Monday, January 30, 2012

Good Finds: Goodwill Zumba

haha that title makes me laugh... Goodwill Zumba.... let me explain!   So, y'all all know, or atleast I think you know, I LOVE ZUMBA! I really, really love dancing and Zumba is the PERFECT workout to get you burning calories and having fun at the same time!

So, y'all also know, I'm cheap! haha yes, I do Zumba, but only the "free" large group classes some sweet ladies I know in town sacrifice their time and energy to teach and I am sincerely grateful for them!  Other instructors charge around $5-$6 a class and that would add up real quick, and I'm sorry but I'm not trying to spend all my money that way.  So, when I can't make it to class or need an extra Zumba sesh because I'm feeling a little chubbier than normal, I do my zumba fitness 2 for the Wii, yeah I haven't posted a review on that, I know, sorry.  It has been awesome and I really like doing it, thanks Mom B. for the Christmas present!

Well, what do you do when you can't go to class or you don't have your Wii close by? DVD... yeah the DVD set is expensive, so little ole me didn't want to buy it.  I was at my local goodwill the other day and saw this ...

Yeah, a whole lotta Zumba stuff neatly packed into a box with a $3.99 price tag

Wait a second, I can tell this is older, you know probably first edition but this is a ton of stuff! DVD's, CD's, toning sticks, for $3.99, totally worth it.  So I purchased it. Once I got to my car, I noticed a packing slip ...

yeah, this person who bought this from Zumba back in 2010 bought over $90 worth of stuff and I got it for $3.99!? Holy moly, I feel like a thief! Yay for great finds at goodwill :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

From our kitchen to yours: Good Earth

Good morning faithful readers! Sorry I haven't posted in a while :( There's been no real important updates, or extremely fun things happening in my life right now to blog about, but... we have had some surprisingly delicious food. So, here's a post on a $1 find at one of my favorite stores, Dollar Tree!

I don't normally like "boxed" dinners because they're too salty and FILLED with preservatives, but not this one... 100% whole grain, no artificial flavors or preservatives! Herb Crusted Chicken with mushroom risotto

Contents of the pouch: whole grain brown rice, seasoned panko bread crumbs, wine sauce, and risotto seasoning.

Simple step by step instructions :) Yes, much fancier than most boxed meals... "stay in and go all out!" ... cute!

Step 1: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 2-Quart sauce pan over medium-high heat for 1-minute. Add rice, stir one minute.

Add water, milk, sauce and seasoning, heat just to boil, reduce heat, cover simmer for 20 minutes without stirring. Uncover, simmer for 5 minutes stirring frequently.

Cut your thawed chicken, yes, this is the only component not included in the box.  Start the chicken once the rice is simmering for 20 mins.

Empty bread crumbs into a large bag and toss chicken until fully covered.

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, I was surprised they didn't say EVOO, to medium-high, add chicken to hot oil, cook until deep golden brown.

mMm then I took it out of the oil and placed on a paper towel to drain some of the grease.

Add a veggie, also something you have to provide (not in box) and enjoy! See, it looks much fancier than most boxed dinners!

Well done Kim for finding this steal at Dollar Tree :)  Oh yes, a little information on Good Earth ... I'm not sure why I found this at the Dollar Tree... it was not out of date, or some strange flavor no one would want.  I swear I've seen this same product on the shelf at Walmart for almost $4, and didn't purchase it because of the price! Anyways, their website has a coupon for $1 off, and the have other yummy flavors such as, Tuscan Chicken with Penne Pasta, Mediterranian Chicken with Angel Hair Pasta, and Spicy Citrus glazed shrimp (yeah, i'd expect to see that one at Dollar Tree) ... So there ya go, Kim's stamp of approval, maybe you should try it for dinner sometime soon!

Monday, January 23, 2012

From our kitchen to yours: Sausage Balls

I don't know about you, but I LOVE BREAKFAST! Yes, I sincerely adore a nice, hearty, warm breakfast but most of the time, I don't have the time to make one during the week.  I work 45 mins away from home so often it's yogurt and dry cereal for me. 

Charles' family has a Christmas morning tradition of sausage balls.  Yep, prep em the night before, pop em on a pan in the morning and bake them until golden brown, place in bowls and pass around while you open presents! Oh yes, and always enjoy them with a nice glass of orange juice.  So, I thought, why not make sausage balls for a week day winter breakfast treat!  GENIUS, I know ...

3 cups bisquick, 2 cups shredded cheese, 1 roll of sausage

Mix well with hands, microwave 20 seconds at a time, if necessary for proper incorporation.

Scoop your little sausage balls and place into a tupperwear tub.

Gettin' a large batch ready for the week, take out however many you want for that meal and bake then to ensure freshness.

Place sausage balls on a non stick pan and bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes.

mMm Delicious breakfast goodies !

Friday, January 13, 2012

Blog Browsing : A little Taggage ...

Yep, I was tagged! Thanks to the ever-so-lovely, new momma, Amy over at Fit New Mama I've been selected to do a little Q&A to tell ya'll a little bit about me ... haha as you know so far, i'm an open book! It's going to be tough to tell you things you don't already know!

the rules:
1. you must post the rules

2. post eleven facts about yourself on the blog post

3. answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post,
and then create eleven new questions to as the people you’ve tagged

4. tag eleven people and link them on your post

5. let them know you’ve tagged them

Eleven Facts About Me
1.  I'm married to the most amazing man in the world! He is an amazing reflection of Christ and he is seriously my favorite person in the world!
Can't believe this was a little over 3 years ago!

2. I am licensed to carry a concealed weapon in the state of North Carolina!  Yep, I'm normally packin' ... haha  
Get it, girl :)

3. I LOVE CHEESEBURGERS! Oh my gosh... really I think a good burger and fries are my favorite meal! I use to work at Red Robin and their Banzai Burger is fantastic!
Yep, this is a genuine I AM SO EXCITED I'M ABOUT TO EAT A BURGER AND FRIES kinda face!

4. People tell me ALL THE TIME that I look like Natalie Portman, true story.

yeah, she's gorgeous...and i'm... well... cute :)

 5.  I have never owned a dog. My mom taught me that dogs were smelly and that licking you was disgusting growing up so I've never owned a dog.  Maybe one day ... But I do love holding puppies :)

So sweet!

6. I LOVE dancing!  Shagging, Zumba, Line Dancing ... oh my, so fun! Anytime there's music and a crowd, i'm probably there :)

7. I LOVE serving in kids ministry! I currently lead K-5 praise and worship at Temple Baptist and MAN do we have fun praisng God! I've also been to Mexico, St. Lucia and Ukraine with mission trips where we lead camps and vacation Bible School and to Lumberton, NC, New York and Chicago to do Urban Ministry! It's sooooooo amazing to see God working through these precious little lives!

Nogales, Mexico

Chicago, IL

8. I'm half Greek (my dad's side) so I have the ability to get a really, really dark tan in the summer :)

 And I can fit into a high chair!

9. My dream job is to be a Stay at home Mom! haha yes, Lord willing we have a child sometime in my lifetime ... I would love to be at home and raise our kids and then, once their school age be a high school Home Economics teacher.

Our sweet friends baby girl! I never pass up the opportunity to hold a little one :)

10. I have never dyed my hair, nor do I ever plan to unless I start getting gray hair before 30(ish). I think it's because i'm too cheap to maintain it... yeah i'm ridiculously frugal!

And it has been realllly long a few times in my life! I also donated it to locks for love :)

11. I am a work in progress! My life has not been perfect but I am so thankful for my faith in the Lord and how he continually strengthens and refines me.  Life is full of adventures and I am beyond blessed to be here on Earth living this beautiful life the Lord has given me!

Amy's Questions
1. What is your favorite saying? Bless your heart!  haha yes, I'm a true Southern girl... Growing up I was "Kimmy Sue" (Kimberly Suzanne)

2. What are you listening to right now? Sadly, nothing... I just listen to whatever is on the radio! I haven't used my ipod in months!
3. If you could go anywhere right now, where would you go? Probably a cruise to the carribean islands, I've never been on a cruise and I would love to go back to St. Lucia.
4. What is your favorite book? I don't read ... really, I don't find enjoyment in it and I know that's terrible! But the book I read most often would be the Bible, it's just overflowing with amazingness and God's words are timeless and the truth!
5. What is your favorite kind of workout? I LOVE ZUMBA! Or any kinda of dance aerobics :)
6. Where would you like to be in 5 years? A stay at home mom with one baby and another on the way ...
7. What is your favorite food? CHEESEBURGER AND FRIES ... as referenced above
8. What are you wishing for in 2012? A viable pregnancy and a healthy baby
9. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? hahaha I wanted to be a talk show host, I really wanted to be Regis' co host for a long time ... oh well!
10. What job would you do for free? Teach dance aerobics (zumba or hip hop) to adults and kids 
11. If you won the lottery tomorrow, what is the first thing you would do with it? hahahaha no joke, hand it over to my finacial advisor... my husband and let him deal with it! I am TERRIBLY NAIVE about money.  I'm more or less scared of it because we didn't have much growing up.  But i'd definitely go on an amazing all expenses paid vacation somewhere tropical :)

My Questions for you Gals to Answer
1. What is your favorite game to play?
2. What is something you do in your spare time just for yourself?
3. What is the most important trait to have in a marriage or relationship?
4. Where is your favorite vacation spot?
5. What is your favorite meal?
6. What is your favorite Bible verse?
7. If you could visit one state/city in the USA what would it be?
8. What is the best surprise you ever received?
9. What is your favorite weekend activity?  
10. What are you afraid of?
11. What do you hope 2012 has in store?
My Tags

Rebecca at Baby Claire's Blog
Jenny at Moxie Made
Natalie at Matt and Natalie  
Stephanie at The.Glove. Box
Megan at Doulos
Candice at Down Home Country
Christin at Carolina City Girl

Funny Failures: Hot Roll Mix

Yep, HOT ROLL MIX ... not "oh I love fresh bread from the bread maker but i'm too lazy to make the dough and too cheap to buy the real bread maker mix so I'll try out this $1 box of HOT ROLL MIX I got from the Dollar Tree in my machine EVEN THOUGH there are NO directions for making this product in a bread maker on the package!" haha

That's me :)  Really, my thought was... what's the harm, if it works, GREAT! If it doesn't ... oh well, it was worth a try! 

Mix, egg, yeast, water, butter ... check!

So I turned on the machine and made dinner, did some laundry, watched some TV anxiously awaiting that high pitched beep to go off in 3 hours and 10 minutes and a nice, hot, fresh loaf of white bread! 

But, this is what I got ...
Yeahhhh .... umm only rose about a 1/3 of the way up the pan ...

Doughy in the middle and crusty floury mess on the outside ...

Not too shabby... the front piece does have butter slathered allllll over it and a nibble or two, haha yes, I was impatient and wanted to try the bread ...

In all honesty, it wasn't that bad... it also wasn't that good! haha take it from me and don't try to take the easy and cheap way out when you want delicious fresh bread, k?

Crafty Creations: Bake Pop Flavors

Well, I know this should probably go under "from our kitchen to yours" but I felt a little "crafty" while making up all the fun flavor combos! 

So, I do love my bake pop pans... and it's super easy to make a bunch of them in a really short amount of time!  2 boxes of $1 boxed cake mix at the store makes 72 bake pops ... or 4 pans, wow! I had no idea I made that many last weekend! Needless to say, they lasted through one dinner meeting, one life group, and split the rest between our two offices last monday!

Here's a few pictures of the flavor combinations I came up with :)

mMm ... yep the trick to keep them from rolling around is styrofoam wrapped in wax paper with halves of toothpicks !

I'm getting hungry just looking at them!

Yes, please... I'll take ONE OF EVERY FLAVOR!

What a beautiful mess! I just love coconut and pecans!

Yellow cake, peanut butter, chocolate frosting, pecans and coconut ... heavenly!

Chocolate cake, cream cheese frosting with a chocolate buttercream garnish.

Chocolate cake, peanut butter, and a lil chocolate buttercream heart :)

I did go a little crazy with flavor combinations, but I was having fun! Just prep your bags with icing and have your "sprinkles" ready and go to town!

Some other combos pictured:

Yellow cake, strawberry jam, and peanut butter garnish
Yellow cake with chocolate buttercream (do the same with chocolate cake)
Yellow cake with cream cheese frosting (do the same with chocolate cake)
Yellow cake with strawberry jam and a swirl of cream cheese frosting
Chocolate cake with strawberry jam and a swirl of chocolate frosting
Yellow and Chocolate cake with nutella, coconut and pecans

and so on and so forth ... Hope y'all enjoyed this delicious post!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

From our kitchen to yours : Bake Pops

Yep, you read it  right ... Bake Pops, not Cake Pops! I'm sorry Bakerella that I do not like the taste of your precious treats :( Sadly, I am not normally a "texture" kinda girl, but every time I have tried to enjoy a "cake pop" a friend has made at a party, I politely finish the bite in my mouth and discard of the rest... the word "pre-chewed" always comes to mind.  Given, I have seen some AMAZING creations made out of this undesirable treat ... wow, really!? I could never make these!!!

Yep, Bakerella's amazingness right here ...

So it all started when I was feverishly trying to get a Christmas list together for family, and I had a wapping 3 things on my list :

1. Cash
2. Walmart or Target Gift Cards
3. Zumba Fitness 2 for Wii  (I may need to do a review on this later)

Anyways, there's always some sort of craft or bake ware item that I am pining for but I couldn't seem to think of anything ... so I looked on my Pinterest account and noticed I had pinned some great ideas to decorate cake pops.  I had seen tons of  "cake pop bakers" online, but they only make around 6-12 pops, I knew I would need more and didn't want an appliance.

So, I found this ... Bake Pop Pans !  Haha yes, the As Seen on TV scared me ... but the concept, PERFECT! Basically a doughnut hole made from any cake or brownie mix, that is just what I wanted!  So I did a little research and everything sounded hokey, yeah like go to a page and when you "x" out it pops up messages telling you about deals and "are you sure you want to leave", ha ... well yes, if I clicked "x", that was my plan :) okay okay, I digress.   After my research I said "aw heck, Kim, go ahead and add it to your list."  So I did ... yep, fourth and last thing on my Christmas list, I'm a simple kinda gal!

Needless to say, I was getting excited when Christmas morning rolled around... Money (check), gift cards (check), Zumba Fitness 2 for Wii (check) ... but wait, where's my bake pops!?!?! haha silly me forgot we had changed our family plans and still had fellowship and festivities at another family members house... and yep, there they were and I was happy as a clam...  2 for the price of 1 ... BAKE POP PANS!
                                       Bake Pops

Once we got home from all our of holiday traveling, the first thing I did was make some treats, and oh my were they fantastic!  Check out the process below :)

Use any cake mix, boxed or from scratch, or even brownie mix!  Thicken the mix by adding an extra egg, milk instead of water, or some instant pudding.  I used Pumpkin Spice bread mix and Vanilla Spice Egg Nog :)

Coat the insides of both pans with non stick spray and preheat the oven to 350.

Fill bottom pan with mix.

Place top pan (with hole) on top ... haha yeah, great directions, Kim!

Place two yellow silicon clips in designated area.

Pop those goodies in the oven! It's okay if you over fill :)

Yep, my hubby was the first to say it "THOSE LOOK LIKE BOOBS" great for a bachelor party ? hahaha

Just what I was worried about, a really harsh rim from where the pans join :(

Watch out Martha Stewart, I'm a genius in the kitchen! Yep, pulled out my handy dandy cheese grater and filed off the edge (a microplane would work too, I just don't have one)

Check em out! Perfect little bake pops!  From here you can go either way: Bake pops on a stick or Doughnut holes.  I chose doughnut holes because I was bringing them to my office to place beside the coffee pot in the break room.

Look in the fridge and see what you have to add a little pizzazz to your treats ...

Voila! Pumpkin and Vanilla Spice Egg Nog Doughnut Holes with Cream Cheese glaze and Pecans! They were a huge hit with the coworkers and husband! 

I already have TONS of flavor combinations running around my brain, and my stomach :) Can't wait to try some more! This was a great buy and a perfect answer to my Cake Pop dilemma!