Category Archives: Recipes

Buckeyes: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Bliss

Buckeyes: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Bliss

Buckeyes: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Bliss

Being an Ohioan, I was introduced to this delicious candy in Kindergarten when we made buckeyes at school.  I don’t remember why we made them, but as a 6 year old, I did know they were a candy that was supposed to actually look like a real buckeye.  It is much like a peanut butter cup, only way better– I mean, you can’t beat homemade, right?!

These are a wonderful addition to any Christmas goodie platter or any time of year.  Not sure why, but Christmas time always makes me want to bake goodies that I don’t really even think about making any other time of year.

And, of course, I am always looking at the budget side of things, and I am happy to say that this recipe can make approximately 3 dozen buckeyes for less than $3 of ingredients!

Buckeyes5

Buckeyes

  • Servings: approx. 3 doz
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 ounces milk chocolate melting wafers
  • 2 tablespoons butter flavor shortening

Directions

1.  Line a baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl, mix: peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar

3.  Shape into balls using 2 teaspoons of dough for each ball.

4.  Place on prepared pan, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

5.  Melt shortening and chocolate together in a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water or use a double boiler.  If melting in a microwave, warm on half power in 30 second increments.  Stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat.

6.  Remove balls from refrigerator. Insert a wooden toothpick into a ball, and dip into melted chocolate. Return to wax paper, chocolate side down, and remove toothpick. Repeat with remaining balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set.

 

So while these are budget friendly to make, they are also budget friendly to give as gifts.  You can find some tissue paper, small Christmas boxes, and ribbons on sale or at the dollar store and give a gift that not only tastes delicious, but looks festive too!

 

Buckeyes | Money Savvy Living

 

I hope you will enjoy these buckeyes as much as our family does!  Happy baking and Merry Christmas!

Homemade Popsicles: delicious and healthy

Organic Coconut Blueberry Popcicle

Organic Coconut Blueberry Popcicle

Even though summer is soon coming to an end and you are probably already getting in the back-to-school mode, eMeals has put together a few homemade popsicle recipes to get you through these hot days in August. eMeals is still offering a 20% off discount (code: SCHOOL) along with FREE Back to School Recipes Download with purchase of an eMeals subscription.

Recipe: Organic Coconut Blueberry Popsicle

  • 1 1/2 cup organic coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup Greek vanilla yogurt
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons organic shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup organic blueberries

In a glass mixing bowl, mix together coconut milk, honey, shredded coconut, and greek yogurt until well combined. Choose your favorite popsicle mold and fill until half inch from the top. Add blueberries into mixture by pushing them down into the mold, spreading them throughout the popsicle. Fill the remainder of the popsicle mold. Freeze overnight.

Mixed Fruit Popsicle

Mixed Fruit Popsicle

Recipe: Mixed Fruit Popsicles

  • 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • 1 peach, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 cups coconut water

Combine all fruit in a mixing bowl and place in your favorite popsicle mold. Pour enough coconut water in each mold to just cover the fruit. Freeze overnight.
Suggestion: taste your coconut water and see if it’s sweet enough prior to pouring into mold. If not, in a separate mixing bowl add coconut water and your favorite sweetener to taste. Then add to popsicle mold to cover fruit.

 

Chocolate Nutella Popsicles

Chocolate Nutella Popsicles

Recipe: Chocolate Nutella Popsicles

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate milk
  • 1/2 cup hazelnut spread
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the chocolate milk and hazelnut spread together until well blended. Choose your favorite popsicle mold and fill to the rim and freeze overnight.

eMeals: Back to school lunches for kids

school lunch

The sound of the school bell ringing will soon be a normal part of your child’s day. Whether your child is 4 or 14, adjusting to school is never easy. This transition can be softened with the help of one of my favorite organizational tools, eMeals! eMeals provides you simple breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert meal plans to help you easily and effectively plan meals for your family.

One of the new favorites is their kid-friendly meal plan. Each meal plan comes with a ready-made shopping list to help you get through the grocery store in no time flat! Sign up for eMeals now and you can get 2 bonuses:
1. 20% off with the code SCHOOL
2. A FREE Back to School Survival Guide filled with fun back to school recipes including 3 Power Breakfast Recipes, 2 Lunch Box Recipes, 2 Weeknight Dinners, 2 After School Snacks, and 1 Yummy Dessert!

Here is an example of one of the recipes from the Back to School kit to enjoy with your kids.

Turkey-Bacon Tortilla Roll-Ups:
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total: 15 mins

8 slices bacon
Mayonnaise
1 (8-oz) package store-bought guacamole
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1/4 lb thinly sliced deli turkey
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (or any shredded cheese)
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce (optional)

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium
heat until crisp; drain. Spread a thin layer of
mayonnaise and guacamole over each tortilla.
Layer turkey, bacon and cheese on each
tortilla. Add lettuce, if desired. Roll up tortillas,
and cut in half. Makes 4 servings.

Ba-cchini Bread: The Best Banana-Zucchini Bread You’ve Ever Tasted

Soooo delicious!

Soooo delicious!

Ba-cchini bread. That is what my kids started calling the banana-zucchini bread that I make. In their effort to shorten the title, it really comes out sounding like “bikini.” While this recipe is delicious, and of course, money savvy (you can make two loaves of this delicious bread for about what it costs to buy one slice of this type of specialty bread at a bakery or coffee shop!), I can definitely say that it is NOT good for your get-into-a-bikini diet! But hey, we all need a little bit of decadence now and then, right?

I can honestly say that this recipe makes the most moist, delicious banana zucchini bread that you’ve ever tasted! Good as muffins or in loaves, just adjust your cook time.

Ba-cchini Bread

  • Servings: 24 muffins or 2 loaves
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. grated zucchini
  • 1 c. mashed bananas
  • 2 1/2-3 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 walnuts or raisins *optional *

Cream together eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Sift together dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and then add the grated zucchini and mashed bananas. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown.

Loaves of bread: Pour into 2 prepared (greased and floured) loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 45 min -1 hour.
Muffins: Fill muffin cups 2/3 of the way up. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.

Baking Tip: To make sure muffins or loaves of bread are done in the center, stick a toothpick in. Bread is ready when it comes out clean (no batter on toothpick)

Waffle Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

Here is a fun twist on breakfast– or dessert! Of course, waffles are great with butter and syrup, but next time you want to make a brunch extra special, try this kicked-up Waffle Strawberry Shortcake. It is quick and easy… and it looks like you went to a lot of trouble!

Waffle Strawberry Shortcake

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Toast 2 Eggo Mini Waffles, as desired. (I used the Eggo mini waffles, but you could use any waffles that you like!) Break apart the 4 mini waffles.

Wash and slice 4-6 large strawberries. Put in bowl and mash slightly with fork. Sprinkle with sugar to taste.

Mix 8 oz. softened cream cheese with 3 Tbsp mascarpone. Add 1/4 c powdered sugar. Add a splash of pure vanilla extract. Cream ingredients together.

Take 4 mini waffles and cover with heaping spoonful of cream cheese mixture. You can even add a few strawberries if desired. Add a 2nd mini waffle on top of cream cheese. Top with strawberries and whipped cream.

Enjoy!

Homemade Gluten-Free Freezer Pancakes

Delicious and Healthy too!

Delicious and Healthy too!

 

My kids love pancakes and eggs for breakfast, which is fine, except, those things can be time consuming to make from scratch or can get very expensive to buy ready-made. Anyone that has ever tried to get kids ready for school in the morning knows that there is just never enough time. Packing lunches, getting homework gathered up, making sure hair is combed, and making sure everyone is fed is quite a task. So I have figured out a way to make morning less hectic—and save a bit of money in the process!

 

If you have ever bought a box of freezer pancakes, you probably paid about $3.00 for 8 pancake, or $0.38 per pancake. In our house, we would go through one of these boxes in 2 days—and that can really add up! By making my own, I save money, and I know that there are no preservatives or high fructose corn syrup in there: just pancake mix, egg, milk, and oil, so overall, healthier too! You really do need to read the ingredients in the pancake mix as well; there may be hidden preservatives or fillers in there that you don’t want. I have chosen to get gluten free pancake mix (I like Glutino Gluten Free Pantry). My kids don’t even notice the difference from regular pancake mix!

 

From one box of pancake mix, I can make approximately 48 medium sized pancakes. Including other ingredients too, my cost comes out to about $0.13 per pancake! This is about double the price when using regular pancake mix (about $0.06 per pancake), but still about 3 times less than buying them ready-made from the freezer section at the grocery store.

 

Gluten-free Freezer Pancakes

1 c. gluten-free pancake mix
1 egg
2/3 c. milk
2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil

Mix all ingredients together in large bowl.  Let sit for 5 minutes before making pancakes.  I have noticed that the batter thickens and makes fluffier pancakes, rather than using right away.

*Helpful Tip* To make pancakes that are uniform in size and shape, use 1/4 cup dry measuring cup to dip out batter and pour onto griddle for the small pancakes or a cookie scoop to measure out the small pancakes. It’s less messy than pouring out of the bowl or a liquid measuring cup too!

For the small pancakes:

Homemade Gluten Free Freezer Pancakes | Money Savvy Living

Let cool completely. Cut parchment paper into 4×4 inch squares. Stack pancakes, putting a piece of parchment paper between each to keep them from sticking together in the freezer.

Put in freezer bag for storage throughout the week. Heat 2-3 pancakes for about 50-60 seconds before serving.

 

For the silver dollar pancakes:

Lay out on a cookie sheet and slide in the freezer for about 10 minutes.  I don’t try to stack these or put wax paper in between them because they are so small, they just get put into a plastic freezer bag.  Putting them into the freezer on the cookie sheet allows them to be put into the bag frozen so they don’t stick together.

Homemade Gluten Free Freezer Pancakes | Money Savvy Living

 

*This post was originally for a guest blog that I did for Simply Save and has been updated.

Homemade Gourmet Chocolate

gourmet choc

Chocolate covered pretzels and marshmallows are always a big hit. By using different colors and toppings, these made a great take-home treat for my son’s birthday party! Not to mention that it was so much cheaper than buying party favor toys (which never seem to work or break easily) or having the bags of candy made at the bakery. Even buying just one chocolate covered pretzel stick at the grocery store is $1. Each goodie bag cost less than $0.40! Get creative with the colors and toppings and these can be delicious treats for birthdays, showers, or holiday parties!

So easy to make. Just melt the chocolate in the microwave, half power, in 30 second increments. Make sure you stir it between each 30 second heating stint to keep it melting equally throughout. If you don’t stir it each 30 seconds, it may get too hot on the edges and not be melted at all in the middle. You could also use a double boiler if you have one, but if you don’t, no worries… the microwave works just fine!

Once your chocolate is melted, dip your pretzels or marshmallows in the chocolate, let the excess drip off. Place on wax paper. Sprinkle with any decorative topping you want: sprinkles, chopped nuts, crushed candy… You can also use a contrasting color of chocolate to drizzle across the top. Just dip a fork into the chocolate and gently move it back and forth over the top. So many ways to decorate!

eMeals Launches New Dessert Plan

What is eMeals? from eMeals on Vimeo.

eMeals is launching their new dessert plan! Get inspired each week to make incredible desserts. With mouth-watering recipes like Chocolate Pretzel Slab Pie, Buttery Toasted Vanilla Clusters or Crunchy Streusel Pumpkin Loaf, this plan is perfect for the dessert lover in all of us. Receive 3 indulgent dessert ideas every week including a mix of Crowd Pleasers, Quick & Easy options, and Skinny Sweets. This variety of sweet endings will fit the bill for weeknight desserts, casual entertaining and even healthy treats.

eMeals, the leader in online meal planning, is a comprehensive meal planning resource that helps provide healthy and delicious dinners for busy families and individuals. Endorsed by financial guru Dave Ramsey and highlighted in the Oprah Winfrey blog, the eMeals weekly dinner plans include grocery shopping lists and recipe instructions that are simple and easy to follow.

So what does this mean for you, you ask? eMeals can help you save money at the grocery store by generating lists for you based on the meal plan for the week… follow the list and you won’t overspend on impulse buys!

Sign up NOW to get 15% off eMeals with code USFG!

Cake Pop Christmas Tree

Cake Pop Christmas Tree | Money Savvy Living

 

Are you looking for a centerpiece that is more than just pretty… look no further! This Christmas cake pop tree would make a great centerpiece for your holiday table. Not only is it festive for a holiday celebration, but the cake pops are sure to be a big hit too. And by the way, you can make it for less than $10 ($4 for the actual cake pops and about $6 for the Styrofoam display)! The recipe I use makes approximately 36 cake pops, so when you think about how much it would cost to buy 3 dozen cake pops at $1.50 per pop… well, you can see that you are make this for only a fraction of what it would cost to buy it ready-made.

 

Making the Cake Pops
There is no perfect science to making these, unless you buy a kit. I just made a spice cake, cooled it, and crumbled it up finely into a large mixing bowl. This is where you just kind of need to add spoonful by spoonful until you get to the right consistency. I ended up adding about 1/2 of a 16 oz. container of icing. Don’t be afraid to get in there with your hands and mix it. You know it is ready when it can be rolled into cake balls about 1″ and they keep their form without falling apart.

 

Christmas Cake Pops | Money Savvy Living

 

Next you will put the sticks in for the cake pops. To do this, melt a small amount of chocolate wafers. You will dip the stick in the melted chocolate about 1/2 in then put into the cake ball. After these are all in, put in refrigerator to solidify the sticks so they hold.

 

Christmas Cake Pops | Money Savvy Living

 

After the chocolate has dried on the sticks and they are solidly in place, melt more chocolate wafers in a bowl. I melt them in the microwave at 50% power, in 30 second increments. Of course, you can use a double broiler as well. Just use whatever colors and flavors you want. Dip the pop in, swirl around until coated on all sides, let the excess drip off and then poke into a large piece of floral foam for the chocolate coating to dry. If you are going to decorate with sprinkles, nuts or any other candy crumbles, you will need to do this immediately because the chocolate will dry very quickly once on the cake pop.

 

Christmas Cake Pops | Money Savvy Living

 

Presentation is Everything!
I like to wrap each cake pop in it’s own individual candy bag and close it with a twist-tie or ribbon. From here, you can poke them into a decorated foam stand, lay them on a plate or pedestal, or whatever creative way you can think of!

For the Christmas Tree look:

  • I made a special cake pop for the star on top… just covered in white chocolate and then covered with yellow/gold sprinkles.
  • Each ornament cake pop is covered with different sprinkles and multi-colored tie twisties.
  • Spray paint a foam craft cone and glue it to a small cardboard cake plate.
  • Decorate with greenery, poinsettias, ribbons, berries…
fun, festive, and delicious!

fun, festive, and delicious!

Cookie Pops!

Cookie Pops | Money Savvy Living

 

Instead of making cookies for your child’s next birthday party or school party, add a fun twist with cookie pops.

All you have to do is:

  • make your favorite sugar cookie recipe
  • roll dough into 1 inch balls
  • insert a new popsicle stick (or cookie stick) in middle of ball
  • flatten slightly when you place on baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes. Let sit on baking sheet for 1 minute before removing (otherwise the cookie will lose shape and the stick may fall out).

Let cool, frost, and decorate as desired.

I made these for my son’s birthday treat at school and the kids loved them… what a fun way to make a regular cookie new and exciting! It’s a pretty good deal when you consider this fun, homemade treat can be made for less than $0.10 each!  Very money savvy!

 

* Baking Tip: Soak popsicle stick or cookie stick in water before baking.  This will keep the stick from discoloring or burning.

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