Friday, November 22, 2013

Kroger Skillet Meal Review: Chicken Stir Fry

I love cooking meals at home each night from scratch, but sometimes I'm too busy to take an hour or two to make dinner.  I absolutely hate frozen dinners because they're unhealthy and full of junk....and rarely do they taste good.  I loved the Progresso Recipe Starters when they came out because it helped me create a quality home-cooked meal without taking the time to start a sauce from scratch.  When I discovered Kroger Skillet meals, I have to say I was hesitant at first.  I've tried some of these skillet meals before by other name brand makers and really wasn't impressed.  Kroger's new skillet meals though boast 20 grams or more of protein per serving, which is great for my family right now since I have a teenage son who's starting basketball season right now and needs all the protein he can get.

With the Kroger Skillet Meal, I had a tasty, healthy weeknight dinner in less than 10 minutes and best of all, the whole meal only took 1 rice cooker and 1 skillet.  I chose to try the chicken stir fry variety.  I added rice along with the meal to make a complete dinner for my family.  They say this meal is perfect for two, but I served myself, my hungry hubby and a 14 year old boy with this one bag (along with the rice).  It could have used a bit more chicken, however, even if it was just for two servings.  There was probably less than 3/4's of a thin chicken breast in this meal.  The sauce was fantastic though....not too much soy-sauce taste and just the right balance of sweetness.  The sauce also comes in a separate pouch so you can choose how much you want to use.

Nice 24 oz size and plenty of yummy, crisp veggies

This is how it appears straight out of the bag

6 minutes later....ready for the sauce

Use the amount of sauce YOU want, not what they tell you to use

Finished pretty and tasty

I even loved that the bag was of a material and texture that didn't puncture easily in my freezer and folded up flat with no troubles to dispose of in the trash can.  I know that sounds silly, but I don't like bulky bags and boxes in the trash nor do I like freezer bags that puncture at the slightest touch.

Skillet meals come in a bunch of varieties, more than pictured here  

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hormel Rev Wraps Review

Your teen need a pick me up before a ball game or sports event or just a sustained boost of energy for the day?  They're made with real meat and cheese and provide at least 15 grams of protein per wrap!  This quick boost of protein helps kids (and parents too) sustain energy throughout the day or for a big game, 

They're available in eight flavors: pepperoni pizza, ham & cheese, peppered turkey, meat lovers pizza, Italian style ham, hot pepper ham, Italian style and spicy Italian style.  You can find them in the meat case at your local grocery store.

I got the pepperoni pizza flavor for my son.  They come in nice little single-serve packages, so I tossed him one on his way out to basketball practice.  He wasn't too keen on the parmesan cheese taste, but said it was an okay snack.  My teen daughter also tried it and said it wasn't bad for pre-packaged food (I think I've spoiled them with mostly homemade food).  These little guys do cost a bit more than I generally like to spend for a single-serve snack, about $2.79/ea, if I remember correctly.  But for a snack that's healthy with real meat and cheese, it's a fairly good deal for pre-made items.

My son doesn't love it when I photograph him for you can see by the grumpy look on his face!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Lean Cuisine Honestly Good Review

I try and stay away from frozen meals because most of them are filled with horrible preservatives, taste terrible, and don't offer me any way to add just the right amount of sauce for my taste.  When I found Lean Cuisine's new line of frozen meals, Honestly Good, I was intrigued and decided to give it a whirl. They're made with 100% all natural ingredients; when I checked the list on the back of the package, there was NOTHING I didn't understand or that sounded scientific.  There's also something on the package that said all the vegetables were grown in the US and they give back a portion of the vegetables grown for Honestly Good to local communities.  I like a company with ethics and morals and willing to buy food locally for their products.

I opted for the Lemongrass Salmon, but was a little leery about a frozen meal being able to pull off salmon.  Oh, what a treat it was!!!  The salmon, while obviously not restaurant quality, tasted good and didn't smell overly fishy after being cooked.  The vegetables were tender and the rice was awesome.  The best part though, was the lemongrass sauce that came in a packet inside the meal.  I was able to put as much or as little sauce as I desired and the taste was fantastic.  For the first time in a long time, I think I am going to purchase the other varieties of the Honestly Good line and try them at work for my meal.  These meals are on the pricey side, selling for around $4.50 at my local grocery store.  However, they are delicious, made with all natural ingredients, and contain enough in each serving to fill me up.  This particular selection had 5g of fiber, 18g of protein, and 80% of my daily value of Vitamin A.

Here's a little bit about the varieties they offer.  I think I am going for the Pomegranate Chicken next.
  • Pomegranate Chicken with whole grilled chicken breast filet, whole grain pilaf with currants, green beans, wax beans, ribbon cut carrots, served with a pomegranate glaze
  • Lemongrass Salmon with coconut-crusted salmon filet, brown rice with wheatberries and slivered almonds, snap peas, orange & yellow carrots, edamame, served with ginger lemongrass sauce
  • Roasted Red Pepper Chicken with whole grilled chicken breast filet, whole grain cavatappi pasta, sea salt & lemon-seasoned broccoli florets, served with roasted red pepper sauce
  • Plum-Ginger Grain-Crusted Fish with grain-crusted wild caught whole fish filet, brown rice with edamame, snap peas, wax beans, carrots, served with plum ginger sauce
  • Pineapple Black Pepper Beef with whole tender beef cuts, brown & wild rice with pineapple & silvered almonds, green & wax beans, orange & yellow carrots, served with pineapple black pepper sauce
  • Honey Citrus Chicken with whole grilled chicken breast filet, whole grain radiator pasta mixed with spinach, slivered almonds and sun-dried tomatoes, broccoli florets, yellow zucchini, served with a honey citrus sauce

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Kroger Deli Fried Chicken Review


Looking for a quick and easy meal for the family but don't want to eat fast food or frozen meals?  Kroger's deli has always been my go-to place for inexpensive and delicious meal ideas.  I normally get the rotisserie chicken and some of the sides like baked beans and coleslaw, but  this time we tried out the deli fried chicken.  I wasn't overly impressed with the taste or texture of the fried chicken.  It may be that the chicken was old or that we have an hour drive home from the grocery store, but the outside was mushy and didn't have a lot of seasoning to it.  The breasts were dry, but the wings and thighs were juicy.  It seems like a lot of money to get this little 8 pc fried chicken for almost $8 when I can get a whole rotisserie chicken for about $5-6.

We did really love the Kroger brand Mesquite BBQ kettle chips...those were gone within no time!  The flavoring is perfect and has just enough umph to it.  The kettle cooked chips were also a great departure from your standard light and greasy potato chip.  I'll definitely be buying these chips again!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dr. Scholl's® Massaging Gel® Insoles Review

I have one of those jobs where I am on my feet a lot and often times I'm standing in work boots for long periods.  My feet hurt.  There's no getting around it....the older you get, the more things hurt.  I used to be able to stand for hours with no problems, I used to be able to wear those super cute high heel boots and high heel shoes with no problems.  Not any more.

That's why I was more than happy to test out these new Dr. Scholl's® Massaging Gel® Insoles.  I've tried the foam insoles before with not much luck.  I've also tried the ones made specifically for women's high heel shoes, but they always slide around too much or cramp my feet because they're too thick.  These insoles are pretty nice for something like a pair of high heel boots or maybe even a pair of flats.

I first tried them in my work boots.  I followed the instructions and took out the insoles that came in my boots and replaced them with the Dr. Scholl's® Massaging Gel® Insoles.  I had a lot of problems with them sliding around when I went to shove my foot in the boot.  I think that it's probably because the bottom of the insole is a gel/plastic type of material and the bottom of the boot is smooth plastic.  They also didn't let my feet breathe very well in the work boots.  The insoles that came in the boots have air holes for circulation, while the Dr. Scholl's® Massaging Gel® Insoles don't.  I tried the two insoles together, but that made it even hotter than just the gel insoles alone.

I decided to move on to another pair of shoes to try the Dr. Scholl's® Massaging Gel® Insoles in.  My high heel boots are okay to wear walking around for a very short period of time, but if I do something more like walk around Walmart, they really start to hurt.  There wasn't a removable insole in these boots, so I just slipped the Dr. Scholl's® Massaging Gel® Insoles on in and tried it out.  They were a little tricky to fit in the toe area just right, but after I got them in, they didn't move, even when I shoved my foot in.  I didn't have to wear normal socks any longer to give myself some extra padding, I just put on a knee high and wore the boots all day Sunday with no pain or problems.  The insoles didn't slide around after walking and didn't move when I took the boots off.  The Dr. Scholl's® Massaging Gel® Insoles are definitely staying in these boots!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Kroger: Indulgence Without All the Guilt! ~ A Review

I am a sucker for frozen treats.  I love ice cream, popsicles, smoothies, ice cream name it, I probably like it.  However, I don't love all the extra fluff it gives me around the mid section when I indulge in a frozen treat each night.  A while back I posted about the awesome Kroger Fruit Bars I found and have been buying them for the family regularly.

I was excited to hear about a new line of treats that are both yummy and calorie friendly.  I decided to try Kroger's Yogurt Smoothie Bars because I'm always looking for a yummy smoothie that's easy on the wallet AND on the hips.  I also don't want to have to worry about my kids having unhealthy selections for dessert.  The yogurt smoothie bars came in strawberry banana and triple berry flavor.  I chose to go with the triple berry, at just 100 calories and 1 gram of saturated fat per bar.

Everyone in the family loved these treats, teens and adults alike.  They're super creamy with just the perfect balance of sweetness to tartness.  The small portion size was a little disappointing, but that's the way most products are going lately. I'm looking forward to buying the Strawberry Banana flavor next.  I can't bring myself to pay $5 or so for 6 bars of the Skinny Cow or Weight Watcher's yogurt bars, but these were very reasonably priced and worth the money.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mrs. T's Pierogies Review

I am always on the lookout for a quality side dish that my kids will love as much as hubby and I do.  Sometimes it is difficult to find something new that's acceptable to kids and adults.  I do believe I have found a new stand-by for my dinner side dishes.....Mrs. T's Pierogies.  I had never heard of a pierogie before and had never given this product a second glance in the store.  When I was offered the chance to try them, I thought it was a great opportunity to either find a new favorite or mark something off of the 'need to try' list.

I chose the Potato & 4 Cheese Blend Mini Pierogies.  They were super easy to cook and so versatile that you could either serve them as a side dish prepared as is or as a part of a main dish when combined with onion, garlic, and veggies.  I decided to serve it as a side dish, but with a little personality.  I decided to saute them in a little olive oil, garlic, and onion.  Wow....I never expected a frozen potato & pasta side dish to taste so wonderful!  My teenage son love them, my hubby loved them, and I loved the taste and ease of preparation.


To prepare, you can boil, saute, or bake.  They went from freezer to table in under 10 minutes using the saute method.  I highly recommend these cute little pockets for a side dish to your next meal.  They can be found in the freezer section of your grocery store.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Kroger Spring Dinner: Make it a Family Meal with Kroger


I love Kroger store brand products.  I have found that Kroger hamburger, frozen veggies, and frozen novelty items are just as good as the name brand but without the high cost.  The only Kroger brand item that I've ever bought and returned was their tropical trail mix.  Last night, we decided to try a few new things from Kroger for dinner.  I tried their pork tenderloin and frozen lima beans and then finished it off with Kroger cake mix and frosting.

I found this awesome recipe on and decided it was a perfect fit for what I had planned.  Then, I broiled some of my homemade wheat bread that I brushed with olive oil, basil and garlic slices.  Hubby and kids were so excited to try this pork dish that I didn't have time to take a picture of the final product before it was in their mouths!  Sorry that you didn't get to see it as a finished product, but believe me it was super yummy and tender.  The Kroger pork tenderloin had a perfect layer of fat on the one side and was extremely moist and delicious.  I only made half of the tenderloin last night and tonight I plan on roasting the other half with some salt, pepper, and garlic on top.  I bet the fat layer is going to create a magnificent moist roast.

I made the Kroger homestyle mashed potatoes with a little bit of garlic salt and whipped in a little Kroger greek yogurt for a bit of extra creaminess.  It was superb and better than I ever expected pre-cooked mashed potatoes to be!

No dinner can be complete without a nice dessert.  While the pork was marinating, I whipped up this Kroger Butter Recipe cake mix and when it cooled, topped it with Kroger vanilla frosting.  I followed the instructions on the cake mix to a tee and am sure glad I did because the outcome was a seriously moist and fluffy cake!  I thought beating it with my Kitchen Aid stand mixer for 4 minutes on medium was going a little far, but the consistency of the batter after that was like a light and fluffy mousse.  My daughter and hubby scarfed up the cake and asked for seconds immediately!

Do you love Kroger brand products as much as I do?  They're a great way to save money while still getting a quality product.  Best of all, they even send you coupons for their store brands if you've signed up with them at

Again....Cheaters Are NOT Tolerated

I found 1 person on my OraMD giveaway that did NONE of the entries she claimed to have done and all of her entries were deleted.  After one winner never responded to claim her prize, I did a re-draw for a winner and 7 people claimed to 'like' my page on Facebook but did not.

I DO check entries for fraudulent people before I draw winners and when I get a winner, I check their winning entry to make sure it was really done.  I won't tolerate cheaters.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

OraMD Oral Care Review & Giveaway, ends 4/17/13

I have sensitive teeth and lately even putting my Crest ProHealth Sensitive toothpaste on my teeth sends sharp pains shooting through my mouth.  I have tried everything (or so I thought) for sensitive teeth and my problems just seem to get worse as I age.  I found a new product that has been a God-send, and not just to my nerve endings, but also to my nose!  My hubby sometimes has what we call "Devil breath" that comes out during church and no matter how many products he uses in the morning, it's still there.

OraMD isn't like traditional toothpaste, it's a blend of natural oils (peppermint, spearmint and almond) that cleans your teeth and kills the germs in your mouth.  It's safe for people with braces, veneers, bonds, crowns, fillings and dentures.  It also doesn't contain alcohol that can dry out your mouth (causing bad breath) or harsh abrasives (that can hurt sensitive teeth).  I am not sure of all the science to it, but you can read more about it here.  All I do know is that it works and works really well.  No longer do I have pain in my teeth when brushing; no longer do my teeth feel like they have plaque build-up after just a couple hours; no longer does my hubby have his Sunday morning "Devil breath".  OraMD has fixed ALL of that.

This stuff tastes horrible, although the potency of it does seem to wane a bit after the first few uses.  It has a very strong menthol taste to it but it doesn't last long at all; as a matter of fact, it's pretty well gone right after I put my toothbrush away.  After the first day, I wasn't sure if I could intentionally put that stuff in my mouth again, but after realizing how good it was working on day one, I steeled myself to do it again.  I do use a whitening toothpaste on my front teeth that aren't as sensitive a couple times a week because OraMD doesn't have any whitening properties.

I've read from others that this product is super awesome at treating periodontal disease, but I don't have that issue, so I don't really know.  I'd recommend this for anyone with breath, sensitivity, or gum issues.  It may be a little expensive, but you only use 2 drops per brushing because of how potent it is.

Aside from the giveaway below, the manufacturer is willing to offer my readers one FREE bottle. They said they would love to have our readers try out OraMD and agreed to send one bottle FREE if our readers would pay a minimal shipping and handling charge.  They also agreed to include 2 eye-opening reports called 1) “The 6 Hidden Dangers In Toothpaste” and 2) “Why The FDA Requires A Warning Label On Your Toothpaste.”  That’s a total value of over $40.00.  Click here to get your FREE bottle and FREE reports now.

The wonderful folks at Trusted Health Products have offered 3 of my readers a FREE bottle of OraMD just like I received.  This giveaway is open to US residents and ends 4/17 at 11:59 pm.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, March 25, 2013

Photography Sessions in SWVA

Photos courtesy of
It's getting to be the time for graduations, weddings, and family portraits! If you're in the Bristol, VA or Southwestern Virginia area, I encourage you to check this out! Jessica is currently offering custom on-location photo sessions near her location in Southwest VA. What's even better? Some of her sessions are FREE, she does usually include a CD for you to print an unlimited amount of pictures from. Like her photography page at to keep up with her photography session offers! She also has a blog here: (you just click on the links running across the top to see the specific pages she has).

Monday, March 11, 2013

Kroger Good For You CARBmaster & Greek Yogurts Review

As with most families, our household is trying to eat better on a budget.  It gets pretty difficult to eat healthy without spending a ton of money, but the hardest part is getting the kids on board with new and healthier alternatives.  That's where Kroger brands have always come in for us.  I recently tried the new CARBmaster line, as well as their Greek Yogurt line of products.  Yogurt is such a great alternative to ice cream and other frozen treats.  Yogurt has so many health benefits for kids and adults and can be frozen to make creamy treats on a hot summer day!

Our family drinks a ton of milk, but sometimes the amount of sugars you find in milk are unnecessary in your diet.  Kroger has a new line of dairy products called CARBmaster.  I tried the milk and the key lime yogurt.  I have to admit, I was extremely skeptical about the milk.  Milk is one of those things that I don't like alternatives of and think that most brands end up tasting like cardboard when they get rid of the sugar or fats.  I was really surprised and pleased the first time I tried the milk.  I used it first in cereal (mostly because I was scared to just drink it straight) and honestly couldn't tell the difference in taste from my regular skim milk.  Next, I used it in a recipe to see if the texture and content would hold up to baking.  Again, it did remarkably well and there was no creepy aftertaste.  It was only then that I could finally trust it enough to drink straight up.  I could hardly tell the difference from skim milk.  The only thing I could even place as different is that it had a slightly less sweet taste, but the difference is so minimal that I would have never known about it had I not known what I was drinking.  One word of caution does have a higher cholesterol content than skim milk, so if you're having cholesterol issues, you may need to talk with your doctor before switching.

My daughter tried the CARBmaster key lime yogurt and said it tasted pretty much like the other major brands, but with a slightly less sweet taste.  I don't think she prefers the CARBmaster yogurt, but she said she'd definitely eat it with no problems if that's what we had in the house.

My husband tried the Greek mixed berry yogurt and the Greek Light blueberry yogurt and really liked them both.  They were very thick and creamy and tasted great as a spread on fruit too.  I definitely like that the Kroger brand Greek Light yogurts taste as good as the national brands, but with a much lower cost.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Simple Truth Products from Kroger Family!

I don't know about you, but I am always looking for ways to give my family healthy, organic products that are affordable and taste good!  I can't pay 2-3 times as much for a product just because it's organic, and my kids won't eat most of those products anyway because they taste bad.  So.....when I found Simple Truth products from the Kroger family brand, I have to admit I was a little skeptical.

We tried a variety of Simple Truth items and didn't find a single one of them to be substandard or with a taste sub par from their name brand (and bad-for-you) counter-part!  I have to say, we were all pleasantly surprised at the awesome taste of everything we tried and I was happy that the cost wasn't way above the other non-organic products.  My kids tried the Simple Truth energy bar in peanut butter and chocolate and really liked it....they were even fighting on who got the last piece of it.  My daughter said it tasted like a cross between an energy bar and a chewy granola bar.  My husband tried the Simple Truth soda and really liked it as an alternative to sugary sodas that are filled with chemicals you can't name.

Both my hubby and I tried the Simple Truth Sweet Potato Chips and loved them as a great alternative to sodium filled alternatives like chips and crackers that we normally eat.  They weren't overbearing and overly was just the perfect balance of sweet and salty.  The whole family tried the Simple Truth Chocolate Almond Milk and thought it tasted just like a YooHoo (which they all love).  I thought it was delightful and tasted like a yummy, creamy chocolate milk.

I'm definitely sold on Simple Truth products and can't wait to try out the frozen berries in a smoothie and their pasta for dinner one night!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cellfire Coupons - January 2013

Here's the latest coupons from Cellfire.  You can load them to your card via my sidebar on the right.  These offers are valid at Kroger and Kroger subsidiaries, Carrs, Genuardi's, Randall's, Tom Thumb, Shop 'n Save, Foodtown, and Harps. These offers will be available from 1/1 - 1/31 and they expire on 02/15/13.

Yoplait® Cups Save $.40    Save $0.40 when you buy SIX CUPS any variety Yoplait® Yogurt (Includes Original, Light, Light Thick & Creamy, Thick & Creamy, Whips!®, Lactose Free, OR Simplait™).

Multigrain Cheerios® Save $.75   
Save $0.75 when you buy ONE BOX Multi Grain Cheerios® OR Multi Grain Cheerios® Peanut Butter cereal.

Yoplait® Greek Yogurt Save $.50   
Save $0.50 when you buy TWO CUPS any flavor Yoplait® Greek yogurt.

GM Fruit Snacks Save $.50   
Save $0.50 when you buy TWO BOXES any flavor/variety Betty Crocker® Fruit Shapes, Fruit by the Foot®, Fruit Gushers® or Fruit Roll-Ups® Fruit Flavored Snacks; Ocean Spray® Fruit Flavored Snacks, Mott's® Fruit Flavored Snacks OR Sunkist® Fruit Flavored Snacks.

Bisquick® Save $.50    Save $0.50 when you buy ONE 20 OZ. OR LARGER Original Bisquick® OR Bisquick Heart Smart® Baking Mix, OR 10.6 OZ. Bisquick® Shake 'n Pour® Pancake Mix.

PB Sweet Rolls Save $.40    Save $0.40 when you buy any TWO Pillsbury® Sweet Rolls OR Grands!® Sweet Rolls.

Pillsbury® Crescents Save $.50   
Save $0.50 when you buy any TWO Pillsbury® Crescent Dinner Rolls (excludes Twin Pack).

Fiber One® 90Cal Brwn Save $.40   
Save $0.40 when you buy ONE BOX any flavor Fiber One® 90 Calorie Chewy Bars or Fiber One® 90 Calorie Brownies.

Cookie Crisp® Cereal Save $.50   
Save $0.50 when you buy any ONE BOX Cookie Crisp® cereal

Cookie Dough Save $1   
Save $1.00 when you buy TWO PACKAGES any variety Pillsbury® Refrigerated Cookie Dough.

Liberté® Greek Save $.30   
Save $0.30 when you buy ONE CUP any flavor Liberté® Greek OR Liberté Méditerranée® yogurt.

Yoplait® Fruplait™ Save $.50   
Save $0.50 when you buy any flavor Yoplait® Fruplait™ Yogurt Multipacks.