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Archive for February, 2010

Another Amazing recipe!

We had another of my favorite recipes from our diet, this one  from the South Beach Diet book last night, and really, I feel like I need to share.  It called Chicken en Papillote or as my husband likes to call it “Chicken in a Bag!”  It is low calorie, low carb, and yummy! And cooking it wrapped in the foil with the veggies makes the chicken SO tender and moist.  I like to leave out the carrot, and add mushrooms in instead for a change up. For my readers with kids, my kids loved this recipe when we’ve fixed it in the past.  Especially if they are present for the “unwrapping” of the meal.

Chicken en Papillote

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 scallions, chopped (I just use chopped onion)
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced diagonally
  • 1 small zucchini, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/2 in pieces
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

Heat oven to 400 degrees (425 degrees if foil is used). Cut four 2 foot lengths of parchment paper or foil. Fold each in half  to make a 1 foot square. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place a breast slightly below the middle of each square of paper. In a small bowl, combine the scallions, carrot, zucchini, tarragon, and orange zest. Spoon 1/4 of the vegetable mixture over each chicken breast. Fold the parchment or foil over the chicken and crimp the edges together tightly. Bake for 20 minutes on a baking sheet. To serve, cut an X in the top of each packet with scissors and tear to open.  Serves 4

Here is a lowdown of the nutritional info for my health conscious readers. Per serving: 144 calories, 27 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fats, 86 mg sodium, 65 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber.

Enjoy!

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Delicious “potato soup” recipe

So, as many of you know from my facebook status lately, Chris and I have been on the South Beach Diet for the last week.  Yesterday, I made one of the soup recipes from the book, and I just HAVE to share it.  It is so good!  In The South Beach Diet Super Charged, it is called Creamy Cauliflower Soup, but really it should be called “I can’t believe it’s not potato soup”.  What was that?  Did I just hear a gasp of horror from readers?  Trust me, I know how many of you feel about that strangely pale vegetable commonly know as cauliflower.  My husband says that cauliflower is broccoli with all the life sucked out of it, but even he loved this soup.  Every time I make a new recipe from the book, I wait for a “thumbs up or thumbs down” from my sweet hubby, so I know if I can make it again while we continue this diet.  He said he wouldn’t mind eating this soup even if we were not on a diet!  It is so yummy.  I wish I could somehow imbue my blog with the scents of it.  It satisfies that “comfort food” quality that is often missing with this type of diet change – creamy and rich.   I’m posting the recipe here, and I really encourage you to give it a try.

Creamy Caulifower Soup (aka I Can’t Believe It’s Not Potato Soup)

  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (2 lb.) head of cauliflower, cut into florets, along with the finely chopped stems
  • 4 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 c. reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt
  • pepper
  • shredded cheese (not in the recipe, but I added just a little on top when served)

In a medium saucepan, heat EVOO over medium heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower.  Cover and cook 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer.  Cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer soup in batches to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the saucepan and whisk in the sour cream and nutmeg.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

Enjoy!

Amazing coupon!

Now, as you all know, I normally just post links to amazing deals, and the websites I use to find coupons, but this one is too good to pass up.

Follow this link:  http://www.freshexpressartisans.com/  to get a $1.50 off coupon on the new fresh express artisan salad blends.  This coupon is one of the “oh so rare”, “rarely seen” PDF coupon files.  You can download it to your computer, and print as many copies as you want – at your leisure.  Plus, it does not expire until the end of the year!  That gives SO MUCH possibility for discounted salad!

So….Follow the link. Download the file. Print your coupon. Prepare to save all year long!

I wish you happy salads! 😉

An Ode to Red Box

As you all know, I am a savings fiend!  If there is a way to get something I want at a cheaper price, I am all about it.  Chris and I have a netflix subscription, but occasionally, there is a movie we want to pick up.  Well, I just cannot bring myself to pay the “blockbuster” price for a movie, so we will normally do redbox on those occasions.

Even if you have never used Red Box, you have probably seen them at your local walmart in the entrance foyer, or placed outside your local Walgreens.  Rentals only cost $1 for a one night rental.  Perfect for our fly out and rent it needs.  I have mentioned red box to others in the past, and their complaint was that what they wanted was never there when they went to the machine.  I have a solution for that.  Just reserve it online.  That’s right! You can go to Redbox’s website, pick a location, and reserve the movie that you wish to see.  Then go pick it up at your leisure.  Their website address is:   http://www.redbox.com

The next time you get a last minute hankering for a chick flick or thriller, hop online to reserve your copy.  Then drive right past those overpriced rental stores to your local Redbox location.  You’ll be happy you did.  🙂

Dollars days at Scholastic!

This is for all my homeschooling friends.  Or moms like me who do a lot of teaching of our children.

Scholastic books is having their “Dollar days” sale online right now!  Lots of books to choose from.  Here is the link:

http://shop.scholastic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/SearchEndecaCmd?Featured%20Shops=Dollar+Days&APP_ID=TS&Ne=764&homeURL=custom&viewParam=CategoryDisplay&N=4294963474&goToView=CategoryDisplayView&CurrFilter=Featured+Shops&catalogId=10002&storeId=10001&langId=-1&Ntk=Product_Shop_Rank&Ntt=50657&esp=tshome/0210/espot1/dollardays

This sale is technically only open to teachers, administators, and homechool “teachers”.  I feel that any mom who takes the time to help her child learn skills falls into that third category.  Enjoy!

My favorite savings sites

I know that it may be hard to believe, but many of the hints I pass on to you here, are yours for the taking, if you just know where to look.  I’m providing you with a list of my favorite sites, so that you don’t miss out on any deals.  Often there are great deals, but since they aren’t something that interests me, I don’t pass them on.  I mean, someone is probably DIEING for a mx400 laser mouse at a great price, but I’m not, so you won’t see deals like that posted here.

So without further ado, here are my favorite sites.

http://www.southernsavers.com – This is the one that I use for all my grocery shopping/coupon matching.  If you grocery shop, (and really who doesn’t grocery shop?), you should use this site!  Jenny (the site author) creates customizable lists for just about every store out there, matches up coupons with the items that are on sale, and even posts links for printing the online coupons right with the items.  I just print out my grocery list, fold my coupons up into it, and I’m ready to go!  She even has lists for Target and the major drug stores like CVS and Walgreens.

http://www.slickdeals.net – This site is a smorgasbord of various savings.  These are posted by users, so it is always good to research the deal before you run out to a store.  Still some of my favorite “non-grocery” deals have come from this site.  Many of the deals are through online vendors, or are YMMV (your mileage may vary – an online term that warns you may or may not be able to get the same deal).  That being said, Chris and I have snatched up some SWEET deals using this site for toys to stash for Christmas/birthdays,  tech (items for the computer), and media (DVDs, music, etc).

http://www.woot.com http://www.kids.woot.com – Oooh, the joy of the woot!  This site is kind of strange, but very addictive.  Woot sells only one item on their website a day.  Sometimes the item to be sold sells out before you can even tell if it is a good deal (a sure sign it is, in fact, a good deal), and sometimes the items will sell all day until they start the next day’s items.  They post the “new” item for the day at 1AM EST.  In addition to the basic woot.com, they recently launched kids.woot.com which has one KIDS focused item every day.  On both sites you are allowed to purchase up to three of that item. I have found several good deals on both websites.  There shipping price is rather unique.  $5 will ship up to three of whatever the item is that day.  Buy a flat screen TV?  The cost to ship is $5.  Buy THREE flat screen TVs in the same order? Still pay just $5 to get them all delivered to your house.

http://www.couponmom.com – This site’s author does something similar to what you get on southernsavers.com’s website, but not quite as well.  She does not track pricing trends, but she will tell you what percentage of discount a sale price is.  She also has a very good coupon search engine for printed (i.e. from the newspaper inserts) coupons if you need to see if there is a coupon for an item you need that is not on sale.

These are the sites I love to check on most every day.  Do you have a site you love to go to for the best deals?  If so, please share!

Using Prescriptions to get discounts

This is a new way that I have learned to get free (yes, I said free) groceries.  A lot of the pharmacies and grocery stores with pharmacies have started putting coupons in their ads that give you a gift card for their store if you bring in a new or transferred prescription.  I was able to make use of one of those coupons today.

Chris, unfortunately, came down with a sinus infection.  I had him take his prescriptions to our local Food Lion Grocery Store, who had mailed me some coupons – one of which was for a $25 Food Lion card with any new or transferred prescription.  Chris got the prescription filled, and that gave me $25 to play with at Food Lion.  I did a search on my favorite savings website southernsavers.com for the deals there this week, and then I went shopping!  I put $61.39 worth of items in my cart, and headed to check out!  First I take out the $14.26 I saved by purchasing items that were on sale. That brought my total to $47.13. With the prescription coupon, I also got a coupon for $10 off of a $25 or more purchase, so after that was subtracted, and I used the gift card, my total was just $12.13!

Here are a couple of DO’s and DON’Ts that I have found helpful for maximizing your savings.

DO call the pharmacy to make sure they take your insurance plan.  If you are going to a major chain the likelihood that they don’t take your insurance is low, but why chance wasting your savings on higher prescription prices if you don’t have to do so.

DON’T feel like you have to use the card the moment you receive it.  It is a gift card.  It will hold until you get your “patient” well again.  You’ll make much better use of it if you plan ahead.

DO ask about any guidelines or limitations about using your credit.  Some stores “store” their credit on your loyalty card, so no hard copy is needed.  Some are just the opposite, and if you lose the gift card (or receipt slip) then your “free food” is gone!  Some cards have expiration dates, and others can’t be used with other special offers (like the $10 off coupon I used above).  Asking ahead of time will head off unexpected disappointments.

DON’T go shopping without a list.  Yes, the food will still be free, but if you make a list, you will get SO much more!

DO check to make sure you have already signed up for any needed customer loyalty programs before heading to check out.  Many chains (like Food Lion for example) require you to be signed up for their program to get the advertised savings.  Take care of it before you start shopping, so you don’t annoy other customers while they wait for you to sign up in line.

Now I will say that some people may not feel comfortable using these deals.  If you are on multiple medications, or take a regular medication every month, you may want to keep all your prescriptions at one pharmacy.  This allows the pharmacist to warn you about possible drug interactions, or unpleasant side affects.  But if, like me, you only wind up heading to the doctor when you need the rare antibiotic, or prescription sinus meds, this is a GREAT way to get free groceries.  If you have to be sick, at least you an get something positive out of the experience. 🙂