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

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

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

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 
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