My Favorite Freebie Sites

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love freebies!

My quest for free items begins with a few of my favorite websites:

http://www.freestufftimes.com

http://www.hip2save.com

http://www.freebieshark.com

I have received some pretty awesome freebies from these sites over the years! There is no way I could ever remember all of them…..but some of my favorites were a Circulon skillet (Amazing! btw), chocolate covered fruit from Edible Arrangements, tools for my husband, an engraved Stella Artois glass, and a costume jewerly locket.

 

Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

My husband planned a last minute Memorial Day Weekend trip to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania. It was so much fun, but the kids are still on a sugar high from all the chocolate! Here’s a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake with a buttery graham cracker crust and pieces of peanut butter cups the bottom to commorate such a sweet trip!

Ingredients:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1-1/4 cups sugar, divided

6 Tbsp. butter, melted

3 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened

2 tsp. good quality vanilla

1 cup sour cream

4 eggs

4 packages of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (1 package for decoration)

How to Make:

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter, microwaved for 10 seconds

Heat oven to 350ºF.

Line bottom of spring form pan with foil and place in pan with 3/4 inches of water to create a “water bath.” Mix crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and butter; press onto bottom of pan. Bake 10 min.

Cut up 3/4 Reeses cups into small pieces and place on top of crust. Then, beat cream cheese, remaining sugar and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each just until blended. Pour over crust.

Bake 40 min. or until center is almost set; cool completely for 4 hours in the oven with the door half open. Refrigerate over night.

Enjoy!

French Macarons

French Macarons are my all time favorite dessert! They may take a couple times to perfect if this is your first time making them, but it is worth every second!

They can be filled with many different types of fillings, but I prefer raspberry filling (recipe below).

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INGREDIENTS
  • 3 Egg Whites (at room temperature)
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • ⅛ teaspoon Salt
  • Food Coloring (pink or 1/2 drops red)
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 cup Blanched Almond Flour
  • Filling Ingredients:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 TBSP raspberry puree/compote

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 large baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
  2. Put powdered sugar, almond flour, and salt in a food processor and pulse several times until all of the ingredients are fine and well combined. Pour in large bowl and set aside.
  3. Place the whisk attachment on mixer, and beat the eggs on medium speed until stiff and glossy, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. With the mixer running,  add the granulated sugar, slowly one tablespoon at a time until the sugar is combined, the peaks are stiff, and the whites are shiny, about 1 minute. Do not over whip!  Transfer the meringue to a large bowl.
  5. Using a silicone spatula, gently fold the dry mixture with the egg whites in 1 cup increments until the dry ingredients are just combined.
  6. Spoon half of batter into pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch plain round tip. Pipe batter onto each prepared sheet in 12 walnut-size mounds, spaced about 3″ apart because cookies will spread slightly.
  7. Gently tap the pan on the counter to get any possible air bubbles out of the cookie batter.
  8. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until firm to touch in center, about 12-14 minutes.

Raspberry Filling:

  1. Using a mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the vanilla and raspberry jam. Beat until combined. Place in a piping bag with a small round tip.
  3. Assemble your cookies by matching cookies with similar size.  Pipe a small amount of raspberry filling into the center of one cookie, and sandwich with it’s other half.
  4. Continue with all cookies.

Enjoy!

Orange Infused Cake

This cake is the ultimate crowd pleaser! The fresh squeezed oranges make all the difference.  Whenever I bring it to a party or family event, I always have at least one person ask me for the recipe.

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Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 tsp good quality vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest of two large oranges finely minced
  • Juice of one orange
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
For the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
  • 4 cups icing sugar powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup melted chocolate chips (cool for a few minutes)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tbsp milk or heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease two 9 inch cake pans
  2. Sift together the all purpose flour, the cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the oil, shortening and vanilla at high speed with whisk attachment until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  5. Fold in the orange zest and then the orange juice.
  6. Fold in the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. (Begin and end with dry ingredients.)
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for about 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
To make the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
  1. Mix the butter, cocoa and icing sugar together.
  2. Add the melted chocolate chips, vanilla extract and a couple of tablespoons of the milk/heavy cream.
  3. Add only 2 tbsp milk at the beginning and add more only as needed to bring the frosting to a spreadable consistency. Beat together well until smooth, fluffy and creamy.
  4. Enjoy!

Lemon & Thyme Roasted Chicken

Ingredients:

1/2 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

3 tablespoons freshly sqeezed lemon juice

Kosher salt

Pepper

One 3 1/2- 4 pound whole chicken, pat dry

How to Make It

Preheat the oven to 400

Combine the 1/2 stick of butter with the thyme and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Season imthe inside chicken cavity with salt and pepper and place the lemon and a few sprigs of thyme inside. Spread lemon-thyme butter under the skin of the breasts and thighs, as well as on the outside skin.

Roast 1 hour. Thermometer inserted in the inner thigh should register 160 degrees.

Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

Sofrito: The Perfect Seasoning for almost anything!

The majority of moms believe in serving their family healthy, wholesome and unprocessed foods. While the idea of “clean” eating may be easy to comprehend, things may become a little dicey when you are unsure of what to use to season your food. Unfortunately, many seasonings have added ingredients that are chemically processed.

I like to use my own seasoning, so I know exactly what I am eating. Sofrito is my favorite food base. It is a seasoning base that is used in Spanish cooking. The flavors are bold and powerful, without being spicy. If you aren’t a fan of the herb cilantro, you can use parsley instead. Both are great!

I make this recipe in bulk so I never run out! It is also a versatile recipe as it can be used in soups, sauces and with beans, meats, fish and vegetables.

Enjoy!

Sofrito Recipe

Sofrito Recipe

Ingredients:

4 peppers (green, red, yellow and orange are preferable, but red and green work as well)

2 bunches of cilantro (parsley can be substituted)

2 onions

3-4 heads of garlic

Directions:

Prep: 45 minutes Special Equipment: Food Processor

1. Rough chop all ingredients.

2. Using a food processor combine all ingredients. Process to the consistency of a salsa.

3. Once processed, divide up into mason jars or glass jars. Store extra portions in freezer.

Note: I process the ingredients in small portions. Once each portion is processed, I add it to a large bowl, mixing occasionally.

Local Frugalista’s Speak Up!


I’m super excited to share with all of you my feature article in Westchester Family magazine! I love sharing my money saving tips with other mom’s and families. 

I can’t stress enough how living on a budget does not have to impact your family and social life. All it takes is a little planning.

Check out my article and let me know what you think in the comments! 

Local Frugalista’s Speak Up!

Restaurants where ‘Kids Eat Free’

Nowadays it is difficult to go out for a family meal without spending what seems like a small fortune. Below is a list of restaurants where children can eat for free with the purchase of an adult entree. Also, please note that participation may depend on the location. Be sure to check with your local restaurant.

Applebee’s: Kids eat free on a select day of the week. Participating locations only; day of week varies by location.

Arriba Mexican Grill: Kids eat free all day on Sundays. One free kids’ meal per paying adult.

Bennigan’s: Kids eat free on a select day of the week. Participating locations only; day of week varies by location.

Back Yard Burgers: Kids eat free on Tuesdays with the purchase of an adult combo meal.

Bob Evans: Kids eat free on Tuesdays after 4 p.m. with the purchase of an adult meal.

Brewzzi: Kids 12 and under eat free on Mondays; up to to kids eat free for each adult meal of at least $12.

Carrows: Kids 10 and under eat free after 4 p.m. One free kids’ meal for each paying adult.

C.B. & Potts: Kids eat free all day on Thursdays.

Captain D’s Seafood Kitchen: Kids eat free here on Thursdays. Up to two kids get a free meal for each paying adult.

The Chartroose Caboose: Kids eat free all day on Thursdays with purchase of an adult meal of at least $8.

Chevy’s Fresh Mex: Kids eat free all day on Tuesday. One free kids’ meal for each paying adult.

Chick-fil-A: Kids eat free on Tuesdays between 5:30-7:30 p.m. with the purchase of an adult combo meal. NOTE: some locations charge $0.99 per kids meal.

Chicken Out Rotisserie: Kids eat free all day on Friday with the purchase of an adult meal.

Cici’s Pizza: Kids under 3 eat free every day.

Cinzetti’s: Kids under 12 eat free between 5-9 p.m. on Mondays.

Cody’s Original Roadhouse: Kids eat free at Cody’s on Tuesdays. Limited to kids 10 and under; two kids eat free for each paying adult.

Culver’s: Kids 12 and under get a free frozen custard with the purchase of a meal (valid daily).

Damon’s Grill: Kids eat free all day on Wednesdays. One kids’ meal per paying adult.

Denny’s: Kids eat free at Denny’s on Tuesdays from 4-10 p.m. (at some locations, Saturdays, too). Up to two kids get a free meal for every paying adult.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit: Kids eat free all day on Sundays; drinks included.

Famous Dave’s: Kids 12 and under eat free all day on Tuesdays. NOTE: Some locations may charge $0.99 for kids meals, and some may use Mondays as their kids eat free day

Firehouse Subs: Kids eat free all day on Wednesdays. One free kids’ meal for each adult combo meal purchased.

Fudruckers: Kids eat free on Mondays between 5-9 p.m.

Go Roma: Kids eat free all day on Sundays. Two free kids’ meals per paying adult.

Golden Corral: Kids 10 and under eat free on Mondays from 5-9 p.m. Two free kids’ meals per paying adult.

Hooters: Kids eat free from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays.

IHOP: Kids eat free on Mondays from 4-8 p.m. One free kids’ meal for each paying adult; drinks not included.

IKEA: At some IKEA locations, kids eat free at the food court on Tuesdays. There are also some specials throughout the year.

Jason’s Deli: Kids eat free all day on Wednesdays. One free kids’ meal per paying adult.

Jeffery’s Sports Grill: Kids eat free all day on Wednesdays. One free kids meal per paying adult.

The Locker Room: Kids eat free on Thursdays from 4-9 p.m.

Lone Star Steakhouse: Kids eat free all day on Tuesdays. Two free kids’ meals with the purchase of an adult meal.

Little Bitty Burger Barn: Kids under 10 eat free all day on Wednesdays. Two free kids’ meals for each paying adult (with drink purchase).

Maggiano’s Little Italy: Kids under 5 eat free all day on Saturday.

Moe’s Southwest Grill: Kids eat free all day on Tuesdays. One free kids’ meal per paying adult.

Norms: Kids eat free all day on Tuesdays. One kids’ meal per paying adult, drinks not included.

On The Border: Kids receive a free sundae with meal purchase (valid daily).

Perkins: Kids eat free on Tuesdays. One free kids’ meal for each paying adult.

Piccadilly: Kids under 6 eat free all day on Fridays.

Pizza Hut: Kids eat free all day on Tuesdays.

Pizza Street: Kids under 10 eat free on Tuesdays. One free kids meal per paying adult; offer limited to cheese pizza only.

Planet Sub: Kids eat free all day on Sundays. One free kids’ meal for each paying adult.

Ponderosa Steakhouse: Kids eat free on Tuesdays after 4 p.m. Two free kids’ meals for each adult meal purchased.

Qdoba Mexican Grill: Kids eat free on Sundays and Wednesdays.

Red Brick Pizza: Kids eat free all day on Tuesdays. One free kids’ meal per paying adult.

Red Robin: Kids 10 and under eat free on Mondays.

Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina: Kids eat free all day on Thursdays with a paying adult.

Shari’s: Kids eat free from 4-9 p.m. on Saturdays.

Shoney’s: Kids under 4 eat free all day on Fridays (with paying adult).

Steak ‘n Shake: Kids eat free on Sundays. One free kids’ plate for every $9 adult purchase. Dine-in only.

Texas Land & Cattle Steak House: Kids eat free from 11-4 p.m. on Saturdays. Two free kids’ meals per paying adult.

Texas Roadhouse: Kids eat free on a select day of the week. Participating locations only; day of week varies by location.

UNO Chicago Grill: Kids eat free on Tuesdays with the purchase of an adult meal.

White Castle: Kids eat free on Sundays from 4-8 p.m. with purchase of an adult meal over $4.

If you know of any other restaurants that offer ‘Kids Eat Free’ days, include them in the comments! 

Get your DIY on with some great coupons! 

I love to craft and create DIY projects! Below are three great coupons that can get you started! 

I am planning a Baby Shower for my best friend and creating many of the decorations myself, so I will definitely be using these coupons! Don’t forget to share some of your DIY ideas and decor below in the comments! I would love to hear them! 

AC Moore: 25% off through Tuesday, 50% off 1 item.  AC Moore Coupon

Hobby Lobby: 40% off 1 item. Hobby Lobby Coupon

 JoAnn Fabrics has multiple coupons to choose from! Please note that a few of these coupons expire today. JoAnn Fabrics Coupon