Tobins' Tastes: October 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Publix Trip 11/18



Here is today's shopping trip to Publix. I spent much more than usual but I did get everything we needed for Thanksgiving (except the turkey) and I was able to stock up on lots of holiday, baking and party stuff. I also got Thanksgiving items for donating to the school food drive and stocked up on Diet Coke ( four 12-packs). All in all, a very successful trip.

We really didn't need meat again this week since we are trying to clear out all we have in the freezer to make room for the Thanksgiving turkey we are buying on Monday and to make room for storage during the next week of holiday food.

Make sure you keep an eye out for all the various coupon booklets available in Publix right now, especially the Family Winter Savings Booklet (check out my giveaway of those too!) and the All The Trimmings Booklet.

Here is the break down of today's trip:

Total Retail Value: $170.58
Total Saved: $113.36
Total Spent: $57.22
Percent Saved: 66%

Here are the highlights with coupon match ups:
  • 2 dozen Publix eggs, retails for $2.09 each
    • Used 2 coupons for FREE Publix eggs when you buy any 2 Sargento Cheese products from the All The Trimmings booklet
    • Made them both FREE
  • 4 boxes of Mullers Pasta, retails for $1.43 a box, on sale BOGO (.71 each)
    • No coupons just needed these pasta shapes
    • Made them .71 each
  • 4 bags of shredded Sargento cheese, retails for $3.99 each, on sale BOGO ($1.99 each)
  • 2 tubs of Cool Whip, retails for $1.95 each
    • On sale BOGO, made them .97 cents each
  • 2 bags of Fresh Express Salad, retails for $3.99 each
    • On sale BOGO, made them $1.99 each
  • 4 bags Publix Baby Carrots, retails for $1.69 each
    • On sale BOGO, made them $.84 cents each
  • 2 tubs of Rondale Cheese Spread, retails for $4.59 each, on sale BOGO ($2.29 each)
  • 2 tubs of Breakstone Sour Cream, retails for $2.69 each, on sale BOGO ($1.34 each)
    • Used a $1/2 printable coupon
    • Made them .84 cents each
  • 6 cans of Carnation Evaporated Milk, retails for $1.36 each, on sale BOGO (.68 each)
    • Used three .50/2 coupons from the 10/30 RP
    • Made them .43 cents each
  • 2 cans of PAM Cooking Spray, retails for $3.09 each, on sale BOGO ($1.55 each)
    • Used two .50 cents off printable coupons
    • Made them $1.05 each
  • 4 packages of Vanity Fair Plates, retails for $2.72 each, on sale for $1.97 each
  • 2 packages of Vanity Fair Napkins, retails for $2.29 each
    • Used two coupons for a FREE packages of napkins when you buy 2 Vanity Fair plates from the Yellow Advantage Flyer
    • Made them FREE
  • 2 bottles of Tums (136 count), retails for $4.89 each, on sale for $3.50 each
    • Used two $1.50 off coupons from the Winter Savings Booklet
    • Stacked with two $1 off printables
    • Made each bottle $1
  • 3 bars of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, retails for $2.67 each, on sale for $1.25 each
    • Used a $1.25/3 printable coupon
    • Stacked with a .50/2 coupon from Target.com
    • Made them .66 cents each
  • 4 twelve packs of Diet Coke, retails for about $5.75 a pack
    • On sale B3G1, and had a special price of $4 each
    • Used two $1.50/2 off Publix coupons from coupons.com
    • Made them $2.25 each
  • 2 packs of O-Cello sponges, retails for $2.49 a pack
    • On sale 50% off, made them $1.25 each
    • Used two .55 cents off coupons from the Winter Savings booklet
    • Made them .70 cents a pack
  • 2 bottles of Wesson Vegetable Oil, retails for $4.59 each, BOGO ($2.29 each)
    • Used two .30 off coupons from the 11/13 SS
    • Made them .99 cents each
  • 3 pans of Sister Shubert Rolls, retails for $3.69 each
    • On sale for $3.00 each
    • Used three .75 cents off coupons from AllYou.com
    • Made them $2.25 each
 There were lots of other great BOGOS and sales that I just did not take advantage of because we didn't need or eat the products. Comment if you have any questions or see any great deals!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cheap Thrill Thursday: Great Deals Currently Going On At Target


Here are some of the best deals going on at Target right now. These are combination of sales I have seen in store, seen in the weekly ad or read about on various blogs. Keep in mind that prices can vary from store to store and not all Targets will participate in price cuts and special sales. Also, know that if your Target is not a super Target it may not carry all the advertised products.
  • President Brie on sale for $3.49
    • Makes it .99 cents
    • Side note: my Target didn't carry this so I price matched at WalMart and it was surprisingly easy
  • Birdseye Steamed Veggies, price cut to $1 each for select varieties
    • Use a .50/2 coupon from the 11/13 SS
    • Makes them .75 cents each
  • Assorted Kashi Cereals, price cut to $2.99 each
    • Use a $2 off coupon from RecycleBank
    • Makes it .99 cents a box (really good price!)
  • Earn a $5 Target Gift Card when you buy 2 Gillette Fusion razors or cartridge packs
    • There are a variety of coupons from the P&G inserts and home mailers
    • Not a great sale but if you love these razors (like Justin does) and you hate buying them full price the gift card could at least soften the blow
  • Peter Pan Peanut Butter, price cut to $1.86 for a 16oz jar
    • Combine with a $1.50/3 coupon
    • Makes it $1.36 a jar, pretty good price if you need to stock up
  • Land O Lakes Butter 1 lb. box, price cut to $2.99
    • Use a .50/2 coupon from the 10/23 SS
    • Makes it $2.49 a box
    • Usually runs anywhere from $3.99-$4.99 depending on where you buy it...
Make sure to check out the full weekly ad with coupon match ups and to visit Target.com for printable coupons before you shop!

What Is A Stockpile & Why Should You Have One?

You may have heard me refer to my stockpile in previous posts. If you are not familiar with couponing or you have never watched "Extreme Couponing" you may have no idea what a stockpile is.


A stockpile is a collection of pantry staples and personal care products that one buys at rock bottom prices (or gets free with coupons). Some crazy extreme couponers have stockpiles that take up entire rooms, basements garages and more. I, however, have my stockpile contained to my pantry, an upstairs closet and one shelf in the garage. The idea of a stockpile is that you should never have to go out to the store and buy something full price when you run out and absolutely need it.


What are some items to commonly stockpile? Here are my suggestions:


Pantry
Pasta
Pasta Sauce
Cereal
Granola Bars
Crackers
Soup
Flour
Sugar
Baking products
Spices
Condiments
nuts
salad dressing


Fridge
Milk (if it's super cheap and the exp date is long enough)
Cheese (shredded and block)
Butter (or spreads like Smart Balance, I freeze it)
Yogurts (check expiration dates)
Juices


Freezer
frozen veggies
frozen fruit
smoothie mix
frozen pizzas
meat/chicken
frozen meal/family size entrees


Household Items
toilet paper
tissues
paper towels
laundry detergent
cleaning products
dish soap
dish washer soap (cascade packets are always free)
napkins


Personal Care
toothpaste (should be free or close to it)
toothbrushes (should be free or close to it)
floss (should be free)
shampoo and conditioner
body wash
razors
mouth wash
contact solution
deodorant (should be free)


These are just my personal favorites. Some people might say, "Why buy all these things when you don't need them all right now?" My response would be that if you are still spending less than you use to on groceries and household items (for me it is significantly less), why not build up a supply of things?


There are weeks when I am too busy to go to the store and our stockpile has been invaluable. It is so nice to be able to make lunch or dinner without running out to the store for things. We are able to have people over last minute and not panic about needing some snacks. Best of all, I am spending way less than I use to on these things while buying way more. And if there ever comes a time that I can't coupon or couponing policies change, at least I will have a few months worth of stuff to live off of  : )

My Coke Rewards currently has its Holiday Rewards Catalog open. This has lots of great rewards available at half their normal point values.

You can get a coupon for a free 12 pack of any Coca Cola products for 120 points (half off) and they even have gift cards to restaurants and stores for discounted point values.

If you are new to My Coke Rewards, it is a website that you can join for free. You then enter codes from Coca Cola products and you can redeem those rewards for prizes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Honey Whole Wheat Pizza Dough




This is another recipe I adapted off of Pinterest. I had really been wanting to start making my own pizza dough since Justin and I make our own pizzas for dinner fairly often.  We had been buying whole wheat naan bread from Publix to put them on but it was hard to find and it was pretty expensive. This recipe originally calls for regular bread flour but I decided to sub it out for whole wheat flour and we love it. 

The recipe below actually makes enough dough for about four medium sized pizzas. I make the dough on the day we want to make a pizza and then divide it up into four portions. I freeze three and use one to make that night's pizza. That way I don't have to go through the mess of making dough whenever we want to make a pizza. All you have to do is put the dough in the fridge in the morning and it will be nice and de-thawed in time for dinner.

Honey Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons dry yeast (I use pizza crust yeast, it works best)
  • 5 cups whole wheat flour (or any kind of flour you want to use)
  • 1-1/2 cup cool water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, stir the yeast into the warm water until dissolved. Let stand for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the flour, the cool water, salt, olive oil, and honey into the yeast mixture. Knead with a dough hook for about 5 minutes, or by hand for 7. Dough should form up into a ball and loose its sticky texture. I sometimes find that in humid South Florida this takes longer and sometimes I have to add a little more flour to get it to firm up. 
It should pull away from the sides of the bowl like this.
   3.  Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise for 30 minutes or longer if you can.



Try to put the bowl in a warm spot.
4. Punch down dough and divide into 16 portions (for individual pizzas) or four portions (for 16 inch pizzas). Coat each ball of dough in olive oil, wrap in plastic wrap or place in resealable bags and freeze.

I use a serated knife to cut the dough into equal pieces.





Our favorite thing to do with the dough is make a pesto chicken pizza. We top the pizza with store bought pesto, shredded chicken and fresh motzarella. I also season the crust with basil and italian seasoning. The photos below are of our pizza from this week but in the past we have topped it with sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatos and Justin will put onions and other veggies on his too.






The finished product and Tuesday night's dinner.

Lilly Pulitzer On RueLaLa

RueLaLa will have Lilly Pulitzer on sale tomorrow (11/17)starting at 11am eastern time. Lilly is one of my favorite brands but I really only buy it when it is on sale : )

RueLaLa is a discount website that features "flash sales" on brand name clothes, shoes, beauty, home decor and more. Their sales feature a limited selection of deeply discounted items. Popular or majorly on sale items tend to go fast so I would log in right at 11am if you can to get the best deals.

White Chicken Lasagna


This is one of those recipes that I saw on Pinterest but was pretty sure I would never make. However, Justin loves lasagna and I hate red sauce so this seemed like a great compromise. I was expecting it to be way harder than it actually was.

 I made some changes to the original Pinterest recipe. I omitted the butternut squash puree mainly because I couldn't find it in my Publix but also because I am not sure how I felt about it in this recipe.  After making it we have decided that even though we loved it, we will definitely make some changes to it next time, like adding sun dried tomatoes. All in all, we did love it the way it was too.

White Chicken Lasagna
  • 1 box cooked lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 2 c. nonfat milk 
  • 4 c. mozzarella cheese, divided 
  • 1 c. shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 c. cooked and shredded chicken
  • 1 small box frozen spinach, thawed and drained; liquid squeezed out
1. Melt butter in a large saucepot.  Add onions and garlic and cook over medium heat until translucent.

2. Add flour, salt, and pepper.  Cook flour mixture 1-2 minutes.

3.  Add chicken broth and milk.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir 1 minute.


4. Turn off heat and add 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese.  Stir in dried spices.



5. Lightly spray a 9×13″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Ladle some cheese sauce onto the bottom to thinly cover.

6. Add a layer of lasagna noodles.  Layer with more cheese sauce, the chicken, and the ricotta cheese.



7.  Add a layer of lasagna noodles.  Layer with more cheese sauce, the chicken, and the ricotta cheese. 

8. Add another layer of pasta.  Top with cheese sauce, spinach, and 1 c. mozzarella cheese.  Add another layer of pasta. 

9. Top with cheese sauce, remaining ricotta and more shredded Parmesan. (this would be where I would add sun dried tomatoes next time)

10. Add final layer of lasagna.  Top with remaining cheese sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.




11. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown on the edges.



Let is sit for around 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Enjoy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Stocking Up For Holiday Baking At Publix 11/11


Here is my weekly trip to Publix this week. I said last week that I was going to make the effort to shop on Thursdays from now on but with school and open house yesterday, I did not make it home until well after Publix had closed.

In case you can't tell from the photo, I stocked up for the holiday baking season today. Publix has some amazing BOGO sales going on with holiday/seasonal products and only took advantage of a few. I also did not need any meat/poultry since I did end up going back to Publix last week to stock up on chicken at $1.99 a pound. I also was able to use a $3 off $30 Publix coupon as well as a $5 off $30 Winn Dixie coupon since my pre coupon total was over $60.

I spent a little more than usual (for me) today but I bake ALOT during the holidays and I couldn't resist the chance to stock up on some products that never go on sale. I also bought a few items for my new weekly recipe project. (see post on this on Monday) Here is the breakdown:

Total retail value of today's trip: $132.37
Total spent out of pocket: $36.77
Total saved: $95.60
Saved 72% in total

Here are the highlights with coupon match ups:
  • 4 bags of Idahoan Mashed Potatoes: retails for $1.33 each, on sale BOGO (.64 each)
    • Used four $1 coupons from manufacturer's website
    • Made all 4 bags FREE plus .34 cents overage each bag
    • These will be donated to my school's food drive
  • 4 bottles of Sundown Naturals Vitamin A, retails for $3.29 each
    • Used two $6/2 Publix coupons from the Green Advantage Flyer
    • Paired with two $3/2 coupons from manufacturer's website
    • Made all 4 bottles free plus $1.21 overage each bottle
  • 1 box of Kashi Heart to Heart Cereal, retails for $4.05, on sale for $2.99
    • Used a $2 off any Kashi product from Recycle Bank
    • Made it .99
  • 2 half gallons of Smart Balance Milk, retails for $3.99 a carton, on sale for $2.50 each
    • Used two $1 off coupon from the 10/09 SS
    • Made each carton $1.50
  • 6 boxes of Domino sugar, retails for $1.29 each, on sale for .99 cents each
    • Used three .50/2 coupons from the 10/16 RP
    • Made each box .74 cents each
  • 3 jars of Campbell's Premium Kettle Style Soups, retails for $3.69 each
    • Used three $1 off manufacturer coupons from the paper (forget which day)
    • Paired with three $1.25 Publix coupons from the 11/06 SS
    • Made them $1.24 each
  • 4 boxes of Green Giant Veggies, retails for $1.99 each, on sale BOGO (.99 each)
    • Used one .60/3 coupon
    • Made them .84 cents each
    • these can be gotten for a lower price with better coupons and I usually would not have stocked up on these right now but I needed spinach for a recipe this week so I bought some
  • 3 Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers, retails for $3.49 each, on sale for $2.50 each
    • Used two $1 off printable coupons from manufacturer's website
    • Paired with a buy 2 get 1 free Target.com printable
    • Made them $1 each
  • 2 tubs of Smart Balance Spread, retails for $3.59 each, BOGO ($1.79 each)
  • 4 bags of Nestle Morsels, retails for $2.93 each, BOGO ($1.46 each)
    • Used two $1/2 coupons from the 11/06 RP
    • Made them each .96 cents
  • 2 bags of family size Tostitos, retails for $4.99 each, BOGO ($2.49 each)
    • No coupons, but these are good to have around with holiday parties and they don't go BOGO very often
  • 2 boxes of Swiss Miss hot cocoa, retails for $2.49 each, BOGO ($1.24 each)
    • Used a .50/2 Target.com coupon
    • Made them .99 cents each
    • Probably could have waited for a better sale but the cooler weather today made me want hot chocolate
  • 2 boxes of Land O Lakes Butter, retails for $4.93 each, on sale for $3.00 each
    • Used a .50/2 coupon from the 10/23 SS
    • Made them $2.75 each
    • Could have waited for a better sale but we were out of butter!
Everything else was BOGO or an ingredient I don't have on hand for this week's recipe challenge (see more on Monday).

These sales are good through Wednesday so plan your shopping trips accordingly. Comment with any questions!
Everything else was BOGO with good coupons

Lightened Up Chicken Pot Pie



 This is a recipe that was adapted from a WW recipe I found online. We have made it many times before with a few variations and every time it turns out delicious and satisfying. The best thing about this is that it has no cream, no butter and no puff pastry which makes it pretty light while still being yummy.

Lightened Up Chicken Pot Pie
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup cooking wine
  • 2 cubes or packets of chicken bullion
  • 5 oz fat free evaporated milk
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 bag frozen mixed veggies (corn, peas, carrots, green beans)
  • 6 sheets phyllo dough
1. Combine water, wine and chicken bullion in a medium sauce pan. Add chicken. Bring it to a boil and then lower heat and simmer until chicken is cooked.


2. Remove chicken from broth. Shred and set aside. Save 1 cup of the broth.

3. In same pan, combine the 1 cup of broth, evaporated milk, and flour. Cook on low heat until the mixture thickens. You can add a little bit of corn starch if you have a hard time getting it to thicken up.

4. Once thickened, add the frozen veggies and chicken.


5. Continue to cook on low heat until everything is combined well.

6. Pour mixture into a greased pie dish.



7. Cover with phyllo dough to make a crust. Spray phyllo dough lightly with cooking spray.


8. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or until top is golden brown. Depending on your oven you may have to cover the top with foil to avoid the phyllo dough from burning while you cook the pot pie through.




Enjoy!

CVS Trip 11/9

I have found that CVS and Walgreens are very hit or miss for me on their weekly ads. Unlike Publix or Target, it seems that the weekly sales at drugstores are either all on things I have no need for or are absolutely amazing. The last few weeks at CVS have made me pretty happy.

This week there is an ECB deal on Schick Products. You get $10 in ECB's if you purchase $20 worth of certain products. The Schick Intuition is my absolute favorite razor and the cartridges are so expensive and almost never go on sale. When I saw this deal I figured that I could combine it with a coupon and at least get a decent deal on my razor cartridges since I am currently completely out of them. Since the amount I spent out of pocket on everything this week was the same as my razor cartridges would have cost by themselves, I was pretty happy with the outcome.

Here is the breakdown of my trip this week. 

Transaction #1: $18.71 out of pocket
                         Earned $13 in ECB

Transaction #2: $2.16 out of pocket after ECB and coupons

Spent $20.87 total out of pocket on $56.93 worth of stuff
That's a savings of 63%

Transaction #1
 Transaction #1
  • 3 Hallmark cards at .99 cents each
    • Earned $3 ECB on these
  • 1 six pack of Schick Intuition razor cartridges at $20.99
    • Used a $5 printable coupon from coupons.com
    • Earned $10 in ECB
  • This was a lucky week since I had an extra $3 in ECB from last week to put towards my purchase
  • Total cost after coupon and $3 ECB = $18.71 plus earned an additional $13 in ECB


Transaction #2
Transaction #2
  • 2 bottles of Lysol wipes, normally retails for $3.39 each, on sale for $2.50 each
    • Used two $1 off coupons from a Walmart store display
    • Made them $1.50 each
  • 3 bottles of All laundry detergent, retails for $7.39 each, on sale for $3.99
    • Used three $1off coupons from the 10/02 RP
    • Made them $2.99 each
  • 2 cans of Cranberry Sauce (to donate for the food drive at school), normally $1.99 on sale for $1 each
  • Used $13 in ECB from transaction #1
  • Made my total $2.16
The Lysol wipes and the All are a part of the spend $30 get a $10 gift card promotion but I did not need enough of them or have enough coupons to make it worth it to buy $30 worth. These sales are going on through Saturday 11/12 if you want to take advantage of them. If you have never couponed at CVS before check out my post on drugstore couponing before you go.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How Do You Find Time To Coupon?

A couple people have recently emailed me commenting on this blog and asking me how I find time to coupon. My first impulse is to respond, " I don't!". I won't lie, couponing does take time and effort. If you do it occasionally and sporadically you will save money; you just won't save as much money as you could.

As I have mentioned before, I started couponing during my summer vacation (I am a teacher) when I had more time to devote to the process. When school started back up again, I definitely had a few weeks where I slacked off and it showed in my grocery bills.

During those weeks when I wasn't spending as much time couponing, I went to the grocery store without a clear cut list or plan. I did not always have all the coupons I needed for sales and I ended up buying stuff not at rock bottom price. I still saved $20-$30 on my weekly shopping trips but I wasn't adding to my stock pile and I was having to buy way more than usual at regular price.

Part of why I started this blog was to hold myself accountable to couponing and to "force" myself to stick with it and be serious. So how did I find the time?

  1. I only follow a few (4) blogs on couponing and saving money. I try to take some time before work in the morning to read those blogs and catch up with any major information. I also subscribe to them by email (which you can do with this blog too!) so that I get it all in a concise format and can pick and choose what to spend time reading.
  2. I check major printable coupon websites every few days when I find the time. This allows me to catch most of the deals without checking them multiple times a day, ect. You can find a good list of them here. When I see good coupons, I print them out and then leave them, uncut in a specific place so that I can go through them when I plan my shopping trips.
  3. When it comes to newspaper insert coupons, I have a different strategy (which I am still perfecting). When I buy my Sunday papers, I go through them and remove the coupon inserts and weekly ad flyers. I try to take some time each Sunday to go through the inserts and ads and make note of any major or any super good deals. I then leave all my flyers stacked by type uncut until I need them.
  4. I always plan my shopping trips ahead of time. If I know that I am going to Publix on a Thursday then I will find some time between when the Weekly Ad Match Ups come out and Thursday to plan my trip. I then sit down, go through the ad, make my printable list with coupon match ups and as I go through I print any of the Internet coupons from the list that I will need. I then go downstairs, go through my inserts and coupon binder and pull the rest of the coupons I need. I paperclip everything together and put them in a page protector in my binder so that have it all together for when I go shopping. (post on my coupon binder coming next week!)
Some friendly suggestions:
  • Cut and organize coupons when you are watching TV.
  • Set aside 20-30 minutes a few nights a week where you can cut coupons, organize a binder or look online for sales and coupons.
  • When you see coupons that you know you will need soon, put it on your fridge, in your wallet or in your binder so you won't forget to take it with you.
  • Don't freak out if you don't get the absolute best, rock bottom price on something. If its something you need and you are getting for cheaper than full retail price that is still a success.
  • Read this blog for help finding coupons and sales : ) Had to put that in there...
I have by no means perfected the way I coupon. Now that the swim season is over, my goal is to perfect my system and get caught up on my binder organization before the holidays. Look for posts on that soon.

Comment if you have questions you would like to see answered in a future post!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Couponing 101: Answering Questions About Couponing

I have recently gotten a few questions in my inbox about different aspects of couponing. In the next few weeks I am planning on doing a series of posts answering some of the most common ones.

Here are some I have been asked so far:

  1. "How do you find time to do all the work that goes into couponing? I just can't seem to find the time to get everything started."
  2. "How do you keep all your coupons organized so that you can plan out your shopping trips and make the most of current deals?"
  3. "How does 'stacking coupons' at Publix work? What competitor coupons do they accept and what are the rules for using them all together?"

Look for responses to these questions coming soon.

If you have any questions please feel free to comment below and I will try to answer them as best I can!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pasta With Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce


This is a recipe that I stumbled upon while reading couponing blogs and it just seemed like the perfect fall weather dinner. It was actually really easy to make for something that sounds kind of fancy. I am not a huge fan of pumpkin (or sage for that matter) but I wanted to make it for Justin because he is really into those flavors. Turned out, I loved it too. It was not too sweet and none of the flavors were over powering at all. We will definitely be making it again.

Pasta With Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce

Ingredients:
1 pound of your favorite pasta shape (I used Ronzoni Veggie Delight b/c it was in my stockpile)
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (should be on sale soon)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
16 fresh sage leaves, sliced thin then finely chopped (you can used dried but you might want to adjust the amount)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  1. Boil pasta according to box directions. Return to pot and set aside. I recommend drizzling it with a little bit of olive oil so it doesn't stick together.
  2. While pasta is boiling, combine all other ingrediants together (except butter) in a medium saucepan and simmer on medium heat until thickened. Make sure that you stir it occasionally so that the bottom doesn't burn.

3. Once thickened, take sauce pan off of heat and stir in butter until completely melted.

 4. Pour sauce over pasta and toss. Top with more parmesan and fresh sage. Serve and enjoy!


Recipe adapted from Taste of Home Magazine

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Giada's Ravioli Caprese


 This is one of those recipes that you see on the Food Network and you wonder if you could make it. A few years ago, Justin and I made our own pasta dough and made these raviolis. They were amazing, and the sauce that you toss them in was so simple that we would make it just to toss store bought ravioli in.

I recently re-watched this episode of Giada's Everyday Italian and decided it was time to try this pasta dish again. This time I used wonton wrappers instead of fresh pasta which turned out to be every bit as good and much easier.

Here is the recipe.



Ingredients:
  • Wonton wrappers/or freshly made pasta dough 
  • 3/4 cup ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded chicken
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine all the ingredients from ricotta through black pepper together in a large bowl. Mix well.
  2. Place a teaspoon or so of the filling on a wonton wrapper. Place another wonton wrapper on top and then press and seal the ravioli together. I used a ravioli maker or you could use a ravioli cutter or pastry cutter (see Amazon widget on the side of the blog for some examples) 





4. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Boil the ravioli a few at a time until they float to the top. Should take 3-4 minutes.



5. Drizzle with olive oil and add basil, lemon zest and salt. Toss and serve warm.





This recipe was adapted from Everyday Itailan on Food Network.