Thursday, November 20, 2014

Homemade Stuffing

This is my mother-in-law's stuffing recipe. Her whole family goes crazy over it. Whenever we have Thanksgiving with my family, my husband has to make this so he doesn't miss out on his mom's stuffing. This is the best stuffing ever!

Printable Recipe

Homemade Stuffing
1 loaf of bread, toasted and broken up
1 onion, diced
2 eggs
1 can evaporated milk, with a little water
1 cube butter, melted
1 cup celery, diced
2 Tbsp poultry seasoning
1/2 cup turkey drippings
salt and pepper

Pour turkey drippings in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Add all ingredients and mix well. Loosely cover and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Stir every 15-20 minutes. Remove cover for the last 15 minutes to brown.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Roasted Turkey

I hate to admit it but I've never actually made a turkey. Yep, that's right. My husband makes the turkey every year. It actually makes my Thanksgivings pretty stress free. He found this recipe on the Food Network about five years ago and he's been making it ever since. This is the most tender and moist turkey I've ever had. It's so delicious! I promise if you make this, you'll never make a turkey any other way!

Roasted Turkey

1 (14-20 lb) turkey

1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
1/2 Tbsp allspice berries
1/2 Tbsp candied ginger
1 gallon iced water

1 red apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
canola oil

*The first two steps need to be done at least 6-7 hours before you make the turkey. We do this the night before and let it soak in the brine overnight.

In a large pot, combine all of the brine ingredients except for the ice water and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled. 

Combine brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket. We use a large cooler. Place thawed turkey breast-side down in brine. Cover and refrigerate or place in a cool area (like a basement or garage) for 6 hours or overnight. 

When ready to roast, preheat oven to 500. 

Combine apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water and microwave for 5 minutes. 

Remove turkey from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.

Place turkey on a roasting rack in a large roasting pan. Pat dry with paper towels. Add aromatics into cavity along with rosemary and sage. Tuck back the wings and coat whole turkey liberally with canola oil.

Roast on the lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil. Insert thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. For a 20 lb turkey cook for 3 1/2 hours. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.

Recipe adapted from Good Eats

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

(Deal is expired) Earn 50,000 Bonus Points When You Sign Up For The Rapid Rewards Credit Card

If you're looking for a rewards credit card to earn flight miles, now is the time to do it! Southwest Airlines is currently offering 50,000 bonus points when you sign up for their Rapid Rewards credit card and spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. You have until February 28, 2015 to sign up. The bonus is normally 25,000 points so this is an awesome deal!

Here is how the points break down:

If you booked a flight that was $200, you could redeem it for about 10,000 points. A $300 flight would be about 16,000 points and a $400 flight would be about 25,000 points.

The 50,000 bonus points would be enough for at least 2 roundtrip tickets, depending on where you fly to. Plus you earn one point for every dollar that you spend using the card. 

This is such a great deal. If you want to sign up, you can apply here.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Frosted Pumpkin Sugar Cookie Bars

I love sugar cookies but I don't always love making cookies. So when it's a bar instead of a cookie it's perfect. These bars were a little thicker than cookies. They were in between cookies and cake. The pumpkin flavor combined with the cream cheese frosting was heavenly!

Printable Recipe

Frosted Pumpkin Sugar Cookie Bars

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree
5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp milk
3-4 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Mix in vanilla and pumpkin.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Spread into a greased cookie sheet (15x10x1). (Spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray and use your hands to spread the dough onto the pan because the dough will be really thick and sticky.)

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the bars are golden brown. Cool completely before frosting.

To make frosting, cream together cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla, milk, and powdered sugar. Spread frosting over cooled bars.

Recipe adapted from Six Sisters' Stuff

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Black Friday Ads (2014)

A lot of stores have started to post their Black Friday ads online. I compiled a list of some of the ads that are available. I will continue to add more links once the ads come out so keep checking back.

Best Buy
JC Penney 
Radio Shack

*Also, check my post on Black Friday shopping to find out how to get these prices online without going to the stores on Black Friday. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Great Deal ~ Franz Bakery

I recently discovered Franz Bakery and I thought it was amazing! I bought all of this bread for $15!
They have so much bread to choose from and it's all delicious. It freezes well so you can easily stock up. Plus, if you spend a certain amount you get to pick some bread for free! We all know how much I love getting things for free! 

They have stores all over the Northwest. Check it out!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Chicken Corn Chowder

I love this soup! It's packed with flavor and it has the perfect amount of heat.

Printable Recipe

Chicken Corn Chowder
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped, seeds and membranes removed
1 cup chopped cooked ham
3 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz chicken broth
3 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cup frozen corn
1 1/2 lb chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup cheese

Heat oil in a large pot. Add celery, bell pepper, onion, and jalapeno. Saute for about 5 minutes until tender. Stir in ham and garlic. Cook for another 3 minutes. Whisk together chicken broth and flour; stir into soup. Add corn and chicken. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Whisk together cream cheese and milk. Whisk into soup. Add salt, pepper, and cheese. Simmer until heated through.

Serves 6

Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Earn 4x Fuel Rewards Points This Saturday

I just saw in my local Smith's ad that they're offering 4x Fuel Rewards points this Saturday November 8th. So if you're planning on buying gift cards to shop for Christmas gifts or you just want to stock up, this is a great time to buy them to save on gas. If you live outside of Utah, check the ad for your local Kroger store near you to see if they're offering the same promotion.

*To see my post on how I save money on gas, click here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How To Get Black Friday Prices Before Black Friday

It's about that time of year again! Christmas is just around the corner...

I love Christmas! I love everything about it. The music, the lights, the parties, the treats, EVERYTHING!!! I especially love Christmas shopping and finding awesome deals. My kids know they're not getting what they want unless I can find it for a good deal. When they open their presents, they sometimes ask how much I paid for it because they know I wouldn't have bought it unless it was a good deal.

I usually go to a few stores every year on Black Friday but I've never gone in the middle of the night. Once I went to Walmart at 10 pm on Thanksgiving and it was CRAZY!!! I got everything I wanted and it was a huge adrenaline rush. I actually really loved it! But I just don't like the fact that the stores are opening earlier and earlier every year on Thanksgiving. I think that time should be spent with family and not in a store.

So did you know that you can actually get Black Friday prices without going shopping on Black Friday?

Here are my tips...

First, decide what your budget is going to be for Christmas gifts. Then have your kids make a list of everything they want. From that list, make another list of what you want to buy. Check different stores online to find out how much each item will cost and write it down on your list. I usually check Amazon, Walmart, and Target and that gives me a pretty good idea about how much each thing will cost. Then check the websites frequently to see if the price drops. If the price drops significantly, buy it. If you can get everything on your list for a lower price you'll be able to save a significant amount or maybe even get more for your money.

When the Black Friday ads come out, check the ad for each store. The ads should be coming out in a few weeks and you will be able to view them online. Decide if there's anything that is worth going shopping for on Black Friday. You might find something that's worth going to the store for but keep in mind that you might have to go early and wait in line. It also might cut into your time with your family on Thanksgiving.

If you find something in the ads that you really want, check around online. You may be able to find it for the same price before Black Friday.

Here are some things that I have learned about different stores:

Amazon is very competitive with their prices. If there is something advertised at another store, there is a good chance that Amazon will lower their prices to match it. Right now Amazon has their Countdown to Black Friday sale and you can get some awesome deals. They also have a Holiday deal page with lightning deals. If you're not familiar with this you need to check it out. I've used this multiple times and scored some amazing deals. How it works is each day there are specific items that will go on sale at certain times. The price won't be listed until the sale is live. Once it goes live, you can buy it for the sale price but the quantities are limited. I've seen things sell out in less than five minutes! If you're an Amazon Prime member you can have access to certain deals a half hour early.

I would recommend checking the Lightning Deals page every morning to see if there's anything you want. If you find something, go back to that page at the designated time and buy it. But you have to hurry because it can go quick.

Here are the links:
Lightning Deals
Toy Lightning Deals

There are some great deals at Walmart on Black Friday but that place can be a madhouse! I know because I've been there on Black Friday! Did you know that some of the items advertised in the Black Friday ad are also sold online for the same price on Thanksgiving day? This is unadvertised and you never now which items will be sold online but it's worth a shot. Last year I wanted to get a Little Tykes kitchen for my daughter that was advertised in their Black Friday ad. So I woke up early on Thanksgiving and I checked the Walmart website. The kitchen was in stock! I added it to my cart and it took 15 minutes to get to my cart because there were so many people on the website. But I got it and I was so excited that I wasn't going to have to leave our Thanksgiving dinner early and fight the crowd to buy a toy for my daughter.

Sometimes I feel like I have to get a little creative when I shop at Kohl's. A lot of their prices are higher but when you combine the 20-30% off coupons and the Kohl's cash, you can get some great deals. Kohl's also has a new rewards program Yes2You Rewards. You earn 1 point for every dollar that you spend and once you've reached 100 points, you'll get a $5 reward certificate. This is in addition to all of the other deals that they have.

Kohl's also sells a lot of things online for Black Friday prices and their sell starts a few days before Thanksgiving. So there really is no need to even go to the store.

Target is also very competitive with their prices. This year they are offering free shipping on all purchases made online until Christmas. No minimum purchase required! They also have a Cartwheel app that is awesome. If you pay attention to the Carthwheel app you might be able to score some great deals. Some of their deals are one day only so you have to go to the store early because they run out fast!

*When shopping online don't forget to shop through Ebates and earn cashback! It's a great way to earn some extra cash just for shopping. It's totally legit. I've earned about $75 in the last year!

*To maximize your savings, check out my post on how to earn money by shopping online.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pumpkin Waffles

I love this time of year! I especially love that it's pumpkin season! These pumpkin waffles were so delicious. Perfect on a fall morning.

Printable Recipe

Pumpkin Waffles
2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
4 eggs
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

In a large bowl, mix together milk, pumpkin puree, eggs, butter, brown sugar, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well. Cook according to directions on your waffle maker. Serve topped with syrup.

Serves 6-8

Recipe adapted from Creme De La Crumb
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