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Easy & Cheesy Cheddar Cheese Ball

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It’s that time of year when you’re hosting and attending myriads of holiday parties. If you’re like me you don’t have a ton of money or time, so this Easy & Cheesy Cheddar Cheese Ball is the perfect thing to whip up. Not only does it come together in about 10 minutes, but tastes great, and only uses 4  simple ingredients. I rolled mine in dried parsley, so it is a festive green color. If you have extra time and are felling extra jolly, make mini cheese balls with half of them rolled in paprika or chili powder and the other in the parsley. No matter what you put on the outside, I promise everyone will love this cheese ball!

 

Merry Christmas! 

 

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Four Fabulous Fall Flapjacks

I had to use flapjacks in the title because I’m a sucker for alliteration, sometimes I just can’t stop being a teacher. Anyway, these flapjacks or pancake, depending on what you like to call them, recipes are perfect for breakfast, brunch, or even dessert. Here they are!

  1. Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes will not disappoint. They are just the right amount of pumpkin with crunchy pecans and a hint of cinnamon.

2. Salted Caramel Oatmeal Pancakes with Caramel Drizzle are oatstanding! I would eat these for breakfast, but I would also serve them with some vanilla ice cream for a quick and impressive dessert.

3. Apple Cinnamon Pancakes with Cinnamon Syrup are fall on a plate!

4. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Drizzle make breakfast special. They could also be a fabulously easy dessert.

 

 

 

 

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Do you have a favorite fall pancake recipe? Share it with me below! 

 

Halloween Treats for Kids and Kids at Heart

Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. The weather is a little cooler, pumpkins and apples are everywhere, and you get to be creative thinking of fun things to dress up as or make. Even though I do not have kids of my own, I still like to get into the Halloween spirit. Mr. Teacher and I decorate our house, make Halloween themed food, pass out candy to the neighborhood kiddos, and come up with fun treats for my 4th grade class.


This year I wanted to come up with something for my class that wasn’t super spooky. Some of students are fearing Halloween,, but I didn’t want to not make them something a little special. I found these super cute Campfire Pumpkin Marshmallows at Publix, along with some Pumpkin Spice Cheerios, and Brach’s Autumn Mix Candy Corn. I decided to make treat bags for my class using these cute wax paper bags. I printed out address labels to seal the bags shut. These treat bags didn’t cost a lot or take a lot of time to make, but my students will love these when I pass them out on Wednesday. You could also make these super cute bags to give out before Thanksgiving!

 

 

Last weekend while shopping at Publix, I happened to walk past the cheese isle and discover these two Halloween themed cheeses. I instantly decided to purchase them to make a Halloween Harvest Cheese Board for us to much on while we passed out candy. I wandered around the store looking for inspiration. I thought we would need lots of garlic flavored items to keep the vampires away and the blood red beet chips would pop next to the Frankenstein cheese (It’s really a basil infused Gouda.). I knew I had other items at home I could use to round out the cheese board, so I went home to create my master piece.

Along with the items I had purchased from Publix, I added pumpkin seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, Siracha Spiced Emerald Cashews, Lindsey’s Natural Green Olives, baby carrots, dried cranberries, and sliced apples. Pepperoni or salami would have been great on here too! I highly recommend the basil Gouda on the Fire Roasted Triscut. The beet chips were also amazing dipped into spicy Arla Cream Cheese. The Transylvania Cave cheese was super yummy with the Garlic Triscuts and the apples. I think it turned out pretty cute! Of course you add in some plastic spiders and cobwebs or even googly eyes to make it more spooky. I also think you could use this same idea for a Thanksgiving Appetizer because this cheese board was very tasty. I just wouldn’t say it was Frankenstein Cheese.

Some other ideas you might want to check out for this week are Demon Eggs with Avocado & Beets and Halloween Cheesy Monster Eyeballs. 

 

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Do you have a favorite Halloween meal or treat? Share it with me below! 

 

Perfect Panzanellas

I have recently discovered the deliciousness of a perfect panzanella salad. I guess you can still call it a salad. I like to think of the bread, like giant, fresh, crunchy, yet soft croutons.

What started this new obsession? Well it all began with a trip to Costco on a Sunday when the store was filled with delicious samples. Mr. Teacher and I were meandering through the isles, we when found ourselves near the bakery. The smell of fresh bread wafted through the air, and a sweet lady suddenly appeared with warm, fresh, chive and potato focaccia bread slathered with creamy butter. We took one bite, fell in love, and bought 2 loaves.

The Brummel and Brown was super good on this bread. It made me feel a tad less guilty for eating nearly the entire loaf.

We quickly devoured the majority of the bread with just butter, but I wanted to do something more with it. I wanted to make it more than just a snack.  So I began thinking about ways I could use the bread.

I had some pesto I had made from the plethora of basil that grew this summer. I had some veggies. I decided I would put it all together and my easy recipe for Warm Pesto Panzanella with Roasted Vegetables was born. We ate the majority of it that night with grilled pork chops and the little that was left made a tasty lunch for Mr. Teacher. 

I needed a lunch for us the following day and since the first panzanella I had made turned out so well, I decided to try my hand at another version. This time I used my Italian dressing mix from Penzeys, used fresh colorful vegetables, olives and cheese with some spicy pepperoni for Mr. Teacher. Voila! Pepperoni Panzenalla. 

I hope you enjoy these perfect panzanellas too.

 

 

 

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Peanut Butter Caramel Apple Pizza-The Perfect Fall Dessert

Pumpkin spice is nice, but when I think of fall I want caramel and more specifically caramel apples. This easy Peanut Butter Caramel Apple Pizza is the perfect fall dessert! It’s a crunchy peanut butter cookie that is spread with a peanut butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar frosting. Then it’s topped with fresh apples, drizzled with caramel sauce, and sprinkled with chopped peanuts. Is your mouthwatering? Get the easy recipe here Peanut Butter Caramel Apple Pizza

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Quick Chicken Tinga Tacos with Lime Creme

These Quick Chicken Tinga Tacos with Lime Creme are fresh and bold. They look and taste like they could be from a restaurant, but come together in a few minutes on your stove top for the perfect weeknight meal. I used frozen leftover chicken along with tomatoes and chipoltes that were already diced to make this super easy!

 

In addition, I got to open up my Fiesta Roja Red Cabbage Curtido from Sobremesa that I found at a Vermont Farmer’s Market. They shipped their perfectly pickled products to me in Florida and I’ve been so excited to use them.

Try these mouthwatering tacos today! Quick Chicken Tinga Tacos with Lime Creme

 

If you’re interested in ordering these amazing fermented products from Vermont. This is not an affiliate link. These are just natural, delicious products that I found and instantly fell in love with. You can follow the link here

Sobremesa Farm to Ferment 

 

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The Best Brownies

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Mom and I on our annual trip to Disney in July

Today is my mom’s birthday. She makes the absolute best brownies! In honor of her, I thought I would share her famous Fudgy Brownie recipe with all of you. She would make these for us frequently. I still love these traditional brownies dusted with powdered sugar still warm from the oven. Nuts are optional, but I think the walnuts make these even better!

I took her original recipe and came up with a few twists. Anybody like coconut? I do! These Coconut Swirl Brownies will hit the spot!

What about classic peanut butter and chocolate? Try these Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies.

Do you want to impress? Make these Fudgy Brownie Cups with Sweet Cream Cheese and Raspberries 

or try these Brownie Cups with Whipped White Chocolate Ganache and Berries.

 

Give some of these delicious treats a try today!

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Delicious and Simple Homemade Nutter Butter Cookies

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A few weeks ago, Mr. Teacher was craving Nutter Butter Cookies. I don’t buy store bought cookies for our house, so I decided I would make him some giant, extra frosting filled cookies. I used my tried and true peanut butter cookie recipe and whipped up some peanut butter frosting as filling. They were AMAZING! Of course you can make them smaller too. The size is up to you. You won’t be disappointed!

 

 

Get the super easy and delicious recipe here-Homemade Nutter Butter Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Easily Earn Money Back on Everyday Purchases

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I love to eat good quality, fresh food, and to go grocery shopping, but I also like to save money. So, I have become addicted to some sites and apps that help me earn money back on everything I purchase. I have made shopping for everyday things almost like a game where I try to get things as inexpensively as possible and I would like to share with you how I do it every week.

Every Sunday I get a big cup of coffee, my phone and my laptop. I go and sit on the lanai (porch if you’re not from Florida). I relax, listen to the birds, and begin my money saving journey. I re-exam the Publix site though my app to see what is on sale and BOGO for the week. I say re-examine because I love to see what is on sale when the sales change every Thursday. It’s the little things, right?  I specifically look for things that might have coupons to save even more money. If you don’t have Publix then see if your local store has an app that will show you the weekly sales. I also clip my digital coupons through the Publix app. That way when I go to check out at the store I simply just enter my phone number and the coupons come off the total.

On Sundays, I also coupon hunt at Coupons.com. You can get a free log-in and sign up for updates every week for the latest coupons. You simply scroll through the site, digitally clip the coupons you want, and simply print them. I print any coupon that I might possibly need in the next few weeks. I keep them in my purse ready to go. I do not know how much money I have saved by couponing, but the cashiers ask me all the time what I do to save money.

Do not forget to try go to a products specific website if you do not see their coupons on Coupons.com. Many products like Lifeway Kefir and Cabot cheese have coupons just on their sites.

After I am done checking out the sales and printing coupons. I look at the following apps and plan out what else I will be purchasing.

My new favorite app is Fetch Rewards. Use code XA3AX when signing up! This app is super easy to use and features many of the products I purchase on a regular basis and it works with any grocery receipt from any store. You even get 25 points if you made a grocery purchase and it didn’t contain any of your selected products. Simply download the app, create an account and select the brands you buy. When you get done grocery shopping, take a picture of the receipt within the app and watch your rewards add up. Bonuses on different products occur throughout the month as well. You’ll get $2 just for snapping a picture of your first receipt. I’ve only had the app for a few weeks and I’ve already earned 12,107 points. The points can be redeemed for gift cards at hundreds of locations.

 

Checkout51- I like this app.  You simply scroll through and see what products they are offering money back on for the week. Products are offered at specific stores and with limited quantities, so you need to be careful that you are submitting a receipt for a product purchased at the correct store and the correct amount.  When you get home from shopping, you take a picture of your receipt and scan in the products you purchased that match the ones on the app.  

Sign up now and earn money back at Publix, CVS, Walmart, Walgreens, BJs, Sam’s Club, and many more!products every Thursday morning at 12 AM. This app is good. I have been using it for about 6 months and I have earned $47 back. They will mail you a check when you have reached $20 or more.

IBOTTA

Sign up now with my link and earn $10. Earn cash back on purchases at Publix,, Target, Costco, Groupon,Amazon and more!

This is my very most favorite shopping app. I have earned $390 back since I really started using this religiously. I like to try to get the bonuses . You can even work with your team and save even more. I am not going to get into all of that right now though. You will see it when you get the app.

This app is easier than Checkout51  , but not quite as simple as Fetch Rewards,  and allows you to shop at more stores, and you can even save money while shopping online at stores like Amazon and Groupon. They even have rebates for purchasing anything or any brand. It’s nice because you get money back regardless of what you bought at the store. You simply scroll though and find the rebates for the week. Then select the rebates you might use.  When you get home from shopping you take a picture of your receipt and scan in the products that you purchased that match the ones on the app. If you find a rebate at one store it will automatically show up for all of the stores it is available at for the week. So let’s say I selected a rebate for $1.00 off apples at Publix, but I ended up buying them at BJs. No big deal! I still get the money back after I submit my receipt. Rebates change out every Thursday 12AM, but I keep my receipts from the previous week just in case something I bought shows up on the list. You can’t do that with Checkout51. Sometimes I don’t realize I am going to buy something or I didn’t realize it was on sale and I don’t select the rebate until I get home from the store. This is no big deal. You still get your money back. When you reach $20 you can get a check mailed to you or just have the money deposited into your account via Paypal. I just had another $37 deposited last week. It adds up really fast!

Shop Kick: This app gives you points just for walking into the store and pays you with gift cards. You also get points for just scanning items while you are shopping. This is the app that feels like you’re playing a game. I like to earn as many points as I can by scanning all of the items available while I am doing my regular shopping. Sometimes you have to answer a couple of questions about the products you have scanned, but it goes really quick. They will also give you additional points if you have purchased the items you scanned and you submit your receipt. I have earned $90 back in Target gift cards using this app. Who doesn’t like a free Target gift card just for walking into a couple of stores? There are many other gift cards available, I just like Target.

Ebates: This is an app and a website. If you like to shop online for clothes, electronics, pet supplies, etc. this is the app/site for you. Simply make an account and go to the Ebates site to get to your online shopping destination. I just earned 8% back on everything I ordered for my kitties. I have a $58 coming back to me this month. This site/app pays you quarterly. They will mail you a check automatically with what you’ve earned back in a quarter.

Get cash back for shopping on Ebates! Sign up with my invite link for a $10 bonus when you shop at over 2,000 stores like eBay, Macy’s & Walmart.

When you’re ready to hit the stores turn on your Shop Kick app and have your coupons ready to save big. Then shop for the things you need while scanning for points. When you get home, take a picture of the receipts for the Fetch Rewards and Checkout51 app and scan in the products as you put them away. Do the same thing with the Ibotta app. A few minutes later magical notifications will pop up saying that you have earned money back. It’s a great feeling! It’s even better when you get stuff for nearly free because you had a coupon, it was BOGO, and it was on Ibotta or Checkout51. I just love it!!!

You’ll really like this app You walk into stores like Target to earn free gift cards. Try it:

All of the apps can use the very same receipt and they work with the coupons you have printed. That is how I save money! You do not need a special receipt or to do anything extra except a little planning and scanning. It really is easy! Please don’t be overwhelmed! This sounds like a lot, but by spending a little while to plan before you shop and 5 minutes after you shop you can earn money back on tons of products you use everyday! After you get a routine down it takes minutes to save big. I have put the links into the pictures in this post to get to the sites to sign up. If you have any questions, I will help you anyway I can. I strongly urge you to get the apps and start earning money back on the things you already buy!


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Fried Green Tomatoes

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Green Tomatoes are probably one of my favorite things on earth to eat. If you have never had a green tomato, you need to put them on your list of things to try. They have a completely different flavor and texture than red tomatoes. I have discovered there are two kinds of green tomatoes. One is the unripe version of any red tomato which I prefer when frying and the other is the heirloom green tomatoes that come in several different varieties. These tomatoes work best in other recipes. Both types are incredibly delicious. They crisp, firm, tart, juicy, citrusy, meaty, and refreshing. Green tomatoes are beautiful in salads. They hold up well when you cook them. In the south they show up in casseroles, in grilled cheeses, on eggs Benedict’s and on hamburgers. However my most favorite ways to eat them is fried.

Crispy Breaded Fried Green Tomatoes with Roasted Red Pepper Coulis, Chevre, and Basil

Since my love of the green tomato is great and my wallet is small, I went to work and recreated some of my favorite green tomato dishes. My family and friends have fallen in love with these green jewels too, and I can’t wait to share them with you!

Cornmeal Encrusted Fried Green Tomatoes

Here are two of my most requested fried green tomato recipes- Cornmeal Encrusted Fried Green Tomatoes and Crispy Breaded Fried Green Tomatoes with Roasted Red Pepper Coulis, Chevre, and Basil. Oh and if by some chance you have any leftover fried tomatoes, you need to try Fried Green Tomato Grilled Cheese.

Fried Green Tomato Grilled Cheese

I hope you fall in love with them too.

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