Thursday, August 26, 2010

Time Saver: Use that One Cup Coffee Maker!

Do you have a one cup coffee maker? My friend Laura taught me this trick: dispense a coffee cup of water (take any pods out first!) to speed up cooking! It started with peas...she counseled me to take some peas and put them in a coffee mug. Next dispense a cup of hot water and place that filled mug into the microwave. Using water that's already hot saved minutes!

I decide to expand this idea and try it was boiling water on the stove...same effect! Boiling my mashed potato water (instant this particular eve) was super duper fast since I started with super hot water already. Try it!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Freezer Meal Recipe Friday: Garlic Chicken

This recipe is from our freezer meal exchange...made by Pamela. It is so yummy - our whole family loves it!

Garlic Chicken:

2-4 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 Cup olive oil
1/4 Cup dry whole wheat (or just plain Italian but not as healthy) bread crumbs
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves trimmed of fat

Warm the garlic and olive oil together. In a separate dish, combined bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip the chicken breasts in the olive oil and garlic mixture, then into the bread crumb mixture. If freezing, place on a cookie sheet and flash freeze. Then, wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer bags until ready to thaw.

When ready to eat, thaw overnight and then cook at 425F for 30-35 minutes.

Alternate options to the recipe are to add red pepper flakes into the garlic/oil mixture AND/OR dry Italian dressing mix into the bread crumbs mixture.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Money Saver: Check Those Price Tags!

The other day I had to run to the market across the street for some sugar. I was out and didn't realize it, and needed sugar to make well, a lot of stuff! So of course I gravitated to the store brand sugar, figuring it didn't really make a difference! But then the name brand caught my eye...and more specifically the price tag. No idea why, but name brand was actually 30 CENTS CHEAPER than store brand. Yeah, crazy. I went with name brand.

You may also find illogical pricing like this when comparing sizes. Normally you'd think the large box of waffles was cheaper per waffle than the smaller boxes. This also used to be untrue at our store. The mid-size box actually saved a few cents when comparing unit price!

Finally a reason to check is some stores may have policies in place to insure their "correctness." A local grocer will give you an item free, up to $10, if the price rings up incorrectly. Once I got a free $10 pack of toilet paper because of this! In fact, it was happening so often I was worried the store manager was going to thing I was tricking them! Honestly I just remember advertised prices.

So keep your eyes sharp and save a few cents!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Swagbucks Swidget and Swagcode Extravaganza!

Search & Win

For those of you who do Swagbucks, today is a special day.  The Swagguy has promised FIVE special swagcodes today.  (These are codes you just type in to get bucks, instead of searching.) To help find these swagcodes, check the swidget, located to the right of this page.  Check it often!  And for those who haven't signed up yet, here's the link: Join Swagbucks!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Freezer Meal Bonus Recipe: Italian Style Chicken


6 small whole chicken breasts (about 4 lb)
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
3 eggs
1/4 cup water
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup veg oil
1 can (10.75 oz) chicken broth
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 can (8 oz) mushroom stems and pieces, drained and chopped
1 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp dried marjoram leaves

Cut chicken breast in half. Mix bread crumbs, walnuts and salt. Beat eggs slightly; stir in water. Coat chicken breasts with flour; dip into egg mixture. Coat with crumb mixture. Heat butter and oil in 10-inch skillet over med heat until hot. Cook chicken, several pieces at a time, until golden brown--2-3 minutes. Place 6 halves in each of 2 ungreased baking pans. Pur broth into dishes; sprinkle with cheese. Mix remaining ingredients; spoon over top. Wrap, label and freeze.

To serve: About 1.5 hours before serving, remove from freezer and unwrap. Place in oven safe dish, cover and cook in 375 degree oven about 40 minutes. THEN, uncover and cook another 30 minutes.  Serve over pasta.

Adapted from Betty Crocker's Working Woman's Cookbook.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Freezer Meal Recipe Friday; Italian Chicken

So, this may seem like a cop-out to some, but its super easy and really yummy.  Just put some Italian dressing in a freezer bag with chicken.  Freeze.  Thaw and cook.  Yum!  The Italian dressing really flavors it!  I like to grill the meat and put it on a bun for a simple sandwich.  So much better than fast food and just as fast!  You could also slice it for fajitas.  Be creative, what else can be a simple marinade? I've done lemon juice with chicken, also wine with chicken or beef.  No need for the expensive marinades.  Enjoy!

Oh, and for those of you disappointed not to see a "real" recipe, tune in Monday for a more "in-depth" Italian chicken recipe.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Super Money Saver: Swagbucks

Search & Win

You've all heard about Swagbucks by now, surely? No?  The concept is simple:  instead of using your usual search engine, you use the Swagbucks search engine.  Swagbucks shares its advertising revenue with you in the form of Swagbucks that you "win."  You then use these Swagbucks to cash in for fabulous prizes!  My prize of choice is amazon gift cards.  I've earned $180 dollars in amazon gift cards since January!  Yes, that's $180 worth of gifts I've been able to get from amazon just for using the swagbucks search engine.  Interested?  Please use my referral link, as I get matching bucks up to 1000 Swagbucks. Just click here to signup.