Friday, May 14, 2010

Cheap and Cheerful Chatter: More fun Cover Girl from BzzAgent

As my next birthday (38! *gasp*) fast approaches, the Cover Girl Simply Ageless product line seems like a better and better match for my cosmetic needs. I can't wait to try all of my fun freebies from BzzAgent. I know one thing for certain: under eye concealer will be my new best friend. (And those who see me before 10 am will be most grateful as well.) Drop me a comment and tell me -- What is your favorite Cover Girl Product? I've got some $2 off coupons to share with some lucky commenters.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cheap and Cheerful Chatter: Kraft First Taste Program

I recently signed up for the Kraft First Taste Program and it has been fun so far. The first set of preview coupons save you over $8 on Homestyle Macaroni and Cheese, Oscar Meyer Deli Fresh lunch meats, DiGiorno Pizza and Breadsticks, Ritz Crackerfuls, Kool Aid FunFizz, and Kraft 100 Calorie Cheese Bites. We've enjoyed sampling a few of the products; my kids loved watching the grape Kool Aid tablets dissolve in their water and the Cheese bites are a perfect afternoon snack.

If you want a pack of coupons (with one coupon for each product), I have three to give away to friends. Leave a comment and I will send one your way.

Deal of the Day: Wright Running Socks

These are my favorite running socks ever! I usually pay about $9 per pair so I was thrilled to find them for just $6 per pair. I just might be getting ready for one or two more half marathons in 2010 so it's time to stock up.
Cheap and Cheerful wants to know: What are your favorite workout gear brands?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Favorite Things: Junk Food Tees

I just might have found the Father's Day gift I was searching for. While they aren't the cheapest t-shirts around, the designs are just too classic to resist. Plus, we've got a major Star Wars love fest going on at our house. The fearless leader of the new family hobby needs the appropriate "costume". Maybe the Millenium Falcon one since he usually plays Han in the light saber duels? Choices, choices.

Cheap and Cheerful wants to know: What fun Father's Day items have you found?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cheap and Cheerful Chatter: Summer Reading

Every year, I get so excited as May begins ... warmer weather, longer days, and the planning of my annual summer reading list! I have a weakness for hardcover books so I buy a lot of my summer reading selections from Amazon. Don't get me wrong -- I will support local booksellers whenever I can but the bargain basement Amazon prices help me get more books to last the entire summer. I cram all of my best reading into the summer months since I am so busy the rest of the year. (That is sort of a pathetic admission from an English teacher, isn't it?)

So far, I plan to read the titles pictured above. All are paperbacks that were passed along to me by readers who actually read books all year round. Thank you literary friends!

Since I'm off to a good start with my summer stack, I'm going to "splurge" on a few deeply discounted hardcovers from Amazon. Maybe this one? Or this one? Or one you suggest? Bonus points for a new "classic", in other words something that will be on the AP Literature Exam suggested list in about ten years.
Help! Please?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cheap and Cheerful Cooking: Chicken Enchiladas

Because Tyler Florence is yummy, his recipes are usually yummy too. I am looking forward to trying these enchiladas. I so wish I had all of the ingredients right now since it is rainy and dreary at my house. A warm dish of enchiladas would be the perfect dinner!

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon Mexican Spice Blend
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
5 canned whole green chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
4 canned chipotle chiles, seeded and minced
1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
16 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, canned
1 cup shredded Cheddar and Jack cheeses
Garnish: chopped cilantro leaves, chopped scallions, sour cream, chopped tomatoes

Coat large saute pan with oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken over medium heat, allow 7 minutes each side or until no longer pink. Sprinkle chicken with cumin, garlic powder and Mexican spices before turning. Remove chicken to a platter, allow to cool.

Saute onion and garlic in chicken drippings until tender. Add corn and chiles. Stir well to combine. Add canned tomatoes, saute 1 minute.

Pull chicken breasts apart by hand into shredded strips. Add shredded chicken to saute pan, combine with vegetables. Dust the mixture with flour to help set.

Microwave tortillas on high for 30 seconds. This softens them and makes them more pliable. (Or you can dip in hot oil, the old fashioned way!) Coat the bottom of 2 (13 by 9-inch) pans with a ladle of enchilada sauce. Using a large shallow bowl, dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce to lightly coat. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in each tortilla. Fold over filling, place 8 enchiladas in each pan with seam side down. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven until cheese melts. Garnish with cilantro, scallion, sour cream and chopped tomatoes before serving. Serve with Spanish rice and beans.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Money Mantra: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)

I had a great Mother's Day walk today -- Thanks Geri! We got to talking a little bit about consumerism and kids and keeping it simple. When I got home, I remembered this great site with some excellent tips about simple living.

Cheap and Cheerful wants to know: How do you keep it simple, either for yourself or your family?


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