Family Recipe: Chicken Tetrazzini

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My Dad made this for us a lot when my mom worked late. I love it because it’s got chicken, onions, cheese, and pasta in it.  Pretty much everything I like in life. AND when I was pregnant with Lil’ Man I had such horrible morning sickness round the clock, it was pretty much the only food I could eat. This is a great hot dish, perfect for a family dinner or make a bigger batch for a potluck. It’s a hit with kids and grown ups!

I try to make adaptations for many differing diets, but sadly, this recipe cannot be adapted for Vegans or be made gluten free (unless there is GF Cream of Mushroom soup I don’t know about).

Chicken Tetrazzini 

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 t. butter
  • 1-2 c cooked shredded or cubed chicken (I usually cook a batch of chicken breasts in the crock pot and then portion it up for later use)
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken and Mushroom soup (if you can’t find it, stick with Cream of Chicken)
  • I can of water
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • ½ cup cheese (you favorite kind- I like sharp cheddar!) You can use more cheese if you like.
  • 1 lb pasta, your choice

Directions

  1. Start a large pot of water on the stove and cook pasta as directed.
  2. While Pasta is cooking  In a saucepan, saute the onion in butter, until the onions are clear, about 10 minutes.
  3. To the onions, add chicken, soup, water, Italian seasoning. Cook until bubbly, stirring to combine ingredients.
  4. Add cheese and stir until smooth.
  5. Add pasta and stir to combine.
  6. If you want to make this a one pot dish,  add 1-2 cups steamed veggies, such as broccoli, peas, or asparagus.

Serves 4-6.

Options:

  • You can use the vegetarian “chicken” pieces in place of the chicken. You can also use leftover Turkey or rotisserie chicken!
  • You can also add 1 cup sliced mushrooms and/or 1/2 cup celery while you are sautéing the onion.
  • My dad likes the dish topped with butter bread crumbs or slivered almonds.
  • To make this dish a little richer, stir in 1/2 cup sour cream (the real stuff, no imitation sour cream) when you add the cooked pasta.

Giveaway: Enter to Win Two LegoLand California Park Hopper Tickets!

img_9875I am so excited to share these tickets! As a LegoLand Blogger, I am given two free Park Hopper tickets each year. I can use them myself, or give them away.

I’ve decided to give them away. I want one of you to experience the fun of Legoland! This pair of tickets expires 12/31/16, so you still have a while to go and experience the fun of Legoland California!

If you haven’t been to Legoland, it’s a great way to spend a day! There are tons of fun things to do: Rides, Shows, and of course, stations to build and play! We love the build and play area next to Heartlake City. It has a Duplo Theme. There is a playground, and in the playground you will find various stations where kids (and grown ups) can build whatever you’d like!

If you are looking to save some money, I recommend that you take a bottle of water (at least one). All of the snack stations/restaurants will refill your empty bottles. We take our Camelback bottles. The kids have these smaller bottles, and hubs and I have these larger bottles.  We also take snacks to munch on throughout the day. Family favs include: Apples, orange slices, fruit snacks, crackers and seed butter, protein bars (we are currently digging on Balance Bars). However, we do splurge on the Apple Fries- They are sooooo good!

To enter to win the pair of Legoland California Park Hopper ticket, please use the Rafflecopter widget below (or visit here). Please note that it is not mobile friendly, you need to enter from a desktop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Score Free Makeup and more from L’Oreal USA

I’ve posted before about how I score so much cool frees tuff, but I wanted to update and share about one program: L’Oreal USA.

The makeup Giant wants women from across the United States 18+ to join and take surveys on products, daily skin care regimens, and test new products. When you take 5 surveys, you are eligible to receive a full sized L’oreal product (Of their choice)! They also do consumer product testing. They send you a product, you test it and complete a survey.

I recently completed a product survey. They mailed me products which I tested over a period of a month, then I completed a survey about the products I tested. The product surveys are long- they take about 20 minutes to complete, but, you get to try awesome new products, and as a than you, L’Oreal sends you some pretty sweet goodies.

Here is what I got as my thank you gift yesterday in the mail:

img_9874It may not look like a lot, but these three products have a value of about $90.00!

Lancome Large Shadow Brush $29.50
Lancome Color Design Eyeshadow Palette in Mauve Cherie $50.00
Maybelline Brow Drama $8.50

 

I’ve been part of their survey panel for about 10 years, and I’ve done four in home product tests. They can be hard to get into, however, the products you test are top quality, and the thank you gifts are pretty great!

And if you’re curious about why I got Lancome products, here is a list of companies that L’Oreal USA owns.

How to Save Money on Prescription Glasses and Contacts!

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Glasses and contacts can be expensive, especially if you don’t have vision insurance.  Here are just a few ways that we’ve managed to save money while getting Hubs glasses that are totally stylish.

Eye Exams: If you don’t have vision insurance, call around to find one that fits your budget. There are two types, depending on what type of corrective lenses you wear- Glasses or contacts).  Many Wal-marts have independent optometrists inside, as do some JCPenney locations. Then there are stores like Lens Crafters. Don’t forget there are also stand alone doctors of optometry all over too. All of these places will preform an eye exam without buying glasses. If you are 65+, you can obtain a free eye exam from Eye Care America. Kids 6 months-1 year can obtain a free eye exam from InfantSEE.

We buy glasses from Coastal. Hubs has a crazy rX, so he can’t get the $35 glasses, but a new pair usually runs him about $50 (which includes both the lenses and frames!), which is a pretty sweet deal. And the best part of Coastal is, once you sign up for an account, you can score $20 off for every friend you refer who makes a purchase! They also sell sunglasses too.   In addition to the glasses, each order comes with some pretty cool extras.

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-8-18-50-amA pretty sweet new hardshell glasses case (which he needed!) and a Eyeglass Maintenance and repair kit:

  • 1 20ml spray bottle of anti-reflective eyeglass lens cleaner
  • 1 cleaning cloth
  • 2 silicone nose pads with 2 screws
  • 25 eyeglass frame screws
  • 1 CC key chain accessory that contains slotted and Phillips hex head screw drivers

If you are looking for more styles of glasses, Warby Parker has a lot of on trend styles of frame, however they can be a little more expensive than Coastal. They also have a few in store location across the country.

I’m always on the look out for vision freebies. Walmart has a freebie here for a free lens cleaner and cloth. When contact lens freebies are available, I will post them. They are usually available once a year or so.

We buy a years supply of contacts at Costco from their vision department. Costco has the cheapest contacts around. If you don’t have a Costco membership, the next cheapest place is Coastal.

If you are thinking to yourself, “I’ll just get the lenses replaced in the frames I already have, that’s got to be cheap!” Think again. I looked into it last year because hubs has two sets of frames he LOVES. It was over $300 per pair. OY VEY. And that was the cheapest after calling around, including the place we bought the glasses originally.

And if you are wondering what to do with all of the old eye glasses in your house that are no longer your current prescription…. The Lions Club helps recycle eyeglasses and get them into the hands of the needy. You can find out more about how and where to recycle your unwanted eyeglasses here. You could help a person in need get the glasses they can’t afford!

What are your tips for saving on glasses and contacts?

**This post may contain affiliate links, for more information about how we use affiliate links, please visit our Disclosure page.**

Freebies!!

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I’ve been trying to get Halloween costumes done, as well as some other stuff that requires a lot of time, so I haven’t been posting much, but I found these two articles with tons of freebies that I wanted to share! You know how much I love a mail box full of free stuff (it’s def. better than bills, right?)!

I signed up for tons of freebies, so I can’t wait for them to arrive!

Save time and money with Google Express ($10 Free!!)

google-express-logoHave you heard of Google Express? It’s an awesome way to shop from home (or from your phone too) and have groceries, office supplies, and more delivered to your door.

Google Express has partnered with 20+ stores to bring you an easy solution to busy living!

AND- New customers can score $10 off their first purchase of $10+! Just click here and you are all set to go! There is a $4.99 delivery fee, but you can get that waived if you do the free trial of Google Express shipping. I set an alarm on my phone to remind me to cancel before the trial is up- and canceling is easy,just a few clicks and you’re done (We tested it on a friends account after her order was delivered!).

Here are the stores partnered with Google Express:screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-10-43-27-am
I like that I can order diapers from Target and use my referral credit- in fact, that’s what I’ve been ordering! Bitty has sensitive buns and the UP&UP brand are the only ones that work for her.

I’ve also been using my referral credits to pick up stocking stuffers for the kids. Boy Child is obsessed with Legos (so is his Daddy), so I’m trying to pick up a few small sets for his stocking.

And once you sign up and place your first order, you’ll get a referral link too! You can share it with friends and family and start earning more $10 credits!

Another reason I love Google Express is that we live upstairs… Carrying all that stuff upstairs with a wiggly little strapped to my front is hard. Having boxes of diapers delivered to my door is a huge help!

 

Disclaimer: My referral link is in this post, if you sign up and use your $10 credit through the links above, I’ll receive a $10 credit, which is awesome, because diapers don’t grow on trees. That being said, I only recommend products and services that I feel are a good value for my family and readers.

Healthy Frozen treats!

My kids love popsicles. If given the choice, they’d eat them all day. So I figured, why try to fight it? I’m turning into the skid and embracing their love of frozen food on a stick.

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-11-54-06-amRecently, I was sent this awesome Lebice Popsicle mold kit. Right now it’s on sale for about $8.00. Remember Amazon prices change frequently!

It makes 6 good sized frozen nummies, a stand to keep them upright while they freeze, a collapsible funnel, and a small brush to clean out all the nooks and crannies.

After I washed them, I pulled out the blender and whipped up strawberry banana breakfast popsicles (if they are going to demand popsicles in the morning, might as well make them healthy, right?). I keep over ripe bananas sliced in the freezer in ziploc bags for morning smoothies and protein shakes, as well as whatever berries are in season. I buy them on sale, and freeze them before they go bad. It’s a great way to keep fruit on hand!

Strawberry Banana Popsicles

Makes 6 popsicles

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Vanilla Greek Yogurt (or use whatever you have onhand, it doesn’t have to be Greek)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen banana slices
  • 1/4 milk

Directions

  1. Set up molds in stand.
  2. Blend all of the ingredients together, until smooth.
  3. Pour mixutre into mold, leaving about a 1/2 inch at the top.
  4. Snap lids/sticks on, stash in freezer for 6-8 hours.
  5. Remove from stand and run molds under warm water to loosen. Pop popsicles out of molds, and enjoy!

I also like making instant pudding (adding in frozen bananas or raspberries) and pouring that into popsicle molds too. That is a sweet and satisfying dessert!

I like that the stick and drip tray are attached and I’m not finding mystery popsicle sticks all over the house. The entire set is very sturdy and  I know we’ll be using it for years to come.

Thanks to Lebice and Tomoson for providing the awesome popsicle mold! I received no financial compensation for this post, and all opinions are my own!