Sunday, April 13, 2014

Book Review: The Devil walks in Mattingly by Billy Coffey

This book by Billy Coffey is labeled a supernatural thriller and I selected it for review because it came from a Christian publisher, but the topic itself did not seem to fit a Christian motif. The book is a thriller that deals with the question of guilt and how not openly talking about the past can have long effects into the present and possibly the future.

The town of Mattingly in Virginia is home to three main actors in this story. There is the sherriff Jake Barnett and his Kate as well as the recluse Taylor Hathcock. Despite very different characters, these three people are bound by a shared guilt about the death that happened long ago.

Phillip McBride's death was ruled a suicide a long time ago, but to this day all three people feel guilt about contributing to his death. Each lives in their own personal version of guilt ridden hell, trying to do good to avenge the feeling of guilt that is gnawing at them. But despite their best efforts, doing good cannot overcome the feeling of guilt that is eating them up inside.

When a robbery of a convenience store leads to another killing, the three people must face their past to conquer the future. If not tackling the long ago past, their future and the future of Mattingly could be at risk.

I liked this book because the thriller aspect was in part the fight that each person had to deal with in overcoming the past. The inner struggles, that they feared to share with others, are things that each of us face at times and seeing how the struggles get resolved in the book was interesting and to some degree helpful to read.

Overall, despite being published by a Christian publisher, this is a fascinating book without too strong Christian overtones and as a thriller it provides a novel and fascinating look into the psyche of human beings.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are solely my own and have not been influenced by Thomas Nelson Publishing or any third party. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Freebie Friday at Kroger - good one this week - 12 pack Nestea Iced Tea (value of $3.99)

FREE Nestea with Digital Coupon

April 11 only, download a digital coupon for a FREE Nestea! Redeem through April 26, 2014.

Link for coupon download is

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Food Truck review: KoKyu - Korean BBQ at Sam's Bottle Shop Grand Opening!

This evening, Sam's Bottle Shop had their extended grand opening and to my pleasant surprise they still had the food truck there for KoKyu, the Korean BBQ place. I settled for a nice dinner with duck fat waffle fries - much more indulgent than any fries you have tasted before. I also had the coconut curry brisket tako, spicy and fresh and fruity all at the same time. The portion size is definitely filling and the total prize was $8, which is not bad for a complete dinner that is almost gourmet in flavor.
When you have a chance to sample KoKyu and get their duck fat waffle fries, make sure you get the special sauce - a mix of hot sauce and cooling sauce that makes a great contrast to the sea salt sprinkled fries. I am definitely looking forweard to the next time when KoKyu will show itself around South Durham.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - excellent Korean BBQ, Duck Fat Waffle Fries and Coconut Curry Brisket Tako

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Walgreens Freebie: 10 free prints 4x6 available

you will need an account at and upload your pictures. But Walgreens is through 4-3-14 offering 10 free 4x6 prints with code 1FREEPICS10 (at checkout).

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Quick and healthy eating the frugal way - curried chicken stew with spinach and mushrooms

This weekend I found pre-chopped veggies on clearance at Kroger and when I also found some reduced for sale mushrooms, I decided that it was time for some home-cooking that did not involve soup. I looked for reduced for sale meat and found chicken thighs and also added some spinach, bagged for salad, that had also been reduced.

At home, I skinned and de-boned the thighs, then quickly browning them in some vegetable oil to make sure they were cooked through and browned on both sides. Then I removed the meat from the pan and added the stir fry vegetables, the mushrooms and let them simmer in some chicken stock until they were soft. Lastly, I added back the chicken cut into bite-size pieces and then cooked the fresh spinach until it was wilted. Adding some sour cream to thicken the sauce, curry for some flavor and I had a filling chicken curry stew that took about 20 minutes to prep.

I paired the stew with some crusty bread and using chop sticks, we had a wonderful dinner that cost less than $10 for enough stew to feed 4 to 6 people.
copyright Durhamonthecheap -

Monday, March 31, 2014 samping: OxiClean laundry detergent!

Through I received a coupon for a free bottle of laundry detergent by OxiClean. I had previously used OxiClean to pre-treat, but never as a laundry detergent, but I had some clothes that needed washing and I could not wait to see how OxiClean would work out.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - attacks even tough dried-on stains - okay, we will see!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - no perfumes or dyes - love this in my laundry detergent!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - bright colors, sparkling whites and even though the stains were allowed to set.
So what is the verdict? I had some clothes sitting in the hamper for 1 week, plenty of time for the stains to set. But OxiClean worked well. The colors were bright and the whites were sparkling - I really was impressed by how well OxiClean worked. I will continue to use it and pay especially attention to how bright the whites are because I want my whites to sparkling white and not even a hint of gray in them. I have had issues with some bargain detergents in the past that left the clothes clean, but the whites not really white. OxiClean certainly does not have this problem. Maybe I am imagining this, but to me the colors were brighter too. Again, for a first try with OxiClean I am happy with the outcome and would even a brief - I am impressed - statement.

Disclaimer: I received a coupon for a free product to sample the product and review it. The opinions expressed in this blogpost are solely my own and have not been influenced by or any third party.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Moms Meet sampling event: Fresh Express Salads

Thanks to Moms Meet I was able to sample something very healthy this spring. I got free coupons to indulge in Fresh Express Salad mixes. Available locally at most grocery, including Kroger and Harris Teeter, Fresh Express mixes come in a large variety of flavors and sizes. I opted for the mixed greens bags rather than buy salad kits, such as Cesar Lite. I usually add a trip to the salad bar for some protein- or fiber-rich add-ons, such as orzo salad, bean salad or corn salsa. Adding some extra cheese or ham to a layer of Fresh Express salad, topped with a spoon of the corn salsa or the orzo mix will make for a gourmet salad at very reasonable prices.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - a bed of Fresh Express greens topped with chickpeas, sweet peppers, and turkey!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - a bed of greens from Fresh Express, topped with Asian dressing, orzo, ham, beans & radishes

copyright Durhamonthecheap - all you need for a week of ever changing salads 0 Fresh Express and salad bar add-ons!
If you go to the Fresh Express website here you can convince yourself just how many varieties are available. Some varieties include my favorites such as veggie lovers, green and crisp, baby spinach, spinach and arugula. They also have salad kits that come with the greens, toppings and dressing - everything you need for a filling salad in one bag.

Since I am really picky with dressings and usually prefer just plain oil and vinegar, I usually buy the bags with just greens in them, stop by the salad bar for some fiber-rich and protein filled add-ons such as orzo salad, bean salad, or corn salsa. Sometimes I also buy items such as sweet peppers, fresh mushrooms or radishes to add color and crunch to the salad. Then I always have shredded cheese or ham at home, sometimes a hard-boiled egg and in a few minutes I have made a wonderful salad that did not break the bank, but tastes like a salad from a regular restaurant - which would have usually cost me about $10.

I made use of a sale at my local grocery store and stocked on some more salad. I love the Fresh Express Sweet and Crunchy variety because it has green and red butter lettuce. This is perfect for a light salad. I simply added some shredded cheese, sliced pastrami and a light dressing of oil and vinegar. I paired this salad with some small toasted slices of bread covered in pate. Perfect for a light dinner on a (finally) warm spring day!
copyright Durhamonthecheap - picked up a couple of more bags, in particular my favorite Sweet and Crunchy!

copyright Durhamonthecheap -another healthy dinner, sandwiches and Sweet & Crunchy with Pastrami!
What is your favorite blend of Fresh Express Salad mixes? Do you prefer the plain salad mixed or do you usually buy a salad kit with dressing and toppings already included?

copyright Durhamonthecheap - the salad was mixed with some Hidden Valley Ranch dressing (light version) - YUM!

Disclaimer: I received free samples from Moms Meet in exchange for hosting a sampling event and an honest review of the product. The opinions expressed in the blogpost are solely my own and have not been influenced by Moms Meet or any third party.