Recipes - Have Kids…Will Coupon!

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Rice Cooker Mac and Cheese


Did you score some awesome deals on pasta and/or cheese lately and are looking for something to quick and easy to make with it? This recipe calls for penne or elbow pasta but if you have a nice stockpile of whole wheat shells that you got for free (like I do) it will work just as well. The original recipe called for fontina but since it is costly cheese I only use it for special occasions. For a typical, quick weekday meal like this I use a 50/50 combination of mozzarella that I got for $1 after coupons ($4.99 savings) and whatever cheddar cheese I have on hand. Most people make mac in cheese in a pot or in a casserole dish but I have another way to make it…in my rice cooker!

I adore my Zojirushi Rice Cooker (I have had 4-5 over the last 10 years) and tend to use it at least once or twice a week for rice BUT have been using it for other simple, one pot recipes like the one you see below. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can change it to your family’s taste or what you have on hand, or got on sale : )  Here is the basic recipe.

(1) 16 oz box of pasta (Any kind, I use elbow or penne)
1/2 cup of water
1 1/2 cups of milk (You can play with the water/milk combo to what you have. I have done 1cup of each in the past and it still comes out great)
1/2 tbsp of chicken base (Minors, Better than Boullion, etc)
1tsp of chilli powder (More or less to taste)
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese (Mozzarella, cheddar and fontina work the best. Tonight I did 1/2 of mozzarella, 1/2 cheddar)

Now for the fun part. Dump everything in the rice cooker except for the cheese. Stir it up, cover it and turn it on. When most of the liquid is absorbed (after approx 10-13 minutes, depending on your cooker) you can stir in the cheese. Cover for approx 2-3 minutes so the cheese melts, then stir thoroughly and serve!  Sometimes I will mix in chopped frozen broccoli or another veggie. After the cheese is mixed in and melted, add the broccoli and let stand for another 5-10 minutes on KEEP WARM to heat the broccoli. Makes 8 servings


If you enjoyed this recipe and article, I also write about similar topics on LabelDaddy, feel free to check those out as well


Create your own Chemical Free Cleaning Kit for your college bound kid


Are you sending your “baby” off to college this year? If so, you have probably gone (or will be) shopping for all the dorm must-haves that have been advertised like crazy since July. You have the Hello Kitty lamp and the beanbag chair all ready to send off with your college student but have you considered what  your son or daughter will be using to keep their dorm room or apartment clean? I know it is easy to just run to the store and grab any old bottle of chemicals but  wouldn’t it be a wonderful gift to teach your child how to clean the non-toxic way? Not only will you be keeping them healthy, you will save money in the long run! You can even make this non-toxic cleaning kit as a thoughtful housewarming gift to someone who is just starting out or if you want to help someone who is overcoming a serious illness such as cancer* and needs to eliminate hazardous chemicals from their cleaning routine. Continue reading 


Have a great recipe? Enter Macy’s Recipe Share Contest


The holidays are here and that means it is time to break out those special recipes. I keep mine in a binder and when I open it up to plan those holiday meals, memories start to enter my mine of years past. I love to try new recipes every year along with my tried and true ones. My favorite thing to do is to find a recipe that like, make it a few times and then tweak it to fit my family’s taste. Eventually I have the perfect version and it makes it way into the recipe binder. Do you have a favorite tried and true recipe that you are willing to share? If so, I have the perfect contest for you!

SheSpeaks has teamed up with Macy’s and their Recipe Share Contest! Share your favorite holiday recipe for a chance to win $1000 and have it featured on Food Republic. The Macy’s Recipe Share Contest is running until November 30th, 2011

How to Enter:

1. Head to
2. Click the Recipe Share tab
3. Submit your recipe
4. Share the contest via Facebook and Twitter

Don’t forget that you can submit and vote on recipes starting November 1st. You’ll have until November 30th when the contest ends to show off your best holiday recipes so get cooking!

Twitter Party Details:

When: 11/9 @ 8PM ET
TweetGrid Dashboard:
Follow: #RecipeShare

Alittle bit about Macy’s
Established in 1858, Macy’s is the Great American Department Store – an iconic retail brand with over 800 stores across the country and online at Macy’s offers an incredible selection and the best brands, tailored to each and every customer, while providing an experience that transcends ordinary shopping.

A big part of Macy’s unique heritage includes our special events?the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Fourth of July Fireworks, flower shows, fashion extravaganzas, celebrity appearances and holiday traditions that range from the arrival of Santa Claus to tree lightings and festive window displays. But beyond our signature events, Macy’s delivers magical moments every day through our shopping environment, service and merchandise – a great deal of which is sold exclusively through our stores. It’s all part of the excitement we’ve been creating for 151 years, and it’s all part of the magic of Macy’s!

This post was part of a SheSpeaks campaign for  the Macy’s Recipe Share Contest. All opinions are 100% mine.





Fix-and-Forget Italian Roast Beef and Sweet Potatoes

With a little bit of menu planning, you can use your coupon deals to create satisfying, delicious meals for your family for very little money. This week we have a roast beef recipe brought to you by Jenny from Full Cart Full Wallet

Fix-and-Forget Italian Roast Beef and Sweet Potatoes

My mother was sick this week and I needed something quick to throw
together for a dinner for her that she could have some leftovers for the
week. I looked in the freezer and found a roast I had gotten on sale

  • 1 Rump Roast or other Beef Roast that’s on sale (I got mine BOGO at $10, or $5 ea.)
  • 1 package Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix (on sale, with coupon $1 for 4 packs, or $0.25 ea.)
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (not sure how much this was, but probably around $0.25)
  • 1 Knorr Vegetable Bouillon ($1.50 for 4, or $0.40 ea.)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 4 Sweet Potatoes ($2)

         Total Cost: $7.90

Preheat the oven at 450 degrees. Sear the roast on all sides in a frying pan
until browned. Scrape off any brown bits and place them in the bottom of
a roasting pan. Combine hot water, Worcestershire Sauce, and Vegetable
Bouillon, then pour into the bottom of the roasting pan with the brown
bits. Place the roast in the roasting pan, on a rack if you have one.
Sprinkle the Italian Dressing Mix over the roast and pour the rest into
the bottom of the roasting pan. Cover the roast with foil. Roast  for 2

While the roast is in the oven, wash four sweet potatoes,
scrubbing well. Poke holes in the sweet potatoes and either bake in the
microwave, or in the oven, wrapped in foil. When you’re ready to serve,
slice open and add butter and cinnamon sugar for a sweet flavor.

After the roast is done in the oven, remove foil and switch oven to broil.
Baste the roast with the juices, then replace in the oven for 5 more
minutes. Let the beef set for 5 minutes.

While the beef is resting, pour the beef juices from the roasting pan into a saucepan on
high. Whisk in slurry mixture (1 tsp cornstarch or flour with two tsps
water) and bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Turn off gravy
and slice the beef. You may serve the gravy in a boat on the side or
pour over the beef on a serving dish.

About Jenny:

Jenny @ Full Cart Full WalletJenny is a Christian, wife of 13 years, mom to two boys, and a teacher. She lives in Texas, but isn’t a native Texan. Her blog, Full Cart Full Wallet,
started as a way to journal her savings as she learned to coupon. It
has now become a way to share frugal living, coupons, deals, and coupon
matchups with others. Her goal: leave the store with a cart full of
groceries, and a wallet full of money!
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