Monthly Archives: October 2015

#WorldEggDay How-To

In honor of #worldeggday, I wanted to take this opportunity to teach everyone the easiest way ever to boil an egg. For the longest time, I’d forget, wing it, and either have wildly over or under cooked eggs.

Here’s the simple rundown:

  1. Put the amount of eggs you want in a pot
  2. Cover with water – you only need enough to cover the entirety of the eggs
  3. Bring to a boil
  4. Upon boil, shut off the heat and cover with a lid
  5. Wait 12 minutes and drain

That is seriously all there is to it! I promise perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs every time.

Deviled eggs?

Egg salad?

Quick breakfast on the go?

The world is your oyster.

BOOritos!

If you’re anything like me, you know that every year, Chipotle offers awesome discounts for coming in costume, but each year, the rules are a little different. I’m here to clue you in to how this year’s BOOrito is going to work!

As we learned from Chipotle’s Friend or Faux promotion, the chain is vehemently against unnecessary additives in their food, and are doing all that they can to show just how unimportant they are to your meals. To further promote this concept, this Halloween, from 5pm-close, Chipotle asks you to spook them by adding something unnecessary to your costume to score a $3 burrito!

In this super fun video titled “Unneces-scary”, you can enter the nightmare of one Chipotle customer who discovers what Chipotle would be like if they served processed fast food rather than cooking by hand.

Looking for some inspiration? Check out our article feature image to get a feel for some unnecessary costume additions! Enjoy!

#NationalPierogiDay

This one’s coming out of left field, but I love pierogies SO much that I cannot help but share some easy recipes that will please literally anyone. If you don’t like pierogies, I don’t even know what to say.

First, some history. Pierogies are filled dumplings of Eastern European origin. They’re made by wrapping pockets of unleavened dough around a savory or sweet filling. Generally, we’re working with potato and cheese, but there’s also fillings along the lines of sauerkraut, ground meats, and fruits. They’re generally served with melted butter, sour cream, or fried onion (or all of the above). I will not sit here and tell you these are ‘good for you’, but they are certainly incredibly easy to make and so, so delicious.

A lot of people, including myself, sticks generally to the frozen pierogies you find at your local grocery store. That’s why I am going to start with a recipe that uses these frozen pierogies, and simply makes them more delicious than you’ve probably ever prepared them before.

ItIsAKeeper.com hits us with a simple recipe, 3 ingredients: 1 package of frozen pierogies, half a cup of butter, and one onion, thinly sliced. The directions? Put them all in a slow cooker, put on the lid, and cook for 3-4 hours.

Crockpot Pierogies

Crockpot Pierogies [http://www.itisakeeper.com/10088/best-crock-pot-recipe-crock-pot-pierogies/]

Equally as easy, and such a fun spin on pierogies, TheKitchenMagpie.com curated a recipe for Crockpot Lazy Pierogie Casserole. Intrigued? So was I! This doesn’t involve any real pierogies, but takes all of the best elements from them and combines them into a delicious lasagna/casserole – potatoes, bacon, cheese…yum.

To prepare the crockpot, you’ll need to boil lasagna noodles, peel, dice, and boil potatoes, mash potatoes with cheese, milk, and spices, prepare a ricotta cheese mixture, fry up some onions, and cook up some bacon. May sound like a lot, but all of these things are pretty basic and take minimal prep time or skill.

Then starts the layering in the crockpot, starting with lasagna noodles. Then spread ricotta mixture on top of the noodles, then goes the potato cheese mixture, then bacon and onions. And repeat! Cook in the crockpot on low for two hours – and you’re done!

Lazy Pierogi Casserole

Lazy Pierogi Casserole [http://mommysavers.com/homemade-pierogies-meat-freezer-meal/]

I saved the most challenging pierogi recipe for last: homemade pierogies. Dun dun dun. That being said, the perk here is that your work will go a long way – this is a great freezer meal!

To make the dough: combine potato flakes and boiling water and allow to cool. Add remaining ingredients (2 beaten eggs, salt, and all purpose flour) and mix until dough forms. Roll out dough and use a round cookie cutter or glass to make rounds for each pierogi.

Brush each round with beaten egg, flip over, and add about a tablespoon of your homemade pierogi filling – my favorite is potato and cheese and couldn’t be easier. You can always add bacon – it’s really up to you! Whatever your favorite is. Seal the pierogi shut and boil until they rise to the top (about 3-4 minutes). Once done, saute in a frying pan with butter – feel free to add onions! Serve with sour cream.

To freeze: allow pierogies to completely dry after boiling, lay flat on a cookie sheet and freeze. After they’re frozen, feel free to place in zippered plastic bags. To serve, thaw completely and saute to finish cooking. That’s all! Enjoy #nationalpierogiday and please let us know if you have any recipes of your own for this delicious treat!

Homemade Pierogies

Homemade Pierogies [http://mommysavers.com/homemade-pierogies-meat-freezer-meal/]

FREE Motivational Materials

Found some awesome resources for all of you out there who are looking for some money-making motivation!

Firstly, Suze Orman is offering her personal finance online course for FREE right now. Suze Orman has been called “a force in the world of personal finance” and a “one-woman financial advice powerhouse” by USA Today. She’s a two-time Emmy Award-winning television host, New York Times mega best selling author, magazine and online columnist, writer/producer, and one of the top motivational speakers in the country — she’s hailed as America’s most recognized expert on personal finance. That all being said, I think I trust her to guide me in the world of personal finance and how to best manage our family’s money. FREE for a limited time, click here to sign up for her online courses. The gift code “TODAY” will already be activated when you click through the link. You’ll be taken to an online dashboard where you can view the lessons at your leisure.

The second awesome resource that was found is this free audiobook from SharkTank called “Jump Start Your Business: How to Launch and Grow a Business from Concept to Cash”. I don’t know if you do, but I catch the show on ABC from time to time, and it is pretty addicting! This book is filled with practical advice and instructions from the Sharks themselves and is the ultimate resource for anyone thinking about starting a business or growing the one they have. Be an entrepreneur and get out there!

Freezer Meals: Week 11

Back to basics here, everyone! I have three VERY different, but VERY delicious freezer-friendly meals today to make your life just that much easier. Don’t forget that when you try these out, give us your feedback! Did you add extra ingredients, leave some out? Do you think the cooking time should be increased, decreased? Do you have different ideas on how to allow this to keep for longer in the freezer? We want to hear everything, big or small! Comment section is there for YOU.

First things first, I wanted to talk about frozen pizza. We’ve all been down this road. They’re easy, they’re good, and they’re terrible for you. The ingredients in these if you check out the box are truly brutal, and it’s tough to feed your family something that seems so unhealthy and chemically-laden. Solution is here! Make your OWN frozen pizzas, recipe courtesy of IntentionalByGrace.com. Here’s how she does it:

Frozen Pizza

Frozen Pizza [http://intentionalbygrace.com/homemade-frozen-pizzas/#_a5y_p=3296016]

  1. She makes her own pizza dough. You could store buy (I know that a lot of grocery stores sell raw pizza dough), but this is more cost efficient, and you’ll know exactly what you’re putting into it, which is only 8 ingredients, and nothing funky: water, yeast, honey, olive oil, salt, flour, italian seasoning, and garlic powder.
  2. Once you’re all set with mixing and letting the dough rise, preheat the oven and cook the pizza dough WITHOUT toppings for about 7-8 minutes to allow for a good base to build on.
  3. She makes her own sauce too! Who’s shocked?! You can, of course, use store-bought, but I love love love the idea of knowing all of the ingredients you and your family are eating. She simply uses tomato paste, sauce, water, garlic powder, basil, parsley, organo, thyme, salt, papper, olive oil, honey, and Parmesan cheese. The full recipe is in here and can be made in a stockpot or crockpot. Once done – this sauce is totally freezable – simply put in a tightly sealed plastic bag.
  4. Pizza topping ideas: since we’re freezing, use things that will freeze well. She recommends cheese, pepperoni, pineapple, onion, chicken, ground beef or turkey, green onions, olives – most things do freeze well, so go with your standard toppings!
  5. Once your pizza is assembled, wrap each pizza with plastic wrap and finish with foil. The foil allows easy writing to label which toppings are on which pizza – love it!
  6. To cook, preheat your oven to 425, remove all the wrap, place pizza on a pan, and cook for about 15 minutes. Simple!

Next up…Slow Cooker Tuscan Stew from Sweet Peas and Saffron. With the weather getting a bit cooler, I crave soup, and it’s one of my absolute favorite things to make since it’s easy, inexpensive, and I can eat it for days. It’s one of the only foods where I can say with all confidence that the leftovers are better than fresh! That overnight in the fridge or freezer really just must enhance all the flavors – blows my mind every time. Here’s a new recipe that I found that looks so comforting and delicious – cannot wait to try. Sometimes a beef stew is almost TOO hearty, so I love this chicken-based spin.

Slow Cooker Tuscan Stew

Slow Cooker Tuscan Stew [http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/09/slow-cooker-tuscan-chicken-stew.html]

Simply add boneless chicken thighs, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, white wine, and fennel seeds into the slow cooker and cook for 4-6 hours. Just before serving, mix cornstarch and water together, and add in balsamic vinegar, rosemary, and salt – throw combination into the soup. Serve with crusty bread or a side salad! This sounds soooo good. If you want to freeze this prior to putting in the slow cooker – easy! Just get your ingredients together, defrost, and dump.

I’m dying to use my slow cooker more (she notes that she uses a 5 quart one) and this sounds like a great, easy opportunity to play around a little bit.

This stew looks chunky and hearty and perfect to fill up my family on a cold, cozy night! Enjoy!

Next and last…Healthified Kale and Portobello Lasagna. When I think about freezer meals, my mind immediately goes to lasagna, and then I think, ugh, not healthy enough. I always miss a more veggie-laden meal. But the Food Network puts such a healthy, unique spin on freezable lasagna! I can’t wait to try this recipe.

Healthified Kale and Portobello Lasagna

Healthified Kale and Portobello Lasagna [http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/healthified-kale-and-portobello-lasagna-recipe.html]

This only takes about 25 minutes of prepwork, and execution of the layers is almost exactly like putting together a more standard lasagna dish. Puree roasted red peppers, oregano, salt, pepper, and sugar in a food processor until smooth. Mix together mozzarella, ricotta, and egg whites in a separate bowl. Heat and saute portobello mushrooms and kale with red pepper flakes and set aside.

In a baking dish, start layering! Sauce, lasagna noodles, cheese mixture, kale and mushroom mixture. At this point, you can freeze if you so please! Plastic wrap + tin foil to make sure this lasts as long as possible. When you’re ready to cook, thaw, cover with aluminum foil only, and bake for about 50 minutes on 350. Then sprinkle with some additional mozzarella and cook uncovered until bubbly. Yum!

Enjoy these! Let us know how they go!

FREE Address Labels + Photo Prints!

Happy Wednesday!

Found a great deal this morning. YorkPhoto.com is offering FREE customized address labels, one set of $30 valued at $5.99, for free! What’s great about this is that you can choose from their designs and templates, or design your own, personalizing text, uploading personal pictures, etc. So perfect! The fact that this is free is awesome, so you can go through your 30 personalized and then decide if you want to order more from there. Simply use the code LABEL when you check out – expires on October 25, 2015.

YorkPhoto.com is also offering 40 FREE 4×6 prints when you register with their website (which you have to do to get the free address labels anyways) – what a fun bonus! I find that so often, I take pictures and they just live on my phone or digital camera forever. I am dying to get back to framing and photo albums.

Take a look and play around!

FREE Sample of Centrum® VitaMints®

Centrum® VitaMints® multivitamins are a unique combination of essential nutrients that you enjoy like a mint. You can take them any time of day, with or without food or water, to replenish your body with vitamins and minerals that support your energy, immunity, metabolism, and overall well-being. They truly sound like they make vitamins sound easy! They are the most recommended, most studied, most preferred multivitamin brand.

You can try Centrum® VitaMints® NOW before they even appear in stores this fall while supplies last. Check them out!

FREE Welcome Box from Julep

Julep Maven is a Birchbox-esque beauty box, but what’s different about it is that it delivers exactly what you want. Every month you choose what you love from a new collection. You can customize your monthly boxes with what they have in inventory each month. You can pick a pre-selected box if you still love the element of surprise, or you can pick and choose products or even specific colors.

From makeup to nail polish to skincare, Julep Maven offers all sorts of products that are sure to interest you. That being said, Julep Maven is offering a FREE welcome box for new subscribers so you can see what they’re all about.

These beauty boxes tend to be hit or miss for me, but I feel pretty confident about a box where I can choose my own – so I’m totally down to give this one a shot, especially since I can get a feel for what they’re about for FREE! Check it out, let us know what you think!

20% Off – Amazon Costumes!

You can get 20% off of Amazon Costumes today through 10/4 by using the promo code: TRICKTREAT at checkout. Click here to see what costumes are eligible for the discount!

There’s really fewer things that kill me more than overpriced costumes that your child will only ever wear once – so I love this deal! They have adult and children costumes + some really fun accessories. You’ll definitely find something you’re sure to like. Hurry up!

Freezer Meals: Week 10

A slightly belated freezer meals rundown this week, but better late than never! This week is absolutely flying by – I forgot yesterday was even Wednesday!

In honor of #WorldVegetarianDay, I decided that this week should highlight vegetarian freezer-friendly meals! Yay! If you are missing the meat, you can always sub in your favorite kind – but these are all really fun crowd pleasers.

Eggplant Parmigiana

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan [dishmaps.com]

Fast Top Ten provides us with a super easy, traditional recipe for one of my all-time favorite vegetarian meals: eggplant parm. To make the freezer friendly version, you simply assemble the dish, but don’t bake it. Wrap tightly with foil and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw completely and bake as directed.

The general recipe here is pretty simple. Simply make the sauce with a food processor and simmer. Slice, coat eggplant with flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, and fry until golden – 2-3 minutes per side. Then assemble the dish in a baking dish – tomato sauce, layering eggplant, parmesean, and mozzarella. Bake until lightly browned and bubbling (whenever you decide to eat this) for about 40-45 minutes.

Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Baked Mozzarella Sticks [momontimeout.com]

Who doesn’t love mozzarella sticks? MomOnTimeout.com gives us a slightly healthier, freezer friendly version of this bar food staple. These are perfect for snacks, appetizers, or game day finger foods!

Here’s the deal: this recipe is crazy easy, so long as your cheese sticks are frozen completely solid – otherwise these get goopy and sloppy really quickly! Unwrap the amount of cheese sticks of your choice, cut in half, and pop in the freezer. Set out 3 bowls – flour, egg, and breadcrumbs/parmesean combo. You know the drill – dredge in flour, dip in egg, finish with bread crumbs. You can always do a second coat if you feel you need it. Place on a lined baking sheet and place in the freezer for an hour. These can stay in the freezer as long as you want (store appropriately if it’s going to be awhile). Once you’re ready to bake, line a baking sheet with foil, spray with cooking spray, and line up your sticks. Bake for 3-5 minutes, turn, and bake for another 3-5 minutes. Serve with marinara! Yum!

Garlic and Chive Quinoa Cakes

Quinoa Cakes

Quinoa Cakes [seasonedtotaste.wordpress.com]

I am fully deep in the quinoa trend. I love the texture and the ease with which it’s made – and of course, the lack of guilt I feel eating it. OnceAMonthMeals puts a new twist on quinoa with their garlic and chive quinoa cakes.

Mix cooked quinoa, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic, shallots, and chives in a bowl and add mozzarella, Parmesan, flour, and panko. Mix well and let stand. Press into round cakes and saute patties for about 6 minutes on each side, placing on paper towels once done to remove excess oil. Allow to cool and divide into freezer bags to freeze! To serve, simply reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

These are perfect for an appetizer or snack, or a full meal!

1 3 4