Category Archives: Recipes

Very Berry Banana Yogurt Smoothie

Very Berry Banana Yogurt Smoothie | Money Savvy Living


I absolutely love to start my day with a smoothie.  I have never been really interested in eating a big breakfast.  I was one of those kids that literally had to gag down breakfast before going to school each day.  Although, if I don’t eat breakfast at all, I am sooo hungry by mid-morning.  So, for me, drinking a smoothie is an easy way to get the nutrition that I need without having to eat a huge breakfast.


But having the exact same smoothie everyday can get a bit boring, so I like to change it up with different seasonal fruits and flavors.  However, I do like to freeze fresh fruit when it is in season and use it in my smoothies in the winter…  I must admit that adding in frozen fruit gives my smoothie a much creamier texture (almost like a milkshake!), so sometimes I use a frozen banana or add a few ice cubes just to give it that creaminess!


Very Berry Banana Yogurt Smoothie | Money Savvy Living


Very Berry Banana Yogurt Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 strawberries
  • handful of raspberries
  • 1 scoop of plain or greek yogurt
  • 1½  cup almond milk
  • ½ cup coconut water
  • ¼ cup Vanilla Juice Plus+ Complete protein


Blend until smooth…and enjoy!


**Add less milk if you want a thicker consistency.


*You can use any protein powder that you like, but I prefer the Juice Plus+ Complete because it provides hidden veggies as it is a whole food based protein shake!


Very Berry Banana Yogurt Smoothie | Money Savvy Living


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

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies | Money Savvy Living #glutenfree #healthy


Even though I try very hard to eat healthy and feed my family healthy foods, sometimes, I just have a sweet tooth.  I don’t want to feel like I am depriving myself, so having a treat now and then is good…

But what if I could have a treat that is relatively healthy too?  That’s a win-win!

A friend had shared a recipe for chocolate chip cookies made with chickpeas (I would have probably never thought to do that!), but I tried it and liked it, so I decided to put my own little twist on it:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies | Money Savvy Living #glutenfree #healthy

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies


  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • ½ cup natural cream peanut butter (or any nut butter you like)
  • 2 Tbsp. raw honey, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. agave necter
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. gluten free all-purpose baking mix
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Mix all ingredients in food processor, except for chocolate chips.  Blend until smooth.  At this point, stir in chocolate chips. Now, you can either roll into 1 inch balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheet, slightly flatten; or you can simply spoon-drop them on and bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.


Easy, right?

And so good, you won’t even know that they’re healthy too!


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies | Money Savvy Living  #glutenfree #healthy


Valentine Sugar Cut-Out Cookies

Valentine Sugar Cut-Out Cookies

Valentine Sugar Cut-Out Cookies | Money Savvy Living


Cut-out cookies are a classic sweet treat.  I know that 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 secrets with you to make cut-out cookies so good, you will never want to buy a pre-made sugar cookie dough or mix again!


Valentine cookie collage


Secret #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.


Valentine Sugar Cut-Out Cookies | Money Savvy Living


Sugar Cut-Out Cookies

Sugar Cut-Out 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 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.

Secret #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.

Secret #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.

Secret #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.



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.



Valentine Sugar Cut-Out Cookies | Money Savvy Living


Secret #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.


Valentine Sugar Cut-Out Cookies | Money Savvy Living

Valentine Sugar Cut-Out Cookies | Money Savvy Living


Secret #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.



If you don think you’re ready to tackle the cut-out cookies, you may want to try making some gourmet chocolates for Valentine’s Day.  Delicious… and much cheaper than buying gourmet chocolates…

Make beautiful, gourmet chocolates for Valentine's Day

Make beautiful, gourmet chocolates for Valentine’s Day



If you want the great taste of the frosted sugar cookies without the hassle of rolling out dough and using the cookie cutters, you can easily make cookie pops by taking a look at the post detailing how we make these for my son’s birthday treat at school.

Cookie Pops | Money Savvy Living



Sweet Potato and Banana Cookies

Sweet potato banana cookies | Money Savvy Living

Sometimes you just crave something sweet.  But your inner, healthy self knows just how bad sugar is for you… so what can you do to satisfy your sweet tooth without overloading on sugar? Make some sweet potato and banana cookies.

Okay.  I know that sweet potato and cookie are not typically used in the same sentence, but if sweet potato pie can be a classic dessert, then so can sweet potato cookies.

I have to say, the thing that I like most about these cookies is that they are not sweetened with sugar… raw honey is used instead.  (Of course, there is a bit of sugar in the semi-sweet chocolate chips, but you really don’t even have to add these unless you want to.)

sweet potato trio

Sweet Potato and Banana Cookies

Sweet Potato and Banana Cookies


  • 1/2 cup real butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, mashed
  • 1 medium banana, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup all purpose gluten-free baking mix (**or for a bit of a healthy boost, replace the baking mix with Vanilla Juice Plus+ Complete)
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 Tbsp raw honey, melted (warm in microwave until liquid)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Cream together: butter, vanilla, sweet potato, and banana.
  4. Add egg, honey, and baking soda, stir until combined.
  5. Add in oats, baking mix, and chia seeds, stir until combined.
  6. Add in chocolate chips (optional)
  7. Spoon onto cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until lightly golden.
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*to order Vanilla Juice Plus Complete for a nutritional boost to this recipe, click here.


These cookies truly are delicious… and it’s a sneaky way to get your kids to eat sweet potatoes and chia seeds.  The best part is, you don’t even have to feel guilty about eating cookies now.


Christmas in Switzerland: Traditional Linzer Cookies

Christmas in Switzerland: Traditional Linzer Cookies

Christmas will soon be here and my son’s class is studying Christmas around the world—and how countries celebrate Christmas similar to and different from right here, in the United States.

So my son wanted to choose a country that reflects our heritage.  We have quite a long list, mostly from European decent: German, French, English, Irish…. and Switzerland.  The ironic thing is, while researching this project, we have learned a lot about how the Swiss celebrate Christmas—and apparently, none of those traditions continued with our ancestors when they came to the United States.

Part of the project was to learn about the culture and traditions and another part of the assignment was to make a traditional cookies and bring in to share with the class.  We may need to start the tradition of making Linzer cookies for Christmas every year… because they are just so good!

Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup finely ground almonds (approx. 2 oz.)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam
  • confectioner's sugar (optional)


  1. Grind almonds in small coffee grinder or food processor.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, almonds, and cinnamon, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and vanilla, mix well.
  5. Add flour mixture; mix only until incorporated.
  6. Divide dough into two balls.
  7. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until dough is firm enough to roll.
  8. Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
  9. On floured surface, roll out one ball of dough until it is around 1/8 inch thick.
  10. Use round cookie cutter on half the dough (this will the bottom of the sandwich cookie).
  11. On the other half, use the round cookie cutter with the insert (this will be the top of the sandwich cookie).
  12. Transfer to parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.
  13. Bake 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
  14. Cool on cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before removing.
  15. Invert bottom cookie and spread with jam.
  16. Dust the top cookies with confectioner's sugar and gently sandwich cookies together.
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Of course, you can use your own cookie cutters, but we bought a Linzer cookie cutter set (it was only $5 at Walmart) because we wanted them to be perfect.

Linzer cookie cutter set

We cut them out in even numbers for the sandwiches, putting the dough back in the refrigerator to chill in between rolling it out and baking.

After the cookies cool, sprinkle powdered sugar over the tops.

Linzer cookie recipe | Money Savvy Living

Then place on the bottom cookie with jam.  We used raspberry jam that has seeds, and it was delicious, but you can opt for seedless jam.

Linzer cookie recipe | Money Savvy Living

Broccoli Cheese Noodle Soup: Quick, Easy, & Delicious

Broccoli Cheese Noodle Soup | Money Savvy Living


The weather has started to cool off… it is truly starting to feel like fall now.  The leaves are falling.  Frost, yes frost, has been a more common visitor in the mornings lately… The crisp, cool weather puts me in the mood for soup.


Making a pot of soup is my fall/winter stand-by for mealtime.  It re-heats great for sending in my husband’s lunch, or even in a thermos for the boys to school for lunch.  And literally nothing (except maybe a delicious cup of coffee…) warms you up from the inside out.


MMMMM… I am making myself hungry for a big bowl of broccoli cheese noodle soup right now!  I must admit, the first couple of times that I tried to make this type of soup were a big flop.  First, I tried making this in a crockpot… and I DEFINITELY would not advise that.  The second time, I used cheddar cheese… and I DEFINITELY would not advise that either.


So, for me, someone who has absolutely failed at making broccoli cheese noodle soup in the past, this recipe is easy… and turned out perfect!


This is literally all you will need:

7  cups chicken broth
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli
1 (12 ounce) package fine egg noodles
1  lb Velveeta cheese, cubed
5  cups milk (not pictured)


Broccoli Cheese Noodle Soup | Money Savvy Living


Start out by bringing the 7 cups of chicken broth to a boil.  Then add the bag of broccoli.  You don’t even need to let it completely thaw, I only had it out for a few minutes.  Once you pour it into the boiling water, it warms up quick!  Let boil for 3 minutes.


Broccoli Cheese Noodle Soup | Money Savvy Living


Once the chicken stock is boiling with the broccoli in, add in the bad of thin egg noodles.  (Don’t even think about using a different type of noodle– you will love these thin noodles!)  Boil for 3 minutes.

Broccoli Cheese Noodle Soup | Money Savvy Living


While the noodles are cooking, you can work on cutting the cheese into cubes because these smaller pieces will melt much quicker when tossed into the boiling chicken broth.


Broccoli Cheese Noodle Soup | Money Savvy Living


Yes, this looks like a lot of cheese, but trust me, once it melts, it is just the perfect amount!


Broccoli Cheese Noodle Soup | Money Savvy Living


Once added to the pot, turn the heat to low and stir occasionally until the cheese is melted.  Add milk, stir in until fully combined and turn the heat off and cover.  Let sit for about 30 minutes.  This will allow the soup to thicken just a bit and the noodles will plump up a bit more… this extra 30 minutes makes it creamy and delicious!


Broccoli Cheese Noodle Soup: Quick, Easy, & Delicious

Broccoli Cheese Noodle Soup: Quick, Easy, & Delicious


  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli
  • 1 (12 ounce) package fine egg noodles
  • 1 lb Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 5 cups milk


  1. Bring water and chicken bouillon to a boil.
  2. Stir in broccoli and let boil for 3 minutes.
  3. Add noodles and boil for another 3 minutes.
  4. Turn heat to low.
  5. Add cheese, stir until melted.
  6. Add milk and turn off heat. Cover and let stand about half hour until soup is creamy.
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Apple Crisp: the Perfect Autumn Dessert

Apple Crisp | Money Savvy Living



Autumn has only been here a few days, per the calendar, but I have been in fall-mode for about a month now. When the kids go back to school, summer is over for me. That is my (un)official start of fall—and they have been back in school since mid-August.
With my early welcoming of autumn, I planted mums a few weeks ago and really felt like I was rushing the season change… until I was in Kohl’s a few weeks ago and saw a few Christmas displays out already, then they started popping up at Target and Walmart too… I decided I may actually be a bit late in starting my celebration of fall… As much as I love, Love, LOVE Christmas, I am not willing to by-pass autumn and all the great things that go along with it.
Fall is quite possibly my favorite season of the year. I enjoy the apple picking, crisp mornings, roasting marshmallows over the fire pit, the beautiful fall canvas of changing colors, hayrides, watching the kids select the perfect pumpkins for Halloween…



The apple picking this fall was just a little bit extra special to me because the apples were from our own tree! Yes, the two little trees that we planted nearly 10 years ago are finally giving us some good apples. Well, one tree did. We bought two trees because one is the cross-pollinator for the other, so I am pretty sure that we would need another tree to cross-pollinate, but I honestly don’t even remember what variety of apple trees we bought. I am no expert in this area. I have no idea how long it should take for apple trees to bear fruit, but ours finally did, and I am excited!
The natural thing to do when you pick a bunch of apples off the trees that you have been growing for years is to make an apple crisp…so I did. Plus, I figured it would make my hubby happy.

Harvest Apple Crisp

Harvest Apple Crisp


  • 5-6 apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 c. oatmeal
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • ¾ stick softened butter


  1. Filling: Mix the dry ingredients together and toss the diced apples in the flour/cinnamon/sugar mixture.
  2. Spread out in the bottom of your prepared 13×9 pan (spray the bottom of the pan with a bit of non-stick spray)
  3. Crumb Topping: In the same bowl, combine flour, oatmeal, sugar, and butter. I find it best to just go ahead and get my hands in and mix it together and then crumble on top of the apples. While you may be tempted, like I am, to eat this crumb topping mixture raw, I assure you that it is even more delicious when it has baked on top of the apples!
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
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This apple crisp is delicious when served warm (with ice cream!) or at room temperature.


Apple Crisp recipe | Money Savvy Living
You probably figured out that this literally cost me nothing to make. The apples were free since I grew them myself and only had the cost of the other ingredients, which I already had in my cabinet. Even if you buy the apples, this is an inexpensive, delightful dessert that really captures the deliciousness of the season.

Mango Salad with Feta Cheese

Mango Feta Salad |Money Savvy Living


Sometimes, you just want a light, delicious meal.  If you are tired of the standard meat and potatoes, then you must try this delicious summer salad.  Of course, it would compliment a chicken dinner with roasted redskin potatoes nicely, but it can definitely stand alone as the main dish.


Utilizing salads as a main dish can also help shrink your waistline a bit too…. a side-effect that I can totally appreciate!


One of the things that I love about making entrée salads is that you don’t need to measure anything exactly, you can just toss in any amount of anything that you like in, and it takes almost no time to prepare, especially if you make this salad without the grilled chicken.


Mango & Feta Salad

  • Time: 10 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • Mixed Greens (any type of lettuce that you like will work!)
  • Mango, diced
  • Shallot, finely chopped
  • Feta Cheese
  • Boiled Eggs, chopped
  • Avocado, diced
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Almonds, Pecans, or Walnuts
  • Grilled Chicken

Top with the salad dressing of your choice.  I usually like a vinaigrette or low-fat poppy seed dressing to keep the salad on the light side.


So before summer totally winds down, make one of these fresh, delicious salads for dinner.  Pair it with a glass of white wine.  Eat dinner outside on your deck.  And enjoy these beautiful summer nights before they are gone….

Double Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies

The best chocolate chip cookies you'll every eat!

The best chocolate chip cookies you’ll every eat!

Not only are these the best cookies you will ever eat, they are super easy and inexpensive to make! One of the reasons that I love them is because they taste homemade… but actually start out with a box of cake mix. Another reason I like these is because you only have to add 3 ingredients to them and you are ready to bake. Like I said, super easy!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: 3 dozen
  • Time: 10 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix (my favorite is Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge cake mix)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil (canola oil or vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I use white chocolate chips, but any flavor is delicious– chocolate, mint, peanut butter, etc)

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Spoon onto cookie sheet.

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Bake for 9 minutes at 350 degrees.



And the best part is, the recipe yields approximately 3 dozen cookies. The cost of ingredients is about $2.50, making them approximately $0.80 per dozen! That is a huge savings from buying a package of cookies from the store, which start at $2.00 per dozen.


Double Chocolate Chip Cookies | Money Savvy Living

Homemade strawberry jam– money savvy and healthier than what you buy at the store

Homemade strawberry jam... delicious and makes a wonderful gift idea

Homemade strawberry jam… delicious and makes a wonderful gift idea


There is nothing better than homemade jam on a hot, homemade biscuit! One of my favorite indulgences– and it brings back wonderful childhood memories of my grandmother who always made special, bite-sized biscuits for us kids. Of course, my mother also made delicious biscuits which we would top with butter and strawberry jam. YUM. YUMM. YUMMMM…


Besides the fact that homemade jam is sooo much tastier than store-bought, it also comes with other benefits: no articial flavors, additives, or high fructose corn syrup… and it will save you money!


Making homemade strawberry jam consists of just three things: strawberries, sugar, and fruit pectin. This is huge when you consider that regular jam that you buy off the shelf at the grocery store has high fructose corn syrup, with other additives for color or flavor. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take strawberries and sugar over high fructose corn syrup and additives any day.


To buy a jar of strawberry jam at the store with high frustose corn syrup and other additives, you will spend about $0.17-0.22/oz. If you are fortunate enough to find a brand or line of product that doesn’t have the high frustose corn syrup, you will definitely spend more. Much more, in fact, anywhere from $0.25-0.38/oz. Making it myself, the final cost was $0.14/oz! So to buy the kind of jam at the grocery store that I make at home, I would spend 2-3 times as much!!

Homemade Strawberry Jam

  • Servings: approx. 28 ounces
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

3 cups crushed strawberries (2 pounds whole strawberries)
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp of fruit pectin

1 tsp lemon juice
small pat of butter (I always put a little butter in to cut down on the foam)

  • Only use ripe berries at their peak
  • Wash strawberries, remove tops/stems
  • Crush with a potato masher. Pour into pan
  • Mix about 1/4 c sugar with the fruit pectin, add to strawberries
  • Bring to rolling boil
  • Stir in remaining sugar, bring to full rolling boil stirring constantly for 1 minute
  • Remove from heat, skim off foam
  • Pour into prepared jars (clean and dry)
  • Wipe away any excess from rim, place canning lid and ring on jar

**Jams are the only thing that I will can without using a canner or placing in boiling water. At this point, I invert for about 20 minutes. Place jars upright and check to be sure the lid is completely sealed (should not be springy) for storage.


But strawberry jam isn’t the only great summertime recipe, featuring this juicy, delicious fruit.  Here are some other great recipes for strawberries:

Best & Easiest Strawberry Pie Recipe / My Creative Days

strawberry pie

Strawberry Cheesecake in a Cup / Tastefully Frugal

Strawberry Cheesecake-In-Cup

Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles / Tastefully Frugal

Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles

Lemonberry Slush / Tastefully Frugal

Strawberry Lemon Berry Slush HERO

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