Recipe: The Best Salad Ever

This salad is dead simple. And delicious. And I could probably eat it every day for the rest of my life. I had one last night, and this morning for breakfast.

YES- breakfast salad is a thing.

Let’s get this out of the way: This salad is vegetarian, but it is not vegan. To my knowledge, there is no goat cheese vegan substitute.

The Best Salad Ever

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups of greens (I like Romaine, arugula, endive, radicchio, and a fistful of spinach)
  • 1 cup strawberries, de-stemmed and sliced
  • 1 English cucumber, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, cut into bite-size pieces (leave the skin on)
  • 1/4 c candied pecans, roughly chopped
  • 4-ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Directions:

  1. Toss all ingredients in a large chilled salad bowl- serve ASAP.

This recipe serves 4-6 as a side dish or 2-3 as a main dish. None of these ingredients are hard to find- I picked everything up at Target (I ordered on the app of course, and I did drive up pick up with the kids after school!).

It is really tasty with grilled chicken breast on top.

The Best Potato Salad Recipe- PERIOD!

There are literally hundreds of ways to make Potato Salad. However, none of them should involve raisins (That’s an internet thing, I’ve never actually seen it in person).

This is my great grandmother Tootie’s Potato Salad Recipe, and I think it’s the best. Luckily for me, we’ve gotten all of the veggie ingredients in this week’s Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box.  And because they sell eggs too as an add-on, you can get most everything you need without leaving home.

This recipe is pretty simple.

Tootie’s Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 cups peeled, cut-up potatoes (bite-size pieces)
  • 3 ribs of green celery, cut into bite-size pieces- I slice each rib in half and into small pieces.
  • 1/4 cup Italian Dressing- I like Wishbone
  • 1/2 cup Full Fat Mayo. I like Best Foods/Hellmans, but Dukes is good too
  • 3 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chives or parsley to garnish- optional

Directions

  1. Boil potatoes in water until they are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Drain potatoes, do not rinse.
  3. Chill potatoes in the fridge (30 minutes to 1 hour-ish).
  4. In a bowl, combine the salad dressing and mayo, pour over cooled potatoes, and stir. You want to coat the potatoes in the mixture.
  5. Add in the celery and eggs. The egg yolks will break down and combine with the dressing/mayo mixture, turning light to medium yellow.
  6. Chill in the fridge at least overnight. If the salad is too dry, add a few more tablespoons of mayo and dressing (a 2-parts mayo to 1-part dressing mixture).
  7. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  8. Prior to serving top with chives or parsley if desired.

If you like green onions (my mom doesn’t like raw onions so she doesn’t add them), you can add 1-2 sliced green onions to the salad during step 5.  I grew up without it, but they are really good in this salad.

This salad is good in the fridge for up to a week and is perfect for the 4th of July or other summer celebrations.

Dietary options: It’s already vegetarian, but I’m not sure it could be made vegan unless you use veganaise and omit the eggs (in my opinion it needs).

Earn Cash and Giftcards with Ohm Connect!

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 5.02.27 PMWe’ve been using Ohm Connect since its inception. It’s a great way for California, Texas, and New York residents to conserve power during heavy usage times, save on your power bill, and earn cash and gift cards.

Texas and New York joined Ohm Connect back in April, but we Southern California residents have been conserving power and saving with Ohm Connect for years! ‘ve been using it since 2016.

And to prove it’s legit, here are screenshots showing that I’ve cashed out $90 to Paypal this month!

And I’ve also cashed out $20 in Amazon Gift Cards this month! I’m saving Amazon Gift cards to do holiday gift shopping later in the year.

Joining Ohm Connect is easy and quick. To get started, click here. You’ll need access to your gas/electric/power account handy, so I recommend doing this at home. And when it’s time to conserve power, you can opt into receiving texts or emails- whichever you prefer. Ohm Connect with contact you the day before to give you the heads up.

Ohm Connect is available to Southern CA residents who have the following power companies: Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric.

In New York, Ohm Connect is available to those with ConEd.

And in Texas, Ohm Connect is available to everyone. 

 

As always,  I only post about products and services I personally use and I feel are a good fit for my family and my readers. Please refer to my disclosure page.

 

2022 California Climate Credit- It’s Back for August and September!

It’s back! I posted earlier this year about the credit on your April bill, and now we are getting credits in both August and September!

This August* your utility bill will include an electric credit identified as the “California Climate Credit.” Your household and millions of others throughout the state will receive this credit on your utility bills.

In the past years, the electric credit was applied in April and October, and the gas credit was applied in April. For 2020-2022, the California Public Utilities Commission authorized SDG&E to temporarily shift the electric credit to be applied in August and September.

Changing the distribution months will not change the total value of the climate credits you receive in a year. The shift will provide bill relief for customers – during what are typically the hottest months of the year – and reduce bill volatility.

The gas credit will continue to be applied in April. In 2023, the climate credit will revert back to its original timing of April and October unless the Commission directs otherwise.

The California Climate Credit is part of California’s efforts to fight climate change. This credit is from a state program that requires power plants, natural gas providers, and other large industries that emit greenhouse gases, to buy carbon pollution permits.

The credit on your bill is your share of the payments from the State’s program. The Climate Credit is one of many programs resulting from landmark legislation called the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

The California Climate Credit is one way Californians are working towards a zero-carbon state. Find other ideas for energy and money-saving upgrades for your home while reducing your carbon footprint at energyupgradeca.org/the-movement.

And if you are looking for more ways to save energy and money, check out Ohm Connect! We’ve been using Ohm Connect for 5+ years and we’ve saved thousands of dollars on our power bill, and earned thousands of dollars in gift cards and cash via PayPal!

I cashed out some of our points for a $10 Amazon Gift card a few weeks ago, and we almost have enough for another Amazon Gift Card!

 

Getting Ready for Back to School: Health Edition

The Back to school shopping crazies will start in a few weeks with sales and deals, but one thing we’ve done this summer to help with Back to school is getting everyone in tip-top health!

I made sure the kids are seeing all the doctors/specialists over the summer to minimize appointments during the school year.

Here in California vision and dental insurance is included under health insurance plans for kids 18 and under. To learn more, check the back of your kid’s health insurance card for phone numbers.

The kids saw the dentist and had eye exams. New glasses were ordered through the optometrist that are part of the vision insurance (one pair every 2 years from a list of specific frames), and we get the paper prescription for our family binder. 

I order extra pairs of glasses through online discount retailers such as EYEBUYDIRECT. A lot of online discount retailers have inexpensive kid’s glasses that can be less than $20 a pair, which is great to have on hand because we all know, kids tend to break stuff.

EYEBUYDIRECT prices start at $6 for select frames!

I also had the kids see any specialists that they needed to, in our case they needed to go to the podiatrist.

And of course, we took care of behavioral/mental health appointments and medication checks over the summer as well. And all future mental/behavioral health appointments are after school or on weekends.

The next health component that I am working on is getting our family first aid kit up to snuff, and that will be a separate post over the weekend.

Sea World-Free Tickets for U.S. Veterans!

Did you know that veterans can receive up to four free passes to Sea World? It’s true!

Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 7.19.30 PM.pngThe response to this opportunity earlier this year was so overwhelming that Sea World decided to offer it to you again! To show their appreciation for those who have served our country, they are offering U.S. military veterans FREE SeaWorld San Diego tickets for themselves and up to three friends or family members.

This limited-time offer is only available online through July 31. Get your tickets by verifying your military status through ID.me at the link below and use them by July 31!

This isn’t available at the park, so you’ll have to sign up here and fill out all the forms before you go.

Parking isn’t included in this offer and starts at $17, depending on which level of parking you select.

 

Stay healthy This Summer and Save $5 with Mucinex!

Feeling stuffy? Illness comes all year round, and if you are feeling cruddy remember to give yourself time to heal. 

Here are my tips for recovering from the summer cold:

  • Hydrate! Push water, electrolyte drinks (I like this one LINK), teas, and even 100% fruit/veggie juice. 
  • Wash your paws. Especially if you will be in shared spaces. Use hand sanitizer if you don’t have access to running water and soap. 
  • Stay home! Or if you can’t, mask up! Protect others from your germs by covering your nose and mouth with a mask. We all probably still have masks at home. 
  • Rest! Don’t push yourself to work, exercise, or complete chores. Take care of your body with naps, and go to bed early. No Doomscrolling on social media. 
  • Get your 5 a day! Remember fruits and veggies while you are sick. Whole produce is best because it contains fiber as well as other nutrients, but in a pinch, 100% fruit or veggie juice will suffice. 

And if you need some OTC meds to get you through it, check out this offer from Mucinex!

Join Mucus Fighters+ and get an exclusive $5 off Mucinex® coupon today, plus other kick-sick offers and tips.

Craftsy Fourth of July Sale and Free Classes!

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Now through July 6, 2022, Craftsy is having an awesome summer sale! Save  70% Off All Classes with code USA70!

If you are new to Craftsy and want to check it out, they also offer a lot of free classes. Here are just a few that I love:

Summer Stuff I love (Grown Up Edition)

Friends- I’ve been working on this post for a few days. I’m not feeling especially summery today (and wasn’t yesterday afternoon either), but I’m hoping to distract you over the weekend, so on Monday we can come together and help our friends and family who will need us in the coming months. I’m spending the afternoon crunching on Sonic ice cubes!

It’s summer, and that means for most parents keeping the kids entertained (or letting them get bored), constantly filling the snack box/drawer, and looking for ways to make sure everyone makes it through the 12 weeks of Summer “vacation” without injury. I use vacation in quotes because it’s not a fun, leisure-filled 12 weeks. Most of us have to work, in addition to balancing all of… this.

BUT- That doesn’t mean that parents can’t have fun or enjoy their time in the summer sun. Here are a few things that I have recently come to love:

Sonic Ice Cubes. They are the little pebble ice cubes. If you don’t have a Sonic near you, or if you are looking for a way to make the perfect Sonic type ice at home, look for a Nugget or Pebble ice maker or ice tray. Walmart has a table top nugget ice maker here.

Electrolyte drinks. Not Gatorade, something better. I know a lot of people like Liquid IV, but this frugal lady likes Hydramate from Dollar Tree and Key Nutrients Lemonade flavor from Amazon. These newer electroylte drinks also have vitamins and other key nutrients that we can sometimes miss out on.

I made a list on Amazon of some of my other favorite things this summer:

  • Good SPF- Gotta take care of your skin. You only get one body!
  • Speaking of SPF, a Long sleeve 1/2 zip swim shirt. They are amazing.
  • Reusable cups with lids – I like the color changing cups.
  • Yoga strap for stretching- especially good after a long day behind the week (or a long day sitting on the floor building legos).
  • After Sun lotion- even if you wear a good SPF, the sun and the sea/pool water can dehydrate your skin.
  • Compression socks- seriously. We walk a lot in the summer, and wearing compression socks has really helped my feet and legs from getting so heavy and tired.
  • These sweet kicks from New Balance. They are my go to shoe for a day full of walking.
  • Beach Towels– JCPenney has a great selection and they are on sale!
  • Cuticle oil. The summer sun is rough on your hands, especially your cuticles. Give them some love.
  • Bermuda Shorts. I’m pale, I’m plus size, and I am not a fan of short shorts. Bermuda shorts cover all of my pale parts. And they make me happy because htey have decent sized pockets.
  • Character popsicles. There are a couiple places in San Diego where you can buy the popsicles that the ice cream man sells in bulk or at a discount. California Ice Cream and Candy in Lakeside (that’s near my house), and Circus Man Ice Cream in National City.  The kids and I hit up our local store each week and drop $20 on Spongebob, TMNT, Tweety Bird, and other popsicles. That’s about 13 or so, and that lasts us about a week! I personally love the Powerpuff Girl ones, they are orange and cherry flavored.

Talk Back: What are your favorite summer essentials?

2022- Summer Fun on a Budget

681517ea18b6760354438c6a7f6190f1.jpgIt’s time for kids to finish up school, and be let loose on the world. But, instead of hours of screen time and endless whining, let’s fill the summer with some fun stuff!

If you are looking to beat the heat and need something free, check out the Waterfront Park downtown. They have a great splash pad area for kids, a really fun playground, and a big grassy area for picnics. Only downside- no shade trees.

 

Info on Free Summer lunches is rolling in very slowly. A lot of the sources for information (211 and the USDA) sites have not been updated with summer information. I’ll keep updating this post as new info is available on more sites throughout the county.