Friday, December 26, 2014

Decadent Magic Bar Brownies

Happy Holidays, Everyone!!
Hope you made it home from college safely and are enjoying the festivities without getting to caught up in the aftermath of shopping and stressors of gift returns.

Try baking this simple, but decadent, version of brownies and create some magic by sharing them with a neighbor, your family, or old friends while shooting the breeze rather than getting road rage at the mall. 

College-level cooking and mixing. Delicious way to raise the bar on the common ol' brownie.
Great for the upcoming New Year's Eve celebrations. Make a batch today!

(Adapted for college baking from Real Simple by using Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Brownie mix rather than making from scratch)

Decadent Magic Brownie Bars

8" x 8" Pyrex
Parchment Paper 
Mixing Bowl

Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix
1 1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1/2 cup chopped almonds
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

1. Wash your hands.
2. Preheat oven to 325F degrees.
3. Mix brownie mix according to instructions.

4. Line pyrex dish with parchment paper in criss-cross fashion with paper over-lapping the sides! 

5. Pour brownie mix into prepared dish.

6. Bake until just beginning to set, approx 25-30 min.
7. While brownies are baking, combine coconut, almonds, chocolate chips and condensed milk.

8. Once brownies set, gently distribute coconut mixture on top. 
9. Bake another 15 minute until brownies done (a toothpick or knife should come out clean) and coconut golden brown.

10. Once completely cooled, use the edges of parchment paper to lift the entire brownie out of the dish! 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Advents Coupon: Don't Be A Mooch

For anyone visiting family or friends...nothing is more appreciated than someone who helps without asking, without prompting; and, who instinctively knows when to pitch in, set the table, take the trash out, get the kids ready for bed, vacuum, clean up the kitchen--you get the drift!

Don't wear out your welcome! Actions speak louder than words if you want to express your thankfulness for the invite.  We all love to entertain, but not when someone thinks they need to be served! If you are not sure, ask your mom, your host, your friend how to be of service!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Give Anonymously

What would happen if we just chose one person a day to give a compliment, a free cup of coffee, a smile in passing, a little treat on their desk while studying, a flower. Even within your family or circle of friends take care of their chores, fold their laundry unsuspecting, wash the dishes when no one is looking--we could change the world!

Make a point today to "avoid getting credit or being acknowledged". Focus on making a difference! Be the change, right? The outcome will be incredible!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Advents Coupons: Stay Awhile

Find a reason to invite someone over during winter break. Visit an old friend. Sit down instead of rushing off (unless you are not welcome). Spend some time. Need ideas--bake cookies? ping pong? movie? decorate the house? Hang out? Shoot the breeze? Photo Album? 

Don't rush off. Sit down. Slow down. It's all good, right? 
See what's going on in someone's life!

Zesty Lime Rice

It's great to have a few variations to your regular side dishes so that plain rice, pasta, or potatoes don't get boring! Sometimes you simply have to add a few ingredients to transform a common vegetable or grain into a completely new experience!

Eating well, and with variety, is hard when living off-campus or just trying to make it thru a day of classes, practice, lab reports, and studying.  Have some simple options on hand like this recipe from Ree Drummond's A Year Of Holidays Cookbook which will compliment any meal with no effort! Using chicken broth instead of water makes this rice come alive with comfort and richness almost like a rice pilaf effect!

Add chicken
Add fajitas
Add burgers or anything else you can grill

Keep eating fun and interesting! Otherwise your tastebuds will grow old!

I have adapted this recipe with added jalapeño and Queso Chihuahua--like a Mexican risotto if you will. If you don't have these on hand...skip it!

Zesty Lime Rice

5 quart saucepan with lid
Measuring cup
Wooden Spoon

1 Tbls olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup jalapeño (optional), chopped
2 cups long-grain white rice
4 cups chicken stock
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup lime juice
Zest of 2-3 limes

Queso Chihuahua, grated

1. Wash your hands.
2. Prep your onions, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice and zest.

3. Heat your olive oil over MEDIUM-HIGH and saute your veggies, approx 3-4 minutes until soften.

4. Add your rice and stir to mix with veggies and oil allowing it to cook approx 2-3 min.

5. Stir in the broth and salt.

6. Add the lime juice and half of the zest.

7. Cover the rice with a decent fitting lid and cook for 20-25 minutes until tender. Stir once or twice to avoid it from sticking to the pot.

8. Fluff the rice and sprinkle with remaining lime zest.
9. Stir in some Chihuahua Queso if you want some creaminess.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Advents Coupons: Toast The Holidays

What could possibly be more 'holiday-ish' than sitting around the fire, telling stories, reminiscing, roasting chestnuts (or marshmallows)? Invite some friends to shoot the breeze. See who's home from college or on their way. Make time connect with old friends!

Not sure exactly how to use the coupons? 
Save the picture, print the image, trim to size, invite someone over, make a fire, and buy a bag of marshmallows, chocolate bars and a box of grahams--your friends and/or family will know what to do!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gift Coupons: Handling Chores

Take a load off of your mother's, roommate's, friend's, sibling's, father's back; and, offer to get the job done for a day, a week, a month...for being mature...I don't know! Just make their life a little easier, especially if your gift budget is running on empty!

So many ways to give, to put yourself out there. Think outside the box! Print this today and give to someone in need of a helping hand!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Coupons: Reducing Costs

December 15, 2014

Reducing Costs

Happy Second Week of December!
Sometimes there is nothing that speaks louder than words. Be mindful of those with whom you share an apartment, house, office, living space, work area, especially if it involves money--the greatest gift you can give someone is oftentimes...simply doing your part, pulling your weight, contributing equally!!

Show your commitment to do better--not just for the cash, but to make a difference and leave a lesser carbon print! Leave a coupon signed with your promise for next semesters cost-cutting and budget-busting behaviors!

Flip The Switch Coupon

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Holiday Coupons: Snowball Battle

Print several of these coupons to gather a group of folks to get outside! Leave a treat and meet them for a game of ultimate frisbee or football; or, if you live in the colder climates...make it a good ol' fashion snowball fight!

More Coupons

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Easy Peppermint Fudge: Not Rocket Science

I couldn't believe this post from Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman...and had to try it.
Really, no rocket science or culinary skills or genius involved with this one! I did modify the recipe a smidge to include heavy whipping cream and Karo syrup for that glistening appearance. And I skipped the double-boiler for the microwave.

Few ingredients. Decadent outcome. Perfect college recipe for the holidays and great one to take home for the family! Make some today and share with a friend with one of the gift certificates I have created for you to use this months!! It doesn't take a genius to make a difference either!

More Coupons

Easy Peppermint Fudge

8" x 8" Pyrex Dish
Aluminum Foil
Medium Mixing Bowl
Measuring Cup

3 cups of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 can (14 oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
8 Peppermint Candies or candy canes, crushed
1 Tbls Karo Syrup
2 tsp heavy whipping cream

1. Wash your hands.
2. Prep your pyrex dish with foil.

3. Crush your peppermints.

4. Combine chocolate chips and condensed milk in a mixing bowl.

5. Heat the chocolate-milk combo in the microwave in HIGH for 30 seconds, stirring in-between each round until it begins to become smooth and fully melted, approx 3-4 times.

6. Add the Karo and cream.
7. If you still need to melt the chocolate, go to 15 second intervals of microwaving.
8. Once melted, pour into foiled pyrex dish and smooth the surface gently until smooth.

9. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint.

10. Chill in fridge for 2 hours before cutting into bite-size pieces to share, wrap, and give away!

Holiday Coupons: It Doesn't Take A Genius

December 13th, 2014
It Doesn't Take A Genius

The holidays really aren't that complex. And it doesn't take a genius to make a difference!
It's about peace, giving unconditionally, and making this world a better place--all of which have nothing to do with shopping, spending, getting, and glitter. In my opinion, it boils down to each of us looking critically at ourselves to make that difference in real-time right now.
More Coupons from Bandilicious Inc.

How am I living my life? Do I create peace or discord? Do I give or do I expect? Do I make those around me better or wish they hadn't met me?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Holiday Coupons: Mistletoe

All I will say for this selective and use common sense! 

More Coupons from Bandilicious Inc.

Have an awesome Friday and weekend. And don't forget to check in tomorrow as I design a coupon-a-day for all of your secret santa coupon-ing and gift-giving! Spread cheer. Make someone happy. Make a a good way!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Advents Coupons: Dream Big

December 11th, 2014

Dream Big

Posting a simple coupon / gift card before midnight so you can think of a few folks you would like to push into 'believing' in themselves, their ideas, their skills, talents, gifts, and dreams. Leave a little 'nudge 's someone's desk or in their locker or mailbox!  And, encourage them to dream big and never settle for anything less. 

More coupons from Bandilicious Inc.

Fill in the blanks and commit to never losing sight of your purpose and passion in life!
Remember: 1. Just Save The Image (limited gratis offer thru December only). 2. Print 3. Cut 4. Write a message. 5. Make someone's day!

"Only passion, great passion, can elevate

the soul to great things." 


Holiday Coupons: Compliment Another

Think about the friends, teachers, professors, roommates, barista, cafeteria personnel, or family members in your life who have made a positive impact on your life--inspired, motivated, encouraged, listened, protected, loved, stood by your side--let them know today one or two things you really admire about them or learned from them.

More Coupons from Bandilicious inc.

A few kind words could make their day! Spread the word.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday Coupons: Game Night

December 9th, 2014Game Night

Great gift coupon for end of semester dragging-my-feet-ready-for-semester-to-be-over kind of day.
Use it tomorrow to get involved and challenge someone to a game of anything!
Have a blast but don't be a sore loser!

Game Night Coupon

Print and use! (Free printing thru December) Make someone happy today!

Crisp Molasses Gingerbread Cookies

I know I'm posting another cookie recipe this week, but isn't that the point of Christmas season, right? Cookies, cookies, cookies, and more cookies. (yes, I know that is not the reason for Christmas!) And you need to have some special recipes in your arsenal when you head home or drop gifts or coupon messages off at friend's doorsteps.

This is one such recipe because it is so much simpler than making gingerbread-roll-out-cookie-cutter treats--plus, these have the crispy exterior and chewy bite before lighting your tastebuds up with all the holiday flavors you long for!

Again, since you are baking, you will need to "cream" things which means you will need a handmixer--if you haven't returned the hand mixer from trying Ree Drummond's Angel Sugar Cookies  posted a few days ago...use it one more time before returning the device!!

Try these today! Make a double batch to share with others on your way to class or finals; or, invite a friends over for a night of holiday movies, decorating the tree, holiday magic and good old-fashioned cookies and milk! Use the coupons below to send your message!

Crisp Molasses Gingerbread Cookies

Large Mixing Bowl
Cookie Sheets

3/4 cup shortening
1 1/4 cup sugar (plus sugar for rolling dough)
1 Tbls honey
3 Tbls molasses
1 egg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Royal Icing Drizzle:
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tsp of milk

1. Wash your hands.
2. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
3. Cream the shortening before adding sugar, honey, molasses, egg, spices and baking soda.

4. Slowly add each cup of flour slowly and mix well. Dough will become dense.

5. Use a spatula to scrap down edges of bowl with each flour addition.

6. Form dough into 1" balls.
7. Have a separate bowl with sugar to roll the balls in before placing on ungreased cookie sheet.

8. Bake at 350F degrees x 9-10 minutes until beginning to form cracks. Allow to cool.

9. Make your royal icing by combining powdered sugar with milk 1 tsp at a time. Or leave cookies plain!

10. Ensure icing completely mixed and cookies cooled before decorating!

Share some of these today!