Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Neerja's Avocado Black Bean Salad




Many years back, when our girls were little, I'd sometimes hang out over at my neighbor Neerja's house while our girls played. I'd sit, we'd talk, I'd watch her cook up some delicious Indian food for dinner and I'd taste test. Yum! Though this isn't necessarily an Indian dish, it is one she'd serve up as a side with dinner and it one of my favorites. So fresh, so easy, so healthy, so delicious!

Neerja's Avocado Black Bean Salad
shared by My Epicurean Adventures

Ingredients:
2 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 ripened avocados, cubed
1 pint washed and sliced grape tomatoes
1/4 cup diced cilantro
1/2 lemon (or lime) squeezed
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt to taste

Directions:
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and serve!

Enjoy!


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Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Here are some items used in this post. To see a full list of my favorite bento gear and such, just visit my "Products I Love" page! :) Any purchases made through these links earns me a little extra cash to support my bento habit, which my hubby would really appreciate. haha! So thank you!!! if you choose to use any of 'em! :)

     

This post has been shared at:
Homemade Mondays
Tuesday's Table
Anyonita Nibbles' - Tasty Tuesdays
What Kids Eat Wednesday
The Party Bunch

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Reuben Sandwiches for 8


My mom raised me to be a Reuben lover and now I am raising my kids to be the same. :) To be honest, it happened accidentally. One day we were at a deli and I ordered one. A delicious one. As I was enjoying my sandwich, first Little Sis came up, watched me eat if for a bit and then asked for a bite. Ok. I shared a little bit of it with her. Then Big Sis came over and said she'd love to try some too. And lo and behold, the both loved it and I lost half of my Reuben, just like that. But that's a small price to pay to have a new generation of Reuben lovers. lol. I love that we can all enjoy them together!

Just this past weekend, we had some friends come and stay with us for the weekend. On the menu for lunch Sunday were Reubens with Progresso soup and boy, were those Reubens a hit!


8 Reuben Sandwiches
by happyvballgirl of My Epicurean Adventures

Ingredients:
16 pieces of Rye bread (pumpernickel rye swirl is my fave because it's so yummy and pretty)
1.5 lbs sliced/shaved corned beef
1/2 lb swiss cheese
sauerkraut
Russian dressing
butter

Directions:
  1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter one side of 8 slices of bread and place the bread butter side down on a cookie sheet.
  3. Divide corned beef slices out evenly among the 8 pieces of bread.
  4. Place 2 slices of swiss cheese on top of corned beef.
  5. Top with generous amount of sauerkraut and Russian dressing.
  6. Place 2nd slice of bread on top and butter the top side.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crispy and toasted.
Enjoy!

I actually prefer to pan fry these babies, just like you would a grilled cheese sandwich, but when you're making 8 at once, ain't nobody got time for that! Baking them worked out just fine and way quicker.



Nothing like a good ol' Reuben with a bowl of Progresso's chicken noodle soup I had just loaded up on using my coupons from Publix!


Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Here are some items used in this post. To see a full list of my favorite bento gear and such, just visit my "Products I Love" page! :) Any purchases made through these links earns me a little extra cash to support my bento habit, which my hubby would really appreciate. haha! So thank you!!! if you choose to use any of 'em! :)

       

This post has been shared at:
Homemade Mondays
Tuesday's Table
Anyonita Nibbles' - Tasty Tuesdays
What Kids Eat Wednesday
The Party Bunch

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Girls' Bathroom Organizing

Whow... I just happen to be putting this post together during a Target sale! How convenient!
My "Easier-to-clean" Girls' Bathroom Makeover. Not that earth-shattering but it's making me less grumpy to have to clean their bathroom. lol.

Let it be known that I hate house cleaning and my least favorite chore is cleaning the girls' bathroom. I don't mind our master bath nor the 1/2 bath as much, probably because we don't get toothpaste all over the place like one particular child seems to do! Plus, all the crap I have to pick up off the counters to clean just drives me crazy... which is why I decided the girls' bathroom needed a little makeover. Not one for beautification, but for ease-of-cleaning. It got an "Easier-to-clean" makeover. haha.


With this suction caddy I bought from Target, the majority of their "stuffs" now hover over the counter space which means there's a LOT LESS STUFF to have to mess with to get the counters clean. I did go out on a limb and got this little rotating caddy to hold some essentials like reusable bathroom cups (see: my reduce/reuse/recycle post), q-tips and hair thingies to place on the counter, though. I don't mind having to move a FEW things. I'm not THAT lazy. :)

This particular caddy seems to only be available in store, but here's a similar one, from the same manufacturer using the same awesome PowerLock suction cups:

 
And a VERY similar one from Amazon. If you follow this link, it leads you to a bunch of other really cool suction cup caddies:



We also have a lot of family and friends that come for visits throughout the year and I thought it was time to make our bathroom a little more visitor-friendly, as well. We've had as many as 7 or 8 family/friends come to stay with us at a single time. Of course it's more fun if we all stay together, but that means the girls' bathroom gets extra busy! We typically have the girls use our bathroom during that time and offer it up to others as well, but we've found that most people seem prefer using this one, except for my bro who doesn't seem to mind at all, lol. So, I've done a few things to make those visits go a little easier, like extra towel hooks similar to this over-the-door one as well as this more sturdy one that's screwed in and can be offset from the other one to hang our new Nate Berkus™ Bath Towels in colors that coordinate with the rest of the decor! :)


  

I don't know about yours, but our house came with the most useless 2nd full bathroom shower "shelving" ever. They are more like little ledges and are all too narrow and ever-so-slightly sloped so that nothing ever stays on them for long. Soap bars and shampoo bottles are always slipping off. In addition, my husband installed a really nice removable shower head which also means don't bother hanging any kind of useful shower caddy off of it because it won't work.

So up until now, the girls either stored their shampoos and such on the floor of the tub or in the shelf next to the tub which was starting to rust with all the water drippings. I finally decided it was high time to do something about this, too. I went to Target and loaded up on 2 awesome shower caddies by InterDesign that hang by suction. I was wary of things hung up by suction cups, though, because what would be worse than hearing all of their shower accessories come crashing to the floor in the middle of the night? Rest assured, the suction cups on these babies are super duper strong and even have a giant screw to make them extra suctiony. They're called PowerLock Suctions. I LOVE PowerLock suctions! They don't budge when I yank on them. Not one bit. But I am still sure to check on them every now and then to make sure they haven't loosened, and tighten them if they have. So far so good after a few weeks of using them!

And if you are lucky enough to have a shower head that you can actually hang stuff off of, check this one out by the same company: InterDesign Brushed Stainless Steel Shower Caddy


Amazon has some caddies very similar to the ones I got from Target, with the PowerLock suctions and all!

 

The beautification makeover itself was done almost 10 years ago, before Little Sis was even born. I painted it yellow and found the cutest cats and dogs shower curtain and matching accessories from JC Penney and hand painted pictures to match. See? Hee hee.


Here's that shelf that's starting to rust. Nothing a "hospitality basket" and some washcloths can't hide! :)


And a final look at it all. We had our first house guests since I put this stuff up just a few days ago and my makeover was actually noticed AND mentioned! It a got a thumbs up! Woo hoo! Thanks so much for noticing and the nice words about it, Carlene! You made my day! ;)


I just went to clean the bathroom and was actually excited about doing it! It wasn't nearly as painful and almost enjoyable because it was so easy. Well, I'd say that was a huge success! :)

Be sure to take advantage of Target's Bath Sale while you're shopping!

Bath Sale: Spend $100, save $25; spend $50, save $10 with promo code REFRESH plus, save up to 15%. Valid 1/17-1/23

Target Clickable Links:


     
    

 

Here's a similar Cats and Dogs shower curtain, but it's not the same. It's cute, though!

 

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Here are some affiliate links to the products I love and use on a daily basis. Well, I don't use ALL of them everyday but I do use at least 3 every day... you know what I mean! :) Feel free to ask me about any of 'em! Any purchases made through these links earns me a little extra cash to support my bento habit, which my hubby would really appreciate. haha! So thank you!!! if you choose to use any of 'em! :)


This post has been shared at:
Homemade Mondays


Disclosure: Affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Taquitos!


With the start of the new year, I've decided to push the limits and try new things. Getting weary of always making the same ol' stuff, it was time to start changing things up a bit. One of the first new dishes I tried was Taquitos!

Found Le Creme de la Crumb's Slow Cooker Jalapeno Popper Chicken Taquitos recipe on Pinterest and pinned it to my Yummy Stuff - Crock Pot Recipes board. Threw all the ingredients into the crock pot in the morning and come afternoon, my filling was ready. The only changes to the recipe I made were to reduce the amount of garlic powder to 3/4 tsp and cumin to 1/2 tsp. If ever there's a sure-fire way to ruin a recipe in my book, it's to put in too much cumin. Oh I also reduced the jalapeno to 2 Tbsp since I wanted to ensure the girls would be able to eat it.

Assembling the taquitos was easy. I used large flour tortillas and cut them in half because I didn't want my taquitos to be too "bready". Cutting them in half gave them the perfect amount of tortilla crunch.


I baked them according to the recipe and out popped the most delicious crunchy "finger foods" ever.

Big Sis came home from school first and ate these for her "early bird special" while I went to go get Little Sis from school. On my way home, I totally pumped these babies up. "Guess what we're having for dinner?" "What?" "TAQUITOS!" And I repeated it over and over as crazy as I could scream and yell them out. (it was really fun). Little Sis couldn't stop laughing and laughing and yelling them with me, until she settled down and asked more seriously: "No, really, what are they?" I told her they were little rolled up baby burrito/tacos and then she looked at me and said, "Really? That's it? All that build up for little burritos?!??!" LOL!!

Well, when she got home, she said they lived up to the build up and proceeded to annoy her Big Sis by TAQUITOing all over the place. :)

In the end, both girls enjoyed them, eating 'em like pretzel sticks and occasionally dipping them into stuff. But you know who seemed to love them the most? My hubby. Every time he had them for a meal, he couldn't help but say, "Man, these things are SOOOO GOOOOOOOD!"

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Here are some items used in this post. To see a full list of my favorite bento gear and such, just visit my "Products I Love" page! :) Any purchases made through these links earns me a little extra cash to support my bento habit, which my hubby would really appreciate. haha! So thank you!!! if you choose to use any of 'em! :)

       

This post has been shared at:
Homemade Mondays
Tuesday's Table
Anyonita Nibbles' - Tasty Tuesdays
What Kids Eat Wednesday
The Party Bunch

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Progress with Progresso Soups $15 PayPal Giveaway


Well this campaign couldn't come at a better time!

With the holiday fun all nicely packed away for another year, I find myself a little bit poorer (aren't we all!?!?) and 6 lbs heavier. Doh! Well, then, it's the perfect time to get motivated to eat smarter and exercise more!

Exercise is usually my first step to dropping those pounds but guess what? I slipped down some stairs last week and bruised my tailbone which means I need to temporarily hang up my running and volleyball shoes until it heals. That means healthier eating is a must.

And guess who's home sick today? Big Sis. But luckily, she just seems to have a standard cold that *hopefully* won't last that long. (fingers crossed!)

Thankfully, last week, I had made a trip to my new local Publix that opened up little over a year ago. You can bet my Florida friends were ecstatic and jumping for joy when they heard about the news they were coming here! Isn't it pretty? :)


Armed with their exclusive money-saving coupons, I loaded up on a variety of Progresso's Light Soups. Whoa, they have a really large selection... over 10 Light soups, all 100 calories or less per serving!


When you're feeling sick, there's nothing more soothing than good ol' fashioned chicken soup. Here's Big Sis digging into hers. After a couple sips, she looked up at me and said, "Mmmm, Mommy. This is really good." ♥


Who wouldn't love a bowl of this?


With her taken care if, it was my turn to start my campaign for a happier, healthier and smaller me. haha. Here are some delicious options for lighter yet filling lunches made pretty darn easy.

Soup and Salad:


Soup and crackers with some veggies on the side:


Soup and a ham and cheese sandwich made with lower-calorie flat sandwich rounds: 


Now it's time for round two of soups for Big Sis.


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With that, it's GIVEAWAY time! Enter to win $15 via PayPal!!

NOTE: You must be 18 years or older to enter. Winner will be chosen via random.org and will be contacted via email upon giveaway completion so be sure to leave your email addresses! :) Giveaway ends January 25, 2016.

Here are 3 ways to enter:

1. Pretty please with sugar on top :) click on this link: Progresso Light Soups and then leave me a blog post comment telling me which soup you'd like to try!

2. For a second entry, leave me another blog post comment telling me what your New Year's Resolutions are and how Progresso Light Soups can help you!

3. For a third entry, share this on Social Media any way you'd like (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) and leave me a link to where you shared it in the comment section!

And be sure to check out these exclusive COUPONS from Publix Grocery Stores.

GOOD LUCK and Happy New Year!


True Random Number Generator 14 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Congrats to Ash, the winner of my giveaway! Thanks for playing, everyone!

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Disclosure: The information, products and the $15 via PayPal were provided by General Mills through Linqia.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread

SO easy and SOOO gooooooood. Chocolate Dipped Shortbread. They may great gifts, too!

This year I pared down my holiday baking by making just these, sugar cookies and dipped pretzels. It made my life a whole lot simpler during an already busy time. I made about 3-4 batches and shared them with teachers and family.

This Chocolate Dipped Shortbread recipe from Epicurious.com was super easy to make and tasted delicious. Plus they were fun to dip and sprinkle. They were loved plain, just dipped in chocolate and with sprinkles on top!





Short and sweet. Just like this post. lol.

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Here are some items used in this post. To see a full list of my favorite bento gear and such, just visit my "Products I Love" page! :) Any purchases made through these links earns me a little extra cash to support my bento habit, which my hubby would really appreciate. haha! So thank you!!! if you choose to use any of 'em! :)

   

This post has been shared at:
Homemade Mondays
Tuesday's Table
Anyonita Nibbles' - Tasty Tuesdays
What Kids Eat Wednesday
The Party Bunch

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used on this blog. :)