My shopping experience at ALDI

“This post was sponsored by ALDI as part of Influencer Activation for Influence Central.”

As a blogger, I get to know lots of people from all over the country. When I started my blog several years ago, I became familiar with the ALDI grocery store especially by any Florida bloggers. When I had the opportunity to visit Florida for the first time two years ago, I saw an ALDI and just had to stop in to say I had been. Now finally, I get to shop at ALDI any time I want and I don't need to buy a plane ticket to Florida because ALDI has come to Southern California! I can finally shop at ALDI whenever I want. Pre-warning to those who haven't shopped at ALDI before and plan to buy several items, bring a quarter and your own bag. I was prepared ahead of time having lived in Austria for a semester and familiar with the European style of grocery stores as ALDI originates from Germany. When you get a cart, you give a quarter to the shopping cart. It will unlatched from the previous shopping cart, but don't worry you will get your quarter back when you return the cart. Second, bring your own bags because they charge you to buy bags to take your groceries home, so help the environment by recycling bags to bring your ALDI groceries home in. With those two things in hand, a quarter and some recycling bags, you are ready to start your ALDI shopping adventure!
When I walked into ALDI, one of the first thing I noticed was how wide the aisles are. Have you ever noticed how small grocery store aisles can be sometimes? Not ALDI, they were wide and spacious so when you had to pass another person with a cart you didn't have to worry about running over their toes. 

Another thing I liked about my experience at ALDI was there weren't too many choices in on the shelves. You grabbed it and on you went to the next item on your shopping list making for an easy to shop food grocery store. I was impressed with the selection of fresh produce at ALDI. All veggies on one side of the aisle and fruit on the other, again this made shopping super easy and simple. 

The organic options in produce were plentiful and easy to find as well.

When we got home, we unloaded our ALDI haul and I was surprised how little we paid and how much we actually got.

We bought some pantry staples like flour, sugar and peanut butter. We also got plenty of fresh produce. Summer is coming up quickly so that means BBQing so hot dog buns, chicken and USDA Certified organic ground beef. ALDI offers plenty of options with  their SimplyNature brand with their specific liveGfree, gluten-free line, NeverAny!, free from hormones, antibiotics and animal by-products. You don't have to sacrifice these specifics when shopping at ALDI. They are included as a regular item and not found in a specific area of the store.
If you are looking for a different grocery store that will save money AND time by shopping there, consider ALDI especially if you are in southern California as there will be about 25 ALDI locations by July 2016. I bet there will be one near you opening up soon if it hasn't already!


Milk CAN be good for your tummy!

“This post was sponsored by a2 Milk® as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.”

Milk is an important staple in the Henning household. Every few days Caleb asks me to make pancakes, and thus I have memorized that pancake recipe by now. You can't make pancakes without milk though, and whenever we are running low on milk, I am going to the store that day! This is one reason I am a brand ambassador for a2 Milk® because we are milk drinkers plus the milk is really, really good!
 But this post isn't about pancakes or how to make them but how milk can be a positive thing in your life and not give tummy troubles plus you have the opportunity to earn free milk and a trip to Australia by purchasing a2 Milk®! So you could win three times over, first you don't have to worry about tummy troubles while drinking a2 Milk®, then you have the opportunity to get your milk free by uploading your receipt and then third a trip to Australia! Have you ever been? Well you should, just take my word at it!
How do you enter the opportunity for free milk and a trip? Head over to  http://trya2milk.com/  for more details and enter for your chance.

Need more reasons to try this milk other than the chance to get it free or a trip to Australia? The a2 Milk Company™ produces milk that is free from the protein that causes milk issues and sensitivities. Enjoy milk but not the sometimes unpleasant from drinking it? a2 Milk® is fresh milk from the farm! a2 Milk® is produced naturally by real cows in upper New York and the Midwest that don't contain the component from the other milk that causes dairy issues.
a2 Milk® is good, really tasty and yummy! This is because it actually comes from cows, not processed stuff, not machine made from other non-dairy resources that provides a non-dairy milk alternative.
It is milk, just better!

Want to try a2 Milk® for yourself? Use the milk locator to help find a store near you that carries it and learn exactly how a2 Milk® is natural cow's milk without the post dairy tummy troubles!


My weekly menu...

What is on my menu for the week? We are headed to my parents so it is mom's cooking. I get the cooking off for the week! My mother is where I get all of my cooking skills. Growing up, everything was homemade pretty much. She did a lot of her cooking from scratch. I saw her make cookies, pies, stocks, etc. very little was from a box or pre-made mix. 
I am going to enjoy my week off from figuring out a weekly menu and preparing and cooking a dinner each night.
Have a great week all!
p.s. give me some dinner inspiration for when I get back please!


The weekly meal menu...

I'm here to share with you again my weekly dinner menu! Last week I mentioned usually we go through the meals as I had planned and then some weeks are harder like this week. On Sunday we were at a BBQ for my husband's team and there was plenty of BBQed chicken left which we were given to take home. Rather than just reheat the chicken for dinner, I am cutting it up and sprinkling it on pizza for BBQ chicken pizza. Therefore, what I had planned for dinner last night originally will be pushed back a night and another dinner I had planned will be on my menu another week. 

So here is my menu:
Monday - BBQed chicken pizza with salad
Tuesday - braised chicken with tomatoes, green beans and kalamata olives, peas, salad
Wednesday - grilled sausage, corn and buttermilk biscuits
Thursday - lets all just further refer to it as THE Curry http://www.manilaspoon.com/2014/10/slow-cooker-coconut-curry-beef-stew.html
Friday - leftovers or going out!

What is your favorite dinner meal to prepare?


On-the-Go Curry Chicken Salad And Stater Snacks

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #StaterSnacks #CollectiveBias

Summer is coming up and that means graduations, road trips, picnics, the possibilities to spend time outdoors are endless! Being outdoors, I always get hungry, don't you get hungry? Whether you are attending a graduation party, or just want to have a picnic alongside the road on your way to the beach or the family vacation, you need sustenance. You need fuel to enjoy the summer activities, or endure that long and windy road up to the mountain cabin. The best summer foods for these events are easy, on the go, not very messy type of picnic snacks. I have the perfect recipe for you, curried chicken salad, that you can dip with Nabisco snacks or spoon the salad on top of them. Then to polish it off a nice cold Coca-Cola™ and for a sweet treat, OREOs.

Stater Bros has a Snack Center inside the store to find all these great products so if you are craving that Coca-Cola or that sleeve of OREOs, you don't have to hunt throughout the day, just go to the Snack Center and they will be there!
"In May, save $2 when you buy any four (4) Coca-Cola .5L/6pk, 6pk glass, mini-cans and Nabisco family size or 12 count single serve products and in June two (2) for $6 mix and match Coke .5L/6pk and Nabisco Toasted Chips with Digital Deals"

Now to make the curried chicken salad, you need some chicken breast, mayonnaise, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, curry powder and frozen peas.

Cook the chicken breasts on a skillet with a little salt and pepper until completely cooked. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes then chop it up into bite size pieces. 
In a large mixing bowl, add about 1/2 cup of mayo and add in 1 tablespoon of curry powder, more or less depending on how much curry taste you like.

You add in 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup dried cranberries and stir until completely combined.

 Add in the chopped chicken and give it a quick stir.

Last, add in the frozen peas about another 1/4 cup and stir.

I make this salad a few hours in advance of when I am planning on serving it to allow the peas to defrost in the salad. Or you can make the salad overnight if you are planning on leaving early in the morning for your summer road trip, just remember because of the mayonnaise to pack the salad on some ice. 

When ready to serve, scoop up the curried chicken salad using your Nabisco snack or use a spoon to top a Nabisco snack with the salad, then eat and enjoy! This curried chicken salad is perfect for an along side the road road trip lunch. Then as I mentioned a perfect accompaniment is a Coca-Cola, a Coca-Cola Zero™or a Diet Coke®. Then a perfect sweet treat ending is an OREO!

What snacks or on the go meals can you make from the snack center at Stater Bros for your upcoming road trip or graduation party or Memorial Day feast?


The weekly meal plan...

Yesterday with it being Mothers Day, my one request to do was NOT go to the grocery store. But who else would get all the food if my family wanted to eat this week, so it was off to the store for me. 
This is the weekly round-up of the meals planned for the Henning household. Some weeks are spot on with the meals meaning we eat everything at home as planned and other weeks well, stuff just happens.
When I meal plan, I am usually basing a meal around something I have in the pantry or in the refrigerator that needs to be used up like a jar of spaghetti sauce. 
This is our menu for the week of May 9:
Tuesday - spaghetti and meatballs, salad and peas
Wednesday - mabudofu, a Chinese tofu and ground beef dish over rice
Thursday - balsamic flank steak with cheesy grits served with steamed spinach and green beans
Friday - date night!

Anyone have any GREAT recipes they have made lately and would love to share?


happy mothers day

This is my Mother's Day post from last year. I brought it up as a reminder to myself and to all the other awesome mothers out there who do a lot every day that often goes unrecognized, unnoticed or just forgotten.

Being a mom is hard but you are doing a great job, Mom. Between the mommy wars of breast is best or formula feeding, between the crib only or co-sleeping, between the how could you not vaccine your baby versus vaccines are from the devil, you are doing a great job. With the multiple times a night getting up to the everlasting change of diapers, you are doing a wonderful job. Mom you are doing a terrific job in the grocery store with your children as they are climbing out of the cart grabbing all sorts of snacks, usually unhealthy. You get looks or stares that say how can you not control your kids by strangers, keep moving forward Mom you are doing a fantastic job. 

Mom, people are pretty quick to give you their opinion of how you are parenting. Don't let those voices tell you any different, you are doing a great job. It seems the latest and greatest way to parent or how you shouldn't raise your children is being released that may cause you to question you as a mother. At the end of the day, are your children loved, have they been fed even if they wanted goldfish and cheese sticks all day? Then don't let those articles make you feel bad.

Don't feel bad, Mom, for wishing bedtime would come early tonight but as soon as it happens you miss them already. Don't feel bad, Mom, for saying you need to head to Target, to grab a latte, to take that shopping cart without a kid sitting facing you and hanging out by yourself for an hour or two. You have a hard job, Mom, and day after day of child wrangling, breaking up fights, pulling food out of hair and general exhaustion from the whining you need to take a break, a refresher. Take it and don't feel guilty. 

You don't have to be perfect, Mom, so stop trying to be. 
You are doing a great job, Mom just as you are,  keep it up!