Category Archives: groceries

Panera Bread HACK! Passionfruit Papaya Green Tea

Now, we all love Panera Bread, and we love it even more now that their food is clean.  It has no artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors or colors from artificial sources.  That makes it even better.  And when your slurping on that bowl of broccoli cheese soup from there, it’s even better than amazing.

But enough about that, I just found a genius hack from Panera Bread!  I had a $10 Panera Bread gift card that I could only use at the store and not online, so I decided that since I usually order online for lunch at work, why not go in and get some of their very yummy Passionfruit Papaya Green Tea and take it home.  I was going to buy the to-go bottles since then I could take it to work and drink it or just sip on it during this wonderful weather we are having!  Well I was checking out and it was like $14 for 5 bottles of tea and the cashier was like wait, I think you can get more for cheaper if you order it through our catering specials.  I was like sure, because I was only taking it home anyways.  She said well I can get you a gallon of the Passionfruit Papaya Green Tea for only $9.99.  I said SOLD!!!  So now I have fresh tea to drink at home and whenever I want and it was way cheaper than the original route I was going for!  Now I’m even considering bringing one of them to work and leaving it in the refrigerator at work so I can have it there too!

If you know me, you know my addiction to Cherry Coke was real.  Well in February after watching a bunch of documentaries about eating whole foods, less meat, more fresh veggies and less bad things, I gave up pop.  It was hard at first, but I don’t even crave it anymore.  But I was struggling with the caffeine part, and now I can have my fix so my afternoons don’t drag anymore!   I had went a few weeks without any caffeine but some nights when we have lots going on with sports for the boys, I need something to carry me through and I am not a huge coffee drinker.  So I think I found my answer, GREEN TEA!!

I had googled how to try and make this tea at home and lots of others had tried too but it wasn’t something that you could really just buy in a store.  So I’m excited to give this a try!!

Also, I was also super excited that a few months ago, I had free bagels for a month! It worked out great, I’d pick one up in the afternoon and eat it for breakfast the next day or my son would grab it on the way to hockey practice on the weekends.  THANKS PANERA BREAD!!

P.S.- I’m still debating on chopping my hair off again.  It’s just not working out for me long, always in a pony tail and giving me a headache.  A graduated bob or a-line bob is more of what is calling my name right now, although wearing a hat in the summer is a nice thing and with short hair, you look like a boy.  Decisions, decisions.

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Do you remember? McDonald’s Chicken Fajitas? DIY dinner ideas

Back in high school, I worked at McDonald’s for what seemed forever!!  I usually worked up front but sometimes I worked back in the grill and remembered these yummy fajitas as I was opening up the bag of Tyson Chicken Fajita slices the other day.  They smelled just like the chicken we used to use to make the fajitas so I decided to make my own version for us to eat for dinner the other night.index

I bought some Tyson Grilled & Ready Fajita Chicken Strips and heated them up in the pan on the stove.  I cut them into dices so it was easier to fit into the fajitas.  k2-_07276730-3b13-4f36-88ee-7f9b995da4f6.v1

Then I cut up some green peppers, red onion and got the shredded cheese out.  You could also put tomatoes on there, but if you know me, I am a picky eater and not a fan of them.  But I am broadening my palette with other foods I didn’t think I liked before. finalRoll up the chicken, onion, green peppers and cheese into a tortilla and then I headed it up in the microwave for about 1 minute 30 seconds to melt the cheese and then it was ready to eat!  You could add picante/salsa to it also to make it fit your taste even better!  It was a fast, easy dinner to make for my family and on the healthier side too!  Let me know if you try this recipe and tell me how you like it!

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Crunchy Kosher Dill Pickles- Canning Recipe

So this year, we planted a garden and I planted regular cucumbers and pickling cucumbers.  We love pickles and my aunt was always making awesome pickles so I thought, I should be able to do this.  She sent me her recipe she used, and I found one online and this is what I cam up with!  I canned them 3 weeks ago and we just opened up a jar, YUMMY!  They taste great!

I found this recipe on the website Mama Economics and they are GREAT!

Crunchy Kosher Dill Pickles
Author: Jennifer Williams
Recipe type: Canning
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 7 quart jars
Ingredients
  • 7 wide mouth jars with lids and rings
  • fresh or dried dill
  • cucumbers washed
  • 7 cloves of garlic
  • 7 hot peppers (optional)
  • 8½ cups water
  • 2¼ white vinegar
  • ½ cup pickling salt
Instructions
  1. Wash jars
  2. Fill stock pot about ¼ cup of water set on burner and turn to high heat
  3. In medium saucepan fill ⅓ way with water set on burner and turn to high heat, bring almost to a boil, remove from burner and put lids in saucepan
  4. In a large pot bring water, vinegar, and salt to a boil
  5. Put garlic, dill, and cut peppers in jars ( I use kitchen shears to cut my peppers)
  6. Load cukes into jars tightly until you reach the neck of the jars
  7. Pour brine into jars, leaving ½ inch head space
  8. Add lid and ring to each jar and tighten
  9. Place jars into canner making sure water is JUST to the necks of the jars
  10. Bring water to ALMOST a boil, about 15 minutes
  11. Remove jars from canner, set on towel turned upside down
  12. Cover jars with a towel until cool
  13. Once cool, check for seal, label, and store in a cool dark location
  14. Pickles are ready to eat immediately, store in fridge once jars are opened

Here are some pictures to go along with the process:

Clean jars before canning

Clean jars before canning

Boiling lids

Boiling lids

Chop up your cucumbers whatever way you desire.  This time I sliced them, next time I'm gonna do some hamburger style slices.

Chop up your cucumbers whatever way you desire. This time I sliced them, next time I’m gonna do some hamburger style slices.

Dill and Garlic

Dill and Garlic

Jars filled with dill and garlic.  This is where I added a few hot peppers to a couple jars to see what they'd taste like.  You can also add red pepper flakes.

Jars filled with dill and garlic. This is where I added a few hot peppers to a couple jars to see what they’d taste like. You can also add red pepper flakes.

Fill jars with cucumbers.

Fill jars with cucumbers.

Pour the brine into the jars.

Pour the brine into the jars.

Jars closed and ready to boil so they can get their seal.

Jars closed and ready to boil so they can get their seal.

Boiling in the stockpot, waiting for them to seal.  Boil for about 15 mins.

Boiling in the stockpot, waiting for them to seal. Boil for about 15 mins.

Make sure you check the seals, no popped tops.  Store in a cool place for a couple weeks then enjoy!

Make sure you check the seals, no popped tops. Store in a cool place for a couple weeks then enjoy!

Up close shot after they were boiled and sealed.  They are now in the basement on a shelf.

Up close shot after they were boiled and sealed. They are now in the basement on a shelf.

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Project 365, Day 7

Today was back to school for Brody, so it was just me and Caden hanging out.  We went to Meijer to get groceries and came back to have lunch.

Then for dinner we made Chili, because here in Michigan, it’s still snowy and cold!! But this weekend it might get up to the 50’s, CRAZY weather.

Finished up the night watching The Biggest Loser.

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