Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Three Cheese Spaghetti Bake

For someone who hates cooking, like i do, this was a very complicated recipe. While each step was easy, there was a lot going on at once. However, it was well worth the effort as this recipes is DELICIOUS!!! So flavorful. I changed the recipe somewhat and included those changes in the brackets on the recipe.

This recipe is from $5 Dinners. All of the price calculations are from Erin!

Three Cheese Spaghetti Bake

Three Cheese Spaghetti Bake

Recipe by Erin at $5 Dinners.
Yield – 4 servings
Preparation Time – 20 minutes
Cooking Time – 10 minutes


  • 9-10 oz. whole grain spaghetti noodles ($.30) 
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($.05) [I used garlic flavored]
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar ($.10) [I used 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar]
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes ($.69) [Omitted!!]
  • 1 small onion, chopped ($.20)
  • 6 oz. package Feta cheese ($3.99) [I used 4 oz, as that is how much the package contained]
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese ($.50)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese [I used 1/2 cup... I forgot to buy cheese!]
  • 1 cup milk ($.10)
  • 2 eggs ($.20)
  • Salt and pepper


  • Preheat to 350.
  • Cook the pasta noodles as directed. Drain and rinse with cold water. (If you don’t rinse, the heat from the pasta can cook the eggs in the cheese mixture…so get them nice and cool before combining.)
  • Meanwhile, in a large, ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and saute the tomatoes and chopped onion, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until most of the tomatoes have “popped.”
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the Feta, Parmesan, mozzarella, milk and eggs. Once the pasta is rinsed and cooled, fold it into the cheese mixture.
  • Then combine the cheese-pasta mixture with the sauteed onions and tomatoes. Spread flat in the skillet.
  • Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until eggs have set in the middle. Let cool slightly before cutting and serving.
  • Serve Three Cheese Spaghetti Pie with side salad, fresh fruit or vegetables (whatever you have on hand!).

Cost $6.13

Monday, August 27, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - Week of 8/27/12

I can't believe that Jeff goes back to school this week! This summer went way too quickly!!

Monday: Three Cheese Spaghetti Bake (minus the tomatoes)

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan

Thursday:  First day of school :( Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Friday: going out to eat!

This weekend is crazy.. dinner with friends on Friday, annual outlet shopping on Saturday, sister-in-law's birthday celebration on Sunday and dinner out again on Monday!!

For more information or to join the hop, go to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rice Krispies Cookies

Rice Krispies Cookies

A few weeks ago, we bought a package of small boxes of cereal at BJ's. A rare treat that we enjoyed... except for the Rice Krispies. Poor bland, too tiny for toddler hands to pick up, Rice Krispies that have been on my kitchen counter ever since. I wanted to make something with them, but of course regular Rice Krispie Treats wouldn't do. So I searched Pinterest and found the following recipe from Une-deux Senses. I'm posting it as written, but my changes are below. These cookies are really moist and yummy. They have crunch from the Krispies and gooeyness from the marshmallows.

Rice Krispies Cookies ready to be baked!

Rice Krispies Cookies
Yields: 15 large cookies
Adapted from here.

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 sticks (12 tbsn.) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 3.4 oz. package of instant vanilla pudding (I recommend cutting this in half)
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup rice krispies cereal
1 cup mini marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Stir together the flour and baking soda in a separate bowl, set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and creamy. Beat in the pudding mix until well blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. When smooth, slowly add in the flour mixture, make sure it is well incorporated. Use a large ice cream scoop to drop the dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, about 3 - 4 per cookie tray. Use your palm to slightly press the cookies down, then press 1 tbsn. of rice krispies onto and around each cookie. Bake for 4 minutes, remove from the oven, then press 6 - 8 marshmallows on each cookie. Bake for another 4 minutes until the marshmallows are slightly toasty and the cookie is golden brown. Let the cookies cook further on the hot cookie sheets on your counter for 5 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

I increased the baking time - at 4 minutes they were still undercooked, but cooking them for 5 minutes each round then leaving them on the rack for 5 minutes cooked them perfectly.
I also did not have an ice cream scoop (we use this for our ice cream) so I just made them into big balls, and surprisingly, I ended up with 15!
I also used half of the pudding mix.

Brought them to a family BBQ, and everyone loved them. YUM!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

We're back!

Meeting Mickey and Minnie!
We are back from E's first WDW vacation! It was a crazy, crazy time that went way too quickly. We really needed an extra day! And a vacation from my vacation ;) But overall it was a really good time. BLT is just fabulous, and taking the monorail almost every day was wonderful. I also enjoyed out 2 sit down meals - the Wavve nad Chef Mickey's.

Keep an eye out for my WDW with a young toddler tip post coming soon!

Loved the Contemporary's floor mats

Monday, August 13, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - Weeks of 8/13/12 and 8/20/12

FINALLY vacation has arrived!!! It starts this week and leaks into next week so I have planned some quick and easy meals before - when I will be packing like crazy making sure we have all of the 16 month old's stuff and after - when I will be exhausted!

Meals include:
pigs n blankets
pasta n sauce
chicken pasta from the freezer


At WDW we will be eating at Chef Mickey's (E's first character meal) and the Wave (for Jeff's parent birthdays). I can't wait! The new item I am most excited about trying is the waffle sandwiches from Sleepy hollow. And of course to get an Orange bird sipper cup!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

alternaVites Kids Vitamins Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the alternaVites vitamins is Brittany P!

Congratulations!! You have 48 hours to reply to the e-mail or I will choose a new winner.

Thank you to all who entered :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Brew Over Ice K-Cup Review

I have a slight K-Cup addiction. I bought a Keurig last November as an early Christmas preset. And boy did Jeff present me with K-Cup presents... 6 boxes! (Get the humor there? ;)) I still have some left! I have gotten used to having a hot cup of coffee almost every morning, to wake me up when E. doesn't sleep well. But sometimes I need a little pick me up in the afternoon too, but I prefer iced coffee. So I was really stoked when I heard about Brew Over Ice K-Cups and was so excited to  try them! they are specially blended to brew directly over ice.

My mocha creation... note the dabble of homemade chocolate syrup

My favorite cold coffee drink is an iced mocha, so I found a recipe (yes I need  recipe for everything!) but that didn't work out. So I found another one, modified it a bit, and it is so good!!! All you do is add as much chocolate syrup as you want to your plastic cup, add the ice, brew (6 or 8 oz) then add a little creamer, milk and sugar if desired! Mmmm.

My favorite of the ones I tried

So, how were the flavors I got to try?
Green Mountain Nantucket Blend: this was a good solid coffee. I used a mocha creamer with it, and it was so good!
Green Mountain Hazelnut: You can taste the nutty flavor. I added less chocolate and a sweet cream creamer
Celestial Seasonings Southern Sweet Tea: It just tasted like regular tea. Very refreshing
Celestial Seasonings  Half and Half: This is half tea and half lemonade. It was ok. I have never had this combo before - it tasted a little off to me.

You can find all of the varieties they offer on the Brew Over Ice Web site. The sweet & creamy ones sound so good!

Watching the coffee come out - this is my son's favorite part!

Don't forgot to sign up for the Brew Over Ice Tumbler Nation - you can get free stuff and be entered to win a year's supply of K Cups and a Keurig!

*I received products from Bzzagent for this review. I received no other compensation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Win an Ergo Baby Carrier

Ergobaby is giving away a carrier a day - every day in August - on their Facebook page. The best part is that you only have to register once to be entered in each day's drawing. What a great thing to do for their fans! I love my Ergo carrier, and it was worth every penny. I actually still use it with E. and he is almost 16 months!

Head on over to Ergobaby's Facebook page and enter today.

*this post may contain affiliate links*

Friday, August 3, 2012

Diamond Candle Bonanza Giveaway Event

Diamond Candle Bonanza Giveaway Event  Ends August 24, 2012

These Diamond Candles are so HOT right now! Every candle has a ring in it, valued between $10 and $5,000!
If you've been wanting a Diamond Candle, here's your chance! Rita Reviews and LBandJ along with some other great blogs are hosting a Diamond Candle giveaway! And they are not giving away just one Diamond Candle, they are giving away TWO sets of FIVE of them! THAT'S RIGHT there will be 2 winners! Will you be a winner? Get your entries in!
The winners will have their choice of scent from the Diamond Candles website!

My friends are OBSESSED with these candles!  Who would not love a little surprise that, even if it is only worth $10, is pretty and sparkly? Plus the ccandles smell amazing!

This will run from 8/3/12 at 12:01 am EST through 8/24/12 at 11:59 pm EST and is open to Worldwide. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please Note: Rita Reviews is solely responsible for the notifying of the winners as well as shipping the prizes and not LBandJ.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Skillet Mac and Cheese Recipe

Jeff's favorite meal is macaroni and cheese. He has talked about creating a macaroni and cheese blog to review different macs and cheese meals he eats... I am trying to get him to review the ones I make on my blog. However, I wanted to be sure to get this one up so here is a quickie skillet mac and cheese recipe that is slightly healthier but just as yummy. It is also easy and you can make the sauce as the macaroni is cooking.

When I saw mac and cheese shredded cheese at the grocery store... I knew this had to be on the menu this week!!

Sorry for the cruddy picture! Promise it taste better than it looks!

Skillet Mac and Cheese

(adapted from this recipe)
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes

1 pound dried whole wheat medium shells
4 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons flour
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
5 oinces skim milk milk
(you can substitute 2 cups of skim milk for the evaporated milk if you prefer)
3/4 teaspoon, salt
2 cups shredded mac and cheese cheese or cheddar cheese
breadcrumbs, optional

1. Cook macaroni according to directions on box.
2. While it is cooking, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add flour and stir until completely blended. Add milk and salt and stir over medium-low heat until blended and mixture starts to thicken. This may take 3-5 minutes.
3. Add cheese and stir well.
4. Drain noodles and stir in cheese sauce.
5. sprinkle with breadcrumbs if so desired.

I accidentally overcooked my roux (butter/flour/milk mix)... It was ready but we had a spider emergency *eek* so I moved it to another burner to stop the cooking- the same one that the shells had been on, so it was still hot! d'oh! So, just to let you know, it is OK if it is overcooked a bit - it will just be bit thicker and not as creamy. But still yummy!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Back "Pack" To School with Green Supplies Giveaway

Welcome to the Back "Pack" To School With Green Supplies Giveaway Event hosted by Mama to 4 Blessings. Special thank you to Green Apple Supply for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway!

As parents: Stephanie and Robert Tobor, founders of Green Green Apple Supply want the best for our kids. And as global citizens, they were faced with the responsibility to care for our planet, and each other. They began as an endeavor to feed our family natural, organic foods has grown into a much larger enterprise. Learning about potential dangers to children, and the planet, in cleaning supplies, household goods, office supplies…everywhere. The worsening state of our environment, climate change, and increasing levels of toxins showing up in children’s blood work combined to create a great passion for exposing our family to only the cleanest, most wholesome products.  When they had inquired as to why individuals were choosing traditional products rather than opting for eco-friendly versions, typically given one of two answers:

1. Green products are too expensive.
2. There are too many choices, and some are not effective.

This was the beginning of Green Apple Supply! By utilizing economies of scale, wholesale purchasing power, and personal product experience, their endeavor to make it easier for anyone to purchase Earth-friendly products. Keeping overhead low and this is a non-profit effort. Products are sold as close to cost as we can, while still keeping the lights on. Why? Because we think it’s the right thing to do.

Green Apple Supply is generously allowing me to give one reader a backpack filled with green supplies to start their back to school "green"!

Starting with a Bighorn Backpack - The rugged and durable Bighorn backpack has all the essential components for the modern individual, with the additional bonus of being made of RPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) water bottles. Recycle, reduce, reuse has never looked this good.

Made from recycled PET bottles!
Constructed of Repreve® RPET materials
420D polyester ripstop and 600D polyester
non-toxic dyes & materials and reflective piping
dual side pockets with ergo-padded shoulder straps
internal organizer pocket and moisture wicking mesh back
Sells for $32.50

And inside the backpack one winner will receive:

2 packs (12 i n each pack) of Graphite Pencils - $1.75 each
2 packs of Banana Paper (8.5" X 11")- $2.50 each 
Made from 80% post-consumer waste paper / 20% banana leaf fibers. Water-based inks.
Acid-free and bleach-free paper.
1 (2 qty) Glue Stick Blister Pack - $4.75 each
Almond Scented Glue Stick is non-toxic, non-solvent, and acid free. Best of all it smells like marzipan, an almond-based.
1 box of 64 Prang Soy Crayons - $3.50 each
Made from a unique soybean oil formulation. Our crayons are made from 100% renewable resources and do not include paraffin wax.
1 box of Ecolorgy Washable Markers (8 pack) - $2.75 each
Non-toxic washable markers made in the USA from 25% recycled plastic. Duplex tips draw thick or thin lines and if they start to dry out, rejuvenate them by dipping the tip in water.
20 pack of eraser pencil caps $1.25 each
1 Recycled Plastic Ruler - $1.00 each
1 Twin Pencil Sharpener - $1.75 each
Made from a minimum of 50% post-consumer polystyrene.
1 TerraCycle 3-ring Binder Pencil Case - Honest Kids- $2.50 each
Made from up-cycled Honest Kids drink pouches
Qty 2 2-Pocket Portfolio Folders - $.75 each
Fully biodegrade
1 Set ChicoBag- Snack Time re PETe, Set of 3 Colors - $11.50
Each Snack Time set includes three reusable snack and sandwich bags that feature a fold-over, hook-and-loop closure system that expands to fit a full-size sandwich, or folds over for smaller snack items. The bags feature a food-safe, water and stain resistant liner that makes for easy cleaning.
Water resistant natural cotton exterior & interior
Attached cooler bag is insulated with a BPA-free liner, so it’s safe for your kids
Adjustable, padded shoulder straps for extra comfort
Recycled plastic components, Hand wash, line dry
Easy, durable velcro closure for little hands
Zipper pocket in main pocket for change or keepsakes
Special name tag on inner flap
Non-toxic and lead-free, conforms to U.S. standards

Giveaway ends on August 22nd at 11:59 PM.
Open to US residents only. Ages 18+.

Please use the rafflecopter form below
to enter to win, daily entry available by tweeting!