Monday, December 31, 2007

The Return of Finster, the Find More Facts Detective

After a bit of a hiatus and several requests from regular readers, we have decided to bring back Finster, our Find More Facts Detective. You may have noticed him appearing in several of our holiday postings. We find Finster a way to a bit of extra fun to our blog, so we hope you will enjoy his return. He'll be sniffing out a lot of great deals for you in the near future. 2008 promises to be a great year and we look forward to bringing you many new features and helpful tips this year.

Rick & Karen

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mashed Potatoe Casserole Recipe

We frequently serve this delicious mashed potato recipe on the holidays. It is one of our favorites and you can make it ahead. Just let it come to room temperature, then warm it in the oven about 20-30 minutes, adding the cheese the last 5 minutes.

Mashed Potato Casserole
Serves 8

6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp. salt
Dash pepper
1 tsp. chopped chives
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Grease a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish. Bring potatoes to a boil in lightly salted water in a covered sauce pan. Reduce heat, simmer until tender. Drain potatoes.

In a large bowl, mash the potatoes until most of the lumps are gone. Add the butter and continue mixing until smooth. Add the milk, sour, cream, salt, pepper, & chives, mixing until well blended. Place mixture in the prepared casserole dish and cover with the cheese. Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese melts.

This recipe doubles well baked in a 3-4 quart casserole.

Happy Holidays!

Rick & Karen

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wine and Food Make Great Christmas Gifts!

Adding to our holiday shopping deals - because who doesn't like to receive delicious food as a gift! :-)


Omaha Steaks make an always appreciated gift and their steaks and side dishes are outstanding! I would order some for yourself as well. You will truly enjoy the quality and taste of the food.

Save up to 55% on the Ideal Gift Collection plus 2 FREE Gifts from Omaha Steaks!

BV Century Cellars Holiday Spirit Duet Gift Basket

If you have a wine lover on your list, this is the place to shop. has an extensive collection of spectacular wines, with wine recommendations available. They also have some beautiful gift packages and wine club memberships.

Save 10% on a 6 month Wine Club Membership at Enter promo code: 10GIFTCLUB at checkout. Offer ends 12.31.07.

Wine Gift Sets – Why bother picking individual wines? We’ve done the work for you. Give premier wines grouped by theme, varietal or region.

Happy Shopping (and Eating)!
Karen & Rick

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Online Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

While shopping online is a great time saver, very convenient, and can offer a better selection than local stores, there are precautions you need to take to safeguard your identity and your credit cards. Here are a few tips to help you shop safely and securely. Just take a few precautions and you can comfortably complete your holiday shopping from home while everyone else is out in the cold! :-)

  1. Always check the security of the checkout pages of any online merchant you are purchasing from. This means that when you are on the checkout page you should see "https" in the web address, the "s"indicates "secure." Also at the bottom of the page, you will see a graphic of a closed lock or unbroken key indicating the site is secure.

  2. Another way to check security when you are on the checkout page is to go to the top menu and click "File,"then "Properties." You will get a Properties pop-up screen that shows the Protocol as "HyperTextTransfer Protocol with Privacy" and the Connection will state "SSL with (at least) 128 bit encryption."You will also see a restatement of the https web address. Make sure it matches the address of the page you are supposed to be on. If all of these factors are in place, you can be relatively certain that you are on a secure site.

  3. Read the return policy before you buy. If you don't like the policy, buy somewhere else.

  4. Be sure you can locate the contact information for the merchant easily on the site.

  5. Print a receipt of your purchase before logging off of the site. Don't just rely on an e-mailed copy of a receipt. Sometimes even e-mails get lost.

Follow these few simple guidelines and you'll have your holiday shopping done in no time! Check back soon for our annual listing of top online places to shop and special online offerings.

Happy Shopping!