Trade-in Your Old iPhone and Earn Cash with Gazelle!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

Have an old iPhone that you’re no longer using or that you want to upgrade? Trade it in for cash at Gazelle! I’ve done it now three times and it’s a super simple process!

Gazelle makes it so easy to trade-in used iPhones and other smart devices for cash. In fact, it can be done in three easy steps.

• Step 1: Select your iPhone from a list of options on Gazelle’s “Trade-In” page. Simply answer a few questions and Gazelle will provide you with an offer for your device.

• Step 2: For items worth $1 or more, it’s free to ship your device to Gazelle. Once your trade-in is received, the device is inspected to make sure its condition matches your evaluation.

• Payment: If the device matches your description, Gazelle will pay you in the form of a check, an Amazon.com gift card, or via PayPal. Payment takes about a week once Gazelle receives your device.

No other company does as much to help consumers sell their used iPhones or purchase high-quality, gently-used devices as Gazelle. Trade your old iPhone in for cash today!

Family Recipe: Chicken Divan

DSC02717.JPGChicken Divan is also known as chicken and broccoli casserole, but we just call it yummy at our house. You can bake it in the oven, make it on the stove top, or cook it in the crockpot.  I’ll give you all three cooking directions.

My family loves it!

The original recipe calls for rice or noodles, but I use Quinoa.

Chicken Divan

Ingredients:

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 4 cups of broccoli (Fresh or frozen, your choice)
  • 2 cups white sauce, or 1 can Progresso Recipe starters (I prefer the roasted garlic, but the mushroom is good too)
  • 3 cups cheese, divided (I like cheddar, but gruyere or swiss is good too)
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed or toasted (You can substitute in 1 cup uncooked white rice instead)
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Crockpot

  1. Saute onions in butter on the stove until softened and clear.  About 5 minutes.
  2. Place all ingredients except 1/2 c cheese, all water, and quinoa in crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. add quinoa and water/broth, turn on crockpot to high for 1-2 hours, or until quinoa is cooked. Top with cheese and serve.

Stovetop:

  1. Saute onions in butter on the stove until softened and clear.  About 5 minutes.
  2. Add chicken and continue to cook until chicken is no longer pink.
  3. Add remaining ingredients except 1/2 c cheese, and cook  covered on medium/low for 15-25 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the quinoa. Top with cheese and serve.

Oven:

  1. Saute onions in butter on the stove until softened and clear.  About 5 minutes.
  2. Add chicken and continue to cook until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from heat.
  3. Mix in remaining ingredients except 1/2 c cheese, and pour into a greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the quinoa.  Top with cheese about 10 minutes before it’s ready, and continue to bake.

Serves 6-8.

Never made white sauce? Here is a pretty basic recipe.

You can also substitute in 4 cups Winter Blend (1/2 cauliflower, 1/2 Broccoli), or another veggie that you prefer.

Family Recipe: Aunt Linda’s Mess

file8721293943264.jpgAunt Linda’s Mess, this recipe has been in my family for at least 50 years. When I was a kid we ate it at least once a month. My mother was born on her Aunt Linda’s birthday.  Aunt Linda and her husband live in Minnesota, where the majority of my mother’s family still lives today.  This dinner is what is referred to in the midwest as a “hotdish” and is frequently prepared in an electric skillet. This recipe serves 6-8 with a side dish, like a green salad, or steamed veggies.

This cheesy delicious mess is a great meal for kids and grown ups alike.  I’ve modified it a bit from it’s original form (which calls for Velveeta and canned mushrooms).

I’m not sure if Aunt Linda invented this dish or if she inspired this dish- and no one knows why it’s called a mess.  It reminds me of a cheesy stroganoff. Regardless- No one can say no to this dish!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1C chopped mushrooms (fresh are better, but you can used canned mushrooms if you prefer- just remember to drain them!)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (you can use low fat/low sodium if you prefer)
  • 1/2C+ shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 carton sour cream (or plain Fat free Greek yogurt)
  • 1 package cooked spaghetti (you can use any kind of pasta or macaroni- you want 6-8 cups of cooked pasta)

Directions:

  1. Brown and crumble beef.
  2. Add onion and mushrooms. Sauté until onions are transparent and mushrooms have softened (about 10 minutes).
  3. Add canned soup and cheese.
  4. Cook until the cheese is melted.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream.
  6. Add the cooked, drained pasta and toss to coat the pasta.

You can omit mushrooms if you don’t care for them. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if there are any vegetarian or vegan work arounds for this recipe, since it’s mostly meat and dairy products!

I’ll be posting more family recipes over the next few weeks.

 

Black Bean Veggie Soup

IMG_7410I made this soup tonight and it was sooo good. This would be great for meatless Monday (if you do that at your house), or save this recipe for Lent (if you give up meat for Lent). I served it Mexican Cesar Salad.

It’s tasty, quick, and easy. It took about 5 minutes to put together, and I let it simmer on low for 45 minutes.

Black Bean Veggie Soup
Ingredients:

  • 1 can Campbell’s Black Bean Cumin & Cilantro Condensed Soup
  • 11 oz (1 can) of water
  • 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bag of Birds Eye Recipe Ready Southwest Blend
  • 1 packet Taco seasoning
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This Veggie blend is great! Perfect in soups, chili, and tacos!

Directions:

 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a stock pot
  2. Cook on medium/low for 45 minutes-1 hour.
  3. Top with shredded cheese. It’s also really good with hot sauce and a squeeze of lime.
  4. Serve with Mexican Cesar Salad (Recipe below) and warmed tortillas.

Makes about 6 servings.

The best part is that this meal was less than $1.00/serving! The can of Campbell’s Soup was .49, the tomatoes and black beans were .79/each, and the Frozen veggies were $1.00. I had taco seasoning in the cupboard (It was freebie from a few months ago).  All of these ingredients can be purchased at your local 99 Cents Only (That’s where I got them!).

Here what I serve this incredibly filling soup along side:

Mexican Cesar Salad

  • 6-8 cups of your favorite lettuce/lettuce blend (romaine and bibb is great!)
  • 2 tomatoes cubed/sliced
  • ½ cup purple onion, cut into rings
  • ¼ c ranch dressing
  • ½ c your favorite salsa
  1. Combine the salsa and ranch together, chill in fridge 6-8 hours before servings. This allows the flavors to blend.
  2. Toss the veggies in a chilled salad bowl with the dressing.
  3. Top with ¼ c crushed corn chips/tortilla chips for some added crunch!

Serve topped with grilled chicken breasts for an entree or without meat as a side dish.  Serves 3 as an entree, serves 6 as a side dish.

Recipe: Lemon Garlic Spaghetti Squash Casserole

file000382147880.jpgWe love Garlic. It’s a good thing that hubs and I both like it, because otherwise this recipe wouldn’t go over too well.

This is my spin on the Spaghetti with Garlic White Wine sauce found here.  It appeared in hubs Facebook feed one day several months ago, he sent it to me, and we’ve been tweaking it to make it our own ever since.

To make it a little healthier, I added in 1 large spaghetti squash. If you’ve never cooked one, I write about it here. It’s super easy to cook, and it’s very yummy

Lemon Garlic Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 2 large white onions, cut into quarters and layers separated
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large lemons, zested and juiced
  • 4 T butter, divided
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, minced (you can use more or less)
  • 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 c. white wine
  • 1/2 T Thyme (I usually have it dried in my spice cabinet, but if you have it fresh, use 5-6 springs)
  • 1 c. Grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 c chicken broth (or pasta water)
  • 1 large spaghetti Squash
  • If you want to add pasta to this dish, you’ll need 1/2 lb spaghetti, 8-10 cups water (to cook pasta), and salt (to salt the water)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Prep spaghetti squash (scoop out the stringy parts and seeds) and bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.

Toss cut up onions in oil, salt and pepper. Bake in a baking dish covered for 20-30 minutes, uncover and bake an addition 10-15 minutes.

IMG_3202.jpgAfter the squash is done cooking, allow to cool for about 10 minutes, or until it’s easy to handle. Scoop the “meat” out and set aside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3198.jpg
Baked onions, cooling, along with the butter needed to finish the recipe.

After onions are done baking, set aside.

If you are cooking pasta, start the water to boil and cook pasta as directed.

Zest and juice the lemons, set aside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3197.jpg

Heat half the butter in a skillet. Once melted, add the minced garlic and cook on medium for 5-ish minutes until fragrant (watch out, it burns really easily). Add red pepper flakes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3200.jpgAdd Lemon juice and wine, turn up the heat for a few minutes. You’ll want to cook off the alcohol, so about 5-10 minutes at medium high heat. Add the baked onions.

Add 2 T. chicken broth (or pasta water), and the remaining butter, and the Thyme. Once the butter is melted, turn off the heat.

Add the spaghetti squash and/or pasta into the skillet, and gently toss to coat. Add lemon zest, and half of the parmesan cheese. If the mixture becomes too thick, add more chicken broth or pasta water a little at a time.

Top with any additional cheese, thyme, and/or pepper flakes.

IMG_3206.jpg

Here is an extra step that makes it a little better (IMO) but isn’t needed: Place skillet under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until the cheese on the top is brown and bubbly.

I have made this recipe with both pasta and spaghetti squash.  This last time I made it, I used only 1 serving of whole wheat spaghetti, mostly because I prefer the way it turns out when it has the pasta water in it, instead of the chicken broth.

*If you are a vegetarian, feel free to substitute in veggie broth.

**This recipe can be made with GF pasta.

 

Recipe: Oatmeal Mix

file0001801761525.jpg

We love Oatmeal, but most instant oatmeal is full of sugar and isn’t really good for you (no fiber, lots of sugar, mystery ingredients).

Determined to save money and get us to eat better, I set out to concoct a batch of oatmeal mix.  After months of trial and error, here is the final result:

Oatmeal Mix

Makes 40 1/2 cup servings

Ingredients

  • 15 cups old fashioned oats (that’s 1 large canister)
  • 3 2/3 cups nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 cup flax seeds, milled
  • 1 cup Hemp Seeds (I like these)

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all of the ingredients.
  2. Store in a large air tight container for up to 6 months.

Directions for cooking the mix:

1/2 cup mix to 1 cup water, cook on the stove together until the oats are cooked (2-3 minutes). Or mix together and cook in the microwave for 2 minutes and let stand for a few minutes.

 

Add dried fruit, powdered sweetener, spices/herbs, what have you to make it your own!

Save with These Make Ahead Breakfasts!

file000369727419
Everyone loves something easy. And I like something healthy too. So when I can find food that’s easy to prep and healthy, I’m in! I love doing breakfast prep once a week. It keeps us out of the drive thru, and that helps our bottom line.

As part of the Pinterest Generation, I’ve seen and tried TONS of make ahead/batch cooked breakfasts. All with little success (not fails, really, but nothing that I’m super excited to try again or share). Here are two favorites at our house:

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-10-22-04-pmIt seriously doesn’t get any easier!

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of 8 count Sausage links (I used Farmer John)
  • 2 tubes 8 count biscuit dough (I scored a 2 pack at 99 Cents Only)

Directions:

  1. Cook and drain sausage links per package directions. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  3. Open biscuit dough package and roll out biscuits until flat.
  4. Place sausage on flattened biscuit, roll up dough, encasing sausage.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire baking rack.
  6. Once cool, store in zip top bag or container with a snap top lid. Can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, but really, they won’t last that long.

Makes 16 rolls.

Add a cuppa Joe and you’ve got a quick, filling breakfast.

And if you prefer to start your day with fruit and something rich and creamy, check out our parfait recipe (it’s seriously a no-brainer!)
screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-10-39-06-pm Inspired by my love of the McDonald’s parfaits.  I’m serious, since they changed over to Greek yogurt, my mouth waters every time I glance at the Golden Arches. You can make your own at home in just a few minutes!

I make a batch once a week! I use Ball canning jars (like these) that originally had home made jam in them (thanks Mom!), but you can use whatever jars or reusable containers you have on hand.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups frozen fruit- I like berries, but feel free to use whatever is on sale or you have on hand. Skip melon, mango, banana, or pineapple- You may find them frozen, but they won’t taste very good or have a good texture in this recipe.
  • 1 large carton Vanilla Greek Yogurt (it’s about 4 cups)
  • Honey, if desired

Directions:

  1. In each container, pour in 1/4 cup yogurt.
  2. Top yogurt with 1/2 cup frozen fruit.
  3. Repeat layer of 1/4 cup yogurt. Drizzle with honey, if desired.
  4. place a few pieces of fruit on top, gently pressing down into the yogurt if needed.
  5. Screw on lid and refrigerate.

Makes 6-8, depending on sizes of jar and type of fruit used. If you need “crunchies” on your parfait, individually portion out 1 cup of cereal and stash them in the cupboard. I use the snack sized bags like these and portion out cereal, then put the portions in a tub like this one. It lives on the counter. No more cereal mysteriously being eaten in one sitting. Really, who is going to open a bunch of little bags into a big bowl and pig out?

Another tip I have for you is: Set up your coffee maker before you go to bed. For those with a classic coffee maker, it’ll just be a quick flip of the switch to get your coffee fix. We have two French Presses, I set them up at night, one I fill with cool water and steep over night to make iced coffee in the morning for myself. I prep the other with grounds and fill the Tea Kettle for a hot pot in the AM for the Mister.

I turn on the stove in the AM and in less than 10 minutes, he has a steaming cuppa Joe and I am already on my second iced coffee!

 

Talk back: What is your go-to frugal breakfast?