Category Archives: Recipes

Hors D’oeuvre: Salami, Horseradish Cheese, and Sweet Oatmeal Crackers

Salami & Horseradish cheese

It’s that time of year again. Christmas is only a couple weeks away and the New Year is coming soon. Undoubtedly, you have been invited to several holiday parties; between family gatherings, work parties, neighborhood events, and your best friend’s annual Christmas party, your calendar is probably booked solid for the next few weeks.

It seems if you attend enough holiday parties, you start to notice a trend with the appetizers. First of all, there is a cheeseball at every party. EVERY PARTY. Nothing wrong with cheeseballs. In fact, they are pretty good, but it seems that around Christmas is the only time of year that you see them at parties. There are also the stand-by veggie and fruit trays, maybe even some sweet & sour meatballs and cocktail wieners– if you’re lucky. All of these things are great, but sometimes, you just want something different.

So here is an interesting spin on a traditional meat and cheese tray: dry salami bites & small wedges of horseradish cheese, served with sweet oatmeal crackers. The tang of the salami goes so well with the slightly hot horseradish cheese and is well-rounded out with a sweet oatmeal cracker. I arranged them on one tray in sections, but could be just as good stacking the salami and cheese on individual crackers. This is kind of a nice change of pace on its own, but it would work well served along with hummus.

Most grocery stores have a large cheese section and also have several gourmet-style crackers there as well. Get creative and pick some different cheeses. If you don’t know what something will taste like, ask for a sample.

Remember, if you are going to several holiday parties, you may want to buy a larger block of cheese that can be used for more than one event (**Money Savvy Tip: typically, the larger blocks of cheese are less expensive, if pre-packaged)

Here are some other great appetizer ideas for New Year’s Eve:

NYEAppCollage

1- Snowman Cheese Ball

2- Sausage & Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

3- Teriyaki Shrimp, Steak & Chicken Kabobs

4- Pimento Cheese

5- Cranberry Salsa

6- Pomegranate Pork Belly Crostini

7- Salami, Horseradish & Cheese Hors D’Oeuvre

8- Basil & Olive Oil Caprese Bites

9- Bacon Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Ball

10- Hot Cheesy Spinach & Red Pepper Artichoke Dip

11- Crockpot Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Homemade Christmas Gift: Etched Cookie Jar

Guest post from Michele at Bella Home Goods.  This is a great holiday craft that is easy on the budget, is a breeze to make, and tastes great too!

Etched Cookie Jar and Homemade Oatmeal Cookies

Happy Holidays Money Savvy Friends!

Everyone knows the holidays can be busy and before you know it they pass us by so lets enjoy the reason for the season and take on some true meaning of the holiday spirit. Take some time out of your busy schedule to create something special this month, like a homemade craft and delicious warm baked cookies.

My children get so excited with our tradition of baking homemade Christmas cookies and decorating them with sprinkles, and who can resist the smell of home baked deliciousness? They make winter feel like the holidays, especially after eating a few warm and freshly baked cookies with a tall glass of cold milk. Yum.

The gift giving craft is a Glass Etched cookie jar and then add your favorite homemade holiday cookie recipe to the cookie jar. Below is one of our family favorites, Old Fashioned Homemade Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. They bake perfectly each time, we make them and I know your family will love them too.

My wish for your family and ours is to make the best possible memories for them so they can look back and think, I remember growing up how wonderful our family holidays were, and have those warm and fuzzy feelings that they will one day repeat with their children and grandchildren.

Best Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredient List :

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1  teaspoon salt
  • 1  cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1  teaspoon hot water
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (12 ounce) package  semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2  cups quick oats

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Sift together flour, soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, cream together salted butter and sugars; add eggs, one at a time. Stir in hot water, vanilla and flour mixture.

Add remaining ingredients; mix well.

Drop two teaspoons of cookie batter using a Pampered Chef medium scoop onto baking sheet.

Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes.

Now onto the fun part, the crafting!

I went to HomeGoods and they have a big selection of cookie jars shaped in a cylinder or the old fashioned glass cookie jar, and either will be fun to decorate. The cylinder jar I found at HomeGoods was $5. Next, I stopped off at Michael’s craft store and picked up some Martha Stewart glass etching cream and the tool to apply the etching cream and then picked out an adhesive Martha Stewart stencil.

BHG collage

Clean the surface of the glass that you would like to etch with rubbing alcohol and then you can apply the adhesive stencil to where you would want to apply your etching design. When you apply the etching cream apply it heavily on top of the stencil and you leave the cream on for 15 minutes. Any less, and the cream will not mark the glass. After that, you wash the cream off under water in your sink and you can reuse your stencil again by rinsing that off as well.

Place your glass in the dishwasher to sanitize  it and then it is ready to  be filled with your fresh baked cookies! It looks gorgeous– and it’s simple!  Your Friends and Family will be happy with this gorgeous and thoughtful gift for the holidays.  Enjoy!

 

**When you apply the cream you do have to wear protective gloves so as to not irritate your skin.

michelle_1326

Michele, Creator of Bella Home Goods is a wife, mother, blogger, crafter, and decorator. At Bella Home Goods, she shares recipes, ways to up-cycle furniture, and how her home is getting a makeover.

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!

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!

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