Amazing Back to School Recipes

I've been baking up a storm and bulking back up the freezer in anticipation of school starting soon.

Here are a couple of our go-to breakfast favorites:
Very Best Banana Muffins
Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cake from Once a Month Mom [actually called Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Coffee Cake]

And here's a new dinner favorite from $5 Dinners that I am almost certain you could do as a once a month cooking mostly in the crockpot so you could stock up the freezer - and let me tell you it is just that good!!

Cheesy Green Chicken Enchiladas - I will say that I didn't have any green enchilada sauce and the diced tomatoes I had were 'chili ready' so this is what I did.... I made the recipe as written but I only used half the cumin and since I didn't have sauce for the tortillas I used the shredded cheese that I always have in the fridge.

Here's what I would do next time... I'd add more heat to it. I loved the creaminess and if your kids are going to eat with you then you might not want to kick this up, but ours ate quesadillas instead. Next time I might toss in a small can of chopped green chilis with the chicken. Oh, and I'd add more cheese to the top. I love cheese and we always have it!!

Sharing the Coolness: Title 9 Catalog

I'm a long-time reader of the Title 9 Catalog. Not only do they have phenomenal workout clothes for women but the catalog is actually written to be read all the way through. Seriously, each item has a description that tells you something about the product, or how it was developed, or the women they know that like it/ wear it, or well - you get the picture.

And the thing I really like is that these are workout clothes that are truly made just for women. This is one thing you'll notice right away - even if it's just the fact that outfits are color coordinated and that there are clothes that can go from workout to real life.

But the real gem you'll find is the sport bra section. You can shop by cup size, the bra genie,  or you can use the barbell indicator. Yep, the more barbells that a bra has the less bounce that it allows. Reading this section of the catalog is a real treat for any woman who has had to live through step aerobics with the dreaded uniboob!! Well, no more. There's a bra here for every woman, but I will tell you that you may have to manage your expectations. Good sport bras don't come cheap.

For example, after several years of being pregnant and nursing it was finally time to replace my sports bras. It's always difficult to find my size at department stores or even Target so I searched through the listings at Title 9. There were several that looked great but I did wish a bit for the $14.99 price tag I might find at the store with the red bullseye. Not gonna happen but I ordered a couple and they looked great. In the meantime I did find one that fit at Target and bought it too because it's summer in Virginia and you can't have too any sports bras. Well, I can tell you that at this point in my life the sport bra that pulls over the head [and costs $14.99] is also the sport bra that does not support the 'girls' and will give me a backache and headache within an hour. So, lesson learned. The more expensive sportsbras with back closures and better support were exactly what I needed and will be exactly were I go to in the future.

 So that's why I'm passing along this great catalog. Of course, if you live in certain cool western/ mid-western cities you can visit them in person. Also, I just love the name. As someone who benefited from the changes that were brought about by the Title IX legislation it's definitely Cool Idea to keep in mind where we came from and the great places we can still go.

Fun in VA: Rt. 11 Potato Chips

Personally I love learning about food especially yummy snacks like Rt. 11 Potato Chips. I first tasted their Sweet Potato chips years ago and fell in love immediately. Then I learned they have some other extremely yummy varieties like barbecue, sour cream and chive, and lightly salted. They also have a Chesapeake Bay flavor and Dill Pickle that people think are outta this world but I can't vouch for them 'cause I don't eat 'em.

But back to the chips. While we were the Adventure Family this summer we went to visit Rt. 11 Potato Chips. Heck, it's right around the corner from Shenandoah Caverns so it makes a nice day.

Here are some of the first things you'll notice:
1. It is a small operation. The first day we were there we saw 1 person cooking the chips, 2 people seasoning the chips, and 2 people were putting the bags into boxes. Oh, and 2 women were assisting people like us who'd walked in from the street. I imagine there were other people about but this is not a vast operation.
2. That said, they get a tractor-trailer truck of potatoes from the Eastern Shore of Virginia every week. That's 55,000 pounds of potatoes and they cook them EVERY WEEK. That's a lot of potatoes. And it's nice to know that not only is the end product made in Virginia but the root, ahem, product is from the Commonwealth as well.
3. Sweet potatoes are cooked at the end of the week. So if you're visiting and you're interested in watching them cook the sweet taters you might want to time your visit for Friday and Saturday.
4. One Hundred pounds of potatoes will give you 25 pounds of potato chips. Yep, that means that potatoes are 75% water. [I didn't do the math. I remembered this from the tour.]
5. They only cook chips that have already been purchased by a buyer so none of the chips are just sitting around their building waiting for a home. Not only is this good business but it's nice that the chips aren't getting lonely:)
6. You can freeze potato chips. You know, just in case you want to buy the big 1 1/2 pound bag while you're visiting and you're worried that they'll go stale before you can finish them. If you don't have a freezer you can feel free to invite me over;)
7. All potato peelings are feed to a herd of cows down the road from them. How's that for recycling!!

Want to find where to find Rt. 11 Chips near where you live? You should!! These are wonderful chips made in small batches, with wonderful flavors.

This was a great stop for the family, too. It's just a few minutes off the interstate and I didn't feel like I needed to worry about the girls' behavior. We went twice it was so much fun and we needed refueling before we came home. There are large viewing windows so that everyone can see. Stairs lead up to the second level where large windows allow viewing of the seasoning process. Stairs mean that the entire process isn't exactly accessible but like I said, this isn't a large operation.

So, if you're in the vicinity, or even passing through, I think you'll really enjoy a stop at Rt. 11 Potato Chips. It is definitely a Cool Idea!!

Green Eggs and Ham Turns 50!!

Green Eggs and Ham [GREEN EGGS & HAM -LIB] [Library Binding]

Two thoughts came to my mind. The first was ... thank goodness it's older than me:)
The second was about the actual book of GE&H that I got for my 5th bday from a girl in my neighborhood that couldn't come to my party. I still have that book, too!

Green Eggs and Ham has always been a favorite of mine and this summer we used 'Try New Things' and 'Don't be a Sam I Am' as the mantra for Comfort who has taken to not trying new foods because, well - she's a four year old.

In case you didn't know just how brilliant this book is go back and read it. It uses only 50 words throughout the entire text. Dr. Seuss wrote it on a dare that a coherent plot couldn't be written in that many words. Well, we know differently and we are thankful for it.  And for those of you about my age, ahem, you might remember the SNL sketch with Jesse Jackson also you can see clips of President Obama reading Green Eggs and Ham at the 2010 Easter Egg Roll.

Actually on that site you can see lots of different people reading GE&H. Go and enjoy. It's a great day to enjoy a wonderful book with our kidlets and that is defintely a Cool Idea!

The Magic Cave

We visited Shenandoah Cavern with Comfort and Joy twice this month and they absolutely loved it. Comfort is our budding photographer so I've included some of her pictures here.

Some things of note: 
1) There are no stairs to worry about and strollers are welcome.
2) Kids under 6 are free.
3) It's very cool in the cavern so this is excellent as a summertime destination. In fact, it's a constant 56 degrees so bring a jacket and maybe long pants.
4) They were fine with the kidlets consuming snacks and drinks along the way and the older kids in our group all had their water bottles. Trash cans are provided along the 1-mile walk through the cavern.

The Magic Cave has some fantastically beautiful formations.

Capitol Dome

Fried Eggs

Diamond Cascade

Pictures of Mirror Lake, The Archibishop and Popcorn didn't turn out well. I think Comfort forgot the flash. But you get the idea. It's an amazing cave and at just a mile of walking it's doable for small legs.

Yep, there's a lot of food and Joy really got into that. The bacon was her favorite. She pointed it out everywhere!!

Interested in visiting with your family? Kids 6-14 are 1/2 Price [Kids under 6 are free] if you mention the Humdinger Deal.  Print the ad and take it with you. What could be a better deal than that!!

Redeem and Receive - Cellfire and Kroger

When it rains it pours and I mean coupons from Cellfire!! If you redeem at least one of these coupons at your Kroger-family store you will receive $1 off your next shopping trip. Truly, how cool is that!!!

To receive the $1 off “Redeem & Receive” award, shoppers must redeem between midnight Thursday August 5 and midnight Sunday August 8. That is the kicker here but hey, they are giving us a buck so we can play with their rules. Right?

These three are on the site and available to be saved now:
   $1 off Pillsbury Holiday Cookies
   $.75 off Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie
   $.30 off Pillsbury Refrigerated Grands!

Cool New Ideas from Cellfire

If you are a Safeway shopper then Cellfire has new coupons that are part of the MDA Aisles of Smiles promotion to benefit "Jerry's Kids" which is dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy. This promotion is in association with Safeway and proceeds go to the MDA. I’ve listed the coupons below which are only available for use at Safeway and Safeway stores (Von’s, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Pavilions, Genuardi’s, Dominick’s, and Carrs). 

MDA Coupons available at Safeway and Safeway-owned stores
(Von’s, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Pavilions, Genuardi’s, Dominick’s, and Carrs)
Coupons available Aug 3rd through Sep 17. Please check each coupon for redemption info.
KC Masterpiece Save $1 
Save $1.00 on the purchase of any TWO (2) bottles of KC Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce or Marinade (16oz. or larger). 

Tyson Frozen Product Save $1 
Save $1.00 on any one bag of Tyson frozen product. 
 Sargento Cheese Save $.55 
 Save 55¢ on any Sargento Natural Deli Style Sliced Cheese (any variety, 5 oz. or larger) 
Vlasic Products Save $1 
Save $1.00 off any two (2) Vlasic Items. 
Mission Products Save $.55 
 Save 55¢ when you buy any ONE (1) Mission Product. 

Lawry's Products Save $.50 
Save $.50 on any Lawry's Marinade, Seasoned Salt (8 oz. or larger) or Garlic Salt (6 oz. or larger). 
Brut Products Save $1 
Save $1.00 on any BRUT Product. 
Infusium23 Products Save $2
Save $2.00 on any one Infusium23 purchase.
C&H or Domino Sugar Save $.75 
Save $0.75 on any Two (2) C&H or Domino Sugar products 2lbs. or larger. 
Star Olive Oil Save $.50 
Save $0.50 on any STAR Olive Oil 17 oz. or larger. 
Fish & Vegetables Save $2
Save $2.00 when you purchase any one Van de Kamp's or Mrs. Paul's and any one Birds Eye or Birds Eye C&W Vegetables.
Best Foods/Hellman's Save $.50 
Save $0.50¢ on any ONE (1) Best Foods or Hellmann's Mayonnaise (22 oz. or larger). 
Bertolli Pasta Sauce Save $.50
Save $0.50 on any ONE (1) Bertolli Pasta Sauce Product.
Hidden Valley Dressing Save $2
Save $2.00 on the purchase of any TWO (2) bottles of Hidden Valley Dressing (16 oz.).
Hidden Valley Ranch Save $2.50
Save $2.50 on the purchase of any TWO (2) bottles of Hidden Valley The Original Ranch Dressing (24 oz.).
Kingsford Charcoal Save $4
Save $4.00 on the purchase of any TWO (2) bags of Kingsford Charcoal (11.1 lb. or larger).
Glad Food Storage Bags Save $2
Save $2.00 on the purchase of TWO (2) GLAD Food Storage Bags (30 ct., 40 ct., 50 ct.).
RiceSelect Products Save $1
$1.00 off any 2 RiceSelect items.