Healthy Broccoli Salad

saladprepfinal

Why You Love This Recipe


 

  • IT IS SO EASY
  • (Almost) All the ingredients cheap and can be bought fresh
  • It’s great as a side dish for lunch or dinner. I personally like bringing it with one other snack at lunchtime. It’s super filing.
  • If you really like meat, you can add some pepperoni

Broccoli

 

Ingredients


 

  • 2 heads fresh broccoli, chopped
  • 1 head fresh cauliflower, chopped
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup celery, chopped (to preference)
  • ½ cup green olives
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Ranch dressing
  • Pepperoni (optional)

Instructions


 

  1. Chop up broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, onion, tomatoes
  2. Mix everything besides Ranch Dressing in a large bowl
  3. Once mixed, add ranch dressing
  4. Refridgerate
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It just looks, smells, & tastes like the Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

Pin this Recipe!

Before I had an actual kitchen when I moved here, my boyfriend and I did end up eating out quite a bit. I quickly learned the Zuppa Toscana Soup at Olive Garden was one of his favorite recipes. After an evening there (and over $40 spent on a single meal), I began looking into other options for this recipe. I found a few copycats and began to experiment. I have made this recipe 4 times now and this is what I’ve come up with.

 

What You Need

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb Italian Sausage
    • I liked having some extra spice
  • 4 oz bacon (about 5 slices), diced into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1 small onion)
  • 3 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Cups water
  • 1 1/2 lbs Russet potatoes, scrubbed & rinsed, then diced into 1/8 inches
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt, then to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup lightly packed kale, chopped into bite size pieces
  • finely shredded Romano cheese for serving, optional

How It Happensprepfinal

  • Heat skillet to medium heat
    • In 1-inch piece, ass sausage
    • Cook, stirring occasionally until mostly cooked
  • Begin cooking bacon
    • Once mostly cooked, 
    • Add onion
    • Cook, until mostly browned  about 5 minutes
  • In larger dish
    • Add chicken broth, water, sliced potatoes, fennel seeds, salt and pepper
    • Add bacon & onion
    • Bring just to boil
  • Reduce heat to medium low
    • Stir in half and half, kale, sausage
  • Cover saucepan and simmer 25 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are very tender
    • Use a spoon or ladle to remove excess fat from top of soup if desired. Serve warm topped with Romano cheese.

 

Recipe inspired by Cooking Classy.

How To Be an Interior Designer on a Budget

couch copy

 

I’ll admit, I’m some what of a shopaholic, but when it comes to moving, you have to learn frugality. Just because you’re on a budget, though, does not mean you need to skimp on the dazzle. My entire apartment cost less that $1,000. That is everything from my couches, television, plates, mattress, and tables all the way down to my kitchen utensils and Rolex clock on my fireplace.

 

Rule 1: Become a Deal Seeker

If it is full price, you’re not buying it (Exception: You found a sick coupon off their website, because you’re actually prepared). I got my $2,500 living room set from a girl off Craigslist. I had been sharking the furniture section for days. Was it worth it? Absolutely. She even threw in her designer pillows and wooden entertainment system too for the same price, which did I mention was $150? Don’t be afraid to barter!

**I found most of my stuff off Craigslist (People post immediately and about everything from moves to garage sales) & Thrift Stores (Restores, Goodwill, Consignments, etc.)- It may require a bit of a hunt, but you’ll find a diamond here and there.

 

Rule 2: Get Crafty

flowerUp-cycling used products and creating your own works will help you save so much money. Instead of spending $30-100 on a framed piece of art, get creative. Go to a thrift store and find an old frame you like. Measure it, and find a photo you like that you’ve previously taken. I took a photo I took from the Botanical Gardens in Washington D.C. Send it over the the pharmacy to fit the frame. Save yourself a good amount and make your home feel a bit more of your own.

This article I found off Harper’s Bazaar online gives a bunch of great ideas. I know I’m currently trying to find a fun crafty version for a bookshelf!

Here are some great craft ideas for your home.

 

 

Rule 3: Garage Sales ROCKfinalgarage

If you can find a nice home’s garage sale, you just hit the jackpot. I found most of the garage sales in the local paper, but especially off Craigslist. During the fall, many neighbors will even post specific items so you know if that should be a place to go. I got my entire kitchen plating, matching mats, and more for under $30 from a nice girl on the south side of Denver. Not only can you bargain with these people, but if you’re new to the area, it gives you a chance to spend a weekend exploring the neighborhoods around you and getting to know the area. You can plan your entire day off Google Maps, but picking out the houses with garage sales, thrift stores on the way, and maybe even a lunch spot for break time.

 

Signpost: Marketing for Small Business

pingpongJust a Quick lil’ personal post over here… I’ve been with Signpost in Denver now for about 2 months. It is exhilarating to be back in a high pressure work environment. And don’t get me wrong, my day includes plenty of relaxation, from the pool table and ping-pong upstairs, to the daily, weekly, and monthly competitions across the office and company wide. Not to mention the minute to win it challenges or Chili Cookoff, and if that isn’t good enough, the people around you will make everything great.

 

Now don’t mistake, doing sales over the phone is a completely different ball game from what I had previously done. Knowing this, I have deemed it one of the most rewarding. I spend my day talking to small business owners, the people who I hold to the up most respect to. I learn about their wins and their challenges. Now let me just take a moment to explain why this is so important to me.singpost My father is a small business owner. I grew up in a small town filled with local stores. Most of the owners were my friends parents. I then started working for a well-known small business in Cleveland, where I spent 3 years learning and growing in the event production industry. I ended up leaving to seek more vertical advancement with a new company and began exploring. I began looking into outside states when my options were slim, and I stumbled across Signpost. They help automate marketing for small businesses. I was immediately intrigued an opportunity. They had a straight forward promotional path, fair amount of perks, and most importantly, a great product to sell.

 

Spending my time at Signpost, I’ve learned patience in a workplace, accepting rejection, and how infectious positivity can be in an office. I come into the office every morning ready to work and succeed and when I look around, I’m not the only one like that. We are all here for a purpose. We all have goals, and most importantly- we all encourage each other to be our best.

 

KyraWilner

Check out more about Signpost and how we can help your small business:

 

Screen_shot_2013-03-07_at_3.44.30_pm

This Startup Thinks It’s Found A Better Way For Businesses To Keep Their Customers

Bizjournals

Signpost launches automated repeat-customer marketing for the little guys

Streetfight

Signpost Adds Payment Integration as Small Business CRM Market Grows

Bia

Local Media Watch: The New Signpost

Local_onliner

Signpost: CRM, Marketing Automation

Yahoonews

Signpost Jumpstarts New Era of Automation for Local Business Marketing

 

 

If you’re interested in joining the Signpost Team as a merchant or employee, email me at cmoscarillo@signpost.com

 

Crock Pot Spicy Taco Stew

tacostew

Enjoy the weekend by NOT having to spend the entire time over the stove. This slow cooker recipe is perfect for a day around the TV watching football and enjoying a drink with friends.  I’ve also had it cook all day at the office, and I came home to the tangy aroma of the beef stewing about my apartment.

Pin this Recipe

What You Need:

  • Canned Goods
    • 14.5 oz Pinto Beans, drained & rinsed
    • 14.5  oz Black Beans, drained & rinsed
    • 15 oz Whole Kernel Golden Sweet Corn
    • 14 oz Low-Sodium Beef Broth
    • 8 oz Tomato Sauce
    • (2) 14.5 oz Diced Tomatoes with Green chiles
  • Seasonings
    • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
    • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
    • 3/4 tsp Paprika
    • 1/4 tsp Oregano
    • Salt & Pepper to Taste
    • Ranch Dressing Mix
    • Cholula (optional)
  • Dairy
    • Sour Cream
    • Shredded Cheese
  • Meat & Produce
    • 1  1/4 lbs Ground Beef
    • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
    • 1 Jalapeno, seeded & finely chopped
    • 2 Garlic Cloves Minced
    • Green Onions, chopped

How You Make It

  1. Heat Skillet up to medium heat
    1. Throw on Ground Beef & Chopped Onion
    2. Top with paprika & lightly splatter Cholula
    3. Cook under browned
    4. Take off heat & drain excess fat
    5. Transfer to Crock Pot
  2. Combine Other  Ingredients to Pot:
    1. Beans, Jalapenos, Corn
    2. Beef Broth, Tomato Sauce
    3. Tomatoes with Green Chiles
    4. Ranch Dressing Mix
    5. Oregano, Chili Powder
  3. Combine all into Crock Pot
    1. Cook on low for 6-8 hours
  4. Top with Shredded Cheese, Sour Cream, and Scallions
    1. Serve with Tortilla Chips (optional- but definitely my preference)

Managing the Grocery Store

groceries

Here are a few tips I’ve figured out.

Plan out Recipes ahead of time

Ladies, this is the time to hop onto Pinterest, and search it up. Find a bunch you like, and save them to a board. Then, go back and decide which are best with your specials in the area. This weeks list for me is as follows. I always like to get some recipes and look at how I can maybe change it up as I go.

Recipes
Name Original Link
Zuppa Toscana Soup http://www.cookingclassy.com/2012/12/zuppa-toscana-soup-olive-garden-copycat-recipe/
Slow Cooker Clam Chowder http://thesuburbansoapbox.com/2014/02/21/lighter-new-england-clam-chowder/
Slow Cooker Pork Tacos http://www.keepingyourcents.com/good-eatin-recipe-hop/
Slow Cooker Cheeseburger Casserole http://www.dizzybusyandhungry.com/crockpot-cheeseburger-casserole/
Honey Glazed Baby Carrots http://damndelicious.net/2013/11/25/honey-glazed-baby-carrots/
Brussel Sprouts http://www.keviniscooking.com/roasted-brussels-sprouts-balsamic-vinegar-honey/
Garlic Roasted Potatoes http://damndelicious.net/2014/07/23/garlic-parmesan-roasted-potatoes/
Honey Walnut Shrimp http://damndelicious.net/2013/07/16/honey-walnut-shrimp/#nonCarded=1
Skinny Broccoli Salad http://www.skinnymom.com/2011/11/22/skinny-broccoli-salad/

Organize Your Grocery List

The worst thing that can happen is coming home and realizing you forgot that one key ingredient. A list is a guide to your store time, saving you time and potential grief. This is my weeks groceries (keep in mind, if you’re doing all the recipes I chose above, you may need a few more things. I chose these recipes because I already had certain things- like kale and potatoes)

Groceries
Produce Meat
2 heads fresh broccoli, chopped 4 lb pork shoulder
1 head fresh cauliflower, chopped 1 lb chopped clams
1 Red Bell Pepper 1 50-count bag littleneck clams
1 Green Bell Pepper 1 lb italian sausage
1 Red Onion Bacon
2 Tomatoes 1 lb medium shrimp
Fresh Parsley 1 lb lean ground turkey
2 Anaheim peppers Dairy
Cilantro Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 Large Onion Tricolor Slaw Mix
2 Celery stalks 2 Half & Half
Garlic Cloves Low Fat Milk
Fresh Thyme Shredded Cheddar
Russet or Yellow Potatoes Boxed
1 1/2 lb Brussel Sprouts 12 Corn Tortillas
1 bag baby carrots Cornstarch
Onion 3 (14.5 oz) cans Chicken Broth
1 Medium Tomato Fresh Dill?
Seasonings Consended Milk
Green Olives Mayonnaise
Ranch Dressing Pickles
Salt
Lime Juice

Know the Specials

Sprouts, a great local marketplace around Denver provides a booklet of monthly specials, and another for weekly specials. Take advantage of these! Pick your recipe’s by what’s on sale or in season.

Boxed vs. Fresh

There are times to hit up your local super market and there are items you’re just better off at getting at the Superstore right down the road. I am weary of Walmart produce, but you cant beat most of their canned good or dairy prices. I know, I know, it can sometimes to be a bit of a chore to stop at two store in your grocery shopping, but your wallet will be thanking you.

Walmart:

  • Canned Vegetable, Fruits, Tomatoes
  • Chicken Breasts or Drumsticks (can be down to $1.99/lb)
  • Dressings
  • Dairy Products (Stick Butter, Milk)

Produce Store (I Use Sprouts out here in Denver):

  • Vegetables
  • Onions
  • Meat
  • Fruit
  • Specialty Cheeses

Save Receipts

I just recently began pushing myself to do this, and trust me, it is worth it! First off, you can start budgeting weekly groceries by following your spending behavior. Now if you’re REALLY on top of things, log everything in a spreadsheet. It will allow you to see where you’re spending the most. I also keep receipts so I can remember any good deals from last week.

 

grocery-lists

Kyle’s Favorite Khicken Poppers

ChickenJalapenoPoppersfinal

 

Why You Like This Recipe:

  • You’re man with love you for it
  • It’s extremely filling, so you don’t need lots of sides
  • It doesn’t take long
  • It’s unique. I have always love jalapeno poppers, but I had never thought of this idea!

 

 

What You Need:

  • 8 Chicken breasts
  • 6 oz Shredded Cheddar Jack
  • 3 Jalapeno peppers, diced, remove seeds for milder taste
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp scallions
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • Lime Juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and fresh pepper
  • Olive oil non-stick spray

How It Happens:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Make popper mix
    1. Combine cream cheese, shredded chedder cheese, & jalapenos
    2. Diced Peppers
  3. Wash and Dry Chicken
    1. lay flat on working space
  4. Put stuffing on belly of chicken
    1. Roll loosely & secure with toothpicks
  5. Grab 2 mixing bowls
    1. Bowl 1: Breadcrumbs
    2. Bowl 2: Olive Oil, lime juice, salt & pepper
    3. Make sure pan is spray with oil spray
  6. Dip chicken in lime-oil mixture, then breadcrumbs
    1. Place seam side done on baking dish
    2. Repeat for all chicken
  7. Bake for 25 Minutes.
    1. Top with Scallions

A Walk Down Memory Lane

monkey-breadfinalfinal

Back when I was younger, this was a great recipe to get all my sisters, and I helping out with the meal. It’s a 3 step process, so each daughter was responsible for one part. Of course, the best part is the sweet result of productivity and family bonding. A twist of a cinnamon roll, Monkey break is a delicious treat to have for a fun meal.

 

What You Need:

  • 2 cans of Biscuits
  • 1 1/2 sticks of Butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of Walnuts, chopped
  • Brown Sugarmonkeybreadprep
  • Pure Sugar
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Bundt Pan
  • Pan Spray

How it Happens:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Cut Biscuits into quarters, set in bowl
  3. Melt Butter into bowl
  4. Combine Sugar & 1 cup of Walnuts into bowl
  5. Take biscuits down assembly line
    1. Dip in Butter
    2. Cover with Cinnamon
    3. Set in Bundt Pan
      1. Be sure to fill part in
    4. Cover the top of the pan with remaining Walnuts
  6. Place in oven for 30-40 minutes
  7. Take out, let sit for 3 minutes
  8. Flip onto plate
  9. Serve warm.

Chicken Fajitas Stuffed Bell Peppers

stuffed-peppersfinal

Spice up your weekend with this Mexican-inspired stuffed bell pepper recipe.

Why to like this Recipe: 

  • It’s extremely inexpensive.
  • If you like spice, it has the perfect amount of zest
  • It’s a simpler version of a Mexican Recipe. Being set in the peppers gives a great color, and it is great for serving.

Pin this Recipe.

 

What You Need:

  • 3/4 cup dry brown rice
  • 5 medium red, yellow, orange or green bell peppers
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 1.5-2 chicken breasts diced into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (10 oz) can tomatoes with green chiles
    • If you can snatch up one can of the “Hot!” version of these, it adds a sweet kick!
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2/3 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Cholula or Tobasco (Optional)

peppersuncooked

How It Happens

  1. Follow directions on rice package, at halfway point, begin to preheat oven at 375 degrees
  2. Bring large pot of water to a boil.
    • Cut Peppers lengthwise, seed out peppers
    • Once water is boiling, fully immerse peppers into water for about 5 minutes, until tender
    • Drain water and set peppers aside
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in large deep skillet
    • Bring to medium heat, then add onions
    • Saute until golden
    • Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds
    • Set mixture aside
  4. Pour 1 Tbsp oil on same skilletsalsastuff
    • Add chicken
    • Sprinkle 1.2 tsp chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp cumin
    • 1/4 tsp paprika
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
    • Cook until thoroughly cooked through
    • Reduce heat to medium-low
  5. Once Chicken is cooked, add tomatoes with green chiles
    • Onion Mixture
    • Black Beans
    • Corn
    • Brown Rice
    • Remaining spices: 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, cilantro, lime juice, & pepper
    • Cook until heated throughout
  6. Take mixture and fill each pepper half
  7. Pour water into bottom of baking dish
    • Enough to fill 1/5 inch in height
    • Cover baking dishes with foil
    • Bake 30-35 minutes
      • Until Peppers are soft
  8. Remove from oven
    • Sprinkle tops with cheese
    • Return to oven, 3 minutes
  9. Top with cilantro, sour cream, and hot sauce of choice

Why Every Twenty-Something NEEDS a Slow Cooker

Welcome the the 21st Century where the food will cook themselves. Since my journey to independence began, I’ve traditionally been a stove top cooker. Which, yes, it works. It uses a lot of utensils and pots, and usually requires your complete attention from 45 minutes to 3 hours. This is where the true joy of slow cooker is understood. Spend about 15 minutes prepping, combine in slow cooker, and leave for your day as usual. Now I know that by Wednesday, there is no chance I want to come home and spend 2 hours whipping up a meal. Crock pot meals are easily as tasty and far less work.

Here’s why it’s a worthy investment.

You’re not rich… yet

Eating well and on budget surely has it’s challenges. Fortunately there are so many affordable meals that last you for days. Crock pots are really great at turning a whole bunch of cheap ingredients into a delicious, full-flavored meal.

Time is work

For those you who haven’t gotten the process of creating slow cooker meals, it’s about a 20 minute process to prepare your dinner. Last week, I woke up 15 minutes early every day, prepared that days meal, through all the ingredients in the crock pot, set it on low, and went to work without a worry. The best part about a long day at work, is walking into your home and smelling a sweet, magnificent meal awaiting to be devoured. (Some of My favorite Slow Cooker Meals here.)

You’re not a master chef

Yes, I have a man that loves me regardless of my meal flops, but let’s be honest- i want that to be minimal

IT IS AS EASY AS PUTTING THAT GREASY ASS PIZZA IN YOUR OVEN 

Spend the extra 10 minutes before you go to the store. Go past the freezer section, grab a few things and build a meal (at the same cost) as that pizza, but with some actual nutritional value.

Football Party Touchdown

Can you say Buffalo Chicken Dip? One of my favorite old standbys, this recipe is a hit for everyone and doesn’t take a lot of work! If spicy isn’t your style, Pulled Pork Sandwiches might be up your alley.

Your coworkers will envy you

Don’t let your lunch be systematic. My first month at my new office, I stuck to your basic sandwiches or chicken on a mixture of greens. Though you can make a pretty mean salad, it does get a bit old. Once you start making slow cooker meals, you’re bound to have lots of delicious left overs for the next few days.