Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Meat Stuffed Shells

1# ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 can of diced tomatoes with basil & oregano
1 box of shells
1 jar of pasta sauce
Shredded Mozzarella

Brown ground beef in a pan, drain off fat.  Add onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes.  Drain tomatoes and add to the meat and mix well.  Let simmer for five minutes.  Meanwhile, cook pasta shells according to package directions.

In a 9x13 pan, pour some sauce into the pan to cover the bottom.  Stuff each shell with meat mixture and put into pan.  Top shells with pasta sauce and mozzarella.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Menu Plan Tuesday - Week of May 31, 2011

Yes - it is Menu Plan Tuesday this week.  After a long, beautiful, and HOT weekend, it is back to work for me!  Here is what we are planning this week for dinner!

Tuesday - Summer Pasta Salad
Wednesday - Mixed Fajitas with Peppers & Onions
Thursday - Pizza Night!
Friday - Italian Sausage on the Grill
Saturday - Eat Out
Sunday - Dinner with Grandparents

This post is linked at MPM on I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Happy Memorial Day!

"On this solemn day in which Americans unite in remembrance
 of our country's fallen, we also pray for our military personnel
and their families, our veterans, and all who have lost loved ones. 
As a grateful Nation, we forever carry the selfless sacrifice of our fallen heroes in our hearts,
and we share the task of caring for those they left behind" (source).

Many blessing to you and your family during this Memorial Day.  We are forever thankful to the soldiers who have given their lives for this country to be free and safe!  May God bless their families and allow them peace.  However you chose to celebrate today, I hope that you enjoy the day and that beautiful sunshine will shine down upon you!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Garden is Planted!

The garden is planted!  We finally had a few days without rain so my husband was able to till up the soil for me!  Normally we start plants from seeds, however with our Disney trip at the beginning of May that was not possible this year. 

My son and I headed to the garden store yesterday to pick up some plants.  We are growing an "easy" garden this year.  I only planted items that I know normally grow well in our garden.  We normally try some new things each year, but we had not had much success in the past.  Two years ago we tried watermelon and cantaloupe.  We only managed to get a few of each and it was not worth the maintenance.  Last year we tried broccoli and cauliflower, but theses never made it since we often have bunny visitors.

So this is what we are growing this year:
  1. Tomatoes - 3 plants
  2. Roma Tomatoes - 1 plant
  3. Cherry Tomatoes - 4 plants
  4. Cucumbers - 4 plants
  5. Zucchini - 4 plants
  6. Green Bell Peppers - 3 plants
  7. Jalapenos - 3 plants
We cannot wait for the veggies to begin sprouting.  I can almost taste the fresh BLT sandwiches and garden fresh salsa - our two garden favorites!

Happy Growing!

Check out Couponing to Disney

Couponing to Disney is featuring my series Disney 2011 on a Budget, go over here and check out the site!  This site shows you how to use couponing to save up for that Disney Trip.  She also has tons of informatin and helpful hints on the Disney parks.  This site was very helpful in planning our family trip!

Thanks Couponing to Disney!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

$40 Shell Gas Card for only $20 Discover Cashback Bonus

WOW - this is super hot!  I love my Discover Card and the Cashback Bonus program but I have never seen a deal like this before.  Right now you can get a $40 Shell Gift Card for only $20 of your Discover Cashback Bonus!  I just redemmed $40 of my Cashback Bonus and will be getting $80 in free gas!! 

YEAH - get yours here!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

HOT $0.75 off Ball Park

There is a $0.75/1 any Ball Park product coupon here.  Ball Parks are on sale at Giant Eagle BOGO now through 6/1!  This means $1.50 off one pack of hot dogs!  This should make for some really cheap hot dogs!  Don't forget to hit the back button and print 2!

Buy One, Get One! Klondike Gourmet Potatoes

To celebrate Klondike Potatoes television debut on Better Living Television, they are offering a Buy One, Get One Coupon for the Klondike Gourmet Potatoes that were featured in the segment! Buy One 24 oz. bag of any variety Klondike Gourmet Potato and Get One Bag FREE! Supplies are limited so get your's today!  Go here to print now!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Kids Eat Free at Chili's - May 24th!

Free?  Where? Did someone say free?  YES - kids eat free at Chili's on May 24th!  Go here to get your coupon!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week of May 23, 2011

So after a week of vacation and a week of re-cooping, I am back on the menu planning.  Last week it was nice so we ended up grilling out a lot!  We have a lot of things going on this week, including a pre-school graduation (okay where did that time go)!  So here is what is planned at our house this week for dinner!

Monday - BBQ Pork Chops on the Grill
Tuesday - Marinated Chicken on the Grill
Wednesday - Grilled Cheese or whatever else you find in the fridge night!
Thursday - Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Friday - Pizza Night!
Saturday - Eat Out!
Sunday - Memorial Day Picnic at our House - we are serving hamburgers and italian sausage
Monday - Steaks and Easy Seasoned Potatoes

This post is linked at MPM on I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Friday, May 20, 2011

$1 Flip Flops at Old Navy 5/21!

Tips for a Successful Disney Trip

We have returned from our first family Disney World Adventure. I hope over the next few weeks to share with you our trip and some of the tips and ideas that I learned firsthand this time. I will have a post on each park we visited as well as other items were included on our trip. However, to kick off my Walt Disney World Adventure, I am starting off with some tips that we learned! Hopefully they will be helpful to you if you are planning a trip in the near future. If you missed my Disney on a Budget series, check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3!

 My 10 Tips for a Successful Disney Trip

1. If you are not bringing a stroller, consider renting one from an outside company. We rented this City Mini Double Stroller from No Hassle Vacations. They delivered and picked it up directly from our condo’s club house. It was the ABSOLUTE best stroller ever. Plus we had it all week to use even to go to the pool. It is a lot easier to pull the stroller out of the car and be ready to hit the parks instead of renting a stroller in each Disney Park! 

2. Do a Character Dining Experience. This was the BEST way to meet characters in my opinion. I will share more about our experience at Chef Mickey’s in a future post.

3. Make all dining reservations 180 days in advance through the Disney website. As soon as the 180th day hits, get on the site and start making reservations! No deposit is necessary!

4. If you plan on staying all day at a park, make a dinner reservation inside the park. I did not know about this, so we ended up eating hot dogs in Tomorrowland at 7 pm at Magic Kingdom because all restaurants were reservations only! Believe me; you will want a cool, relaxing place to eat dinner before the parade!

5. Fast Pass, Fast Pass, Fast Pass – Learn how to use this, it works! You need this for Toy Story Mania! in Disney’s Hollywood Studios – go there first and get the Fast Passes, they do run out quickly!

6.    The 2nd best way to meet characters in my opinion is the Camp Minnie-Mickey Greeting Trails at the Animal Kingdom.

7. Get a Photo Pass from the first photographer you are at and keep using that card your whole trip. You can then go on the website and see all of your photos! Always ask the Photo Pass or attendant standing with the characters to take a picture with your camera, they will do it! I got a lot of the same shots the photographers got which I will also be sharing!

8. When looking for places to eat in the park and your kids on are the verge of breaking down, ask a Disney employee! They are virtually everywhere and are the most helpful! Even if you ask, “where can I buy milk?”

9. Pack water bottles, juice boxes, and snacks for the park each day. You will need them when waiting in line for rides.

10. Buy rain ponchos ahead of time at a dollar store. I found 2 packs for $1. Luckily we never had to use ours! I also bought the kids glow necklaces and glow sticks at a dollar store and pulled them out at night!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

45th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest

Entries for the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest are in and judging is now underway.  And once again the Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest is letting You Be the Judge!  

Beginning May 12, 2011, America will have the opportunity to vote for 10 of the 20 original recipes posted on www.bakeoff.com.  The recipes will be posted in pairs every two weeks and during each two-week period, consumers will have the opportunity to cast their vote for their favorite of the two recipes. Voting is limited to one vote per person per each pair of recipes. Voters must be registered members of www.pillsbury.com and 18 years of age or older as of May 1, 2011 to participate.
At the end of two weeks, the home cook whose recipe receives the most votes in each pair will become a finalist in the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest taking place in Orlando, Florida from March 25-27, 2012...getting one step closer to the  $1 million grand prize.  The contest will feature 100 original recipes-90 recipes whose creators will directly earn a spot at the competition and the 10 winning recipes determined by people like you through You Be the Judge!

This week, Italian Brunch Stratas submitted by JoAnn Belack of Bradenton, FL faces off against Breakfast Crostatas entered by Barbara Taragna of Collegeville, PA.  It's up to you to decide which of these creative home cooks will compete for the $1 million grand prize so visit www.bakeoff.com for official rules and to cast your vote! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Giveaway: Win a 7 night stay in a 4 bedroom house right outside Disney’s Gates from Global Resort Homes

This giveaway is too hot not to pass on!  Couponing to Disney has an amazing giveaway! Global Resort Homes has very GENEROUSLY agreed to give ONE amazing Couponing to Disney reader a 7 night stay in one of their Global Resort Home properties. Black Out Dates do apply (you won’t be able to use the reservation between the following dates: Jun 15th-July 31st, Dec 20th – Jan 3rd). This would cut your family’s vacation budget in half or more. All you would be responsible would be your tickets, transportation and food. And with the full kitchen, you could eat almost every meal at the house!

Hurry enter before May 7th!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cooking Pasta for Dinner

I, like many other women out there, more than likely learned how to cook from watching their Mom. My Mom was a wonderful cook. Not the exotic types of meals, but those hearty meals every kid loves to eat! I use a lot of her recipes today such as her Beef Stroganoff. My Mom also use to make her own spaghetti sauce. I never saw a jar of pasta sauce in my life until I went to college. She just didn’t believe in it! She had to make her own sauce which cooked all day long and made the house smell amazing when my sisters and I came home from school!

As I was making spaghetti for the boys the other day (with my jarred sauce, sorry Mom)! I thought about why I make the noodles the way I do. Well of course, that is how my Mom always did it. So here is how I prepare my pasta:

1. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil.
2. Once boiling, sprinkle salt in the water.
3. Break spaghetti noodles in half and add to the boiling water.
4. Stir and reduce heat to maintain boil.
5. Cook according to package directions.
6. Once done, drain pasta in colander in sink.
7. Rinse with cold water.
8. Scoop pasta into bowl and then top with sauce and grated Parmesan.

Well apparently my Mom has the salt correct, but rinsing pasta is a big “no no”! Who knew? I thought Mom was always right! So here are some tips provided by Fine Cooking on how to cook pasta properly:

To keep pasta from sticking, stir during the first minute or two of cooking

Add salt, but not oil. A generous amount of salt in the water seasons the pasta internally as it absorbs liquid and swells.

Hot pasta absorbs more sauce. Toss hot pasta with hot sauce quickly—without rinsing it—so the pasta absorbs more sauce and flavor.

What to do? Rinse or not to rinse?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week of May 2, 2011

May is finally here!  I think May is probably my favorite month of the year.  The rain should be gone, the flowers are blooming, and the grass is becoming a nice shade of dark green (thanks to my husband)!  In May, my parents will celebrate their 43rd wedding anniversary.  What a wonderful example they have set for their children and grand children.  Mother's Day is also in May which is a very special holiday we love to celebrate with all of the mother's in our family.  My oldest will be graduating from pre-school and of course Thomas the Tank Engine comes to town, an annual tradition in our house!

Hope you have a warm week and we all get to grill out, because I am tired of making the same old winter meals!  Have a great week!

Monday - Hamburgers and French Fries
Tuesday - Grilled Italian Sausage
Wednesday - Chicken Drumsticks on the grill
Thursday - Tilapia
Friday - Eat Out
Saturday - Frozen Pizza Night & a Movie
Sunday - Steaks on the Grill for Mom

This post is linked at MPM on I'm an Organizing Junkie!