Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Creamy Jalapeno Dip

I made my own sauce! Well, I looked at like 3 different recipes and made my own version. I might still make adjustments, but here is what I did. I got the idea from Chuy's green sauce, but all of the copycat recipes I found were basically just jalapenos, a ranch packet, and a container of sour cream/mayo (not healthy at all). I knew if I made a sauce... we would eat it all... so I had to make some adjustments. I have only had their sauce a couple times, so I don't remember what it tastes like, but it does taste like a green sauce served at a tex-mex restaurant.

2 tomatillos - husks removed, washed, and halved
2 Tbsp cilantro
1 garlic clove, chopped
6 Tbsp light sour cream
1 ripe Hass avocado - halved, pitted, and peeled
5 pickled jalapenos (this is spicy, so you might want to start with a few and add)
1 1/2 Tbsp Hidden Valley Ranch mix

Put the tomatillos, cilantro, garlic clove, and sour cream into a food processor (I used my 3 cup mini processor). Puree until smooth. Add the avocado, jalapenos, and ranch mix, and pulse until creamy. Enjoy!

**Next time I might try 1/4 cup green chilies instead of the tomatillos. The copycat recipes on recipezaar use them.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Red Beans and Rice

A coworker of mine, Ted, gave me this recipe. I love red beans and rice, and I really love slow cooker meals while I'm working. This is really easy, and it makes for good leftovers.

Red Beans and Rice
Serves 10-12

1 lb dry red kidney beans
3 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
1 can petite diced tomatoes (I use Rotel)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 lb sausage, cut into 1/2" cubes (we like fully cooked jalopeno sausage, i.e.: Kountry boys or Slovacek's)
2 tsp kosher salt (reduce if salt sensitive)
cornstarch, if needed

Put beans into a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover the beans by about 1”. Cover and leave to soak overnight. The next morning, drain and rinse the beans, pull out any bean skins that came off, and put the beans into the crock pot. Add all the other ingredients into the crock pot and cook all day on LOW or about 4-5 hours on HIGH. (If you happen to be home while you are cooking this, I'd wait to put the sausage in until the last couple hours or so if cooking on LOW. The sausage is still good if cooked all day, but it is better if you can put it in later on in the cooking process.)

After done cooking, if you think that it is not thick enough, add 1 Tbsp of cornstarch (flour would work also, if you don’t have cornstarch) about 30 minutes before I want to serve it. You have to ladle some of the liquid into a cup and let it cool down then add the cornstarch to the cooled liquid and stir until the cornstarch is mixed in. Finally, pour the cornstarch mixture into the crock pot while stirring it into the beans. Turn the crock pot to HIGH after you add the cornstarch in. (By the time I get home, I want to eat... so if I do add cornstarch, I mix it in 1/2 cup cold water and add it to the crock pot. It takes a while for the liquid to cool down.)

Serve over cooked rice.

**Note: If you like spicy food, I wouldn't recommend adding any more chili powder or red crushed pepper than stated above until it is done. When cooked all day long, it gets pretty spicy. I was really surprised at how hot it gets.

6/27 CVS Run

I got all of the above for $3.30.

Here are the deals I did:

Stayfree Products, Buy one get one free
-Buy one get one free Stayfree product (up to $4.49) RP 6/27
=two free after coupon

**These are only free if you get two products that cost less than $4.49. I didn't see that, and I just picked up the ones that I always buy. They are $6.69. Therefore, I paid $2.20 for two or $1.10 for each one.

Spend $10 on above Household Helpers (2/$5) get $5 ECBs (Limit 1)
See here and here for all of the different coupons you can use.

I bought four scrubbing bubbles products at $2.50 each. I was going to use the $0.55 in the SS 6/13 insert, but on the bottles themself, there was a $2/2 any scrubbing bubbles coupon.

So I had $10 worth of products
-two $2/2 coupons (so minus $4)
=$6, got $5 ecbs back = $1 for all four or $0.25 each

M&M Candies, Buy one get one free, $0.89 each
-B1G1 M&M’s Pretzel (up to $0.79) RP 6/27
=two for $0.10 after coupon or $0.05 each

Here are links to the full list of CVS deals and match-ups:
Southern Savers
The Thrify Mama
Common Sense with Money

Here is a copy of this week's ad.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Every once in a while, HEB has pork loin on sale for $1/lb. They are huge though... like ten pounds. I bought one a while back, cut it into 2 lb portions, and froze them. I have tried two pulled pork recipes, and to my surprise, the 3 ingredient recipe was better. Below is the recipe from allrecipes.com. I'm sure you can use a different soda if you want, but I tried it with root beer, and it was really good. I also made the pulled pork sandwich recipe on Simply Recipes. In this recipe, you make homemade bbq sauce. The sauce smelled really good when I made it in the morning, but it ended up being really tangy (because of the 3/4 cup vinegar). I'm sure I could do some tweaking, but I won't be doing that while I'm still working full time. I'm content with this three ingredient recipe. (The original recipe calls for 2 lbs pork tenderloin, but I would never use a pork tenderloin in a crock pot meal. Pork butt, shoulder, or loin will fall apart just as nice in the crockpot and are much cheaper.)

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Serves 8

2 lb pork loin, butt, or shoulder (trim fat)
1 can root beer
1 (18 oz) bottle of your favorite bbq sauce
8 hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted

Place the pork in a slow cooker; pour the root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6 to 7 hours. (I just leave it on low all day.) Drain well. Stir in barbecue sauce. Serve over hamburger buns.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

$1 Superfruit Smoothies at Jamba Juice

Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 16th, 16-oz superfruit smoothies are only $1 at Jamba Juice. See here for more information. Thanks, Money Saving Mom!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Exotic Chicken Salad

This is not your ordinary chicken salad, but it's really good. We like it as a side or on toast (for chicken salad sandwiches). I half the following recipe since there is just two of us. Five cups of chicken is about one rotisserie chicken at Sam's ($4.97), so I just chop it up, use half of it, and freeze the other half for next time or to make enchiladas. Brett isn't a fan of fruit and meat, so he likes it better without grapes. I like the grapes though, so try it both ways! Also, I don't think the butter is necessary. You can toast almonds in a toaster oven vs. in butter on the stove.


1 3-1/4 oz package slivered almonds
2 Tbsp butter
salt, to taste
2 cups mayonnaise (1 1/3 cups if you omit grapes from recipe)
1 tsp curry powder
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp lemon juice
5 cups diced chicken
2 cups diced celery
2 to 3, 6-oz cans sliced water chestnuts, chopped
2 lbs red seedless grapes, each halved pole-to-pole

In a small skillet, cook slivered almonds in butter until lightly brown. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Mix mayonnaise with curry powder, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Combine almonds, chicken, celery, water chestnuts, and grapes. Pour mayonnaise mixture over all and combine well. Chill and serve.

Soy Sauce at Walmart

I only go to Walmart a few times a year for grocery items. I usually always shop at Kroger. I find that Kroger is a lot cheaper if you shop the sales and use coupons (and I really don't use that many coupons since I am so into cooking everything homemade/from scratch right now). There are some items at Walmart that are cheaper than Kroger even after sales. One of them is this:

This picture is for a gallon bottle of Kikkoman soy sauce, but the one they have is 1.2L. It is $4.77 which is a really good deal. Unfortunately, they do not have the reduced sodium kind available in that size. The 1.2L reduced sodium soy sauce is about $8 at the BCS Asian Market across the street. I just go ahead and get the 15 oz size at Walmart for $2.58 (low sodium is more expensive). Just thought I'd share that bit of random info with you!

CVS Deals

Buy 1 Schick Hydro Razor, $8.97, get $4 ECBs (Limit 1)
-$4 coupon in today's (6/13) RP
=$4.97 out of pocket, get $4 ECBS = $0.97

**I was in a hurry this morning, and I didn't realize that I was going to have to pay a dollar for this razor. I don't normally get razors where I will have to pay anything, but I know someone who wants this razor, so I got it anyway. It really doesn't matter though because I made four dollars in the below deal!

Buy 1 Gillette or Old Spice Body Wash for $4, get $4 ECBs (Limit 1)
Buy two Gillette or Old Spice Body Washes
=$8 before coupons
Use either:
-B1G1 Gillette Body Wash, exp. 7-31-10 (P&G 06/06/10)
-FREE Old Spice Deodorant wyb Body Wash or Deodorant (P&G 6/6/10)
=$4, get $4 ECBs = free

**This turned out to be a Limit 2 deal, so I paid $4 and got $8 ECBs! I love it when this happens! (I bought two old spice body washes, not gillette, if that makes any difference..? I'm sure it will be all over the blog world in a few hours.)

Before I went to CVS this morning I had $10 ECBs. I bought two old spice body washes, a shick hydro razor, and 3 dove peanut butter bars to get it to $10. I then got $12 ecbs. Therefore, I got "paid" $2 to buy all this! Gotta love CVS!

Go here and here to see all of the other CVS deals.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Kroger Summer of Savings

This summer, Kroger has a spin the wheel game that you can play once a day to win free products! I didn't win anything yesterday, but today I won any Tazo Tea up to $3.99. A coupon was loaded onto my card and will take off the amount at the register. So fun! I'm totally going to play this a lot this summer.

**I went to Kroger today and got my free Starbucks Tazo Tea 20 ct bags. The $3.99 came off at the end of the transaction.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Free Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Sample

Go here to request your free sample of Starbucks' VIA ready brew. I love getting all of these fun, free surprises in my mail box. Yesterday I got a free neti pot and a free movie ticket through fandango!

Lemon Fusilli

My friend Catherine made this for us at one of our home church girl nights. So, so good. It calls for heavy cream, but I've made it both with half and half and fat free half and half, and it tastes the same. I was going to try it with milk (and maybe flour, if needed) tonight, but since fat free half and half was on sale and I had a coupon, I'm going to postpone that substitution, but I'll let you know if it works out.

**Nature's Sweet Cherub tomatoes are on sale at Kroger this week for $2.50. There is also a coupon in the 5/16 SS for $0.55 off one. $1.95 is a really great deal for those little tomatoes. (They are normally $3.99.) This is why I'm making this pasta this week; otherwise, it can be kind of pricey. Enjoy!

Lemon Fusilli
Ina Garten

1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 cups heavy cream (can use half & half or fat free half & half)
3 lemons
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch broccoli
1 pound dried fusilli pasta (or any other twirly pasta that will trap in sauce)
1/2 pound baby arugula (I don't use this - it's good without it)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the cream, the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.

Meanwhile, cut the broccoli in florets and discard the stem. Cook the florets in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain the broccoli and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta in a colander and place it back into the pot. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook it over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, add the arugula (optional), Parmesan, tomatoes, and cooked broccoli. Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it 1/4-inch thick crosswise, and add it to the pasta. Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot.

Walgreens Grocery Deals

I made a trip to Walgreens before heading over to Kroger this afternoon. This week they have Mazola extra virgin olive oil on sale for $3.99 (that's $0.23 an oz - good deal). Too bad there isn't a coupon, or this deal would be a steal. It's still way cheaper than any olive oil at Kroger. (This same size/brand olive oil is $5.79 right now at Kroger.)

I haven't seen Swanson's chicken broth on sale at either CVS or Walgreens in a while. I've never had Butterball, but I'm sure it's way better than Kroger brand. This is cheaper as well. I don't think I've ever seen chicken broth cheaper than $0.50 each.

Free Rolaids/Mylanta at CVS

In today's red plum insert you should have received a $4 off of any 2 Dramamine, Lactaid, Imodium, Pepcid, Rolaids, Mylanta or Tucks. You can use that coupon at CVS this week to get two free Rolaids or Mylanta chewables.

Buy any two of the products listed above, receive $4 ecbs (Limit 1)
Buy two Rolaids or Mylanta for $3.99 (I got two 36 ct Rolaids softchews)
-$4/2 coupon from 6/6 RP
=$4 out of pocket, get back $4 ecbs = free