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Weekly Deals | Silk Soy & Smart Balance Milk

11 Apr

Disclaimer: pup not included!

Kate & I are a two “milk” household. I drink regular cow’s milk in my coffee & she drinks soy milk in hers. Oh and I tend to have more vegan bake-offs using soy milk than she would like..ha!

This week’s deal via Shaw’s Supermarket

  1. Smart Balance Milk: On sale this week! 2/$6 = $3 per 1/2 gallon of milk. Using a $.75 coupon (which Shaw’s doubles!) I cut out from the Smart Source circular in the Boston Globe on 4.1.12, my total cost was $1.50. Woo hoo!
  2. Silk Soy Milk: Original price: $3.99 per 1/2 gallon. I used a $.75 coupon (which again doubled at Shaw’s for a savings of $1.50) that I printed from the Silk website. Total cost = $2.49.

Tips…

  • To get the Silk coupon: go to the Silk website > click on the coupon link at the top of the page > register on the site > print your coupon.
  • Many brands offer loyal customers coupons online (if you register on their websites). Websites I have gotten valuable coupons from (just by registering or signing up for a newsletter) include: Chobani, Silk, Hunt’s, Wellness pet foods, Halo pet foods & Method.

DIY Cheese | Homemade Ricotta

5 Apr


Recently, my friend, Emily, told me about Salvatore Bklyn. They make fresh artisanal ricotta cheese daily in Brooklyn, NY, using the finest whole milk sourced locally from upstate. After doing more research online, Kate & I fell in love with their story, product and website. Martha Stewart has proclaimed, “It’s my favorite ricotta in the whole world!”, and has featured them on her show. It made me want to attempt to try to make my own ricotta.

(Recipe courtesy of Betsy Devine Salvatore Bklyn)

Makes 4 cups

Ingredients

1 gallon whole milk (I used Shaw Farm milk from my hometown, Dracut, MA)
healthy pinch of salt
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Steps

1. Pour the milk into a large, nonreactive pot and season with salt (a healthy pinch). Cover the pot and place it over high heat. Heat the milk to 190 degrees (use a thermometer), stirring it every few minutes to keep it from scorching. Turn off the heat, remove from hot burner, and add the lemon juice. Stir slowly until you see curds beginning to form. (This should happen almost immediately; you’ve now created the curds and whey.) Let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.

2. Line a colander with cheesecloth and place it over another bowl (to catch the whey). Pour the curds and whey into the colander and let the curds strain for at least 1 hour, then discard the whey. Eat the cheese right away or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

The results were amazing. This ricotta is delicate and fluffy, best eaten with a pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper. yum.

Meals featuring this amazing ricotta:  

#1: Toasted baguette slathered with roasted garlic topped with oven roasted cherry tomatoes and a heaping of ricotta.
Sprinkle sea salt and cracked black pepper and add a drizzle of your favorite extra virgin olive oil. Tasty with a simple side salad of mixed greens dressed in olive oil and champagne vinegar.

#2: Toasted baguette rubbed with a fresh garlic clove and topped with 2 tsp of pasta sauce, ricotta and a sprinkle of sea salt, pepper & oregano. Drizzle with olive oil.

#3: Egg white omelette with ricotta, sea salt and cracked pepper. (Courtesy of our friend, Cobi!)

Breakfast for Dinner | Banana Bread French Toast

29 Mar

When life hands you dry banana bread…then make Banana Bread French Toast!

The banana bread recipe had great flavor, but baked really dense and quite dry. To fix the dryness in the recipe below add an additional banana and an additional 2 TBS of melted butter.

The inspiration for the banana bread french toast came from a breakfast I had with Kate during one of our trips to Austin, TX. The South Congress Café serves up an amazing Carrot Cake French Toast. It has been highlighted on the Food Network and was worth every calorie. I just remember eating that on our last day in Austin trying to think of how I could take the left overs with me, but we were heading to the airport, ha!

(Adapted from Baking Illustrated)

Makes one 9 x 5 inch loaf (preferably 3” inches deep)

Ingredients:

2 c King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour

1 c walnuts, coarse chopped

¼ c sugar

½ c light brown sugar

¾ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg

2 very ripe large bananas, mashed well **(see note above for change)

1 – 5.3oz container Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt

2 large eggs, beaten lightly

4 TBS unsalted butter, melted and cooled **(see note above for change)

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ TBS orange zest

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your 9×5 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Spread the walnuts on a small baking sheet and bake 5-10 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients including the zest in a medium bowl.
  5. Gently fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients, with a silicone spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  6. Bake until loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Total baking time is 55 – 60 minutes. Rotate the loaf at the 30-minute mark of the baking time. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Banana Bread French Toast Time:

Makes 2 full servings or 4 side servings


Egg Wash:

In a shallow vessel whisk:

2 Eggs

¾ c milk

½ tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp cinnamon

½ TBS sugar

pinch of salt

  1. Soak 4 slices of Banana Bread in the egg wash while you are making the topping

Topping:
Combine the following 3 ingredients in a small bowl:

3 heaping TBS of Greek Yogurt (I used Sophia’s Greek Yogurt of Belmont, MA)

½ TBS freshly grated orange zest

½ TBS honey

¼ c Pure Maple Syrup (heated) for drizzling… yum!

Cooking Directions:

  1. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Melt 1 TBS of butter in the skillet. Place the egg wash soaked banana bread slices in the skillet and cook for 3 minutes on each side.
  2. Remove cooked slices from heat and cut in half.
  3. Place 4 halves of the slices on each plate.
  4. Top with a heaping TBS of greek yogurt topping.
  5. Grate orange zest over the top for garnish.
  6. In a small microwave safe bowl pour ¼ c of pure maple syrup.
  7. Heat in microwave for 20 seconds.
  8. Drizzle over the French Toast and enjoy!

Weekly Deal | Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent BOGO*

27 Mar

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Disclaimer: pup not included!
*Four simple letters: B – O – G – O, and I was hooked! “BOGO” is bargain hunting speak for buy one get one free. 

I found this week’s deal at my local CVS. (It’s not just for toiletries and travel sized goodies, my friends.) I have learned that armed with my handy, ExtraCare savings card, I can save a bundle without much preparation/crazy hours of coupon cutting.

CVS Weekly Deals Sun 3/25 – Sat 3/31
Arm & Hammer Liquid Laundry Detergent (32 loads) BOGO $7.29 each.

I bought 1 bottle for $7.29, got another bottle FREE and used a $1.00 coupon that I cut out of the newspaper two weekends ago.
So, I got 64 loads worth of laundry for $6.29 – that’s just under $.10 per load!!!!

CVS Savings Note:
Tip #1: Scanning your ExtraCare card at one of the savings stations BEFORE you start shopping is a great way to save more money, since it will print out unexpected “Extra Bucks” or store coupons right on the spot. (Wha wha?!)

Tip #2: Using the self-checkout lane is the way to go for a few reasons! (I swear it feels like I’m doing something shady but until they stop me…). First, it’s easier to ring yourself in so you can split your order into two/multiple transactions. (Warning: you might have to do a little bit of math first!) Second, if you have any store incentive savings/specials (e.g. buy 2 Dove products & get $2 “Extra Bucks” back), ring these in your first transaction & THEN use the Extra Bucks you earn on the second transaction to maximize your savings. Don’t forget to use manufacturer coupons, too!

Zucchini Bread…it’s healthy, right?

23 Mar

My friend’s birthday is this weekend and I love an excuse to bake! Sometimes it is a occasion that warrants it, other times a holiday, but more often it really is just an excuse to bake and experiment. (The “experimenting” part drives Kate nuts! Heh.)

So, said birthday friend, dropped a not-so-subtle hint that zucchini bread is his favorite baked good. (He’d actually mentioned this before and THEN at least 2 more times after that.)  Happy birthday, Shaun! (Sometime today, I’m sure you’re going to be tearing into this bad boy at work…)


(Adapted from NY Times published September 9, 2008)

Makes 2 8″x4″ loaves

Ingredients

2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour

3 large eggs

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 TBS unsulphured molasses

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp King Arthur Espresso Powder

2 cups grated zucchini

2 oz. package of Taza Chocolate Cocoa Nibs (chopped)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Steps

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans with non-stick spray, set aside.

2. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat eggs until light and foamy, 3 minutes. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, melted butter, baking soda, vanilla, molasses, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, espresso powder and remaining flour. Mix just until blended. Stir in zucchini, nibs, and walnuts.

3. Divide batter between pans. Rotate pans 180 degrees after 30 minutes of the total 1 hour baking time. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

4. Let cool on wire rack in pans for 15 minutes. Turn bread out of pans and let cool on rack or enjoy warm!

The result: A yummy sweet-but-not-too-sweet bread that even your cutest little veggie hater will love!  There’s something about cacao nibs in baked goods that’s insanely delicious. They add a little bit of crunchy texture like the walnuts in this recipe. Speaking of…

A fun note: I used nibs from Taza Chocolate — a local organic, gluten-free, dairy free, & soy free mexican style small batch dark chocolate made in Somerville, MA (yay!). Their rustic chocolate is a robust dark chocolate with floral notes (Kate thinks the notes are very fruity) that appeals to bakers and purist chocolate lovers alike.

 

I’m a couponer, sorry about the wait in the check out line…

19 Mar

Friends of mine started watching TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” and quickly got me hooked. The reality is that we live in a smallish apartment with no access to the basement and minimal storage space, so we don’t have a stock pile of 300 deodorants, 50 2 liter bottles of soda, etc. Just sayin’.

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My goal: To start saving more money so that one day in the not so distant future (fingers crossed) Kate and I (and the pets) could have a house with a yard and not be eternally renting. That is how it all started…

These days I buy two Sunday newspapers and print coupons out that are offered online. I even mail coupons to friends. It has actually turned into more of a hobby and a way to correspond with friends and save money in the process.

This Week’s Deals:

CVS Sunday 3/18 – Saturday 3/24
*sale prices reflect using your Extra Care card
Number of transactions: 2 (I always use the self check out line)

Transaction #1:
Alaway: sale price $11.99 with $4.00 coupon
TOTAL: $7.99 plus tax, earning a $2 extra bucks coupon for next visit

Transaction #2:
– Kettle Potato Chips (8-8.5oz bag): sale price: $2.49 with $1.00 coupon TOTAL: $1.49
– Kellog’s Cereal (8.7oz-15oz box): sale price: $1.77 with $1.00 off TWO boxes coupon TOTAL: $2.54 (for two boxes)
– Johnson’s baby products (13-15oz): sale price: $2.99 with $1.50 coupon TOTAL: $1.49
TOTAL: $5.52 then use your $2 extra bucks coupon
Final Transaction #2 ORDER TOTAL: $3.52 plus tax

Pet Smart
*sale price reflects using customer Rewards card
World’s Best Cat Litter (7lb bag): sale price $7.49 with $3.00 on line coupon
TOTAL: $4.49 plus tax

Shaw’s Supermarkets Friday 3/16 – Thursday 3/22
*sale prices reflect using your Shaw’s Rewards card
– Barilla Pasta: sale price: $1.00 with $1.00 coupon with purchase of a jar of Barilla Sauce — cost with coupon & sale: FREE pasta!
– Starburst Jelly Beans: sale price 2/$5 with $1.00 coupon — cost with coupon & sale: 2/$4
– Filippo Berio /olive Oil (16.9oz-17oz): sale price $3.99
$1.00 coupon printed from Filippo Berio websitecost with coupon & sale: $2.99
– Chobani Greek Yogurt (32 oz): sale price $5.79 with $.50 coupon from chobani.com
$.50 coupon Doubles to $1.00 off — cost with coupon & sale: $4.79
– Chobani Champions 4 pack: sale price $2.89 with $1.00 coupon from chobani.com cost with coupon & sale: $1.89

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