Saturday, July 31, 2010

Macaroni Salad

Happy Saturday!

I wanted to share a recipe that I've been making pretty frequently lately. It's a bbq staple and everyone has been enjoying it. Macaroni salad.


This picture was taken as soon as all of the ingredients were mixed together and before the pasta absorbed the dressing.

What I absolutely love about this recipe is that you can easily change up the ingredients to suit your own tastes. I don't normally add carrots but since I had some I grated a couple and threw them in. I also grated the hard boiled eggs and I don't think I'll do that again. I prefer them chopped.

Macaroni Salad (adapted from allrecipes)
  • 4 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (1 box)
  • 4 hard boiled eggs chopped
  • 1-2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped (red or white)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped1/4 cup grated carrot (optional)

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni, and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, celery salt and pepper. Stir in the onion, celery, carrot, eggs and macaroni. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving, but preferably overnight.

I will admit that I use a lot of mayonnaise. A lot. Definitely more than the 1 cup in the original recipe. Possibly more than the 1-2 cups I stated above. I happen to like creamy macaroni salad and when allowed to sit for a while the pasta will absorb the mayo mixture. I will also use celery salt instead of regular salt. I like the flavor that it gives.

Try this one! You'll love it!

Friday, July 30, 2010


I've got lots of coupons for you this week. All offers are valid for today and tomorrow. Happy Shopping!!

Click here for 15% off at Staples.

Click here for 15% off at Kohl's.

Enter code TCEES2D0 to get 15% off at Target.

Click here for 15% off at JCPenney.

Click here for coupons at Babies R Us.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Beach Day!

During the summer it is rare for Alberto to get a day off and when he does get one the weather usually doesn't cooperate. This past Saturday, Alberto calls and tells me that he has the next day off and asks if I want to go to the beach.

Now, I love Alberto but I hate the beach. I hate sand. I hate the idea of sand all over the babies. I hate finding sand all over the place when I unpack, do laundry, in the bath tub, etc. But like I said...I love Alberto. So I enthusiastically said yes.

Alberto and Eva

Stephanie was not a fan of the water and stayed far, far away from it.

Eva getting a hand from her Aunt Krissi.

Overall, it was a lovely day but I don't think that we'll be going back until next summer when the girls are bigger. Maybe by then I'll stop finding sand everywhere.

Friday, July 16, 2010


It's Friday! Yay!!!

Here are some coupons and promotional codes for you.

Enter code XAN6PTS9 to save 15% at Target. Good today and tomorrow only.

Click here for printable coupons to Babies R Us. Good today thru Sunday, July 18.

Click here for 20% off of your purchase of $50 or more at The Children's Place. Enter code JULY2010A to receive the discount on your online purchase.

Click here for $15 off of your $75 purchase or $10 off of your $50 purchase at JC Penney. Enter promo code ITS2HOT to receive the discount on your online purchase. To have your online order shipped to you for $4.99 enter code HOTDEAL.

Happy Shopping!

Friday, July 9, 2010

It's Coupon Friday!

Here are some coupon codes if you're looking to do some shopping this weekend!

Enter promo code ONSAVE15 to save 15% off at Old Navy. Ends July 18.

Click here for 50% off of any regular priced item at AC Moore. Coupon is valid Friday July 9 and Saturday July 10.

Click here for an additional 15% off of everything at Kohl's. Enter promo code JULYSAVE to receive your discount online. Coupon is valid through July 11.

Recieve free shipping with your purchase of $65 at NY & Co. Enter promo code 5500.

Enter promo code FIX40 to receive 40% off of your regular priced purchase. Plus free shipping on all orders of $125 or more. No code is needed.

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Jumping on the Creamy Taco Mac bandwagon


I've seen this recipe posted on a couple of blogs that I follow and it's being posted about on the message board that I'm on.

At first I ignored the buzz. Creamy Taco Mac?? What's that?

But the buzzing continued. Creamy Taco Mac..could it really be that good?

Then the buzzing became so loud that I could no longer ignore it. I was going to post on my message board and ask for the recipe but lucky for me I saw it in my Google Reader. Juliann's Easy Eats blogged about it. She got the recipe from Lauren's Kitchen which is another blog that I follow. And Lauren got the recipe from...well, you get the point.

I was worried that the recipe wouldn't live up to the hype surrounding it. But it did. It so did.

I doubled the recipe. To see my adjustments go to My Verdict underneath the original recipe.

Creamy Taco Mac

  • 1.25 lbs ground turkey
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 8 oz dry pasta + 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1 16oz jar of salsa
  • 4 Tbsp mild taco seasoning
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese, plus more for garnish

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta per directions. Reserve one cup of pasta water.

Over medium heat, brown ground turkey until no longer pink. Add onion and cook 5 minutes. Add taco seasoning and salsa. Allow to simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Add cooked pasta, reserved water, cream cheese, sour cream, and shredded cheese. Give it a good stir until cheeses are melty and incorporated. Simmer over low heat for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt & pepper, as desired. Top off with cheddar cheese for extra cheesy goodness.

My verdict: So freaking good!!! I doubled the recipe above. I used an entire box of pasta. This really does make a HUGE amount of food. I was a bit skeptical that half a box would be enough for all of us and we ended up having my brother and stepdaughter over for dinner and we still had leftovers. I only slightly increased the amount of meat above. I used 1 1/2 lbs of ground beef because that's what I had. I thought it was plenty of meat for this dish. I used 2 16oz jars of mild salsa, an entire envelope of taco seasoning, a whole medium onion, an 8 oz container of sour cream and the whole 8 oz tub of cream cheese. YUM, YUM, YUM!!

*In case you actually have some leftover, keep some of that pasta water to reheat on your stove top and your leftovers will be creamy and delicious.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Crochet Newsboy Cap

I know that I've mentioned it before but I'll say it again...I love to make hats. Love looking for patterns, love buying yarn and love to make hats. I usually look for free patterns to use and will sometimes browse through Etsy for pattern inspiration and color combinations. But on my latest search for a new hat to make I decided to actually pay for a pattern.

I like to think that I am good at reading patterns and following directions. However, when it comes to adjusting an already existing pattern to make it bigger or smaller I have trouble. My brain completely shuts down. I need to follow directions. So when I saw that a pattern was for sale for a crochet newsboy cap sizes 12 months to adult large I went for it! I loved the hat and loved that I could make it for the babies, my 12 year old and for myself. I could even make one for the man if I thought he'd wear it.

I've already made one for my oldest daughter and it was so easy so I started to make another one right away.

I would love to share the pattern with you but it wouldn't be fair to the lovely lady who created this pattern. If you'd like to make this hat or one of the other lovely patterns that she has for sale go to Speckled Frog Design & Boutique. Cyprianne was great to work with and when I had a question about the pattern I emailed her and she replied immediately. I plan on buying another pattern soon.

Pampers GTG Points

Someone on my local message board posted a bunch of Pampers Gifts to Grow codes and I wanted to share them on here.

If you can get them to all work you can earn up to 195 points! I was able to get 165 points.

















If your kids have been using Pampers diapers and you're not a part of the Gifts to Grow program shame on you. Every package of Pampers diapers has a unique code inside of the package. All you need to do is go to Pampers Gifts to Grow and enter codes to earn points. Once you have enough points you can trade them in for some great stuff. It's that easy.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Strawberry Cake

Happy 4th of July!!

The babies are napping and while I am enjoying a cup of coffee I decided to share the recipe for a yummy Strawberry Cake that I made for a bbq at my dad's house yesterday.

I receive emails from kraftrecipes.com and as soon as I saw this cake I knew that I had to make it.

It was really easy to make and I wish that I had decorated it with some fresh strawberries right away instead of waiting. Yup, you guessed it, the strawberries were eaten. Oh well, it was still delicious.

The only thing that I do question on the recipe is the amount of oil vs water. I wonder if it's a typo. I made it exactly as the recipe states and it turned out great but I think that next time I will make it with less oil.

Strawberry Cake


1 pkg. (2-layer size) white cake mix
1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
4 eggs
1 cup oil
1/4 cup water
1 cup mashed fresh strawberries, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping


HEAT oven to 350°F.

COMBINE cake mix and dry gelatin mix in large bowl. Add eggs, oil, water and 3/4 cup strawberries; beat with mixer until well blended. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round pans.

BAKE 30 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 10 min. Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely. Meanwhile, drain remaining strawberries.

BEAT cream cheese in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in sugar. Add drained berries; mix well. Whisk in COOL WHIP. Stack cake layers on plate, spreading 1 cup COOL WHIP mixture between layers. Frost top and side with remaining COOL WHIP mixture. Keep refrigerated.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

4th of July coupons!

It's only Thursday but I am already receiving some coupon codes for the holiday weekend.

Enter code
FIX40 to get 40% off of your purchase at LOFT. Free shipping on all orders of $125 or more. No code needed.

Enter code GAPJULY4 to get 25% off of your purchase at GAP. Free shipping on orders of $100 or more.

Enter code
5499 to receive 15% off of your purchase at NEW YORK & CO.

Enter code TOPSECRET to receive an additional 20% off of your purchase at KOHL'S.

Have a fantastic 4th of July weekend!!!