Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Save $2.00 on Soda & Mars Candy Just In Time For Halloween

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

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Have you stocked up for all your Halloween celebrations yet? Don't miss your last chance to get this special Halloween coupon for $2.00 off (1) 6pk. 8oz cans or (2) 2L of participating soda and (2) bags of Mars® candy.  This is the perfect combo for any spooky halloween event.  

Click on the image above and save! I still have some shopping to do so this coupon will come in very handy! 

*The coupon might not work in Google Chrome, so you may need to use a different browser to print it (e.x. Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer). 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pressed Cuban Sandwiches {With Smithfield Marinated Pork}

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Smithfield®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #PutPorkontheMenu http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

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Despite having a food blog, dinner can still be a bit of a dilemma in our house. We always have the best of intentions to take out a piece of meat from the freezer, defrost it, marinate it, and make it into something fabulous. But without fail, we usually forget to take it out, get home too late to marinate it, or just get caught up in our daily lives and before we know it, it's 6:30 and we have nothing to eat for dinner. When I saw Smithfield's new marinated pork products at Walmart last week, I knew they were something we could use to make dinnertime easier at our house.

Justin is actually known for his pork recipes and usually makes it for most of our dinner parties. The problem with pork on a week night is that it can be a time consuming and dish consuming process. Tenderizing, marinating and trimming take way too much time for a Tuesday night. Smithfield Marinated Pork made dinner as easy as unwrapping a package and placing the meat on a baking sheet and popping it in the oven.

Smithfield Marinated Pork is slow-marinated in delicious seasonings for full flavor which also makes it extremely tender. It's 100% fresh pork that is perfect for any night of the week. Since it is pre-marinated there was minimal prep and very little mess which is a nice change from Justin's usual style of using every bowl, tray and cooking sheet in the house to prep pork for dinner. It was in and out of the oven and onto these sandwiches in under an hour.

While this pork loin would be a great dinner just sliced and served with veggies or your favorite sides, we decided to jazz it up a bit by making pressed Cuban sandwiches with it. I'm pretty sure Justin loved Cuban sandwiches way before he married into my Cuban-American family but now he finds ways to order them anytime we make it south of Palm Beach. One of the reasons we never make them at home is because it is a little too labor intensive to roast a whole piece of pork just to make sandwiches. But thanks to Smithfield, we were able to make them with very little fuss or stress on our part.

We stuck to the traditional ingredients of a Cuban sandwich using roast pork, ham, swiss cheese, yellow mustard and pickles pressed on fresh Cuban bread from the grocery store bakery. However, the great thing about the marinated pork varieties is that you could easily customize this to make any kind of pressed sandwich your family prefers. I'm not sure what Justin enjoyed more: the sandwiches for dinner or the left over roast pork he had for lunch the next day.

This pork is already amazingly well priced but right now you can print out a coupon to save .75 cents on your next Smithfield Marinated Pork purchase (while supplies last). These are only available at your local Walmart so be sure to look for them in the refrigerated meat section next time you shop. With 7 different varieties you are sure to find something your whole family will love. For more ideas be sure to visit Smithfield's Facebook page!

Pressed Cuban Sandwiches

  • 1 package of Smithfield Marinated Pork (we used the Garlic & Herbs flavor)
  • 1 loaf of Cuban bread
  • Deli ham
  • Sliced Swiss cheese
  • yellow mustard
  • pickles
  • Butter (for the bread)
1.) In the oven, prepare the pork as directed on the package. 

2.) Once fully cooked, let cool and slice thin.

3.) On sliced Cuban bread spread with yellow mustard, layer the sliced pork, ham, Swiss cheese and pickles. 

4.) Butter the top and bottom of the bread and press in a hot panini.

5.) Cut on the diagonal and serve warm. Enjoy!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Easy Parfaits With Muller Greek Corner Mix Ins

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

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We eat a lot of Greek yogurt in our house. Both Justin and I regularly have it for breakfast, lunch, snack or a dessert. While we love many varieties, one of our favorites is Muller Greek Yogurt especially the ones with the corner mix ins. Greek yogurt plain can get a little repetitive day after day so I love having the option of a little add in to switch things up a bit. Justin's favorites are the fruit mix ins but I really love the one with the caramelized almonds.

For lunch and breakfast you can't beat the convenience of the pre-packaged mix ins but when we are at home we like to get fancy with our Greek yogurt. While each flavor is great on it's own we have fun layering the Greek yogurt with things like granola, fruit, and nuts to make our own breakfast or dessert parfaits. Sometimes we even get crazy and add a little low free whipped cream and a drizzle of sugar free chocolate syrup to add some indulgence to our otherwise pretty healthy dessert.

For breakfast, Justin likes to take the Muller Greek Corner with Blackberry & Raspberry Sauce and layer the yogurt with fresh berries and a dried fruit granola mix. He tops it with the included sauce and a little low fat whipped cream for a weekend morning treat. The Greek yogurt and granola are great for keeping him full until lunch and when I serve it in a cute stemless wine glass it looks like we went out for a fancy brunch when we are really just sitting on the couch in our pjs.You can even make these ahead of time and cover them with plastic wrap for a quick grab and go breakfast option.

My dessert option is a little more decadent. I take the Muller Greek Corner with Caramelized Almonds and I layer the yogurt with dark chocolate granola and a little bit of chocolate syrup. I top it with low fat whipped cream sprinkled with the caramelized almonds and another drizzle of chocolate. This is the perfect thing for those nights when you are looking for something sweet but don't want to end up eating a ton of empty calories. The protein in the yogurt and almonds fills me up while the chocolate flavors help satisfy my sweet tooth. You could probably even get away with one of these for breakfast if you really wanted to : )

We love that all the varieties of Muller Greek Corner yogurts are only $1 at our Walmart so I usually just grab a couple of each whenever I shop so we always have some on hand for whatever meal we want. Combine any of the flavors with what you have on hand in your fridge and pantry and you are sure to come up with a great version of these parfaits. Do you like Greek yogurt? What's your favorite way to eat it?

Easy Parfaits with Muller Greek Corner Mix Ins
  • 1 Muller Greek Corner Mix In (your favorite flavor)
  • Granola
  • Fruit
  • Whipped cream and chocolate syrup optional
1.) In a cute glass or small bowl, spoon in half the Greek yogurt.

2.) Top with granola, fruit and/or nuts.

3.) If using a fruit sauce variety, drizzle half the fruit topping on your granola layer. If using chocolate syrup, drizzle on a little of that instead. 

4.) Spoon in the rest of the Greek yogurt. 

5.) Top with more granola. Add a little dollop of whipped cream.

6.) If using a fruit sauce variety drizzle on the rest of the sauce. If using the caramelized almonds, sprinkle those on top of the whipped cream and top with one last drizzle of chocolate syrup. 

7.) Store covered in the refrigerator. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Raspberry Lemonade Crystal Light Granita {Fun Party Drinks With A Vodka Twist}

My college girlfriends and I were known for our themed parties senior year. Tropical Night, Red Carpet Parties, St. Patrick's Day, Skirt Day (the first day of Spring in Indiana warm enough to wear a skirt), you name it, we had a themed party for it. Costumes, props, full on printed photo walls; nothing was too much for us. No matter how elaborate our evenings were they all had one thing in common; our party drinks were always made with Crystal Light and vodka.

Thinking back on it, we were probably known for our love of Crystal Light just as much as we were known for our creative themes. St. Patrick's Day? Dye the Crystal Light green. Red Carpet Party? Put it in a martini glass. Tropical Luau? Umbrella straws for everyone.

Why the obsession with Crystal Light? We had a few reasons. Main reason? It was low in calories. College girls (and girls in general) don't like to drink their calories. We would rather save them for ordering some late night pizza. It was also relatively affordable and easy to store. We could have an assortment of mixes in the pantry and just mix up what we needed when we needed it. No need to have a fridge full of drink mixers all the time. My Walmart always has a huge selection so I make sure to grab a few packages whenever I am there.

Don't get me wrong we drank our Crystal Light plain too. We usually had a pitcher mixed up in the fridge for enjoying on a regular basis. Now as a teacher, I love that I can keep a few On The Go packets in my desk or school bag to flavor my water bottles whenever I want. Justin and I have been loving the Liquid Drink Mix bottles since we can each choose how intensely we want to flavor our individual drinks too.

Right now, Crystal Light is sponsoring the Miranda Lambert Platinum tour and rewarding Crystal Light Drinkers with an exclusive #PlatinumPoints Sweepstakes. The Platinum Points program lets you earn reward points for purchasing Crystal Light products and you can then redeem those points for things like a Miranda Lambert CD, t-shirt, mug and so much more. If this had existed when I was in college, my girlfriends and I would have been rolling in points. To learn more about the Platinum Points Loyalty Program and how it works be sure to visit its website

Now that I am thirty I would like to think that I evolved past my 21/22 year old self's drinking habits and have moved on to something a little fancier. But I would be completely lying to you if I said that I never make myself a Crystal Light and vodka on the weekends. I do however have a fun and fancy twist on my senior year of college staple for you. 

This Raspberry Lemonade Crystal Light and Vodka Granita is the perfect thing to serve for your next girls' night. It is delicious, easy to make, low in calories and can be served in cute little glasses. The recipe itself is nonalcoholic so you can let guests choose if they would like to top it with vodka or not depending on their preferences. 

You could serve it as a fun "palate cleanser" between courses or as a signature "cocktail" at your next get together. I served mine in mini martini glasses but this would look adorable in mini mason jars or in white tasting/soup spoons. With so many flavors of Crystal Light to choose from this is also a treat that you can personalize as you like. While the basic recipe is great for all ages please make sure that if you are adding vodka you do so responsibility and in moderation : ) 

Raspberry Lemonade Crystal Light Granita {with an optional vodka twist}
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 Crystal Light Raspberry Lemonade On The Go drink mix packets
  • 1 cup of frozen raspberries
  • optional: vodka of choice (I like to pair this with a citrus flavored one)
1.) Mix the two packets of Crystal Light into the two cups of water. 

2.) Combine Crystal Light and frozen raspberries in the blender and blend until completely smooth.

3.) Pour mixture into a 9x13 pan and freeze for an hour. 

4.) After an hour, use a fork to scrape up the mixture to form a slush. Refreeze for another hour. 

5.) After an hour, repeat the fork scraping and place mixture in freezer for another 4-6 hours. You can leave it overnight if you prefer but you may want to cover it. 

6.) When ready to serve, remove pan from the freezer and use a fork to scrape up the frozen mixture until its a loose, icy slush. Serve immediately and enjoy!

7.) Optional: drizzle each serving with a half shot of vodka. While it may seem tempting, less is more. You don't want to ruin the flavor : )

This recipe is intended to be enjoyed responsibly, in moderation, and solely by men and women of legal drinking age.  Never drink and drive, never drive with someone who has been drinking, and always consume alcohol safely and in moderation.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

25 Candy Corn Desserts

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Halloween is quickly approaching and that means it's candy corn season! Here are 25 of my favorite candy corn flavored and themed desserts to help you celebrate the Halloween season!

Many of these recipes and photos are not my own. If you would like to see, pin or share a specific recipe please click the image to go to the original site. If you want to pin the whole collection then please pin the collage image above!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Henkel A+ Values – Get $10 Back in Coupon Savings

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

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If you are a coupon shopper like me, then you know the value of stocking up on household products when you can get a good deal. Our stockpile has been a lifesaver to us not just financially but it has also allowed us to save time and sanity during the busy back to school months. Right now is a great opportunity to start the new school year off right and restock our home with great Henkel products.  All of the #APlusValues items are well-known, trusted brands with products that work at an exceptional value. Check out the Henkel A+ Values and get $10 Back in Coupon Savings*.

*Coupon savings delivered electronically via opt-in e-mail. While supplies last. $20 purchase requirement based on advertised retail price, before coupons.  

To Upload your A+Value receipts: Enter your e-mail address and upload your receipt here to enter the A+Values program. If your receipt is valid, you will receive your $10 coupon booklet via e-mail from Henkel and Coupons.com*
With products like Purex, Soft Scrub, Dial, Right Guard, Renuzit, Tone and more you will be sure to find plenty of options to reach your $20 total. I also noticed that the rules state that the $20 is on advertised retail prices before coupons so you can always use manufacturer and/or store coupons to save even more on your back to school stock up!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Brownie Cookies

It's no secret that I get slightly annoyed by America's obsession with pumpkin spice. Walking through Publix or Target can make me blind with rage when I the newest pumpkin spice items on shelves. Tortilla chips, waffles, hand sanitizer, Pringles, bagels, butter, Poptarts, marshmallows, gum, vodka?!? It's only mid September, Mass Retailers, tone it down already.

But the Pumpkin Spice Tollhouse Morsels in these cookies have made me reconsider my position entirely. I gave in to the pumpkin spice epidemic when I saw Nestle's new Pumpkin Spice Baking Morsels. I couldn't not buy them so into my cart they went and when I opened them up at home I was beyond shocked to find that I actually enjoyed them. It seems that Nestle actually found the right balance of pumpkin spice flavor and the normal chocolate creaminess of their baking chips. No one was home so at least I didn't have to publicly admit defeat to corporate America.

These Pumpkin Spice Brownie cookies might be my new favorite dessert. It just enough fall flavor to get you in the mood without smacking you in the face with it. They are so easy, but so good. I just took my regular brownie mix cookie recipe and added some pumpkin pie spice and switched out the flavor of the chocolate chips for a seasonal twist on one of my year round standby cookie recipes.

I love that they are made with a brownie mix as the base so I can limit my need for too much measuring or getting out supplies and with all the craziness in my life this time of year I can always use a few easy to make but taste like they took hours in the kitchen recipes. We devoured these as it but you could always make little cookie sandwiches out of them with ice cream, Cool Whip, or frosting in between. Just writing that makes me want to get some salted caramel gelato and make one immediately. Thank God Justin ate the last of these yesterday.

Pumpkin Spice Brownie Cookies
  • 1 box of chocolate chip brownie mix (I used the Immaculate Baking Company)
  • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup of Pumpkin Spice baking morsels

1.) Mix together brownie mix, oil, eggs and flour. Consistency of batter will be in between that of regular brownie batter and cookie dough. Stir in pumpkin spice morsels.

2.) On a lined or greased baking sheet, place rounded, tablespoon sized balls of dough. I used a oxo cookie scoop. 

3.) Bake at 350 degrees for ten minutes. Make sure to let cool before removing from the baking sheet. Store in an airtight container. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

White Chocolate Candy Corn S'mores Cookies

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Living in South Florida has a lot of perks. The beach is minutes away; flip flops are appropriate year round; I get to indulge my love of neon without being judged (you should see the looks you get when you wear Lilly Pulitzer in Colorado); we never have to shovel snow; life is generally sunny. And while all these things sound and are amazing, this can become a bit of an issue when the holiday season rolls around.

It's very difficult to get in the mood for fall when it's 100 degrees out. You want to feel festive, wear your flannel shirt, bust out some boots maybe. But no. It's so hot your steering wheel is burning your hands as you're driving to Target to buy candy corn and Pumpkin Spice Oreos. How am I suppose to want to drink apple cider and hot chocolate when I am getting dehydrated just walking to the mail box? Let's carve a pumpkin in our bathing suits? It doesn't seem right does it?

As a food blogger, we are suppose to be a season ahead. I know that I am way behind the rest of the online world when it comes to my fall recipes but I just couldn't do it. I feel like I should be making popsicles not pumpkin bars. The other day while looking over my Pinterest stats, I realized that an alarming number of people are already repinning my Christmas recipes. As in planning their holiday baking. Dear Lord, save us. It took me 20 minutes to find my favorite pair of jeans the other day because it had been so long since I last wore them (which by the way was in July on vacation in North Carolina, see what I mean?) .

So I have learned to compromise when it comes to weather and the holidays. I wear a short sleeved dark colored dress on Thanksgiving; I buy Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream at Publix; I lay out while listening to Christmas carols. And I made these cookies. These White Chocolate Candy Corn S'mores Cookies are my way of compromising fall flavors with the eternal sunshine of my not so spotless kitchen. And while the weather here is always warm enough for s'mores, you cold weather dwellers can use these as a last ditch effort to hold onto summer.

They were born from my need to buy every single season flavor of candy ever made. No really. I can't not buy them. Even if I know I will never make anything with them ever. I must get at least one bag just in case. And as I walked by the Hershey's Candy Corn Bars in Target I instinctively reached out and grabbed a bag without thinking and dropped it in my cart. Then as I imagined what they might look like I had a recipe flashback right there in the Halloween aisle and I realized that they would be the perfect thing to recreate my favorite Chocolate Chip S'more Cookies.

It was like divine recipe inspiration. I literally stood in the middle of Target and planned out the recipe and then went straight home and made it. And it was just as amazing as I thought it would be. Well actually it was better because, honestly, I can't say that my expectations for a candy corn/s'more combo were that high. But I was wrong. So wrong. This is one of those desserts that is so wrong it's actually right. Sort of like swimming on Christmas Eve.

White Chocolate Candy Corn S'mores Cookies
  • 2 sticks of butter (1 cup) softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla 
  • 2 cups flour 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 10 snack sized Hershey's Candy Corn Bars broken into squares (about a cup total)
  •  1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 12 full Graham crackers broken in half
 1.) Cream together butter and brown sugar.

2.) Beat in eggs and vanilla.

3.) Stir (do not beat!) in the rest of the ingredients.

4.) On a lined baking sheet, place halves of graham crackers about an inch apart.

5.) Place a ball/scoop of dough in the center of each graham cracker. I used my OXO Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop.

6.) Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Don't do more than that even if they don't look done. The crackers will burn and break. The dough might still look "wet" but it look perfect once they cool.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Curry Chicken Salad {#TEArifficPairs}

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser #TEArifficPairs .

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With the weather in South Florida always being warm enough to sit outside and enjoy a glass of iced tea, we often try to take advantage of it and enjoy our weekend lunches on the back porch. There is something so refreshing about eating a light meal outside on a Saturday while sipping a glass of cold iced tea. With the oppressively hot summer evenings coming to an end (here's hoping!), I know we will be eating many of our meals outdoors and so I have been trying out new recipes for use to pair with our iced tea.

This recipe was born out of my mom's famous chicken salad recipe. Whenever she hosts luncheons or showers she is always asked to make this. Everyone loves it and I have even seen a few "ladies who lunch" scraping the bottom of the bowl to make sure they get every last bite. While I enjoy my mom's original recipe, you should all know by now that I am a very weird eater so I made a few changes. But don't worry, I will include my mom's original ingredients in the recipe below in case you are a normal person who isn't freaked out by golden raisins.

This Curry Chicken Salad goes perfectly on croissants paired with a side salad for a light afternoon lunch with friends or it can be served with crackers for a heavy appetizer to enjoy on the back porch while sharing a glass of iced tea with a few other couples. The apples and chutney give it a slight sweetness and Hellmann's Mayonnaise makes it so creamy and smooth.

When the weather is nice I always try to keep a pitcher of Lipton Iced Tea in the fridge for Justin and I to enjoy with our lunch or dinner and these Curry Chicken Salad Sandwiches are the perfect little treat to pair with it. I make sure that when I am at Walmart I grab a box of the Lipton family sized tea bags as well as a big jar of Hellmann's so I am never out of them when I want to whip up an easy weekend lunch. While shopping last week, I saw Hellmann's Balsamic Mayonnaise and now I am dying to try and create a new chicken salad recipe using it. Stay tuned!

Looking for some meal pairing ideas to go with your iced tea and other favorite Lipton tea varieties? Check out Lipton's tea pairing page or visit the #TEAriffic Pinterest board.

Curry Chicken Salad  serves 4+
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
  • 1 cup Hellmann's Mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 cup mango chutney
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced granny smith apple (about half the apple cut up)
  • 1/4 cup diced green onions
  • the zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • a few springs of fresh parsley or 3/4 tablespoon dried parsley 
  • optional: 1/2 cup golden raisins and/or 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1.) Combine all of the ingredients except the chicken together in a large mixing bowl. Stir together until well combined.

2.) Add in shredded chicken and toss in the mixture until all of the chicken is completely coated in the sauce.

3.) Refrigerate for an hour before serving on croissants, sandwich bread, with crackers or on top of a salad.

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