Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dining Out

Dining out can be a very large expense these days. How nice is it though to have someone take care of your needs and no dishes at the end of a meal? I love dining out but we can not do it everyday! Here are a few tips and resources to help!
  • Here is a great resource to help lower your restaurant bill. You provide a zip-code and you will receive a list of local restaurants that offer children's specials. You can narrow your search to a day of the week, cuisine, city, etc. This can really help a budget. Think about it; even if you are going on vacation, you can enter the zip from the city you are visiting and find specials! Click here to check it out! It is free and no registration required! *The site supports all information they put on their site, however, they still suggest calling the restaurants to be sure the deal still stands. They provide phone numbers.
  • Do you have a Qdoba Mexican Grill nearby? Click here to sign up for their e-club program. You will receive a voucher for a free chips and salsa just for signing up! Also, a big surprise for your birthday! Get the latest news evites and offers right to your inbox!
  • Bob Evans has a coupon here for a free child's meal. You can only use one coupon per visit. Thanks Thrifty and Chic Mom!
Have any other deals you know about? Please let me know, so I can add to my post!

*TIP: Get another e-mail address for sites like stores, restaurants, places like this that may be sending deals, etc. that you can sift through when time allows. This way, your important e-mails, work, family, etc. aren't jumbled up with these "fun" e-mails!

Whole Foods

I know there is a big dilemma about suffering quality for quantity when you are working with a budget. We would all love to buy the best money can buy for our families, sometimes though, it is not always feasible to do that and stay within a budget. Well Whole Foods just did a Budget Recipe Challenge and I think, if you are interested in shopping there, it may be worth a look. The criteria for the recipes submitted was it had to be a budget friendly (under $4 a serving) meal that did not sacrifice taste. There are 6 finalist listed on their website, click here to see them! They also have the recipes on there too and the cost per serving! They are asking us to vote by leaving comments on the recipes. Your vote will get you entered into a drawing for $500 gift card to Whole Foods (wouldn't that be nice?). There are 10 runner ups that will receive a $25 gift card.
The catch...you have to register on their website. Might not be bad though if you can get deals e-mailed or sale items?


If you are into scrap-booking, then this post is for you. Archiver's is offering classes for the holidays. You sign up, pay a small fee, use their supplies, etc. and get to leave with one-of-a-kind homemade things. They are focusing on the holidays right now, so the classes they are offering include gift tags, Christmas cards, and calenders. There are so many more too. The average cost of a class is $20. You will get to leave with some supplies and certain amount of what you made. Click here for more details, including times, dates, stores and phone numbers. What a great way to get some "mom" time and be productive at the same time!

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Ok, we had a nice "fall" dinner on Sat. We decided to decorate our homes...you know, mums, pumpkins, bales of straw, etc... What could be better than eating a huge hearty meal when we were all done? Well, I prepared whole chickens, stuffed with apples and onions for flavor. They were seasoned with simple poultry seasoning. They were delicious!

As sides, I made the usual fresh green beans and rosemary potatoes...Yum. BUT, the star of the show was definitely the twice baked sweet potatoes! Who needs to serve dessert when you have these? Here's the recipe (or what you might want to call a recipe...I am an eyeball it sort of person!)

  • Preheat oven 350. Coat 4 large sweet potatoes with oil and bake for about an hour.

  • While the potatoes bake, mix 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup pecans and a dash of cinnamon in a bowl. These are rough estimates. Use more or less to your liking!
  • Chop 7 large marshmallows (or use small ones, about 5 or 6 per potato).
  • Pull the potatoes out when they feel a little "squishy" in your hand. I then put them in the freezer for about 20 minutes so they could cool and I could work with them easier.
  • Cut the potatoes in half and with a spoon, carve out the center of the sweet potato, leaving only the skins. Put all of the scooped potato in the bowl with the sugar, butter, nut mixture. Mix well.

  • Place the skins on a pan or in some sort of a baking dish (I used a pyrex casserole dish).

  • Scoop the sugar, butter, nut, potato mixture back into the skins. Top with the marshmallows.
Bake the "twice baked sweet potatoes" for about 30 minutes. I even turned the broiler on at the end for a few minutes to "roast" the marshmallows on top.These were really delicious and so easy to prepare!

Premiere News

Ok, no premieres tonight, but tomorrow night is gonna be another good night of new shows!

  • 8:00 p.m.
  • Pushing Daisies (ABC) I love this show! If you watched last season, you know it is so cute! It is about a guy who can bring people back to life with the touch of his finger. BUT, if he touches them again, they die forever! So, he sees the childhood love of his life on her death bed, touches her and she is alive! BUT, they fall in love again...remember if he touches her again, she dies! So, that is the premise. So cute and a bit odd! Try it out!
  • Friday Night Lights (DirecTV channel 101) Your typical Friday, high school football themed show..Reminds me of Varsity Blues. I never got into it, but I bet I am missing out!
  • 9:00 p.m.
  • Private Practice (ABC). Another one of my favorites. Addison Sheppard (Derek's ex from Grey's Anatomy) moves from Seattle Grace to California and works for a small clinic. Typical love, medical, friendship themed drama, but so cute! I will dvr this and keep up on it!
  • 10:00 p.m.
  • Dirty Sexy Money (ABC) About a wealthy and unscrupulous family who hires a lawyer to take over when their father dies. I think the title explains enough! I have never watched it, but I think it could be good, if you are into that kind of a thing.
Remember, click here to see the calender of remaining premiere shows! (Kath and Kim is next week!!!!!!!!!)

Stay tuned!

Sorry, the postings have been few and far between. I have been so busy with sickness and school and fall, I have been having a hard time posting consistently! But, I did make some twice baked sweet potatoes this weekend and yum....
stay tuned for the recipe (gotta get the pics up!)

Trader Joes Tuesday!

Tasty Thai Meals. Yummy and easy! These are delicious (if you are into thai food!) These come with the dish and rice to boot! All in a neat little "carryout" container! They take about 2 minutes to cook, and voila.....lunch!
Here's the best part...only 1.99 a box! I have seen similiar things in the grocery store for much more! Now that is a deal!
Click here to read more!

Meijer MealBox 3