Fresh Dill and Egg Summer Salad recipe plus 25 more Summer Salads that you will want to eat

Summer_Salads

One of the very best parts of summer is all of the fresh produce to choose from.  Most of us eat lighter when the heat is on and salads are a great way to eat veggies and fruit while staying cool.  I wanted to share my recipe for Fresh Dill and Egg Summer Salad plus 25 more summer salads that are scrumptious.  Enjoy!

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Salad Shown:  I recently made this Fresh Dill and Egg Summer Salad with mixed baby greens, soft boiled eggs, Roma tomatoes, chopped red pepper, and queso fresco.  It is topped with some roasted red pepper puree, homemade creamy dill dressing, and fresh dill.  It was so good I made it again the next day and several times since.

MORE great Summer Salads.  These are all delicious!

Refreshing Summer #Recipe – Watermelon Granita – Plus #Win a ProFreshionals Fruit Bowl

Couponista Queen is a Good Cook Kitchen Expert and was compensated for this post.  All opinions are 100% honest.

Watermelon Granita Recipe

 

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One of my very favorite things about summertime is the fresh produce, specifically FRUIT!  I cannot drive by a farm stand or a farmer’s market without stopping and buying tons of fabulous fresh fruit and vegetables.  Storing some of it is an issue, and it can spoil before we eat it all.  This is a particular issue with melons – they are so large and juicy that keeping them fresh is a challenge because they sit in their own juice.  GoodCook.com sent me a ProFreshionals Cut Fruit Bowl to try out and it is the perfect thing to serve and store fresh cut fruit.

 Profreshionals_Fresh_Fruit_Bowl

Whenever we buy a watermelon we get a large one, and storage is always an issue.  The ProFreshionals Cut Fruit Bowl is big – 7 quarts – so it holds enough for a crowd.  The bowl is big enough to use for serving and entertaining, and it keeps the fruit fresh longer by separating it from the juice.  Snap on the lid and store it in the fridge – perfect for snacking or for taking along to an event.

I just bought a nice watermelon and I decided to make some Watermelon Granita since the weather has been hot, hot, hot.  3 easy ingredients and and we were enjoying a cold and refreshing frozen treat in a few hours.  You can too!

Here is my recipe.

Watermelon Granita Recipe

A granita is an Italian semi-frozen dessert made from sugar and fruit or various flavorings.

Ingredients:

4 cups cubed, seedless or seeded watermelon

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth.  Pour the mixture into a 9x9x2 metal baking pan, cover with foil, and freeze for one hour.

This is an important step to ensure the proper texture >>  After an hour in the freezer, stir the mix and mash any frozen parts with the back of a fork.  Cover again and freeze the mixture until hard, about 2 more hours.  Using a fork, scrape the granita to form icy flakes and serve in a glass.  You will need to scrape hard so get your aggression out.   This recipe can be multiplied and can be made up to 3 days ahead if you plan on serving for a party.  Just make sure that the granita container is not too deep.  Cover tightly with foil and keep frozen until ready to serve.

 

WIN a ProFreshionals Cut Fruit Bowl

ProFreshionals_Cut_Fruit_Bowl

 

The ProFreshionals Cut Fruit Bowl is available at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Good Cook and Couponista Queen want to make sure that you get a chance to enjoy this awesome bowl for yourself, so we are giving one lucky fan the opportunity to win one.  Just enter using the super easy form below.  Sweepstakes ends at midnight central on July 31, 2014.  Open to US residents 18+.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Couponista Queen is a Good Cook Kitchen Expert and was compensated for this post.  All opinions are 100% honest.  Want to see more ideas that use the ProFreshionals Cut Fruit Bowl?   Visit the other Good Cook Kitchen Experts for more great recipes.


Three Cheese Spinach Stuffed Italian Burgers #Recipe PLUS Win With #GoodCook

Couponista Queen received compensation and/or promotional products for this post.  All opinions are 100% authentic.

Couponista Queen is a Good Cook Kitchen Expert, and I am excited to give you a chance to WIN what is in my kitchen drawer!  YES, that is correct.  Good Cook allowed me to select 15 items that I wanted in a kitchen drawer, and then they challenged me to create a signature recipe using as many of those items as I could.  I love Italian food, and long ago my grandma and my godmother taught me to make meatballs, so I adapted that recipe into a burger that is delicious and perfect for summer grilling.  Scroll down for the recipe, but first let me tell you how to win and give you a peek at what I selected for my Good Cook Kitchen Drawer.

Good_Cook_Cuild_Your_Kitchen_Drawer_Contest

Beginning June 2 (through Juny 14, 2014), visit GoodCook.com and build your ideal kitchen drawer filled with 15 great Good Cook tools and gadgets.  You can then register a drawer every day for a chance to WIN IT!  Can’t decide?  You can also select MY Kitchen Drawer, or take a look at the Kitchen Drawers submitted by the other Good Cook Kitchen Experts and enter one for a chance to win.  Every drawer entered could win an instant prize!  You can also participate in a 5-day kitchen gadget giveaway on the Good Cook Facebook page June 2-June 7, 2014 to win even more.   During the contest, selected items on GoodCook.com will be 25% off, and entering a drawer might get you some additional discounts!  Follow Good Cook on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for all the latest offers and great recipes.
Good_Cook_Kitchen_Drawer_add_me  ◄Look for the “Add Me” graphic to select your drawer.

 

Here are the tools in MY “Slice, Dice, Measure, Grate, Drain, Whip, Stir & Stuff Kitchen Drawer”

Slice, Dice, Measure, Grate, Drain, Whip, Stir & Stuff Kitchen Drawer

I selected items based on the things I use when I cook!  Plus I could not pass up that stuffed burger press and the knives.

          *Items used to create my Signature Recipe

*Coarse Cheese Grater – Grates in BOTH directions, saving your wrist that achy feeling.  And comes with a cover so you don’t catch it on things (like your knuckles) when you are searching in your kitchen drawer.

Collapsible Funnel -  Genius!  Space saver and doesn’t catch on things in the drawer.

*Stuffed Burger Press - Makes the coolest stuffed burgers (see my recipe below!) or use it to make regular patties.

Berry Colander - The prefect size to make it handy for rinsing anything small.

*Rotary Grater - I have always wanted to have fancy fresh grated Parmesan cheese.  Now I can!

*Nonstick Sandwich Knife, 5″ - Slices bread perfectly.  Enough said.
Nonstick Utility Knife - Sharp and ultra-useful.
Nonstick Santoku Knife, 5″ - This sliced my tomatoes so thin I could read a newspaper through them.  I felt like an infomercial hehe.
Nonstick Paring Knife, 4″ - Makes quick work of anything you need a small knife for.
*Nonstick Chef’s Knife, 5″ - My favorite item in the drawer!  I LOVE a great Chef’s Knife, and this non-stick version is super cool.  The spinach I chopped slid right off the blade, and the weight was perfect to handle.
*“Measure From Above” 3 Piece Liquid Measuring Cup Set - SO cool!  You can see the measurements from the top.  And it includes a supersize 4-cup measure.
*Nylon Whisk - Nylon is a great in-between silicone and  metal.  Does a nice job whipping things full of air.
*Spatula, Clear Handle with Silicone Spoon - Very easy to use, flexible, and heat resistant.
*Cheese Slicer, Adjustable - I like fresh sliced cheese the best, and this adjustable slices delivered the exact thickness I wanted.
*Instant Read Meat Thermometer with case - Food safety is a #1 priority in my kitchen and should be in yours.  This is a must have for each and every kitchen drawer.

 

Three_Cheese_Spinach_Stuffed_Italian_Burgers

Good Cook challenged me to create a Signature Recipe using at least 7 items from the Kitchen Drawer that I selected.  I used 10 Items from the Kitchen Drawer plus a few additional Good Cook items like the super cool Double-Sided Flip Measuring Spoon and the equally awesome Utensil Pot Clip.  The Signature Recipe I selected is an adaptation of one of my favorite meals — Spaghetti and Meatballs with Marinara Sauce and some crusty bread.  I selected the Stuffed Burger Press as part of my Kitchen Drawer, so I decided to adapt my meatball recipe into a burger.  The result was amazingly delicious and perfect for the Summer grill.  Without further ado, I present…

Three Cheese Spinach Stuffed Italian Burgers

 If you like this recipe, please share it or pin Three Cheese Spinach Stuffed Italian Burgers on Pinterest

 

Italian_Burger_MixBurger Mix Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef or ground sirloin
  • 1/2 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 3 cloves minced garlic (1-1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Burger Mix Directions:

In a large bowl, beat the egg then combine everything but the meat.  Add meat then mix well.  I use my hands.  Form into a ball, then allow to rest while you mix the Spinach and Cheese filling.

Italian_Burger_Filling_and_AssemblySpinach and Cheese Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup fresh spinach (1/2 cup chopped)
  • dash of salt and pepper

Directions:

Combine Ricotta cheese, spinach, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Burger Assembly Directions:

Divide burger mix into 8 portions.  They will be approximately 4 oz. each.  Place a portion in the burger press, press it then turn the press over and indent the burger patty to make a pocket for the filling.  Use approximately one tablespoon of the filling and spread it to fill the cavity.  Take another portion of meat and flatten it into slight patty shape, then place it over the filling taking care to make sure that it will all be sealed in when you press the two patties together, then press them evenly and remove the patty.  Repeat until you have 4 complete burger patties.

Italian_Burger_MiscellaneousOther Ingredients:

  • Parmesan cheese to top burgers with, approx. 1/8 cup or use fresh grated for best taste
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese slices, one per burger
  • 4 hard rolls, sliced in half
  • 1-1/2 cup marinara sauce, heated

Grilling and Serving Directions:

Heat grill to medium.  Grill burgers covered for 8-10 minutes per side.  These are thick burgers and will take longer than typical.  Don’t use too high a heat or the filling will leak.    During last minute of cooking time, grill buns and top burgers with mozzarella cheese.  Check for safe internal temperature of 165° before removing from grill.  Put marinara on plate, place bottom bun then burger.  Top with additional marinara sauce then Parmesan cheese.

Goes nicely with Italian Mac ‘N Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Tomatoes, Breaded Parmesan Green Beans, or Grilled Yellow Squash with Garlic and Parmesan.

 


Couponista Queen received compensation and/or promotional products for this post.  All opinions are 100% authentic.

 

 

 

Summer Recipe – Grilled Yellow Squash with Garlic and Parmesan

Grilled_Yellow_Squash_Garlic_Parmesan

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Throw this easy side together in a flash and enjoy a tasty way to have yellow squash next time you grill out.  This is a perfect accompaniment to any grilled meat or fish, and a great way to enjoy a summer vegetable you might otherwise skip over.

Ingredients:

2 Small Yellow Squash, cut in half lengthwise

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic

sea salt

cracked black pepper

Parmesan cheese

Yellow_Squash_Halved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

Heat grill to medium.  Combine garlic and olive oil and let sit for at least 15 minutes or until you are almost ready to grill.  Brush each top cut half of squash with olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Grill skin side down for 5 minutes.  Turn once and grill an additional 4-6 minutes until golden brown and the edges are starting to char.  Remove from grill and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately.  Serves 4 as a side.

Easy Slow Cooker Recipe – Italian Mac ‘N Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Tomatoes

 

Warm, gooey comfort food meets the easy of the slow cooker in this Italian twist on a diner classic.

Warm, gooey comfort food meets the ease of the slow cooker in this Italian twist on a dinner classic. ©2014 Couponista Queen

 

If you Like this recipe, please share it or Pin Easy Slow Cooker Italian Mac ‘N Cheese with Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions on Pinterest

As part of their coming Build Your Kitchen Drawer Contest starting June 2 (Be on the lookout for more posts from me!) Good Cook sent me 5 essential items for your kitchen drawer and challenged me to come up with a one dish recipe that used them.  Well, challenge accepted, and I have to say we were very pleased with the results of the Easy Slow Cooker Italian Mac ‘N Cheese with Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions and I will be making this again.   Scroll down for the recipe, but first… Good Cook sent these must-haves for any kitchen drawer:

Smart Ice Cream Scoop (A new take on a classic, this scoop takes on the hardest or softest ice cream, but I used it to serve my mac ‘ n cheese and the non-stick surface made it a snap.)

Flip Measuring Spoon  (Only ONE measuring spoon to keep track of…or lose lol!  This one is very cool, flip to measure 1/2 tsp and tbsp!)

Safe-cut Can Opener (I am, no joke, can opener impaired.  Even I was able to use this one to easily and safely to open not one but two cans in a row without cursing, a new record for me.)

Egg Separator (Maybe we should call this one a “conscious egg uncoupler” instead.  I dig the way it hangs on the side of a bowl, because let’s face it, it does me no good if I drop the whole thing in.)

Pot Clip Holder (The handles on my utensils will no longer suffer the pain of my stupidity when I leave them laying on the edge of a hot pan.  Long live this pot clip!  These are going to be stocking stuffers this year.) I was able to actually use all 5 items.  No kitchen tools were harmed in the making of this recipe! Good_Cook_Cuild_Your_Kitchen_Drawer_Contest BUT a kitchen drawer is not complete with just 5 items…SO Good Cook is doing something to help all of YOU good cooks to stock your own kitchen drawer.  I was selected to build my own kitchen drawer, and beginning June 2, 2014 (and ending July 14, 2014) you will have a daily chance to enter to WIN the kitchen drawer of your choice: you can win mine (The BEST one of course!!), build your own, or select any of the other drawers built by my fellow Good Cook Kitchen Experts.  There will be also be instant win prizes and there is a 5-day giveaway event on the Good Cook Facebook page starting June 2 through June 7.   Good_Cook_Kitchen_Drawer_add_meVisit the Good Cook Facebook page May 28 for details and follow @GoodCook on Twitter!  ALL of the items I selected will be 25% off during the contest–look for the Add Me graphic to build your drawer for a chance to WIN starting June 2. Come back here on June 2 for my post with more details and my drawer selections plus a NEW recipe using the items in my Kitchen Drawer.  

 

Easy Slow Cooker Italian Mac ‘N Cheese with Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions

Warm, gooey comfort food meets the ease of the slow cooker in this Italian twist on a dinner classic.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish, 4 as a main dish.  Prep time approximately 15 minutes.  Cook time 90 minutes to 2 hours on low in a slow cooker.

Italian_Mac_N_Cheese_Collage

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of margarine

8 Ounces uncooked Elbow Macaroni

1 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes

1 large sweet onion, sliced thin or chopped (about 3 cups)

1 teaspoon of sugar

1 /2 to 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning to taste

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4-1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder to taste

1/4 teaspoon of pepper (I used white pepper)

red pepper to taste

1/4 cup water

6 ounces of Velveeta or similar loaf cheese.  Processed cheese is necessary to withstand the long heat of a slow cooker without curdling.

1 12-ounce can of evaporated milk.  I use the fat free version and it is just as good.  Do not use regular milk as it will curdle in the heat.

2 tablespoons of real butter

1 large egg

Parmesan cheese for garnish

shredded cheddar cheese for garnish

parsley for garnish

Directions:

Using the 2 tbsp. of margarine, coat the inside of a cold slow cooker.  Add the uncooked pasta noodles and the can of crushed tomatoes, stirring to combine.

In a nonstick skillet on med-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add the onions.  Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar and stir.  Cook 5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium and cook another 15 minutes stirring occasionally till onions are caramelized but NOT burnt.  Do not burn the sugar.  Add the cooked caramelized onions to the slow cooker.  

In the same skillet, add the evaporated milk, water, and the Velveeta cheese (cut into chunks for faster melting).  Stirring constantly, melt the cheese over low heat just until fully combined.  Do NOT let this mixture boil.  Turn off the heat, add the salt, pepper, and red pepper, and allow the mix to cool for FIVE minutes.  This is necessary to keep from cooking the egg.

While the mixture is cooling, separate a large egg.   Beat the egg white.  After the cheese mixture cools 5 minutes, add it to the slow cooker.  Add the garlic powder and the Italian seasoning and stir to combine all the ingredients.  Stir in the egg yolk.  Stir in the egg white, being careful to not over stir.  Put the lid on, turn the cooker on low, and check to see if the pasta is done after 90 minutes to 2 hours.  When done, sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, and parsley.  Refrigerate any leftovers within an hour.  Serves 6-8 as a side dish, 4 as a main.

Easy and Fast Chocolate Covered Oreo Cookies Recipe

Chocolate Covered Oreo Cookies

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The King could barely wait until I was done with the photos for this post before he snagged a couple of these and a glass of milk.  Needless to say, they are good!  Easy to make and very impressive.

You will need:

Chocolate wafers in milk and white

Oreo cookies (or any sandwich cream cookie- I sometimes dip the white cookies in white for a change)

Assorted candies and sprinkles

Cookie sheet and wax paper

Fork and bowl

Dipping Chocolate Oreo

Melt the chocolate in a bowl according to package directions.  Dip one cookie in the chocolate, turn it over and make sure it is well coated.  Use the fork to let the chocolate drain a bit, tapping it on the edge of the bowl then scraping the bottom of the fork before you gently place the cookie on the wax paper lined cookie sheet.  Do NOT move the cookie once it is placed until it is totally hardened.  Dip a few cookies at a time, making sure to decorate each one before they harden.  You may need to re-heat your chocolate as you go.

After you are done, allow the cookies to harden completely then place them into your container of choice.  These are  perfect as favors for parties, individual treats, hostess gifts, get-well-soon, congratulations, etc.  I make these for all kinds of occasions!

Chocolate Dipped Oreo Cookies Collage

Make an Edible Donut Valentine Bouquet

Edible Donut Valentine Bouquet

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Entenmann’s is celebrating this Valentine’s Day with the Entenmann’s Sweet Valentine’s Edible Bouquet and Entenmann’s Sweet Donut Sweepstakes.  Entenmann’s fans won’t want to miss out on this mouthwatering celebration!

Entenmann’s provided Couponista Queen with funds, coupons and supplies to make my own Edible Donut Bouquet, and it was a lot of fun.  My mom came over one evening to see the baby, so Ava supervised us while we made the bouquet.  It took less than an hour and we thought the results were pretty awesome.   Here is the idea photo from Entenmann’s.  How do you think we did?

Entenmann's Sweet Valentine's Edible Bouquet (v3)

If you want the recipe card to make this donut bouquet, enter the Entenmann’s Sweet Donut Sweepstakes on the Entenmann’s Facebook page through February 27, 2014 for the chance to win lots of prizes, including Entenmann’s coupons, Mr. Rich Frosted and Ms. Crumb plush toys, 1-800-Flowers arrangements and more!  Details can be found on Facebook.com/Entenmanns or on 8-pack boxes of Rich Frosted Donuts and 8-pack boxes of Crumb Donuts.  After you enter you will get the recipe card.

Entenmann’s Sweet Valentine's Edible Bouquet

Here are a few tips we recommend from making the donut bouquet:

Make sure that you are careful when dipping the larger donuts as they will be heavy.  We used 2 lollipop sticks in the larger donuts to make sure they were secure when we put them into the vase.  Make sure the sticks are in both sides of the donut (through the bottom then the center hole then into the top).  To cover the sticks showing in the center hole, I cut a Pop’em donut in half and used melted chocolate to glue it in the middle.  I did this before I dipped the entire donut so it would be smooth.

You will need to chill the donuts before dipping them and after dipping them.  Since it is so cold outside, we sent the King outdoors for a few minutes with the tray rather than try to fit them into the freezer.

If you don’t want to make the whole bouquet, or if you want treats for many people, just make the little Pop’ems and wrap them individually with some small cellophane bags and ribbon.  Viola, you will have the perfect little Valentine’s to give out at work, school, etc!

Couponista Queen received compensation for this post.  Please see the Privacy Policy and Disclosures.

DIY Dish Soap Recipe – Homemade, Frugal, and Easy!

DIY Frugal Easy Homemade Dish Soap

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DIY Dish Soap  Frugal and Easy!

Have you ever thought about making your own dish soap?  Necessity is the mother of invention, or at least the mother of my googling late at night.  I am Princess T and I watch too much Criminal Minds so going out late to get dish soap when I run out is just not going to happen.  Having previously made my own clothes detergent and body wash I figured well, I need to wash dishes now or first thing in the morning and I do not want to go out just for that and risk not snagging a deal.  What was a Frugal Mom to do?  So I googled and read and read and read!  And there are a bunch of different variations that bring you to the same happy conclusion so once again I took what I wanted and felt comfortable with and ran with it…ok ok I’m more of a stroller not a runner.

What will you need and how much will it cost you?  If you are already a DIY kind of person you will find that you already have what you need at home so no need for extra expenses.

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14 ounces of water, boiled

1/4 cup of grated soap.  I used castile soap that I had from when I made body wash.  Some people use Ivory soap or whatever bar soap they have on hand.  I can’t see myself using Irish Spring or anything too bath like so I used castile soap which on its own is wonderful.

1 tablespoon borax.  I had a box from when I made my own laundry detergent

Essential oils, optional.  In a moment of sheer insanity today while looking for something totally unrelated I found a bottle of tea tree oil that I bought at Trader Joe’s recently and had forgotten about.  I read that a lot of people like to use this as they are antiseptic so I figured why not?  So I added 10 drops

Grate the soap to get 1/4 cup, about a 1/3 of the bar more or less.  Once the water is boiling stir in the soap and the borax until everything is dissolved nicely.  I added 10 drops of tea tree oil as this has a strong smell and I didn’t want it to overpower with the scent.  That’s it! Pretty easy and fast, how long does it take for water to boil? Pretty Quick

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I found a cute mason jar and in it went.  It will gel as it cools, 6-8 hours.  Knowing me as you do by now you know patient I’m not so once it cooled I put it in my fridge and watched a new episode of Criminal Minds.  It gelled nicely.  Did it work?  Yes it did, not crazy suds but enough suds to help you think that its working.  As you know bubbles and suds do not mean anything but it helps with the mind.  Was it rough on my hands?  Nope.  Did my dishes or glasses have a funky smell or taste?  Nope, they were just clean and that was all I needed, well that and a  break.

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Will I make igain?  Yep, I have everything I need to make it and since my stockpile on dish soap is low there is no reason for me to not make anymore.   My next batch I might try using lavender essential oils, some people use only 1 tablespoon of grated soap I used 1/4 cup which is a little more then 2 tablespoons.  Some swear by adding vinegar but some say that vinegar and castile soap do not mix and since I do not like the smell of vinegar I opted to not include it.  Am I happy?  yeah but I would be happier if the dishes washed themselves.

Ah to dream.

Crescent Pumpkin Cheesecake Rolls

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Crescent Pumpkin Cheesecake Rolls

Its the season for pumpkin everything!  I’ve seen this recipe all over with a few variations but using plain pumpkin.  I didn’t have plain pumpkin I had pumpkin pie filling and since I’m going to use what I have I decided to improvise.  I sorta liked using the pie filling because I didn’t need to go buy pumpkin spice since I won’t use it again I really didn’t want to add it to my little spice bottle collection.  As it is my cabinet needs spanx on certain days.

What will you need?

2 cans crescent rolls

4 oz cream cheese softened

4 oz pumpkin pie filling

2-4 oz sugar, as you prefer I used about 3 but some might want it sweeter

cinnamon and sugar to dust with before baking

plastic bat to beat off the people trying to eat them all ☺

Mix the cream cheese, sugar and pie filing together, unroll the dough like you normally do when you are going to bake crescent rolls. When extended spread the filling all over and then roll normally (try to not get any on your fingers I dare you LOL)

bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes.

One baker made a glaze for it but we passed.  My hubby likes subtle sweetness with his morning coffee not a dessert type bread so we didn’t go down that path.

I love treats that we have coupons for or usually score deals on.   How many of us don’t stock up on the refrigerated dough variations when we have coupons?   So realistically you will make 32 of these with a whole package of cream cheese and a whole can of pie filling (small one).  This is a great Autumn treat that won’t break the bank!

We have a printable coupon for crescent rolls right now if you go to the printable coupon tab on the page, here is the link: http://couponistaqueen.com/coupons/  Print and surprise your family these are so so good, it will be something they ask for all the time from now on!

 

 

Easy, Frugal and Simple: 2 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

 

 

Easy, Frugal and Simple:  2 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

I’d like to start by saying, I am Princess Thanya and I am baking impaired.  I long to be the Mom with the chewy cookies, or just right brownies, the perfect cupcakes, heck even the nicely baked refrigerated dough rolls, but alas I am NOT that mom.  If its something to bake I will under cook it, or burn it.  But I got sick and tired of reading all these posts everywhere about how easy this recipe is to make and make (one place being the Duncan Hines Website).  I wanted to join in on the fun!

Why I like this recipe, its easy.  Its 2 ingredients, I don’t have to go to the store and look for stuff I can’t pronounce and will only use once.  Here is what you’ll need:

1 box Duncan Hines or any brand cake mix.

1 large can 18 oz pumpkin pie filling (not the regular canned pumpkin but the filling that’s prepared)

Pre-heat oven at 350.  In a large bowl, empty the box of cake mix and mix with the pumpkin pie filling.  I did not use the whole can of pie filling.  I used about 15 ounces.  When you are mixing you will start to see when it has reached a good consistency.  I have read people using the whole can, its up to you.  I used about 15 oz and it was perfect. Also I used yellow cake mix, someone posted saying she used chocolate cake mix cause that’s what she had on hand and everyone loved it so again its up to you.

THAT’S IT!  No sifting, no measuring, no cracking, no melting, mix the two ingredients and you are DONE!    Get your muffin pan out and liners and fill them up!  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a lovely golden color and a toothpick comes out clean.   Makes 1 dozen.  My hubby warmed one up and slathered it with cream cheese this morning.  Big hit!

What made this sweeter for me?  We have a printable coupon for Duncan Hines right now, please use our coupon database to score yours on the cheap:  http://couponistaqueen.com/coupon-database/

There is also a 5% off opportunity on Libby’s Pumpkin if you use Target Cartwheel have you signed up?  If you still need to here’s the link to go sign up today and start racking up the savings, Target Cartwheel

So did I burn them?  No the force was with me

Check them out!

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DIY Frugal Homemade Hand Sanitizer!

DIY Homemade Frugal Hand Sanitizer

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Summer is coming to a close, and if you are like me you are looking  at the expiration dates on the sunblock and lotions to decide to keep them or not.  I had a less then half bottle of Aloe Vera Gel sitting under my bathroom sink.  What to do?  Well I decided to figure out a frugal way to use it and what I found was awesome!  There are plenty of ways to make your own Hand Sanitizer.  So I picked a Frugal one and ran with it (not really more like a light jog, I don’t run☺).

OK so what will you need?

INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup Aloe Vera Gel

2/3  cup rubbing Alcohol

Essential oil drops to make it scented if you like

DIRECTIONS

Mix in a bowl until well blended, fill container of your choice.

That’s IT.  REALLY!

Really stop staring, you are making me nervous.

You will need to adjust the essential oil to your liking, at least 8 drops but I did more like 12.  If you want to buy some cheap Aloe Vera gel, I’ve seen it at the Dollar Tree.  Each tube has 6oz so you’d make two batches from one tube for $1.  You’d be out $2 for the supplies if you don’t have the alcohol.  I did have it on hand which was the purpose of my experiment, to re-purpose leftovers.   Some people go green and make this with Vodka and distilled water but I didn’t want my hubby to think I was making a cocktail.

I refilled the Aloe Vera Gel bottle and slapped some duct tape on there to label it.  I rubbed some on my hand, it is watery and you don’t need much.   Just splash a little on and rub until gone.  When you do this it smells like alcohol but once it dries I had a great lavender scent on my hands that even the hubby liked.

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How much did it make?  Well, it refilled my 12 oz bottle from the Aloe Vera Gel and I had about 4-5 oz left to put in a small bottle for my purse, so you are looking at making about 18 oz more or less.  Again, the frugality comes in the fact we are using what we might throw away at the end of Summer not actually making it to replace something we already buy.

Now I’m off to re-purpose my leftover roasted chicken to chicken salad for tomorrows lunch!

#frugalmomsrock

Breaded Parmesan Green Beans Recipe

Breaded Parmesan Green Beans

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This Breaded Parmesan Green Beans recipe is one I came up with for a different way to enjoy green beans.  It is really easy and so good there are NEVER any leftovers.

 

Breaded Parmesan Green Beans Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of fresh green beans, washed and stem ends cut off
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (can use less or skip it entirely)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • cooking spray

Directions

  • Wash green beans and trim stem ends
  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Line baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray
  • In one bowl, whip together 2 eggs and 2 tbsp of mayonnaise.
  • In another shallow bowl or plate combine 1 cup Italian bread crumbs, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
  • Dip green bean in egg mixture, then roll in bread crumb mixture and place on the foil-covered and sprayed baking sheet.
  • Continue till all green beans are coated.
  • Bake on center oven rack for 20 minutes.  Check half way through and turn them over carefully so they brown evenly and the bottoms don’t burn.  After the 20 minutes, make sure they are done to your liking.  We prefer them still a little crunchy (20 minutes) but you may want to cook them an additional few minutes to soften more.
  • Serve immediately with your favorite main course!  These are also good dipped into some Dijon mustard.

25 Refreshing Nonalcoholic Summer Drink Recipes

refreshing summer drinks

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Hot and Thirsty?  Check out these 25 Refreshing Summer Drink recipes for a change from your usual soft drinks. Nonalcoholic versions shown.  Use your imagination to spice them up for adults if you want to.

1. Pretty Pink Lemonade
2. Vietnamese Iced Coffee
3. Tropical Green Smoothie
4. Mango Milkshake
5. Green Juice
6. Pineapple Mint Iced Tea
7. Cherry Mint Juice
8. Orangeade
9. Honeydew Cucumber Detox
10. Lavender Lemonade
11. Starbuck’s Iced Passion Tea
12. Brazilian Limeade
13. Kumquat Squash Drink
14. Cantaloupe Mint Juice
15. Red White and Blue Layered Drinks
16. Banana Almond Paleo Smoothie
17. Strawberry Banana Apple Smoothies
18. Mango Lassi
19. Ginger Peach Soda
20. Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade
21. Sparkling Cucumber Limeade
22. Fresh Lemonade
23. Strawberry Basil Lemonade
24. Watermelon Agua Fresca
25. Dragon’s Breath Dawn

DIY Homemade Sugar and Lemon Scrub, Frugal $2 Dollar Tree Recipe!

Sugar Scrub DIY Homemade

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Beauty on a Budget!

DIY Lemon and Sugar Scrub, $2 Dollar Tree Recipe!

Some people think that in order to save you have to sacrifice on your beauty regimen.  NOT TRUE!  We can use ingredients found at home or at the dollar stores to whip up some awesome stuff to keep us looking our best!  Since it is summer and we all have exposed skin, this time around I’ve been concentrating on scrubs to keep our skin soft and touchable.  I tried a salt scrub and now I’ve moved on to sugar.

Again, you might already have this at home so you won’t have to spend anything but if you don’t you can go to your local Dollar Tree store and pick up sugar and baby oil.  We use the 2:1 ratio and we are ready to mix this up!

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What will you need?

1 box sugar, 16 oz

1 bottle baby oil (comes in 10 oz you will use just 8 oz)

One lemon ( you will use the zest from the whole lemon and the juice)

Jar to hold it (I picked up one at the Dollar Tree with lid )

Now you can use any oil.  I wanted to try baby oil because a lot of us are moms and have this usually in our homes.  I also wanted to try it because of its already light texture and fresh scent.   I took one large lemon and grated to get all the zest and then I squeezed the juice.  Depending on how strong you like the smell of lemon you might want to add more zest or more juice.  I stayed with one as my lemon was very potent.

You mix your sugar and oil first, and then gradually fold in the zest and add the lemon juice.  Mix until well blended.

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I scrubbed my elbow as a test.  Aside from my feet this is my driest and roughest part of my little old body.  My elbows are happy campers tonight!  This did a great job at helping the roughness.  As with the Sea Salt scrub, I only spent $2 on ingredients as I had a lemon on hand.  If you do not have a lemon, how about an orange or a grapefruit?  I can’t wait to try out other citrus blends.  You will have a nice scrub to use or gift for 13 cents an ounce as opposed to 63 cents an ounce if you buy a 16 oz jar at $10.   You can also use any container to put it in, so save a nice jar or two.  If you are keep it  for yourself a Tupperware works, an old mason jar, the possibilities are what is in your cupboard. Just make sure that the container is not porous or the oil will seep out.

I love making these so much I’m going to make some for gifts soon.  Next up on my DIY list??  I’m not sure, so please leave us some comments for what you’d like us to whip up for our Beauty on a Budget posts.

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Chocolate Coffee Cupcake Recipe

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These cupcakes pack a serious coffee kick!  They aren’t for the faint of heart.  If you like coffee, you’ll love these.  Mocha lovers rejoice!

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Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes

Ingredients

Devils Food Cake Box Mix + Ingredients called for on box
1 cup strong brewed coffee

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup milk

Directions for cake

This recipe is super easy!  Simply mix up the Devils Food Cake Box Cake Mix, replacing the one cup of water with one cup of strong brewed coffee.

Bake according to directions.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Directions for frosting

With an electric mixer, cream together coffee, vanilla, and butter.  Add in cocoa powder.  Alternate adding milk and confectioners’ sugar until desired consistency is reached.

Optional: Top with cocoa coffee nibs.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake with Chocolate Ganache Filling Recipe

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake with Ganache Filling Recipe

This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake Recipe is one I found on a recipe card a long time ago.  While searching for similar recipes for this post, I found one on All Recipes.  It’s almost identical, and tastes great!  The chocolate ganache filling really makes it amazing, so be sure to check below for that recipe as well.  Nothing beats the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, and this confection is to die for!  Have milk or coffee ready.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake with Chocolate Ganache Filling

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line cupcake pan with paper liners.Combine brown sugar, shortening and peanut butter in a bowl until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Stir in vanilla. Mix together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.  Pour into other mixture.  Bake for about 18 minutes.  Allow cupcakes to cool before filling and icing.  Fill with chocolate ganache (I used this chocolate ganache recipe).  Use the same recipe for the topping.  After filling with ganache, top with peanut butter icing.  Then, top with chocolate ganache.  Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 48 hours.