Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Olive Garden's Chicken & Gnocchi Soup



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Last Friday we enjoyed a little visit from the outer bands of Hurricane Sandy. Thank God we only had heavy rains and gusty winds and no real damage here in South Florida. Our thoughts and prayers are with those in the Northeast who weren't so fortunate.

The only upside of a late season storm in Florida is the amazingly cool weather that usually follows in its path. Over the weekend and earlier this week we had temperatures drop into the low 50's and even a few nights in the high 40's. Stormy nights followed by chilly weather had me in the mood for soup.


It is so rare that it is cool enough to really enjoy a big bowl of soup that I knew I would have to take advantage of it so earlier this week I finally decided to try CopyKat's version of Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi Soup.

I pinned this recipe almost a year ago and I just assumed it would be difficult to make. This is my soup of choice for the Olive Garden "Soup, Salad & Breadstick" meal and the idea of being able to make it at home intrigued me. I am so mad at myself for taking so long to actually make it.

Our homemade version of soup, salad and breadsticks: All from scratch!
This soup blew Olive Garden's out of the water. (Not to toot my own horn or anything...) It was so flavorful, so savory and just the perfect combo of ingredients. I love that the soup wasn't too salty and that we could control the sodium by using low sodium chicken broth. My biggest complaint about eating at Olive Garden is that even though it is sooo good it is a little bit salty for my taste. Problem solved!

The recipe actually made so much that we each had a bowl (or two), I brought a good sized tupperware to work and we had a huge tupperware that we froze for another day. Full of shredded chicken, gnocchi, carrots and spinach, this soup was super filling and made for the perfect hardy dinner on a chilly night. I paired it with a spinach salad and homemade whole wheat baguettes from the freezer and it was almost like we were at Olive Garden : )


Olive Garden's Chicken & Gnocchi Soup adapted from CopyKat
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups of milk (we used 2%)
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2-3 cups of low sodium chicken broth depending on how thick you like your soup
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1-2 cups of shredded chicken, I just used a bag of frozen precooked, shredded chicken we had on hand
  • 1 package gnocchi, cooked or the equivalent homemade
  • handful of spinach leafs, ribboned
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley
1.) Heat the butter and olive oil in a large soup pot. Saute the onion, celery and garlic in the oil and butter until tender.

2.) Stir in the flour and cook for a minute before adding in the milk. Add the carrots and chicken and let the mixture simmer until it starts to thicken.

3.) While it is simmering, cook the gnocchi according to the directions on the package. Strain and set aside.

4.) Once mixture is thickend, add chicken broth to reach desired consistency.Once mixture tightens up again, add the gnocchi, spinach and seasoning. Simmer until fully heated through.

5.) Serve with your own version of salad and bread sticks and enjoy the tastes of Olive Garden right in your own home!

Get nutritional info by clicking the MAGIC button below!




Make sure you stop by this week's Mealtime Monday and link up any amazing recipes you have been working on lately.


***Depending on the day this post may be linked up to any of these fabulous linky parties.***

Do you host a weekly party? If so, make sure to visit my party page and add yours so we all can join in the fun!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Saved 76% On A Quick Publix Trip

$15 for $65 Worth
After being out of town last week and not getting to shop the current Publix sale on Thursday, I decided to swing by Publix on Sunday afternoon and grab a few of the super deals. We are trying to keep our weekly spending low for the next few weeks since we are eating from the stockpile/freezers to make room for holiday sale couponing. We are also trying to save our surplus grocery budget cash to put towards a new, fancy camera we are planning on buying on Black Friday.

This trip was amazing because I got tons of FREE gum, really cheap lip balm, organic salad, veggies and more for only $15. I was able to use a few store coupons, a few man. coupons and a $5 off Winn Dixie coupon to help me save almost $50!

I am planning a relatively low total Publix trip on Thursday so make sure you stop by and check out my deals from the upcoming ad and link up your weekly saving posts too!

Breakdown of Sunday's Publix trip:
Total retail value: $64.87
Total spent: $15.26
Total saved: $49.61
Percent saved: 76%

What I got with sale/coupon match ups:
  • 10 packages of Stride ID gum, retails for $1.49 each, on sale BOGO (.74 cents each)
    • Used five BOGO free coupons from the 9/16 SS
    • Made them ALL FREE
  •  6 Nivea Shimmer Lip Balms, retails $2.99 each, on sale for $2.00 each
    • Used three $3/2 coupons from the 10/21 RP
    • Made them .50 cents each
  •  10 Vitamin Waters, retails for $1.07, on sale for $1 each
    • Used a $2/10 Publix coupon from the in store Yellow Ad. Flyer
    • Made them .80 cents each
  •  2 boxes of Cheezits, retails for $4.27 each, on sale BOGO ($2.13 each)
  •  3 bags of Eat Smart Veggies, retails for $2.50 each, on sale for $1.00 a bag
  • 3 Voskos Greek Yogurts, retails for $1.50 each, on sale for $1.00 each
    • Used a $1/3 coupon from the Publix in store Yellow Ad. Flyer
    • Made them .67 cents each
  •  1 bag of Publix Greenwise Organic Romaine Hearts, retails for $3.99, on sale for $2.99
Make sure you stop by Mealtime Monday and check out all the amazing recipes my fellow bloggers have linked up!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Check Out My Revamped Recipe Collections!

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Couponing & Cooking Desserts Gallery!


  

Have you checked out my new Recipe Collections page? I recently revamped it to showcase my recipe posts better. You can now search by categories such as Desserts (collection featured above), Sides, Breads, Appetizers, and Main Dishes.

You can scroll through the photos of each recipe and click through for the post and details. Hopefully this reorganization will make it easier for you,my lovely readers, to find your favorites and discover new ones : )

Like what you see? Suggestions? See anything you would like me to change? I really love hearing your opinions!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mealtime Monday Recipe Link Up & Features {#28}

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What a week! I spent the first half of the week having WAY too much fun at Online BlogCon. I had never attended a blog conference of any kind so getting to spend the week connecting to other bloggers and learning tons of new stuff all from the comfort of my house and on my schedule was amazing. The networking alone blew me away. I am so sorry that I didn't get to visit as many links as usual this week but I am so excited about all the suggestions and changes I am hoping to implement in the next few weeks and months. 

 My week continued to stay excited because on Thursday and Friday we got some fun weather from Hurricane Sandy and Thursday night I also made the trek north to Jacksonville to attend an Advanced Placement Macroeconomics workshop on Friday day.

You all continue to amaze me with your yummy looking links and I am going to be tweaking this link party a little based on some of the suggestions made from the Online BlogCon community. I plan on featuring more posts each week as will as featuring them on my Facebook as well as my Pinterest board. I am also going to have the links appear in random order so that everyone gets a chance to be the top post : ) 

This week's most clicked on link were these amazing looking Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cups from High Heels and Grills. I have also seen this recipe in a Pillsbury cookbook and have always wanted to make them. Now I clearly have too!


Now for some of my personal favorites!










Thank you all for linking up! I love having lots of new menu ideas to add to our weekly rotations. I would love for you to spread this word about this link up by grabbing a button or by linking back. The more the merrier!



You can also check out my Pinterest board for Mealtime Monday Features where I will be pinning the original links to the items featured here each week as well as my Facebook page which will have even more features too!



If you were featured you can feel free to grab a button from my sidebar.


Can't wait to see what you have been up to lately and I love being inspired by all the delicious looking dishes you create.

I will be featuring my favorites next weekend and I will be pinning things to my Pinterest boards  and sharing my personal favorites on my Facebook page too. Make sure you check out my Link Ups page for lots more fun places to link up at too.

As I teacher, I enforce rules all day so I am going to call these my suggestions.

I would love it if:
  • You would link back to this post/blog. You can do so by grabbing my button (upper right hand corner), linking back to this post in your post, or by adding this blog to your list of places you link up to/party at on your Link Parties page. The more people who link up the better it is for all of us : )
  • Please follow this blog through GFC, Linky Friends or Blog Lovin.
  • As an added bonus you can become our Facebook friend too!
  • Please only post directly to your recipe link. No giveaways, etsy shops or anything not family friendly.
  • Please do not link up to posts you have already linked up to before. Also, the recipe needs to be something you made with photos of your own and should give credit where credit is due : )
  • Pretty please visit at least two new blogs and show them some love.
  • Come back next Monday and link up!

Ready, set, make me hungry!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Weekly Totals Link Up: Saved 60% on Veggies & Chicken at Target

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Spent $24 for $60 worth!
Happy Thursday! Later today I will be making my way to Jacksonville for an AP Macroeconomics workshop on Friday. Since I left for Jacksonville right after work today (first day of the new Publix ad in FL), I clearly didn't make it to the store today. I am thinking about skipping Publix all together this week but I could end going over the weekend.

I did run to Target on Monday to grab some cheap veggies, almost free Renuzits, and to take advantage of a gift card deal. I found a great unadvertised sale on Tyson All Natural Frozen Chicken Tenderloins and I also had $1 off coupons to make the deal even better.

Breakdown of Monday's Target trip:
Total retail value: $60.34
Total spent after earning $5 gift card: $24.28
Total saved: $36.06
Percent saved: 60%

What I got with sale/coupon match ups:
  • 4 Renuzit Tempting Indulgences Fragrance Cones, retails for $1.27 each
  •  2 Axe Deodorants, retails for $3.99 each, on sale for $3.49 each
  •   1 Dove Go Sleeveless Deodorant, retails for $3.99, on sale for $3.49
    • Used a $1 off coupon from the 9/30 RP
    • Minus $1.25 from 1/4 of the Unilever promo $5 gift card
    • Made it $1.24
  •  500 count of Q-tips, retails for $4.49, on sale for $3.89
    • Minus $1.25 from the 1/4 of the Unilever promo $5 gift card
    • Made it $2.64
  •  4 bags of Green Giant Seasoned Steamers Frozen Veggies, retails for $2.99, marked down to $2.49, rang up $2.00 each
  •  Two 2.5 pound bags of Tyson All Natural Frozen Chicken Tenderloins, retails for $7.99 each, marked down to $5.99 each
  •  1 roll of Up & Up Tin Foil, retails for $1.89
    • Used a .50 cents off Target coupon
    • Made it .89 cents
  •  1 half gallon of Silk Almond Milk, retails for $2.99
    • Used a $2 off coupon from the man. website program
    • Made it .99 cents
  •  2 packages of Quaker Cereal Pouches, retails for $2.99 each
    • Used a $1/2 coupon from the Oct. All You 
    • Made them $2.49 each
 
How did you do this week? Inspire me (and everyone else) with your amazing savings and deals this week. Please link up directly to your specific post. Do not link up to your blog's home page, giveaways, or etsy shops please. You can also "like" Couponing & Cooking on Facebook too! I would love it if you would link back to this post or grab my button from the sidebar : )
Click below to link up your posts!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Butterfinger Fudge


Do you ever see something online, or on Pinterest and refuse to believe that it is as easy as it looks/other bloggers say it is? That was me with Homemade Butterfingers.

I love Butterfingers in that weird kind of way where you really like them but you forget that you like them until you have one. You know? I would never buy one or think about eating one unless there happens to be a bite sized or mini one in front of me and then it's like "where have these been for the last 3 months?" I mean have you checked out my Butterfingers Cake?


When I joined Pinterest a year or so ago, I kept seeing all these pins for Homemade Butterfingers. People would have the pictures captioned with things like "so easy!" and "only three ingredients!" but in my head I was like "YEAH RIGHT!".

I have a fear of melting things. I constantly worried that I will burn the chocolate or the mixture being heated. I am also terrible at dipping things in chocolate and making them look pretty. It seems like such a simple thing but honestly, every time I try to make something that is dipped in chocolate it kinda ends up looking like, well, poop. Sorry about that overshare but I it really does : )

So all these amazing, talented, chocolate dipping savvy food bloggers kept making posts about turning candy corn and peanut butter into Butterfingers and I kept doubting them. But as bags of candy corn started making their way onto store shelves and displays for Halloween, I could no longer resist temptation. I just couldn't bring myself to make the real version where you dip the Butterfinger mixture into chocolate so I took a different route and went with fudge. Just pouring, no dipping.


I made this fudge for a family football game watch and while it was on the counter warming up from being in the freezer to set my family slowly started hacking away at. It was basically frozen solid yet they were sneaking up on it with a butcher knife and slicing off what they refer to as "snigglets" and thinking that I wouldn't notice.

It's a miracle that there was even anything left photograph. I even got jealous text messages from my mom about how my aunt supposedly got to take home a bigger piece than she did. And if you know my family, you know that we don't mess around when it comes to dessert. So next time I will use a ruler when measuring out my family's take home fudge portions.


Butterfinger Fudge

For the fudge:
24 oz. of semisweet chocolate, chopped or in chip form
8 oz. of cream cheese softened
4 tablespoons of milk
3 cups of powered sugar
1/2 tsp of vanilla

For the butterfingers mixture:
16oz. of creamy peanut butter
1 pound (16oz.) of candy corn

1.) Foil and grease a  9x13 pan. Let me preface this recipe by saying it was a little nerve racking since you basically have to make your fudge and the butterfinger mixture at the same time. I had two pots going on the stove at the same time and I also enlisted the help of my lucky sous chef, Justin.

2.) In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. While this is starting to melt, beat together the other ingredients used in making the fudge. Once the chocolate is completely melted you will need to beat that into the rest of the ingredients until fully incorporated.
 
3.) Melt candy corn in a sauce pot on medium-low heat. Once candy corn turns to a liquid like goo, lower heat and mix in the peanut butter. Make sure to fully mix the peanut butter into the candy corn mixture or you will end up with some very bright orange sections.
4.) This is where it gets tricky. You should try to have your fudge and your butterfinger mixture done around the same time because if either cools too much it can become stiff, grainy and hard to work with. Pour a layer of fudge in the pan and spread evenly.

5.) Pour all of the butterfinger mixture on top of the bottom fudge layer and smooth out completely over the chocolate. Top with the rest of the fudge and smooth out. I topped part of mine with left over candy corn for texture and fun.


6.) Cool in the fridge or freezer before cutting into squares and serving. Any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. But if your family is anything like mine, you won't have to deal with any storage issues. 

Make sure you stop by this week's Mealtime Monday and link up any amazing recipes you have been working on lately.


***Depending on the day this post may be linked up to any of these fabulous linky parties.***

Do you host a weekly party? If so, make sure to visit my party page and add yours so we all can join in the fun!

Money Saving Mom's 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life- Book Review


Are you familiar with Crystal Paine from Money Saving Mom? If you are then you know that not only does she offer real life advice on saving money and living frugally but she also inspires her readers to live simplified, organized and purposeful lives.

In November of last year, Crystal did a blog series called 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life. The idea behind the series was that Crystal would spend 21 days intentionally focusing on discipline in her life and blog about her experience. She would be focusing on things she wanted to accomplish in her daily life and be breaking them down in to manageable steps. She also gave day by day directives on how to follow along in her endeavor as well as practical advice on how to achieve your goals.

I loved this series and even though I read along faithfully and desperately needed to do the challenge along with her, I just couldn't find the time or the will power to do it. Excuses, excuses, I know. Clearly I needed to take the 21 day challenge so I could actually accomplish my goals.

That is why I am so excited that Crystal decided to rework that blog series and turn it into an easy to read and follow along with ebook. 

I was given the opportunity to read and review 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life and I am so thankful for the opportunity. I was originally concerned that I wouldn't get much out of the book since I had already read the posts and am an active reader of Money Saving Mom. What I found couldn't have been further from the truth.

21 Days To A More Disciplined Life was an easy read, yet while I was able to read through it in two nights I know that I will now need to go through it again and follow the clearly laid out, daily plan for creating discipline in my life and accomplishing my goals. I like that I can have the entire plan at my fingertips to follow and I don't need to go back through a long lists of blog posts to follow along at my own pace.

A few things stuck out to me from reading the book. I won't give away too many details since you need to read the book for yourself : )

  • Being disciplined and organized is a choice
  • You need be clear in what your goals are, prioritize them, and hold yourself accountable
  • Break your goals into "bite sized pieces" so that you don't get overwhelmed
  • Don't say you will try, say you will!
  • "Quick" fixes that can start your day off on the right tone and make a big difference in how you live your life
  • Links to and included printable worksheets to help you chart and reach your goals
  • Tons of helpful hints, suggestions, and honest encouragement on ways to accomplish your goals and achieve discipline in your daily life. 
The best part? From now through Thursday, October 26th, you can get a copy of 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life for just .99 cents! And to make the deal even sweeter, for the next three days Crystal is also offering free downloadable calender pages and planner pages to help you on your journey. Make sure you visit HERE and order your ebook today!


Have you already bought and read 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

I did received this book for review and I am an affiliate for this book.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Enjoy The City Giveaway Winners!


The winners of the Enjoy The City Ultimate Florida edition giveaway are Laura (laurasu82) and Lisa W (akawestblog)!

Please email me your preferred mailing address so I can get your book to you! 

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mealtime Monday Recipe Link Up & Features {#27}

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Hello! I hope you had an amazing weekend! We had a great time watching the Notre Dame game with family and friends at our house yesterday and we spent today relaxing and eating left overs : )

I am so excited about the start of Online BlogCon tomorrow! I have never attended a Blog Conference of any kind before so the idea of enjoying one from the comfort of my own home is pretty fun. I spent the last week networking on the Facebook group and I have already met so many amazing bloggers and I spent WAY to much time visiting new blogs last week. A big shout out and a thank you to the Co-Creators Dorothy and Ashton for all the fun.

On to the party! I cannot believe all the fantastic links last week and all the love that you all showed your fellow linkers. We are slowly inching our way towards 100 link ups so thank you, thank you for all your help spreading the word!

Last week's most clicked link were these delicious looking Take 5 Copycat Bars from Sweet Little Bluebird.


 These BBQ Nachos from This Gal Cooks would have been the perfect food to serve during our football party yesterday. She even makes her own nacho cheese sauce!

 

How ridiculous does this Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Pie from Inside BruCrew Life look? I may have to make that for Thanksgiving or even sooner...

 

Thank you all for linking up! I love having lots of new menu ideas to add to our weekly rotations. I would love for you to spread this word about this link up by grabbing a button or by linking back. The more the merrier!



You can also check out my Pinterest board for Mealtime Monday Features where I will be pinning the original links to the items featured here each week.

If you were featured you can feel free to grab a button from my sidebar.

Can't wait to see what you have been up to lately and I love being inspired by all the delicious looking dishes you create.

I will be featuring my favorites next weekend and I will be pinning things to my Pinterest boards too. Make sure you check out my Link Ups page for lots more fun places to link up at too.

As I teacher, I enforce rules all day so I am going to call these my suggestions.

I would love it if:
  • You would link back to this post/blog. You can do so by grabbing my button (upper right hand corner), linking back to this post in your post, or by adding this blog to your list of places you link up to/party at on your Link Parties page. The more people who link up the better it is for all of us : )
  • Please follow this blog through GFC, Linky Friends or Blog Lovin.
  • As an added bonus you can now become our Facebook fan too!
  • Please only post directly to your recipe link. No giveaways, etsy shops or anything not family friendly.
  • Please do not link up to posts you have already linked up to before. Also, the recipe needs to be something you made with photos of your own and should give credit where credit is due : )
  • Pretty please visit at least two new blogs and show them some love.
  • Come back next Monday and link up!

Show me what you got!
 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Enjoy The City Ultimate Florida Edition Giveaway

 

Don't forget to enter before the giveaway ends at midnight tonight!

Many of you may be familiar with Enjoy The City coupon books.  Not only do they have amazing money saving coupons for local attractions and restaurants but the best part is that many of the Florida books have four $5/$30 Winn Dixie coupons in them.

Many Publix stores accept Winn Dixie coupons as a competitor and these coupons can be a great way to save money on top of using coupons and shopping the sale cycles.

Enjoy the City booklets normally sell for $20 each but today you have a chance to get one for free! From now until Friday 10/19, I am giving two Couponing & Cooking readers the chance to win a Florida Ultimate edition booklet from Enjoy the City. These booklets each have four $5/$30 Winn Dixie coupon and tons more coupons and discounts. You can check out all these books have to offer by visiting HERE.

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Giveaway is open until midnight Friday, October 19th. This contest is not sponsored by or affiliated with Enjoy The City in any way.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Weekly Totals Link Up: Saved 62% On Fresh Produce and Halloween Candy

Spent $50 for $132 worth
I loved my shopping list for this week's regular Publix trip. Everything on my list was either really healthy or really not : ) We didn't need eggs, milk or much meat this week so I decided to stock up on fresh produce and buy all of our Halloween candy. 

There were some great deals as well as some decent prices on non-coupon items so after splitting my trip into two transaction so I could use two $5/$30 Enjoy The City Winn Dixie coupons I was able to get everything for under $50. This included some organic items, lots of veggies, 2 pounds of chicken and TONS of candy.

Don't forget to enter my Enjoy The City Booklet giveaway before it ends tomorrow!

Breakdown of today's Publix trip:
Total retail value: $131.75
Total spent: $49.45
Total saved: $82.30
Percent saved: 62%

What I got with sale/coupon match ups:
  • 2 packages of Nestle Toll House Ultimates Cookie Dough, retails for $3.59 each, on sale BOGO ($1.79 each)
    • Used two $1.50 off Facebook coupons (or you could use the .75 off from the 10/7 RP)
    • Made them .29 cents each
  •  2 Quaker Oatmeal Old Fashion Oats, retails for $2.93 each, on sale BOGO ($1.46 each)
    • Used a $1/2 coupon from the 9/30 Moments To Save insert
    • Made them .94 cents each
  •  2 bags of Crunch Pak Apple Slices, retails for $3.29 each, on sale BOGO made them $1.65 each
  • 1 two pound bag of Publix frozen chicken tenderloins, retails for $6.59, on sale for $5
  • 2 bags of Cascadian Farms Organic Frozen Potatoes, retails for $2.99 each
    • Used two .85 cents off coupons
    • Stacked with a $2/2 Publix Yellow Ad. Flyer coupon
    • Made them $1.14 a bag
  •  9 Publix yogurts, retails for .50 cents each, on sale for .40 cents each
  • 1 four pack of Stonyfield Organic Greek Yogurt, retails for $4.69, on sale for $3.50
    • Used a .50 cents off coupon from the man. website
    • Made it $3 for the four pack
  •  2 packages of Nathan's All Beef Hot Dogs, retails for $5.49, on sale BOGO ($2.74 each)
  •  2 Coffeemate Natural Bliss Creamers, retails for $2.50 each, on sale for $1.67
    • Used two $1 off Facebook coupons
    • Made them .67 cents each
  •  2 blocks of Cabot Cheese, retails for $3.59, on sale for $2.50 each
  •  5 pound bag of Russet Potatoes, retails for $4.09, on sale for $2.99
  • 3 pounds of Sweet Onions, retails for $4.04, on sale for $3.10
  • 2 bags of Starbust/Skittles Halloween Candy, retails for $3.29 each, on sale BOGO ($1.65 each)
    • Used a $1/2 coupon from 10/7 RP
    • Made it $1.15 a bag
  •  4 bags of Wonka/Nestle Halloween Candy, $8.99 each, on sale BOGO ($4.49 each)
  •  Celery, $1.79
  •  Big bag of Publix Romaine Hearts, retails for $3.39, on sale for $2.69
  • 1 carton of Grape Tomatoes, retails for $3.09, on sale for $2.00
  • 2 bags of Kraft Caramels, retails for $2.59, on sale BOGO, made them $1.29 each

 How did you do this week? Inspire me (and everyone else) with your amazing savings and deals this week. Please link up directly to your specific post. Do not link up to your blog's home page, giveaways, or etsy shops please. You can now "like" Couponing & Cooking on Facebook too! I would love it if you would link back to this post or grab my button from the sidebar : )

Click below to link up your posts!
 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Saved 55% On A Midweek Publix Trip

Spent $33 for $73 worth
I just couldn't pass up the chance for some more cheap paper products this week and when the $1 off Target Angel Soft coupon came out I knew I would be back to Publix before the sale cycle ended on Wednesday night. I also wanted to grab a few things we needed for a mid week dinner treat of Turkey, Apple & Brie Sandwiches. 

I also grabbed some cheap Chapstick (not free with FL prices), more cheap spinach, and some really cheap Buitoni products.I spent just barely $60 before coupons but after sale prices so I was able to break my trip into two transactions and use two $5/$30 Enjoy the City Winn Dixie coupons.

Breakdown of Tuesday's Publix Trip:
Total retail value: $72.70
Total spent: $33.01
Total saved: $39.69
Percent saved: 55%

What I got with sale and coupon match ups:
  • 4 Chapstick Lip Balms, retails for $1.57 each
    • Used two $1/2 coupons from the 10/7 RP
    • Stacked with two $1/2 Publix Green Ad. Flyer coupons
    • Made them .57 cents each
  • 3 packages of twenty four regular roll count Angel Soft toilet paper, retails for $7.47, on sale for $5.49
  •  1 package of six double roll Sparkle Paper Towels, retails for $7.47, on sale for $5.49
  •  2 big bags of Fresh Express Spinach, retails for $2.79 each, on sale for $2 each
  • Buitoni Pesto, retails for $4.69 and Buitoni Resereva Pasta on sale for $4
    • Used two $1 off coupons from the 10/7 SS
    • Stacked with a $2/2 Buitoni filled pasta, pesto or sauce, excl linguine and fettucine, wyb Fresh Express bagged salad Publix Yellow Ad. Flyer coupon
    •   Made them $2.79 and $2 each
  • 2 bags of Pirates Booty Snacks, retails for $3.29 each, on sale BOGO made them $1.64 each
  • 1 pound of Publix Powdered Sugar, $1.09
  • 1/2 pound of Boars Head thick sliced ovengold turkey breast, retails for $6.05, on sale for $4.79
  • 4 count of Publix Bakery Hoagie Rolls, retails for $2.69 on sale for $2.29
  • Publix Brie Cheese, $4.82
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, $1.53
Make sure you come back tomorrow for my weekly totals post and link up!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Turkey, Apple & Brie Sandwiches


A long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away), Justin and I were living three hours away from each other. We spent our weekends driving back and forth to visit each other and since I was working (more than) full time and he was in paramedic school you can imagine this got pretty old, pretty fast.

There was one weekend where I had just had a terrible week at work and the last thing I wanted to do on Friday night was jump in the car and drive three hours north from West Palm Beach to Orlando. During my drive, I ended up having a melt down of some sort on the phone with Justin about never having a life, blah, blah, blah, whine, whine, whine.


The next day Justin told me to get ready and get in the car because he had a surprise for me.In response to my meltdown he had planned an entire day trip on his own. He informed me that we were heading to Mount Dora for a day of shopping, eating and relaxing. We had an amazing day wandering in and out of antique stores, sipping wine and just being tourists.

When it came time for dinner, Justin personally selected an Icelandic restaurant (yes, they apparently exist) called the Frosty Mug. I don't know if it was the fact that the air conditioning was icy cold on a hot June day or maybe it was the fact that Justin had picked and planned this all on his own. But for whatever reason, that meal has stuck in my head.


I went out on a limb for my conservative eating, twenty three year old self and ordered a roast turkey, brie, apple and dijon mustard panini and it was everything I never knew I was missing. Pair that with perfectly seasoned french fries and an icy cold, fountain diet coke and I was in heaven.

 Over the years of dating and now marriage, Justin and I still recreate this sandwich on weeknights when we need a little treat. It is so simple yet so fulfilling and when I am having a bad day/week, it is exactly what I need.


Turkey, Apple & Brie Oven Roasted Sandwich
  • Thick sliced deli turkey (I used Boar's Head Ovengold)
  • Brie cheese 
  • Thinly sliced Granny Smith Apples
  • Honey Mustard (We use Boar's Head)
  • Fresh bread of your choice
I wouldn't even call this a recipe : )

1.) Spread honey mustard on the bread, layer apple, brie and turkey onto the sandwich.


2.) Bake at 350 degrees or until cheese is melted or use a panini to press the sandwich until cheese is melted.

3. ) Pair with your favorite chips, fruit or salad. and enjoy an amazing dinner!



Make sure you stop by this week's Mealtime Monday and link up any amazing recipes you have been working on lately.


***Depending on the day this post may be linked up to any of these fabulous linky parties.***

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mealtime Monday Recipe Link Up & Features {#26}

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Hello everyone! I hope you had an amazing weekend. We just got home from a quick weekend trip to see friends in Orlando and I am attempting to get organized for the week. Temperatures have finally dropped into the mid 70's here in South Florida so I am finally feeling like it's fall : )

The "cooler" weather has me in the mood to make fall recipes so in addition to your regular link ups this week feel free to also link up any throw back posts you have featuring fall weather meals, treats and snacks. I would love some extra inspiration!

In honor of the upcoming Halloween holiday our most clicked link and all of our features today are candy themed!

The most clicked link was Mom's Test Kitchen's Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn. 

 

If this Candy Corn Cookie Bar from Someone Else's Genius doesn't get you in the Halloween Spirit I don't know what will!


What's Cooking In The Burbs showed us a fun new twist on Seven Layer Bars with her Trick or Treat Monster Cookie Bars.


 My grandmother use to make the most delicious homemade caramels so these Yummy Homemade Caramels from High Heels and Grills were a must feature for me. 


Thank you all for linking up! I love having lots of new menu ideas to add to our weekly rotations. I would love for you to spread this word about this link up by grabbing a button or by linking back. The more the merrier!


You can also check out my Pinterest board for Mealtime Monday Features where I will be pinning the original links to the items featured here each week.

If you were featured you can feel free to grab a button from my sidebar.

Can't wait to see what you have been up to lately and I love being inspired by all the delicious looking dishes you create.

I will be featuring my favorites next weekend and I will be pinning things to my Pinterest boards too. Make sure you check out my Link Ups page for lots more fun places to link up at too.

As I teacher, I enforce rules all day so I am going to call these my suggestions.

I would love it if:
  • You would link back to this post/blog. You can do so by grabbing my button (upper right hand corner), linking back to this post in your post, or by adding this blog to your list of places you link up to/party at on your Link Parties page. The more people who link up the better it is for all of us : )
  • Please follow this blog through GFC, Linky Friends or Blog Lovin.
  • As an added bonus you can now become our Facebook fan too!
  • Please only post directly to your recipe link. No giveaways, etsy shops or anything not family friendly.
  • Please do not link up to posts you have already linked up to before. Also, the recipe needs to be something you made with photos of your own and should give credit where credit is due : )
  • Pretty please visit at least two new blogs and show them some love.
  • Come back next Monday and link up!

Show me what you got!
 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Weekly Totals Link Up: Saved 52% At Publix



There wasn't too much that thrilled me in this week's Publix ad. Since we are very well stocked on pretty much everything thanks to some great/big weeks of shopping, today's trip was most for things we wanted not things we needed. I "only" saved 52% but I am ok with that since I stocked up on cheese, grabbed some paper products and got some impulse buys like candy corn and cute little pumpkins. I was also able to grab meatballs and little smokies for some upcoming football parties.

We are in the process of cleaning out our freezers to make room for the upcoming holiday sales on meat like hams and turkeys. I imagine we will be roasting a lot of whole chickens in the next few weeks which is great because I also shred any left over roasted chicken we end up with and freezing it in individual portions so I can throw it into soup, enchiladas or stir fries as need be.

I didn't shop any where else this week due to a crazy schedule and the fact that we are trying to keep our grocery spending low to make sure we have some reserve grocery cash to take advantage of all the holiday deals that we will start seeing in a few weeks. Last holiday season I was still pretty new to couponing and I hadn't yet switched to our cash spending system so I would occasionally go over my weekly budget without thinking about it. This year I will need to make sure I have plenty of reserve cash on hand so I can stock up on certain things like flour and sugar for the year.

Today's trip was really fun for me because I ended up meeting and talking to a bunch of people about couponing. I love being able to share extra coupons and there really is nothing like a person's face when they first realize the magic that is stacking coupons or using two coupons on a true BOGO item. I think of how much couponing has changed the way I shop and spend money on groceries and household items and if this blog can help just one person discover that I will be a happy person. New to couponing? Check out my Learn How To Coupon tab and Fun Couponing Facts  to get started : )

I was able to hit $80 before coupons so I split into two transactions and used both a $5/$50 Winn Dixie printable coupon and a $5/$30 Enjoy the City Winn Dixie coupon too. Looking for Enjoy The City coupons or booklets? Check out my giveaway of the Florida Ultimate Enjoy the City books which each contain four $5/$30 Winn Dixie coupons accepted by many Publix stores.

Breakdown of today's trip:
Total retail value: $107.95
Total spent: $51.41
Total saved: $56.54
Percent 52%

What I got with sale/coupon match up:
  • 4 bags of Cascadian Farms Organic Veggies, retails for $2.49
  •  2 bags of Armour Meatballs, retails for $4.99 a bag on sale BOGO made them $2.49 a bag
  • 4 bags of Sargento retails for $4.19 on sale for $3.00 each
    • Used two $1  any 1lb or more cheese (FL only)
    • Stacked with two $1.50/2 Publix Make Your Home Italian coupons from the 9/13 RP or in store in a little display near the deli/frozen meat
    • Made them $1.75 each
  •  1 carton of Egg Beaters 100% Natural Egg White, retails for $2.79
    • Used a .55 cents off blinkie coupon in stores
    • Made them $2.24
  •  1 bag of baby carrots, retails for $1.79, on sale for $1.29
  • 6 Dannon Okios Greek Yogurts, retails for $1.25 each
    • Used two .55/3 blinkie coupons from in store
    • Made them $1.06 each
  •  2 Baileys Flavored Coffee Creamers, retails for $2.19 each, on sale for $1.50 each
    • Used two .55 cents off coupons
    • Stacked with two $1 off Publix coupons from the in store Yellow Ad. Flyer
    • Made them both FREE plus .05 cents overage each
  •  3 Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, retails for $2.69 each, on sale for $2 each
    • Used a .50 cents off two coupon
    • Stacked with a $2/3 Publix coupon from the 9/13 RP or the Make Your Home Italian Sheet
    • Made them $1.16 each
  •  2 jars of Bertolli pasta sauces, retails for $2.99 each, on sale BOGO ($1.49 each)
  •  2 packages of Hillshire Farms Lil' Smokies, retails for $4.19, on sale for $3 each
  • 1 package of 24 regular roll Angel Soft Toilet Paper, retails for $7.17, on sale for $5.49
  • 1 six count package of Sparkle paper towels, retails for $7.17, on sale for $5.49
    • Used a $1 off coupon
    • Stacked with a $1 off Sparkle paper towels WYB Angel Soft Publix coupon from the One Stop, One Shop booklet
    • Made them $3.49
  •  2 bags of Fresh Express Spinach, retails for $2.79, on sale for $2 each
  • 4 mini pumpkins for a fun DIY project I have planned, .99 cents each
  • 1 dozen Publix eggs, $2.19
  • 1 large bag of Brach's candy corn, $3.19 (ouch!)
 How did you do this week? Inspire me (and everyone else) with your amazing savings and deals this week. Please link up directly to your specific post. Do not link up to your blog's home page, giveaways, or etsy shops please. You can now "like" Couponing & Cooking on Facebook too! I would love it if you would link back to this post or grab my button from the sidebar : )

Click below to link up your posts!



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Spider Web Pudding


 Earlier this week I went on a slight rampage when it comes to cleaning out our fridge. I made an amazing dinner using all sorts of things we had on hand that needed to be used before they expired. Our chicken and veggie bake turned out perfectly and after we enjoyed our wonderfully homemade meal Justin had only one comment, "What's for dessert?"


Since I had spent most of my evening preparing dinner, I needed dessert to be quick and easy. I also wanted to try and continue cleaning out the fridge if possible. A few weeks ago I got a few gallons of milk for free in a Publix promotion and since it is just the two of us we still had a decent amount of milk left that needed to be used before it expired next week.


I decided to whip a box of the sugar free jello pudding we had in the pantry but since I was still feeling all suzy homemaker after my from scratch (and using no recipe) dinner I felt the need to get fancy with our sugar free cheesecake pudding.


I have always wanted to try the spider web in the cupcake icing trick and I figured that pudding was no different than icing and I gave it a try. I used Hershey's Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup and I made a small dot with it in the center of each pudding dish. I then made two consecutive rings of syrup around the dot and used a toothpick to drag the chocolate syrup out like a web.

This is how Justin ate his. Apparently he thought there was some whipped cream that needed cleaning out of the fridge too : )
They aren't the prettiest thing in the world but Justin was pretty impressed and I think they are pretty cute for a fun week night dessert treat. You could get really fancy with them using different types of pudding or even dying the pudding green or orange. I was wishing I had some plastic spider rings to add a little Halloween flair too : )

Make sure you stop by this week's Mealtime Monday and link up any amazing recipes you have been working on lately.


***Depending on the day this post may be linked up to any of these fabulous linky parties.***

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