Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cheap and Cheerful Chatter: Bargain or Not?

I've been following a few bargain listing sites on Facebook -- Babysteals, Kidsteals, zulily and Mamabargains to name a few. While I see some great products at super prices, I am wondering if these sites encourage the "I need it now" mentality for products, thus increasing impulse spending.

Cheap and Cheerful wants to know: Do you follow these sites? Does it increase your overall spending or simply help you target good deals?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cheap and Cheerful Cooking: Slow Cooker Pork Tacos

Any recipe that starts with 6 whole chiles gets two thumbs up from me! This recipe was listed in a great new section of the FoodTV website called "Good Food for Less". Check it out.

3 whole ancho chiles
3 whole pasilla chiles
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 to 3 chipotles in adobo sauce
1/2 medium white onion, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
3 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 pounds boneless pork shoulder (untrimmed), cut into chunks
Freshly ground pepper
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
Corn tortillas, warmed, for serving
Assorted taco toppings, for garnish

Put the ancho and pasilla chiles and the garlic in a bowl. Microwave on high until soft and pliable, 2 to 3 minutes. Stem and seed the chiles; peel the garlic. Transfer the chiles and garlic to a blender.

Add the chipotles, onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, honey, vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt and the oregano to the blender; puree until smooth. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat; add the chile sauce and fry, stirring, until thick and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Pour in the broth and reduce until slightly thickened.

Season the pork all over with salt and pepper and transfer to a large slow cooker. Add the bay leaves and cinnamon stick, then pour in the sauce. Cover and cook on high until the meat is tender, about 5 hours. (Or cook the meat in a large Dutch oven, covered, for 1 hour 45 minutes at 350 degrees; uncover and cook 30 more minutes.)

Discard the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Shred the pork with 2 forks; season with salt and pepper. Serve the shredded pork in the tortillas, along with toppings.

... and watch it all disappear!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Favorite Things: "Free" President Cheese from

If you know me, you know how much I love cheese. So when launched the President Cheese campaign, I was first in line to sign up. I used the free cheese coupon to try two President products: Rondele Garlic and Herbs Spreadable Cheese and Feta Crumbles. I served the spreadable cheese at my daughter's birthday party and it got rave reviews. The cheese is flavorful, smooth, and just perfect for a light appetizer. The Feta was perfect in a party salad -- just mix with fresh greens, tomatoes, cucumber and a vinagrette and you're all set. I've got several extra $1 off coupons to share! Any other cheese lovers out there?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Favorite Things: Olivia Board Book

You know that phase when your toddler is too old for typical board books but is too rough on regular hardcover books? I know this phase all too well. My 3 year old just got this great version of Olivia that is the full story but in board book form. Brilliant. Just like Olivia.
Cheap and Cheerful wants to know: Where do you find great deals on books for kids and kids at heart?

Deal of the Day: BOGO at Jamba Juice!

I might be a little bit addicted to Jamba Juice right now. And it is good timing on my part as Jamba Juice is offering buy one, get one free on all drinks from today all the way until April 25th. Click here to get a coupon for yourself. So many choices, so little time.


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