Barn Studio of Dance

Monday, March 24, 2014

TopCashBack: Earn Cash Back When Shopping Online!

Hey, Friends!



Today I wanted to share a great way to save some money while shopping online!  While I'm not usually a "deal" blogger, I do like to share an awesome deal when I find one!

Last week, a friend told me about TopCashBack and already, I've earned a pretty good chunk of cash to put add to our Christmas savings plan!  All while making purchases I would be making anyway!

This morning, I spotted a great deal using TopCashBack.  Get paid to buy Gain Fabric Softener Sheets!  I scored my free fabric softener sheets (plus overage) this morning and here's how you can, too!

  1. Join TopCashBack.  
  2. They will send you an email to authenticate your account.  
  3. Once you authenticate your TopCashBack account, you can start shopping!  
  4. For this deal, log in to your TopCashBack account. 
  5. Search for Walmart.com. 
  6. Click on the cash back button, you will then see 2 offers.  One for standard cash back for regular Walmart.com orders, the other for the Gain Dryer Sheets offer.  
  7. Click on the Dryer Sheets offer, you will then be directed to the Walmart.com site.  
  8. Search for the dryer sheets that are specified in the offer and add to your cart.  When checking out, be sure to use in-store pick up.  Also, when checking out, be sure to ONLY purchase the deal item to receive the $5.50 in your TopCashBack account!  
The Dryer Sheets in the offer are $4.88 plus tax.  My total order after tax was $5.17 with the cash back to be rebated to my TopCashBack account being $5.50!  So, it's like getting paid 33 cents for Gain Dryer Sheets!  

Hurry, since this deal ends in three days, or when supplies run out!  

Also...once you join and make your purchase using the link above, I will receive a referral credit!  You can also invite friends after you open your account and start getting referrals!  




Sunday, March 16, 2014

Chicken Pozole Soup

I'm not very familiar with Pozole.  I read somewhere that it's traditionally made with pork.  I also read that it's traditionally topped with shredded cabbage.  Well, we're throwing out the tradition since the only reason I made this soup is because it contained hominy, another food that I'm unfamiliar with, and I wanted to give it a try.

I switched up the recipe slightly, based on what I had on hand, what I thought looked good and what I wanted to use up from my vegetable bin.

Serve with quesadillas on the side or with a handful of crushed tortilla chips sprinkled on top!  Cheese or sour cream would also make excellent toppings!

Sorry for the blurry picture.  I was very eager to dig in!



Chicken Pozole Soup 
          adapted from Cans Make the Meal with Kelsey Nixon

Ingredients: 

  • 5 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided 
  • 1 cup onion, chopped 
  • 2/3 cup poblano pepper, chopped 
  • 1/3 green bell pepper, chopped 
  • 4 tsp. minced garlic 
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) golden hominy (DO NOT DRAIN) 
  • 1 cup salsa verde 
  • 4.5 oz can diced chiles 
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes, drained
  • 32 oz. homemade chicken broth 
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano 
  • 2 cups pre-cooked chicken
Directions:  
  • In a large dutch oven, cook onions and peppers in 1/4 cup chicken broth over medium heat until onions begin to turn translucent.  Stir often, adding another 1/4 cup of broth if needed. 
  • Add garlic and allow to cook for another minute or two.  
  • Stir in the hominy and the liquid from the cans along with the salsa verde, tomatoes and diced chiles.  I added the chicken at this point, too, since it was still frozen.  Bring to a boil.  
  • Pour in the remaining broth, cumin and oregano, return to a boil. 
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 10-15 minutes  
Notes:
  • Traditional or not, we didn't know the difference.  Either way, we really enjoyed the flavors and texture of this hearty soup.  This will be hitting our table again soon!  


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Giveaway: Arnold® and Oroweat® Sandwich Thins® Rolls, Pocket Thins® Flatbread, Thomas'® Bagel Thins® Bagels

Now that the snow is almost all melted -I can see more than half of my lawn- it's time that I start thinking about shedding some layers of clothing.  Soon, there will be no need for sweatshirts over long sleeves over undershirts.  Soon, it will be time to pack away the long pants.  Soon, the weather will be warm enough for short sleeves, capri pants, maybe even shorts.  And for the brave, bathing suits!  Gasp!  

For some of us...ahem, me...shedding of the layers will also mean working on shedding some pounds.  I really took to comfort eating during our colder-than-usual winter, and will need all the help I can get in losing the weight in order to feel confident in my warm weather clothing!  

When I am dieting, I'm never content with a baggie of celery sticks for lunch.  For me, that's the quickest way to send me off the wagon right into a bag of chips or other junk food!  When I'm dieting, I like to find low-calorie options for the foods I love.  Finding other alternatives for the food I enjoy, helps keep me from feeling deprived.  Helps keep me on the right track to achieve my weight loss goals.  



Arnold and Oroweat, along with Thomas' offer some great low-calorie bread options that are Weight Watchers approved!  

Arnold® and Oroweat® Products
All Arnold® and Oroweat® Sandwich Thins® Rolls are cholesterol-free foods, containing zero grams of Trans Fat and no high fructose corn syrup.

Arnold® and Oroweat® Sandwich Thins® Rolls
Weight Watchers®: 3 PointsPlus Value®
Flavors: 100% Whole Wheat, Healthy Multi-grain, Honey Wheat, Flax & Fiber

Arnold® and Oroweat® Pocket Thins® Flatbread
Weight Watchers : 3 PointsPlus Value®
Flavors: 100% Whole Wheat, Healthy Multi-grain

Thomas'® Bagel Thins® Bagels
All Bagel Thins® are 110 calories, cholesterol-free, low in fat and contain zero grams of Trans Fat
Weight Watchers®: 3 PointsPlus Value®
Flavors: Plain, 100% Whole Wheat, Cinnamon Raisin and Everything   

I had the opportunity to try three of the breads from the product lines listed above.  For my review, I picked the Healthy Multi-grain Sandwich Thins Rolls, Italian Herb Pocket Thins Flatbread, and the Plain Thomas' Bagel Thins Bagels.

Our usual sandwich bread checks in at 80 calories a slice!  I don't know about you, but for me, one slice of bread isn't enough to make a filling sandwich!  I love that I can create a hearty sandwich with these great products, only using a small portion of my daily calories for bread!  Saving 50 to 60 calories on the bread alone!  This allows me to create a guilt-free lunch, when using other calorie friendly fillings!


Using the Sandwich Thins, I made delicious Low-Calorie Chipotle Turkey Sandwich for under 217 calories! While I enjoyed this sandwich in the comfort of my own home, this would be great for on the go!


For breakfast, I made some yummy Salsa Verde Sausage and Egg breakfast sandwiches with the Bagel Thins.  At 371 calories, the calorie count on this was a bit higher, but still way under the count for similar sandwiches from the convenience store!



My favorite was the Vegetable Stuffed Flatbread with hummus using the Pocket Thins (recipe link to post soon).  For 213 calories, including the carrots I ate on the side, I ate a crunchy, vegetable sandwich that was so satisfying and delicious.  This is definitely a lighter meal, so if you are really hungry, pair this with a small cup of soup for a more filling meal. *note: the photo above is two servings.

For additional recipe ideas, check out the following links:
To learn more about the products offered by Arnold and Oroweat as well as Thomas' check out the links below: 
In addition to providing me the coupons for the products above as well as a $25 gift card to purchase my recipe ingredients, Arnold and Oroweat  and Thomas' is allowing me to give the same prize to one lucky reader!  Entering is easy using the Rafflecopter Form below:    


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  Although, I received coupons for free product to facilitate my review, in addition to a gift card to purchase additional recipe ingredients, all opinions are honest and my own.  Additional coupons and gift card are also provided for the giveaway.

Low-Calorie Chipotle Turkey Sandwich


Low-Calorie doesn't mean it needs to be boring!  I love finding new ways to cut calories while enjoying the foods I love.  In this case, a few simple changes saved me a ton of calories without skimping on the flavor!  

For this sandwich, I swapped out my usual mayo for some Chipotle Hummus.  That swap alone saved me 60 calories!  Using a sandwich thin, in place of traditional sandwich bread eliminated another 60 calories!  I enjoyed my sandwich with a side of carrots instead of chips.  The crunchy, chip-like shape of the carrots helped me to feel as if I was snacking on chips as I ate my sandwich.  



Low-Calorie Chipotle & Turkey Sandwich (serves 2) 

Ingredients: 
  • 1 Arnold Sandwich Thins, Healthy Multi-grain
  • 1 Tbs. Spicy Chipotle Hummus 
  • 4 thin cucumber slices
  • 2 oz. shaved deli meat turkey
  • 1 leaf romaine lettuce
  • sliced carrots 
Directions: 
  • Spread chipotle hummus on one half of the Arnold Sandwich Thins, Healthy Multi-grain roll.  
  • Place cucumbers on top of the hummus, this helps hold the cucumbers on the sandwich as you eat it. 
  • Finish building the sandwich by layering the turkey, lettuce and top of the bun.  
  • Serve with sliced carrots in place of chips.  
Notes:  
  • A slice of cheese would be delicious with this sandwich, but I was wanting to keep the calories low so I skipped the cheese.  
  • Any flavor hummus would work well with this sandwich, I love the smokey chipotle flavor with my turkey.
Total Calories:  
217 calories, including the carrot chips served on the side!  

*Calorie count is approximate and may not be accurate.



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Salsa Verde Sausage and Egg Bagel


During this long and brutal winter, I've really been packing on the pounds starting with the holidays and all of the sweets, then comfort food during all of the bitter snow storms.  Now, it is March and hopefully warmer days are in the near future.  In fact, we "spring ahead" this weekend, which means Spring is on it's way...then summer!  I will no longer be able to hide my weight gain under bulky sweaters and baggy sweat pants. Which means, I really need to get back on track and eat healthy meals and cut out the junk food.  

Instead of raiding the cookie jar for breakfast this week, I've actually been starting my day with a healthy meal. Here is an example of a low-calorie breakfast that I've been enjoying the past few days:  



Salsa Verde Sausage and Egg Bagel  (serves 4)

Ingredients:
  • 4 Thomas' Bagel Thins, Original  
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup Jimmy Dean Sausage Crumbles, Original 
  • 6 extra large eggs
  • 2 Tbs. skim milk 
  • ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbs. Salsa Verde 
Directions: 
  • Cook peppers in hot oil until almost tender. 
  • Stir in pre-cooked sausage crumbles.  Allow to cook until peppers are done.  
  • Scramble eggs in a bowl with milk. 
  • Pour eggs into the pan with the sausage and peppers, stirring and scraping bottom of pan. 
  • Season with pepper.  
  • Divide the sausage and egg mixture between 4 of the bagels, toasted if desired. 
  • Top each with a tablespoon of Salsa Verde.  
Total Calories: 1,480 calories*
4 servings @ 371* Calories per serving

(*calories are approximate and may not be accurate.)

371 calories may not seem very low, but considering that a similar sandwich runs close to 500 calories at a local convenience store, I think 371 is pretty good!


I've linked this recipe to the following blog carnivals and linky parties:



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