Category Archives: Recipes

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy Living

Christmas morning is less than one week away.  If your home is anything like ours, the kids will be up probably several times throughout the night and then ready to run downstairs and see what Santa left for them!  So at 5am, you are probably not ready to cook a huge breakfast, but I have the perfect solution for you… cranberry cinnamon roll drop biscuits.  They are quick and easy to make or you can even make them the night before so you don’t have to do anything Christmas morning except for try to wake up with your cup of coffee while the kids feverishly rip open their gifts…

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy Living

I’m making these with cranberries to make a wonderful Christmas morning treat, but this basic recipe could be used year round by substituting the cranberries with raisins, blueberries & lavender, strawberries, pumpkin you get the idea…

I also have to admit, I’m not exactly making these from scratch, but I guarantee, you won’t be able to tell!

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy Living

I am using Bisquick baking mix for my base, so this makes it quick and easy and just a little bit healthier because all I have to do for the base is add milk to the Bisquick.  If I was making this from scratch, I’d typically cut in cold butter to make biscuits.

So I am going to start by cutting up about ¼ cup of Craisins so they are smaller bits and spread out more evenly in the drop biscuits.  And I am going to soak them in a bit of water to help moisten them up.

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy Living

*If you have an adult only Christmas morning, you could soak the Craisins in rum or vodka…

Combine the Bisquick and milk.  Add the Craisins, cinnamon, sugar, melted butter and maple syrup.  Drop onto baking sheet.  I like to line the baking sheet with parchment paper so the biscuits don’t stick and it makes for easier clean up when you put the icing on too.

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy Living

While the biscuits are in the oven, mix the powdered sugar, butter, milk, and maple flavoring for the icing/glaze.

If you put the icing on when the biscuits come out of the oven, it will melt down over the biscuits like a glaze… YUM!

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy Living

 

It all comes together pretty easily:


Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits

  • Servings: 4-6 biscuits
  • Time: 15 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 1/2 cup Bisquick baking mix

1/2 cup milk (I use 2%)

1/4 cup soaked Craisins *optional reserve some for garnish*

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp sugar

1 Tbsp melted butter

1 Tbsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Combine all ingredients.  Spoon onto baking sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

While the biscuits are baking, make the icing:

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp milk

1/8 tsp maple flavor

*Put icing on while biscuits are hot…will melt like a glaze

 


Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy LivingSo delicious and so easy!  I love this because you will still have plenty of time to watch the kids open gifts and relax… and still make a homemade breakfast!  Perfect for Christmas morning!

Have a very Merry Christmas!

 

No Fail Homemade Turkey Gravy

No Fail Homemade Turkey Gravy

No Fail Homemade Turkey Gravy | Money Savvy Living

 

Thanksgiving just passed and Christmas is right around the corner.  So you probably already cooked a big turkey and stuffed yourself on Thanksgiving Day… and still had leftovers… and are probably looking forward to another turkey for Christmas dinner.

 

And honestly, cooking the turkey to a beautiful golden brown is not the hard part.  Making a flavorful, delicious gravy is.  Even if you use dripping from the turkey, sometimes, it just doesn’t have that concentrated flavor that you need to make a rich tasting gravy so you bought a pre-made, canned gravy.  But don’t fret, if you ran into this problem a few weeks ago, I am going to let you in on a little secret for making homemade turkey gravy that tastes rich and delicious… and it is super easy.

 

The secret is Williams-Sonoma Turkey Stock Concentrate.  This stuff is wonderful because it is a thick concentrate that you can dilute down and make stock for soup or gravy with.  If you were to make concentrate on your own, it takes quite a while to cook down, so this is a huge time saver!

 

No Fail Homemade Turkey Gravy | Money Savvy Living

 

And, as you probably know, I am a label reader, so the thing that I love the most about this is that I can pronounce everything on the label… and you know what they say about labels that you can easily read?  The ingredients are fresh not a bunch of fillers or preservatives!

 

No Fail Homemade Turkey Gravy | Money Savvy Living

 

So after reading all the tasty ingredients that have cooked down and simmered into this delicious concentrate, it is easy to understand why this would make a gravy that tastes homemade because it is.

According to the instructions on the jar, to make one cup of stock, you combine:

  • 2 teaspoons of the Turkey Stock Concentrate
  • 1 cup water

Easy, right?!

Keeping these proportions in mind, I made a simple gravy using my turkey drippings and water, and combined it with a butter and flour roux.

 

No Fail Homemade Turkey Gravy | Money Savvy Living


No Fail Homemade Turkey Gravy

  • Time: 15 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Homemade Turkey Gravy

In a large sauce pan, melt 4 tablespoons butter, combine 1/3 cup flour (stir frequently, ensuring there are no lumps) over low-medium heat.

Add water, turkey drippings, and the turkey stock concentrate.

Continue to stir frequently to combine.  Turn heat to low.

*If not cooking a turkey for drippings, just replace that with a cup of water

Depending on how thick or thin you want the gravy, you can add more water, but make sure you keep the correct proportions with the turkey concentrate.  So if you add an additional ½ cup of water, make sure to add an additional teaspoon of turkey stock concentrate.

 


 

For this recipe, I added the turkey right into the gravy because I was using leftover turkey, but this gravy is just fine as a stand alone gravy to use with your side dish at any holiday or family meal.

 

No Fail Homemade Turkey Gravy | Money Savvy Living

 

Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies

Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies

Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies | Money Savvy Living

 

What do you think of when I mention Christmas?  Santa Claus, the Nativity and the birth of Jesus, a decorated Christmas tree, beautifully wrapped gifts, lights… and Christmas cookies!  Of course, there are all types of Christmas cookies and goodies, but I think the sugar cookies are the best!

I don’t know about you, but for me, Christmas cookies conjure up memories from childhood… so I’m going to share Grandma’s Best Every Christmas Sugar Cookies.  They are so easy to make (you won’t even have to buy that pre-packaged sugar cookie mix!) and they taste AMAZING!!

Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies | Money Savvy Living


Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies

Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

3¾ cups sifted, all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1½ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature

1½ tsp pure vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.

In another bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy and light.

Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Stir in flour mixture, a third at a time to make a stiff dough.

*For best results, refrigerate for 15 minutes before rolling out cookie dough.

Roll dough out on floured counter-top.  Make cookies approx. 3/8 inch thick.

Divide cookie dough into thirds.  Only roll out  one-third of the dough at a time.  This way, once the dough has been covered in flour and rolled out, the excess will be mixed with fresh dough (that has not been floured or rolled yet), so it keeps it from becoming too tough.

Bake 8-10 minutes.

 

Icing

1 Tbsp butter, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

2 ½ cup confectioners sugar

3 Tbsp milk

Beat butter, vanilla, and confectioner’s sugar until smooth.

Add in milk 1 Tbsp at a time.

 


Make sure each batch of cookies is approximately the same size and thickness.  If cookies are different thickness or size, they will not cook evenly and you will have some that are overcooked, while others may be undercooked.

Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies | Money Savvy Living

 

From our family to yours, we wish you a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.  May the love of Christ fill your hearts and lives this Christmas and throughout the year!

And I truly hope that your family will take the time to make some wonderful memories as you bake and eat cookies together!

 

 

Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies | Money Savvy Living

 

And if you want to try something different than these traditional Christmas Sugar Cookies, this recipe for classic Linzer Cookies is absolutely delicious!
Christmas in Switzerland: Traditional Linzer Cookies

Or for more family time together, you can gather the kids around and make some wonderful ornaments to decorate your tree. I love doing this because every year when we decorate the tree, we reminisce a bit. The kids love looking back at stuff they did in preschool and it is just fun memories. Not to mention, they are the most cherished ornaments on the tree because they were made by the kids… Take a look at my posts for how to make these special keepsake ornaments:

Homemade Cinnamon & Applesauce Ornaments
Cinnamon Glitter Ornament

 

Christmas Ornaments that Your Kids Can Make That You Will Actually Want on Your Tree

Christmas Ornaments Collage |Money Savvy Living Porcelain Painted Ornament | Money Savvy Living Cardboard ornament Paperplate angel

Apple Pie Pizza

Apple Pie Pizza | Money Savvy Living

 

Apple Pie and Pizza.  Two things you don’t typically combine… but, I promise that these little apple pie pizzas will be a hit this fall!

I love to eat apples all year long, but this time of year, the local apples are in season and they just have such a sweet flavor, that I have to take advantage of using apples in as many recipes as I can—in addition to just slicing and eating them raw…

These are a perfect finger food… and a quick, easy dessert to make for Thanksgiving—an unexpected twist on the traditional apple pie.

Apple Pie Pizza | Money Savvy Living

Open the package of refrigerated biscuits, pull in half (so that you have twice as many biscuits, just half as thick).

Sprinkle cheese on top of biscuit dough.

Apple Pie Pizza | Money Savvy Living

Add diced apples on top of cheese.

Top with brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and oat mixture

 


Apple Pie Pizza

  • 1 package, refrigerated biscuits (5 counts)
  • Colby jack cheese
  • 2 apples, diced
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • cinnamon to taste
  • ¼ cup quick oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Open the package of refrigerated biscuits, pull in half (so that you have twice as many biscuits, just half as thick).

Sprinkle cheese on top of biscuit dough.

Add diced apples on top of cheese.

Top with brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and oat mixture

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.


 

Apple Pie Pizza | Money Savvy Living

 

So even though we aren’t quite to Thanksgiving yet, I decided to try these out as part of a mini party for my kids, my nieces, and nephew to decorate pumpkins that I am going to use for my Thanksgiving tablescape… and, of course, to enjoy all autumn.  I say mini party because every time the kids get together and have fun, just creating memories as a family, it truly is like a party…

I bought several small pumpkins and gourds, of all colors and sizes, some craft paint, and of course, glitter.

Painted Pumpkins | Money Savvy Living

I chose the colors that I knew that I wanted to match the type of decorating that I wanted to do and what I thought would go nicely on my Thanksgiving table.

…and let the kids choose how they wanted to paint and/or decorate their pumpkins. Pumpkin Painting | Money Savvy Living

*By the way, we used small paper plates to put the paint on, so each child had their own “paint pallet,” and the table is covered with a cheap, plastic table cover, so clean up is super easy!

I think they came out very nicely…

Painted Pumpkins | Money Savvy Living

And we also painted some leaves, pine cones, and acorns for fun accents… and it all looks quite pretty on my Thanksgiving table…

Thanksgiving Tablescape | Money Savvy Living Thanksgiving Tablescape | Money Savvy LivingWishing your family a very “Thankful, Grateful, Blessed” Thanksgiving…

Maple Sugar Cookies with Maple Icing

Maple Sugar Cookies with Maple Icing | Money Savvy Living

 

Homemade cut-out iced sugar cookies have been one of my favorite sweet treats since I was a kid.  I remember my Grandma making these cut-out cookies for nearly every holiday… and they are my absolute favorite!  And I think your family will love them too.

 

Cut-out cookies can be tricky to make, so I’m going to share a few tips with you to make cut-out cookies so good, you will never want to buy a pre-made sugar cookie dough or mix again!

 

When you think of iced sugar cookies, you probably think about Christmas cookies, right?  And while I love to make beautiful Christmas cookies, I am putting a twist on it and making these sugar cookies with a great autumn flavor—maple!—and making them into football cookie pops for my son’s football team.  It’s their last game and I am on for snack, so I have to do something special, right?!

 

Maple Sugar Cookies with Maple Icing | Money Savvy Living

 

Maple Sugar Cookies with Maple Icing | Money Savvy Living

 

Okay, I know that my icing writing needs some work… I am definitely not a professional, but I think they turned out pretty good for my first time trying to write with icing…

 

Tip #1 Use a table mixer.  This is one of the only recipes that I actually get out the table mixer, but I don’t think that you can make these without it.  While you don’t want to over mix and make the dough too tough, it does need to be mixed until it is a stiff dough and a hand mixer just doesn’t do as good.

 

Maple Sugar Cookies with Maple Icing | Money Savvy Living

 

Maple Sugar Cookies with Maple Icing

Maple Sugar Cookies

3 ¾ cups sifted, all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 ½ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature

1 ½ tsp pure maple flavor

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.

In another bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy and light.

Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Stir in flour mixture, a third at a time to make a stiff dough.

Tip #2 For best results, refrigerate for 15 minutes before rolling out cookie dough.

Roll dough out on floured counter-top.  Make cookies approx. 3/8 inch thick.

Tip #3 Divide cookie dough into thirds.  Only roll out  one-third of the dough at a time.  This way, once the dough has been covered in flour and rolled out, the excess will be mixed with fresh dough (that has not been floured or rolled yet), so it keeps it from becoming too tough.

Bake 8-10 minutes.

 

Maple Icing

1 Tbsp butter, room temperature

1 tsp maple flavoring

2 ½ cup confectioners sugar

3 Tbsp milk

 

Beat butter, maple flavor, and confectioner’s sugar until smooth.

Add in milk 1 Tbsp at a time.

 

 

Tip #4 Make sure each batch of cookies is approximately the same size and thickness.  If cookies are different thickness or size, they will not cook evenly and you will have some that are overcooked, while others may be undercooked.

 

If I’m just making a regular batch of cookies, I usually make them about 3/8 inch thick.  For cookie pops, they need to be about half as thick because you will be layering them: place cut-out cookie dough on parchment paper, place cookie pop stick (which has been pre-soaked in water so the sticks don’t burn), then top with 2nd cut-out cookie dough, so the stick bakes in between the cookie layers.Maple Sugar Cookies with Maple Icing | Money Savvy Living

Tip #5 Bake cookies on parchment paper.  Ok, this may not be a secret, but baking cookies on parchment paper prevents the cookies from sticking to the cookie sheet.  No need to buy a liner, just use parchment paper.

 

Tip #6 Let cookies sit on baking sheet after you get them our of the oven for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute before trying to move to cooling rack.  This is especially important with cut-out cookies because you want them to maintain their shape.

Let cool completely before icing.

 

So I added a couple of store-bought treats and put together these festive goodie bags… because those boys are hungry after playing a rigorous game of football…

 

Maple Sugar Cookies with Maple Icing | Money Savvy Living

 

What a fun, festive, and tasty way to end the season!

 

ENJOY!

Build a Better Breakfast that is Quick, Easy & Healthy

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BetterBreakfast #CollectiveBias #ad

Build a Better Breakfast | Money Savvy Living

One of the most important things to me as a parent is making sure that my kids are successful in school and in life… and for our family, that all starts with a healthy breakfast each day.  So to ensure that we always have time for a healthy breakfast, I make sure that we have some healthy options in the refrigerator—and ready for the kids to grab and eat.

One way that I have found to do this for my kids is building a better breakfast with Great Value 2% Milk from Walmart, Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions, and Lender’s Bagels.  I love this combo because, together, it provides a well-balanced breakfast for my boys, which is also quick and easy!  ChooseMyPlate.gov shows how to build a better breakfast by choosing food and beverage from each of the categories: dairy, fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein—and Great Value 2% Milk, Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions and Lenders Bagels helps our family choose a healthy plate by hitting each of these categories.

Build a Better Breakfast | Money Savvy Living

While we know how important proper nutrition is for academic success, it is a sad reality that many children do not have access to basic nutrition.  Childhood should be filled with playing, learning and growing. But for many children who face hunger, even basic staples like milk—and the nutrients that help power childhood activities—are missing.  Now, you can help feed a childhood when you shop at Walmart—by purchasing one or more of these products, you are helping Feeding America provide nutrient-rich milk to kids and families in need.  Join Feeding America in The Great American Milk Drive to help deliver highly desired and nutrient-rich gallons of milk to hungry children and families who need it most. More than 14 million servings of milk have been delivered to food banks through this first-of-its-kind initiative.

Growing up on a dairy farm, I know the importance of milk in a child’s diet.  Milk is naturally nutrient rich and powers potential—if you have access to it.  Milk’s nine essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein per 8 ounce serving, can help to ensure that kids have the potential to play, learn, and grow.  Add in a Lender’s Bagel, which is filling, sustaining kids all morning, and a Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusion cup—and voila!—you have a complete and healthy breakfast.

Build a Better Breakfast | Money Savvy Living

Of course, this trio of milk, bagel, and fruit cup is quick, easy, and nutritious for the kids to just pull out of the refrigerator and make for themselves, but some mornings—when we have a bit of extra time—it is nice to add in another favorite of my boys—scrambled eggs.  I make a huge pan of scrambled eggs and whatever is not eaten at that meal goes into a storage container and put in the refrigerator to be reheated the next day.  You may not have ever thought of reheating eggs, but they truly do taste just as good as “leftovers.”  This is just another way that I make sure that I have healthy ready-to-eat items in the refrigerator so mornings run smoother.

Build a Better Breakfast | Money Savvy Living

And I’ll let you in on my secret way of making scrambled eggs too—it’s really simple, but adds so much flavor!  I usually make a half dozen eggs at a time so I make sure to have enough for leftovers:

  • crack your eggs into a bowl
  • add some Great Value 2% Milk (it makes the eggs nice and fluffy!)
  • add salt and pepper to taste
  • melt a tablespoon of butter in your pan (over medium heat) and spread it around so the eggs won’t stick
  • beat the eggs thoroughly and pour in the pan
  • add some shredded cheese on top of the the uncooked egg mixture (I typically use Colby Jack, but American cheese is good too)
  • stir continually with a silicon spatula until completely cooked
  • top with a bit more cheese while the eggs are warm so it melts…yum!

Build a Better Breakfast | Money Savvy Living

Now that my kids are bigger, we always choose 2% milk because it is good for the kids to drink and I like to use this in any cooking as well.  I’m glad that my kids like drinking milk because this is the base that we work from to build a better breakfast.

Build a Better Breakfast | Money Savvy Living

But part of getting good food into kids is allowing them to help pick the foods too.  And Lender’s makes it easy because they have a bagel for everyone—even your pickiest eater will be able to find something that they will like: Plain, Blueberry and Cinnamon-Raisin flavors are kid-friendly & great for the whole family.  My two youngest sons decided that they wanted Blueberry, but my oldest son chose the French Toast bagels from Lender’s premium line of bagels.  I love that bagels for breakfast are timesaving, easy, tasty, and nutritious.  But when you go to the store to look for these, don’t head to the bread aisle… Lender’s Bagels are available in the refrigerated dairy section.

Build a Better Breakfast | Money Savvy Living

Over the years, I have to admit, that I have gravitated away from canned fruit items because of the high fructose corn syrup, however, Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions has given me reason to come back… Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions is the only fruit cup product that provides one serving of fruits and veggies in a single cup.  The veg is in the juice but you’d never even know it!  So when your kids want to drink the juice that the fruit is in—it’s actually healthy for them!  There’s no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial flavors or sweeteners in these fruit cups—and that’s important to me, as a parent!  So again, knowing that these are healthy, I had the boys pick out which flavors they wanted—because if they get to pick it, they will eat it, right?!  They decided on Apple Pear Watermelon and Cherry Fruit Trio, both were tasty—and easy to pack in school lunches too!  *Look for specially marked Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions packages on the shelf at Walmart for valuable coupons for Del Monte and Lenders products.

Build a Better Breakfast | Money Savvy Living

Visit milklife.com/give to learn more about the Great American Milk Drive.

Now, you can also enter the Build a Better Breakfast Sweepstakes:

Enter to win a weekly prize of $100 Walmart e-gift card or a grand prize of $400 tablet and a $500 Walmart e-gift card:
Enter using hashtag: #BetterBreakfast

#BuildABetterBreakfast Sweepstakes

How will you build a better breakfast?

Build a Better Breakfast | Money Savvy Living

 

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Frosted Maple Cookies

Frosted Maple Cookies | Money Savvy Living

 

Autumn is not here just yet, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not looking forward to all of the autumn inspired activities and tastes… you know, everything pumpkin, hayrides, s’mores over the fire, and maple….

 

Frosted Maple Cookies | Money Savvy Living

 

Maple… a flavor that often gets overlooked with all of the delicious autumn recipes featuring pumpkin.  But, this is a flavor that I well remember growing up—and not just maple syrup on pancakes.  My grandma used to make maple cookies, with a maple frosting that were so good…

 

Frosted Maple Cookies | Money Savvy Living

 

Frosted Maple Cookies

  • Servings: approx. 4 dozen
  • Print

 

Cookies:

½ cup shortening

1½ cups packed brown sugar

2 medium eggs

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

1 tablespoon maple flavor

½ teaspoon maple syrup

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

 

Maple frosting:

2¼ cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon maple flavor

3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon butter

 

Frosted Maple Cookies | Money Savvy Living

 

Directions

In a medium bowl, cream the shortening and brown sugar, then gradually add the eggs, maple flavor, sour cream, and maple syrup, and beat until light and fluffy. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add to creamed mixture and blend thoroughly.

Cover and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using a cookie scoop, to help keep all the cookies uniform in size, place mounds of cookie dough on baking sheet.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile make the maple frosting. Beat butter, maple flavor, and confectioner’s sugar until smooth.  Add in milk 1 tablespoon at a time.

Frost cookies when completely cooled.

*If you want more of a glaze, add frosting to cookies when they are still warm and the frosting will melt.

 

 

Frosted Maple Cookies | Money Savvy Living

This autumn, enjoy some delicious maple cookies!

 

*This post does contain affiliate links, so I do receive a commission should you decide to purchase; however, it does not cost you anything additional.

Turkey & Cheese Panini Poppers

Turkey and Cheese Panini Poppers

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BackToSchoolSimple #CollectiveBias #ad

 

Turkey & Cheese Panini Poppers | Giant Eagle Back to School | Money Savvy Living

 

Summer’s over and it’s back to school time… Okay, technically, we still have over one month left of summer, but with the kids going back to school, it sure feels like summer is over and fall is here…

 

Getting ready to send the kids back to school is about way more than just making sure that we find every last item on their school supply list.  It is also about getting the right items to create healthy—and easy—pack lunches, after-school snacks, and meals at home.   While I always like to focus on healthy, it is also important for me to be able to put together meals and snacks quickly and easily.  With three boys, all involved in sports and after-school activities, we seem to always be on-the-go.  I’m sure many of you can relate to that, right?

 

So when I head to Giant Eagle to get my groceries, I know that I can find all of the “healthier” choices that I am looking for… and take advantage of great in-store deals with my Giant Eagle Advantage card.  One of my favorite aspects of this is earning Fuel Perks.  I love saving money when I gas up my car—and all I have to do is buy groceries!

 

Turkey & Cheese Panini Poppers | Giant Eagle Back to School | Money Savvy Living

 

This year, back to school grocery shopping was easier than ever!  Some of my favorite finds at Giant Eagle were:

  • Frito Lay Multipack: Baked and Popped Mix
  • Schwebel’s Sweet Harvest Wheat Bread
  • Smucker’s Natural Strawberry Fruit Spread
  • JIF Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Nature’s Basket Strawberry fruit & grain cereal bars
  • Giant Eagle Part-Skim Mozzarella String Cheese

So, for less than $20, I had all of the staple items that I needed to pack nutritious lunches for the next few weeks (obviously, the peanut butter and fruit spread will last much longer than that!)

 

Turkey & Cheese Panini Poppers | Giant Eagle Back to School | Money Savvy Living

 

I felt really good about sending the boys off to their first day of school with the natural peanut butter and strawberry fruit spread sandwich on the sweet harvest wheat bread.  Yes, this is just PB&J, but the only ingredients in this fruit spread are strawberries, sugar, fruit pectin, and citric acid—the exact same ingredients that I would use if I were to make homemade jam!  I have always loved to make homemade jam because many of the jams, jellies, and fruit spreads that you buy contain high fructose corn syrup, extra preservatives, and colors added.  But now, I have a quick, easy, and healthy-as-homemade option that I can buy at the grocery store!  So, adding in a strawberry fruit & grain cereal bar, some baked chips, and some carrot sticks and cucumber slices, the boys had a healthy and filling lunch waiting for them.

 

Another mainstay in our home is low-fat cheese sticks—I always make sure that I have plenty of these on-hand for the boys to grab for a snack or add to lunch because they are a great source of calcium and protein!

 

Turkey & Cheese Panini Poppers | Giant Eagle Back to School | Money Savvy Living

 

Even though these cheese sticks are typically for lunches and snacks, I decided to make a special dinner.  So, to celebrate a successful first day of school completed, we are going to have Back to School Turkey & String Cheese Panini Poppers.

 

Turkey & Cheese Panini Poppers | Giant Eagle Back to School | Money Savvy Living

 

Turkey and Cheese Panini Poppers

  • 3 cheese sticks, cut into thirds
  • 1 package, refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 4 slices deli-style turkey
  • pre-cooked French fries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Open the package of refrigerated crescent rolls, unroll dough.  Cut the deli meat into halves and the cheese sticks into thirds.

Simply layer the ingredients on top of the crescent roll dough: turkey, cheese and French fries.  Fold in edges and roll up.  Press sides of dough together.  Place on lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

 

Turkey & Cheese Panini Poppers | Giant Eagle Back to School | Money Savvy Living

 

The boys absolutely loved them—and even asked for more! And because they were so quick and easy, we were able to make it to soccer and football practices in good time.

 

If you need a little inspiration for some tasty and quick back-to-school meal ideas, you can visit Giant Eagle meals and learn more about just how simple it can be… now, you don’t have to order take out for a quick and easy dinner… #backtoschoolsimple

 

Turkey & Cheese Panini Poppers | Giant Eagle Back to School | Money Savvy Living

Strawberry Zucchini Brownies

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #mixinmoments #CollectiveBias #ad

 

Strawberry Zucchini Brownies | Money Savvy Living

 

Eating healthy is a main focus of our family; however, we like to indulge every now and then with something decadent.  So when I find something that is a delicious treat, and a little healthier, I get pretty excited…

 

Nestle Toll House now has NEW Brownies & More Baking Mix, with Chocolate Morsels or Butterfingers; and Cookies & More Baking Mix, with Chocolate Morsels or Butterfingers… made just a little healthier— NO preservatives and NO artificial colors or flavors.  As a consumer— and a mother of three boys— I love to know that I am giving the very best quality ingredients to my family.

 

Strawberry Zucchini Brownies | Money Savvy Living

 

So when I found out these new Nestle Toll House Baking Mixes were free of preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, I was ready to try them all! However, when we got to Target, not all of the baking mixes were in stock (they are available online though). So if they aren’t available in your area, you can always order it online and get free shipping and save 5% off your purchase if you use a Target Red card. I’m always looking to save a little extra money, so when I got to the checkout and was done paying, along with my receipt, I got an in-store Target coupon to save $0.75 on my next purchase of two Nestle Toll House Baking Mixes. And right now, you can save even more and join Ibotta and get an additional rebate of $0.75 on this product!

 

Strawberry Zucchini Brownies | Money Savvy Living

 

Once we got home, we then had to figure out which baking mix to use first… and that was a hard decision… but, after much deliberation, we decided to go with the Nestle Toll House Brownies & More Chocolate Baking Mix.  (Plus, I knew that I could sneak some fruits and vegetables into the chocolate mix without it even being noticed by my kids… shhhh, don’t tell them my secret!)

 

Strawberry Zucchini Brownies | Money Savvy Living

 

Usually, if you want to avoid the preservatives and artificial ingredients, you need to whip up something from scratch… and that’s another reason that I love these new baking mixes… just like homemade, but quicker and easier!

 

Strawberry Zucchini Brownies | Money Savvy Living

 

Strawberry zucchini brownies10

 

I love the fact that these new Nestle Toll House Baking mixes do not contain preservatives, artificial colors, or flavors. And I also love to try to sneak in a few extra fruits and vegetables into my kids when I can… so adding in some strawberries and zucchini gives this “healthier” brownie mix even more of a boost— yet still tastes so good, the kids don’t even realize that they are eating zucchini!

 

Strawberry Zucchini Brownies | Money Savvy Living

 

The boys got to spend the day with some of their cousins for my nephew’s birthday and take a little break for brownies.  They certainly look like they enjoyed them!

Strawberry Zucchini Brownies, featuring NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Brownies & More Chocolate Baking Mix with Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

  • NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Brownies & More Chocolate Baking Mix with Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ shredded zucchini
  • ¼ strawberries, diced and crushed
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 7-inch X 11-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Stir brownie mix, egg, and oil in bowl until blended. Add crushed strawberries and shredded zucchini. Stir in ¾ cup of semi-sweet chocolate morsels.
  3. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle ¼ cup morsels on top of batter and lightly press into batter.
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean.
  5. Cool completely before cutting. Dust with powdered sugar.

 

For more creative recipes like this one, you can find more Nestle Toll House recipes and be inspired to bake the very best for your family… how will you “sneak” some extra fruits and vegetables into your family?  How will you use these #mixinmoments baking mixes to create special moments in your life?

Follow Nestle Toll House on social media:

Twitter \\ Instagram \\ Pinterest \\ Facebook \\ YouTube

 

 

Wicked Juicy Turkey Burger with Creamy Avocado & Mint Sauce

Wicked Juicy Turkey Burger | Money Savvy Living

 

I love a good, juicy burger.  But I don’t love the guilt that I feel after partaking in this indulgence…

 

I have tried healthier versions, such as veggie burgers or turkey burgers to try to find a good substitute for the traditional {delicious, mouth-watering} beef burger, but none have satisfied… until now.

 

Kitchen Accomplice Wicked Juice Burger | Money Savvy Living

 

I have recently discovered a wonderful little product from Kitchen Accomplice Wicked Juicy Burger Turkey concentrate, specifically formulated to be added to ground turkey.  This definitely enhanced the ground turkey and gave it a much more appealing taste for me.  Honestly, I actually even found that my burger didn’t taste that much different than a regular beef burger {big win!}, but I knew that it was much healthier… so no feeling guilty for indulging in this big, juicy burger!

 

I mean, this is the whole point of healthy cooking to me.  I don’t want to just eat something that’s good for me, I want it to actually taste good too and be enjoyable to eat.  I have bought food that is “healthy” for me, but tasted terrible and walk away from the table feeling full, but not satisfied, so I strive very hard to take all the types of foods that I love and just try to make them healthier.  I want to enjoy life, not deprive myself.

 

And I promise, you won’t feel deprived with this burger!

 

Wicked Juicy Turkey Burger with Creamy Avocado & Mint Sauce | Money Savvy Living

 

Wicked Juicy Turkey Burger (with Creamy Avocado & Mint Sauce)

Wicked Juicy Turkey Burger with Creamy Avocado & Mint Sauce

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2-3 tablespoons Wicked Juicy Burger, turkey concentrate
  • ¾ cup gluten-free panko bread crumbs (my favorite are the 4 Crumbs Italian seasoned GF panko)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (you can go easy on the salt because the turkey concentrate already has salt in it)
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • finely chopped chives to taste

 

Mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated.  Go ahead and get your hands in there… you are going to need to form the burger patties anyways!

Grill burger patties until cooked completely (no pink).

 

Wicked Juicy Turkey Burger | Money Savvy Living

 

While it is much easier to buy pre-formed burger patties from the grocery store, I do like to make my own because I find that I don’t really need a true quarter-pounder… that’s a bit too much for me, so being able to make a burger a bit smaller for the kids and myself, and maybe adding a bit extra for my husband, still leaves plenty of extra ground turkey that I will use for meatballs… but that is a different post…

 

So, as part of my journey to make traditional fattening foods that I love a bit more healthy, I decided to plant my own little herb garden this year. I figure, they are perennials, so they should come back next year (I planted them in pots so I can take them inside in case of a harsh winter), they will look nice, and I can actually use them throughout the summer and early autumn in my cooking. Now if you don’t have your own herbs, it could get pretty expensive to buy all of this at the grocery store. But, I have probably spent around $15 for all of these herb plants (probably about what it would cost to buy fresh herbs at the grocery store for just this recipe!) and I can use them all summer long… and hopefully, they will make it through the winter and grow again next year! So making this will literally cost just a few cents by the time I average it out over everything I will use these herbs for this year. Well worth the initial investment!

 

Herb Garden | Money Savvy Living

Top: peppermint, spearmint, mojito Middle: dill, basil, thyme Bottom: lavender, chives

 

If you are new to gardening, here are some pointers on starting your own herb garden that are important to know, such as how to prepare the soil, where to plant your herbs, etc. Or, if you have limited space, or live in an apartment, you pay even want to consider a tower container garden, which is compact enough to go on a balcony or rooftop. Tower gardens are also especially good for very dry areas because they use less water as well…

 

Since I have all of these beautiful herbs right in my backyard, I decided to make a Creamy Avocado & Mint Sauce to compliment my turkey burger.

 

Creamy Avocado & Mint Dip | Money Savvy Living

 

And the best thing about this dip is that it is so versatile. It can be used on sandwiches, burgers, even on pasta… so I guess, it really is a sauce too! However you choose to use it…. healthy, fresh, delicious!

 

Creamy Avocado & Mint Dip | Money Savvy Living

 

However you decide to top your burger, I think you will enjoy the better, richer taste of this wicked juicy burger.

 

 

 

 

*This post contains direct links to my JP+/TG Virtual Franchise. Should you choose to buy a product through here, I would receive a commission.

*This post contains links to KA, a subdivision of MTG.  While my husband works for this company, I have not been compensated for this post in any way, and all opinions are my own.

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