Sharing our food successes and failures, new recipes and old favorites
...and throwing in some great money-saving deals here and there!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A late MM entry

So one of our mamas couldn't make our gathering last Tuesday, but she still sent her recipe in...I'm going to leave her anonymous, but she knows who she is :P Thanks, lady!

Veggie Pizza
  1. Stay up really late to make it because it has to chill for a while and you don't want to be late as usual =)
  2. Go to bed.
  3. Set the alarm to get up earlier than usual because you have to go all the way to Lionville because your dumb ass left your diaper bag (aka, lifeline) at My Gym.  ...and you don't want to be late as usual!
  4. Answer the phone when it rings.  (You can, and should skip this step.)
  5. Hear your mother-in-law (that was supposed to come Monday but didn't because your sister-in-law passed out and then said she was coming early Wednesday morning) say, "good news ~ I'm on my way RIGHT NOW!"
  6. Open the fridge and take a good look at the yummy veggie pizza you made for the friends you were looking forward to hanging out with (finally!!).
  7. Grab a piece.
  8. Start the coffee.
  9. Grab another piece.
  10. Curse the empty liquor cabinet.
  11. Grab another piece.
  12. Sigh and start cleaning.
Best served cold!

October Munchin Mamas

I love Munchin Mamas day because it means I never have to cook leftovers :) (We all bring tupperware and divvy up the remaining food.) Our theme this month was "frighteningly delicious" and as I posted before, I brought the Green Grog. We also had a bruchetta-y calzone, easy mac-and-cheese, a yummy pumpkin/spinach ziti, and all the cookies, cupcakes and pumpkin cheesecake you could ever imagine! Needless to say I was STUFFED by the time we left :)

Here was our spread:
For the first recipes...

Easy Mac and Cheese
3 tbsp. butter
2 1/2 c. uncooked macaroni
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. sharp cheese, grated
Dash of pepper
1 qt. milk

  1. Melt butter in baking dish. 
  2. Pour uncooked macaroni into melted butter and stir until macaroni is covered well. 
  3. Stir salt, pepper and cheese through macaroni. 
  4. Pour milk over all. 
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Do not stir while baking.

For the second recipe...

Baked Ziti with Pumpkin & Sausage
Nonstick cooking spray
4 cups (12 oz.) dry regular or whole-wheat ziti
1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Fat Free Milk
4 links (12 oz.) fully-cooked Italian-seasoned chicken sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 pkg. (6 oz.) or about 4 cups pre-washed baby spinach
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded part-skim or 2% milk reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup (1.5 oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 425º F. Spray 4-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water and set aside for later use. Drain pasta; return to cooking pot.
  3. Meanwhile, combine pumpkin, flour, garlic powder, salt, nutmeg and cayenne pepper in medium skillet over medium heat. 
  4. Slowly add evaporated milk, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken slightly. 
  5. Pour over pasta in pot. Add sausage and reserved pasta cooking water; stir well.
  6. Spread half of the pasta mixture into prepared baking dish. Top with spinach. Cover with remaining pasta mixture. 
  7. Lightly spray piece of foil with nonstick cooking spray. Cover ziti with foil, greased-side-down.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through. 
  9. Combine mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses in small bowl. Remove foil; sprinkle with cheese mixture.
  10. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

The third recipe...

Caramelized Onion & Tomato Calzone
2 tsp olive oil
8 onions, thinly sliced
Pinch sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tblsp chopped basil (I use a little more!)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 lb prepared pizza dough
3 plum tomatoes, diced
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella

  1. Heat oil in skillet; add onions, sugar and 1/4 cup water. 
  2. Stir as needed until beginning to color - about 12 minutes.
  3. Add salt and another 1/4 cup water, stir as needed until sweet & deep brown - about 30 minutes.
  4. Cool, add basil and pepper.
  5. Preheat oven to 450F Spray baking sheet or pizza stone w/ cooking spray.
  6. Flour work surface and roll dough to coat with flour. Knead briefly & divide into fourths. Roll each piece into 6 inch rounds.
  7. Place 2 rounds on baking sheet. Divide mixture, tomatoes & cheese between rounds. Cover wtih remaining 2 rounds. Pinch edges to seal.
  8. Bake until golden; about 15-18 minutes.

And for the sweets!

 We all definitely enjoyed this round of MM!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Freebie of the Day

So I know this is mostly a blog full of cooking and recipes...I totally get that...but every once in awhile I see a freebie or deal that I want to mention. This one is a great freebie, although it kinda makes me blush and giggle. Hehehehe...

On, they're giving away FREE bottles of the K-Y Yours + Mine Couples Lubricant. It retails for $19.99 at most stores, but all you'd have to pay is for shipping. Not bad, huh? It lasts until midnight on Saturday, so if you want to take advantage, do it today! Just click on the link below.

DailyCheckout Standard

Friday, October 22, 2010

80% off at

There's another promo going on right now for 80% off! That means $25 gift certificates for a whopping $2. There are so many good restaurants on the site with available certificates, too. The promo ends Monday. Just click the link below and use the code PUMPKIN at checkout. Happy shopping and eating!

Now get 80% off $25 Gift Certificates! Use code PUMPKIN at checkout through 10/25/10.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

October 21 - Crockpot Meatloaf

I don't make meatloaf very often, but when I do, it has to be this recipe. It take about 20 minutes to toss together, but then you throw it in the crockpot and let it cook all day. It calls for 8 - 12 hours on low, so it's the perfect meal for people with a bit of a commute (like I had when worked outside the home). I always make mine with mashed potatoes and corn - I guess I'm a little traditional with my 'loaf :)

Linds, the boy and I have all loved this meal in the past, and I'm not sure I've made it since Luke's been on solids. After the way he's been eating lately (packs of cheese crackers for dinner two nights in a row...gah...), I didn't expect him to touch anything but the corn (the kid does not like mashed potatoes - I have NO idea why not?!? he's so not a Hoover!). To my surprise, he ate his entire piece in seconds and then handed me the plate and pointed to the spot where the loaf was for more. I couldn't believe it! I think he ended up eating just about as much of the loaf as I did. So, there you have it...if it's Luke-approved, it has to be good!

Crockpot Meatloaf

2 lbs. ground chuck
1/2 lb. bulk sausage
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 eggs
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 clove garlic
8 oz. tomato sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
3/4 cup crushed saltines
3 large potatoes sliced in 1/4" thick fingers

1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

  1. Line bottom of crockpot with potato fingers.
  2. Combine all ingredients (except sauce) in a large bowl. Mix well; shape into a loaf and place on top of potatoes.
  3. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and pour over loaf.
  4. Cook 8 - 12 hours on low.

October 20 - Rigatoni w/ sausage and peas

I'm actually glad that the photo uploader was down on Blogger yesterday because my review would have been a lot different! I made this dinner and *loved* it last night - it was quick and delicious (albeit high in calories); I reheated it for lunch and it did not reheat well. It lost the alfredo-ish texture of the sauce and was pretty much dripping with oil...not at all like the night before. So if you do decide to make it (and I highly recommend you do!), eat it all in one sitting.

Rigatoni w/ Sausage & Peas
1 16-ounce box rigatoni pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound ground sausage
2 cups frozen green peas
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil and sauté garlic over medium heat. Add sausage and brown.
  2. Once brown, add frozen peas and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3.  In the meantime, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. 
  4. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. 
  5. Slowly add heavy cream and butter to sausage skillet; bring to a slight boil. 
  6. Cook for 5 minutes. 
  7. Toss with cooked pasta and top with Parmesan cheese. 
The whole process should take just about half an hour. The estimated calories per serving is 611 (and this is an 8-serving dish). You can probably make some substitutions to get that number down (anything from cutting back on the amount of sausage to substituting ingredients in the sauce). The end result, however, is try it on a splurge night (if you are food obsessed like me and count calories/fat/etc.!)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

30-minute meal special

So last month's Munchin Mamas meeting was themed with "under 30-minute meals." If you remember, I brought my mixed-up enchiladas (one of my favorite dishes!). I kept begging for everyone else's recipes and *finally* got them! Here are some:

Chicken and Vegetable Penne
1 lb. cooked chicken (cubed or I usually throw them on the grill to cook while I'm cooking everything else)
2 cups uncooked Penne pasta
1 small yellow squash, sliced
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 tsp. minced garlic
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. 
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the squash, zucchini, and garlic in butter until tender.
  3. In a bowl, whisk the flour, seasonings, and cream until smooth. 
  4. Add to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes or until thickened. 
  5. Drain pasta and add to vegetable mixture. 
  6. Toss in chicken.

Catharoni and Cheese
1 box tricolor rotini
A few tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (Cathy likes colby-jack)
3/4 cup milk
Potato chips, bread crumbs, or crunchy topping of your choice

  1. Cook 1 box tricolor rotini until tender. Drain.
  2. Add a few table spoons of butter and stir. If pasta doesn't look "shiney with buttery goodness" add more and stir again =)
  3. Add as 3 tablespoons of flour by sprinkling a little at a time on top and mixing in. (If any of you happen to have a sifter, use it, but who has a sifter anymore?!)
  4. Add about 1 cup of Parmesan cheese and stir.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add 2 cups of shredded cheese of your choice (I like Colby Jack in this, but Cheddar works well too) and of course, stir!
  7. Add 3/4 cups milk and stir. Add more if it looks dry, but make sure there isn't a puddle of milk in the bottom. Guess what you do next?? Yep, stir!
  8. Top with Parmesan cheese, potato chips, bread crumbs, or shredded cheese DO NOT STIR!
  9. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted through.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Green Grog

Today is our October meeting of the Munchin' Mamas and we're having a "frighteningly delicious" theme. I debated what I wanted to make and almost made these little sausages wrapped up to look like mummies (i.e. pigs in a blanket, Halloween-style), but when I saw what everyone else was bringing, I realized no one had any beverages. You all know that I can't resist a good beverage (particularly if it's laced with some "spirits" if we're going with the whole holiday theme?!), so I'm making Green Grog.

For those who aren't familiar with "grog" - it is a rum drink that is usually diluted with water. If you'd like the history lesson, it's named after British admiral, Edward Vernon (1684-1757). Vernon always wore a grogram cloak (hence the "grog") and served the diluted rum mixture to his sailors.

This time, I'm diluting it with juices, soda and sherbet!

Green Grog
2 (12 fluid ounce) cans frozen limeade concentrate
2 (12 fluid ounce) cans frozen lemonade concentrate
2 (2 liter) bottles lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage
1 (750 milliliter) bottle rum
2 quarts lime sherbet

  1. In a large pot, combine limeade, lemonade and lemon-lime soda. 
  2. Stir in rum (add more to taste if desired.) Mix in the lime sherbet.

Monday, October 18, 2010

October 18 - Farmhouse Ham Chowder

I think I've only made this once before and from what I had remembered, I enjoyed it enough to do it again. I went back through the blog to figure out if I really did and can't find a single post about I either skipped blogging that day, or made it before the first of this year? Regardless, it tasted delish, and even Linds and the boy (who aren't big soup eaters) finished their bowls. Luke? Well he was a different story altogether. Maybe he stuffed himself full of popcorn and Cinnamon Toast Crunch during this snack?!?

Farmhouse Ham Chowder
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red sweet pepper
2 T butter
1/4 cup flour
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
4 1/4 cups milk
2 cups frozen cubed hash browns, thawed
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1/4 tsp thyme
2 oz. smoked Gouda cheese, shredded (I used cheddar this time)

  1. In a large saucepan, sauté the onion, celery and red pepper in butter until vegetables are crisp-tender. 
  2. Stir in flour and dressing mix until smooth; gradually stir in milk. 
  3. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. 
  4. Add the potatoes, corn, ham and thyme. Bring to a boil. 
  5. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 8-10 minutes or until heated through. 
  6. Sprinkle with the cheese before serving.
The prep time is only about 10 or 15 minutes of chopping and then there's about 25-30 minutes of cook time. Normally I would have served bread and salad, but I wasn't that hungry (nor was the boy), so we just stuck with the soup. The recipe makes 8 servings at 267 calories/serving...not bad for a chowder!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October 17 - Rosemary Ranch Chicken

The whole art of the big Sunday dinner seems to be a foregone conclusion for so many families I know. Busy weeks lead into busy weekends and taking the time to put together a big meal by the time Sunday hits is last on the list of important things to do. I know I've been guilty of this lately! I've come to realize, however, that if we take the time to sit down (with the television OFF) and enjoy some food together, the kids tend to be generally happier and easier to put to bed. With this in mind, I decided to put some effort into tonight's dinner (rather than slapping together some pasta and jarred sauce like I had been thinking) and make a nice Sunday dinner.

I gave Linds a couple choices and let her pick - rosemary ranch chicken, white rice (with some of the chicken marinade over top), and braised carrots. Once 5:00 hit, she insisted on helping and I couldn't have been more excited to have her in the kitchen with me! Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love to cook on my own...but having someone there to keep me company and measure ingredients with made it all the more enjoyable.

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup ranch dressing
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon white sugar
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, salt, lemon juice, white vinegar, pepper, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. Place chicken in the bowl, and stir to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once preheated, bake the chicken covered in the marinade for approximately 25 minutes or until juices run clear

Braised Carrots
1 lb bag of baby carrots
1/2 cup water or chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Combine all ingredients in large saucepan.
  2. Simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until water/broth evaporates. 


Get paid for your opinion!

I've been a member of Pinecone Research for a few years now...they send me maybe 40 or 50 surveys a year and I get paid (on average) $3 for each one. Sometimes, depending on what you're being surveyed on, they'll send you the product to keep and try. I've gotten a bunch of stuff over the years that I've evaluated! Right now they're looking for females between 18 and 24 (I know, not my typical demographic, but I figured I could give it a shot!). If you're interested, click below.

Get paid for your opinion. Click Here to sign-up at Pinecone Research.

Halloween Recipes!

In honor of my Munchin Mamas meeting on Tuesday (theme: frightfully delicious food!), I thought I'd post these :)

22 Healthy Halloween Recipes

23 Spooky Halloween Recipes

One of my favorite quick meals!

There are some nights where you just do NOT feel like cooking! Last Wednesday (two Wednesdays back?) was definitely one of those. It was cold and rainy that day and felt like a grilled cheese and tomato soup kind of dinner. I didn't have bread (this was right around the time I desperately needed to shop), so I ran to the store and picked up some croissants, smoked ham and Heidi Ann Swiss cheese (my absolute FAVORITE cheese ever) and made a can of Campbell's. It totally worked - quick, easy and tasted delicious :)

Beer Glazed Ham

I made this a couple of weeks ago and completely forgot to follow up with it on my blog. It was so, so delicious and *everyone* in the family scarfed it down. And for some bizarre reason, Linds kept calling the ham, "bacon"...right animal, wrong part?!

I copped out and made some boxed au gratin potatoes with it (they were super, super cheap and made for a good side on a night where I need something quick to make),and the rest of the green beans from Vollmecke Farms (an organic CSA right here in Coatesville!).

The glaze is easy to make and is probably my favorite way to eat's a little sweet (and for a sweet tooth like me, that perfect), but not too overbearing. I've made this for some of the mamas, too, after they've had babies and it's a big hit since it's something beside the same-old casserole and no more difficult to make.

Beer Glazed Ham
1 boneless fully cooked ham (3 lbs.) 
1 can beer
1 cup packed brown sugar  
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 tsp ground mustard

  1. Place ham on a rack in a shallow roasting pan (I didn't have a rack, so I rolled up some foil to keep the ham from sitting right in the pan). Score the surface of the ham, making diamond shapes ½ inch deep. 
  2. Set aside 2 T beer. Pour remaining beer over ham. 
  3. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 1 hour. 
  4. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, vinegar, mustard and reserved beer; spread over ham.
  5. Bake 40-45 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 140, basting occasionally.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

To all my Chester County mamas...

I signed up for kgb deals awhile back when they had $4 AMC movie tickets. Today, they're offering 74% off a glittery makeup, hairdo and nails package at Sweet & Sassy in Exton (a $25 value) for just $6.50!

Here's the info:
  • Exton location only
  • Valid until April 15, 2011
  • Please call to make your appointment
  • One per visit per paying customer
  • Cannot be combined with any additional promotions or discounts; not valid for parties
  • Tax & gratuity not included and should be based on retail price
  • Tues.-Thurs. 10 am-6 pm, Fri.-Sat. 10 am-7 pm, Sun. 12 pm-6 pm

Click here for this kgb Sweet & Sassy Deal!

ANOTHER 50-point GTG code!

Pampers just released ANOTHER new 50-point code!
  • 2BEGINEARNING50 - 50 points

If you haven't signed up for Pampers Gifts to Grow program, click the image below. Even if you don't buy Pampers, you can collect enough "free points" for all sorts of cool rewards.


If you've signed up, check HERE to see if you are up-to-date with all of the free codes!

Monday, October 4, 2010

4 movie tickets for $20!

Awesome Groupon Deal!! Right now they're offering 4 Fandango movie tickets (Downingtown, Frazer, Manor, Lititz, etc. theaters) for only $20!! Just click the link below and choose the city of Jacksonville to get the deal. They're even good for 3D and IMAX movies (each ticket has a $14 value). This one sold out pretty quickly last time, so order soon :)

Groupon Movie Ticket Deal

Sunday, October 3, 2010

October 2 - Honey Chicken Kabobs

Miraculously, my little sister, little brother and I *all* had a Saturday with no plans, so we decided to get together. Now, you see, Steph is 25 and Zach is 22, so the fact that my Saturday was wide open doesn't say much...the fact that THEIR Saturdays were wide open was honestly an anomaly. And to make an awesome day even better, Steph brought her friend we affectionately call "Uncle Kaitlin." The kids had a blast spending time with their aunt and uncle(s?!) and it was great getting the three of us together for some silly fun. Scott was a good sport and endured the countless Seinfeld references and other assorted inside jokes (the two cases of beer they brought probably helped with that). Below is Steph, Miss Linds and me.
When I realized we'd all be here for a "lupper" (lunch/supper), I had to figure out something to make. I kind of have a reputation in my family for being a crap cook - stupid food fails that I've mentioned here if you haven't been keeping up regularly - so I needed to come up with some really impressive. I wanted to grill since it was a gorgeous day and decided to do some honey chicken kabobs, grilled veggies and rice. I also made buffalo chicken dip since it's a Hoover favorite.

Steph and Zach teased throughout the afternoon about the concoction I was making, but were quickly silenced when they started eating. Score one for me! And I think the veggies were extra delicious because I bought them at the farmer's market (and unfortunately no one will get that joke since neither of them read my blog regularly :P). Below are the pre-grilled skewered kabobs, the boy grilling (we split the task - he started them, I finished), and the food completely finished.
It was the perfect dinner to make - all the prep work was done before guests arrived and all that was left was making some rice and doing the grilling. Everything was delicious and everyone loved it! I made them pose for a photo and then pose for a "candid" photo so I could prove they actually ate it. The last one down there is of me and my broken "china" - stupid plastic utensil broke while I was trying to eat.
Here are the recipes for the marinade and for the buffalo chicken dip (thanks to Sharon Massey for her dip recipe - it's become a staple at Hoover family functions!):

Honey Chicken Kabobs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes
Assorted veggies and fruit (I used zucchini, red onion, green and red peppers, mushrooms and pineapple)

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, honey, soy sauce, garlic and pepper. Place the chicken, veggies and fruit in the bowl, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 3 hours (the longer the better).
  2. Preheat the grill for medium-low heat.
  3. Drain marinade from the chicken and vegetables, and discard marinade. Thread chicken and vegetables onto skewers.
  4. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place the skewers on the grill. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until chicken juices run clear. Turn and brush with reserved marinade frequently.
 Buffalo Chicken Dip
1/2 cup hot sauce (more or less, depending on your taste)
1 cup ranch dressing
20 oz cooked chicken, chopped (I use 2 boxes of Perdue short cuts original roasted and chop it up)
2 - 8 oz blocks cream cheese, softened
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350. 
  2. Mix the above ingredients and put in a pie dish and bake for 45 minutes until slightly browned and bubbling. 
  3. Serve it with tortilla chips.
It was good!! :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

ANOTHER GTG code - 50 points!

Well I prematurely posted last night - Pampers just released a NEW 50-point code!
  • JOINNOW4REWARDS - 50 points
If you haven't signed up for Pampers Gifts to Grow program, click the image below. Even if you don't buy Pampers, you can collect enough "free points" for all sorts of cool rewards.


If you've signed up, check HERE to see if you are up-to-date with all of the free codes!

Friday, October 1, 2010

New GTG Codes

Pampers released MORE codes! The new codes include:
  • PUNTOSPARAMI123 - 10 points
  • FACEBOOKOCT2010 - 10 points
  • PAMPERSTWITTER5 - 5 points
  • GIFTS2GROWBONUS - 20 points
If you haven't signed up for Pampers Gifts to Grow program, click the image below. Even if you don't buy Pampers, you can collect enough "free points" for all sorts of cool rewards.


If you've signed up, check HERE to see if you are up-to-date with all of the free codes!

October 1 - Baked Potato Soup

I found a keeper! I was perusing the soup recipes on (my favorite site for new food ideas) and found a highly-rated recipe for baked potato soup. There's nothing we love more in this household than potatoes, so I knew this would be worth a shot. It was fantastic! I made some rosemary bread to go with it, but the it didn't fully rise, so it was very doughy and weird. It wasn't a big deal because the soup was so amazing you didn't even need anything to go with it. The recipe below serves 4, so if you want leftovers or have a few extra mouths to feed, I'd recommend doubling it.

Baked Potato Soup
3 bacon strips, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
2 large cooked potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Shredded Cheddar cheese

  1. In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Set bacon aside. 
  2. Saute onion and garlic in the drippings until tender. 
  3. Stir in flour, salt, basil and pepper; mix well. 
  4. Gradually add broth. Bring to boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. 
  5. Add the potatoes, cream and hot pepper sauce; heat through but do not boil. 
  6. Garnish with bacon and cheese. 

LPT Online Fiesta - BIGGER discount!

My Little Pink Turtle online fiesta continues through Sunday this week - and I have GREAT news for you! Through Sunday, not only do you get a 10% discount when you use the code ERICA, but you ALSO get 15% off automatically on everything in their store. Yep - they've marked everything down 15% and then there's another 10% discount on top of that. If you haven't ordered already (or if you have, but want to take advantage of this incredible offer!), visit The Little Pink Turtle and go to it!

25-dollar gift certificates for only a buck?!?!? is having a HUGE sale today only for 90% (yes, you read that right - 90%!!) off. Seriously, this means their $25 gift certificates are only $1! They're only running it through the end of today, so don't put off ordering them. Whoo hoo!

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