Stay Warm and Save Time with this Slow Cooker Corn Chowder Recipe #ChooseSmart

This shop, #ChooseSmart has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

As much as I love Halloween, I am kinda glad it's over. We finally had some cooler weather and rain this weekend and in this house cooler temps mean cozy food and no more barbecues (besides my husbands traditional Christmas Eve barbecue). The holidays can be such a busy time of year, with all of the running around from store to store, but for me the one place that I like to do all of my grocery shopping for the holidays, is Smart & Final. Keep reading for my yummy Slow Cooker Corn Chowder recipe

My favorite part of Fall is the food, it is the only time of year I can get away with making soups, stews and chowders in my house. Today I am sharing my slow cooker corn chowder recipe. For me, life is easier when you can just throw everything together and forget about it until later. This is the perfect recipe for those busy days when you just don't have time to stand over the stove and oven for dinner or those cozy days that just want to be spent watching movies. 

Do you shop at Smart & Final? This warehouse store makes every day shopping and holiday shopping so easy and affordable. Their home brands are easily half the price of their competitor and are great quality. The holiday season is the best time to save as much as possible. 

All of my ingredients for this recipe fit in a small basket, were First Street brand, and cost under $30.

Here is my yummy Slow Cooker Corn Chowder recipe:

Ingredients:

1 lb First Street Bacon

1 stick of First Street Unsalted Butter

1 Large Brown Onion

8-10 Medium Golden potatoes

2  (3 lb) Cans of First Street Chicken Broth 

*I only use 1 1/2 cans for the recipe

1 1/2 cups of First Street Half & Half

1/4 cup First Street Corn Starch (not pictured)

3 cups of First Street Frozen Whole Kernel Golden Corn

4 cups of First Street Mild Cheddar

Salt and Pepper to taste

Before you start chopping, set your slow cooker to high to get it nice and hot and now get ready to chop. 

1. Start by chopping the bacon to 1 inch pieces and cook until crispy. Remove from drippings and set aside for later. 

2. Add the stick of butter to the hot crock pot to melt. 

3. Dice the large Brown Onion and add to butter, cook until translucent. 

4. Add the 1/4 cup of corn starch to the butter and onions and mix well. It will be thick. 

5. Next add the chicken broth, slowly at first while whisking the corn starch. Continue to add all of the broth. 

6. Peel and chop the potatoes and add to the slow cooker. 

7. Add 1 1/2 cups of Half & Half and Frozen Corn. Stir to mix.

Now, walk away. Depending on how long you will be away, you can set to low or high and when you are ready to serve, mix in the cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

I know you were wondering what you were going to do with that yummy bacon, well here it is. Serve yourselves a warm bowl of your fresh corn chowder and add the bacon crumbles and maybe some chopped chives to the top. Serve and enjoy. 

What I love about this recipe is that you can completely prepare ahead of time and just throw it all together when you're ready. I like to sit and peel then chop the potatoes, onions and bacon at the same time. After that, you can mostly throw it all together. 

Another note for this recipe is that you can substitute and add whatever you have on hand. If you don't have bacon, chop some ham and throw it in there, or instead of corn, add frozen broccoli. If you don't have mild cheddar, throw in Monterrey Jack cheese or a mixture. The next time you're at

Smart & Final

keep in mind you can pay half price if you buy their First Street products. 

Enjoy holiday cooking (and eating) this year! 

And don't forget to stay in touch with

Smart & Final

on

Twitter

and

Facebook

to get up to date deals!

Fun Back to School Lunch Recipe #ChooseSmart

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ChooseSmart

I am exhausted! Our first day is behind us now and I am just trying to readjust back into school mode. My favorite part of back to school this year is packing lunches for my daughter and coming up with fun, different

recipes

to keep it exciting for her (and me). It is no secret that I love to find a good deal and for this shopping trip I went to

Smart & Final

to stock up on groceries. I am so glad to say my daughter has been trying new foods this past summer and one recipe she loved was this pasta salad.

For this recipe I bought First Street ingredients from Smart & Final and saved tons of money on great quality.

You will need:

First Street Macaroni & Cheese Dinner (1 box)

First Street Italian Dressing (2 TSP or to flavor)

First Street Colby Jack Cheese (1 slice lengthwise)

and Broccoli (1/2 cup)

Step 1: 

Boil a pot of water to prepare for the Macaroni & Cheese. 

Once the Macaroni is tender, remove a cup of Macaroni and set aside. 

You can continue following the instructions on the box to make the rest of the Macaroni & Cheese. 

Step 2: 

Slice the Colby Jack cheese lengthwise and either cube or use a small cookie cutter for fun shapes.

Step 3:

Chop the broccoli to desired size

Step 4:

Toss all ingredients together with 2 tsp of Italian dressing. 

Step 5: 

Add the pasta salad to your child's lunch box and refrigerate. Ta-da!

I love this recipe because I get to sneak in some vegetables into her lunch without her protesting.

Technically, you can put the dressing separate from the salad and have your child mix it in at lunch time, but for me, this salad is the best the next day after the dressing has saturated into the pasta and broccoli over night. 

How delicious does this lunch look? What a lucky kid! Yogurt, Apple slices, a few Vanilla cookies and a marshmallow bear (that I cut with a cookie cutter) and a delicious Italian pasta salad! 

I love First Street ingredients at Smart & Final. When you are on a budget like me, you can get much more fresh groceries at a better price and with the savings you make at the grocery store it helps make it easier to put in the extra effort for fun lunches. 

Just a few fresh First Street ingredients from Smart & Final and you have a delicious lunch! 

Oh and in case this hasn't crossed your mind yet, you know that you can double the portions and have the same lunch for you, your other kiddos and the husband. Just an idea! 

Oh and in case you were wondering what I did with the leftover First Street Macaroni & Cheese, I just added it to another lunch! I also made a wrap with wheat tortillas, lunch meat and First Street String Cheese that I picked up at Smart & Final and sliced it into 3 portions for a lunch side along with chopped apples and a Juicy Juice wrapped in a happy note from Mom. 

I save so much money on the grocery bill when I do my shopping at Smart & Final and their prices on their First Street products are just undeniable, you can also find other fun recipes on the

Smart & Final Social Circular

You can also follow them on

Twitter

and

Facebook

to get the latest on their promotions and deals. Right now Smart & Final has a Back to School sweepstakes going on their Facebook!

Go check it out!

What's the most fun recipe you've added to your child's lunch lately?

Quick Easter Recipe #ChooseSmart

This recipe for an Easy Easter Breakfast is a part of a Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #Shop hosted by the social shopper media company Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. 
All opinions and photos are my own. 

#ChooseSmart
Easter is just around the corner and I don't know about your house, but mine can get a little hectic on holiday mornings. We are always rushing to get ready and out the door on time for church, family's houses, or the park for the big family Easter picnic. 
I guess it goes without saying, and if you are a mom I know you get it, I am always in a rush. I like to make things as simple as possible. So when I do my shopping I like to go to Smart & Final for good quality ingredients at a great value. This week I checked out the brand new Smart & Final at Midtown Crossing on Pico in Los Angeles. If you are near the area, you have got to stop in and check it out. It's so clean, bright, organized and stocked!  #ChooseSmart
I had so much fun shopping for these ingredients in this store. I like when I can find quality ingredients like First Street products at great price, this makes me and my husbands wallet happy. 

Okay, now let me share with you this super easy, but special Easter breakfast. These Cheesy Egg-Tater muffins and Berry Delicious waffles can all be prepped in 20 minutes and on the table in another 20 minutes. (Clean up time is additional, I suggest you just leave it until the morning.) 

Cheesy Egg-Tater Muffins
Ingredients:
6-10 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
2 slices of Ham Steak chopped to bite size
First Street frozen Tater treats
First Street Shredded Cheddar and Mozzarella
*Really, you can add anything your hungry heart desires. This particular recipe is fail-proof for my kids, but personally, I would add diced tomatoes and some spinach to mine. 

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. First crack eggs into a medium mixing bowl and add milk. Now, whip this up until it's good and fluffy! I like to add a little pepper and garlic salt add this point for some extra flavor. 
2. Pour egg/milk mixture into individual muffin molds about 2/3 full. 
3. Sprinkle the chopped ham steak into the molds. 
4. Place one First Street Tater Treat into each muffin mold. 
5. Top with First Street shredded cheese.
Bake for 13 minutes at 350 degrees. 


and yes.. waffles! 

Berry Delicious Waffles
Ingredients:
First Street Non-Stick Baking Spray
Pancake/Waffle Mix (additional ingredients may apply)
Whipped Creme
First Street Mixed Berries

Directions:
1. Spray your waffle maker with First Street Non-Stick baking Spray.
2. Mix up your favorite Waffle batter and get to waffle making. (Every one has a different batter and iron, so times may vary)
3. Add First Street Mixed Berries to a small pot on low-medium heat. Do not add water, but if you feel like being naughty, go ahead and add some sugar. 
4. Plate your waffles, top with whipped creme, and add warm berries.
#ChooseSmart
*Of course, you can just use syrup... or go crazy and add yogurt and granola, or fresh fruit! (Smart & Final has a great produce section) 
#ChooseSmart

So what do you think ? Will you try my fail proof Easy Easter Breakfast? What will you add to make it your own? And, you know if you need some more recipes using First Street or other Smart & Final brands, you can check them out on Twitter or Facebook. They are good to follow for tips and deals. 

$30 or under meals from Smart & Final

The holidays are such a crazy time for our family, what could be better than a 30 minute meal? With the cold weather and the days so much shorter, I try to make quick, warm meals for my family of 6 on a budget. Yup, my household consists of 4 adults and 2 children (my husband and I, my daughters, and my parents). It seems like everyone is getting home at different times or busy doing different things, so the one way to maintain some normalcy in my household is to have a nice warm dinner ready for us all to sit down and eat. The fact that this meal is quick and delicious is just a bonus, the best part is that the ingredients cost $30 or less if you #ChooseSmart. 
 I like to do my grocery shopping at Smart & Final for my one stop shopping for all ingredients, from fresh produce to meats. Smart & Final has both warehouse size and regular size items without paying a club fee and the trouble of going to a big warehouse. Smart & Final really is ideal for all of your holiday shopping! Make sure to check out Smart& Final on Twitter and Facebook.

Read on for my 30 Minute Homemade Lasagna (for under $30)
Ingredients
3 lb First Street Ground Meat (I used ground Turkey)
45 oz. First Street Traditional Pasta Sauce
2 lb bag First Street Shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese
1 box First Street Lasagna Noodles
32 oz First Street Sour Cream
Directions
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Start a large pot of water to boil. Season (I use garlic salt and pepper) and begin browning your meat. 
2. Once the meat is brown add the pasta sauce and lower the heat and add the lasagna noodles to the boiling water. The noodles take about 5-7 minutes to cook to al dente. 
3. Remove the noodles from the boiling water and let them sit on a paper towel to get rid of excess water.
4. Time to begin layering. In a casserole dish, start laying out your first layer of noodles next to each other, slightly overlapping. 
Then spoon the meat sauce onto the noodles and spread out along the noodles. 
Next, drop spoonfuls of sour cream on top of the meat sauce, and spread out. 
Last, add enough handfuls of First Street Shredded Cheddar Jack cheese to cover. 
Repeat layers until your casserole is about to overflow.

5.Bake until all the cheese is melted on the top (about 10 minutes).
6. Serve it up and ENJOY!


This recipe is easy enough for those days you need to whip something up or when you need to bring something delicious to a pot luck or party. Let me know if you follow my recipe or add your own spins to it. Thanks for reading!