Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beezag!


I enjoy making a few extra dollars a month testing products, doing surveys or even playing games but let me tell you about my new favorite site.  Beezag!  All you do is watch commercials and earn points and most of the commercials are very short.  ALSO, about 75% of the time you are automatically entered into a drawing after watching the clip.  The drawings are usually for some sort of gift card ranging from $100 to $500.  You can also build up a network of friends and make points as they make points.  If you like doing this sort of stuff, I suggest trying Beezag out! 
 Click here to register for Beezag!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Free Scary Face Pancake for Kids at IHOP


This Friday October 28 between 7am and 10am IHOP is offering kids a free scary face pancake!  Kids 12 and under get to design their own pancake with whipped cream, Oreo cookies, candy corn and strawberries! Check it out on IHOP'S website.
Happy IHOPerween!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Free Ice Cream Sample Monday October 24th


It just so happens that I was planning a trip to the St. Louis Mills today around 5pm.  And to my surprise what do I see?  Marble Slab Creamery will be giving out a free sample of ice cream pizza between 3pm and 6pm today!  To find other participating locations go to Marble Slab Creamery website.  See you on the other side of my spoon!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Crock Pot Creamy Chicken and Rice

I am always always always looking for a yummy and EASY dinner recipe.  And I have found the easiest dinner this side of a crock pot!  I went scouring the Internet for some chicken and rice recipes and came across this one.  I can not remember where I found it because I would love to give the creator their props.  I am sure it was somewhere on pinterest!  Anyways. the ingredients are really  simple. 
First, I trimmed all the fat off of my chicken breast and added it to the bottom of the crock pot.  Always remember to spray your cock pot with Pam cooking spray to avoid sticking.  I then added the chopped onion and cream of chicken.

Now cook the chicken in the crock pot:
High: 3-4 hours
Low: 6-7 hours
I cooked my chicken on high for 4 hours.  Now before I go on the the next step I always check the chicken to make sure it is cooked all the way through.  When I went to check this the chicken started falling apart on my fork so I was pretty sure it was done!
Next I cooked my Zatarain's rice according to the directions on the box.  I followed the microwavable directions because I have never really tasted a difference before stove top and microwave when it comes to these instant rice mixes.  So, I go with the easiest!  I then added the cooked rice, cheese and corn to the crock pot and let it cook for about 5 minutes so the corn heats up and cheese melts.
If you look carefully (don't! ha ha) you will see like an idiot I had added my rice before cooking it.  That is because I didn't read all of the directions the first time.  Dumb Dumb Dumb.  I was then forced to scoop out the rice, use another box to cook it and then re add it.  I was so mad at myself for messing up and wasting a box of rice I did not even get a final picture of my dinner!  Oh well, we live and learn.  So anyways... Once this is done, stir the ingredients all together and serve. It was delicious and so easy.  I will definitely be making this one again!

Creamy Chicken and Rice

4 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 large Vidalia onion (chopped)
8 ounce box of Zatarain's Yellow Rice Mix (cooked)
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can whole kernel corn (drained)


Update:  I was told the original recipe came from Southern Plate.  Thanks for informing me... now to go check out more of her recipes!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Canning Apple Pie Jam

So after the apple pickin' extravaganza, the question arises "what am I going to do with all the apples we acquired?"  Well, the first thing on my list was to make some apple jam and I found the perfect recipe on one of my favorite blogs "Mommy's Kitchen".  So, I thought I would give it a shot myself! 
I first peeled, cored and diced 6 cups of Granny Smith apples and placed them into a pot with butter and water.  Now that sure seems like a lot of work but many years ago I purchased one of my favorite tools that I use to this day. My pampered Chef Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer!  If I did not have this handy tool I do not think I would ever work with apples, love it! And believe me folks, I am not a Pampered Chef representative... I just think every cook should have one of these in their kitchen!  So.... back to the jam.  I cooked my apples on low heat until they were soft but not mushy and added my pectin.  The apples were then brought to a full boil and then the sugars and cinnamon were added as the apples continue to boil.
Be sure to wash your jars and lids sterilized in a pot with boiling water beforehand.  Have your jars and supplies ready to go!
Add your jam to each jar leaving about 1/4 inch head space. 
Add the lids to your jars.  Do not tighten your lids until after you are done and your jam has cooled.  Process 1/2 pint jars for about 5 minutes and pint jars for 10 minutes.  You do not want to go any longer then this because it will cause fruit float. 
Remember not to tilt the jars when you remove them from the water.  Once you start removing the jars you will start to hear the "pop"of the seal.  Once your jam has cooled, tighten the lids and you are done!  It's so easy and SO very delicious!  I was really surprised how much it did taste like an apple pie!
6 cups of Granny Smith Apples (peeled and diced)
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon butter
2 cups brown sugar
3 cups of white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 small boxes of fruit powdered fruit pectin

*makes (7) 1/2 pints

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Confessions from a working mom.


I recently read an article about the "Top Ten Secret Confessions of a Mom" and it got me thinking about my own "confessions".  As I read through the article I TOTALLY agreed with some of the things they talked about in the article and others I kind of gasped at!  So I thought I would make my own top ten list and share it with all of you cause... there ain't no shame in my game!
  1. Mom wants to be left alone.  This was from the article I read and I thought it needed to be number 1 on my list!  I am always saying "Can't I even get a moment to myself to pee without you all banging on the door?"  I love spending time with the kids but I NEED that time away from them or I think I would lose my mind.
  2. Let your kids eat junk. Yep, I feed my kids poptarts, lunchables, corn dogs, candy and TV dinners.  It's not that I don't like to cook, I LOVE to cook and do so every chance I get.  But most week days I just don't have the time and I would rather spend an hour playing with the kids, reading with them or just getting a moment to myself instead of standing over the stove.
  3. Sent your kid to school sick. Now if my kid is puking, has a high fever or something major... of course I wouldn't send him to school.  But if I kept my kid home for every sniffle, cough or belly ache... I might as well home school him!  Not to mention that he/she probably got the cough from someone at school anyways.
  4. Your kid watches too much TV.  OK, so exactly what is too much TV?  I've had a mom tell me she only lets her child watch 30 minutes of TV every night.  Of course she was a "one child parent" and knows nothing about the benefits of letting your kids watch TV.  Like... how it stops them from fighting with each other for a good 30 minutes while Spongebob is on.  Or how one can bribe them with a Batman DVD before bed if they behave at the store.  And heck, my 3 year old learned all her letters and letter sounds from the box set of leap frog DVDs.  Now how could TV be bad for them? :)
  5. The 5 second rule applies in my house.  It's not like I would let my kid pick up a sucker from the ground with dirt, leaves and bugs hanging off of it.  But my kids are the most droppingist (yeah, I made that up!) kids you will ever meet and if the 5 second rule wasn't applied at my house my grocery bill would double.  And in my defense, I do keep the floors at my home very clean and try to enforce a "no shoes on in the house" policy for this very reason.
So, this is the beginning of my list.  Not so bad eh?  I think the conclusion might be a little more scandalous.

To be continued...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kids Eat Free at Sweet Tomatoes!


In honor of National Pajama Month (who knew?) this Sunday October 16th kids get to eat a free breakfast at Sweet Tomatoes!  Kids have to dress in pajamas and bring their favorite teddy bear and/or blankie from 9 to noon.  I am excited because me and the fam. love us some Sweet Tomatoes and we have always wanted to try their breakfast.  Don't fail on us S.T.

On top of that if you go to their website and join there Club Veg you will receive coupons in your email.  I received a "buy one meal get the second half off" when I registered.  I am not sure they will let me use the coupon with the kids free day but you know I will try! :)

http://www.sweettomatoes.com/

Apple Pickin' Fun!

Fall!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE Fall!  I love the cooler weather, I love that it kicks off the holiday season and my birthday is in Fall!  So one family tradition we started a few years back was to kick off the holiday season with apple picking.  Every year we have gone to the Eckert's Farm in Belleville.  So, to begin the day off we have to get dressed up in our apple picking attire and put on our apple pickin' faces!


One of my favorite parts of the trip (well besides picking the apples right off the tree and eating them) is the tractor ride to the fields.

And what did I say about eating those apples right off the tree?....

Of course we end the day with a tasty treat!

And now that I put the kiddos to work picking all those apples, mommas work has just begun!  I will be making homemade canned applesauce, apple pie jam and apple butter, oh my!  Posts on these are soon to come.

Happy Fall everyone!

Monday, October 10, 2011

All About Me

I am a professional working woman and mother raising two children under the age of six. I am a Biochemist who currently works full-time in a research laboratory at Washington University School of Medicine and full-time mother whom strives to give my children the feel of "stay-at-home-parenting" as much as possible. Juggling work, dance lessons, baking cupcakes for the little league baseball team and tucking my kids into bed every night with a good book is tough but can be done!

My goals of this blog are to:
1.) A place to keep and share the recipes that I love to make.
2.) Offer tid-bits on how I save and make a few extra bucks.
3.) Share my craft and sewing adventures.
4.) Offer advice on parenting and the art of multi-tasking.
 5.) Rave about my most precious kids and family!