Creative Kitchen: Jambalaya

I originally found my jambalaya recipe here:

This recipe makes a large amount, but we like leftovers! Here's how I modify it:

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped (I use 2 peppers)

  • 4 stalks celery, chopped (sometimes I skip the celery and buy Hunts canned tomatoes that has celery in it)

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

  • 3 bay leaves (I leave this out)

  • 3 tablespoons Cajun Seasoning

  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes

  • 7 cups chicken stock (you will only need about 4 cups if you cook on the stove)

  • 3 cups chopped cooked ham (I skip this)

  • 3 cups cooked andouille sausage, sliced

  • 3 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces (I skip this)

  • 3 cups frozen cooked shrimp (defrost in a strainer first)

  • 4 cups uncooked long-grain white rice (use Minute rice)

  • The recipe says to cook it in the oven, I tried that twice and my rice wasn't getting cooked all the way so I cook it on the stove now.

    1. Cook the Minute rice in a large pot (follow the directions on the box)
    2. In a large bowl combine the other ingredients except for the chicken stock or broth

    3. Add ingredients into the pot with rice in it and add chicken stock to the consistency you want it (more it you want it soupy or less if you want it more of a rice dish). Note: I split it into two large pots.
    4. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sausage and shrimp are warm and the bell peppers are soft (about 15-20 min)
    5. Stir in chili powder if you like
    6. I store the leftovers in mason jars

    Halo Pets: $5 Coupon

    There is a $5 coupon code redeemable at www.halopets.com 
    Go to http://www.halopets.com/shop  -- Shop, add your items to your cart, and go to check out
    Just AFTER entering payment information, there will be an opportunity to enter the Coupon Code: FebFor5 for the $5 discount (on the same screen that you will then click "submit order")
    Shop now -- coupon expires February 28, 2010!

    Rite Aid Deals 1/31 - 2/6

    There are a few freebies at Rite Aid this week, visit Money Saving Mom for the list and to see the deal scenarios others have linked up.


    Kroger: FREE mirra beauty products!

    Kroger has a brand of beauty products called mirra and this week they are on sale! Yesterday I spotted some makeup brushes as low as $2.24 so use the $5/2 mirra coupon is still available HERE and you can get 2 FREE! I ended up getting 2 packs of makeup removing face wipes at $2.99 each, so $.98 for 2 after the coupon. If you can't make it to Kroger before the sale ends tomorrow, you should still print the coupon and save it because it doesn't expire until 9/1/2010!

    FREE PediaSmart Sample

    Request a FREE sample of PediaSmart:
    Call (614) 898-9758 and select option #2 for your free baby formula sample of #3 for free PediaSmart, then follow the automated attendant prompts to request your sample.

     Thanks Baby GoodBuys!


    FREE Pampers Sample!

    Visit Pampers.com tomorrow (1/29) to to get a free sample of their new diapers Pampers Dry Max. The sample includes three newly redesigned Pampers Cruisers. There’s also a surprise attached! If the sample sent includes a diaper stamped Team USA (randomly inserted in select sample packs), you will win a year’s supply of Pampers diapers! The sample will be available in the morning but I don’t know the exact time.

    Thanks Common Sense with Money!

    Weleda PDF Coupons (Target and MFC's)!

    Here are two sets of PDF Weleda coupons. One is Target only store coupons and the other set is manufacturer. That means you'll be able to stack these at Target! You'll end up getting $4 off Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash and $6 off Weleda Skin Food Body cream.

    Thanks The Budget Mommy!

    Swagbucks: Just hit my $50 mark!

    Woohoo! I just earned swagbuck number 45 to cashout for another $5 at Amazon! This puts my total at $50 earned!!

    I joined Swagbucks back in August 2009, and since then I've earned $50 in Amazon gift cards! That's mainly been from searching, or watching for codes in their toolbar, swidget, or blog. A few of my friends and readers have signed up from my links (THANKS!) which helps because for every swagbuck you earn, I earn one up to 100!

    So I think you should join and tell your friends too! It's so easy to earn swagbucks, I get on average 3-5 per day, and when I hit 45, I request a gift card. It's so simple, I can't think of a good reason not to use Swagbucks.

    Search & Win


    Old Navy: 30% off your entire purchase Friday and Saturday!

    Get 30% off our entire purchase this Friday & Saturday at Old Navy! Go HERE for details.

    Thanks Moms By Heart

    My Target trip 1/27

     I got some good deals on this target trip!

    6 Post-it page markers $1.05 each
    - 6 $1.00/1 from SS 1/10
    = $.30 for 6!

    2 Johnson's Buddies soaps $.99 each
    - 2 $1/1 from 1/3 RP
    = 2 FREE

    Lean Cuisine $1.98
    - $1 Target Coupon
    = $.98

    2 Cascadian Farms cereals $3.19
    - 2 $1/1 from HERE
    - $1/2 Target Coupon
    = 2 for $3.38

    Seventh Generation Dish soap $2.49
    - $2/2 from HERE
    = $1.49 each

    Johnsons soft lotion $.99
    - $1/1 from 1/3 RP
    = FREE

    Johnson's first aid kit $.97
    - $1/1 from 1/3 RP
    = FREE

    Cottonelle $7.69
    - $1/1 from USA weekend 1/24 or February All You magazine
    - $1 Target PDF coupon
    = $5.69

    Candle $1.24 (clearance)

    Earth's Best baby wash $4.22 (clearance)

    King size comforter $7.48 (clearance)

    Target: Clearance on Bedding and Linens up to 75% off!

    I just got home from Target and wanted to spread the word that there is a huge clearance going on for bedding, towels, rugs, table linens, curtains, etc. My store had about 1/3 of the department on clearance for up to 75% off! I saw some complete bed sets for as low as $11 and sheet sets for $7. I was able to get a king size comforter for $7.48 down from $29.99!


    Creative Project: Dead Owl Felt Toy

    One of my side projects that I haven't been dedicating much time to lately is "baby by Michelle Elise." I mostly crochet baby blankets, sew burp cloths, or make felt creatures.

    I was messing around tonight with my new sewing machine and decided to make a felt toy for my baby. It was not originally going to be a dead owl, but when I got to the pupils I sewed X's because I didn't want to put a button on (small parts = bad), but I think it's kinda cute :)

    Here's the pattern:

    You need a few colors of felt - I used White, dark brown, medium brown, gray, and burgundy
    black thread (or whatever color you like)
    polyfil stuffing

    1. Cut out the pieces from the felt. The body requires a front and back piece (that part is stuffed).
    2. Sew the belly, beak, and eyes to the top piece of the body.
    3. Sandwich a little stuffing between the top and bottom body pieces. Pin the two feet in place between the two body pieces.
    4. Sew around the edge of the body pieces, catching the feet with the stitch.
    5. If you want, sew a criss-cross pattern across the belly. I chose to sew it last so that it went through both body layers because it makes a flat area with some texture, and then the stuffing in the top part of the body is squishy. I thought the varied textures might be more interesting for a baby.

    After finishing, I got another idea... what about 3 or 4 of these for a mobile? Hmmm, maybe tomorrow night!

    If you want I can email the full size pattern, it's a PDF file. Just leave a comment below or email me at cheapandcreative@gmail.com
    Please only use this pattern for personal use. Thanks!

    New page added - Earn Extra Cash

    I added a new page just under the Cheap and Creative logo at the top of the page called "Earn Extra Cash." This page has info and links for companies I use to earn money online. I suggest you take a look and if you are interested, sign up for Pinecone Research ASAP because they may close the recruitment any day now.

    Creative Kitchen: Chunky Cinnamon Applesauce

    What you need:
    3 lbs of apples (6-8 apples)
    1 1/2 cups of water
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    1/3 cup sugar (I used raw cane sugar)
    large mason jar

    1. Peel the apples. I leave a little peel on here and there because I like the texture it gives the applesauce.

    2. Cube the apples into small pieces.
    3. Place the apples in large pot and add water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let them simmer, covered for 20-25 minutes.

    4. After simmering, the apple chunks should mash easily.
    5. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. Stir and let cool.

    6. Once cooled, store the applesauce in a mason jar and refrigerate.


    FREE SAMPLE: Kashi

    Choose from one of 3 Kashi products to sample HERE!

    Winner of the Trend Lab Burp Cloths

    Congrats to Kerrie who won the set of burp cloths! Thank you to everyone who entered :)

    Subway: Buy One Get One Free Coupon!

    Create a sandwich at Subway’s website here and you’ll then be able to print a coupon for a free 6-inch sub when you purchase another sub.

    Thanks Money Saving Mom!

    UPDATE: Earth's Best Diaper Sample

    Update: Today I received an Earth's Best diaper sample and LOTS of coupons by requesting it on their website (see below)

    I posted this on 1/9/10:

    The Earth's Best baby food I ordered from Amazon last week had a promo card in the package that said you can email Earth's Best to receive a FREE Diaper Sample. I'm going to try it out, here's the EMAIL FORM if you would like to try it too. In the box that says "messages" you may want to say something like "I'm requesting the free diaper sample, as mentioned on the card in the 12-pack box of starter baby foods."

    Creative Kitchen: Homemade Granola

    My sister put this recipe together for me to share, thanks Kat!

    Homemade Granola
    Granola is a great to mix in yogurt or just snack on.  This homemade recipe is good for you and much more yummy than store-bought granola!

    You need: 
    • 3 cups rolled oats*      
    • 1 cup sliced almonds* 
    • 1 cup chopped pecans* 
    • 1 cup dried fruit (I use cranberries, but you could use raisins, blueberries, etc.)*
    • 1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds*
    • 1/3 cup canola oil      
    •  1/2 cup honey  
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
    • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
      *Note: If you go to a store that sells nuts, oats, and dried fruit from dispensers (e.g. Whole Foods), then you won’t have to buy more than you need. 

      Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

      Stir together oats, nuts and dried fruit in large bowl.
      Your browser may not support display of this image.

      In a smaller bowl, mix together the honey, oil, vanilla, and cinnamon.

      Your browser may not support display of this image.
      Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and stir until coated.  Spread out the mixture on an un-greased cookie sheet (non-stick kind).

      Your browser may not support display of this image.Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes, stir and cook for another 10 minutes.
      Cool completely.  Use a spatula to remove granola and store in re-sealable container or bag.


    $15 FREE credit at Better Baby Bums until Monday!

    BetterBabyBums.com is offering a FREE $15 credit valid until Monday 1/25! All you have to do is enter "tweet15" in the coupon code box.

    I just ordered 2 Baby Cubes Freeze Your Own Purees trays at $7.99 each for $.98 (after coupon) + $5.35 shipping = $6.33!

    $2/2 Seventh Generation Products

    Go HERE to sign up and print a $2 off coupon for any 2 Seventh Generation products.


    Driscoll's Berries Coupon!

    $1 Driscoll's Berries Coupon available HERE!

    Kiss My Face Coupons!

    Click HERE to get printable coupons for Kiss My Face products, including:

    -$1.00 off any Full Size Product
    -$2.00 off any Kids Product
    -$2.00 off any Classic Moisturizer
    -$1.50 off any Toothpaste or Mouth Rinse

    Thanks Moms By Heart

    I try my best not to complain...

    I don't like to complain, but I also believe that companies should make good on offers and provide excellent customer service! Back in November, there was a deal with 1-800-Flowers where if you signed up for the Fresh Rewards program and entered 10 dates (birthdays, anniversaries, etc) in the calendar they would give you a $40 credit! I jumped on this offer because that's an incredible deal. So December rolls around and other people are posting on their blogs about receiving their credits and all of the wonderful flowers and gifts they've subsequently been able to get for free...and I'm still without credit. I decide to send an email to 1-800-Flowers and they tell me to wait until after the beginning of the year because of all of the credits they need to issue. I wait... still nothing, so I email again. This time my email bounced around to three different people and the final answer I was given is that I had to enter 20 dates and I would receive a coupon for my next order. Hmmm... Well, after hearing this I decided to call them out on not coming through on an offer they promoted and for giving me the run around. I was polite, but I made it clear how disappointed I was! Then the next day I get a $40 gift certificate code in my email!

    Lesson learned for me: don't be afraid to speak up! Companies offer promotions to gain new customers and retain existing ones. If they are going to be effective in gaining or keeping me as a customer, I'd like them to offer good customer service, and to fix something that isn't right. I'm very happy in this situation 1-800-Flowers finally did just that :)

    So here's what I got:

    Rose plant $34.99 + $12.99 Shipping
    = $47.98
    - $40 credit (plus I went through Shop at Home to get a 10% rebate)
    = $4.49 Total cost after rebate!

    Creative Kitchen: Calzones

    What you need:
    1 packet of yeast
    1 cup of warm water
    1 tsp of sugar
    3 cups of flour
    1 jar of pizza sauce or pasta sauce (I like using the pasta sauce that has small chunks of Italian sausage)
    Cheese (whatever you like... I use a shredded Italian or Pizza cheese mix)
    Pepperoni (or ham or veggies!)
    Olive oil

    1. Add packet of yeast to 1 cup of warm water. It needs to be warm enough for the yeast to dissolve, so more on the Hot side of "warm"

    2. Let the yeast dissolve for about 10 minutes, it will look creamy. Then add the sugar and stir. If the steps were done properly then the mixture will bubble after another 10 minutes.
    3. Pour into a mixing bowl and add flour a little a time, stir until it is well mixed and you can knead it. If you like you can add Italian seasoning as you stir in the flour.

    4. Knead the dough until it is no longer lumpy, then add about a table spoon of oil (I use olive oil) to the bottom of the bowl and roll the ball of dough in it until the entire ball is covered evenly. Now cover the bowl with a towel that has been dampened in warm water. Let it rise for 45 minutes.

    5. After 45 minutes, punch down the dough and let it rise another 45 minutes. (I've skipped the 2nd rise before and it's turned out fine)

    6. Divide the dough into 6 portions and roll out flat into an oval shape. put spoonfuls of sauce, cheese, and pepperoni in the center, leave enough room on the edges to fold it in half and pinch edges over to seal the pocket. You can brush a mixture of water and beaten egg on the eggs to help it stick together.

    7. Lay on a greased cookie sheet and poke some holes on the top of the calzones with a fork or toothpick so it can vent.

    8. Bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees

    FREE Sephora Birthday Gift!

    This year's FREE Birthday gift, is a Sephora Collection Beautiful Eyes Kit. It's available in store after January 28, 2010. Just visit Sephora two weeks before or after your birthday, and show your beauty insider card (also free, just sign up here). This gift is 100% free ONLY if you get it in stores.
    Thanks My Memphis Mommy!

    *I took advantage of this last birthday and got a free lip gloss set!!!


    Potential Tide Product Testing Opportunity!

    Complete this survey to be considered for the Tide Development Team. If you are chosen, your input will go into future Tide products (possibly including product reviews and research projects as well)!

    Thanks Mama Cheaps!

    FREE Baby Einstein Song Download

    baby einstein mozart free music
    Baby Einstein is offering a FREE music download for their Baby Mozart music! Just go to BabyEinstein.com to start your download! This expires next Wednesday the 27th! So get your FREE download now!

    Thanks The Thrifty Couple

    Target: $5.50 off Huggies Pure & Natural Diapers

    There’s a new Target store printable coupon available on their website:  Save $3 off one 40ct or larger Huggies Pure & Natural diapers.  Look under Baby to locate this coupon faster.  Combine this Target store coupon with the printable coupon currently available on Coupons.com: Save $2.50 off one pack Huggies Pure & Natural to get $5.50 total per pack!


    $2 off 8th Continent Soy Milk!

    8th continent soymilk coupon $2/1 8th Continent Soy Milk Coupon
    Go HERE to print a $2/1 coupon for 8th Continent Soy Milk. I'm hearing that half gallons are often around $2.50, so this makes for some cheap soy milk!

    Thanks The Thrifty Mama

    $1 Cascadian Farms Coupon

    Save $1 off a Cascadian Farms Organic Product, print your coupon HERE

    Free 8x10 Canvas Print!

    I took advantage of this before Christmas and it looks like the deal is still available! You do have to pay for shipping and handling which is $14.95. But if you go through Shop at Home you will get $5 just for signing up, plus an extra $5 rebate from Canvas People!

    Click HERE for your Free 8×10 Canvas Print!