.19 on sale for            $1.99 plus $1EB
Crest w Scope Toothpaste           $3.19 on sale for             $1.99 plus $1EB
2 Liter Coke                                $1.87 on sale for                 .99 cents
2 Liter Coke                                $1.87 on sale for                 .99 cents
Maybelline One by One Mascara $8.29 BOGO 50% sale   $4.14
Maybelline Eye Studio Shadow    $10.49                          $10.49
Sally Hansen Complete Manicure $7.99 not on sale, ha.      $7.99

Total                          Original    $36.89                SALE $28.58
                                                  i      Extra Bucks         - $17.49
                                                                       TOTAL   $11.09 Before tax and bottle deposits


This got me to thinking.. every week I will post different local sales and try to find at least three products everyone can get for almost, if not free.

My Favorite Nacho Recipe

One night Mike (my fiance) and I were out for appetizers and drinks with friends at a popular chain restaurant. I wanted to try to replica the nachos but what I ended up with was something different but according to Mike, better.



First of all, I love guacamole. This is quite a recent love affair considering guacamole and avocados in general were something I always assumed I hated. I ordered fajitas once and the guacamole touched them way more that I could scrap off. I ended up thinking, holy shit this is good. Actually I probably said it out loud and it was probably "Fucking shit! This is good!"

Guacamole
Two Ripe Avocados
Plum Tomato
Red Onion
Lime
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Black Pepper
Goya Adobo

Slice the avocados in half making sure not to cut your knife on the pit. Use a spoon to easily scoop out the fruit. Remove the pit (I have to say this because you wouldn't believe how many people wouldn't and then complain I didn't say to) and chop into pieces. Big or small it doesn't matter because you're about to grab your potato masher and mash it all up. Cut the lime in half and squeeze one half of the lime's juice all over the mashed avocado. Put aside. Dice up the plum tomato and enough red onion so it's 50/50. Combine them and use the rest of the lime juice over that mixture. Combine the avocado and half of the tomato/onion (Pico De Gallo) and sprinkle in the spices. Give it a taste to see if you should add more. Again, it's your preference with the spices, everyone is different. Guacamole is done!!

Nachos
Bag of your favorite Tortilla Chips
Bean dip(spicy, cheesy, whatever you like)
Sliced Olives
Leftover Chicken(or ready to heat and eat chicken strips)
Monterey Jack and Cheddar Shredded Cheese

Grab a baking sheet and make a single layer of chips. Spread out some of the bean dip over the bottom layer. Add a layer of cheese and another layer of chips. Add more cheese and then chicken and olives. Add another smaller layer or cheese to hold the chicken and olives in place. Pop in the 350 degree oven until the cheese is melted. Take out and sprinkle with the Pico De Gallo. Serve and enjoy!

Add the guacamole and your favorite salsa to the side.

7.15.2011

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

So for the first time in forever, I got soup instead of salad at Olive Garden. The soup I chose to have was the Chicken Gnocchi - described as a creamy soup of chicken, spinach and Italian dumplings. It was amazing.. so after some research and taste tests, I have come up with a recipe that is extremely close in flavor.

Half a Stick of Butter.
Drizzle of Extra Virgin Oil Olive
Small Onion
One Stalk of Celery
Two Carrots (one if you prefer, I just happen to love carrots)
Some Chopped Garlic (fresh or from a jar)
Salt and Pepper
Flour

The roux before flour is added.


Cook the butter, oil, a couple shakes of salt and pepper, finely chopped onion, celery, carrot and garlic until the onions are clear. Add three tablespoons of flour to the roux and stir for two minutes.

Quart Half and Half
Leftover Chicken
Frozen Chopped Spinach (thawed)
Pound of Gnocchi
Water
Chicken Bouillon Powder

It looks like the paste we all used in kindergarten. The roux after flour is added.


Cook the Gnocchi according to the package directions. Add the Half and Half to the roux slowly while stirring. Add in the cooked chopped chicken. I used a whole breast but it's your preference as to how much or how little you like. Stir in about three cups of water mixed with three teaspoons of the bouillon powder.

After the Half and Half and Chicken is added. (I shredded my carrots but I think finely chopped would look better)


It will thicken a lot so feel free to add more or less chicken broth. Drain the spinach and stir into the soup. I use chopped spinach because I like spinach going throughout the soup, it does however make the soup appear to be loaded with spinach. If you have picky eaters, or just prefer to see less spinach, use fresh or frozen leaf spinach. I used a whole package but again you have to adjust it to your personal taste. Mix in the cooked and drained Gnocchi and you're ready to go! The whole recipe took me about 35 minutes to make and that was even with my kitten tripping me and having to wash a pot for the Gnocchi.

The finished product!


Serve with crusty Italian bread. I would say that this soup would easily serve 8, it is extremely filling especially if you are having a slice of bread with it. Enjoy!!

7.14.2011

Chicken Florentine with Spinach filled Tortellini

I always hated ricotta, no let me rephrase, I hate ricotta. Barilla Spinach and Ricotta Tortellini caught my eye, I mean after all I do love spinach. I somehow convinced myself that the spinach would easily overpower the ricotta and so I bought them. One night I was craving them but wanted to get a little more creative so I figured why not a Chicken Florentine with Spinach Tortellini.



Flour and spice drenched chicken in a frying pan of olive oil.

I started with some boneless skinless chicken breasts. Of course the store never trims then properly so after cleaning the shit out of them and wasting about 30% of them, I was ready! I fileted them into cutlets, cut into two to three inch pieces and pounded them out. With a container filled with flour, pepper, salt and garlic powder I drenched each one and then dropped them in the frying pan of hot olive oil. Where we are so far..


2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
Olive Oil
Flour
Black Pepper
Salt
Garlic Powder

I don't measure anything except when I bake, so you need to eyeball it and taste it to make sure it suits your taste. I for one, am someone who always adds more spices to an already perfect recipe but to each his/her own. 


Cover with foil and put aside.


I started boiling some water for the tortellini's and popped some frozen spinach into the microwave. After making sure each piece of chicken was golden brown on both sides, I transferred them to a dish and covered it with tin-foil. I added some butter and fresh chopped garlic to the pan I used for the chicken. Once the butter was frothy and the garlic filled the room with scent, I added the sauteed spinach (using some olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic, fold in the thawed or fresh spinach and cook until heated). 



Once thoroughly heated I added a cup of chicken broth. Let's recap.

Frozen Chopped Spinach
Butter
Garlic
Spinach filled Tortellini
Chicken Broth

Once it cooked down a bit I added enough half and half to give it a cream color and stirred in some grated Parmesan cheese. Add the chicken back in (along with any juice from the plate) and put a lid on it. Drain your tortellini and transfer to a serving dish. Spoon over the chicken and creamy spinach mixture and enjoy!




Grated Parmesan Cheese
Half and Half

Thirteen ingredients and 30 minutes later and we have a yummy and filling dinner. And I didn't even taste the ricotta!

The opening.

I once had a client say to me "You know whats wrong with your generation? None of you know how to cook or bake." I ripped that guy a new asshole.. "First of all I have been cooking since before I was thirteen, and secondly I just made a tray of caramel apple cupcakes for everyone here but you're not getting one with that attitude."

If I can help one person be more domesticated, then I'm happy. Hell, I'll be happy if people just find this blog hilarious, but I guarantee you will learn at least one trick of the trade from me.

So here is a little something about me. I am a mid-twenty year old female from Connecticut. I work a full-time job in finance while balancing out the engaged life and house-hunting. I've been cooking since I was thirteen years old and sewing from before I could remember. I've always been domestic so to speak.

This blog is to document my tasks.. Recipes I love, original and favorites, things I came up with out of the blue.. Things I have made and will make.. Halloween costumes, blankets, curtains and crafts. I will include recipes and step by step instructions with every post. And of course some life lessons along the way. You can learn right along with me, haha.

An FYI, I am a little off the wall and nontraditional, I have a mouth like a trucker and don't care. If any of that offends you, this is probably not a blog you're going to want to read. Please, don't try to save me, it can't be done. So with that said, I guess I should start blogging.