I made a delicious and easy 4th of July feast using Johnsonville® as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars. #SausageFamily

Hot Link BBQ Packets

I’ve only been camping a handful of times, but I will always remember the food. Hot dogs and brats on sticks, roasting in the fire. S’mores. Mountain Pies. Popcorn made in a dutch oven. It was all delicious to me. The one thing that stuck out to me where the BBQ packets that we had for dinner. Also known as foil packets, these were like magic to me. So, for our 4th of July meal, I decided that we need to take our Johnsonville Beef Hot Links to the next level.

Hot Link BBQ Packets

Brats are perfect for any occasion; cookouts, picnics, family dinners, and BBQs.  Hot Link BBQ Packets are beyond easy to make, and their frugal too! The combination of carrots, potatoes, onions, and Johnsonville Beef Hot Links make a meal that you won’t forget. The best part is that you can use any kind of Johnsonville Brats flavors for this; original, beef hot, new orleans, cheddar, or even hot ‘n spicy!

Hot Link BBQ Packets

The hot links were sliced on a bias to make sure that we got some crispy tips, and the onions, carrots and potatoes were chopped a similar size to ensure that they were done at the same time. I sprinkled each packet with a little seasoned salt, as well.

Hot Link BBQ Packets

The packets were placed directly within the coals, just like at a campsite.

Try to keep the packets as closed as possible, so the juices from the Johnsonville Hot Links will flavor the vegetables and there will be the proper amount of heat preserved in each package to cook everything through. Obviously, the packet above is a rule breaker. The good news is that the food still cooked.

Hot Link BBQ Packets

The result? A packet that has the smokiness from the grill, the spicy flavor of the hot links all over the vegetables, and a full meal in less than 20 minutes!

Hot Link BBQ Packets

2 Packets of Johnsonville Beef Hot Links
4 Russet Potatoes
4 Carrots
2 Medium-Sized White Onions
Seasoned salt
Aluminum Foil

Chop Johnsonville Beef Hot Links and place in the largest bowl you have.
Chop Russet potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces, and add to large bowl.
Chop carrots into 1/2 inch pieces, and add to the large bowl.
Large dice onions, and add to the large bowl.
Sprinkle about two teaspoons of seasoned salt on top of the packet mixture.
With your hands (it’s the best way to do this), toss the packet mixture together in the large bowl.
Tear off 3 pieces of aluminum foil, about 14×14 inches each, or larger.
Equally divide the packet mixture between the foil pieces.
Close up the foil packets, and place directly into hot coals.
Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are completely cooked through.
Serve immediately and enjoy!

Want even more recipe ideas from Johnsonville? Be sure to like them on their Facebook page, and also follow them on Twitter!


64 Dollar Grocery Budget - Albertsons hero

Xenia from Raised by Culture is our next contributor for the 64 Dollar Grocery Budget Challenge. I love that Xenia not only took on the challenge, but bought items that we view as “expensive.” Shrimp, Tri-Tip and Prosciutto, oh my! Check out how she not only rocked the challenge, but created some of the tastiest meals we’ve seen so far.

Once upon a time, I used to be awesome at meal planning and maintaining a weekly grocery budget. That is until I started working from home and that all went out the window. I wish working from home was as glamorous as Hollywood + society makes it seem! I have no structure and I probably put in more hours than if I had a 40 hour a week job so life as we know it is takeout or dining out. And I’m not complaining, I enjoy supporting businesses and it was all good until I started looking at how much it was actually costing me to feed a family of four. EEK!

That’s when I got inspired and motivated to do Amiyrah’s $64 Grocery Budget at Albertson’s! I wanted to challenge myself and get back in the kitchen. The big question was… could I actually do this for a family of four that has relatively expensive taste?

We are always buying milk, eggs, tortillas, rice, bottled water and bananas. Those are our staples. On rare occasions, I buy ribeye steaks and bacon for myself. Just kidding, I share the bacon. I wanted to focus on not buying the usual suspects: processed food, frozen food, salty snacks and sugary sweets. I was sweating just thinking about it. Being multicultural, the focus would be ethnic food.

The Menu:

Lomo Saltado – I didn’t want to spend $20 for a package of Tri-Tip roast so I checked the butcher counter and saw Tri-Tip steaks for $7.99 a pound, all I needed was a pound so that was a huge score. The Tri-Tip steak cut was easier to slice into strips and no waste. This was my first time making this dish and it was incredible. This dish at our favorite Peruvian restaurant is $12, making it at home set me back $2 per person.

Potato Salad – Buying a bag of potatoes goes a long way. I do potato salad, home fries and smash potatoes. This is my side dish for all of our barbecues. I only use mayo, potatoes, eggs and salt.

Home Fries – My children would eat fries everyday if they could. This was a nice change from buying another staple in our home, frozen french fries.

Smash Potatoes – My husband and I enjoy this as a full meal. Roast the potatoes on a baking sheet in the oven, smash after an hour, add other ingredients (garlic salt, cheese and butter!) and throw back in the oven for about 10-15 more minutes.

Swedish Cucumber Salad – Had this for the first time at IKEA’s Midsummer Smorgasbord. It is so refreshing and light. Perfect for a side dish or snack.

Chicken Rollatini with White Wine Gorgonzola Sauce – This is probably the most complicated recipe of the menu but I haven’t made it in a long time and figured it was worth the splurge. This sets me back $18+ at one of our favorite Italian restaurants but making it at home is only $6 per person.

Korean Street Tacos – You probably have all the ingredients for the marinade at home already. Buy some carne asada, marinate it overnight and throw it in the broiler.

Shrimp Ceviche – Another perfect dish for summer.

64 Dollar Grocery Budget - Albertsons

My local Albertsons offered these shopping tips:

Check for markdowns or non-advertised specials – my store didn’t have a set schedule or time for markdowns but they promised me that they do it a few times a week when items are close to expiring or boxes and cans are dented. See that picture of buy one get one free in the meat department? That was not advertised in the local ad or online. I tend to walk around the store for these types of deals.

Sign up for deals in your inbox – I actually just signed up, I heard Albertsons sends $5 off $50 coupons. That would’ve totally worked for this shopping trip!

And I did it! The lomo saltado was a hit! My husband said it was better than our favorite restaurant.


American Cannons – 4th of July Outdoor Game #CapriSunCrew

June 28, 2015
American Cannons - 4th of July Outdoor Game

I’m a member of the #CapriSunCrew, and our family is sharing how we create summer fun. All opinions and experiences are our own. It’s time for Independence Day! The 4th of July is one of our family’s favorite holidays. It’s a time to reflect on the birth of our country, and enjoy good weather, great […]

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Preserving Memories on Throwback Thursday #CVSTBT

June 26, 2015
Sonny Boy as Spiderman via 2007

Disclosure: I’m proud to partner with CVS/pharmacy for the Throwback Thursday Photo campaign. I am being sponsored by CVS/pharmacy for my posts and activities, but all opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers. Here’s your summer challenge: live in […]

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How to Stretch Chicken Breasts

June 24, 2015
Looking for an easy way to stretch chicken breasts, and save on your groceries? It just takes one simple trick.

We buy a family pack of chicken breasts every two weeks in our home. With a now family of 5, that pack of protein can disappear quickly if we don’t use special tricks to make sure that it stretches our budget. But, there is an easy way to do so! I wanted to share how to […]

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The Importance of Sadness

June 22, 2015
The Importance of Sadness

Take that frown off of your face. That was a statement I’d heard quite a bit since I turned 10. A scowl of any kind prompted my mother, and even my grandmothers, to tell me to stop. I was “too pretty to frown,” so for the most part it wasn’t allowed. I had nothing to […]

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Bath Time With Dad

June 20, 2015
Dads are our everyday superheroes, even at bath time. See how this dad does #SoMuchMore with his youngest kiddo for Father's Day. #JohnsonsPartners #ad

I used JOHNSON’S® for my little one and for myself as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #johnsonspartners #SoMuchMore Dads are our everyday superheroes. I still remember being a little bitty girl and thinking that my dad was the best man ever. He was tall (to me), knew everything about Sci-Fi and comic books, and […]

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Throwback Thursday Awesomeness (plus a giveaway!) #CVSTBT

June 17, 2015
CVS TBT post

Disclosure: I’m proud to partner with CVS/pharmacy for the Throwback Thursday Photo campaign. I am being sponsored by CVS/pharmacy for my posts and activities, but all opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers. See that little girl up there? […]

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64 Dollar Grocery Budget – Trader Joe’s

June 15, 2015
Wonder how to stretch your grocery budget at Trader Joe's? This family of 5 shows you how!

Today, Kim from Things I Thought I’d Never is taking on the 64 Dollar Grocery Budget Challenge at Trader Joe’s! Our family loves Trader Joe’s, but I’ve had trouble trying to utilize our $64 budget there. I knew there were special tricks, and Kim breaks them down so well in this post. Let’s see what […]

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Easy Pizza Sauce (From Tomato Paste)

June 12, 2015
Easy Pizza Sauce (from tomato paste) hero

Friday night is pizza night around here. It will be until my kids (and husband) grow out of the habit. Since we strive to make as many homemade meals as we can to save money, we tend to make our pizzas on pizza night as well. Since we’re located in NJ, there are quite a […]

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