Recipe- Yummy Chocolate Truffles

This week I wanted to highlight how cooking frugally can still be delicious. Here’s a wonderful recipe for chocolate truffles I found several months ago. With the holidays approaching these would make great gifts or treats for Holiday parties.

You need:
16 ounces of chocolate or white chocolate (you can use any type, I used Hershey bars because I got them for free)
1 8 ounce package cream cheese
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional

1. Break 8 ounces of chocolate bars into pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring after 45 seconds.

2. Beat cream cheese on low speed until fluffy. Mix in melted chocolate and nuts.

3. Place in freezer for 15 minutes or until firm.

4. Shape chocolate mixture into balls and return to freezer for 30 minutes.

5. Melt remaining chocolate. Using a toothpick, dip balls into melted chocolate until coated. You can decorate these with sprinkles, nuts, or chocolate shavings if desired.

6. Store in fridge. These are easy and delicious!

For more recipes like this visit The Thrifty Things
Photo Credit for Truffle courtesy of Wilton.

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Friday Lunchbox Recipe- Mac & Cheese Soup


One way we save money in our house is to pack our kids lunches rather than buying school lunches. With all 3 of our girls attending school this year, packing lunches most of the week is going to be the most cost effective way for us to feed our girls. So I thought I would share with you some recipes I find to spice up our girls lunches! So each Friday, keep an eye for a new recipe for your kiddos lunchbox!

This weeks Friday Lunchbox Recipe:

MAC & CHEESE SOUP

Serves: 6

Cooking Time: 15 min

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas and carrots, thawed
  • 1 (7.25-ounce) package macaroni & cheese mix
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups (1 quart) milk
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. In a soup pot, bring water to a boil over high heat. Stir in peas and carrots, macaroni from packaged mix (reserving cheese packet), salt and pepper. Return to a boil, cover loosely, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, including reserved cheese packet. Reduce heat to medium, cover loosely, and simmer 10 minutes, or until hot and creamy, stirring occasionally

Recipe and Photo credit thanks to MrFood!

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Slow Cooker Recipe- Venison Chili

Each Thursday during the Fall and Winter The Centsible Family will showcase a slow cooker (crock-pot) recipe that one of the Mavens of Money have tried and tasted. By sharing we hope you will be able to save a little time during the week as we all know saving time is just as valuable as saving money. And you will be able to enjoy a hot meal at the end of your day.

This week’s recipe is Venison Chili by Jenny at The Healthified Mom and Freebie Spot that is sure to warm you on a chilly night! If you don’t have venison you can substitute with ground beef, turkey, chicken, etc. Prep time should be about 15 minutes and will cook for six hours and yield about 8 servings.

[Read more…]

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Slow Cooker Recipe- Chicken & Dumplings

Each week during the Fall and Winter The Centsible Family will showcase a slow cooker (crock-pot) recipe that they have tried and tasted. By sharing we hope you will be able to save a little time during the week as we all know saving time is just as valuable as saving money. And you will be able to enjoy a hot meal at the end of your day.

This week’s recipe is for Chicken and Dumplings! I personally love chicken and dumplings so I was excited to find an easy recipe to try. One thing to note is I put more celery and potatoes in then called for so I had to add more water to the pot in order for it to not be a large mess. Good rule of thumb is to keep the water level at 2/3 of the pot if it’s a soup or stew.

Ingredients

  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium white sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)**
  • 2 cups whole baby carrots
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano**
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 cups all-purpose baking mix
  • 2/3 cup milk

Directions

  1. Place the chicken, potatoes, carrots and celery into a 6-quart slow cooker.
  2. Stir the soup, water, oregano and black pepper in a small bowl. Pour the soup mixture over the chicken and vegetables.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours* or until the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Stir the baking mix and milk in a medium bowl. Drop the batter by spoonfuls onto the chicken mixture. Increase the heat to HIGH. Tilt the lid to vent and cook for 30 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked in the center.

*Or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours.

Recipe Credit: Recipe.com
** Substituted White Sweet Potatoes for Yukon Gold Potatoes and Oregano for Thyme as these were what I had on hand.

Thanks The Centsible Family!

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Dream Dinner Book Review + Recipe- Slow-Cooked BBQ Short Ribs

I absolutely love cooking and baking! It was something that I did as a kid with my mom & grandpa and something that I love to do with my kiddos now. It bring a sense of calmness and joy! Although we don’t get to do it as often as I would like, it still is something we try and fit in at least once a week- together as a family. Having little ones sometimes makes an easy 1 hour recipe (start to finish) take several hours of preparing, cooking and cleaning up. Not something we can do very often. Finding a way to bypass some of these steps, but still allowing my family the joy of cooking together, would be a huge time saver! In comes Dream Dinners….

Dream Dinners is the nation’s leading meal assembly service that has more than 100 locations nationwide. They promote keeping the family together, saving time, eating better and saving money- of course my favorite part. Each month Dream Dinners prepare recipes and ingredients for you to assemble and take home meals to freeze! No clean-up, just prepare your meal and head out the door! With an average serving costing around $4.25, our family of five could have a great meal for around $20!

Founders of Dream Dinners, Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna with Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, feel that family time is important and wrote a book to help families make dinner time an important role in our everyday lives. The Hour that Matters Most: The Surprising Power of the Family Meal is a great new book full of healthy ideas, recipes and meal planning to help re-engage your families at dinner time. Helpful tips on how to start a conversation and connect with your family as well as tips to just have fun.

Numerous studies have shown the clear benefits of family eating together at the dinner table – everything from a lower risk of diabetes in children, to higher performance scores among school aged children, and deeper feelings of family bonds and satisfaction. Though dinnertime is truly the most logical hour in a day to be proactive in gathering the family together, the authors don’t exclude the options of breakfast or 8 o’clock cookies and milk. Whatever it takes! The Hour that Matters Most: The Surprising Power of the Family Meal will teach readers how to reclaim important time in order to build relationships, draw closer to one another, and restore connectedness and peace in your home simply through mealtimes together.

My favorite part of this book has to be the step by step – how to start a Fix & Freeze Club! I have had on my to do list for over a year now to have a bulk cooking day. If you are not familiar with this idea, basically you pick a few recipes and buy items in bulk (preferably from your stockpile) and spend a day cooking 10-15 meals and then freezing them. This is a great way to have dinners ready in a very minimal amount of time (basically time to re-heat) on busy nights or when you know the hubby will have the kids to himself for dinner. But I never seem to actually pick a date and just do it! Something always comes up and I just don’t get it done! The Hour that Matters Most: The Surprising Power of the Family Meal gives you steps to start a club. A night of good conversation with a few good friends while you each prepare and cook meals for each of your families to take home and freeze! Doesn’t that sound like so much fun!

Now that I have added a new to do item on my list, I thought I would share with you one of the recipes I found in the book that is now apart of our family meal plan. I love using the slow cooker, it is a set and forget kind of meal planning for me! Here is a great recipe straight from the The Hour that Matters Most: The Surprising Power of the Family Meal book that I know you are just gonna love!

Slow Cooked BBQ Short Ribs

Ingredients:

  • 3lbs Boneless Country Style Beef Short Ribs
  • 1/2 Chopped Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil

In a heavy skillet over high heat, add oil, onions and ribs, browning ribs by cooking 2-3 minutes per side.

Combine sauce ingredients in slow cooker:

  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup bbq sauce (any, your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Add browned ribs and onions to slow cooker. Cook 6-8 hours (depending on your slow cooker). If you are pinched for time and/or do not have all the sauce ingredients, you can combine raw short ribs and entire bottle of bbq sauce in a slow cooker and cook.

Taken from Hour that Matters Most by Les and Leslie Parrott with Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna. Copyright © 2011 by Les and Leslie Parrott and Dream Dinners. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

Through the book, discover:

·         How to overcome the time starved, working mom dilemma

·         The secrets of a healthy home

·         Ways to engage your family in meaningful conversation

·         How to start a fix and freeze club

·         The heart of great table talk and fun

·         And much more!

· The Hour That Matters Most launched September 6, 2011

· For more information visit, www.thehourthatmattersmost.com

· Available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes & Noble The Hour that Matters Most: The Surprising Power of the Family Mealat $15.99 each

I was provided with the book about to conduct this review. No other compensation was received. My opinion is 100% my own.

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Lunch Box Ideas- Apple Sauce Squares

This  time of year always seems to be my kiddos favorite time of year to snack on apples! So this weeks LunchBox Idea, I found is Apple Sauce Squares!

Cooking Time: 25 min
Ingredients

*1/4 cup margarine, softened
*2/3 cup brown sugar
*1 egg
*1 cup applesauce
*1 cup Granny Smith apples with skin on, small diced
*1 cup all purpose flour
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
*1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
*3 tablespoons margarine, melted
*1 tablespoon milk
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Recipe Wednesday- Crock Pot Lasagna

Lasagna can be very difficult to make, but when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to share it! As a working mom, making delicious homemade dinners isn’t always easy, so I love finding recipes that work for our busy lifestyle. The thing I hate most is the prep time…this recipe only takes 25 minutes! How easy is that? Just let the crockpot do the rest!!

PREP TIME: 25 Min TOTAL TIME: 6 Hr 35 Min SERVINGS: 8

Ingredients

1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 cans (15 ounces each) Italian-style tomato sauce
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
15 uncooked lasagna noodles

Directions

  1. Cook sausage and onion in 10-inch skillet over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomato sauce, basil and salt.
  2. Mix 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses. (Refrigerate remaining mozzarella cheese while lasagna cooks.)
  3. Spoon one-fourth of the sausage mixture into 6-quart slow cooker; top with 5 noodles, broken into pieces to fit. Spread with half of the cheese mixture and one-fourth of the sausage mixture. Top with 5 noodles, remaining cheese mixture and one-fourth of the sausage mixture. Top with remaining 5 noodles and remaining sausage mixture.
  4. Cover and cook on Low heat setting 4 to 6 hours or until noodles are tender.
  5. Sprinkle top of lasagna with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Cover and let stand about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut into pieces.
For more great slow cooker recipes go here.
Recipe and photo is from BettyCrocker.com
Thanks Stretching Your Budget! Go here to see more great recipes!!

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Recipe- Slow Cooked Chili+ FREE E-CookBook!

Mr. Food - Scrumptious Slow Cooker RecipesMr Food is offering you a FREE E-Cookbook with 28 Slow Cooker Recipes! Snag recipes for Meatballs, Chili’s, Appetizers and much more, anything that you want to cook in a slow cooker! I have included just one of the recipes below that you can snag with this FREE E-Cookbook!

Thick and chunky chili is the heartiest kind, and Slow-Cooked Chili proves it. You’ll feel like a pioneer when you enjoy this recipe for dinner or lunch.

Serves: 5

Cooking Time: 5 hr

Ingredients:

[Read more…]

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Recipe- No Bake Fudge Brownies

No-Bake Fudge Brownies

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Total Time to Serve: 4 hours 10 minutes

Servings: 16

Ingredients

1 can 14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 squares (1 oz. each) unsweetened chocolate, cut up
1 box Keebler® Vanilla Wafers
3/4 cup chopped nuts, divided

Directions

1. In medium heavy saucepan combine milk and chocolate Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate melts and mixture thickens. Remove from heat.

2. Stir cookie crumbs and 1/2 cup of nuts into chocolate mixture. Pat into 8 x 8 x 2-inch pan lined with wax paper. 3. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup nuts on top, lightly pressing into chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or until firm. Cut into squares.

Coupons

-$1.00/2 Keebler Cookies, 8/7 RP (exp. 10/2/11)

Thanks Stretching Your Budget!

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Lunchbox Idea- Sweet Potato Chips

One of my biggest goals this school year is to provide my girls with healthier lunchbox options and to offer them more variety. Last year we seemed to get in a rut of packing the same lunches every week and I found my girls asking more by the end of the year for something new or  to buy their lunch at school. With all 3 of our girls attending school this year, packing lunches most of the week is going to be the most cost effective way for us. So I thought I would share with you some recipes I find to spice up our girls lunches! So each Friday, keep an eye for a new recipe for your kiddos lunchbox!
This week I found….

Sweet Potato Chips [Read more…]

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Reciep- Pork Chops with Peach Salsa

Each week Stretching Your Budget brings you a fun, easy recipe! This week’s recipe is:

Southwestern Grilled Pork Chops with Peach Salsa

INGREDIENTS

3 ripe medium peaches, peeled, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped serrano or jalapeño chile
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 bone-in pork loin chops, 1/2 inch thick (4 oz each)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat gas or charcoal grill. In medium bowl, mix peaches, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, brown sugar, lime juice and chile; set aside.
  2. Rub chili powder on both sides of each pork chop. Place pork on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 6 to 9 minutes, turning once, until pork is no longer pink in center. Serve pork chops topped with salsa, or serve salsa on the side.

For more great recipes, check out:

Photo and recipe from BettyCrocker.com

 

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FREE Mr Food E-Book- 18 Easy Dessert Recipes

No Bake DessertsI love desserts! I love even more finding desserts that I don’t have to wait around and cook, I can just mix, set and eat! Especially with these hot summer days we have been having, I don’t even want to turn on the oven!! Mr Food is offering a FREE E-Book with 18 Easy Dessert Recipes!

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Recipe- No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake Bars- July 30 is Cheesecake Day!
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Kraft
Prep time: 5 hours
Total time: 5 hours
Serves: 18
These are divine. Light and sweet and so delicious!
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg. (11.1 oz.) JELL-O No Bake Cheesecake
  • 5 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups cold milk
  • 1 square BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted PLANTERS Pecans
Instructions
  1. LINE 8-inch square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Mix Crust Mix, butter and sugar until well blended. Press firmly onto bottom of prepared pan using the bottom of a dry measuring cup.
  2. BEAT milk and Filling Mix with electric mixer on low speed just until blended. Beat on medium speed 3 minutes. (Filling will be thick.) Spread half of the filling over crust. Stir chocolate into remaining filling; spread over filling in pan. Sprinkle with pecans.
  3. FREEZE 4 hours or overnight. Remove dessert from freezer about 10 minutes before serving. Lift dessert from pan using foil handles. Let stand at room temperature to soften slightly. Cut into 18 bars. Store leftover bars in tightly covered container in freezer.

Thanks Mama Loves Her Bargains!

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Recipe- Tiramisu Cheesecake

Did you know there was a National Cheesecake Day? I definitely did not! Well, July 30th is the respective day! I love, love, love Cheesecake! I think it’s my favorite dessert!

In honor of National Cheesecake Day, this week’s recipe is: “Tiramisu Cheesecake.”

What You Need

1 pkg. (12 oz.) NILLA Wafers (about 88), divided
5 tsp. MAXWELL HOUSE Instant Coffee, divided
3 Tbsp. hot water, divided
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup BREAKSTONE’S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
4 eggs
1 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

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Recipe- Spinach & Sausage Stuffed Manicotti


I have to say I love me some Italian Food! But this by far is my favorite! So by request of Nan Bixby on Facebook, here is my recipe!I have to warn you though, if you are on a diet, this recipe is not for you! My family has a few signature recipes that we make that taste great but are not the best for diets! This is one of them!! But you will love the taste!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Package of Manicotti Noodles
  • 1 Pound of Ground Beef
  • 1 Pound of Sausage ( we use Italian or Mild)
  • 2 Cups of Fresh Chopped Spinach
  • 1/2 Cup of diced onions
  • 1 tsp of basil
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of garlic powder or chopped fresh garlic cloves
  • 1 large can of dice tomatoes
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded provolone cheese
  • 2/3 cup of Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven 350 degrees
  • Cook pasta as directed, drain and cool when tender
  • In skillet brown sausage & ground beef, drain grease once brown on medium-high
  • Add onion, garlic to brown meat above for about 8-10 minutes on medium
  • Add chopped spinach, tomatoes, paste, basil, salt, pepper and sugar on low-medium for 15-20 minutes
  • Manicotti Recipe
  • In separate bowl add 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, provolone cheese, egg, Parmesan cheese, mix completely
  • Manicotti Recipe
  • Use mixture above to stuff manicotti shells
  • In bottom of casserole dish pour about half the meat mixture to cover bottom
  • Add stuffed shells on top of meat mixture
  • Pour rest of meat mixture over top stuffed shells
  • Manicotti Recipe
  •  Add 2 cups of mozzarella to top
  • Bake 30-40 minutes
  • Let it sit for about 10 minutes before  you serve

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