Saturday, September 12, 2009

Cheap and Cheerful Cooking: Chickpea Salad

This Rachael Ray recipe is a perfect go-to salad for lunches or as a side dish for a party. As she would say, "Yummo!".

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 small red onion finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
A few ribs celery and leafy tops, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or grated then grinded into a paste with salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped, a few sprigs
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine chick peas with onions, peppers, celery, garlic, red pepper flakes and rosemary in a medium bowl. Dress salad with vinegar and oil, salt and pepper.

Deal of the Day: 20% Off Major League Baseball Online Store

For any baseball fan in your life, get 20% off your purchases at Plus, shipping is only $1! I just snagged a Giants jersey and cap for my little baseball player's Halloween costume. Just use the code EXTRABASES. Now if only the Giants could make the playoffs ...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cheap and Cheerful Charity: Giving Back

I lived in Washington DC for six years, starting in June 2001. When the plane crashed into the Pentagon, I was about 8 miles away. While my life didn't change as dramatically as others did that day, the tragic loss of life and sense of insecurity for our country certainly impacted me. I was thinking a lot today about the ongoing lessons of that day. About community and coming together. About helping others in good times and bad.

I am thinking about adding a new "column" to the blog -- one on saving money little by little, on giving up some everyday "treats" so you can share your blessings with others in your community.

I've got a charity I am thinking about highlighting in October but I want to approach my friends who run the group first. I am also wondering if you have any suggestions about small groups that make a big difference.

Please post a comment. And hug your loved ones extra tight tonight. And every night.
Life, despite its ups and downs, is good. And,for that, I am grateful.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Favorite Things: TheGoebelGirls on Etsy

I've had my "Woobie" for 37 years. And now, the next generation of Woobies have arrived. You'll love my mom's newest endeavor, an Etsy shop stocked with adorable blankets and burp cloths. Made from the softest flannel around, you might just want one for yourself. Click here to be transported to cuteness. And if you mention my blog when you order, she will give you a 10% discount.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Favorite Things: Pottery Barn Halloween Treat Bags

Well, these treats bags aren't really cheap ... but they sure are cheerful! Imagine your little princess with this delicate pink fairy tote. These candy collectors come in lots of clever shapes -- spider, ghost, shark and pumpkin to name a few. Free standard shipping right now on all costumes and treat bags. If they made an adult sized version of the cupcake costume, I might actually consider dressing up. Yum!

Cheap and Cheerful Chatter: $.99 Cent Stores

In honor of 09-09-09, I'm posting a question about $.99 stores. I admit that I don't often go to stores like the Dollar Tree or $. 99 Only so I'd love to hear your opinions. Please share your dollar stores deals and shopping strategies.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cheap and Cheerful Cooking: Tomato and Crouton Salad

I've got tomatoes on the brain because they continue to grow and grow and grow in my garden.
This Tomato and Crouton Salad recipe by Brian Boitano looks amazing!

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
3 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly
ground black pepper
1/2 loaf ciabatta
bread, cut into small cubes
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 pints red and yellow,
grape and pear tomatoes, sliced in 1/2
1 cup halved, sliced kalamata olives
1/2 pound perlini mozzarella
8 basil leaves, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a small skillet over medium-low heat, add 3 tablespoons olive oil, the butter, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper, to taste. Cook to infuse the butter and oil with the garlic, about 4 minutes.
Add the cubed bread to a large bowl, pour the butter and garlic mixture over the bread and toss to coat. Transfer to a sheet tray and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
In a small bowl whisk together the remaining olive oil and red wine vinegar and set aside.
In a large serving bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, croutons, basil, and the oil and vinegar mixture. Gently toss to coat all the tomatoes and croutons. Let the salad sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Favorite Things: Beetle Spoon and Spork

Are you ever in need of a little distraction at the dinner table? Or do you dislike using disposable flatware when you're on the go? If you answered yes, you'll love the Beetle Spoon and Spork. Packaged in a plastic pod to pop in your purse, the spoon and spork unfold for action. They are dishwasher safe and 100% fun. Retailing for about $9 each, they make fun treats for the little everyday celebrations or small holiday traditions at your house.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Deal of the Day: Chick-Fil-A Giveway on Monday, September 7

Mmmmm, tastes like chicken. Monday, September 7 at a Chik-Fil-A near you.

Favorite Things: Just Zip It Bags

Today, I was given one of these super cute Zip It bags as a gift. Very fun, very functional, and very affordable. So many cute styles -- from pencil cases to messenger bags to totes and cell phone cases. Made in Israel by a creative and compassionate company, your purchase of a Zip It bag fuels young designers to continue inventing unique products. So if you have a passion for purses, check it out.


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