Monthly Archives: August 2015

#NationalWaffleDay

As the great Leslie Knope said, “We have to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, work. But work has to come third.”

I thought I’d take a fun spin on #nationalwaffleday by pulling some of my favorite recipes that you can make IN a waffle iron, that aren’t waffles. Yeah, you heard me.

Being a bit more of a ‘savory’ breakfast person myself, these are tried, true, and delicious.

Without further ado…

Waffle Hash Browns

OneIngredientChef has an absolutely fabulous recipe for this ‘waffle’ and they sold me on it so well: “I love making homemade hash browns, but even in a non-stick pan, they always stick. Often, I would end up with more hash browns permanently affixed to the bottom of my pan than on my plate. Then the other day, I saw a picture online that showed how to make hash browns in a waffle iron and I immediately ran into my kitchen to try it. And… it worked! Not only did it work, but the hash browns were more perfectly cooked than in any other method I’ve tried, with virtually no oil, in 5 minutes, and nearly instant cleanup.” – umm, sounds to me like you simply can’t lose with this!

hash_brown_waffle

Hash Brown Waffle [http://www.oneingredientchef.com/waffle-hashbrowns/]

Stupid easy: grated potatoes (you can use frozen!), a can of black beans, a bell pepper, white onion, nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper. What’s pretty wild is that you don’t even have to cook the pepper and onion before tossing this all together and adding it to the hot iron. Close the lid, cook for 5 minutes, and once you look brown and crisped, you are DONE. They did disclose that you can’t get it out in the beautiful waffle shape, but you can get it all out cleanly. I promise, you won’t care what this looks like. I love topping with a fried egg and some hot sauce. Easy, simple, delicious, complete meal!

Stuffing Waffles

Holy. Moly. There is nothing in the world that looks better to me than this as a huuuuge stuffing/Thanksgiving food fiend. Here’s what’s up – get junky, use the stuffing from the box. Simply place the wet stuffing mixture into a waffle press and let it cook for a few cycles – they definitely need more time than your average waffle. You’ll know when they’re done, they’ll be golden and crispy!

stuffing_waffles

Stuffing Waffles [http://grilledcheesesocial.com/2013/11/27/the-modern-mayflower-muenster-mashed-potatoes-and-cranberry-stuffing-grilled-cheese/]

The recipe that I got this from, GrilledCheeseSocial.com, uses this in an outrageously drool-worthy Thanksgiving grilled cheese, with mashed potatoes, Muenster cheese, and cranberry sauce. Wow. Personally, I would LOVE to try that, but I think that this opens the doors for so much delicious potential. Keep it in the breakfast genre and top with an egg and some hot sauce (can you tell how much I love the incredible, edible egg?), top with fried or baked chicken for a savory meal – whatever you want! All I know is that this is a must-do in the waffle iron.

Waffle Iron Quesadillas

Doesn’t get ANY easier than this recipe for waffle iron quesadillas and plenty of ingredient wiggle room. At this point in your life, you know what you like in quesadillas, and you know what your family members like. You make individual quesadillas, so it’s super simple to appease anyone’s needs.

waffle_quesadillas

Waffle Quesadillas [http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/waffle-iron-quesadillas/2aaffaf5-4973-438f-b031-72e3a355d969?src=SH]

Prepare your quesadilla fillings (saute your veggies, fry up your chicken or choice of protein, and, most importantly, get your cheese ready. Heat up your waffle iron, and, if necessary, cut tortillas to fit in the waffle iron – for this, I recommend the small “taco” tortillas and using two for the top and bottom – makes this stress/work free! White, corn, wheat, makes no difference – totally go with your preference. add in your ingredients once you have the bottom tortilla down. You’ll know this is done when you’re golden brown and bubbly. Top with guac, sour cream, salsa – whatever! Delicious, easy, simply. Enjoy! Huge thank you to Tablespoon.com for this awesome idea.

So there you have it – top non-waffle recipes on #nationalwaffleday. Blasphemy? I think not.

FREE Sample of Hemp Seeds!

Happy Friday!

Yesterday, I blogged about the health benefits of coconut oil, and today I have another health-forward sample for you – hemp seeds!

Hemp seeds are said to be the most nutritious seed in the world, as they are a complete protein. They have the most concentrated balance of proteins, essential fats, vitamins, and enzymes combined with a relative absence of sugar, starches, and saturated fats. They are a superfood!

Raw hemp provides a broad spectrum of health benefits including:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased and sustained energy
  • Rapid recovery from disease or injury
  • Lowered cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improvement in circulation and immune system
  • Blood sugar control

They’re a highly digestible protein – unlike meat, whole eggs, cheese, human milk, cow’s milk, etc. and can also be eaten by those who are nut, gluten, lactose or sugar intolerant. They are allergy free!

Hemp seeds are super versatile and can be eaten in a variety of ways. Top ways? Sprinkling a spoonful or two into smoothies or on top of cereal, salads, or yogurt.

On to why I’m blabbering on about hemp seeds…

FREE SAMPLE! If you’re interested in trying before you buy, you can get a free sample by simply filling out a form and deciding between two hemp seed products from Manitoba Harvest: Hemp Hearts (easy snacking!) or Hemp Pro 70 (comes in 3 different flavors! Perfect for smoothies) – check them out!

FREE Dippin’ Dots

What a novelty Dippin’ Dots are! They claim to have re-invented one of the world’s best known treats: ice cream. By flash freezing little beads, what’s been created is an even more fun way to eat ice cream – loved by kids of all ages for more than two decades.

If you join the Dot Crazy!® Email & Rewards Club, you get free interactive games, learn about the latest deals and promotions, earn points towards awesome rewards, and, most importantly, you’ll be sent FREE Dippin’ Dots on your birthday!

Click here to join!

Disney Baby Sweepstakes + FREE Target Studio Portrait

I won’t lie, I’ll enter any sweepstakes I see – the more you enter, the more your odds are of winning SOMETHING. This is a pretty good one. DisneyBaby is running a sweepstakes called ‘Capture the Moment Sweepstakes’ where all you need to do is enter between August 4th and August 30th and you could win 1 of 4 portrait & prize bundles worth up to $500 each!

Unfortunately, I didn’t find this until August 20th, but if you enter you are still qualified to enter for the Weeks #3 and #4 Sweepstakes, Disney Princess and Mickey Mouse, respectively. Each winner will get a $300 family portrait package from Target Portrait Studio and a Disney Baby prize bundle that’s worth up to $200.

EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO ENTERS gets a FREE Portrait Package Offer which includes a free 8×10 portrait and sitting fees – a $40 value. Not too shabby!

Check it out here!

#NationalLemonadeDay

Happy #NationalLemonadeDay!

Lemonade is one of those drinks that screams summertime and is always refreshing. It’s the kind of drink that I always forget how much I like it, and when I have it after awhile ask myself why I don’t have it more often! I thought it’d be fun today to compile some of my favorite ‘copycat’ recipes for the tastiest lemonade drinks I can think of. Here’s my top 3!

I LOVE Starbucks’ iced tea lemonade drinks – they’re perfect for me – not too sweet or sour and so, so refreshing.

Food.com has a really awesome recipe for Starbuck’s shaken iced peach green tea lemonade – quite the mouthful, but soooo great! Save some money with this ultra easy recipe: steep 4 bags of green tea in 4 cups boiled water for 3 minutes and let cool. Add 4 cups of lemonade of your choice (check out MyFrugalAdventure’s lemonade recipe – its easy, simple, and you can control how sweet you want it to be!). Fill a cup with ice cubes, add 4 tablespoons of peach syrup (you can order a huge bottle of Torani Peach Syrup off of Amazon for under $15 and it will last you for a VERY long time). Pour in your tea/lemonade mixture and you’ve got a tasty beverage!

iced_peach_green_tea_lemonade

Iced Peach Green Tea Lemonade [starbucks.com]

I also really love Starbucks’ Passion Tea Lemonade and it could not be easier to recreate! FrugalCouponLiving makes a really awesome version of this. Boil 2 bags of Tazo Passion Tea (you can buy a 20 count box from Walmart for under $3!). Remove from heat and add in sugar to taste and vanilla. Allow to sit and refrigerate for an hour. Add ice, add lemonade of choice (I love MyFrugalAdventure’s!) and shake well to mix! That’s all!

starbuck_passion_tea_lemonade

Starbucks’ Passion Tea Lemonade [http://www.frugalcouponliving.com/2014/04/29/copycat-starbucks-passion-tea-lemonade-recipe/]

Finally, I also love the ever-timeless Chick-Fil-A lemonade – don’t knock it ’till you try it! CincyShopper has a great copycat recipe that couldn’t be easier. Chick-Fil-A recomments that you use Sunkist Brand Lemonade, but you can use any of your choice. I’ll warn you now, this is SUGARY – you’ll then add a full cup of sugar! You can also use a substitute sugar to taste – I prefer Splenda myself…then simply add 5 cups of water and refrigerate to chill. Delicious and simple!

chick_fil_a_copycat_lemonade

Chick-Fil-A Copycat Lemonade [http://cincyshopper.com/copycat-chick-fil-lemonade-recipe/]

So there you have it! Enjoy a refreshing glass of lemonade on this #nationallemonadeday!

FREE Coconut Oil Gift Box!

Happy Thursday, Everyone!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard some buzz about the craze that is coconut oil. Coconut oil is considered to be a superfood and has a track record of very profound positive effects on health due to the unique combo of fatty acids.

Here’s some health benefits of coconut oil, just in case you didn’t know already!

  1. Fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently and go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they’re used as a quick source energy — this can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
  2. It helps you burn more fat! In science-speak, the medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil has been shown to increase 24-hour expenditure by as much as 5% – leading to significant weight loss over long term.
  3. Coconut oil can battle infections and bacteria, like viruses and fungi inside of your body.
  4. It’s an appetite reducer! Studies have shown that people who regularly eat coconut oil will eat significantly fewer calories over the course of a day.
  5. Coconut oil can improve blood cholesterol levels and thus lowers the risk of heart disease.
  6. Coconut oil protects your hair and skin! Not only does this product help you on the inside, but on the oitside too. Coconut oil defends against hair damage and can work as a sunscreen and moisturizer.
  7. Some like to use coconut oil as a mouthwash of sorts. This is called oil pulling, and kills harmful bacteria in the mouth, improves dental health, and reduces bad breath.

Sold yet? I am 🙂

Thrive Market is giving away FREE coconut oil gift boxes, including a 15 ounce Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil Jar, a FREE 1-Month Trial to Thrive Market, 15% off your next order, and all only for the cost of shipping (just short of $2). You’ll be subscribed to Thrive Market which is a membership-based online shopping club on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone – seems like a win-win to me.

Check it out here!

FREE Biofreeze Sample

My husband and I always make fun of ourselves because of our ‘old person’ aches and pains – we’ve always loved using Tiger Balm and Icy Hot, but it looks like there’s a new player in town!

Biofreeze was first introduced to the world by a medical professional who was searching for a way to help his grandmother manage her arthritis pain. The formula he created consisted of the active ingredient in menthol and a synergistic blend of inactive ingredients. The result? Effective pain relief without the use of prescription drugs.

Biofreeze_Products

Biofreeze Products [biofreeze.com]

Today, it’s used to provide relief to countless arthritis sufferers as well as sore muscles, muscle sprains, easing back and shoulder pain, reducing painful ankle, knee, hip, and elbow joints, and helping to lessen the effects of muscular strains.

Biofreeze can be used up to 4x a day, before exercise or therapy, and afterwards (personally, I love using the stuff at bedtime – it’s a relaxing feeling and scent and knocks me out) — it can even be used DURING exercise, but proceed with caution – excessive sweating could be a little bit too much of a burn.

In any case, if you’re interested, simply complete the short form & survey here and get sent a free sample. Sign me up!

Freezer Meals: Week 4

Happy Wednesday, Savers! You know what that means: top freezer meals.

I found these recipes on Pinterest this week and can’t wait to try them and share them with you!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanadas

sweet_potato_and_black_bean_empanadas

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanadas [http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/sweet-potato-bean-empanadas#]

These are right up my alley – sweet potatoes and black beans! Yes, please – these guarantee to keep you full and satisfied! The actual prepwork here does look a bit intensive, but when I encounter situations like this, I just make a ton of them – double, triple the recipe – so that next time I’m in the mood to eat them, I can just get them out of the freezer and reheat.

This requires making a dough as well as the filling and combining to make empanadas! Bake until lightly browned and they are ready to eat right out of the oven. That being said, they are also great room temp for snacks, and are easily stored in the freezer. When you’re ready to reheat, simply take out of the freezer, thaw a bit, and toss in the oven until heated.

Huge thanks to myrecipes.com for this awesome recipe idea – I can’t wait to try them!

4 Cheese Tomato Pasta Bake

This recipe totally had me the second I saw the picture. Just look at this! Oozy, cheesy, browned, tasty looking pasta dish. I’m sold.

4 Cheese Tomato Pasta Bake

4 Cheese Tomato Pasta Bake [http://erecipecards.blogspot.com/2014/01/baked-freezable-four-cheese-tomato.html]

52 Ways to Cook claims that this recipe takes only about 30 minutes of work, start to finish. As if I needed any more convincing, right?! You can work ahead and freeze so easily. They give three awesome tips that applies to ALL freezer meals that everyone should be reminded of.

  1. Make sure that the actual baking dish is freezer to oven safe – Pyrex is best! You can also use foil disposable pans. Don’t worry if these aren’t your prettiest dishes, you can always transfer once it’s cooked.
  2. It’s always best to thaw the casserole in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours before baking. If you put a casserole in the oven without doing this, it’ll be fine, but the edges will be baked more crisp than the center by the time it’s finished – it also takes about 30 minutes longer. As a rule of thumb, your casserole is done once the liquid is bubbling and the top is crispy crunchy.
  3. Never freeze a meal for more than 2 months – always date the dish the day you place it in the freezer! Any longer and you’re looking at the consequence of freezer burn – yuck!

Anyways, here’s what’s up – simply prepare pasta al dente while you sautee onion and garlic in a pan – add in white wine and heavy cream. Spread the cooked pasta and tomatoes into a dish while the sauce thickens – once it is, add in the cheese! My favorite part. Spread the sauce over the dish and top with some parm. If you’re looking to freeze or make a couple of casseroles, cover with aluminum foil, making sure that there is as little air between the top of the casserole and the foil as possible. Allow to cool and pop in the freezer. Once you are ready to cook, pop the casserole in the oven and bake for 30. YUM!

Smokey Turkey Almond Mole

This is such a unique dish, and I know that I’ll love it because I love anything that’s super saucy and spicy. Makes for a great topping to a rice dish or even for bread dipping – my fave.

Smokey_Turkey_Almond_Mole

Smokey Turkey Almond Mole [http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/smokey-turkey-almond-mole]

Prep looks pretty easy! Processing almonds, sauteing ingredients in a skillet, and some simmering. This recipe calls for pre-cooked turkey breast which makes this even easier. Once your sauce is ready, you simply stir in the turkey. The chipotle chile and adobo sauce add an awesome smokey pop to this saucy dish. I’d recommend serving over brown rice with some pita bread or a salad on the side – sounds delicious! I also saw an awesome user tip in the comments that served this as a fajita dish! How creative! Make this your own, and remember that it freezes very, very well if you have leftovers or simply want to prep a meal for a busy day – just thaw and reheat! Enjoy 🙂

Big thank you to myrecipes.com for this killer recipe – I cannot, cannot wait to try!

So there you have it, everyone! Check these out and please comment with any feedback!

Influenster

In my search for free samples every day, I keep stumbling upon Influenster — this morning, I decided to educate myself on what this site is, and if it’s worth joining. Wanted to share with all my readers what I found!

Influenster.com is a product discovery platform and review site that helps members find new products to try and get advice so they can make informed purchases. Already, this sounds incredibly helpful to me and my life – are the cheaper alternatives to a product less quality? The site also works to reward you for being particularly active users, especially if you share a lot on social media. They give several examples of some perks to being a good member:

  • VoxBox campaigns where members receive complimentary full-size products to test and review!
  • Interactive Twitter chats with celebrities and in-the-know experts
  • Fun contests where members can earn sweet giveaways
  • Special discounts on featured brands, services, and more

The only caveat is what you signed up to do in the first place: be an active member to share their opinions with friends and followers on products they use. The more you share, the more rewards you earn.

I’m intrigued – I already have so much to say about products I use that I might as well be earning rewards, getting discounts and free stuff for it anyways, right? Join now by clicking here.

2 FREE Belly Bands for Expectant Moms

Have you ever heard of a belly band? Me either, until about 30 minutes ago. I wish these existed when I was pregnant with any of my kids!

A belly band is a band that allows you to STOP BUYING maternity pants and spending money on in between sizes during your pregnancy. It simply is a tight band that you put around unbuttoned pants – creating a seamless look and coming in several colors – just looks like you’re wearing a tank under your shirt!

I’d have certainly been willing to try these out in my pregnant days, especially for free!

Here’s how you can get 2 FREE BANDS with a promo code – all  you need to do is pay shipping (which can be between $12-$14 depending on where you live. Not too shabby considering that they retail at $28 apiece.

Choose two colors of the belly band and add to cart. Scroll all the way down to your cart and use promocode: BAND4FREE ($40 will be taken off). That easy – enter your shipping information, pay for shipping, and you’re good to go!

Try this out, let us all know how it is!