Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Oreo Truffles


These truffles are so amazing! They're very rich but so good. Definitely one of my favorite Christmas treats. I found a few different recipes for Oreo Truffles so I combined them and came up with this. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Oreo Truffles

1 pkg Oreos, ground in blender or food processor

1 1/2 pkg cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

Reserve 1/4 cup crushed oreos for topping. Combine remaining oreos and cream cheese. Beat together until mixed well. Form into small balls (about 1 inch) and refrigerate for a few hours until firm. Melt milk chocolate in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Dip half of the truffles into milk chocolate and place on wax paper. Immediately after dipping, sprinkle reserved oreo crumbs onto truffles. Press down so it sets into chocolate. Repeat with white chocolate. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

makes about 50 truffles

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Favorite Christmas Recipes

I love this time of year! I especially love all of the yummy food that we get to eat at Christmas time! I've made a list of my favorite Christmas recipes. Enjoy!


Christmas Treats:





 Christmas Breakfast:

Christmas Side Dishes:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ground Beef Stew

Printable Recipe

Ground Beef Stew
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
3 cups beef broth
2/3 cup half & half
4 tsp dijon mustard
2 lb unpeeled yukon gold or red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 Tbsp fresh parsley or 2 tsp dried

In a large pot, brown ground beef with onion; drain. Stir in salt, pepper, and flour. Add mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes. In a medium bowl, mix together beef broth, half & half, and dijon. Stir into beef mixture. Add potatoes and carrots. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook covered for 15 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Stir in parsley. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 6-8

Recipe adapted from Real Mom Kitchen

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

4x Fuel Rewards on Gift Cards at Smith's (Nov. 18- Dec. 8)

For the next 3 weeks (Nov. 18- Dec. 8), Smith's is offering 4x fuel rewards on gift cards. 

If you bought a $50 gift card, you would earn 200 points which is equivalent to $.20 off per gallon of gas up to 35 gallons. When you fill up, make sure that you bring two cars to maximize your savings.

So stock up on all the gift cards that you'll need for your Christmas shopping. Or stock up on gift cards to all of your favorite restaurants. This is the perfect time to buy gift cards!


*If you live outside of Utah, check your local Kroger store to see if they're participating.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Creamy Chicken and Noodles (Crockpot)

Printable Recipe

Creamy Chicken and Noodles (Crockpot)
2 cups sliced carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tsp dried parsley
1 bay leaf
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup water
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup frozen peas
1 pkg egg noodles, cooked

In a slow cooker, place carrot, onion, parsley, and bay leaf. Place chicken on top of vegetables. In a medium bowl, stir together soup, water, thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour over chicken and vegetables. Cover and cook on low heat for about 5-6 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred. Discard bay leaf. Stir peas into mixture. Add chicken; heat through. Serve over egg noodles.

Serves 6

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Christmas at Disneyland

It's time for the holidays at Disneyland!!!

November 13- January 6

Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year at the happiest place on earth!

I love Disneyland at Christmas time. The whole park is decorated for the holidays and they have special parades and fireworks that you can only see this time of the year. You might even get to meet Santa Claus! It really is so magical. It's one of my favorite times of the year to go to Disneyland!

If you would like to plan a trip to Disneyland for the holidays (or anytime after), contact me at thetravelingcircus39@gmail.com.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Chicken Tikka Masala

If you love Indian food, you'll love this recipe. So yummy!

Printable Recipe

Chicken Tikka Masala
Marinade:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh ginger or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts

Masala:
1 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup half & half
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Combine all ingredients for the marinade. Pour over chicken and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cook in a large skillet or on the grill. Discard marinade. Let chicken rest for a few minutes and then cut into slices.

In a large skillet, melt butter. Add garlic and jalapeno and saute for 1 minute. Season with paprika, cumin, and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and half & half. Simmer until thick, about 20 minutes. Add chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro.

Serves 6

Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Saving Money on Christmas Shopping


It's November and you know what that means... Christmas is right 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. They've learned to really appreciate a good deal!

So I'm going to share my tips on how to get more for your money at Christmas time. There are a lot of really great sales out there and you don't actually need to go shopping on Black Friday to get those sales.

First, decide what your budget is going to be for Christmas gifts. Then have your kids make a list of everything they want. You can make it a running list and add things and take things off because kids sometimes change their minds. 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
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

Walmart 
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? Last year I got on the Walmart website at midnight before Thanksgiving when the sales went live and I was able to get many things that I wanted without having to go to the store and fight the crowds. Just remember, the more popular items will sell out fast and if you can't get it, you might have to go to the store during the Black Friday sale.

Kohl's
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. They also let you stack coupons which I think is great! Kohl's also has a 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. Plus, around Thanksgiving, they usually offer $15 in Kohl's Cash for every $50 you spend which is a great incentive!

Target
Target is also very competitive with their prices. Right now 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 available one day only so you have to go to the store early because they run out fast!

You can also shop online at Target for Black Friday. The sales usually go live at midnight before Thanksgiving.

*When shopping online don't forget to shop through Ebates and earn cashback! It's a great way to earn some extra cash. I've earned about $120 just by shopping online!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Mickey's Halloween Party


We recently went on a trip to Disneyland and while we were there we attended Mickey's Halloween Party. 

This is a separate ticketed event and tickets cost about $69 per person and that includes parking. The party goes from either 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm or 7:00 pm to 12:00 am depending on the night of the party. With your ticket, you can get into the park 3 hours before the party starts. Everyone comes dressed up in their costumes. They close the park early to those without a ticket so it's a lot less crowded than normal because they only sell a certain amount of tickets. Those tickets sell out so you have to make sure to buy them early. 

Here are some highlight from the Halloween Party:

Trick or Treating
How many people can actually say they went trick or treating at Disneyland? So much fun! To be honest, I wasn't super excited about trick or treating. Who needs more candy, right? But this was actually my favorite part! Even the adults got to go trick or treating! They had trick or treating stations all over the park. In each station there were about 5 candy stations. They passed out handfuls of candy or you could choose a healthy snack like carrot sticks, apple slices, crackers, popcorn, and pretzels. We left with so much candy! We also stocked up on snacks and we took them to Disneyland the rest of the week while we were there. 

Parades and Fireworks
They have certain parades and shows that are specific to the Halloween Party. This year was a little different because of the Diamond Celebration. The parade was the Diamond Celebration electrical parade but the fireworks were Halloween themed and really cool. They also have a dance party but we didn't participate because my kids just wanted to ride rides.

Shorter Lines for Rides
Because there's so many different things going on, the lines for the rides are a lot shorter than normal. We were able to ride a lot of different rides during the Halloween Party and that's what my kids like best!

The Villains
During the Halloween Party, you can meet some of the villains that you never see at Disneyland. Unfortunately, the line to meet them was about an hour and a half and we just didn't want to wait. But that was at the end of the night. The line might be a little shorter at the beginning of the night.

The Characters Dress Up For Halloween
This is the only time that you get to meet Mickey and Minnie and other characters in their Halloween costumes. If this is a priority for you, definitely do it! Keep in mind that the lines will be a little longer than if you just met them in their normal attire.

Halloween time at Disneyland

This is such a fun time of year at Disneyland when the park is all decorated for Halloween. You can still see the park decorated if you go at Halloween time and you don't go to the Halloween Party. But they bring out a few more decorations for the Halloween Party and they also play Halloween music. We were at Disneyland all week and there was definitely more of a Halloween feel at the Halloween Party than just a regular day at Disneyland.

You also get to experience Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and The Haunted Mansion Holiday. They converted both of these rides for the season and they really did a great job! If you don't go to the Halloween Party you can still experience these rides.

We had a really great time at Mickey's Halloween Party! If you're a Disney fan, this is definitely something that you should experience at least once in your lifetime!

If you're interested in booking a Disney vacation, contact me at thetravelingcircus39@gmail.com.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Bowtie Chicken Alfredo

This pasta is so delicious! Definitely a family favorite!

Printable Recipe

Bowtie Chicken Alfredo
12 oz pkg Bowtie pasta
4 Tbsp butter, divided
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup half & half
3 Tbsp heavy cream
3/4 cups parmesan shavings or grated parmesan

Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain and set aside.

Heat 2 Tbsp of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper and place in the skillet. Cook for about 5-6 minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove from skillet and cover with foil.

Add remaining 2 Tbsp of butter to the skillet. Add garlic and stir for about 1 minute. Pour in the chicken broth, then let it bubble up and reduce for 2 minutes. Add half & half, cream, and salt and pepper, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and stir constantly until it thickens. Remove from heat and add parmesan to the pan. Add the pasta on top of the parmesan and stir. Cut chicken into slices and add to the pasta. Stir until combined. Cook over low heat until heated through, if needed. Top with parsley and extra parmesan.

Serves 6

Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Friday, October 2, 2015

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

This was so delicious! It's so good the way that it is but it would also be good if you added shrimp.


Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
1 lb smoked sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 lb chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 ribs celery,chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp creole or cajun seasoning
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes with green chiles
1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups hot, cooked rice

Start cooking the rice so it will be ready to add in during the last step.

In a 4-6 quart pot, cook sausage and chicken over medium heat. Drain the grease if necessary. Remove meat and set aside. Melt the butter in the same pot. Stir in the flour and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for  one minute. Add the vegetables, spices, tomatoes, and sugar. Mix well. Simmer over low to medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetable are mostly tender. Add the sausage and chicken back to the pot and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken broth and simmer 5 minutes longer. Stir in the hot steamed rice.

Serves 6

Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Costa Vida Sweet Pork Salad

If you like this recipe for Costa Vida Sweet Pork Burritos, you'll love this salad! It tastes exactly like the salad at Costa Vida! So delicious!

Printable Recipe

Costa Vida Sweet Pork Salad
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
Sweet pork (recipe below)
Cilantro lime rice (recipe below)
Garlic black beans (recipe below)
2 tomatoes, chopped
Creamy tomatillo dressing (recipe below)
guacamole or avocados
crispy tortilla strips (recipe below)


Sweet Pork:
3 lbs boneless pork (ribs, chops, roast)
3 cans coke, divided
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, divided
dash garlic salt
1/4 cup water
1 can diced green chiles
3/4 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce

In a large ziploc bag, combine pork, a can and a half of coke, and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight.

Drain marinade and place pork in crock pot. Add 1/2 can of coke, garlic salt, and 1/4 cup of water. Cook on high for about 3 hours or low for 5-6 hours. Remove meat from crock pot and shred. Drain liquid. 

In a food processor or blender, blend together remaining 1/2 can of coke, green chiles, enchilada sauce, and remaining 1 cup brown sugar. Place pork back in the crock pot. Cover with sauce. Cook on low heat for 2 hours.


Cilantro-Lime Rice:
1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
1 tsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp lime juice, chicken broth, and water. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat. Combine remaining 1 Tbsp lime juice, sugar, and cilantro. Pour over rice and mix as you fluff rice. 

Garlic Black Beans:
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup tomato juice
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

In a small saucepan, combine olive oil, garlic, and cumin. Cook over medium heat until fragrant. Add black beans, tomato juice, and salt. Cook until heated through. Stir in cilantro just before serving.

Creamy Tomatillo Dressing:
3 fresh tomatillos
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 pkg. ranch buttermilk dressing mix
1 cup fresh cilantro
4 green onions, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 tsp sugar

Combine all ingredients in a blender; mix well. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Tortilla Strips:
Slice 10 corn tortillas into narrow strips. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with salt. Spray with cooking spray. Place under broiler until crispy and brown.

To assemble salad, top lettuce with pork, rice, black beans, tomatoes, dressing, guacamole, and tortilla strips.

Serves 6-8

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Disneyland Diamond Celebration

Disneyland recently announced that they're extending their Diamond Celebration through September 5, 2016!

Come celebrate 60 years of Disney magic with 3 new nighttime spectaculars:
Disneyland Forever
Paint The Night
World of Color-Celebrate

It's going to be amazing!!!!

If you're interested in booking a Disneyland vacation package, contact me at thetravelingcircus39@gmail.com.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Have You Been Using Swagbucks?

I love Swagbucks and I use it all the time. It's a great way to earn some extra money for Christmas. 

Swagbucks is a website that lets you earn Swagbucks for completing certain tasks such as online searches, daily polls, surveys, watching videos, and shopping online. You can then cash in your Swagbucks for a gift card of your choice.

I set my search engine and home page to Swagbucks. Then I use Swagbucks to do all of my online searches instead of using Google. Throughout the day, I am randomly rewarded with Swagbucks for my searches. 

I also shop online through Swagbucks. How it works is you type the store name in the search box. It will then tell you how many Swagbucks you'll earn for your purchase. If it says 4 Swagbucks per dollar, that's equivalent to 4% cash back. After you make the purchase, the Swagbucks will be added to your account.

You can spend as much time on Swagbucks as you want. If you do a lot of searches, surveys, and videos, you'll probably earn a lot of Swagbucks. I don't usually spend too much time on the site but I've earned about $200 in the last few years to spend on Christmas. It's a great way to help me stretch my dollar. 

To sign up for Swagbucks click here.

Monday, September 21, 2015

S'mores Cookie Bars

One of my favorite treats is s'mores. But the only time I get s'mores is when I'm camping. Now I can have s'mores all year long with these yummy bars.

Printable Recipe

S'mores Cookie Bars
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups marshmallow fluff or creme
2 cups milk or semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, or a stand mixer, beat together butter and brown sugar at medium speed until light, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until well combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until combined.

Divide the dough in half. Press half into the bottom of the prepared pan until the dough is evenly flattened. Dollop the marshmallow topping on top and gently spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. Scatter the remaining dough on top of the chocolate chips. (Don't worry about completely covering the top.) Bake 30-32 minutes, or until golden. Cool completely. Remove bars from the pan using the foil. Cut into bars and serve.

Makes 24 bars

Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Chicken Fried Rice

I love Chinese food! This recipe is so easy and tastes just as good as takeout.

Printable Recipe

Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken:
2 lb chicken breasts
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1/8 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp cold water

Rice:
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cups frozen peas and carrots, thawed
2 eggs lightly beaten
4-5 cups cooked rice
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2-3 green onions, sliced

Place chicken in a slow cooker. Combine sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours or until cooked through. Remove chicken from the slow cooker. Pour liquid from the slow cooker into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water. Stir into sauce until thickened. Shred chicken; pour sauce over it and mix well.

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Pour sesame oil into wok. Add onion, peas, and carrots  and stir fry until tender. Slide veggies to one side of the wok. Pour eggs in the center of the wok and cook until scrambled. Once the eggs are cooked, mix with veggies. Add rice and chicken to the wok and stir to combine. Pour soy sauce over mixture and mix well. Cook until heated through. Sprinkle with green onions.

Serves 6

Recipe adapted from The Recipe Critic

Monday, September 14, 2015

Earn 50,000 Bonus Points When You Sign Up for the Southwest Airlines Credit Card

Right now you can earn 50,000 bonus points when you sign up for the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards credit card and spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. You need to apply by January 15, 2016.

This is an awesome deal! They normally offer 25,000 points so this is the best time to sign up for this card.

We used this card to book our flights to California next month. We booked our flights from Salt Lake to Los Angeles for under 10,000 points per person. So 50,000 points goes pretty far!

This is the best way to save money on flights. I use my credit card for all of my purchases and pay the full balance each month. If you're going to be spending money anyway, you might as well get some rewards from it!

To apply for this credit card, click here.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Halloween Time at Disneyland

It's Halloween time at Disneyland and it's such a wonderful time of year to go. The whole park is decorated like Halloween. There are Halloween themed rides such as Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday. There are lots of Halloween treats and the characters are dressed up in their Halloween costumes! And don't forget Mickey's Halloween Party (separate ticket required). What a fun time to go to Disneyland!

If you're interested in planning a trip to Disneyland, contact me at the number or email listed above. I can book vacation packages with hotels, park tickets, and I can help you plan a magical vacation! 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Favorite Fall Soup Recipes

Fall is just around the corner. I can almost feel it in the air. I love fall! It's such a wonderful time of year when the leaves start to change colors and the air is crisp and cool. One of my favorite things about fall is making soup. There's nothing like a hot bowl of soup on a cool fall night. I've made a list of some of my favorite fall soup recipes that I've shared on this blog. Enjoy!


Monday, September 7, 2015

Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps

Printable Recipe

Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp lemon juice (1 large lemon)
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 lb chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken, cooked and shredded (about 3 cups)
1 romaine lettuce heart, cut into bite size pieces
10-inch tortillas

In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, dijon, and garlic. Whisk in the olive oil slowly until incorporated.

In a large bowl, toss the chicken and lettuce with the dressing. Divide mixture evenly among tortillas. Roll and secure with a toothpick, if desired.

Serves 6

Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Friday, September 4, 2015

Earn 4x Fuel Rewards on Gift Cards at Smith's (Now through Oct. 3)

Right now at Smith's you can download a coupon to your rewards card to earn 4x fuel rewards. The coupon expires October 3. Just login to your account and download the coupon and it will automatically be on your card when you check out. If you don't have an account click here to sign up.

This is a great way to save money on gas. They sell gift cards for many restaurants and retail stores. Some examples are Target, Amazon, Disney, Kohl's, Red Robin, Applebee's, Chili's, Subway, Little Caesar's. (Plus many more!) I always stock up whenever they have this promotion.

If you bought a gift card for $50, you would get 200 points which equals $.20 off each gallon up to 35 gallons. If you filled up all 35 gallons, you would save $7 from that $50 gift card. That's equivalent to getting 14% back.

*If you live outside of Utah, check your local Kroger store to see if they're participating.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

This is my favorite potato salad recipe. It's a little different than the traditional potato salad and I think that's why I love it so much! It really tastes just like a baked potato. I know I'm a little late posting this. I should've posted it at the beginning of the summer, not the end. But there's still time to make this. Just because the kids are in school doesn't mean you can't make this delicious salad!

Printable Recipe

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

4-5 large potatoes, baked, cooled, and chilled
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup light sour cream
4 Tbsp buttermilk
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
6 oz cheddar cheese, cubed small
4 green onions, thinly sliced
8-10 slices of bacon, cooked and diced

Cut the potatoes into 1 inch cubes, discarding any pieces of the peel that fall off. (Leave the peels that remain intact.) Place potatoes in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk. Add celery seeds, pepper, and salt. Mix well. Pour the mixture over the potatoes and stir gently to combine. Add the cheese, green onions, and bacon and mix gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves 6-8 (as a side dish)

Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

What I Do As A Travel Agent


I was recently given an amazing opportunity to become a travel agent. I'm an independent travel agent working for a host agency, Magic Bean Travel. This is the perfect job for me! I love researching and helping others plan their dream vacation. I love to share my travel tips with others and now I get to do this as my job! I also get to do this from home so that's definitely a bonus.

What kind of trips can I book?
Anything!!!!

I completed the Disney College of Knowledge so I can book any Disney trip. That includes hotel and ticket packages to Disneyland and Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, and Aulani.

I can also book all-inclusive resorts, cruises, hotels, flights, and car rentals. The possibilities are endless! If you want to go somewhere, I can book it for you.

Will it cost you extra to book through a travel agent?
No. It will not cost you anything extra. I work through certain suppliers to book vacation packages. Their prices are the same whether or not a vacation is booked through a travel agent. When someone books a trip without a travel agent, the suppliers reserve some of the funds to use when a travel agent books through them. It will cost you the same with or without a travel agent. So why not take advantage of the benefits of a travel agent?

What are the benefits of booking through me?
If you book through me, I'll share my expertise with you and help you plan all of the details of your vacation. Everything from hotel, flights, activities, dining etc. It takes a lot of time to plan a trip. Wouldn't it be nice to have someone do all the work for you? You can just sit back and relax and then go on your amazing vacation!

I know there are a lot of resources online and a lot of people like to book their own trips and find the best deal possible. If anyone understands this it's me! I'm always searching for the best deal. As a travel agent, I have access to some of the best deals out there. I might be able to find something for you that you couldn't find on your own.

Let's plan your dream vacation!!!!

If you're interested in booking a trip, or you want a free quote, contact me at

thetravelingcircus39@gmail.com.

I'll answer any questions that you might have.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sloppy Joes

My sister-in-law gave me this recipe when I first got married. I was pretty new to cooking so being able to make this was a big accomplishment for me. Whenever I make this it reminds me of the beginning of our marriage. 

This is one of our family's favorites. My kids are always so excited when we have Sloppy Joes! This recipe can be easily doubled to feed a crowd.

Printable Recipe

Sloppy Joes
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
hamburger buns

Brown ground beef with onion and green pepper; drain. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover; simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve on hamburger buns. 

Serves 4-6

Friday, August 21, 2015

Peanut Butter Bars

Remember the peanut butter bars that we had in elementary school? These peanut butter bars taste exactly the same. They are so good! This is one of my go-to recipes whenever I need to make something for a party. They're always a huge hit! This is definitely one of my faves!


Peanut Butter Bars
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup peanut butter
2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups quick oats

topping:
2 1/2 cups peanut butter

chocolate frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup cocoa powder
4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Add eggs, peanut butter, flour, vanilla, and baking soda. Mix until combined. Stir in oats. Spread evenly onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 or until lightly browned. Cool completely.

To make frosting, beat butter at medium speed until smooth. Beat in cocoa powder. Gradually add 1 cup of the powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in milk and vanilla. Gradually add remaining sugar. If needed, add additional milk to reach desired consistency. Mix well.

Spread peanut butter evenly over bars. Spread chocolate frosting evenly over peanut butter. Let sit for at least an hour to set.

Makes 35 bars

Thursday, August 13, 2015

White Chocolate S'mores Gooey Cake Bars

My husband and I have very different taste when it comes to desserts. He likes rich dark chocolate and I like super sweet desserts. These yummy bars were a little too sweet for him but I thought they were perfect. These bars have a delicious cake crust topped with a layer of graham cracker, white chocolate, marshmallows, and topped with more cake. Mmm... my mouth is watering right now just thinking about it!


White Chocolate S'mores Gooey Cake Bars
1 box yellow cake mix
1 large egg
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
4 1/2 full graham crackers
10 oz bag white chocolate chips
2 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8x8 baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray. Make sure the foil goes up and over the edges because the pan will be very full.

Place cake mix, egg, and butter in a large bowl. Mix until dough forms. It will look similar to cookie dough. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the pan. Layer with graham crackers, white chocolate chips, and then marshmallows. Top with remaining dough, pressing down evenly. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over the top. Bake for 28-33 minutes until cooked through and golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes and then take a plastic knife and run along the edges to loosen the marshmallow. Let cool completely. Remove foil from pan and cut into squares.

Makes 16 bars

Recipe from Picky Palate

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs

I love grilling in the summertime! It keeps my kitchen from getting too hot and there's nothing that says summer like having a bbq. My kids love these chicken kebobs because they're delicious and they get to eat their food on a stick. This is one of our family favorites!

Printable Recipe

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs
2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
10 skewers

marinade:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup ranch dressing
3 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar


Combine all ingredients for marinade. Let stand for 5 minutes. Pour marinade over chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 4 hours.

Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes. Thread chicken onto skewers; discard marinade. Heat grill over medium heat and spray grill grate with cooking spray. Grill kabobs for 8-12 minutes or until cooked through.

Makes about 10 skewers

Recipe adapted from Real Mom Kitchen

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Thai Pork with Peanut Sauce (Slow Cooker)

This is another one of those super easy meals that you throw everything together in the crock pot and let it cook all day. Not only is it easy, it's totally packed with flavor! Delicious!

Printable Recipe

Thai Pork with Peanut Sauce
2 lb boneless pork loin, cut into 4 pieces
2 red bell peppers, cut into strips
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter

Garnishes:
green onions
chopped peanuts

Spray a slow cooker with cooking spray. Place pork in the slow cooker and top with bell pepper. In a small bowl, mix together teriyaki sauce, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Pour over pork. Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours. Remove pork and shred. Add peanut butter to sauce until it dissolves. Stir in shredded pork. Serve over rice and top with green onions and peanuts.

Serves 6-8

Recipe adapted from Prep Ahead and Dine In

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

For Two Weeks Only Earn 4x Fuel Rewards on Gift Cards at Smith's


For the next two weeks, Smith's is offering 4x fuel rewards points when you purchase gift cards. If you bought a $50 gift card, you'd get 200 points which equals $.20 off each gallon up to 35 gallons. If you stock up on gift cards you can really rack up the points! We usually stock up on restaurant gift cards or gift cards to any store that we're planning on going to. When we fill up at the pump, we bring 2 cars to make sure we get the maximum savings by filling up all 35 gallons. This is a great way to save by buying something you were already going to buy.

*If you live outside of Utah, check your Local Kroger affiliated store to see if they're participating in this promo.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Shredded Beef Tacos

We've been spending a lot of time at the pool this summer. When we get home I really don't feel like making dinner. After being in the sun all day, I'm always starving but I never have the energy to cook. This recipe is perfect for days that like. I just throw everything in the crock pot in the morning and let it cook all day. When we get home, dinner is ready! These tacos are super easy to make and taste so delicious!

Printable Recipe

Shredded Beef Tacos
2 1/2 lb chuck roast
14 oz beef broth
juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 Tbsp cumin
1/2 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

tortillas
cheese
cilantro
salsa
guacamole
sour cream

Place roast in a slow cooker. Pour beef broth over roast and then squeeze lime juice over roast. Mix together spices and sprinkle over roast. Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours. Remove roast, shred and return to slow cooker. Cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Remove beef with tongs to remove juices or drain with colander. Serve in tortillas with desired toppings.

*This beef would also be great in burritos, enchiladas, or nachos.

Recipe adapted from: Cooking Classy

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Kicked Up Ramen Noodles-Kung Pao Style

Who doesn't love Ramen noodles? It's so easy and quick and I'm sure it's a staple for anyone with kids. I love this dish because it's packed with tons of flavor without the high sodium flavor packets. I also think Ramen tastes so much better when you add chicken and vegetables. This is also super easy to make!

Printable Recipe

Kicked Up Ramen Noodles-Kung Pao Style
3 Tbsp canola oil, divided
1 1/2 lb chicken breasts, cubed
1 bell pepper, sliced thin
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
4 cups chicken broth
5 pkg ramen noodles, seasoning packets discarded
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
4 green onions, sliced

In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of the canola oil until hot and rippling. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook until chicken is cooked through. Remove from skillet. Add remaining oil to the skillet until hot. Add bell pepper and peanuts and cook until peppers are softened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove and add to the chicken, leaving the oil in the skillet. Add garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper to the skillet. Cook and stir for 30 seconds. Stir in chicken broth. Break ramen noodles into small chunks and add to the skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook, tossing with tongs, until ramen is tender but liquid is still in the pan, about 2-4 minutes. Stir in hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Simmer until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in chicken, peppers, and peanuts. Sprinkle with green onions.

Serves 6

Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sign up for Ibotta to save on groceries

Have you heard of Ibotta? If not, you definitely need to check it out. It's a free app that gives you cash back on grocery purchases.

How it works is you check the Ibotta app before you go to the grocery store. There will be certain items that are redeemable for cash back. You will need to unlock each item that you want by watching a short video. After you buy those items you scan your receipt and the barcode of the item and you'll get a credit into your Ibotta account. When you're ready to cash out, they'll transfer the money into your Paypal account or you can get it in the form of a gift card.

What I like best about this app is the items that are redeemable are things that you normally buy, like milk, eggs, cheese, and produce. It's hard to find coupons for these items. There are also certain redeemable items that are not brand specific. I like this because sometimes I have a coupon and the store brand is still cheaper.

Each month there is a different team bonus that you can earn by reaching a certain amount in earnings. The more teammates you have, the faster you'll reach the bonus!

If you sign up and use the referral code below you'll be my teammate and you'll also get an extra $1 when you redeem your first offer within 14 days.

Referral code:
excjdey

So sign up at Ibotta today! It's a great way to earn some extra cash just for buying things you're already buying.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...