Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Peppermint Pattie Cupcakes

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Tell me those don't look amazing? These Peppermint Pattie Stuffed Cupcakes are out of this world good. I love York candies so when I saw it stuffed inside a dark chocolate cupcake I knew I had to try it. The recipe is one that I adapted from  Martha Stewart's Cupcakes and my family considers it to be one of their favorite things I bake.

                                     
I made this batch for my Dad's birthday and I think this is the 3rd year in a row he has requested these for both his birthday and Fathers' Day. They look and taste complicated but they really are quite simple to make. You don't even need a mixer; everything is done by hand. The recipe below makes about 24 cupcakes.


I like to dust them with powdered sugar for a pretty presentation and you can top them with all sorts of things (family favorites include a scoop of ice cream or chocolate syrup). The trick is to either serve them warm from the oven or to microwave them for 10-15 seconds before eating so the peppermint pattie is gooey in the middle : )
 
Peppermint Pattie Cupcakes (adapted from Martha Stewart)
  • 24 bite sized peppermint pattie candies (I used York)
  • 16 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
1.) Create your own double boiler (or use a real one if you have it) by placing a heat proof bowl over a pot of boiling water and use it to slowly melt chocolate and butter until completely smooth. I find it goes quicker if the butter is room temp. and is cut up in to smaller pieces.

Make shift double boiler
2.) Pour melted mixture into a larger mixing bowl and whisk in the sugar and the salt.

3.) Whisk in the eggs to combine. Mixture might be a little grainy but that is ok, it has never seemed to affect the consistency of the final product.


4.) Gently whisk in flour and cocoa until smooth. Don't over mix.

5.) Line a muffin/cupcake tin and put one tablespoon of the batter into the bottom of each liner.


6.) Press a peppermint pattie into the batter.


7.) Top with 1-2 more tablespoons of batter. I just use whatever will completely cover the pattie.



8.) Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Top of cupcakes should be firm to the touch. I always err on the side of a little undercooked since I like mine kinda gooey : )



Make sure you let them cool for a bit before eating since the insides of the peppermint pattie can be dangerously hot. Enjoy!



Happy Leap Day & End Of The Month Reminder!

Happy Leap Day! March is right around the corner so don't forget to print out any coupons you may be waiting to print. 
I am excited for March because it means spring break, but it is also "frozen food month" so you should find some great deals and sales this month on frozen meals, snacks, pizza, veggies and lots more. 


Remember that the first of the month means that lots of coupons will disappear, some will reset (yay!) and we will also see lots of new ones.


Here are the sites that I use on a regular basis. There are lots of new ones this weekend too so enjoy those while you're at it!


Coupons.com


SmartSource.com


Target.com


CouponNetwork.com


RedPlum.com


Pilsbury.com


BettyCrocker.com


CampbellsKitchen.com

Publix Ad & Match Ups 3/1

It's a pretty decent week at Publix this week. The upcoming sale has some good deals and BOGO's and the current Yellow Advantage flyer has tons of new Publix store coupons and sales. March is frozen food month so expect lots of deals on frozen entrees, veggies, snacks and more. 


I am excited to see Goldfish go BOGO again this week as well as super cheap Stouffer's entrees ($2), cheap Dannon yogurt and FREE (or even moneymakers with the right coupons) Kraft products like Cooking Creme, Fresh Take Breadcrumb mixes, and Milk Bite granola bars. 


The links below are the match ups I use to plan my shopping trips. The first link also includes sales and match ups for the current Green & Yellow advantage flyers (found in stores). They both have some great deals going on right now so you will definitely want to check them out. 


Publix Ad & Match Ups #1 3/1


Publix Ad & Match Ups #2 3/1


Comment with questions or if you find any great deals that aren't listed!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Great Deals On Enjoy The City Books: Less Than $6 Each!

Enjoy the City has a great deal today and tomorrow only. You can get five (5) coupon booklets for a total of $29 using the promo code LEAP. This also includes free shipping. These books have great coupons and lots of them (at least the FL ones) have four $5/$30 Winn Dixie coupons (accepted at most Publix's) in the front which means the book more than pays for itself at this sale price. 


My area's book also has tons of great coupons for Papa Johns (a free medium pizza coupon!), McDonalds, and tons more. You can look through your area's entire booklet before you buy to see if the deals are worth it to you. 


These can also make a great gift too : ) 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Double Cash Back On 123InkJets.com Through Ebates


Ebates is offering double cash back on all orders from 123InkJets.com today. It looks like you can get 32% cash back on your ink purchases from them through Ebates today. This would be a great way to save a little money or actually earn a little back on your ink for all that coupon printing : ) 

Plan My Menu Monday With Recipe/Menu Link Up 2/27


Good morning and happy Monday! Spring Break is only two weeks away for my students so I am pretty excited about that : ) 

This should be a relatively low key week menu wise since Justin is working a few of the week nights and we are celebrating my dad's birthday dinner one night too. We are having a few couples over for dinner this week so I am excited to plan a menu for that. There will also be some birthday treats for my dad as well too. 

Be sure to link up your menu plans for the week or a recipe to help/inspire me to plan future menus below. 

What we will be making in our house this week:
Baked Brie Bites for our dinner party : ) 
Baked Italian Cheese and Sundried Tomatoes Pasta Bake (from the freezer)
My Mom's Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie
Peppermint Pattie Cupcakes

What are you making this week? Do you have a great recipe you have made lately that you want to share? Please link up to your post of this week's menu or to a post of something you have recently made. I would love to have some new ideas for stuff to spice up our menus. 



Saturday, February 25, 2012

Publix Gift Card Winner!

Congrats to elkaye (comment #32 as picked by random.org) on winning the $25 Publix gift card!


Please check your email and respond with a mailing address : )

Disclosure:  The Publix gift card, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Today's Publix Trip & Weekly Totals Link Up 2/23


The only place I shopped this week was Publix. I had a $5/$30 Publix coupon from last week's Viva Italia flyer and a $5/$50 Albertson's coupon from yesterday's paper plus a $25 Publix gift card. My total before coupons (but after sale prices and BOGO's) was $81 so I was just barely able to use both coupons together. After my gift card and coupons, I only paid $8.98 for all our groceries this week so we will get to put plenty of extra money from our grocery budget cash into our short term saving envelope (for our spring break cruise!).

There were lots of good sales I didn't take advantage of this week since we are really well stocked on pastas, tomatoes, soups, sauces and meats. 

Also, be sure to check back Monday for a menu plan/recipe link up!

Here is the breakdown of today's trip:
Total retail value: $113.52
Total spent out of pocket after coupons and gift card: $8.98
Total saved: $102.99
Percent saved: 91%

Here is what I got with sale/coupon match ups:
  • 4 bottles of Sundown Naturals Folic Acid, retails for $3.79 each
    • Used four $3 off coupons from the Publix Green Advantage Flyer
    • Stacked with four $2 off coupons from a newspaper insert
    • Made them all FREE plus $1.20 each in overage
  • 2 boxes of Kashi granola bars, retails for $4.05 each, on sale for $2.99
  • 2 boxes of Pepperidge Farms Garlic Toast, retails for $2.89 each, on sale BOGO ($1.44 each)
    • Used two .50 cents off coupons from Facebook
    • Made them .94 cents each
  • 2 cans of Planter's Peanuts, retails for $4.09 each, on sale BOGO ($2.05 each)
    • Used a $1.50/2 coupon from the 1/29 SS
    • Stacked with a $1/2 Target.com coupon
    • Made them .80 cents each
  • 4 ThinkThin granola bars, retails for $1.66, on sale for $1.25
    • Used four $1 off coupons from the manufacturer's website
    • Made them .25 cents each
  • 4 bags of Pretzel M&M's (love having these on hand for baking), retails for $5.37, on sale BOGO ($2.68)
    • Used four $1 off printables from coupons.com
    • Made them $1.68 each
  • 2 packages of Nasoya Wanton Wrappers, retails for $2.29 each
    • Used two .75 cents off coupons from the 1/29 RP
    • Made them $1.54 each
  • 2 bags of Fresh Express salad, retails for $3.99 each
    • on sale BOGO, made them $1.99 each
  • 2 tubs of DiGiorno grated cheese, retails for $4.79
    • On sale BOGO, made them $2.39 each
  • 2 packages of Publix Butter, retails for $4.05
    • On sale for $3.00 each
  • Asparagus, on sale for $2.49 a pound
    • Saved $1.69 on a $2.69 package
  • 1 bag of Doritos, retails for $4.29
    • On sale for $2.50
  • Large Publix Sour Cream, $2.59 (ended up being cheaper than the brands I had coupons for)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning, $1.09 
  • 5 pound bag of potatoes, $4.09 (no good sales on the kind I need...)

How did you do this week? Link up to your weekly totals, shopping trips or savings totals for this week. I love seeing how well every one did and getting great ideas and inspiration from the deals you all got! 

Please link directly to your post. No homepages please : ) It would be great if you could mention that you are linked up here and encourage your readers to do the same. 


Quinoa Mac & Cheese


We have been trying to experiment with quinoa at our house. We received a bag of it for free in an amazing Bob's Red Mill sampler promotion this summer and I have been trying to find ways to prepare it that we like. We experimented with a few different things and then I saw this recipe on Monica's Fitness and I knew we had to try it. If I can find a way to incorporate a health food into something like mac & cheese, that would be quite a success.

As I was making the recipe I was a little skeptical about how it would turn out. I made a few changes to the original recipe (when don't I?) and I was totally afraid it was too liquidy going into the oven. But I think the extra liquid allowed it to stay nice and moist even after baking. 

We had it for dinner with a salad and Honey Cornbread. Justin topped his with a little salsa and we heated it up for lunch the next day too. Justin even tried it for breakfast with a fried egg on top. All in all, we loved it and will be making it again for sure. 

Quinoa Mac & Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (or you could use red peppers)
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk ( I used low-fat)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese (I used reduced fat), more for topping if you like
  • Panko Bread crumbs for topping
1.)  Heat 2 tsp of oil in med. saucepan over med. heat. Add tomatoes (or any veggies you want); cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in quinoa and garlic, and cook, uncovered, 3-4 mins. (quinoa won't be fully cooked yet, it's ok.)


2.)  Add 3 cups water and season with salt and/or seasoning salt ( I used Lawry's). Cover and reduce heat to med-low and simmer 5-10 more minutes, or until most liquid has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and let stand 5 minutes.
Right after the water was poured in

After I had finished step 2
3.) Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 13x9 inch dish with cooking spray. Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture and cheese. Combine well.  Pour into baking dish and top with panko and I used a little extra cheese for topping too.


4.) Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until top and edges start to brown.



Enjoy!

Weekly Totals Link Up Feature 2/23

Hopefully many of you visited last week's Weekly Totals Link Up. I post every week about my weekly couponing shopping trips and I also invite others to link up their totals so we can all see what kinds of great deals everyone has been getting. 


Out of the 30 link ups last week the most viewed was


Couponaholic's!


Be sure to check back later tonight to view this week's post and link up all your great savings trips from this week too!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

S'more Krispy Treats


Who doesn't love homemade rice krispy treats? I know I do. And if you follow me on Pinterest you might also know that I have a slight S'more obsession too. (Check out my S'more Cookies if you haven't already) I blame my friend Ashley who is certifiably obsessed with s'mores and makes amazing s'more treats all the time. I may even have to have her do a s'more themed guest post once she gets done with her very intensive school internships.

That being said, when I saw these on Pinterest (via Chef In Training) I knew I would be making them really soon. Like less than 24 hours after first seeing them soon. They did not let me down.


I had to force myself not to just go ahead and cut out that middle piece with all the marshmallow

They are as basic in concept and ingredients as the original rice krispy treats but with a mix of flavors that is anything but basic. They were easy to make except for that one and a half minute of stress and panic when  you combine the cereal with the marshmallow mixture and you're not quite sure if it will ever coat the cereal evenly. But other than that, it was cake.

S'more Rice Krispy Treats
  • Regular sized bag of marshmallows
  • Regular sized box of Golden Grahams cereal
  • Bag of any kind of chocolate chips, chunks or pieces ( I went with semi-sweet chips0
  • 1/4 cup butter
1.) In a large sauce pan on medium heat, melt the butter and slowly stir in marshmallows until completely melted and smooth.


2.) Stir in cereal and chocolate chips until evenly coated with marshmallow mixture. I had to transfer mine to a large mixing bowl half way through because my pot wasn't big enough. I like to stir the chips in while the marshmallow is still a little hot because they get a little bit melty and more incorporated in to the whole mixture.

3.) Press mixture firmly into a lightly greased 9x13 pan.


4.) For best results try to let them cool off and firm up before cutting. It's hard, I know.


Enjoy!



Publix Ad & Match Ups 2/23



It's the second week of the Viva Italia sale this week at Publix and the weekly ad and sales definitely reflect that. There are lots of sales and deals on pastas, tomatoes, sauces and other Italian items. There is also a new Buy Theirs, Get Ours Free promo in stores too so check that out and see if the products are things you could use. Don't forget you can use coupons on the name brands too to make the deals even better. 


I have a $5/$30 coupon left over from last week's flyer and a $5/$50 Albertson's coupon from today's paper so I am planning on using at least one of those (I doubt my total before coupons will be $80 to allow me to use both).  


I am excited about BOGO Digiorno grated cheese, BOGO Pepperidge Farms Garlic Toast, $2.50 Publix butter, .49 cents Kashi granola bars, and I know Justin will be happy when I pick him up some BOGO Prosciutto. Aside from that we don't need much besides BOGO salad and milk. We have done a great job eating off our freezer and stockpile this week and I haven't had to make any trips anywhere this week so that makes me happy : ) 


Here are the links/ad match ups I use to plan my weekly Publix trips. Both sites let you create a printable list that also shows what coupons are available so I make my lists and then sit down with my inserts and binder and get everything ready. I love that the lists also show an average retail price and final price after coupons too so I can add up an estimate of what my trip should cost me if I stick to my list. 


Publix Ad With Match Ups 2/23 # 1


Publix Ad With Match Ups 2/23 # 2


Comment with any questions or if you find any great unadvertised deals!

Publix Buy Theirs, Get Ours Free Promo 2/23


Starting with this week's Publix sale there is a new Buy Theirs, Get Ours Free promotion. If you buy the items below you will get the Publix version for free. Remember you can only each free item once per shopping trip. 

The items are:
Pop Tarts
Fiber One Cereal 
Cocoa Puffs Cereal 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kashi Granola Bars & Cereal For .99 cents Or Less



Starting this Wednesday or Thursday (depending on what state you live in), Publix will have Kashi brand cereals and granola bars on sale for $2.99. Here are two coupons to help you get them for .99 cents or less:


$2 off any Kashi brand product from RecycleBank (complete a few easy tasks to earn the 100 points needed to redeem)


.50/2 Kashi products printable from Target.com (you can stack this with the man. coupon from RecycleBank if your Publix considers Target a competitor.)


I am pretty stocked on Kashi cereal and cereal in general but we just finished our last box of Kashi granola bars this week. We haven't bought them since Target had a great sale this fall so it is time to stock up again : )

S'more Cookies Featured Again!

Stop on by Chef In Training to see my S'more Cookies featured in the Tuesday Talent Show link up!

 



Monday, February 20, 2012

Meal Plan Monday & Menu/Recipe Link Up 2/20


Happy Monday! Hopefully you are getting to enjoy a day off of work/school. I know that I am loving being home today : )

Last week's new recipes were an amazing success and I can't wait to finish posting about them this week. Our Valentine's Day tapas style dinner turned out perfectly and we will definitely be serving the Baked Brie Pecan Bites at our next party. The Quinoa Mac & Cheese was the dish I was most apprehensive about and Justin and I were both amazed at how much we really liked it and we can't wait to make it again. (look for the post on that soon).

Our fridge, pantry and freezer are very well stocked this week due to some great shopping trips last week so I am excited to have plenty of stuff to cook/bake with this week.

Here is what I am hoping to make this week:

Pasta with Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce (using our fresh pasta) with salad and garlic bread
Taco Pie (using the ground beef I stocked up on)
WW Honey Crunch Chicken with Veggies and Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes
Giada's Springtime Pasta (never got made last week)
Salted Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

What are you making this week? Link up below to your meal plans/menus for the week or link up a recipe you recently tried. I am always look for inspiration! Please link up directly to your post and not to your home page. I would be great if you would link back to this post/site and please encourage your readers to do the same : )

Tippr: $20 To Overstock.com for $10


For today only, Tippr has a $20 credit to Overstock.com for $10.

Overstock.com is a discount website that features all kinds of items for rock bottom prices. A daily deal on credit to a discount site? What is better than that?

Friday, February 17, 2012


Head on over to A Glimpse Inside to see my S'more Cookie recipe featured! I am so excited to have been picked from the weekly blog link up to be a featured post.

featured button

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Weekly Totals Link Up & Today's Publix Trip 2/16


After the excitement of my mid week shopping trip where I spent less than $2 for $190 worth of groceries including 10 pounds of fresh meat, today's trip wasn't too thrilling. The Viva Italia sale is going on right now with lots of great deals but very little of it appealed to me since we are pretty well stocked on pastas and sauces right now. I did get to use my $5 off coupon from yesterday's paper and stack it with a $5/30 Enjoy the City Winn Dixie coupon so that helped.

Make sure to check out the giveaway link and the weekly totals link up at the bottom of this post : )

Here is today's breakdown:
Total value: $92.19
Total spent: $23.71
Total saved: $68.48
Percent saved: 74%

Here is what I bought with sale and coupon match ups:
  • 2 twelve packs of Diet Coke, retails for $5.11
    • Used two FREE product coupons from MyCokeRewards.com
    • Made them both FREE
  • 2 packs of UP2U gum, retails for $1.39
    • Used two $1 off coupons from the 2/5 SS
    • Stacked with two .55 cents off coupons from Target.com
    • Made them both FREE plus .32 cents total in overage
  • 4 Progresso Bread Crumbs, retails for $1.83 each, BOGO (.91 cents each)
    • Used a $1/4 Publix coupon from in store display
    • Made them .66 cents each
  • 4 cans of Progresso Soup, retails for $2.39 each, BOGO ($1.19 each)
    • Used a $1/4 Publix coupon from in store display
    • Stacked with a $1.00 off coupon from the 2/5 SS
    • Made them .70 cents each
  • 4 bags of Kraft shredded cheese, retails for $3.49 each, BOGO ($1.74 each)
    • Used two $1 off coupons from the Kraft Best Of 2012 recipe book
    • Stacked with two $1 off printable from Target.com
    • Made them .75 cents each
  • 4 cans of Muir Glen organic tomato products, retails for $1.69, on sale for $1.33 each
    • Used two $1/2 Publix coupons from in store display
    • Stacked with two $1.10/2 coupons from BettyCrocker.com
    • Made them .28 cents each
  • 2 bottles of Marie's Yogurt Dressing, retails for $2.89 each, BOGO ($1.45 each)
    • Used two $1 off printable coupons from manufacturer email
    • Made them .45 cents each
  • 2 thinkThin Crunch bars, retails for $1.67
    • Used two $1 off coupons from man. website
    • Made them .67 cents each (should be .25 cents after coupon with next Green Ad. Flyer)
  • Publix 18 count Eggs, retails for $2.85
    • On sale for $2.50
  • 2 packages of Butoni fresh pasta, retails for $2.49
    • On sale BOGO making them $1.25 each
  • Shredded carrots, $1.89
  • Whole Wheat Tortillas, $3.09
  • Fresh Express Salad, retails for $3.99 a bag
    • On sale BOGO, making it $1.98 each
  • Slim Fast Snack Bars and Shake Pack, retails for $3.99 each
    • Used two $1.50 off any Slim Fast product coupons from magazines
    • Stacked with two .75 cents of Target.com printables
    • Made them $1.74 each
Make sure you check out the $25 Publix Gift Card Giveaway while you are here!





Baked Brown Sugar Pecan & Brie Bites



How perfect is that?

I love brie in puff pastry. It is one of my signature appetizers to serve at parties at our house. When it comes out of the oven our friends and family decent upon it like hungry vultures. They can devour a large wheel of brie en croute faster than you can ever imagine.

This does however pose some problems. First of all, the serving plate is only so big. There is a limited amount of space for people to gather around it fighting for melted cheese. Second, it can be difficult with a large puff pastry to get the right ratio of pastry to brie to filling. Third, it can get messy. Cheese and filling end up everywhere and peoples hands leave sticky marks all over.


This little baby solves all those problems. I saw them on Pinterest (via PlainChicken.com) months ago and I finally got around to making them for Justin and I's tapas style Valentine's dinner this week. I based mine on the original recipe just using what I had on had (I did not buy phyllo mini tarts as suggested, I just made my own from the scraps of phyllo dough I had in the fridge left over from Lightened Up Chicken Pot Pie).


I left the pecans out of this one to see which I liked better. Pecans won.

They were exactly as I imagined them: the perfect ratio of cheese to phyllo to sweet filling. They were surprisingly easy and I can imagine that you could make all kinds of adaptations of them.

Baked Brown Sugar Pecan & Brie Bites
  • Phyllo dough sheets or pre packages mini tarts
  • Brie, cubed into half inch pieces
  • Pecans
  • Brown Sugar
  • Honey (I used local, wild flower honey and it was amazing)
1.) Lightly spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray.

2.) Cut phyllo dough into 1 1/2 inch squares. (I used a pastry cutter). You could also use the pre made tarts.



3.) I used about 4-5 layers of dough for each tart and pressed it into the muffin tin. Lightly spray the dough with cooking spray so it doesn't burn.

Please excuse the excess of cooking spray on the tin.
4.) Place a cube of brie in each piece of dough. 



5.) Top each one with 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon pecans and a little drop of honey.



6.) Bake at 375 degrees until cheese is melted and dough is golden brown.



7.) Let them cool for a few minutes before removing them from the pan. I used a spoon to help me lift them out without breaking the shells.



8.) Watch them disappear! Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Publix Ad & Match Ups 2/16


The Viva Italia sale starts this week at Publix so keep a look out for in store coupon displays and great deals on pastas, cheese, tomato products and more. You can also print a few coupons out here

This week's ad doesn't particularly thrill me but it is probably because we are very well stocked on most things.

I will probably get some shredded cheese, bread crumbs, BOGO salad and a few fresh items like milk and eggs and call it a week. We will be very well stocked on meat for awhile due to my amazing shopping trip yesterday : ) 

Here are the links I use to plan my shopping trips each week. They match up the sales with the available coupons. Don't worry if you don't have all the coupons, there are still lots of great deals even if you don't have them all. 



What are you favorite sales this upcoming ad?

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