Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Free Chick-fil-A Chicken Minis today!

Many Chick-fil-A locations in the DFW area are going to be giving away a FREE pack of 4-count chicken minis on February 29th during breakfast hours! Mention you heard about the Leap Year Promotion and they will give you your freebie!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Free Pancakes!

TODAY, February 28, 2012, guests from around the country are invited to celebrate National Pancake Day at IHOP and enjoy a free short stack of Buttermilk pancakes. In return for the free pancakes, guests are asked to consider leaving a donation for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and other designated local charities. Check HERE for all the details.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Swimming February

It's February. It usually snows this month.

This year, its been mild to say the least and since my boys have been begging to go for a swim since before Christmas, my hubby decided to heat the pool for the boys this weekend.

It's a February Swim..can I say oxymoron? I still think its crazy to be making cannon balls in the middle of winter, but what do I know? Ah, what it would be like to be a kid again. For now, I'm happy to be watching them from the porch :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Free Pretzel Day!

Mark your calendars and visit your local Auntie Anne’s store for Free Pretzel Day on Saturday, March 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to receive one complimentary Original or Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel – no strings attached. We did this last year and the kids had a blast scarfing down their pretzel.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Toys R Us President Sale

I've gotten a lot of deals in the past, but this past week, I really scored. My kids started asking for Skylanders the game and although, I have been slowly shopping for the figures, I wanted to wait until Valentine's before actually giving it to them. Since the figures are hard to come by, I wanted to find them first.

To my surprise, the day before Valentine's Day, I was able to buy Skylanders game, the starter set on the Wii, for $19.99 at Toys R Us with their online buy 1 get one 50% off deal. That's a whopping $50 off! Since Skylanders had a huge $30 off sale, the price was marked for only $39.99 which is a great deal by itself. Shipping was free because I chose to pick it up in the store.

I meant to post this deal last week, but it was a crazy hectic week for me. So, although, this particular deal is gone, Toys R Us has other great deals for President's day, including Buy 1 get one 40% off certain games, and even Buy 1 get one 50% off of Legos. Happy shopping!

Hanging Pictures

My canvas prints have been sitting on the floor for weeks now. I've been walking by them wanting to hang them up for quite some time.

Remember this wall? I decided that I would replace the flowers with my canvas prints.

The way I like to hang portraits is to lay a piece of paper on top of the frame.

I punch a hole through the paper where the nail needs to be.

Then I use some painter's tape and tape the paper to the wall. At this time, I am leveling the top and measuring the spacing in between. The painter's tape makes it super easy to move the paper around without damaging the paint on the wall.

When I finally am ready, I hammer a nail into the hole that was made earlier (through the paper). Rip off the paper and replace with your portraits.

Because I have a bunch of holes on the wall from the flowers, I decided to replace some of the flowers until I am ready to fill in the holes which aren't too obvious unless you look for them.

I doubt I'll leave the flowers up on the wall, but for the meantime, it will do.

I am loving those prints though. Three pics for $30 is a steal in my book, especially when it makes me so happy to look at.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

E. came home so excited to tell me that he had pancakes in class yesterday. He mentioned that it would be great to eat pancakes every morning. I generally don't whip out the flour and baking soda on a school day due to time, but I thought I'd surprise him and the rest of the family with some home made pancakes today. In the spirit of Valentines, I attempted to make heart shaped pancakes.

I also hid a card in my hubby's laptop this morning.

Since he rarely reads this blog, I'm not ruining the surprise by posting it here. Just in case you are wondering, many vietnamese couples will call their spouse "anh" and "em" instead of using their given name. It is a lot more personal. I can't remember the last time he ever called me by my birth was probably when we said our vows.

I hope you have a great Valentine's Day! I can't wait to surprise my kids after school with special their treat.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Free Better Homes and Gardens Magazine!

Hurry and get your free subscription to Better Homes and Gardens. No strings attached, no credit card necessary. I've done this for a dozen different magazines and it works every time! Hurry, as I am sure this offer won't last long.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Stuffed Puff Pastry - Banh Pate so

Probably, one of the most popular appetizers at a Vietnamese wedding would be these puff pastries also known as Banh Pate So. That's when I normally get the pleasure of eating them. They are so delicious and so easy to make. It's the perfect breakfast so I decided to whip some up this past weekend. Here is my version.

Stuffed Puff Pastry
1 egg
1 package of puff pastry (I used pepperidge farm 2 sheets per package)

Meat Mixture
1/2 lb ground lean pork
1/4 onion, chopped
1/4 cup black fungus, soaked for 10 min, rinsed and finely chopped
1 tbsp oyster sauce
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
pinch of pepper


Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Thaw your puff pastry. Prepare the meat mixture by combining all the ingredients.

Cut the puff pastry. Generally Banh Pate So is round, but I decided to make them into squares. I cut each puff pastry sheet into about 12 squares.

Add the meat filling to one square.

Top with another square and use your fingers, a fork or chopstick to pinch the sides shut.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Brush with egg yolk wash (1 egg beaten with a tbsp of water). This makes the top golden brown.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Serve hot. It is so good.

A perfect surprise hidden inside.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Free Frozen Yogurt and Toppings at Yogurtland Today!

Yogurtland will celebrate National Frozen Yogurt Day on Feb. 6 by offering guests free frozen yogurt and toppings from 4-7 p.m. at all participating U.S. locations. Make sure you call ahead of time to see if your location is participating.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

In researching Valentine treats to make, I found this red velvet cheesecake brownie recipe. This recipe is decadent and rich just like a brownie should be.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Brownie Layer
1/2 cup butter
2 oz dark chocolate (coarsely chopped)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp red food coloring (red)
2/3 cup all purpose flour

Cheesecake Layer
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz cream cheese (room temp)
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz cream cheese (room temp)
1 large egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven 350F. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper and lightly butter.

Making the Brownie Layer
In a heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir with a fork until very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Add in the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Batter should be red. Add flour and salt into the bowl and stir until everything is just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.

Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer

Preparing the Cheesecake Layer
In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Drop in dollops onto prepared brownie batter. Gently swirl two batters with a butter knife.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned. Cool in the pan completely before slicing and serving, either at room temp or chilled.

It's a great Valentine's Treat to make.

Key Lime Cupcakes

On my last trip to D.C., I had Key Lime Pie for the first time and it was delicious so I when I found this key lime cupcake recipe online, I thought I would give it a try. Some recipes I try work out fantastic, while some not so much (those don't usually make it onto my blog). If I'm not willing to eat it, then I am definitely not willing to share it.

The key lime cupcakes, themselves turned out fantastic. They were moist, scrumptious and absolutely delicious. I ate four in a row on my birthday. The frosting was, shall I say disastrous. Therefore, I'm including the recipe for the cupcakes themselves, but not the frosting. Top your cupcakes with your favorite frosting. Since I don't really eat frosting, I wasn't all that disappointed.

Key Lime Cupcakes
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp key lime juice (about 8 key limes)
zest of 2 limes
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sour cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine the baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla, key lime juice, and lime zest. Mix well.

Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream (batter will be thick). Fill cupcake muffins 1/3 way.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool completely and frost if desired. The key lime cupcakes were scrumptious.

I made a blackberry buttercream frosting. Next time, I'll use a cream cheese frosting recipe instead.
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