Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Free HotBook from HotPrints!

Ok you guys, this deal is awesome! You can get a free HotBook every month from HotPrints! I've only gotten one so far because I just discovered it this month, but it's really cool! It's sort of like a magazine full of just pictures, but the pages aren't as flimsy as a magazine. You can choose a theme, different layouts, colors, captions, etc. and then put whatever photos you want in it. Mine is full of Isaac photos from 0-9 months.

And it really is free! Free book, free shipping, totally free. And you get to make one per calendar month.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Got Taco Seasoning?

I'm running out of titles for my Target posts. I guess I'm just not that creative.

Anyway, here are my latest Target finds:

Got taco seasoning? I do. Lots of it. And chili seasoning and guacamole mix. All these Ortega packets are on price cut at Target for $.59. I printed a bunch of these coupons on various computers for $1/2 Ortega products. That makes each packet a whopping $.09 each. I seriously stocked up. I bought like 14 packets. They'll get used.

Have I mentioned how much I love Seventh Generation products? I haven't? Well, I love them. But I only buy them if they're cheap. I especially like the three bottles of disinfecting spray I bought a few weeks ago for $.99 each, plus a $5 mail-in rebate. That's right, I made two bucks on that deal. But I digress...

This is dish soap. It's regular price is $2.69 each. I bought two and used a manufacturer coupon for $2/2 and used two printable Target coupons for $1/1. Yep, I got them for $.69 each. And I love them. Did I mention that?

Ok, so I'm not so sure about these because I've never tried anything like it before, but all four of these bottles cost a total of $2, so I figured "what the heck?"

It's called Fresh Start by Tresemme. It's waterless shampoo. One of the bigger bottles is foam and the other one is an aerosol spray. The two smaller ones are "refreshing spray." They came attached to the bigger bottles as a bonus. I think these will come in handy at the lake.

The bonus packs were on sale for $3.99 each. I had this B1G1 coupon, along with this $2 coupon and I was able to use them both. So I got both packs for $1.99 total!

Update: It looks like the $2 Tresemme coupon is no longer available. Sorry!

I'll probably be going again on Friday because I have the day off and I want more Seventh Generation stuff. I'll see what else I can find then, so check back this weekend!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Isaac's 9 Month Photo Shoot - Take 1

This is my sad attempt at taking Isaac's 9 month pictures. If you look past the cuteness of the subject, the pictures really aren't that great. In order to avoid the orangy color that some of these photos have, I had to use the flash and then I got lots of shadows. I am planning to go to my mom's house sometime soon to use her Photoshop Elements program to take some of the shadows out. My next attempt will be outside with (hopefully) better lighting. Please keep in mind that I am no professional!

"Ok Mom, that's enough pictures!"
"I said, I'm done!"
Ok, fine. We're done.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Target Clearance Schedule

Calling all deal seekers!

My cousin, Sarah, shared this interesting link with me. She knows how much I love Target. :) It's the schedule that Target uses to decide when items in certain departments go on clearance. I didn't know there was such a thing. Thanks for sharing, Sarah! And a big thanks to Charlene at My Frugal Adventures for posting this!

MONDAY: Kids Clothing, Stationary Items, Electronics, Baby
TUESDAY: Domestics, Food, Women’s Clothing, Pets
WEDNESDAY: Men’s Clothing, Toys, HBA, Lawn and Garden
THURSDAY: Housewares, Shoes, Lingerie, Sporting Goods, Music, Movies, Books, Decor, Luggage
FRIDAY: Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, Jewelry

Monday, April 19, 2010

Easy Chicken Fried Steak

A while back, I bought a few packs of cube steak on super duper sale at Target for, like, $1 for a pack of three steaks. I attempted making chicken fried steak for the first time about 6 weeks ago.

Epic fail.

The meat was tough, the breading was super crisp in some places, mushy in some places, and floury in some places. I'm lucky my husband will eat pretty much anything. The best part of my chicken fried steak was the gravy, which came from a packet. All I did was add water. {sigh}

I was pondering what I should do with the second pack of cube steak sitting in my freezer, since I am clearly not cut out to make chicken fried steak, when low and behold, Alton Brown read my mind and aired an episode (Cubing Around) on what to do with cubed steak! What are the odds?

In this episode, he made three seperate dishes with cube steak - country style steak, swiss steak, and {gasp} chicken fried steak. Neither James nor I were at all interested in the swiss steak - cross that one off the list. The country style steak looked ok, but I don't have a dutch oven (it's on my wish list). That left one thing...

Chicken fried steak, we meet again.

Alton Brown made it look relatively easy. But come on, he's Alton Brown the culinary king of everything. The man has so much cooking knowledge it blows my mind. But I decided to try it out anyway. After all, what's the worst that could happen? I've got Domino's on speed dial just in case. Of course, I always tweak recipes. I'm stubborn like that. So I'll show you what I did. This is based on Alton's recipe.

Here goes nothing!

I put some (a little less than a cup) all-purpose flour into one pie pan, and two beaten egg into the other. I am using less than the recipe calls for because I don't have as much cube steak as Alton used.

After I sprinkled the meat with salt and pepper, I dredged it in flour.

Alton says you're supposed to "tenderize the meat using a needling device." I don't have a needling device. But I do have a fork, so that's what I used.

After that, I dipped the meat into the flour again...

then into the egg...

then back into the flour.

Next, I coated the bottom of a pan with vegetable oil and let it heat for a bit. Then I put the steaks into the oil and browned them for a few minutes on each side.

...and set it onto a wire rack in a roasting pan. I figured a roasting pan is as good as any other type of pan, right? And it had a wire rack that fits nicely inside, so that was a big factor in that decision. Anyway, I popped it in the oven on 350 degrees and set the timer for 25 minutes.

While they were baking, I made the gravy. I made it from scratch from my own delicious recipe that I made up myself and... aw, who am I kidding. I used a packaged mix. All I really had to do was add water and heat it on the stove until it boiled. Even fabulous cooks like me {giggle} need a shortcut now and again.

After the steaks came out of the oven...

...I plated them and poured the gravy on top.

Ok, so I was going to make mashed potatoes too, but I forgot. Stop laughing. I'm only human.

The best part is, no Domino's required! It was pretty good. James really liked it. I thought it was ok. I am beginning to realize that I am just not a huge fan of chicken fried steak. If you like it though, you'll probably like this recipe.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Huggies Enjoy the Ride - Free Codes!

I registered for the Huggies Enjoy the Ride rewards program a while ago, but until recently we mostly used Pampers. Pampers has a similar program called Gifts to Grow. Pampers occassionally sends out codes for free points!

Today I opened a new pack of Huggies wipes, and remembered to NOT throw away the wrapper before entering the code. I usually forget. So I entered it on the website (http://www.enjoytheriderewards.com/) and thought to myself, "I wonder if you can find free codes for this program too?" So I searched and found quite a few. Some were valid, some were not. Here is a list of the ones that worked for me for a total of 62 points!

(5 points)

(1 point)

These should all work, assuming I typed them correctly. If one doesn't work, let me know and I'll double check the code.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Creamy Chicken Crescent... thingies

Ok, so I haven't quite come up with a name for these yet. Suggestions are welcome.

Anyway, I got a bunch of cream cheese on sale a few weeks ago, so I was then charged with the task of figuring out somthing to make with cream cheese in it. Plus, I didn't want to go shopping so I needed to have all of the ingredients already. I used a recipe for inspiration, but ended up not really following it at all. Here's what I came up with.

First, I chopped up three split chicken breasts into pretty small pieces. I prefer shredded chicken, but that's too time consuming for me. I'm lazy. So I just chopped it all up and threw it into the frying pan.

Then I put the following ingredients into a bowl:
6 oz of cream cheese
3 tbsp melted margarine (you could also use butter)
A little (2 tbsp maybe?) milk
Onion powder to taste
A handful of shredded cheese

Then I added the chicken.

And mixed it up.

I layed refrigerated crescent roll dough on a cookie sheet in rectangles (2 triangles = 1 rectangle). You need to pinch the middles together to make them stay attached to each other.

Then I topped the crescent dough with the chicken mixture, folded it up, and pinched the edges together. The one in the top left corner of the picture gave me some trouble. It didn't look nearly as pretty as the others.

I baked them on 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Ho. ly. crap.
They were SOOOO good. Make them. Tonight. Seriously.

A few notes:
You could use chopped onions in lieu of the onion powder. As I mentioned before, I'm lazy. That's why I love onion powder.
Be sure to cook them long enough. Crescent dough has a tendency of browning nicely on the outside, but being doughy on the inside. It should be nice and dark on the outside. Nothing turns me off of my food more than a great big mouthful of dough. Ew.

Doesn't it look delicious?

Bon appetit!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Farm Photos

Last weekend we went to visit James' family in South Dakota. His parents live on a farm, and they raise sheep. While Isaac was napping on Sunday, I decided to wander around the farm and take some pictures.

The barn
Some sheep wondering what the heck I'm doing
The barn. I think I had the aperture too low..
The barn again. This is one of my faves.
Hay bales in front of the barn
I think this picture is really cool. If you weren't home when the gas guy came to fill your fuel tanks, they'd put your receipt here.
One of the gas pumps
Both gas pumps
Another one of my faves - just a tree
The corn field across the road
The hedge row - this is another one of my favorites
Barn window

Free Starbucks Coffee Today!!

Happy Tax Day!
Don't forget to get your free coffee from Starbucks! Just bring in a reusable mug and they'll fill it up for free. It's just coffee though, no espresso drinks (lattes, mochas, etc.).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm baaaaack!

I feel like I've been so busy lately! Here's an update on my life.

Monday was my uncle's funeral. It sucked, but I guess that's to be expected. Then on the way home from the funeral, we realized that our tire was low on air. We stopped at a gas station to fill it, and noticed that there was a hole in the tire. Great. So we drove across the street to another gas station that had a tire shop connected to it. Turns out there was a chunk of a screw or nail or something in the tire. So they patched it up and sent us on our way.

Then I went to my dentist appointment and found out I have a cavity. It's getting filled next Thursday. Awesome.

Not a great day.

When I got to work on Tuesday, a few of the students had made me a really large sympathy card and had everyone sign it. It was very sweet! It made me cry a little, but in a good way. It definitely brightened my day.

Since I work in a state treatment facility, I had to cut out the kids' names due to confidentiality. I didn't take out Kristi's name because she's the teacher.
The back was my favorite. Even though she totally spelled Isaac's name wrong. :) You can click on the picture to enlarge it. The words are a little small.
Boy, usually those kids really stress me out, but they sure can be sweet sometimes.

My week just keeps getting better. Today was wonderful! When I picked Isaac up from daycare after work, she had the kids on a blanket on the lawn. They were having a "picnic" with graham crackers and water. It was cute! :) So I sat with them for about 20 minutes. Then when we got home I spread out a blanket on our lawn and sat out there with Isaac and read him a few books until Daddy got home from work. Then we all played outside for a little while until supper was ready. After supper, the three of us went shopping. I needed a new power cord for my laptop ($85!!!) and we're casually looking for a new dresser. What a wonderfully ordinary day!

Here's to hoping that tomorrow is even better!