Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Taco & Nacho Night

Taco Night

With Cinco de Mayo being this week, guest poster Kim Bergeron of Extreme Coupon Professors bring us some Mexican flair to add to May’s meal plan.  Here’s what she has to say:

Am I the only one who goes to a restaurant, reads the menu and says, I’m going to try making this next week?!  Well, once in awhile I do and with great success when the family loves what I bring to the table.

This week we brought our taco dinner up a couple of notches. We do have a large family, so quite often we need triple the amount. I came across taco casserole kits, which comes in handy on a busy night, but I wanted to add more to the table.

Recently, I was away in Mexico and had shrimp salsa. I had it twice a day, it was so amazing. Tonight I picked up a mild salsa seasoning packet and mixed it in a bowl with 4 chopped tomatoes and 1/4 of cup of red onion.( I can’t wait for summer garden tomatoes!) I added 1 cup of cooked medium shrimp to the mix. I sliced up an avocado and served a bowl of multi-grain scoops to go with the shrimp salsa. YUM! I was back in Mexico.

Chicken Nachos

One night I was able to meet a friend for dinner and we had chicken/feta nachos. Perfect for me to add to my taco night and it’s a huge favorite. I make the basic nacho which consists of the chicken, cheddar cheese and feta. Everyone has different likes and dislikes so I offer the black olives, peppers and onions on the side for anyone to add. It was a nice change-up and everyone enjoyed it!

As always, tweak the recipe to your liking! Use ground turkey, sliced steak tips, and/or ground chuck. Something so simple, changes the menu and you don’t feel like you’re having the same thing all the time. There is no right or wrong.

I have a couple other easy Mexican recipes that I like. One of them is from the Food Network site here!  I often like to have a side of rice and have found this recipe super easy and quick.

Recipes are endless, but I really have been enjoying looking at restaurant menus and seeing what I can put together that is easy and tasty!

Next week on our menu we’re having a Pizza Bar night! I’ll have to share that with you next time! It’s fun and everyone can have their favorite crust and toppings.

Enjoy these great Mexican favorites for Cinco de Mayo or your next Taco Tuesday dinner!

Kim Bergeron and family

I’m a wife, mommy and a lover of life enjoying everything from playing board games to cooking to traveling. Finding deals for our family has allowed us to do the fun things in life with enjoyment and less stress. When I find a deal I’ll always share it on my blog, Extreme Coupon Professors. Hop on over to see all the ways to save!

 

$50 Paypal Giveaway!

PayPal-Cash

Your Strong Tower is excited to be part of this giveaway sponsored by Money Nomad and GivingAssistant.org!

 

Giving Assistant

Giving Assistant is a awesome cash back website that gives shoppers generous payouts PLUS donates to charity!  Go HERE  to read Money Nomad’s full review and to sign up to use Giving Assistant to earn yourself some cash back while being generous in the process.

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Beet Mania

Beet Mania

I have to be honest, as a kid, I did NOT like beets at all.  In fact I’m a very recent convert to this nutrient-packed gem of a vegetable.  According to health expert, Dr. Mercola, beets lower your blood pressure, fight inflammation, boost your stamina, contain anti-cancer properties, properties, support detoxification, and contain valuable nutrients and are a good source of fiber. 

Frozen Beet Berry Smoothie Ingredients

I’ve taken to tossing in half of chopped beet into my berry smoothie, which I have a few times a week.  I add a scoop of vitamin packed Daily Lift to my shake which almost completely masks the earthy flavor of the beets.  Here is my recipe:

  • ½ fresh raw beet, diced

  • 1 cup of frozen mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries are in my blend)

  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder.  I’m currently crushing on this brand: Vega Clean Protein.

  • ¼ cup of unsweetened cranberry juice

  • 1 cup of water

  • Optional: 1 packet of Berry Flavored Daily Lift

Beet Berry Smoothie

Not into smoothies?  I recently made this recipe for roasted beets with a honey balsamic glaze.  I think you’ll enjoy it too!  You can also grate a little fresh beetroot onto your salads.  And don’t waste the beet greens!  They pack more iron than spinach and can be tossed into salads, smoothies, or lightly sautéed in a little bit of olive oil and fresh minced garlic.

Can I Freeze Dairy Products? (Video)

Can I Freeze Dairy Products

Some dairy products freeze well and others will curdle and separate. Here’s the rundown of which ones make good freezer candidates:

• DO NOT freeze half-and-half, sour cream, cottage cheese, and buttermilk. They have a tendency to separate, become watery, and sometimes curdle.

• Milk – 1 month. Make sure you take 1 cup per gallon of milk out of the container since it will expand when frozen. Milk should be consumed in a week once thawed.  Whole milk and 2% freeze better than skim milk.  If your family goes through multiple gallons of milk per week, stocking up when it goes on sale and freezing it could save you a bundle!

• Cheese – Up to 6 months.  Yes, you can freeze cheese! The National Dairy Counsel suggests freezing cheese for six months or less. Freezing can change the texture of some cheeses, making them crumbly once thawed, and the firmer varieties (cheddar, Gouda, and Swiss) seem to hold up best. As I like to say, “The firmer the cheese, the better it will freeze!”  Stock up on shredded cheeses that you’ll be using for cooking and freeze – you won’t notice a difference in taste or texture in your recipes. You can even freeze cheese slices!

• Butter – up to 12 months. I frequently stock up on sticks of butter when it goes on sale in November and December during the holiday baking season. Spreadable butters also freeze very well, too. I pop them directly in the freezer, no need for a freezer bag or container!

$150 PayPal Giveaway

 

http://www.ratsandmore.com/2016/03/150-paypal-giveaway-open-worldwide-ends.html

 

Welcome to the $150 Paypal giveaway event!

Hosted by: Lil’ Blog and More, Daydreaming Deals, Simply Sherryl, and Kicking it with Kelly.

And co-hosted by: Drop the Spotlight, Animal Bliss, Mom ‘N Daughter Savings, Thrifty Momma’s Tips, Your Strong Tower, Tabby’s Pantry, and Deliciously Savvy.

$150 PayPal Cash Giveaway

Welcome to this awesome giveaway event! This is our biggest prize yet, and we can’t wait to giveaway this awesome prize, to one lucky winner!  I don’t know about you, but with spring finally here, I could really use $150 PayPal cash to shop for new shoes and clothes!

Good Luck.

The Giveaway! 

One lucky winner will receive a $150 via Paypal. Entering to win is very easy, with the GiveawayTools form, below:

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 Disclosure:
The bloggers involved in this giveaway were not compensated, and are
not responsible for prize fulfillment. Lil’ Blog and More will be sending the
prize out. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter this giveaway.
This giveaway starts March 20th, 2016, and will end on April 7th, 2016 at
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name will be announced on the GiveawayTools form. Open to worldwide entries. 

Student Loans: A Real Menace For Young Adults

Student Loan Stress

This week’s guest blog post is by James Smith.

Student loans have become a real menace for young adults today. While tuition keeps soaring, students keep racking up huge amounts of debt which can follow them all the way into their 40s. For some however, student loans are quite manageable; for others, they are quite a pain. Here are some ways students nowadays find themselves in huge debts before they even graduate, and how you can avoid them.

Blowing Through Your Student Loan Cash  

Rather than utilizing financial aid for books, educational costs, room and board, numerous students will back their indulgent lifestyle of partying, clothes, devices, and eating out. These school loans you’ve worked so hard to get ought to be paying for your education, not you social life…so utilize the cash astutely.

Credit Card Debt

Indeed, even mindful grown-ups can pile on some weighty credit card debt, yet students, who have no reasonable salary other than their school loan money, and what money their parents give them, should not be getting into credit card debt. This is a formula for credit disaster, since students won’t just have their school loans to reimburse when they graduate, but also have huge credit card balances.

Overdue payment

Not Paying Your Bills on Time

Racking up gigantic credit debt and not paying your bills on time is an approach guaranteed to make it difficult buy a car or lease an apartment after you graduate. Keep the credit cards to a minimum, and pay your bills on time to keep your great credit rating. You’ll thank yourself in a couple of years.

Terrible Budgeting

Being a college student for the most part means living on a fixed income. Whether it’s your financial aid cash or cash from part-time work, or even money from mom and dad, your income is generally restricted and setting up a financial plan is critical. A month to month spending plan doesn’t mean you can’t do the things you need to do, yet it assures that you know the “must-pays” will really get paid. Make sense of precisely what bills and costs you have each month and arrange to pay those first. Any cash over and above that you can spend for social/recreational things.

Heading off to a College That’s Pricey

Rather than heading off to your community college for your pre-req classes and burning through $25 a unit, numerous students feel they need to go to the 4 year college straight out of high school. Numerous students end up returning home and setting off to a community college anyway.  Going to a nearby, reasonably priced, school first is a decent approach to spare cash, and get those required classes checked off your list cheaply. After you’ve finished these courses, transfer to a 4 year school to finish your college degree. This will spare tons of dollars that you would have piled on student loans, and been paying off a long way into your 30′s and beyond.

Such a variety of awful financial decisions students make is an aftereffect of lack of basic financial education. Students haven’t been taught by their parents or teachers the significance of keeping up a decent credit score, paying bills on time, and planning expenses. Astute spending amid the college years will guarantee that the cash you make in the wake of graduating will be spent on things you need and want, not for credit card payments and student loans.

James Smith

James Smith is a passionate blogger who loves to write on trending topics. Currently he is conducting research on portfolio investments. Follow him on Twitter @Jamessmith1609

St. Patrick’s Day Meal Plan

This week’s Meal Plan Monday is from Amy over at Savvy Saving Couple.

St Patricks Day Meal Plan

Can you believe that St. Patrick’s Day is already this week? Time is flying by super quick with the first day of Spring already this week as well. When I think of St. Patrick’s Day, corned beef is the first meal that comes to mind. My family enjoys corned beef so much that I find myself making it all year. I try to make a large batch so we have tons of leftovers which inspired some of these dishes.

 chicken-and-broccoli-pasta-bake

Chicken Broccoli and Pasta Bake:  Ok, so I am sure you are thinking, “Well this is certainly not corned beef.” This is certainly true, but I figured I would throw in a non-corned beef meal idea for the week. This dish also incorporates broccoli which is naturally green so it is fitting. The flavors of this meal are similar to Chicken Alfredo, but in a slightly more convenient form that reheats well. 

corned-beef-and-vegetables

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Vegetables: I love slow cooked corned beef because it produces a tender, and flavorful cut of corned beef. The fact that I added russet potatoes, celery, onion, and carrot rather than cabbage was also a fun twist. By cooking this meal on low heat for 6-8 hours the vegetables and meat will truly complement each other. If you decided to use a larger cut of corned beef (either point or round) you can have plenty of leftovers which brings me to my next two meal ideas. 

Corned-Beef-Hash-Sandwich

Corned Beef Hash & a Breakfast Sandwich Serving idea: Homemade corned beef hash is one of them meals that my husband lives for. He could eat it every day for any meal because it is hearty and jam-packed with flavor. I love that you can literally use the very same potatoes, onions, and corned beef from dinner the night before to produce a lovely brunch the next day. 

Breakfast-Nachos-meal

Breakfast Nachos with Corned Beef Hash: Who doesn’t love nachos? Mix things up by adding leftover corned beef pieces, or some hash to these brunch favorites. With topping like bacon, sausage, corned beef, salsa, cheese, and even scrambled eggs, you can enjoy breakfast and leftovers in such a fun and unconventional way. 

Pistachio-cake-slice

Pistachio Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze: Now that you are likely ready for dessert, I have the perfect choice! This moist Pistachio cake is made with extra pudding in the mix for a tasty and festive treat that is sure to make your friends smile. Glazed with lemon and cream cheese; this is sure to be a hit! 

What are some of your St. Patrick’s Day traditions? 

Meal Planning Leads to Weight Loss (Video)

Meal Planning Leads to Weight Loss

If you are trying to lose weight or just eat healthier, meal planning is essential for lasting success! Planning your meals in advance ensures that you are heading to the grocery store with a detailed list. Shopping with a list curbs impulse buys which is good for both your wallet and your waistline!

If you’re meal planning on a regular basis, you’ll be less likely to eat out. Restaurant dishes have an average of 30% more fat and calories than the same dish prepared at home. You’re more likely to eat at home if you know you’ve got everything ready for a meal that will take 30 minutes or less to put on the table.  Even better if dinner is in the crock pot waiting for you! Preparing meals at home also means that the rest of your family is eating healthy along with you.  The bonus is that you’ll have quality family time around the dinner table.

Meal Planning helps you to become mindful of your food, which means you’ll be making healthier choices. Check out my website for upcoming Mindful Meal Planning Webinars.

Click & Grow Giveaway

Click and Grow Giveaway (1 Lucky Winner) #ClickandGrow ~ Ends 3/15

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I love to cook and we all know that fresh herbs make home cooked meals even better!  I jokingly say that I have a “brown thumb” – my husband is the gardener in our family!  But I think the Click and Grow makes it easy to have fresh herbs on hand, even for those of us who are plant-challenged.  

Check out My Savvy Review of The Click and Grow Here!

Sponsored By: Click and Grow

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Giveaway Dates ~ 2/17 9PM EST until 03/15 11:59PM EST

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This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated or associated with Facebook,
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Cleaning and Organizing Your Deep Freezer (Video)

Cleaning and Organizing Your Freezer

Your freezer can be your best friend when it comes to meal planning – but only if you keep it properly maintained. It’s important to keep your freezer organized so you can make the most of the space available and find the items you’re looking for. I suggest that you put the heaviest items on the bottom of your deep freezer. This will ensure that more delicate items, such as loaves of bread and other baked goods don’t get crushed or otherwise damaged. It’s also a good idea to put meat on the bottom of your freezer, so if something happens to leak before it’s frozen, you don’t have chicken juice leaking on all of your other containers. This will be less likely to happen if you properly package your food for freezing.

Be sure to clearly label EVERYTHING with the date and contents.  Arrange your items in the freezer so that you can see labels and expiration dates. This will make it easy for you to identify and grab the item with the closest expiration date. This is especially important for your freezer cooking meals. If you don’t know what’s in a container, chances are it will languish at the back of the freezer and not get used.

It’s also a good idea to keep an inventory sheet of what you have in your freezer. You can write or type in your items and meals and check them off as you pull them out. This will also tell you when you’re about to run out of something. There’s nothing more frustrating than planning a meal around bone-in chicken breasts you swear you’ve got in your freezer – only to find out later you used the last of them several weeks ago.

It’s a good idea to defrost your deep freezer at least annually. Depending on the humidity where you live, you may need to do it more often than that. Any time you notice frost/ ice starting to build up, it’s time to defrost. If you don’t defrost on a regular basis, you are running the risk of increased freezer burn, plus your freezer won’t be working at optimal efficiency. I usually do this in January or February, when it’s freezing cold outside. I borrow a few extra coolers, load them up with my food, and put them out on the back deck (or in the garage if it’s cold enough) for a day or two while I let my freezer defrost. I scrub out the freezer really well before I load my food back into it. Certainly, you could let your freezer inventory get nice and low before you defrost. Or if you have friends or family with extra freezer space you could borrow for a few days; that will work too.

Want a copy of my Freezer Inventory sheet? Email me at Christine@ChristineLuken.com and I’ll gladly send it to you!