FREE My Future, My Way: First Steps Toward College Guide. Help prepare your kids for college early! Middle school is the perfect age to get students thinking about preparing for their future. This FREE workbook provides information for middle and junior high school students about how to prepare for college and how to pay for education beyond high school. This publication also includes charts, checklists, and other activities to help students answer important questions, such as “Why think about college now?” “What can a college education do for me?” and “How will I pay for college?” Download or request a copy today!
Freebie Tips and AdviceEver feel lost in the free samples and coupon world? Well here are some free tips and advice that we hope will help you during your journey!
Order or Download FREE Smile Cards. In 2003, smile cards began appearing all around the world. A kindness game of tag, where “you’re it” because someone has done something nice for you. When you get a card it’s your turn to do something nice for someone else and, in the process, make the world a better place one person at a time. A pay-it-forward game: anonymously make someone smile, leave behind a card asking them to keep the random acts of kindness going. Right now you can request FREE pre-printed smile cards by mail or you can download and print yourself. This FREE Smile Card offer will be available for a limited time only, so get your cards now and pass it on!
One A Day FifBit Giveaway. You could win a FREE FitBit. We know that you’ve heard it before, “new year, new you!” but do you know what easy steps you can take to start the year off right? Find out with these tips from One A Day Multivitamins and enter for a chance to win a FREE FitBit Charge HR! Everyone gets a coupon just for entering!
America’s Toughest Trainer will help you lose weight. Remember how hard Jillian Michael’s pushes people on The Biggest Loser? We were excited to find this FREE offer to assist you in getting back in shape! For a limited time you can get a FREE weight loss plan that incorporates your weight, lifestyle, diet, and more to get a customized plan for just for you.
FREE from Dr. David Jeremiah, Nine Biblical Money Management Principles That Will Change Your Life. A wallet sized reminder for managing your money, FREE for the asking from Turning Point Ministries.
If you’re a big fan of the thin chocolate-mint Girl Scout cookies, you will love these Chocolate-Mint Bars. Refrigerating the bars allows the mint layer and glaze to set properly. For a more grown-up taste, you can substitute dark chocolate chips for some or all of the semisweet chocolate chips in the glaze.
- BOTTOM LAYER:
- 4 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup egg substitute
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 (16-ounce) can chocolate syrup
- Cooking spray
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2 drops green food coloring
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°.
- 2. To prepare bottom layer, weigh or lightly spoon flour into a measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and salt; stir with a whisk. Combine granulated sugar, egg substitute, ¼ cup melted butter, 2 tablespoons water, vanilla, eggs, and chocolate syrup in a medium bowl; stir until smooth. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring until blended. Pour batter into a 13 x 9 inch metal baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
- 3. To prepare mint layer, combine powdered sugar, ¼ cup melted butter, and next 3 ingredients (through food coloring) in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer until smooth. Spread mint mixture over cooled cake.
- 4. To prepare glaze, combine chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until melted, stirring after 30 seconds. Let stand 2 minutes. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into 20 pieces.
Find this and more recipes at www.myrecipes.com.
Hectic week ahead? Making weeknight dinners a breeze is finding recipes that allow you to prep components in advance. Portable pastries filled with meat and potatoes make a fun and satisfying meal. Bake the pockets and store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- 1/2pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1/2pound new potatoes, thinly sliced
- 6ounces fully cooked chicken sausage links, thinly sliced
- 2tablespoons olive oil
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 4ounces Gruyère or Cheddar, grated (1 cup)
- 1pound whole-grain or whole-wheat pizza dough, at room temperature
- flour, for the work surface
- 1. Heat oven to 400° F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the mushrooms, potatoes, and sausage with the oil and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Roast, tossing once, until the potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool, transfer to a bowl, and fold in the spinach and Gruyère.
- 2. Divide the dough into 6 pieces and, on a lightly floured surface, pull and roll each into a 6-inch round. Dividing evenly, spoon the spinach mixture onto one side of each round (about ? cup per round), leaving a ½-inch border. Dot the border with water, fold the dough over to form a semicircle, and press firmly to seal; crimp, if desired.
- 3. Place the pockets on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cut several slits in each, and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
You can find this and more recipes at www.realsimple.com.
Halloween is one of the best times of the year to get creative! There are tons of projects and recipes available to help inspire you throughout the season. Some of the best ideas are included on this list. Be sure to check back often as Halloween nears because we will be adding more DIY projects and recipes to the list!
Take your pumpkin decorating skills to the next level and melt crayons on them!
Kids will love this easy to make wiggly Jelly Worm snack in Oreo Dirt!
Make craft time fun for the kids by making these easy Paper Plate Ghosts! Hang them up around the house for Halloween fun!
Disney’s Oogie Boogie Cupcakes look fearsome and good enough to eat at the same time! Perfect for Halloween!
These Do-It-Yourself Ghosts are the perfect decoration around the house this Halloween, and are easy to make!
Kids and adults alike will love these Oreo Dirt Cups!
Want to spruce up the outside of your house for Halloween on the cheap? Grab a few paper bags and stencil out spooky sayings and frightening drawings!
Don’t forget to include some Halloween Mummies for your parties! These are also great to make with the kids!
Show of your crafty skills and make these Broom Candy Bags for your Halloween party guests!
Take Halloween up a notch with these Mini Ghost Piñatas!
Kids will have a BLAST making these Halloween Glitter Slime Monsters! The slime and the jars are perfectly adorned for Halloween!
This Halloween Bundt Cake is pretty enough NOT to eat! It’s just as colorful inside as it is on the outside!
This Witch’s Wreath is so festive and easy to make!
Holding a Halloween party? These Skeleton Cupcakes would be a perfect centerpiece for any ghoulish occasion!
Teachers, if you’re looking for a simple, yet fun game to play with kids around Halloween, this game is perfect!
If you need a game for the little ones to play during a Halloween party, this Ghost Bottle Bowling game should do the trick!
Make Boo Bark that any kid or adult will love!
Who knew cookies could be used to make something so neat! Get store bought cookies and add some Hershey kisses to make some Witches’ Hats!
Want to hang something up other than a wreath for Halloween? Try this Spooky Door Hanger!
Light up the house with these festive DIY Mummy Lights that only take a few steps to make!
Looking for a quick snack to make for Halloween? Try this Candy Corn Popcorn recipe!
Settle down with a cool sip of Fanta Jack O’Lantern Floats!
These Strawberry Ghosts look spook-tacular, perfect for Halloween!
Pumpkin Lollipops are perfect alternative, if you’re looking for a no-bake treat for Halloween!
Can you believe these little bats are made out of toilet paper rolls? They are the perfect craft for kids to make for Halloween!
Aren’t these tiny jars cute?! They are the perfect size for a small party treat and super easy to make!
Are you a fan of Candy Corn? Try this delicious Candy Corn Milkshake for Halloween!
Surprise your Halloween party guests with this terrifying, tasty dessert that is sure to please!
If you’re looking for an easy craft to do with the kids this Halloween, try this Popsicle Stick Frankenstein craft!
These Mason Jar Jack-o-lanterns are easy to make and help your home look festive for Halloween, while on a budget!
This Spider Web Walking Game is perfect to keep the kids busy on Halloween! Simply place the tape down on the floor according to the instructions and you’re good to go!
Pin the Boo! on the Ghost is a wonderful spin on the classic game “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”. This is a great game, especially for younger children!
Who knew you could make a caramel sauce with pumpkins? This looks great for drizzling on some apple slices!
Have your books looking spooky this Halloween with this festive printable spell book cover!
Impress Halloween party goers with this simple to make, yet tasty trail mix!
Worried about the kids having too much candy on Halloween? Keep it healthy with these “Boo”- Nana Pops!
Who knew mason jars had so many creative uses! Find out how to make your mason jars look like a mummy for Halloween!
This is the PERFECT popcorn for a fun spooky movie night!
Halloween’s primary colors, black & white, look fantastic on this classy wreath!
These bottles look complicated to make, but they are easy and don’t take to much time to create! Hint: It just takes a little glue!
Who doesn’t love marshmallows? These Frankenstein Pops will definitely be hit at any Halloween party!
Don’t have much time to make Halloween desserts? Not a problem!
These Halloween Spider Cookies take minutes to make and bake!
All of the DIY projects, recipes and photos are linked & credited to the original creators.
Looking for a Labor day desserts? Here is an easy Labor Day Recipe. This caramel toffee ice cream pie is easy to make and looks good too. It comes together in under 30 minutes and you can make it in advance too.
- 1-1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 8 whole crackers)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 4 cups fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt, softened, divided
- 2 English toffee candy bars (1.4 ounces each), coarsely chopped, divided
- 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping, divided
- Preheat oven to 375°. In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and sugar; stir in egg white and butter. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-in. pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake 6-8 minutes or until set. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Spread 2-2/3 cups of frozen yogurt into the crust. Sprinkle with half of the toffee bits; drizzle with half of caramel. Layer with remaining yogurt, toffee and caramel topping. Cover and freeze 8 hours or overnight. Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before serving
You can find this and more recicpes at http://www.tasteofhome.com.
Celebrate the end of season with this delicious recipe. Leftover chili, corn, polenta and Monterey Jack Cheese are layered to make an easy yet hearty side dish that’s great with hot dogs.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 ears corn, kernels cut off
- Kosher salt
- 6 scallions, chopped
- 3 to 4 cups leftover chili
- 1 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack or monterey jack cheese (about 6 ounces)
- 1 18 -ounce tube precooked polenta, cut into 12 rounds
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the scallions and cook until soft, about 1 minute.
- Spread the chili in an 8-inch-square baking dish. Top with half of the cheese followed by half of the corn mixture. Lay the polenta rounds on top, then sprinkle with the remaining corn and cheese.
- Bake until the casserole is heated through and the top is golden, about 20 minutes. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
You can find this and more recicpes at foodnetwork.com.
As summer ends and schools begin. Labor Day and end-of-summer sales begin. Here are the some of the items you will find on sale in Setember, knowing the retail trends will help you in getting some good deals.
With Sept. 29 being designated both national and international coffee day, your favorite coffee spot will most likely be offering discounts, free goodies and upgrades on drinks. Give the grill a Labor day send off with some some flavourful and economic burgers and chicken. September marks the “peak harvest season” for grapes.
- School Supplies – All the overstocked back-to-school items that didn’t get purchased” is available after Labor Day at a discount.
- Patio Furniture and Accessories – September “is a huge month for any outdoor furniture.
- Camping Equipment – It is a good time to stock up on tents, sleeping bags and other outdoor gear
- Perennials, shrubs and trees – This is a great time for working in the yard and landscaping.
- Ceiling fans – look for ENERGY STAR fans that are about 50% more energy efficient.
Produce In Season
Apples,Artichokes,Blackberries,Blueberries,Broccoli,Cabbage,Cauliflower,Carrots,Chile Peppers,Cucumber,Curly Kale,Figs,French Beans,Garlic
Horseradish,Leeks,Lettuce,Mushrooms,Nectarines,New Potatoes,Peaches,Pears,Plums,Pumpkins,Red Onions,Spinach,Squash,Sweet Corn,
Impress friends and family with this decadent treat–no oven required! Ice cream cake is a sure crowd-pleaser, especially when it sits on top of a coconut macaroon crust.
- 2 pt. chocolate ice cream
- 1 package soft coconut macaroons
- 2 pt. vanilla Swiss almond ice cream
- 0.50 c. chocolate shell ice cream topping
- 1 c. Sliced almonds
- Remove chocolate ice cream from freezer; let stand 15 minutes until slightly softened.
- Meanwhile lightly coat an 8 x 3-in. springform pan with nonstick spray. Pull apart half the macaroons to make coarse crumbs. Press lightly over bottom and 1?2 in. up sides of pan. Spread chocolate ice cream evenly over crust.
- Break remaining macaroons into coarse crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over chocolate ice cream. Freeze 45 minutes or until almost firm.
- Soften vanilla Swiss almond ice cream as above. Spread evenly over top of cake and freeze at least 4 hours or until firm.
- Pour chocolate topping on middle of cake; tilt pan to cover top completely. Let topping harden 5 minutes.
- Wrap pan with a warm, damp kitchen towel 1 minute to loosen sides. Remove pan sides; pat almonds onto sides of cake. (If ice cream is too hard for almonds to stick, leave cake at room temperature 5 to 10 minutes.)
This Chicken and White Bean Stew is hearty and delicious. Use a rotisserie chicken to make this stew come together quickly.
- 4 slices bacon, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 lb red potatoes, cut into cubes
- 32 ounces chicken broth (I added a little more)
- 1 rotisserie-cooked chicken
- 2 (15 ounce) cans small white beans, drained and rinsed (I used navy beans)
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- salt and pepper
- In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until cooked, but not crisp (about 5 minutes).
- Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until softened (about 5 minutes).
- Add the potatoes and chicken broth; simmer until the potatoes are just tender (about 15 minutes).
- Meanwhile, pull the meat off the rotisserie chicken, discarding skin and bones.
- Add the chicken and white beans to the stew; cook until heated through.
- Just before serving, stir in the arugula and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Find this and more recipes at Food.com.
Who needs a special occasion to bake a pan of fudgy brownies or a batch of sugar cookies? Here is a recipe for sugar cookies.
- 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
- 2 cups white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
- Make icing with confectioners' sugar and milk. Make it fairly thin, and 'paint' the icing on the cookies with a pastry brush. Thin enough to spread easily but not so thin that it just makes your cookies wet and runs off.
Find this recipe and more at allrecipes.com
Fill, fold, grill and bam—dinner is served. Dinner’s in an easy-to-assemble packet! Grill meat, potatoes and carrots for a satisfying meal.
Foil packs can become perennial favorites and, even better, they require practically no cleanup!
- 1 1/2 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
- 1 package (1 oz) onion recipe and dip soup mix (from 2-oz box)
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup Progresso™ plain bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1 bag (1 lb 4 oz) refrigerated new potato wedges
- 3 cups ready-to-eat baby-cut carrots
- Fresh parsley, if desired
- 1. Heat gas or charcoal grill. Cut 6 (18x10-inch) sheets of heavy-duty foil; spray with cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix beef, dry soup mix, egg, milk and bread crumbs. Shape into 6 loaves, 4x2 1/2x1 inch. Place 1 loaf on each foil sheet; top each with about 1 tablespoon of the ketchup. Place about 1/2 cup potatoes and 1/2 cup carrots around each loaf.
- 2 Bring up 2 sides of foil so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again, allowing space for heat circulation and expansion. Fold other sides to seal.
- 3 Place packets on grill. Cover grill; cook over medium heat 25 to 30 minutes, rotating packets 1/2 turn after 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender and meat thermometer inserted in center of loaves reads 160ºF. To serve, cut large X across top of each packet; carefully fold back foil to allow steam to escape. Garnish with parsley.
You can find this and more recipes at BettyCrocker.com.
In honor of the greatest flavor trio of all time—chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers. Here is a dessert which requires no campfire.
- 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker™ chocolate chip cookie mix
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1 egg
- 36 round chewy caramels in milk chocolate, from 5 (1.91-oz) rolls, unwrapped
- 108 mini marshmallows (1 cup)
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 36 mini muffin cups with cooking spray.
- 2 Make cookie dough as directed on package, using butter and egg. Shape dough into 36 (1-inch) balls. Place 1 ball into each muffin cup.
- 3 Bake 8 to 9 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove from oven; firmly press 1 candy into center of each cookie until flush with cookie top. Top each with 3 marshmallows. Bake 2 to 4 minutes longer or until marshmallows are puffed. Cool 30 minutes. Loosen edges of cookie with small metal spatula and remove to cooling racks. Cool completely.
- 4 Place chocolate chips in small resealable freezer plastic bag. Microwave on High about 1 minute or until softened. Gently squeeze bag until chocolate is smooth; cut off tiny corner of bag. Squeeze bag to drizzle chocolate over marshmallows. Let stand until hardened, about 10 minutes.
Make a delicious and filling dinner tonight with this hot tamale pie recipe.
- cooking spray
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 cups diced poblano peppers
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground dried chipotle pepper
- 2 (8.5 ounce) boxes dry corn muffin mix (such as Jiffy®)
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup milk, divided
- 4 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
- 4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
- 8 ounces frozen corn, thawed
- 1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- 2. Spray a 9x13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
- 3. Cook and stir ground beef in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until meat starts to brown and release juices, about 5 minutes.
- 4. Reduce heat to medium and stir in poblano peppers, salt, salsa, oregano, and chipotle powder; cook and stir until seasoned beef is crumbly and no longer pink, about 10 minutes.
- 5. Mix one package of corn muffin mix in a large bowl with 1 egg and 1/3 cup of milk. Whisk to combine. In a separate large bowl, mix the second package of corn muffin mix with 1 egg, 1/3 cup of milk and half the Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses.
- 6. Spread the prepared corn muffin mixture without cheese into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle corn over the muffin mix, followed by remaining half of the cheeses, then the beef mixture.
- 7. Spoon the corn muffin mix with cheese on top of the beef and carefully spread over the top with a fork, leaving about half an inch from the edges of the pan.
- 8. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown.