Monday, November 26, 2012

Knock-off Frappuccino

I found this recipe and decided to try it out since I am pretty much a coffee addict. It tastes just like a certain brand name that comes in a glass bottle! ;) Change it up with different flavored coffee and creamers!

10 cups of coffee
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup creamer of your preference

Pumpkin Dessert Squares

This is one of my favorite fall recipes, I have to say it's even better than pumpkin pie!


1 box (18 oz. size) Yellow Cake Mix, Divided
1 whole Egg, Lightly Beaten
½ cups Butter, Melted
1 cup Sugar, Divided
2 teaspoons Cinnamon, Divided
½ teaspoons Ginger
¼ teaspoons Ground Cloves
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 cup Canned Pumpkin
⅔ cups Evaporated Milk
2 whole Eggs
¼ cups Cold Butter, Diced


This recipe has three parts, a crust, a filling and a topping. Before you start anything, preheat your oven to 350F, and get out a 13×9 pan.
For the crust:
Reserve 1 cup of the cake mix for the topping. Pour remaining cake mix into a bowl, then stir in the one beaten egg and the 1/2 cup of melted butter until the mixture is well combined. Press evenly into the 13×9 pan and set aside.
For the filling:
Combine 3/4 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, the ginger, cloves, salt, pumpkin, evaporated milk and 2 eggs together. Using a whisk, stir until smooth. Pour over the crust.
For the topping:
Stir together the 1 cup of reserved cake mix, and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Cut in the 1/4 cup of butter dice using a pastry blender or a fork. Sprinkle evenly over the filling.
Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes, or until filling is set. Allow to cool completely, cut into bars, and serve! I like to top mine with whipped cream!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Whipped Sweet Potato Casserole

Whipped sweet potatoes or yams are one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes! I used canned yams this year to make it just a bit easier on myself since this was my first year doing Thanksgiving and there was a total of 11 people here! I doubled the recipe so I could make sure that I'd have plenty of leftovers!


2 pounds sweet potatoes, peel and cubed (or the canned equivalent)
2 tablespoons orange juice
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter, cubed
1 cup mini marshmallows


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

In a large saucepan cook sweet potatoes in salted water over medium-high heat for about 20 minutes, or until done. Drain, and add orange juice, brown sugar, nutmeg and butter. Whip until smooth. Spread into a medium size casserole dish and top with marshmallows.

Bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until marshmallows are golden brown.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Crockpot Mac & Cheese

On Thanksgiving day, I found my daughter sneaking out of the kitchen with a mouth full of food. I told her to take me in and show me what she was eating since her mouth was too full to tell me. I'm expecting her to point out the pumpkin squares or the apple dumplings but she walks to the crockpot and points to the mac & cheese! She asked if she could have more and I told her it was time for dessert and she said she would rather have the mac & cheese. She is a mac & cheese addict and says this is her favorite mac & cheese ever. This coming from the child that returned her mac & cheese to the kitchen at a very popular diner in California stating that it wasn't good enough for her, lol. Yeah, I have my hands full!

I am a firm believer that if you have a crockpot recipe, you shouldn't have to cook something before putting it into the crockpot! That takes the convenience out of it and requires me to do actual work, lol! I had done an internet search for crockpot mac & cheese and this was one of the very few recipes I found in which you didn't have to pre-cook the noodles. I've made this twice now and have to say it is my favorite mac & cheese recipe, crockpot or not!


Cooking oil spray
2 1/2 cups milk
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni


Spray the pot of the slow cooker or if using a liner bag, spray the bag well.  In a mixing bowl whisk together milk, evaporated milk, egg, salt and pepper. Pour milk mixture into the crockpot.  Add cheese and uncooked macaroni. Stir gently to mix.  

Turn slow cooker on low and cook 3-4 hours, or until the macaroni is tender. I stir it every hour and then every 20-30 minutes the last hour it is cooking so it doesn't start to crisp around the sides. Do not let it cook over 4 hours. Serve immediately. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Candy-Cookie Turkeys

I was seeing these everywhere so I decided to do them. I must note that you must use the Double-Stuf and not the regular Oreos so the candy corns fit in without breaking the cookies! The frosting on the head was a bit tricky I'm not posting a recipe because it's quite obvious how they're made just by looking at them. Only thing I forgot to do was out the tip of the candy corn on as the nose, oops!

Maple Bacon Roast Turkey (aka best turkey ever!)

This was my first year in over 10 years of marriage that I not only hosted Thanksgiving at my home but I also cooked my first turkey! I'm big about sticking to traditional food for Thanksgiving but I'm always up for traditional with a twist! While wasting some time on the internet the other day, I ran across a picture of a bacon-covered turkey. Now, my family loves anything and everything to do with bacon so I knew this was a must! I checked out a few recipes online and picked a few things about each and went for it while adding my own take along the way.


12-14 pound turkey
1 pound bacon
1 cup maple syrup (can add more for preference)
1 apple, quartered
1 onion, quartered
salt and pepper to taste
stuffing (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash turkey well under cold running water. Pat dry. Remove innards from cavity. Tuck wings underneath body. 

Season skin and cavity of the turkey generously with salt and pepper, including the backside. Place the quartered apple and onion in the seasoned cavity. Add optional stuffing at this point. Using a brush, paint the turkey breast, thighs and legs with some of the maple syrup. 

Lay the bacon across the turkey, covering the entire breast, thighs and legs so that no skin shows through. Use toothpicks to hold the bacon in place if necessary.

Make an aluminum foil "tent" and place it on top of the turkey. Position turkey, on a rack, in a roasting pan with 1/2 cup pf water, and place in the preheated 400 degree F oven. Immediately lower oven temperature to 325 degrees F and roast for about 3 1/2 hours, basting the turkey with pan drippings and maple syrup every 30 minutes. Add water 1/2 cup at a time to the drippings if you're not getting enough for the basting.

In the last half hour, remove the crisp bacon (save for gravy or enjoy as a snack of the best bacon you have ever had). Baste the turkey one more time with maple syrup. Continue to roast until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees in the thigh or 170 degrees in the breast. 

Remove pan from oven and allow the turkey to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

This is the only picture I took of the turkey when it was done and the bacon is already off of it, sorry! My sexy man carving up the turkey!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Apple Cider Sangria

I love having Martinelli's for Thanksgiving dinner, it's pretty much a tradition in our house. This year I'm actually doing a homemade Martinelli's since we are on a budget and I am very excited about how it will turn out!

Now, I decided the adults needed a drink of their own this year! I have now been married 10 years and this will be the first year I've eve done Thanksgiving at my house, cooked a turkey, the whole shebang! Most of our married Thanksgivings have been spent at the fire station as my husband spends about half his time there! I am very excited about hosting for the first time! We have a wonderful family we are great friends with that are joining us and our neighbors will be joining us for dessert (and probably more drinks)! I have decided that an apple cider sangria was the way to go for the adults! I doubled the recipe for the amount of people we will be having join us (and the amount I plan on consuming alone, lol)!

Apple Cider Sangria

1 standard size bottle of pinot grigio (any white wine will work but the flavors work well with this one)
2 1/2 cups apple cider
1 cup club soda
1/2 cup brandy
2 apples
2 pears

I started by using my apple corer/slicer on my apples and my pears. Make sure you pick out any seeds that are left over in the slices. Combine everything together and stir it up. I like to make my sangrias a couple days in advance so the fruit has enough time to add their flavor to the drink and also has enough time to soak up the alcohol!

Enjoy and please remember to drink responsibly!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Celebrating and Savoring a Simple Christmas [Kindle Edition]

Money Saving Mom ( ) has a new ebook out called Celebrating and Savoring a Simple Christmas. The Kindle edition is on sale until Thursday on amazon for $0.99!  You can find it here: Amazon Kindle Edition

In this book you'll learn how to:

  • Organize your Christmas list
  • Make and stick with a Christmas budget
  • Freezer cook for the holidays
  • Make memorable family activities
  • Make simple and inexpensive homemade gifts
  • Get your home in order
  • Savor the meaning of the season
  • Balance your desire to create and bake with the need for rest and reflection
  • Connect with your loved ones without spending a fortune
…and much more.

Purchasing this ebook also gives you access to beautiful ,printable worksheets to make your holiday planning even easier!