Friday, August 22, 2014

Hubby's Saturday Morning Breakfast Potatoes


In our home, every Saturday, my dear hubby makes us breakfast and fills us full of the manliest foods ever: sausage, bacon, potatoes and fried eggs. One of his biggest accomplishments in the kitchen has to be his amazing breakfast potatoes. He makes a mean potato, I'm tellin' ya. 

Breakfast potatoes are one of those foods I have never truly conquered. Mostly because I'm not patient enough and I frantically flip them around the pan 50 times and they break up and get mushy. Hubby has a perfect zen about him when he's making his potatoes... he gets in the zone. I think the "zone" is where you need to be to master the art of breakfast potatoes, and someday, I, too, hope to be in the zone. 



These are the tastiest, most flavorful and prettiest breakfast potatoes I ever did see!

Obviously, if you don't like your onions and bell peppers "charred," you don't have to char them. We like to char things here... it's kind of our thing.


So, since tomorrow is Saturday... and since these potatoes are called "Saturday Morning Breakfast Potatoes" ... What do you think i'm going to say next? ;)

Make these on Sunday!! Just kidding. Make them tomorrow morning and come back and tell me how they've forever changed your mornings.



Hubby's Saturday Morning Breakfast Potatoes:

Ingredients:
  • 8 medium red potatoes, diced into 1/2" chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease or oil {for frying}
Directions:

In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, place 2 tablespoons of bacon grease or oil, along with diced peppers and onions. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until they are just beginning to soften, then add diced potatoes. Season potatoes with seasoning salt, pepper, paprika and garlic, stir, and cover skillet. Allow potatoes to cook, covered, for 10 minutes.

Remove cover, sprinkle flour over the potatoes, then flip and stir them around. Allow potatoes to cook until outside is crispy and potatoes are tender, about 8-10 minutes  {flip and toss potatoes to make sure they don't burn.}

Remove from heat and serve! You've now made the most delicious breakfast potatoes ever! Pretty easy, right?









Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fun Find: Minted.com



So, if you know me, then you know i'm always looking around online for anything cute, fun and different to give as gifts for birthdays, holidays and other special occasions (especially things for the kitchen!) Well, this time, I was looking at a site that is completely new to me called Minted.com -- Have you heard of it? 

It's a site full of items designed by really talented designers all over the world.  They have everything from invitations, art prints and stationary to business cards, gifts and a ton of other awesome stuff!


As I was browsing around, I came across an adorable Christmas card idea that is actually a small book that can be used for sharing recipes with friends and family during the holidays! How cute is that? I can so imagine sending one out with recipes for my hubby's BBQ rubs, my bacon cheese log and my Rocky Mountain Candy (and maybe even a brownie recipe!)



They also had a couple of different books to use in the kitchen that you can order as a planner, datebook or notebook! (This one is totally going on my Christmas list!) 


Oh, and don't even get me started on the cute little labels! I so need these for my edible Christmas gifts!


I also fell in love with all of the adorable kids thank you notes and stationary and thought they'd be perfect to give to your children as they start a new school year! This one's my favorite! I know my daughter would love them, especially since her grandma just got her a "big girl desk" for her room!


This art print would be adorable in my Kitchen, or anyone's kitchen, really... I can't be selfish.


They also have tons (and I mean TONS) of different invitations for birthdays, weddings, bridal showers, you name it! 

So, if you haven't already, make sure to head over to Minted.com and check out their amazing selection of beautifully designed products and you are sure to find something you want (or need!) or maybe even grab a few gifts along the way! Either way, you'll be happy you looked!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Couponing your way to Dinner: Taco Dogs


This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PackedWithSavings #CollectiveBias


A few years ago I was one of those ladies in the store with the binder full of coupons, a cart full of toothpaste, wax strips and cough drops and a closet overflowing with anything and everything you could imagine. I looked for any and all coupon deals I could find and I spent a good chunk of my time plotting my route and trying to optimize my time. Now, I'm just a mom with 2 kids, using coupons to save money on (mostly) food items, in order to keep our grocery bill at a good point.

Sometimes I miss those days of getting up early and hitting the stores when almost no one is there, except other couponers, and leaving with a cart full of goodies and a bank account that has barely been touched. Other days, when I'm sleeping in until 9 am, I really don't. I like that now I can just get online, scan through the new coupons, print the items that interest me and make my grocery list around that. It helps me keep our weekly grocery budget low, and it allows us to buy name-brand products at a price comparable to the store brands!

I always try to bring you guys recipes that are family-friendly and that will be loved by everyone, but I've decided that on top of that, i'd also like to start focusing a little more on budget-friendly recipes as well. Most people nowadays are getting into the kitchen more and trying to avoid the high expenses that come along with eating out. I'd like to be the first to say that you can cook anything at home that you can find in a restaurant, as long as you're willing to try!

The other day as I was looking through the online coupons, I came across all the different Kraft coupons that were available. Back-to-school time is a great time to find coupons because all the brands know you are getting ready to head to the store and stock up on snacks, dinners, drinks and everything else you're going to need once the days of homework and early bedtimes are back.

I promised my daughter that before she started school we would make one of her favorite things -- hot dogs. But, instead of just normal hot dogs, I wanted to add a special little twist on them... So I decided to make some taco dogs! I had printed coupons for $.75 off Kraft Naturals shredded cheese, $1 off 2 packages of Oscar Mayer hot dogs and $1 off of Taco Bell's sour cream dips, which would be perfect for my creation. (I'll put the link to the coupons at the bottom!)


It was easy to find the Hot dogs and cheese at my local Walmart...


...but the dip was a little more challenging... I ended up finding it inside the refrigerated section with the doors, near the milk. That totally made sense.



Hooray for coupons!


To assemble your taco dogs, you need to first cook your ground beef and add your taco seasoning with a little water to make the sauce. Basically, just follow the directions on the taco seasoning packet! Heat your hot dogs, place them in the bun and spread on the taco meat!

You've gotta add a bunch of cheese, too... Ooey gooey cheesy goodness!


And, of course, a dollop of sour cream dip!


And, finally, top it off with some crushed tortilla chips and tomatoes (and onions, if you'd like!)

Now, sit back and enjoy your delicious, budget-friendly meal!


Click the banner above to find all the great coupons I used to create this meal, plus a TON more!

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Taco Dogs:



Ingredients:
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 package Oscar Mayer Beef Franks
  • 10 hot dog buns
  • 3/4 cup shredded Kraft Naturals Triple Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 tablespoons Taco Bell Creamy Jalapeno Sour Cream Dip
  • 1/4 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • *optional chopped tomatoes, onions, etc.

Directions:

Cook ground beef until no longer pink. Add taco seasoning and 3/4 cup water, cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and it has created a sauce. Set aside.

Heat up your beef hot dogs, place them in the hot dog buns and top with about 1/4 cup of the taco meat. Sprinkle cheese over the meat, add a dollop of sour cream dip, crushed tortilla chips and tomatoes, onions, etc.

Makes 10 Taco Dogs




Monday, August 11, 2014

First Day of School Lunch!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.


Back to School time is always a bit bittersweet for me. I love the fact that my daughter will be in school most of the day, learning and having fun with her friends, while I get to sit in my PJ's and watch Netflix... I mean... While I clean and take care of my important tasks, but I also miss her like crazy and miss the fun times we have when she's here.

This year I've made it my mission in life to make sure she has a fun, delicious and not-so-boring lunch. Last year, towards the end, we were doing a lot of the same old stuff, over and over and over again and I know she probably never wants to see another carrot stick or peanut butter and jelly sandwich as long as she lives.


So, this time, when I went to Walmart to pick up some back to school supplies and lunches for her, I took a really good look around to see what fun, new and creative ideas I could come up with for the dreaded school lunchbox. The first thing I spotted were these awesome Nestle Nesquik drinks! They come in 8 ounce bottles and are the perfect size to fit into a lunch bag! I grabbed the strawberry and the chocolate just to keep things interesting.


After that I grabbed a roasted chicken and some rice pilaf, along with some cucumbers, broccoli, celery, cherries and strawberries. Gotta have your fresh fruit and veggies! Then I headed down the candy aisle in search of something sweet -- a special treat! That totally rhymed... I ended up finding a bag of fun size NERDS that would be perfect to pack up for her and her friends to share at lunchtime! I always loved when I was younger and my mom would pack up a couple of extra treats for me to pass out to my friends! It makes for a great conversation starter to make new friends, or even just to remind your old friends how awesome they are!


We have enough to get us through the first week of school... and some! Hooray! Love the feeling of having everything all ready to go for the first day back to school! Makes life so much easier.


You've gotta have enough to share! Sharing is caring, folks... Oh, and strawberry NERDS are the best nerds in my humble opinion. Okay, the grape are good, too. And all the other flavors... You can't go wrong with 'em.


First day of school lunch = something other than a sandwich! Mission accomplished! Roasted chicken, rice pilaf, Nesquik, fresh cherries and NERDS to share!

  • I vow to try my hardest this year to resist the urge to smear a glob of peanut butter on a slice of bread and jelly on another slice and put them together to form a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 


  •  I vow to send extra treats in my daughter's lunch each week, every Friday, so her and her friends will have something fun to look forward to and live happily ever after.


  • Also, I vow to put little notes in my daughter's lunch to remind her how much I love her. You can never say it too many times!



(Click to download and print this love note for your child's lunch! It's important to remind your kids how much they mean to you. no matter how old they are!)

Click here for more delicious ideas for back-to-school!




Sunday, August 10, 2014

Yummy Recipes: Banana Cream Puffs

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AddCoolWhip #CollectiveBias


I recently realized that I haven't really made many desserts this summer. Most of the summer has been spent drinking water and staying hydrated to avoid death. Summer in California is no joke, people. For real. So, this week I decided to pump up the AC and spend my time whipping up a couple of delicious recipes to share with you all. I think you're going to love this one! It's adult and kid-approved.


First I had to grab my supplies while I was shopping at Walmart this week. I had downloaded a coupon  (*while supplies last) for $1 off when you buy 2 JELL-O puddings and a container of Cool Whip and I had to put it to good use!


It looked like a lot of people used Cool Whip this week!


For some reason I grabbed the sugar free Cool Whip, which turned out to be just as awesome as the original. I also picked up a couple of banana pudding JELL-O packages, some eggs, milk, and white chocolate! I already had the flour and butter I needed at home.


The first thing I did was mix together my pudding packages with 3 cups of cold milk. Then, I whisked in the Cool Whip. I covered it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to get really cold and delicious.


Then, I whipped up my cream puff mixture. I remember before I had my stand mixer and I used to whip it up with only my hand and a wooden spoon. My arm hurts just thinking about it...


Plop, plop... Next I put massive tablespoons full of the mixture on the baking sheet. My trusty old baking sheet... She's been through a lot, but she bakes everything to perfection, so she's still my #1.


Next I filled up my cream puff shells with banana pudding and a couple of slices of banana, drizzled on a little white chocolate and set them in the fridge to chill. 


The result was a tasty little dessert that my whole family raved about. My hubby, who isn't a huge dessert fan, loved them because of their creaminess and their banana-y-ness. He loves anything with bananas and cream. But then again, who doesn't?

------------------------------------------------------------

Banana Cream Puffs:

Ingredients:

Cream filling:
2 (3.4 ounce) packages JELL-O Banana Flavored Pudding
3 cups milk
1 (8 ounce) container Cool Whip


Cream Puff shell:
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs

2 bananas, sliced
1/2 cup white chocolate melting disks (or chips), melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine pudding mix and milk in a medium bowl, then gradually mix in Cool Whip. Cover and place in refrigerator to chill.

In a medium saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil. Remove from heat and mix in flour, salt, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Place in refrigerator and allow mixture to cool for about 6-8 minutes, or until no longer warm.

Place in a mixer (or use a hand mixer) and beat on medium-high speed, adding eggs one at a time and mixing well between each addition.

Drop heaping tablespoons full of the mixture onto a greased baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, poke holes in each of the shells, then cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove shells from oven, allow to cool, cut in half, fill each shell with a generous amount of banana cream mixture, along with a couple of banana slices and replace top. 

Drizzle cream puffs with melted white chocolate and place in fridge for about 5 minutes and allow chocolate to harden.

Makes about 20 medium-sized cream puffs.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Carnitas Enchiladas


Today I'm going to get right to the point of this post... I'm not going to fluff it up, I'm not going to dilly dally... I'm going to get right the meat; the good stuff!

Lately I have been craving Mexican Food. Like, craving it. Like, I haven't thought about anything else... That kind of craving. So, I decided that I had to do something about it because I could hardly stand it anymore... I decided to make some Pork Enchiladas! Or, Carnitas Enchiladas... either way, they were delicious!


I just love a good enchilada. Don't you? Hubby and I agreed that these are by far our favorite enchiladas we've ever had! And we've had a lot of enchiladas in our day. They're so flavorful and perfect... You've just gotta try them for yourself! Seriously. Then, come back here and let me know what you thought, because I just have to know. I'll be waiting! 


Oh, and don't forget the Spanish Rice!


Carnitas Enchiladas:

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups shredded pork carnitas {recipe here}
  • 1 (28 ounce) can green chile enchilada sauce
  • 3 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro {plus extra for garnish}
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 12 corn tortillas
Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat tortillas in the microwave until soft, about 2-3 minutes.

Mix pork, 1 cup of enchilada sauce, 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro and 2 cups of shredded cheese together in a mixing bowl and spread about 1/4 cup of the sauce on a large baking sheet. 

Place 1/3 cup of mixture in the center of each tortilla, roll and place on the baking sheet, leaving a little space between each enchilada. 

Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Place in preheated oven and bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and cheese has melted.

Garnish each enchilada with a little cilantro, a dollop of sour cream and a slice of avocado.


Monday, July 28, 2014

After School Snacks for Kids {Picnic at the Park!}

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AfterSchoolSnacks #CollectiveBias




If you, like me, have school-aged kids, you know how important an After School Snack is to them. My daughter always seems to come home starving after school, and pretty much the first thing she says to me when I pick her up is "What's my snack today?" It seems like I spend {approximately} 82.75% of my time trying to think of snack food ideas for my daughter because she gets tired of the same old thing day after day. Not the best use of my time!

Plus, now, because we have a new "routine" after school, the snacks have to be something I can easily pack to take to the park for our "After School Picnic." One of the best parts about our neighborhood is that it's right around the corner from my daughter's school and there is an adorable park right between our house and the school. To my daughter this is the best thing in the world because it means that she has a new, fun place to eat her snacks and she can go play on the swings after she's done. Could life get any better for a 7-year-old?



While we were picking up a few things at Walmart the other day, we stumbled into the freezer section and took a look around for some easy to make snacks. My daughter wanted the Bagel Bites because she said she has loved them ever since her school served them for lunch one day, and I wanted the Delimex beef & cheese Taquitos because, well, they looked delicious... Plus, I knew these would be an easy-to-eat, not-so-messy snack for my 14-month-old.


As you can see, she was pretty thrilled about these snacks.


I love having my freezer stocked! Right now it's full of veggies, popsicles and, now, these easy to make snacks!


Not only are Bagel Bites delicious and cute, they are also made with real cheese, homemade sauce and they have 0g trans fat. Not too shabby!


Luckily, the Taquitos and the Bagel Bites both cook at 400 degrees, so I was able to throw them on a baking sheet together! Hooray for only using 1 baking sheet!

I packed our Delimex Taquitos and our Bagel Bites in foil so they'd stay nice and hot during the trip! I love this picture of her enjoying her snack because it looks like she was giving it a thumbs up!


My daughter and I both really love spending time at the park right after school. There's something relaxing about it, and it really helps her unwind after a day packed full of learning. I always ask her what she did that day and make sure everything is going well with her schoolwork, friends and teacher. I like her to be able to tell me anything; the good, the bad and the ugly. I think it's important that your kids feel comfortable talking to you about everything going on in their lives and it definitely makes a stronger bond between you and your children!

Post-snack fun! This is why the park makes the best place to enjoy a snack! The kids can run and play while burning off that insane amount of energy they have after they eat! Plus, it gives mom a chance to relax and maybe even read a book! It's a total win-win situation!

Make sure to print these coupons for Bagel Bites and Delimex!



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