Sunday, July 13, 2014

EASY Dinner Idea That Helps you with a Future Dinner! Crock Pot Chicken Stock & BBQ Chicken

Do you need an easy dinner idea? Well, here you go!
BBQ Pulled Chicken with Bonus Chicken Stock

3-6 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3-6 Carrots, peeled, and cut in 4-5 pieces
3-4 Stalks of celery, cut in 4-5 pieces.
1 Onion, peeled and rough cut
salt & pepper to taste
any other seasonings you like
Bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. (I like Sweet Baby Ray's.)

What can be easier than throwing some boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot with  water and seasonings, (salt & pepper, or whatever your like,) even some carrots, onions, and celery?

If you'll be gone all day and are comfortable leaving your crock pot on while you're away from home, then set your slow cooker to low. Season the chicken breasts, and add to the slow cooker. Add carrots, celery, onion, whatever you like to flavor your chicken stock. Add water to cover. If you're at home and want need to meal to be ready sooner, then set the slow cooker on high and follow those same steps above for adding the ingredients. For low, 6-8 hrs. For high, check the meat at 4 hrs.

When the chicken will pull apart with two forks, then separate the chicken from the broth and vegetables. Make sure to put the lid back on the crock pot to keep it warm, BUT DON'T FORGET THAT IT'S TURNED ON! Shred the chicken and return it to the crock pot FIRST, since it's still warm and you don't want to put something cold into a hot slow cooker! Add a bottle of BBQ sauce, or whatever amount you prefer, and mix with the chicken till heated through. If the BBQ sauce is cold, I would recommend warming it a little in a glass container in the microwave. Don't put the bottle of BBQ sauce in the microwave (for our not-so-well-versed in the kitchen fans!).

Next, strain the vegetables from the broth. If you want the broth to look its best, strain it through a cheesecloth. Then freeze the broth in ice cube trays. After frozen, remove the cubes and place in a Ziploc bag, then you'll have easy-to-use increments of chicken broth. This way, you can add as much or as little broth to whatever dish you're making the next night or some evening in the future. And, your ice tray will be back in service for the next item you want to freeze, whether it be water or more broth.

When the shredded chicken and BBQ sauce is heated through, serve as is, or on buns. Fast, easy dinner! I really appreciate this kind of meal. Though I love, love, love to cook and try new recipes, there seems to be no end to housework, yardwork, errands, etc. There are MANY days when dinner seems to be more of a chore than a pleasure to cook. So, meals like this slow cooker BBQ pulled chicken make life simpler on those busy days. And, it's nice to get a batch of chicken broth as a bonus. For you chicken broth afficionados, I know this broth has no bones or skin to help flavor it. However, I still really like this broth! When going to use the broth later in another dish, you have the choice of kicking up the flavor with the addition of herbs, seasonings, etc., and sometimes, I even use it to cook more chicken. It's as if I'm starting out with my own frozen buillion cubes. So, give it a try and tell me what you think.  As long as you have your chicken breasts the night before or in the morning, you'll be set for a quick dinner that evening. 


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

FREE Lipton K-Cup Iced Tea Sampler!

Do you have a home brewer that uses K-Cups? Then this offer is for you!

Watch a short video, then fill out your name, address, and email address to receive a FREE Lipton Tea Iced Tea Sampler of K-Cups!

Please return and let me know how long it took for you to receive your sample.


(P.S. At the same link, there is another link to a 75cent coupon, but I tried it and that offer is no longer valid.)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Email Subscription Clean-Up

I don't know about you, but I have entered my fair share of contests, made requests for coupons, etc., and my inboxes have been overflowing with advertising offers, updates, and the like from too many companies. This issue is compounded by the fact that I access email on both my iPhone and my desktop, and deleting an email in one place does not delete it from the other. So, I spend double the time deleting emails that I just am not reading.

There were emails from clothing retailers my daughter likes. I signed up to receive a coupon or updates ahead of Black Friday, yet I am not doing any clothes shopping that warrents receiving A DAILY EMAIL anytime soon! Those were the first to go. I was getting email from specific products, and I don't even recall signing up to receive those. There are many emails I did request, but I find that I'm too busy to read. Since I do not have limitless time to peruse all these emails, I decided to take a few minutes each day this week to start unsubscribing, instead of just deleting those messages.

As for those messages I still wanted to receive, I have been updating my email address to one that won't send all of my "advertising / newsletter" email to my junk mail.  I was unable to find how to update my email for one company that I really like. Sadly, their policy is that once your email is associated to your account, it can never be changed. The representative told me I'd have to sign up for a new account! I had just updated my public profile with that company, and was not going to take the time to recreate the wheel. Remember, I'm trying to save TIME and also, not miss emails that go to junk mail here with this activity. I let her know that I just may not catch all their emails. Oh well!

I know that it seems like it takes loads of time to clean up your email subscriptions. However, if you just take a few minutes each day (set a timer!) for one week, I promise that your inbox will start looking better and better, and you won't feel so weighed down by all those unread messages. Good luck!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Who Is Your Organizing Guru?

I am following a few too many organizing gurus this week. We moved a few months ago, and I find myself needing to bring order to the chaos. Do I follow The Fly Lady who has never led me astray? Should I go with Money Saving Mom, who has a four-week program to a cleaner, more organized home and who also employs a number of Fly Lady techniques? Or should I go with a current favorite of a few of my friends, 40 Bags in 40 Days? It may seems nuts, but I think I'm going to try to do two of the three. Money Saving Mom and #40Bags40Days here I come!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cleaning Up the Refrigerator

Is it time to clean out the refrigerator? I know you know to toss out the science experiments first, and remove items to keep to a different shelf or the countertop, so I'll skip that part. Starting from the top, down, I begin with a dry cloth or paper towel, to remove any crumbs. After shaking out that cloth over the trash can, I run water over the cloth, and go over the same areas of the fridge shelves. If there are any areas of dried, thick residue, I lay a wet cloth on it, leave it for a few hours, and move on to the next task. That way, I avoid wasting energy on a task that moisture and time can solve for me. Then, I return in an hour or two to easily wipe up the mess. In the event of a stubborn area, repeat, leaving the rinsed out damp cloth in contact with the area in question. I do the same for my glass stove-top and interior of the oven. If raw meat juices have spilled, I'll use some Windex with Vinegar or some Clorox wipes, whatever I have on hand. I try to avoid the really nasty chemicals and find it best to start with water or sudsy water first.

Good luck!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes Recipe from Brigette Chevy

OK, I did it again. I meant to make something for dinner, but decided I'd rely on leftovers to sustain us this evening. There's nothing wrong with that! However, since Mother Nature has decided not to cooperate AGAIN and my daughter's lacrosse team won't be playing tonight, I decided to make use of the bag of potatoes my husband asked me for last week, but then forgot to use.

I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Money Saving Mom, when I came across a guest post by Brigette Shevy. She wants to enjoy potato dishes, but likes to skip using cream soups and / or sour cream, which are frequently used with potatoes. Luckily, her mother-in-law had a great family recipe for Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes that she shared with Money Saving Mom, Crystal. And, now I'm sharing that recipe with you.

I'll be making this recipe this evening, and I'll let you know how we all like it. But, from looking at the recipe, and reading through comments on Bridgette's guest post, I already know a few things that I appreciate. First, NO ONIONS! I love onions, they just don't love me. So, it's nice to see a recipe without this seemingly ever-present ingredient. However, I feel the recipe is flexible enough to allow for onions if you so desire, I'd just sautee them a little first. Second, though the recipe calls for milk, and many would read that as "whole milk," what's the harm in using skim? It's what we have on hand, and though the dish might not be quite as thick without whole milk, I like the benefits of skim to help balance the ensuing carb and cheese fest! And, third, I appreciate the flexibliity of being able to use up those fresh potoates you have on hand, or the efficiency of using frozen shredded potatoes.

Oh, and those pototoes that I was going to use? I scrubbed the potoatoes, started boiling a large pot of water, then decided, it's going to takey WAY too long given that it was already 5:00 pm. So, those potatoes will wait till another day and frozen shredded potatoes, here we go!

Enjoy this recipe by clicking on the link at the top of the page!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Quick Tip: Carry Store's Coupon Policy in Coupon Caddy

I've heard and experienced that many cashiers aren't familiar with their own store's coupon policies.
This can be frustrating when you have your stack of coupons ready to go and it all comes to a screeching halt. You've got other folks behind you in line giving you the evil eye and you just want to give up and go home. Well, don't! Keep a copy of the store's coupon policy (generally found on their website) in the back of your coupon caddy, envelope, etc. The cashier will either become more knowledgable about policy, or will be so intimidated by the fact that you know their coupon policy, chapter and verse, that he will just put your coupons through out of sheer embarrassment! If that, too, fails, then ask to have the store manager ring you up at customer service.

Here are links to some stores' policies.

Kroger (Digital Coupon Policy)
Fred Meyer