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Budget Bites, Dining, Featured, Healthy Meals, Recipes August 16, 2017

Summer Chilled Lobster Salad

Inspired by the gorgeous summer weather I decided to stop by my favorite fish market for a lobster tail. Living smack dab next to the Atlantic Ocean has a few perks, one of them being just caught lobster tails for 5 dollars. I decided to pair it with some peppery arugala from my garden, but if you are not a green thumb store bought works just as well. 

Budget Bites, Featured, Recipes February 26, 2013

Save Money in the Morning

Nothing makes you feel like you are standing in the middle of Times Square with your pants around your ankles quite as much as discovering that you a) made only 50% above the poverty level for a family of one last year and b) because you did freelance work to earn a little extra money they are taking 400 big ones out of your tax return. If there ever was FML moment;  one year of not sleeping, working late hours, neglecting my social life (and personal appearance as much as I hate to admit it), and I have a whopping seven hundos to show for it. Talk about putting your pride in the stocks.  I think I would have been happier if I had got chased by down the street an angry mob.  Thanks Uncle Sam, at this point my only feeling is hurray for the red, white and POO!

At any rate, discovering that one can work their hypothetical tail off and have nothing to show for it has made me re-evaluate my morning habits. The occasional breakfast out and cup of joe, though a beloved morning ritual, can start to add up if you are not careful.  My usual $1.55 cup of coffee from Wawa ends up costing me $5 a week. Add that up that and I waste $20 a month and $240 a year on coffee alone. Though it may not seem like much, for an unwillingly impoverished college graduate such as myself that is about half a week’s paycheck.  Sad I know, but true.  So in an attempt to squeeze blood out of my already exhausted pennies, I will be changing the location of my morning ritual to a much more affordable location, my kitchen.  For those of you who will be joining me in your own “breakfast at home” endeavors here is a recipe for quiche that I made this morning.


Bacon, Leek and Gruyere Quiche

¼ pound of bacon –chopped

½ onion chopped

4 cloves of garlic minced

1 leek- cut to green part

1 cup of mushrooms

1 ½ cup spinach

5 eggs

¾ cup milk or heavy cream

1/2 cup greyure

1/2 cup swiss

1 premade pie crust

Salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder to taste.

Sautee bacon until crisp.  Remove from pan and drain excess oil.  Coat the pan with olive oil and add garlic, onion, leeks and mushrooms and cook until tender. Pre grease pie pan and line with crust. Combine eggs and spices and whisk until well mixed.  Stir in cooked ingredients and cheese and transfer to pie pan.  Bake at 350* for about 45 minutes or until the eggs bounce back to the touch.


Keep you wallets full and your mouths happy!

<3 DD

Copyright © 2013 Christine Van Arsdalen. All Rights Reserved

Dining February 13, 2013

David Burke Fromagerie and Scotch.. what could be better?

If you are like me and two of your favorite things are Scotch and eating, or if you just like one of those things, this is an event you wont want to miss.  Heck the fact that it’s a chance to eat at the restaurant of a world renowned chef makes it an event you wont want to miss. What is this fantastic opportunity you ask?  Next Wednesday, David Burke and Macallan Highland Park Scotch team up to bring you a night of good food, good drink, and good times.  Guests will enjoy a delicious three course meal prepared to complement hand crafted Scotch.  Get your tickets now, this promises to be an evening to remember! (Unless you drink too much Scotch.)

Here are the details:

WHO:  David Burke Fromagerie and Macallan Highland Park Scotch

WHAT: Three-course scotch pairing dinner
WHERE: David Burke Fromagerie (126 Ridge Road, Rumson, NJ 07760)
WHEN: Wednesday, February 20, 2012 at 7PM
** WHY?: Because good food and good scotch are great alone, but together they’re magical!** (Note: this part is not in the original details)

The three-course meal includes:

FIRST/ “Atlantic Highlands Style Surf and Turf” shrimp and grits with crispy pork belly, brioche croutons paired with Macallan 15 year scotch.

SECOND/ CHOICE OF: Rack of Lamb curried coconut and lamb neck confit, scotch braised cippolini onions OR Oven Roasted Black Bass sun choke puree, brussels sprouts, scotch beurre blanc Paired with Macallan cask strength scotch.

DESSERT/ Smoked Chocolate Ganache with burnt orange peel ice cream And David Burke’s Signature Cheesecake Lollipops
 paired with Macallan 18 year scotch.

Cost is $125 per person and tickets can be purchased by calling 732-842-8088 or visiting

Keep you wallets full and your mouths happy!

<3 DD

Copyright © 2013 Christine Van Arsdalen. All Rights Reserved

Budget Bites, Tips and Tricks October 12, 2012

Fall Fridays Frugal Factoid: BYOC

Most of us already have travel mugs and drink cups lying around our kitchen cabinets at home. What most of us don’t know is that using those cups can save you some dinero.  There are countless places that now offer discounts for bringing your own cup.  It’s like killing two birds with one stone, save a few pennies and the planet.  Personally, I bring my little orange cup everywhere.  Partly because I hate having 80,000 paper cups lying around my car and partly because I save about $25 a year on coffee alone.  Sound too good to be true, well it’s not.  Businesses both chain and local offer some nice incentives for byoc.  Bring your own cup Starbucks and save 10 cents off your coffee purchase.  If you’re a Dunkin lover, they also offer discounts, however they vary by location.  Other places to save include 10 cents at Peets coffee and 10 cents at Wawa.  Check with local stores to see what discounts they offer, sometimes you can save up to 50 cents.  It may seem small but believe me this adds up.  And now that I sound like my father, get out there and go save!

Keep you wallets full and your mouths happy!

<3 DD

Copyright © 2012 Christine Van Arsdalen. All Rights Reserved

Budget Bites, Tips and Tricks September 28, 2012

Fall Friday’s Frugal Factiod- National Day Giveaway’s

There are about 500 random National Days, literally every day of the week is a celebration of some random thing; pizza, cheesecake, breathing, you name it there’s a day for it.   While most of us look at these days and say really another one, we should really be saying what can I get for free today?  Although a smaller holiday like National Molasses Day (yes that is a real day) is probably of no use to anyone except gingerbread men, the more recognized ones such as today (National Coffee Day) usually mean freebies from National Chains.   You may have to do a little googling to find out who is giving stuff away, but I promise it is worth the 30 seconds it will take you.

Today for instance, there are several big names honoring National Coffee Day with freebies and deals including Dunkin Donuts, 7-11, Einstein Bros. and Mickey D’s.  I of course will be partaking as much as possible being that I am a coffee addict, but if you would like to look for yourself you can start here Find your nearest location and you can have your morning cup of joe for free or darn close to it; total savings- anywhere from $1 to $5.

Remember, today is just one of the many days that you can get free things. So, next time you start to roll your eyes when you hear its National Taco Day (Oct 4,2012), instead think ok how can I hit all the freebies in the shortest amount of time.

Keep you wallets full and your mouths happy!

<3 DD

Copyright © 2012 Christine Van Arsdalen. All Rights Reserved