Dinner Under Ten Dollars: Chicken, Cheese ‘N Peas Skillet

CHICKNPEAS

One of our favorite meals is a throw back to my days in college. My roommate and I discovered this dish during our sophomore year of college, and it is still a favorite of mine today.

Kraft Deluxe Mac and Cheese is something you will find in any college student’s pantry, but it is SO MUCH better (if that can be believed) when you mix in some meat and vegetables. It is enough for four servings, so we could eat for two nights on this.

Now that I’m married, my husband and I like to make this on nights when we’re tired.

Chicken, Cheese ‘N Peas Skillet

One box of Kraft Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese

1/2 cup of canned peas 

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. 

4 cups of water

2 cups of milk

1. Take a large saucepan and boil four cups of water. Add the macaroni and cook as per the box’s direction.

2. In another lightly oiled skillet, cook the two chicken breasts for about five minutes on each side, medium heat, until cooked through. Chop into cubes and set aside.

3. Add the cheese sauce and two cups of milk to the cooked pasta. Stir until coated and take off the heat.

4. Stir in the canned peas and chicken and serve!

We also love this meal with bacon thrown in as well! Try it with your favorite meat or vegetable. It’s a great way to slip them in if you have some picky eaters in your house.

My favorite part of this meal is the price.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Kraft Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese: $1.50
  • Canned Peas: $0.79
  • 6 oz Chicken Breasts: $2.00

That’s a grand total of $4.29. or $1.07 a serving!

60 Calories and 61 Cent Coffee Frapps

Today I am bringing you one of my favorite things in existence – frozen coffee beverages!

The fantastic blog Peanut Butter and Peppers offers weight loss recipes and a whole lot more, and I was lucky to stumble on to this recipe on Pinterest. I tweaked it a little, but please go visit PB & P when you get a chance

http://www.peanutbutterandpeppers.com/2012/06/18/skinny-vanilla-mocha-frappe/

Anyway – how does a giant 60 calorie, homemade frozen coffee beverage sound to you?

coffrap

Look at this massive glass of frozen, caramel chocolate coffee goodness!

Wanna make one? Of course you do. Here’s the scoop:

60 calorie Frozen Coffee Frapp recipe – It is super yummy, easy, and you can add whatever you like!

1 tablespoon instant coffee crystals (more or less depending on how you like it) OR 1.5 cup of strong coffee
1/4 cup coconut, almond, soy milk – using regular milk doesn’t change the calorie count, but non-milks are zero points for me :)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flavored coffee creamer, your choice (I like chocolate and caramel)
1.5 cups water
1-2 Splenda packets, more if you like sweeter

Mix the coffee into the water and put it in an ice cube tray. Freeze for at least four hours. Add the milk, vanilla, flavoring and Splenda in the blender. Add ice cubes and blend!

Know how many of these you can make with one can of instant coffee?

24!

Now, this wouldn’t be a money saving blog if I didn’t tell you about how much you’ll save with these little beauties.

Here’s the breakdown:

Coffeehouse Frapp: It varies from shop to shop, but we normally see these for about $3.00 each

MYOM Homemade Frozen Coffee Frapp:

Instant coffee (4.99)

Milk (2.99 a gallon)

Coffee Creamer (2.50)

Splenda (3.99)

That comes to $14.47

You can make 24 frapps for that price. That’s .61 cents each!

If you bought them at about 3.00 a drink at a typical coffee shop, that would come to $72.00. For 24 of these, you save $57.36. That’s nearly six months of once a week coffees.

Great things to spice up your drinks:

Hot chocolate mix! Don’t feel like coffee? Dissolve one packet of hot chocolate mix in your water for a frozen cocoa! Or add it with the coffee and enjoy a yummy Café Mocha taste.

CoffeeMate and International Delight have fantastic flavors like Girl Scout Cookie, Coldstone Creamery Ice Cream, Hershey’s Chocolate, and everything inbetween

Like some spice? How about a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice? Celebrate fall early with a frosty drink!

Torani Syrups – these are available in specialty stores and come in EVERY flavor imaginable – Tiramisu, Hawaiian Macadamia Nut, Salted Caramel, and even BACON. They come in sugar free, too!

Dessert Syrups – check the baking aisle for ice cream toppings like crushed cookies, sprinkles, and cherries!

Add a squirt of Reddi Whip or Cool Whip free for about 5 calories or 0 WW points.

Melissa’s Comments: Giant coffee drinks for .61 cents and 60 calories What else do you need me to say?

Special thanks to Peanut Butter and Peppers!

Looking for Featured Friends! That means YOU!

friendship-clip-art-AD_cup_of_friendship

I’m looking to make connections out there in the blogging world.

I plan to create a database of buttons and links for my Featured Friends page. 

All bloggers are welcome and none will be refused! I will sort them by type of blog – recipes, mommy blogs, etc. 

Every so often I will spotlight a Featured Friend on both this blog and social media in the hopes of getting more traffic and exposure for both of us!

Interested? All you need to do is let me know! Your blog’s name, and a button code if you have one (it’s okay if you don’t!)

Looking forward to making many friendships!

A Taste of Lay’s Do Us A Flavor Chips

 

 

 

 

 

Potato chips are a favorite snack of mine. It’s pretty rare not to find a bag or two in our pantry. So I was really excited to see that Lay’s continued their Do Us a Flavor program from last year and introduced some new chip flavors. 

If you don’t recall, last year they introduced three new potato chip flavors – Sriracha, Cheesy Garlic Bread, and my personal favorite, Chicken and Waffles. The public voted and (much to my heartbreak, I so loved the Chicken and Waffle chips) you can now find Cheesy Garlic Bread on your grocery shelves.

This year, they have four new flavor finalists. Cheddar Bacon Mac n Cheese, Mango Salsa, Cappuccino, and Wasabi Ginger. I stopped by the store to pick some up and have my thoughts on them for you. I will say that I did NOT try the Wasabi Ginger, simply because I don’t think I would be a good judge of it. I don’t like Wasabi so I didn’t want it to influence my feelings. I gave them a rating out of Five Stars based on taste and creativity (I watch way too much Food Network).

chips

 

Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese: 5/5 Stars I definitely looked forward to trying these the most. I absolutely LOVE Mac and Cheese, and bacon makes it even better. The taste was delicious – a smoky bacon but with a real rich, creaminess at the end. Crunchy, flavorful, and perfect for when you need a cheesy fix.

Mango Salsa: 4/5 Stars This absolutely surprised me. I doubted I would like the Mango flavor. I just couldn’t see a fruit flavor working with a potato chip. There is a punch of real fruity Mango at first bite, which was unexpected and a little strange, but became very pleasant. The aftertaste is peppery and a little vinegary and reminds me of something you would find on the menu at a Southwestern style restaurant. 

Cappuccino 1/5 Stars My biggest disappointment. I am a coffee addict and I was genuinely enthused at the idea of trying it in a new medium – you can get ice cream and candy and desserts, but this was the first potato chip product. The taste was syrupy and warm – kind of like an unpleasant cinnamon sensation, and the coffee flavor was just not there for me at ALL. It just tasted wrong. I give it one star because it redeemed itself SLIGHTLY after I dipped a piece in melted chocolate to see if it would balance the flavors. Definitely not something I would eat on purpose.

Stay tuned this week for a great recipe featuring the Mac and Cheese Chips!

What flavor of chip would you like to see?

 

Beauty Geek Giveaway

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I’m so excited! Over on our Facebook page we have broken 300 followers! Thank you to everybody, old and new, who has made this possible.

What better time than now to do an awesome giveaway?

I am addicted to beauty stores like Ulta, and I subscribe to beauty boxes like Birchbox, Ipsy, and Julep. Needless to say, I get a LOT of sample products, and I don’t always use what I get – so I’m going to share it with all of you!

What will you find inside this box of goodies? The following:

  • Julep Maven Neutral Eyeshadow Pallette
  • Sinful Colors nailpolish in Jaune Pastel (a lovely yellow)
  • MICA Beauty tinted lip balm
  • Coola Classic Sunscreen in Cucumber
  • Yaby Natural Finish Foundation in Buff
  • Big Sexy Hair Spray and Play Volumizing Hairspray
  • Laura Gellar Spackle Tinted Primer
  • Benefit Cosmetic’s It’s Potent! Eye Cream
  • Versace Yellow Diamond Perfume
  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Primer
  • Coastal Scents Medium Shadow Brush
  • Zip up make up case

 Follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/964c4d0a1/

 

DIY Gel Topcoat

 

I am addicted to nail polish.

There, I said it.

I spend too much time and too much money on new colors, tools, and the latest, greatest fad, the gel/shellac manicure. I remember the first time I got one. My oh my, was it pretty. Like glistening raspberries on each of my fingers. Smooth as silk but hard as a rock.

I also remember the price. After which I felt like I had been HIT by a rock. In the wallet. It was $45.00 for my gel manicure. My first thought was to invest in one of the home kits. That was almost worse. A quality starter set was nearly twice that.

That wouldn’t do, so I turned to my dear friend Pinterest. Surely someone had an answer. And by “someone” I mean dozens upon dozens of bloggers and pinners who swore by this two step trick.

I tried it this week, and I’m going to share my thoughts with you.

topcoat

All you need is two little bottles from our friend Sally Hansen. The Hard as Wraps and the No Chip Acrylic Topcoat. This purchase will set you back a mere $9.58.

As I do before painting my nails with anything, I scrubbed them with a sugar scrub and wiped each nail with acetone to make sure they were clean.

I did two layers of color and let them dry. Next, I applied one smooth coat of the No Chip and let them sit. I waited about five minutes and applied the Hard as Wraps.

The result? Take a look.

day1

They were very shiny, which was lovely. They didn’t have the same strength that a salon gel manicure would give – I could press an indentation into the nail – but they were certainly harder than the average topcoat.

My gel manicures at the salon normally last for ten days to about two weeks, depending on how rough I am with them.

day10

This was ten days after I tried the topcoat. I managed to bang my thumb at work in a rush to finish typing an emergency pleading, and it pushed the polish back.

Other than that, I was fairly impressed. The tips of my nails were still coated, and I could see around my cuticle where the nail had grown. It also held up extremely well to nail polish remover – the basic stuff was not good enough. I had to use acetone to remove it completely.

As good as a salon job? Not quite. Great for every day use? Absolutely. A heck of a money saver? You better believe it. You get about 35 coats from the average bottle of nail polish so this will cost you about TWENTY SEVEN CENTS per manicure or a NINTY NINE PERCENT SAVINGS.

$0.27 vs. $45.00? That’s a no brainer.