Freebie Tips and Advice

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Did you grow up not eating red meat on Good Friday or if you have decided to have a meat less Good Friday this year,  then here is a no meat dish that would be perfect for Good Friday. Everyone does have a go-to fish recipe, but this year if you would like to try something different, then how about the New England Pasta Bake.

 

NEW ENGLAND PASTA BAKE

NEW ENGLAND PASTA BAKE

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into medium dice
  • 1 rib celery, cut into medium dice
  • 2 carrots, cut into medium dice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into medium dice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (about 6 sprigs), minced or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 3 cans chopped clams and their juice (6.5 ounces each can), divided
  • 1 pound medium shell pasta
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the broiler. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat to boil.
  2. Place a large skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons butter. Add the onion, celery and carrots; season with salt and pepper and cook until tender but not caramelized, 5-6 minutes. Add the potatoes, thyme, juice of the clams and 1/2 cup of water to the skillet and bring the liquids up to a bubble. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 8-10 minutes.
  3. While the veggies are simmering, drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook to al dente, according to the package directions. Just before the pasta is ready, reserve a large mug of the starchy cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan it was cooked in.
  4. While the veggies and pasta are cooking, place a medium size saucepot over medium heat with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and cook for 1 minute. Whisk the milk and 1 cup of starchy cooking water into the roux and bring up to a bubble. Add the clams to the sauce; season with salt and pepper and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute. Reserve warm.
  5. When everything is ready, toss the cooked veggies and prepared sauce with the cooked pasta and transfer to a large casserole dish.
  6. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and grated cheese over the surface of the casserole and brown under the broiler.
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Find this and more recipes at www.rachaelray.com.

For your next taco night instead of the usual ground beef in taco shells, how about a  tender, flaky biscuit wraps around your favorite taco fillings in  an easy, flavor-packed hot sandwich.

 

Easy Taco Melts

Easy Taco Melts

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso® taco seasoning mix
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups Old El Paso® Thick 'n Chunky salsa
  • 1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef, cooked, drained
  • 1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® biscuits
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Mexican cheese blend (4 oz)
  • 1 cup sour cream, if desired

Instructions

  1. 1. In medium saucepan, cook taco seasoning mix, water, 1/2 cup of the salsa and cooked ground beef until thickened.
  2. 2. Press each biscuit into 6-inch round. Spoon 1/3 cup meat mixture and 1 tablespoon cheese onto center of each round. Fold dough in half over filling; press to seal. Place on greased cookie sheet.
  3. 3. Bake at 375°F 9 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with remaining salsa, cheese and sour cream.
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Find this and more recipes at www.pillsbury.com.

Casseroles are just the type of dish you want some days first thing in the morning.  I love recipes that are quick to put together and comforting. This recipe for Chessy Southwest Egg Bake has everything you love about breakfast in one delicious pan. In the oven in 20 minutes!

Here is a your go-to recipe for spur-if the moment brunches.

 

Cheesy Southwest Egg Bake

Cheesy Southwest Egg Bake

Ingredients

  • 1 package (12 oz) bulk chorizo or spicy pork sausage
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped bell pepper (any color)
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 2 cups shredded pepper Jack or Mexican cheese blend (8 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® Flaky Layers refrigerated original biscuits
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. 1. Heat oven to 375°F. In 12-inch ovenproof skillet, cook sausage, onion and bell pepper over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Remove mixture from skillet; set aside.
  2. 2. In large bowl, beat eggs and cream. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese, the pepper flakes and sausage mixture. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Cut each biscuit into 6 pieces.
  3. 3. Spread oil in bottom of skillet. Place biscuits in skillet. Pour sausage mixture over biscuits. Top with remaining 1 cup cheese.
  4. 4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until egg mixture is set and crust is deep golden brown. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

Chorizo, a coarsely ground pork sausage highly seasoned with garlic, chili powder and other spices, is widely used in Mexican and Spanish cooking. Spicy pork sausage can be used in this recipe instead of the chorizo.

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Find this and more recipes at  www.pillsbury.com.

 

Chili Dog Casserole is a fast, simple and fulfilling dish. If you are short on time or would like to make a kid-friendly meal then this recipe is what you would need. This recipe is also a great solution to the I have no idea what to make for dinner dilemma!

Chili Dog Casserole

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Serving Size: 4 servings

Chili Dog Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 can (14 to 15 oz) chili, heated
  • 1 can Pillsbury® refrigerated classic pizza crust
  • 4 Cheddar cheese sticks
  • 4 all-beef hot dogs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  1. 1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 9-inch square or 11x7-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Pour hot chili into dish; spread evenly.
  2. 2. Unroll dough; cut into 4 strips. Cut 1 cheese stick in half lengthwise; place 1 half on each side of 1 hot dog. Wrap pizza dough strip around cheese and hot dog, overlapping slightly in center. Repeat with remaining dough strips, cheese sticks and hot dogs. Place wrapped hot dogs on top of chili.
  3. 3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until dough is light golden brown.
  4. 4. Meanwhile, in small microwavable cup, microwave butter on High until melted. Stir in garlic powder and parsley.
  5. 5. Remove baking dish from oven. Brush on top of each cheese dog with butter mixture. Serve immediately.
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Find these and more recipes at www.pillsbury.com.

Paella is a famous Spanish dish that comes from the name of the pan that it is cooked in.  If you’ve seen paella cooked the traditional way, you may be surprised  to discover how easy it is to get the same dish — smoky sausage and shrimp in an aromatic yellow rice — from your own stove top in under an hour.

 

Easy Paella Recipe

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Easy Paella Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 (12 ounces) chicken sausage, sliced in 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed

Instructions

  1. In a heavy 12-inch saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Cook shrimp until just pink on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes (do not overcook). Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add remaining tablespoon oil and sausage to pan; cook over medium-high heat until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and rice; cook, stirring to coat, until rice is translucent, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in paprika, turmeric, tomatoes, and broth, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover, and cook until rice is tender and has absorbed almost all liquid, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in peas; cook 1 minute. Stir in cooked shrimp; serve immediately.

Notes

You don't need a paella pan to make this meal. Use a wide, shallow saute pan with a lid.

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Find these and more recipe at www.marthastewart.com.

Some of you might be avoiding meat today and some of you may even be fasting, but for those of you looking for light fulfilling Good Friday meal. Here is a  deliciously satisfying and  healthy, quick meal from Rachel Allen’s new series.

Smoked Salmon and Chive Fishcakes

Smoked Salmon and Chive Fishcakes

Ingredients

  • 500 g floury potatoes
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 225 g smoked salmon
  • 3 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 2 tblsp finely chopped chives
  • 1 tblsp capers (drained and chopped)
  • good squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 75 g breadcrumbs
  • 15 g butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7) and grease a small baking tray with olive oil.
  2. Fill a large saucepan with water, then add the potatoes and a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil for 10 minutes, then pour all but about 4cm (1½in) of the water out of the pan and cook the potatoes on a very low heat for another 20–30 minutes until a skewer goes in easily. Peel them while they are still hot and mash immediately, either by hand or using the paddle attachment in an electric food mixer, until they are free of lumps.
  3. Meanwhile, as the potatoes cook, place the smoked salmon on the baking tray. If it is pre-sliced, simply put the slices one on top of the other. Drizzle the salmon with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, then bake in the oven for 6–8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. Put the mashed potato, onion, chives, capers, lemon juice, egg and breadcrumbs into a large mixing bowl. Roughly tear the smoked salmon into smaller pieces and add to the mix. Use a spoon to stir everything together – the salmon will break up further as you mix. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Shape the mixture in to six patties, each about 8cm (3in) wide and 2cm (¾in) thick. The uncooked fish cakes can be prepared up to this point in advance and either frozen or kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
  6. To cook, pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large frying pan on a medium heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted and starts to foam, add the fish cakes and fry for 3–5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy. Serve with a green salad, lemon wedges and a dollop of tartare sauce or mayonnaise.
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Find this and more recipes at www.rte.ie.

Take a break from regular bread with this cornbread. The recipe calls for the corn bread to be baked in the oven in a cast iron skillet.

This cornbread is packed with cheese, onions, and whole corn, and flavored with bacon drippings.

 

Cheesy Skillet Cornbread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Serving Size: Serves 8

Cheesy Skillet Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded medium or sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp bacon drippings (warmed to liquid), plus 1 teaspoon to grease the pan
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup of cooked corn, either fresh, defrosted frozen corn, or drained from a can

Instructions

  1. 1.Place a 9 or 10-inch cast iron pan in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. 2 In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, garlic powder, and salt. Add remaining ingredients, and stir until just combined.
  3. 3 Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven (remember the handle is hot!). Place a teaspoon of bacon fat in the bottom of the hot pan and swirl it around until it is all melted and coating the bottom of the pan. Pour the batter from the mixing bowl into the pan. Remember to put a pot holder over the hot handle of the pan and return it to the oven.
  4. 4 Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let the cornbread cool in the pan
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This classic French bistro sandwich is a great way to use up leftover ham. Gruyère cheese and ham just belong together. The word croque comes from the verb croquer or “to crunch”. So a Croque-Monsieur roughly translates to “Mister Crunchy”.

 

Croque Monsieur Ham and Cheese Sandwich

Yield: Makes 4 sandwiches.

Croque Monsieur Ham and Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • A pinch each of salt, freshly ground pepper, nutmeg, or more to taste
  • 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups grated)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (packed)
  • 8 slices of French or Italian loaf bread
  • 12 ounces ham, sliced
  • Dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. 2 Make the béchamel sauce. Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium/low heat until it just starts to bubble. Add the flour and cook, stirring until smooth, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously, cooking until thick. Remove from heat. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in the Parmesan and 1/4 cup of the grated Gruyère. Set aside.
  3. 3 Lay out the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven, a few minutes each side, until lightly toasted. For extra flavor you can spread some butter on the bread slices before you toast them if you want.
  4. (Alternatively, you can assemble the sandwiches as follows in step four and grill them on a skillet, finishing them in the broiler with the bechamel sauce.)
  5. 4 Lightly brush half of the toasted slices with mustard. Add the ham slices and about 1 cup of the remaining Gruyère cheese. Top with the other toasted bread slices.
  6. 5 Spoon on the béchamel sauce to the tops of the sandwiches. Sprinkle with the remaining Gruyère cheese. Place on a broiling pan. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese topping is bubbly and lightly browned.

Notes

If you top this sandwich with a fried egg it becomes a Croque Madame.

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A classic Mexican breakfast, Huevos Rancheros are fried eggs served on hot corn tortillas and smothered in cooked salsa. Like so many authentic regional foods, there are about as many different ways of making Huevos Rancheros. Here is an easy to make recipe that will definitely satisfy your hunger until lunch.

 

Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped (about a half cup)
  • 1 15-ounce can whole tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted, if you can get it (or 1 -2 large fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, when in season)
  • 1/2 6-ounce can diced green Anaheim chiles(mild variety of chili pepper
  • Chipotle chili powder, adobo sauce, or ground cumin to taste (optional)
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • Butter
  • 4 fresh eggs
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. 1. Make the sauce first by softening the onions in a little olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Once translucent, add the tomatoes and the juice the tomatoes are packed in. Break up the tomatoes with your fingers as you put them in the pan. If you are using fresh tomatoes, chop them first, then add. Note that fresh tomatoes will take longer to cook as canned tomatoes are already cooked to begin with. Add chopped green chilies. Add additional chili to taste, either chipotle chili powder, adobo sauce, regular chili powder, or even ground cumin. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and let simmer while you do the rest of the cooking, stirring occasionally. Reduce to warm after it has been simmering for 10 minutes. Add salt to taste if needed.
  2. 2. Prepare the tortillas. Heat the oven to a warm 150°F, place serving plates in the oven to keep warm. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet on medium high, coating the pan with the oil. One by one (or more if your pan is big enough) heat the tortillas in the pan, a minute or two on each side, until they are heated through, softened, and pockets of air bubble up inside of them. Then remove them and stack them on one of the warming plates in the oven to keep warm while you continue cooking the rest of the tortillas and the eggs.
  3. 3. Fry the eggs. Using the same skillet as was used for the tortillas, add a little butter to the pan, about two teaspoons for 4 eggs. Heat the pan on medium high heat. Crack 4 eggs into the skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes for runny yolks, more for firmer eggs.

Notes

To serve, spoon a little of the sauce onto a warmed plate. Top with a tortilla, then a fried egg. Top with more sauce, sprinkle with cilantro if desired.

Serve either one or two eggs/tortillas per plate, depending on how much you want to eat.

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The secret to good fried rice is starting with cold cooked grains. I have always loved fried rice. I could probably eat an entire bowl. The best thing about Fried Rice is that you can add whatever you would like!

Here is a recipe for a quick and easy Chicken Fried Rice with Vegetables.

Chicken Fried Rice with Vegetables

Chicken Fried Rice with Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 1/2 (12 oz.) chicken breast, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 (10 oz.) package frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
  • 4 cups cooked white rice
  • 3 eggs
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, toss chicken with soy sauce and sesame oil. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and marinade and stir-fry until chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; set aside. Add vegetable oil to skillet and heat over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in vegetables and cook for 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high, stir in rice until incorporated and cooked through, 3 minutes.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, form a well in mixture. Add eggs and scramble within well just until soft. Then break apart and mix into rice; season with salt and pepper. Let cook undisturbed until a golden crust forms, about 1 minute. Turn rice with a spatula and cook other side. Repeat 2 or 3 times until rice is uniformly golden. Add chicken and stir to combine. Serve warm.
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Homemade cheese fries are true comfort food, and now you can enjoy them without having to leave your house. Here is Lone Star Steakhouse Amarillo Cheese Fries Copycat recipe.

 

Lone Star Amarillo Cheese Fries and Dip

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Lone Star Amarillo Cheese Fries and Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ranch dressing (lowfat is OK)
  • 0.5 (1 1/4 ounce) package taco seasoning
  • 1 (32 ounce) bag seasoned frozen french fries
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat oven and bake the fries according to package directions.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, combine ranch dressing and taco seasoning; set aside.
  3. 3. When fries are done, turn off oven.
  4. 4. Sprinkle the cheese and bacon over the top of fries.
  5. 5. Return to hot oven only until the cheese is melted.
  6. 6. Serve with the sauce mix for dipping.
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Find this recipe and more at www.food.com.

Add fun and flavor to your meal with this quick and easy twist on a classic chicken salad sandwich recipe by adding a hint of spice. You can serve these bite-sized sandwiches at teas, showers, or low-key family gatherings.

Curried Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches

Curried Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 4 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
  • 6 green onions, minced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 (2 1/4-ounce) package slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 48 whole-grain bread slices

Instructions

  1. Stir together first 11 ingredients.
  2. Spread mixture evenly on 1 side each of 24 bread slices; top with remaining 24 bread slices.
  3. Trim crusts from sandwiches; cut each sandwich into 4 rectangles with a serrated knife.
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Find these and more recipes at  www.myrecipes.com.

 

 

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