I love to read other blogger reviews and giveaways! You may see some of my easy cooking tips and recipes, but you definatley will see other blogs I like and maybe even some info on giveaways!

Monday, April 18, 2011

I finally got a crepe pan!

I have been making crepes for my family for several years now, but always using my regular cooking pan.  However, my wonderful hubby recently purchased an everyday crepe pan which he purchased on Amazon for $25.  I was so happy to have one as it makes flipping the crepes much easier!   For those of you who may be thinking that crepes are too hard to make, you are wrong!  Yes, the first several crepes I made were not pretty, but still tasted good.  You get the hang of it the more crepes you make.  Personally, I love the versatility of using crepes.  Desert crepes, cheesey crepes, or even flavored crepes are all hits on my household.

My fridge was stocked full of fresh fruit after a visit to our local farmers market, so I choose to make homemade whipped creme and fruit filled crepes.

The crepe pan I am using is Cuisinart Model#623-24 10" pan.

To make a simple crepe mix, I use this recipe:
3/4 cup cold milk
3/4 cup cold water
3 eggs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil

In a blender or mixing bowl with whisk, combine all ingredients except for the cooking oil till it's thin in consistency. Refrigerate the batter for at least 1 hour. Lightly brush the skillet with oil and place over medium-high heat. I make sure the pan is hot then simply pour about 1/4 cup of batter in the middle of the pan and quickly tilt the pan in all directions to evenly distribute the batter. You want the pan to be coated with the mixture, but thinly coated.  It should not be thick, like a pancake.  When slightly brown on the underside, turn the crepe with a spatula onto the other side and cook for a few seconds. Remove from pan by sliding it out gently onto a plate.

You can sprinkle the plate with some powered sugar, then place some fresh fruit or preserves on the inside.  Fold the crepe over and add more topping.

I included some fresh homemade whipped cream, but you can omit that if you prefer.  My filling was so simple.  I simply sliced up some fresh strawberries, added some lingonberry preserves which i microwaved for 30 seconds, then mixed them together.

Royal Treatment from Elegant Touch & Biolage

I want to share a great experience that my fellow Mommy Blogger singleparentretreat was lucky enough to share with me!  The royal treatment from Biolage and Elegant Touch Salon was just wonderful for a mommy's evening out and not to mention, my hair! We were given a deep conditioning treatment and a beautiful hair styling by the staff at Elegant Touch Salon.  Yes, they treated us like queens!  Yummy pastries, good conversations, and such a cute salon with lots of style (no pun intended).  In addition, they even sent us off with goodies! 
I would also like to thank SheSpeaks for coordinating the event.  

Click on my heading for photos and more information!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Reviews and Giveaways

The other day  I had such a great surprise in the mail. A fantastic $15 Starbucks Gift Card!!  No wait - you d on't understand!  I am a Starbucks junkie!  So this was such a perfect gift for a stay at home mom on a budget.  My fellow blogger and friend at  singleparentretreat recommended me to a blog/site on a few occasions and I finally got around to checking them out.  The first time I was poking around their site, I found a giveaway for the card and decided to enter.  Wow!  I truly am one of those people who never win anything so t his was such a nice surprise.  Well, this leads me to my new addiction of looking for great reviews and giveaways on the web.

It sounds corny, but truly I have also educated myself on some great products and vendors out there I never knew existed before.   You can learn how to save money, eat cheap, buy green products, get car deals, household tips, unique gifts, and anything you could possibly think about.

A special Thanks to Phillymomstimeout for my gift card!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Green Bean Recipe Courtesy Paula Deen

I loved this recipe because it was easy and healthful. I was looking for something specifically for green beans (which i bought fresh ones yesterday. This was made for lunch which i served along side a sausage and cheese quiche that I made this morning. My kids loved it, but one of them felt it was a bit "bitter". I attribute this to the garlic, so I would make it again but minus the garlic. Did I mention, it was easy too!

Last year, Paula came to our state fair and of course we got tickets to see her! My 6 year old absolutely loves to watch her on TV so it was so exiting to watch her watching her live. No joke, but if you ask her if she wants to watch Paula Deen or Hannah Montana, she will literally respond - "a little bit of butta!" Did I mention she really loves Hannah too?

Get the recipe

Sharing one of my favorite products - Alexia Foods

Well, Today I came across a great excuse to go buy more great frozen Sweet Potato fries from Alexia Foods....a $1 off coupon on 1 item! I love coupons and savings so I jumped on this opportunity. I printed my coupon and I think I'm going to try their new Sweet Potato Puffs (or tater tots to most of you out there!).

I just love incorporating sweet potatoes in when I can because my entire family does not like baked sweet potatoes. So, buying a frozen product helps! We all do love their sweet potato fries and now I have an excuse to buy tater tots! Yippee!!

Alexia Foods

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Easy Shrimp & Pasta Parma Rosa

With the help of some Knorr Parma Rosa Sauce Mix, you can make a simple pasta dish. This was a nice dish for the family because it was filling, and it's easy to put in your own substitutes. I used Shrimp as my addition to the pasta, but some sliced chicken breast or even a steak sliced thin would be a great topper.

1 1.30 oz. packet of Knorr Parma Rosa sauce mix
1 1/4 cup of 2% milk
1 16 oz. box of Mostaccioli Rigati dried pasta (use whatever you have in the pantry)
12 steamed shrimp (31-40 large)
1/2 frozen box of diced broccoli

Cook pasta per box directions.

Using the directions on the Parma Rosa suace mix, make sauce mix at same time as pasta. This way, your pasta and sauce will be done around the same time.
At the same time, I used my steamer to cook my shrimp. I used frozen bagged shrimp.
I microwaved the box of broccoli until they were cooked. Aproximatley, 5 minutes.

Now for the part I hate....peel your shrimp after they are cooked.

Drain the pasta and add the sauce mix and shrimp so that it all coats evenly in the sauce.

I added only 1/2 of the box on top of the pasta. You don't have to add a vegetable at all if you don't want to, but we always try to incorporate a "green" into our dinner routine. A side bonus was it brightened up the dish and make it more appealing.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Take a break from aftertaste with a FREE sample.

Add nothing but taste to your morning cup of coffee with a FREE pint of Breve Crème coffee creamer, brought to you by your friends at Vocalpoint.


Slow Cooker Chicken & Bean Chili


2 tblspns corn starch
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 (15 ounce) cans white beans
1 (15 ounce) can corn
1 (15.5 ounce) can chick peas
1 (4 ounce) can diced jalapeno peppers
1 can of diced tomatoes (I prefer to use roasted red tomatoes)
2 tspns ground cumin
1 tblspn sea salt
1 tblspn ground chili powder
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
3 boneless chicken breasts
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice


Add chicken stock to crock pot
Add 3 boneless chicken breasts (thawed)
Let chicken cook in crock pot for aproximatley 1 1/2 hours on low
Remove the chicken and if no pink remains, cut into small bite small pieces.
Add chicken back to your crock pot.
Add all remaining ingredients except the corn starch.
Stir ingredients.
Let cook on low for an additional 2 hours.
Add corn starch and stir.
Let cook for an additional 30 - 60 minutes.
When you are finished, simply top with your favorite shredded cheese.

Additional toppings could include: sour cream, diced up chives or green onions, corn chips.

The nice part of last night's dinner was there is enough for my husband and I to have it for lunch today!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Simple Pierogies with my pantry fancies

Tonight, I had no clue what we were going to have, but decided on a box of frozen periogies. I then realized, they could use some "fancy" added to them. In the sake of time, I looked to my pantry and found a few simple ingredients. So here is what the outcome was: Periogies with red onions, sweet roasted red peppers, and artichoke hearts.


Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Red onion chopped into thin strips
1 can of artichoke hearts
1/2 small jar of sweet roasted red peppers which i diced up
1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro
1 frozen box of potatoe and cheese periogies
I used my leftover chicken broth in the fridge, but if you don't have any left over, simply open a new can.
Salt & pepper

sour cream: optional

Boil the periogies in a combination of chicken broth and water until they start to float and immediately take them out of the water.

While the boiling is going on, I used my large wok to sautee the onions in a 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. After they were nice and soft, I sprinkled them with salt, pepper, and paprika. Add the artichoke hearts for aproximatley 2 minutes. Add the periogies. Sautee until the periogies get light brown in color. Add your diced up sweet roasted pepper and cilantro. Serve with a side of sour cream.

Easy to do and I aproximate this meal for 3 people cost me less than $8.00 total.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Baking Queen?

So my mother in law brought this great and very cool website to my attention, called . They have some of the neatest things for baking cakes, cupcakes, even candy! If you enjoy baking and are doing some baking for a special event, you should check out this website. They even have some unique categories to browse through such as; military, candy, men, ice, marzipan, mints, mail, legal, keys, champagne, and the list goes on and on. It's a fun site to at least go window shopping and you can stock pile your wish list!

Monday, January 24, 2011

I gotta love a local girl....Pink!

just wants to say....love Pink's song and video Raise Your Glass! Yes, the video might seem strange but's its the message that counts! Love to support a local Philly girl that's not comforming to a Britney Hollywood Type! You go Pink!

Looking to save a few hundred dollars?

Looking at various ways to save monthly and yearly dollars can be frustrating for those of us who have already done that and feel there's nothing else left to cut back? But, have you looked at cancelling your cable or satellite TV? I know, how can you live without your reality TV and how can the kids manage without their dose of cartoons? Well, your family doesn't have to stop watching TV! Check out this website called PlayOn. You can watch several of your favorite shows completely free using a product called Hulu on your computer screen.

Now, if you want to make use of your new HD Television, you can do that too! For a $40.00 fee you can stream TV shows and movies from Hulu.com, Netflix, and more to your television.

"PlayOn is a software program that runs on your Windows PC, giving you access to a wide range of Internet content on your TV -- Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, Amazon VOD, and many others." -> from the PlayOn website.

Reading through some of the testimonials, people are literally saving hundreds per year. I had my hubby try it for free last night on our computer and the show as very clear, just as we were watching it on our TV. (only on a much smaller screen of course! LOL)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Snapfish Valentine Cards with Free Shipping!

Hurry, make your Valentine cards today and get 25% off plus FREE shipping on your order. Just use code LOVE25FS by February 7.

I noticed they also sell Photo Blankets which I think would be such a neat and unique gift for those of you in the colder areas! Use FSBLANKETS for Free Shipping.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Get your free booklet with SAVINGS!

Found a great page when I was looking for some coupons for Mr. Clean products. If you click on the savings link on the bottom of the page, you will be prompted to enter your mailing information for a booklet of ideas as well as savings of $35.00.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Low Calorie Muffin's

Jiffy Blueberry Muffins

1 box of Jiffy Blue Berry Muffin Mix 160 cal
1/4 cup of cinnamon applesauce 50 cal
1/4 cup of 2% milk 75 cal
Total Calories 285
Spray muffin tins.
Mix well and put in small muffin tins.
Bake per directions on box.

Makes 11 small muffins Aprox. 26 Calories Ea.

Also, you may order a FREE receipe book. http://www.jiffymix.com/bookorder.php

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Trying to Eat Healthier

In an effort to try and eat better and shed a few holiday pounds, I made a healthy dinner last night that was easy to split into two meals. One healthier version for hubby and myself & one more kid friendly version. In addition, it was easy, cheap, and quick to prepare.
What I used:
1 bag of the steamfresh Cheese Ravioli
1 box of frozen spinach
2 tablespoons of crushed red pepper (in the jar, some call it hoagie spread)
1 tablespoon of crushed garlic
salt & pepper
fresh grated parmesan cheese (or shakeable if you prefer)
bag of frozen broccoli
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
I also had about a cup of left over ground turkey from taco's the day before (optional)

Steam up your ravioli as per directions on your bag
In the microwave I nuked the block, of frozen spinach for 1 minute to get it kick started
In a hot sautee pan I put in the olive oil, turkey meat, crushed garlic, and red pepper
-let that cook for just a minute stirring to break up the meat thoroughly
Add your spinach which should be just frozen in the middle and break it up into the pan

Meanwhile, boil your broccoli until tender in another pot & take your butter and melt in the microwave.

After your spinach and turkey meat appears to be hot and done, add salt & pepper to taste. If you can't use salt due to dietary restrictions, you can substitute about a tspn of paprika instead. Tip: If your mixture looks a little dry, simply add a tablespoon or two or water and mix throughly.

In a separate bowl, empty out your ravioli which should be cooked by now. Drizzle very lightly with aprox. 1 tspn of olive oil and mix to coat each ravioli to prevent sticking.

For the kiddo's -> plate the raviolis and broccoli, drizzle the melted butter, top with shredded parmesan cheese, & salt & pepper. (my kids' will eat broccoli, but not the spinach mixture)

For the adults -> spread the spinach mixture on each plate, top with raviolis & aprox. 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese.

By my own calculations on my products I used, this dinner for the adults ended up being about 450 calories.

Tip: I try to use regular olive oil or "light" olive oil instead of EVOO because of the caloric content.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Breakfast for Dinner

Well tonight hubby is out with his boss at a dinner meeting having fine wine and a great steak! So, I thought it only appropriate to take the night off from cooking. Well, almost anyway! An easy breakfast for dinner. We are having breakfast which is the easiest meal to cook in my opinion and the favorite of the kids! They just love to crack those eggs. Although, a few shells may have to be dug out of the bowl, we all enjoy making this one together.

Scrambled Eggs with a 4 cheese blend
Crispy Bacon
Left over sweet Hawaiian rolls
Fresh granny smith apple slices

This dish is super easy and I'm sure everyone knows how to scramble an egg, but here's a few tips from my kitchen.

When you are cooking the eggs, when you get to the end and they are almost done, simply leave them in your frying pan so they come out as one whole circle or round egg. Almost like you are making an omlette. Then cut your round into quarters. This enables your egg to stay on your roll and makes eating it less messy.

Right before you are reading to release your eggs from your pan, sprinkle heavily with a 4 cheese blend (or whatever cheese you have in your fridge). Salt & Pepper to taste.

I think doing the bacon in the microwave makes for a less messy and quicker bacon. I like to cut the bacon in half so they fit on the rolls easier, then place them on a paper plate with a paper towel on top. I use 1 minute for each piece of bacon as my guide.

As a final note, I would like to say this is an easy and cheap dinner for your family.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What's for Dinner tonight?

My daughter and I like to do a lot of cooking together. She loves to pretend she is on a food network show, hosting it of course! So the question is what is for dinner tonight?

Well, tonight we are having a healthy dinner with moderate calorie count. Here is what is on the menu:

Fresh locally caught flounder (2 fillet's for a family of 4 is enough)
Fresh Brussels sprouts (yes, one of my kids will actually eat these!)
Left over asparagus & parmesan cheese risotto from yesterday's lunch
Hawaiian Dinner Rolls (the kids love these!)

I'm keeping it simple because I had to work today!

The plan for the flounder is to lightly sauté the filet's in a mixture of the following:
- Approximately 1 tblspn of olive oil (the extra virgin is more calories, use regular olive oil)
- Approximately 2 tblspn of lemon juice (don't bother buying fresh, use RealLemon in a bottle)
- Salt & Pepper to taste or as a salt alternative feel free to use Mrs. Dash I often do!
- Add Fresh parsley when it's done for extra flavor and color

The plan for the Brussels sprouts is even more easier! Simply put them in your steamer. If you don't have a steamer, you can use boiling water. Cook until tender and serve with freshly squeezed lemon juice from the bottle or my favorite, a light sprinkling of apple cider vinegar.

My left over's will be microwaved and the dinner rolls will be popped into a toaster oven for convenience then served lightly toasted.

The kiddo's can participate in this meal in several ways:
Measure out the lemon juice
Measure out the olive oil
Add the parsley
Add the salt&pepper
Put the rolls in the oven & when warmed, put them in a nice basket with a linen napkin.
Wash the brussells sprouts

The important part is that my daughter and I get to spend quality time together doing something we both love!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Idea for Family Car Trip to Disney World!

We have been spending lots of time preparing for a family trip to Disney World. This will be our first CAR TRIP to Florida with the kiddo's. We have been to Disney many times, but always by plane. I am getting alot of advice and decided to take some by preparing little goodie bags full of activities and treats for the trip. I just found in my local grocery store these adorable little ouches of freeze dried real fruit. They are manufactured by Brothers All natural but have Disney graphics all over them. They were 99 cents a package in my local store. I picked up Donald Duck, Mickey, and of course, Hannah Montana. The one thing I liked is that they are preservative and sugar free!

I have been storing all my little treats and activites in a basket so the kids will be surprised! I really think they will love these little fruit treats!

For a link to their site, click on the heading.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cute, Flirty, New Stylish Lunch Bags for FREE!

If you or someone in your household eats Lean Cuisine, check out their new promotion. You can enter codes which you obtain from the inside of your Lean Cuisine product to earn a new lunch bag for free! I entered my first code today, which was worth 1 point. It takes 20 to get the free bag. This promotion is for a limited time only so look for one code inside every LEAN CUISINE® box you buy.

Even boxes that don’t mention the lunch bags may contain a code.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

$10 OFF purchase of $50 or more at Aeropostale

$10 OFF your purchase of $50 or more

Discount applies to purchases after all discounts have been applied but before applicable taxes. May not be combined with other discount offers. Not valid for purchases of gift cards, online purchases or previous purchases. Purchases over 50 items in a single day at any Aeropostale store are considered bulk purchases and are not eligible for this discount. No cash value. Aeropostale and P.S. From Aeropostale employees are not eligible. Duplication or reproduction of this coupon in any manner voids the coupon and Aeropostale has no obligation to accept it. Please present this coupon to receive discount. Limit one coupon per customer. Not valid at P.S. from Aeropostale stores. Redeemable at Aeropostale stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canda only. Valid from 01/08/2011 to 01/31/2011. USE: Coupon Code: 98397095.

Viva La Starbucks!

Just found a new Giveaway that is near and dear to my heart, Starbucks! If you can't do without your morning coffee, check out this giveaway for a free $10.00 Starbucks Gift Card courtesy of the Single Parent Retreat.

I love my latte's should be my first tattoo!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tony's Pizza is Giving Away 99 Days of Prizes

Check out this site daily for chances to win one of several prizes. They include everything from pizzas to Visa cards!