Many Uses for Honey for Beauty, Cooking & more! #BenefitsofHoney Plus Mexican Mocha Coffee Creamer Recipe!

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Mexican Mocha Creamer

We have been in the process of finding more ways to live a healthier lifestyle by using less processed ingredients & sugars, using more natural products around our home, as well more natural products for our bodies.  We have been using honey more as a natural sweetener in things like smoothies, greek yogurt berry parfaits and baking, but I was surprised to learn about the other important ways that honey can benefit us in our daily lives.

I had the opportunity to attend an event put on by the National Honey Board last week at the Seattle Art Museum, which was very enlightening for me and inspired me to find many more ways to incorporate honey usage into our daily lives as honey is such a versatile staple to have on hand in your home.

Honey Varietals

I was also surprised to learn that there are over 300 varietals of honey! Did you have any idea there were so many different kinds? We only typically see a few varietals in the stores, but if you’re interested in some unique varietals, then check out the Honey.com website where they have a Honey Locator to find which locations near you may offer different varietals you’re interested in. I got to try several different varieties & found that I loved the Orange Blossom & Alfalfa varietals, but it will all depend on your preference for sure. I think it would be fun to have a get-together where you offer different varietals of honey for folks to try with different kinds of cheeses & crackers as part of the appetizers. They call these “Honey Tasting Parties” and it’s fun to see which are the favorite flavors.

Benefits of Using Honey::

Natural Cough Suppressant:

I was most interested in finding out more details about honey as a natural cough suppressant as both of my kiddos had been sick the last two weeks with a bad cold and cough. When I called the Nurse Helpline at our doctor’s office for tips on helping my kids feel better since they were both so miserable, one of the tips the nurse shared was to have my daughter to eat a spoonful of honey or put a spoonful of honey in a warm liquid like tea or even warm apple juice. This is something I have long heard from my grandma (also a nurse), but I wondered about how effective it was compared to cough suppressants.   I talked with Nurse Barb Dehn, who was at the National Honey Board event, to find out more about this and she shared that research has shown that a small dose of buckwheat honey was more effective than over the counter cough suppressants for nighttime cough relief & sleeping. We really try to use any over-the-counter medications sparingly and have been actively searching out natural options in place of medications, so I love that such a basic staple like honey is something we could use to help relieve the uncomfortableness associated with a cough & help our kids sleep better at night when they are struggling with that cough that just won’t end.  {Just remember that honey shouldn’t be given to a child under the age of 1}

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Popcorn Bar – Perfect for Many Occasions (Easy On the Budget Too)!

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Popcorn Bar Ideas 2

 

With graduation time coming up, we thought we would share this idea for a popcorn bar again, in case any of you are looking for an affordable way to throw a graduation party!

We love using a Popcorn Bar to entertain on a budget. Its a great way to have a fun snack for everyone, on a budget. You can make a gourmet Popcorn bar, or keep it really simple with just a few ingredients. Popcorn bars are suitable for birthday parties, football and game day parties, holidays and just because. Sometimes I will put one out for my kids for an after school snack, and they love that.

You could do a simple one for just a few dollars too!

grown up pocorn

Setting up your Popcorn Bar

Popcorn Bars not only provide a snack for guests, their set up makes great party decor too. Two super affordable options include:

  • Brown Paper Bags
  • Paper Cones

I love to use plain brown paper bags for serving, to keep it simple and affordable. You can decorate the outside of the bags ahead of time to make your popcorn bar look special. If its a kids party, you could have the kids decorate their own bags, so now its a snack and an activity, and you can get a bag of brown paper bags at the dollar store. Or, grab a roll of brown craft paper (I also find this for $1 at the Dollar Store), and make cones out of it to serve the popcorn in.

For the toppings you can do one of two things:

1) Set out toppings that guests can add to the popcorn themselves

or 2) Make up a few different Popcorn recipes and set them out to let your guests serve themselves

The quick and easy route is to make a large pot of plain popcorn, and serve it up in a bowl with melted butter and topping options on the side. This option will take around 15 minutes to cook and set up, so super easy!

Theme Ideas

Movie theater popcorn bar

Movie Theater Popcorn Bar (this one is fun for family movie nights, or a teen party, and more). I found all of these items at my local Dollar Store, but Amazon often has great prices on similar products. We used a set of the Popcorn bags and popcorn tub, but you could use these cute Popcorn boxes or boats too. I find the bags easiest to use so folks can add butter and toppings, close up bag and shake it up well.

I used a measuring cup for butter, added some salt, mexican chocolate, cinnamon and sugar and parmesean to the shaker sets we also found that the dollar store, so folks can top their own popcorn. A few simple pieces printed out clip art to finish off the decorations and this spread is ready to serve.

Popcorn Bar Final

Football Party Game Day Popcorn Bar – Use brown paper bags to make faux footballs for folks to scoop their popcorn into. You could use a paint pen, craft paint, or white tape to create the laces look (but we loved the Seahawk colors)!

Popcorn Craft Bags

Kids Art Party – Let the kids decorate the paper bags themselves as an activity, and then they can use their own bags for their popcorn treat!

You can also get all kinds of different colors for party bags, starting at just $1.49 per pack, if you are looking to coordinate them with specific party colors.

Flavored Popcorn Bar

Grown Up Popcorn Party – Popcorn fun is not just for kids. You can make a few of your favorite popcorn recipes (see below for ideas) ahead of time, and display them in a few of your best containers (these 1 gallon glass jars would be perfect). Label them to let folk know what they are. You can even create a card to let folks know what the best drink pairing would be, if you are offering different drinks (ie the Buffalo recipe will pair well with beer, the ranch recipe could go nice with a bottle of dry white, the Mexican chocolate with a cab, etc).

You can use your favorite paper for the Popcorn cones too. Simply wrap up a wax or parchment paper cone to put inside the decor paper to keep the buttery popcorn options from leaking through.

I used a Friends with Words game for signage. You could search your local Value Village or Goodwill for affordable scrabble games and use the letters from those for a similar look.

Popcorn 2

How to Make Popcorn 

You can use microwave popcorn, but I prefer fresh popped popcorn (and find it cheaper to just buy a bag of popcorn seeds). This Arrowhead Mills Organic popcorn is $3.69 on Amazon

I have a popcorn popper, but if you do not, you can simply make it in a large stockpot over the stove top.

To make popcorn over the stove you will need a 6-8 quart stock pot.

  • Set it on a burner, on medium heat and add 2 tbls of oil.
  • Let the oil heat up, then add a 1/2 cup of popcorn seeds and cover with the lid.
  • Gently shake the pan so that the oil covers the seeds and let it sit on medium heat until you hear the popcorn start popping.
  • Once popcorn starts popping, you can gently move the pan (shake lightly) back and forth to keep popcorn on the bottom from burning.
  • Once the popping noise stops, remove from heat immediately.

Popcorn Toppings 2

Topping Ideas for the Popcorn (Sweet  & Savory popcorn recipes): 

Note – you will want to have some melted butter available for folks to add to their popcorn first so that these toppings will stick.

Sweet popcorn recipes:

  • Cinnamon and sugar
  • Mini Chocolate Chips
  • Sugar and salt mixture (for the sweet and salty taste)
  • Mexican Chocolate (mix 1 tbls chocolate powder, 1tbls sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon)

Savory popcorn recipes:

  • Salt
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Dry Ranch Dressing Mix
  • Seasoning Salt
  • Salt and Pepper Mix
  • Your favorite herb mixes (Italian herbs, basil and lemon zest, etc)
  • Dry BBQ Seasoning

Toppings you can use and skip the butter: 

  • Mini Chocolate Chips
  • M&Ms (the mini ones are fun)
  • Trail mix
  • Raisins

If you wanted to take the easy route, you can buy an 8 pack of Kernel Season’s Mini Jars Seasoning Variety Packs for under $15 too.

Gourmet Popcorn Recipes (or pre-made popcorn ideas): 

One easy tip to make a fun party popcorn is to prepare a baking tray with parchment paper, and lay out popped popcorn on the tray. Melt a bag of marshmallows in the microwave (put marshmallows in microwave safe bowl, and cook for approximately 1-2 minutes, depending on your microwave).

Once marshmallows are melted you can add in 1/2 stick of butter, salt, chocolate, toffee pieces, or any other flavors that sound good to you. You can also use food coloring if you are going for a certain color scheme for your party.

Pour marshmallow mix over your popcorn, mix, and let it sit until it firms up.

You can then add single serving sizes to the paper cones to serve.

Looking for more gourmet popcorn recipes? The Food Network has 50 Popcorn Recipes here you can use. We loved the Frito Pie, Bacon Chive, Baffalo and Maple Pecan especially!

 


8 Foods You Can Freeze

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8 Foods You Can Freeze

8  Foods That You Can Freeze 

We already know that the freezer is a great place for storing meats and frozen foods from our grocery store.  But it also is an ideal place to freeze those things that we don’t want to waste and we can use at a later date.  Here is a list of  8 surprising foods that can be frozen and used again in the future.

Freeze Butter

Butter  – Butter freezes remarkably well so put a few sticks in it’s original wrap in freezer bags and store for up to 6 months.

Freeze Eggs

 

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Chicken Enchiladas Recipe – Only 5 Ingredients!

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Chicken Enchiladas

Looking for an easy chicken enchilada recipe? Here is one that requires only 5 ingredients, and is pretty simple to put together! The nice thing about these enchiladas is that you can easily make them mild to spicy to suit your families taste buds! This is also a great freezer cooking recipe. I like to double my batch when I make them, and I freeze one batch for a quick and easy meal another night later in the month.

The other thing that is fun about this recipe is that you can keep it simple, or make it as fancy as you want just by adding side dishes. On a busy night I will make the enchiladas and serve them with a little sour cream and lettuce. If we are having company I will often put out various side condiments like this homemade Pico De Gallo, or Cowboy Caviar or Mexican Relish (cilantro, onions and lime – pictures above), some shredded lettuce, homemade Guacamole, and sour cream, and let guest serve themselves by adding their favorite toppings. Add in a batch of rice and beans, and this meal can be an affordable (and tasty) way to feed a crowd too.

chicken enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas Recipe - Only 5 Ingredients!
Ingredients
  • Shredded chicken breast (I use two good size chicken breasts)
  • 1 can of your favorite Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 small white onion
  • 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Tortillas (you can use flour or corn, your preference)!
Instructions
  1. Boil the chicken breasts until cooked through
  2. Once the chicken is cooked through, let cool a bit and shred the meat
  3. Dice up half of the white onion
  4. Add in ⅓ cup of the enchilada sauce to the shredded chicken and mix well
  5. Fill Tortilla with a layer of seasoned shredded chicken, diced onion and shredded cheese, and roll up
  6. Place rolled enchiladas in a baking dish
  7. Spread the remaining ⅔ of the Enchilada sauce over the tortillas (covering all the tortilla tops)
  8. Add the remaining cheddar cheese to the top of the enchilada dish and cover with foil
  9. Bake at 350 for 15 -20 minutes
  10. Remove foil and let cheese on the toil broil up a bit (until its golden and bubbly)
  11. Let sit for a few minutes before serving

 

 

Mexican Relish (Cilantro, Onions and Lime)

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Mexican Relish

With the beautiful grilling weather, I love to make a batch of this Mexican Relish and use it on just about everything. I love to top grilled meats with it, mix it into salads, or mix it into some coleslaw for the perfect topping to fish tacos! Its a go to recipe at my house, since it is so easy to make, and really affordable, yet adds some great fresh flavor to many dishes. I can generally find all three ingredients for under $1 each, so it costs just around $3 to make a batch of this. Depending on how you use it, a batch can stretch across multiple meals too.

Mexican Relish (Cilantro, Onions and Lime)
Ingredients
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 Bunch of Cilantro, washed and patted dry
  • 1 Small white onion, or half of a large one, diced
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Once the cilantro is cleaned dice it up and add to a bowl
  2. Dice up a small white onion, or half of a large one and add the diced onions to the bowl with the cilantro
  3. Add the juice from one lime
  4. Add salt to taste (approx. ½ tsp)
  5. Mix together well, and store in the refrigerator

 Other recipes you might be interested in:

Asian Chicken Wraps Recipe (Use Milford Valley Chicken Strips)!

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Asian Chicken Wrap 2

If you are looking for a super easy lunch time recipe, or a great meal for a busy weeknight, try these Asian Chicken Wraps. You can really use any type of chicken in them, but we used Milford Valley Chicken Strips to keep it really simple! The chicken strips add a nice crunch to the wrap and the flavors blend together so nicely. If you want to keep it on the healthier side, you could use whole wheat tortillas, but we just used your standard flour tortillas in the recipe below.

You can keep the Frozen Chicken Strips in your freezer, so its a great last minute meal idea too if you don’t have something else planned for lunch or dinner. The other thing I love is that you can cook these chicken strips up in the oven, put them in a tortilla and then add any of your favorite toppings to make different versions as well (i.e. add bacon, ranch, tomatoes and lettuce for a Bacon Chicken Ranch wrap, etc).

Another idea for this recipe is to use the smaller tortillas, and less filling, and cut them up to serve as appetizers or small sandwich bites for a party. They would be perfect for a baby shower, or any kind of luncheon for that matter!

Here is how to make the Asian Chicken Wrap. Its light tasting, has some crunch to it, and can be assembled in minutes!

20150420_110617

Asian Chicken Wraps Recipe (Use Frozen Chicken Strips)!

Ingredients

  • Milford Valley Chicken Strips
  • Tortillas
  • Cole Slaw Mix
  • Asian Sesame Dressing
  • Cashews
  • (Cilantro and Celery are two other great options if you want to make it a bit fancier)

Instructions

  1. Cook the Milford Valley Chicken Strips in the oven, according to the directions on the box
  2. Once the chicken strips are cooked, warm a tortilla in the oven, microwave or tortilla warmer
  3. Mix Salad Dressing into the Coleslaw mix, and add cashews (approx. 1/2 cup dressing to bag of slaw, or to taste)
  4. (*add cilantro and celery if you choose to use those)
  5. Lay Tortilla flat and add a layer of the chicken strips down the middle of tortilla (leave half inch on each end)
  6. Add a healthy layer of the coleslaw mix to the top of the chicken
  7. Fold in the short sides (where you left a half inch room) and then roll the tortilla up
  8. Cut in half and serve
http://www.thriftynorthwestmom.com/asian-chicken-wraps-recipe-use-frozen-chicken-strips/

Be sure to check out our recipe for Parmesan Chicken Sandwiches on Brioche Buns, if you’re looking for another great short-cut recipe!

Milford Valley Chicken Strips

About Milford Valley Chicken products – 

Milford Valley Chicken is made in Milford, Indiana. Since 1976, the family owned company has manufactured chicken patties, chicken nuggets, chicken strips, and stuffed chicken entrées. They are dedicated to quality meals for your family that are easy to prepare in your oven and easy on your budget.

In addition to the chicken strips, we also tried the chicken nuggets and chicken patties. It’s a simple way to make quick and easy salads, wraps and sandwiches without spending too much time in the kitchen. We preferred this product over many of the frozen chicken products on the market these days. The chicken is not cooked yet, so when you cook it up, it remains moister and more flavorful then many frozen chicken strip options!

You can find Milford Valley Chicken in the Northwest in the following stores:

Food 4 Less  – N. Calif.
Saar’s — WA

Sherm’s –  OR

Shop N’ Kart – OR

Right now they have a $1 coupon you can get on the Milford Valley Farms Chicken website here! These are already affordably priced, so with a $1 off coupon you should be able to get a great deal!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Milford Valley Chicken. The recipe and all all thoughts are 100% our own. Please see our disclosure policy for more details. 

Egg Roll Recipe – Easier Then You Think!

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Eggroll recipe

Egg rolls are one of those recipes, that before I started making them they seemed very intimidating. My husband kept asking me to start cooking them, and once I learned how I could not believe how long I waited. They are really very simple.

The hardest part is prep work, but you can make them ahead of time, and freeze them too (or make the filling ahead of time, and freeze just that)! They are great for parties too, as you can really make the ingredients stretch, and they are always a hit with a crowd.

I find them to be an affordable thing to make, as you can use chicken or pork (or beef), or just make a veggie version. The vegetable ingredients are not expensive, and it requires a small amount of meat if you choose to use it (I can get away with one large chicken breast or two small ones). Or use left over meat from a previous meal. Once you have the seasonings in your pantry, buy the eggroll wraps when they go on sale (they freeze nicely), and you do not have to spend a fortune to make these.

I like to make a big batch of the eggrolls, and after we eat them the first night, then we have them in the fridge to snack on for the next few days too.

Tips on Rolling The Egg Rolls:

  • Drain the mixture and let it cool for best results, before rolling
  • Keep a damp clothe over the egg roll wrappers to keep them from getting hard on the edges while wrapping
  • Have baking tray ready, so you can lay the egg rolls out nicely on that when done wrapping. That keeps them from touching each other and sticking together before you start frying
  • Start small with the filling. A little goes a long way, and smaller egg rolls are easier to cook up nice

Eggrolls Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 Package of Egg Roll Wrappers
  • 1 lb of shredded chicken or shredded pork (cooked)
  • 1 head of cabbage (finely shredded), You could use a pre-made slaw mix instead of cabbage and carrots to save time, but I prefer to shred my own.
  • 2 carrots (cut julienne style)
  • ½ Onion (diced)
  • ½ tsp of finely chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup Soy Sauce
  • ¼ cup Sweet Sherry Cooking Wine
  • ½ tsp. Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Start by cooking your meat (I will often use leftover chicken or pork from dinner the night before, and just shred it up for egg rolls!), then mix in onion, carrots and garlic, and saute briefly.
  2. Add soy sauce and sherry with salt and pepper. Continue to saute just until onions are tender. Transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  3. The last step for making the mixture is to cabbage and allow it to cook down (it will reduce in size significantly). Continue to saute until cabbage is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Heat up oil, or get your deep fryer ready to go.
  5. Fill each egg roll wrapper with approximately ¼ cup of filling and roll up according to package directions. Fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve with Sweet Chili Sauce or your favorite Egg Roll dipping Sauce!

 

 

Recipes for Ground Beef – 75 Recipes To Inspire You!

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Recipes for Ground Beef

If you’re looking for recipes for ground beef, we’ve compiled a variety of ground beef recipes for you to add to your collection.  Ground Beef is one of those meats that is often more affordable than others, so if you are looking for ways to make your grocery budget stretch, learning to make more meals with ground beef is one way to help with that. Plus, these are some delicious recipes! I used to have 5 standard recipes I used ground beef for (the usual: tacos, meatloaf, hamburgers, spaghetti and lasagna). When I found some of these recipes folks were using ground beef for, I could not wait to try them. I don’t think you will be disappointed either!

Even though ground beef is one of the more affordable meats on the market these days, it’s price is definitely going up. GoDirect Foods recently sent us some of their 97/3 ground beef to try and it was delicious (and once GoDirect Foods launches, it will be a really affordable way to buy your ground beef)! I did not mention anything to my husband about where I got the ground beef, but made hamburgers the other night, and he commented on how they were the best burgers he had in awhile! It was definitely some tasty beef.

Right now, they are giving away a FREE years supply of Ground Beef too! You can also enter to win a free years supply of boneless skinless chicken breasts as well (you will automatically be entered to win the free ground beef contest when you enter the free chicken contest)!

So, now that you know where to save on your ground beef purchases, here are over 70 recipes for ground beef to inspire you. Many are even healthy ground beef recipes, and we have noted those with an asterisk (*) in front of them!

Recipes for Ground Beef:

(Healthy recipes for ground beef are noted with an asterisk (*))

loco-moco1
                                                                                                                      (Photo Credit:  Loco Moco)

Breakfast::

Loco Moco from Awesome On 20 Dollars A Day

Low-Carb-Baked-Pepper-Nachos

(Photo Credit: Pepper Scraps)

Appetizers::

Nachos Deluxe from Ann’s Entitled Life

Chili Dog Sauce from My World Simplified

*Baked Pepper Nachos from Pepper Scraps

Beefy Taco Dip from Mom vs The Boys

DSC064572-950x712

(Photo Credit: Baking With Mom)

Soup::

Chunky Crockpot Chili from Mission to Save

Sensational One Pot Chili from My World Simplified

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili with Hatch Chiles, Corn, and Beef from Farm Fresh Feasts

Bacon, Beef and Beet Chili from Farm Fresh Feasts

Beefaroni from Sweet Pea Savings

So Easy Hamburger Soup from Baking With Mom

Italian Meatball Zoodle Soup from Peace Love Low Carb

Crock Pot Chili from Moms with Crock Pots

Quick and Easy Goulash from Saving Every Day

Stuffed Pepper Soup from Mom vs The Boys

6 Ingredient Crock Pot Chili from Dawn Monroe

Hearty-Lasagna-Recipe

(Photo Credit: Saving Every Day)

Dinner::

Mouth Watering Cheeseburger Casserole from Southern Krazed

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

(Photo Credit:: Southern Krazed)

Meatloaf and Mashed Potato Cupcakes from Southern Krazed

*Easy Southwest Stuffed Peppers from Southern Krazed

*Gluten Free & Paleo Meatballs without Breadcrumbs from Confessions of an Overworked Mom

*Hoisin-Glazed Mini Meatloaf “Muffins” Over Asian Noodles and Vegetables from Two Healthy Kitchens

*Tex-Mex Taco Burgers with Creamy Salsa Dressing from Two Healthy Kitchens

*Un-Stuffed Pepper Skillet from Two Healthy Kitchens

*Cheeseburger Salad with Oven-Roasted Fries from Two Healthy Kitchens

Ground Beef Meatball Recipe

 Ground Beef Meatball Recipe – Fettucine Pasta with Meatballs in the Slow Cooker from Thrifty NW Mom

*Healthy Meatloaf Recipe – with Swiss Chard, Spinach & more from Thrifty NW Mom

Meat Lasagna Recipe  from Thrifty NW Mom

How to Cook Ground Beef and Freeze It For Later from Mission to Save

Kitchen Sink Shepherd’s Pie from Mission to Save

No Can Sloppy Joes from Faith Plus Four

Cheesy Burrito Casserole from Ann’s Entitled Life

Chili Relleno Casserole from Ann’s Entitled Life

Lasagna Bowl from Simply Stacie

Italian Rice Balls from My World Simplified

garden-vegetable-beef-skillet

(Photo Credit:: Simply Stacie)

Garden Vegetable Beef Skillet from Simply Stacie

Meatloaf Stuffed with Pizza from My World Simplified

Salisbury Steak from My World Simplified

Hashbrown Hamburger Casserole with Veggies and Cheese from Thrifty Jinxy

Rotini Beef Skillet from Thrifty Jinxy

Easy Crockpot Meatballs from Thrifty Jinxy

Shepherd Pie from Become A Coupon Queen

Cheesy Beef and Rice Casserole from Become A Coupon Queen

Cowboy Food from Become A Coupon Queen

Tater Tot Casserole from Become A Coupon Queen

Yum-a-Setta Casserole from Become A Coupon Queen

Ground Beef over Rice from Kooky Carol’s Kitchen Concoctions

Green Tomato Bacon Jam Burgers from Farm Fresh Feasts 

Taco Rice Tortilla Pizza from Farm Fresh Feasts

Tamale Pie

(Photo Credit:: Farm Fresh Feasts)

Tamale Pie with Hatch Chiles from Farm Fresh Feasts

Shepherd’s Pie with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes and Green Beans from Farm Fresh Feasts

Beef and Venison Sloppy Joes with Yellow Squash and Peppers from Farm Fresh Feasts

Acorn Squash, Beef, and Bulgur Casserole from Farm Fresh Feasts

Chili Cheese Dogs from Sweet Pea Savings

Zucchini Meatloaf from Family Living on a Budget

Firehouse Spinach Meatloaf from Family Living on a Budget

*Healthier Stuffed Peppers from Family Living on a Budget

Meaty Cheesy Foldovers from Cha Ching Queen

Stuffed Peppers from Cha Ching Queen

Traditional Meatloaf from Brittany’s Pantry

Hobo Dinners from Brittany’s Pantry

Pasta with Zesty Bolognese from Brittany’s Pantry

Tater Tot Hotdish from Brittany’s Pantry

Beef Stroganoff Burgers from Peace Love Low Carb

Spinach, Feta Bacon Burgers from Peace Love Low Carb

Sloppy Joe Stuffed Peppers from Peace Love Low Carb

Crock Pot Italian Meatballs from Moms With Crock Pots

Enchilada Meatballs in the Crock Pot from Pepper Scraps

Mini-Taco-Salads

(Photo Credit: Pepper Scraps)

*Mini Taco Salads from Pepper Scraps

Hearty Lasagna with Sausage & Peppers from Saving Every Day

*Black Beans, Orzo & Beef Stuffed Peppers from Saving Every Day

Mexican Lasagna from Mom vs The Boys

Creamy Tacos Casserole from Six Figures Under

Mock Lasagna from Six Figures Under

Spinach Meatloaf from How To Have It All

Cheesy Stuffed Meatloaf from How To Have It All

Beef & Bean Pasta Skillet from How To Have It All

3 Ingredient French Dips + Learn How You Can Save with GoDirect Foods!

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3 ingredienct French Dip Recipe

We introduced GoDirect Foods to you today, with the FREE Chicken for a Year Giveaway, and the Free Ground Beef for a Year Giveaway that launched this morning. We wanted to share more about the company and how it worked to help you save more as well.

Jen and I are both pretty excited about the launch of GoDirect Foods. We have both been buying a lot of our meat in bulk for the last few years, so to have an opportunity to get quality meat products and big savings (and to be able to order when we need it) is big news! I have sampled a few of their coming offers, and have loved it all so far!

Blackstone Roast

GoDirect Foods founder, JC Conrad, brought us some of the meat to check out recently, so we could offer our opinion on the quality. I was not disappointed! JC believes in the quality of the products Go Direct will sell so much, that he hand delivered the meat himself to explain some of the value.

One of the products JC delivered to me was the pre-cooked roast from Blackstone. It is a restaurant quality roast, that has already been cooked, and pre-seasoned, so all you have to do is to thaw and heat up.  The roast itself was delicious, but one of my husbands favorite meals is French Dip, and this roast made an excellent French Dip. The other great thing about using it for French Dip is that I was able to get three meals out of one roast, helping me to stretch the value!

I took JC’s advice and let it thaw just until I could cut through it. I then cut it into three sections, and wrapped and put two of them back into the freezer for French Dips another time (be careful with this step though, I tried to cut mine too soon and broke the tip of a knife on the roast, wait until you can feel the top layer of the roast thawing). Depending on the size of your family, you might just want to cut it in half, but my kids are not big eaters.

Generally, I use a number of ingredients to season my roasts to get the perfect French Dip, and make my own Au Jus. By using this pre-seasoned Blackstone Roast, I was able to make French Dips with just three ingredients. It was perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.

best French Dips

What you need for these 3 Ingredient French Dips:

  • Blackstone Roast (I used 1/3 of the roast for my family, but you may need a half a roast if your family has bigger eaters)
  • Hoagies Rolls
  • Cheddar Cheese

How to make the French Dips:

1) Thaw your roast out the night before (you can cook it slowly all day long too, and it will thaw out, but the simplest method is to have it close to thawing). Be sure you thaw it in a bowl, so you don’t lose any of the juices.

2) Simmer the roast on medium low in a large sauce pan. As it thaws out it should have its own juices.

3) When the roast is warmed through, use two forks to break it apart, and let it simmer in the juices for around an hour on low.

4) Toast your Hoagie rolls under the broiler with Cheddar Cheese on one side.

5) Fill with the warmed and shredded beef, and add the juices into a small bowl for dipping.

* Optional – if you want a stronger Au Juice taste you can add around a teaspoon of Johnnys Au Jus seasoning to the juices while the meat is simmering in it. The roast is flavorful enough that we thought it tasted great on its own though!

It’s that simple. My husband said the French Dips were “Excellent!”. I loved how simple they were to make.

Pho Recipe Easy

In addition to making a pot roast out of it, you could also use the left overs to make Beef Pho!

More about GoDirect Foods and how it will work:

  • Order When You Need – Their signature items like chicken breasts, ground beef, and bacon etc. will be available at your pickup location each month. They may even offer Organic options, if there is enough interest!!

Plus they have a “30 day from order to pick up” program: from the time you order to the time you pick it up, it will be within 30 days – every time!

  • Order What You Need – They come packaged in lots of different sizes (as small as 1 lb increments for hamburger!). This will give you flexibility in deciding how much you want to order, rather then having to order in bulk.
  • Plan Ahead – You’ll know all the monthly delivery dates for the whole year at the beginning of each year. This will allow you to easily plan your purchases throughout the year.
  • Improved Convenience in pick up – Your whole order will come on the same delivery, so you don’t have to keep coming back for each different case you order. You can order when you want, what you want and as many or few cases as you want.
  • Savings Passed On To You! GoDirect Foods will work to keep their overhead low, and pass that savings on to you through low prices on the products sold.
  • Earn money through referrals (share with family and friends and you can earn cash when they order)!

The referral program is really cool! You can earn $2 per signature product ordered if you share your referral link to share GoDirect Foods with others.

Here is an example of how it could help you earn:

You sign up, and share your referral link with others. Person B signs up under your link and buys 2 products in an order. You will make $4 from that order.

PLUS, Person B can then share with Person C who sign up under their referral link. They then buy 2 products during an order. Both you AND Person B will earn $4 from that order too!

It can help you pay for your meat orders or cash out (twice a year) and use it for whatever you want!

Find more information on GoDirect Foods, and sign up so you can start sharing your referral link here!

Free Chicken Giveaway

Lastly, don’t forget to stop by and enter to win Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast for an ENTIRE Year! Plus you’ll be automatically entered to win Ground Beef for an entire year too! You can even grab your referral link after entering, and share with your family and friends and if they win, you will win too!

Disclosure: We were provided meat to try out and do reviews of the quality & taste and we will be sharing those reviews very soon as we were definitely impressed! This is also our referral link in the post – you can also sign up for your own referral link to share with friends & family.  All opinions and thoughts are ours. Please see our disclosure policy for more details. 

Samoa Girl Scout Cookie Brownies

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Samoa Girl Scout Cookie Brownies

We’re right in the thick of Girl Scout cookie selling time right  now –  I must have seen 4 different displays for Girl Scout cookies on the way home tonight. And  boy, those things are addictive – I could buy every flavor, I love them all. However, my all-time favorite, which I know many of you love, are the Samoas. Oh my goodness! Chocolate + caramel + coconut & a cookie all wrapped up in one! It’s a good thing they only come around once a year!

If you love Samoas, then you will love these Samoa Girl Scout Cookie Brownies. These are a decadent treat, with even more yummy chocolate goodness to go with all of that tasty caramel & crunch from the Samoa.

 Ingredients:

Samoa Brownie Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla
½ cup cocoa
1⅓ cups flour
½ tsp. salt
15 Samoa cookies (crumbled or blended to small chunks) 

Directions: 

Using a food processor or a ziplock bag and rolling stick crumble the Samoa cookies to very small pieces

Cream butter and sugar together

Now add eggs and vanilla and blend well

Add the  salt, cocoa and flour and stir to combine.  Don’t overbeat

Making Samoa Brownies

Now add the Samoa cookies 3/4 of the amount you have in the batter and  fold it in

Samoa Cookie Brownies in Process

Pour batter into a greased 9X13 pan

Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes

Let cool completely

You can also add a drizzle of caramel sauce on top to make it extra gooey

Samoa Girl Scout Cookie Brownies

(Printable recipe below)

Samoa Girl Scout Cookie Brownies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 1⅓ cups flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 15 Samoa cookies (crumbled or blended to small chunks)
Instructions
  1. Using a food processor or a ziplock bag and rolling stick crumble the Samoa cookies to very small pieces
  2. Cream butter and sugar together
  3. Now add eggs and vanilla and blend well
  4. Adding the salt, cocoa and flour and stir to combine
  5. Don’t overbeat
  6. Now add the Samoa cookies ¾ of the amount you have in the batter, fold it in
  7. Pour batter into a greased 9X13 pan
  8. Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes
  9. Let cool completely
  10. We also like to add a drizzle of caramel sauce on top also to make it extra gooey

 More recipes you may like:

What are your favorite ways to eat Girl Scout cookies?