Tobins' Tastes: February 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

No Bake Peanut Butter Nests

In case you haven't noticed I have a small obsession with bite sized, holiday themed treats made with M&M's. It is something I actually just realized and I have even started a new Pinterest board based on that obsession. Perhaps my Rolo Pretzel Bites, Valentines' Day Cakies, or Mint Chocolate Shamrocks gave it away? I automatically pin any dessert made with M&M's for future reference.

These delicious looking peanut butter based treats were no exception. These originally come from Averie Cooks and her's are probably a little prettier than mine which may be due to my accidental adaptation of her recipe.

 I was attempting to double her recipe (because 12-14 of something wouldn't last a minute in our house) and I doubled up on the brown sugar. I only used half the flour she did and by the time I realized it all, they were already made and tasted amazing none the less. So I am sticking with my new version.

She used candy coated almonds which I didn't have on hand and don't really like so I went with my tried and true favorite, holiday themed M&M's. You can use anything in their place and I am hoping to try these again with new and fun things in the centers.

No Bake Peanut Butter Nests (double batch)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • M&M's or anything you like to use as the centers
I used these Easter egg shaped M&M's from Target

  1.) Whip together butter and peanut butter.

2.) Add the sugars and whip until smooth.

3.) Stir in the cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. And then slowly stir in the flour. You may need to use more or less flour in order to get the right consistancy.

Mine was a little grainy until I got in there and mixed it with my hands.
Once I mixed it by hand it firmed up.
 4.) Form into small round balls. (I used a 1/2 tablespoon to help measure mine out.)

5.) Place balls onto wax paper and gently press in M&M's. I used my hands to help form the dough around the M&M's to look more like a nest.

Store in the fridge or freezer and then let them warm up before eating. If you try to eat them right out of the freezer your teeth may regret it. Frozen M&M's are pretty hard : )

Make sure you stop  by this week's Mealtime Monday and link up some of your amazing recipes!

***Depending on the day this post may be linked up to any of these fabulous linky parties.***

Plan My Menu Monday With Blog Hop/Blog Mingle

Happy Monday! It looks like we are back to our first "normal week" in a long time. Last week I didn't really get to any of my meal plan because Justin ended up working two double shifts in a row meaning he was only home for dinner one week night out of five. That one night was his birthday so we went over to dinner at his mom's meaning I pretty much did almost no cooking last week. Not that I am complaining : )

That means lots of our meals are going to be this week instead. Basically I am moving last week's menu to this week and just changing up a few things based on what we have fresh on hand.

What I am really excited about is the weekly link up party I am hoping to start next week. While there are so many great link up parties out there is the blogosphere, I am hoping to do one just for food items and recipes. As I plan our menus, I love using Pinterest for inspiration but I would love to see what all you amazing food bloggers are making. So make sure to stop back next Monday morning (or maybe late Sunday night) and link up some of your delicious recipe post at Mealtime Monday!

In preparation for that, I would love to "meet" all you bloggers out there who stop by Couponing & Cooking. So I am hosting a one time only "Mingle Monday". Please link up to your blog's main page so I can stop on by and visit. I will make sure to follow all the blogs who link up and I love looking around new blogs for fun ideas to "pin" for future reference.

A would love it if:
  1. You would link back to this post/blog. You can do so by grabbing my button (upper right hand corner) or by adding this blog to your list of places you link up to/party at on your Link Parties page. Make sure you check out my Link Ups page for lots more fun places to link up at. 
  2. Please follow this blog through GFC or Blog Lovin
  3. Please only post your blog's main page. No giveaways, etsy shops or anything not family friendly. 
  4. Visit at least two new blogs and show them some love.
  5. Come back next Monday and link up!

Friday, March 23, 2012

$20 Voucher To For $10

Head on over to to get a $20 voucher to for $10. Overstock already has all kinds of great discounts and deals and this will make it even better! Looks like this deal will be on sale for almost another 2 weeks so you can take advantage of it.

You will have through July 5th to take advantage of your voucher.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Weekly Totals Link Up & Today's Publix Trip 3/22

Happy almost Friday! It's been nice (and hectic) to be back to a regular work schedule this week and for the first time in awhile I was able to do my weekly Publix shopping on my normal day of Thursday. 

Nothing crazy this week for me at Publix. The sales were good but we are just so well stocked on so many things that I don't feel the need to spend the extra money taking advantage of some of the deals right now. Also, as I mentioned last week, I haven't been on my couponing game lately and I am attempting to get back into things now that life has settled down a bit. I had very few coupons this week and my recipet below is a perfect example of how you can save money by shopping smartly even without coupons. 

Today I bought meat at Publix (just a chicken) for the first time since my overage stock up trip. We actually still have some meat in the freezer (a pack of the chicken and one pack of the ground beef and the pork loin from overage trip and a whole chicken left from a sale awhile ago) but I want to keep our meat supply stocked when there are sales since I found that there were really no good deals on meat this past summer. 

I wanted to use my $5/$50 Alberston's coupon from this week's flyer but my total before coupons didn't hit $50 so I had to use one of my precious $5/$30 Enjoy The City coupons. Oh well... I stayed right around 50% this week which is ok with me since I got cheap butter, BOGO peanut butter and some veggies. 

Make sure to link up below and show me how you did this week!

Here is the breakdown of today's Publix trip:
Total retail value: $75.61
Total spent: $34.81
Total saved: $40.80
Percent saved: 54%

Most of my savings came from store sales not coupons this week : )
Here is what I bought with sale/coupon match ups:
  • 2 boxes of Eggo Waffles, retails for $2.95 each on sale BOGO ($1.48 each)
    • Used a .75/2 coupon from the 3/11 RP
    • Made them $1.10 each
  • 2 bags of Fresh Express Salad, retails for $4.09 each
    • On sale BOGO, made them $2.05 each
  • 1 packages of Ole corn tortillas, retails for $2.19
    • On sale for $1.95
  • 2 bags of Kraft shredded cheese, retails for $3.69
    • On sale BOGO, made them $1.85 each and of course my coupons expired yesterday
  • 4 one pound boxes of Land O Lakes butter, retails for $4.43 a box, on sale for $2.50 each
    • Used four .75 off printables from 
    • Made them $1.75 each (great price for butter if you ask me!)
  • 1 three pound Publix Greenwise organic chicken, on sale for $1.99 a pound
  • 2 Friendship Sour Creams, retails for $2.35 each
    • Used two .55 cents off Publix coupons from the Yellow Adv. Flyer
    • Stacked with a $1/2 coupon from a past in store blinkie
    • Made them $1.30 each
  • 1 half gallon of Almond Breeze milk, retails for $3.49 
    • Used a .55 cents of coupon from 3/18 SS
    • Made it $2.94
  • Organic baby carrots (Publix brand), on sale for $1.69 
  • 2 packages of Pepperidge  Farms Buns, retails for $3.29 each
    • On sale BOGO, made them $1.65 each
  • 2 Haas Avocados, retail for $1.50 each
    • On sale $1 each
  • 2 jars of Peter Pan Peanut Butter, retails for $3.49 a jar, on sale BOGO ($1.74 each)
    • Used two .50 cents off coupons from the EatWell newsletter
    • Made them $1.24 each
How did you do this week? Inspire me (and everyone else) with your amazing savings and deals this week. Please link up directly to your specific post. No main pages, giveaways, or etsy shops please. I would love it if you would link back to this post or grab my button from the sidebar : )

My Favorite Deals At Publix This Week

It's a pretty sale ad this week at Publix. We don't need many of the sale items so I am going to try and use our weekly grocery money for some staples and fresh things for our weekly meals (and into next week's meals). I am really excited to see what will be in the upcoming week's of Easter ads so I will probably try to save some of our monthly spending for those : )

Here are my favorite deals going on at Publix right now:

  • Kashi Steam Meals on sale for $2.50
  • Land O Lakes Butter on sale for $2.50
  • Peter Pan Peanut Butter (my favorite brand) on sale BOGO at $3.29 ($1.65 each)
    • Use two .50 off coupons from the Eat Well e-newletter
    • Makes them $1.05 each, even if you don't have the coupon BOGO peanut butter is a deal in my book
  • Kettle Brand Chips on sale BOGO at $3.69 ($1.85 each)
    • Use two $1 off coupons from the 3/18 RP
    • Makes them .85 cents each
  • Hass Avocados on sale for $1
  • Buy any half or whole Boar's Head Sub and get a free medium drink and chips
    • Not a crazy deal but a fun treat if you like Publix subs!
Remember you can check Publix's website for the full weekly ad if you don't get it in the paper and you can also check out here and here to see my favorite ads with coupon match ups 

Don't forget to check back later today for my Weekly Totals post and to link up to your great savings!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Publix Buy Theirs, Get Ours Free Promo 3/22

Looks like Publix has a new Buy Theirs, Get Ours Free promotion starting with this week's new sale cycle. It appears to be Spring Cleaning themed. 

The way these promotions work is you buy the specific name brand item and you get the Publix version for free. My Publix's have started doing a display table/area with the specific products. You can use coupons on the brand name items to make the deals even better. 

Also, make sure to check your papers, my Albertson's flyer had a $5/$50 coupon in it this morning and our local Publix's consider it to be a competitor. 

Hope you're having a great week!

Free $5 Credit To New Eversave Users

If you haven't signed up for Eversave yet, now is the time to do it! Eversave is giving a $5 credit to all new users who sign up in the next two days.

You can use that $5 credit to make their daily deals even cheaper.

4 AMC Movie Tickets For $24

Right now you can get four AMC movie tickets for $24 from Half Off Depot. At $6 a ticket, I use deals like this so we can enjoy going to a movie on a weekend and not pay the crazy weekend ticket prices : )

You just buy the tickets through the daily deal and then they will give you instructions on how to redeem them online. Once you redeem them you get the tickets by mail. I have done this a few times and it has worked pretty well.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Request Your $7 Coupon Booklet From Crest & Oral B

Head on over to Vocalpoint to request your $7 coupon booklet from Crest and Oral B. There are only limited quantities available so make sure you sign up and request yours soon.

I love saving these types of coupons for BOGO sales, drugstore promotions or clearance deals : )

$30 To ELF Cosmetics For $15

Right now you can get $30 worth of make up from ELF Cosmetics for $15 from Groupon. With prices ranging from $1-$15 you should be able to get some fun stuff for $30 from their website.

The $30 credit does not include shipping but ELF does run Free Shipping promotions, or free magazine subscriptions with your orders pretty often. Normal shipping is around $5-$6.

$10 Gift Card To Amazon For $5

Head on over to Amazon Local  and sign up to buy a $10 gift card to Amazon for $5.

I don't know how long it will last since there are limited quantities but you may want to check it out if you use Amazon alot.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cheesy Potatoes

I finally got a good pictures of them before they got destroyed. It only took 5 tries...

Get excited, the recipe for cheesy potatoes is finally up on the blog! People have been asking me to post this forever and even though I am still not overly thrilled with the photos I have I am posting it now in hopes that I can update the pics in the future.

As weird as this may sound, this is quite possibly my favorite recipe that my family has. It is insanely easy, really bad for you and completely delicious. I make it for every party that Justin and I have. I always think I should try something different but I believe our friends would riot if they showed up and this wasn't on the menu : )

So for all my friends who said they want to make it over the holidays, here is the recipe!

Collins Family Cheesy Potatoes
  • 1 two pound bag of frozen hash browns (cubed style)
  • 1 small can of cream of chicken soup
  • 16oz. sour cream
  • 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (you will divide this)
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (this is optional, I don't include it but my mom does)
  1. Mix hash browns, onion (optional), 2 cups of Cheddar and a little salt and pepper together. Pour it evenly into a 9 x 13 baking pan.

2. Combine the melted butter, cream of chicken soup and sour cream. It won't look pretty but it is going to be delicious.

3. Spread that mixture over the potatoes.

4. Top with the remaining cup of shredded cheese.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until cheese is turning golden brown on top and the sides are bubbling.

6. Let it cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving. It is nuclear hot right out of the oven and it needs a few minutes to set up to the perfect consistency. 


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Plan My Menu Monday & Recipe Link Up Party 3/19

Well it's back to reality for me. After an amazing and very relaxing Spring Break I am back at work/school today. We are going to try and get back to normal routine this week and that means attempting to stick to a dinner/menu plan. I am going to attempt to make it on the healthier side since there was no shortage of delicious food on our cruise. 
Here are a few of the meals we are making this week:
And for dessert this week I am going to try Deep Dish Thin Mint Cookies from Crazy For Crust. These were my favorite recipe from last week's link up and I can't wait to try them!

To keep my inspiration going, I would love it if you would link up to what you have been making/baking/cooking this past week. I am especially looking for recipes for healthy treats and fun Easter treat projects. Last week's recipes looked amazing.

I would really love it if you would link back to this post or even better grab my button from the upper right hand corner. Please link directly to your blog post. No giveaways, etsy shops or anything that is not family friendly : )

Let me see what you've got!

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