Blueberry Bread

Yes!! It’s finally blueberry season!  As a frugal gal, I typically try to choose fruits and vegetables that are in season to use in making our meals. If you’re not quite sure what’s in season, check out our grocery sale cycle to learn more!

In my house, I can sit a container of blueberries out on the counter and before it even seems possible, they’re gone!  While these are great to eat by themselves, I decided to try a new recipe for our breakfast this morning.   It was really good right out of the oven and extremely moist (the yogurt must have done that?).  I’ve tried many recipes in the past and this will defiantly be one I will do again.  The most important part, it went over great with the kiddos!   Thanks to Baking Bites for this wonderful recipe!

blueberry bread

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups blueberries (12 oz)
2 tsp lemon zest
½ cup plain yogurt, regular or low fat

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder and salt.

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Add the blueberries and lemon zest and toss to combine.

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In a seperate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the yogurt then the dry ingredients, mixing only until incorporated and being careful not to crush the blueberries.

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Scoop batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting gently onto a plate.

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I’m thinking this would be great with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the side for a perfect after dinner snack.

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If you want to make it super simple and bite sized for the kiddos, after refrigerated (it’s a bit difficult when hot) a few hours, use sharp, serrated knife and make long strokes to cut each slice.  And slice again down the middle.

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Chore Bucket

Last week, Kinely and I were trying to come up with a chore plan for the summer.  I wanted something fun and she wanted something she could help me create.  And so the search began… I found this cute idea on fun family crafts website   (save this site to your favorites there are so many fun ides).  All you do is choose a clothespin that has a chore written on it, complete the chore and then drop the clothes pin in the bucket.  Seriously…how much better would the world be if everything was this easy?  I went to Focus on the Family for age appropriate chores and integrated a few of our own.  My goal is implementing this chore bucket and keeping the excitement of doing these the whole summer long!  Wish me luck:)

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Chili Hot Dog Casserole

Where has this recipe been all my life?  If your looking for a recipe that is loved by young and old alike, look no further!  This is absolutely wonderful and super healthy:)  Ok, maybe not the healthy part… but hey moderation right?  This is a wonderful recipe for outdoor cookouts, or make ahead for evening.  Next time we are going to add onion and crushed corn chips on top!

Hotdog casserole

Ingredients:

2 (15 ounce ) cans chili with beans

1 (16 ounce) package beef hotdogs

10 (8 inch) Flour tortillas

1 (8 ounce) package Cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spread 1 can of chili and beans in the bottom of a 9X13 inch baking dish.  Roll up franks inside tortillas and place in baking dish, seam side down, on top of chili and bean “bed”.  Top with remaining can of chili and beans, and sprinkle with cheese.  Cover baking dish with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes!  Nothing extravangant, but definatly  frugal, quick and tasty!  Enjoy!

Febreeze….no more!!

My bathrooms always stink!  Seriously….

With five kids always rushing in and out of them, I often feel like I at the convenience store down the street when I walk into them.  Sigh.

With that being said, I use a lot of Lysol or Febreeze.  I look for coupons and stock up, but it is still kind of pricey.  So when I came across a post about how to make a knock off Febreeze, I had to try it!!!

Here is what you need.

1 1/2 Tablespoons fabric softener

2 Tablespoons baking soda

4 Cups warm water

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I went down to Dollar Tree and bought some fabric softener.

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Get four cups of WARM water.  This will help dissolve the baking soda and the fabric softener.  Put in the baking soda and stir until completely dissolved.  You don’t want your spray bottle to get clogged!!

photo(149)Add your fabric softener to your bottle.

photo(148)Pour in the water and shake well until all the fabric softener has been dissolved. 

Spray….deep breath.  AAAhhhh!

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Brownie and Cookie Mixes

bc cookiesDuring the Christmas season this year I saw a commercial for Betty Crocker cookie mix pouches.  The advertisement was making the case that we should buy this mix and leave the measuring to someone else.

Genius.


Ridiculous, but genius.


We are all busy people!  We live in a time where the more we can put on our plate, the better….right?  It is easy to be convinced that every short cut we can take should be taken.  Even if your wallet takes a hit. 

 

So here is what I have done.  I pre-mix the dry ingredients for cookies and brownies and store them in baggies in the freezer.  Then, when I need to whip up a batch, I have pre-measured mixes I can dump in a bowl and add a couple of ingredients to. 

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Dump Dry ingredients in the bag.

photo(144)Squeeze the bag until they are all mixed together.  Write on the bag the ingredients that need to be added.

photo(142)Or put it in a large mason jar to give as a gift!

Here are the recipes I use:

For Brownies:

2 Cups sugar

2/3  cup unsweetened cocoa

1 cup flour

½  Tsp Salt

½  tsp baking Powder

When it is time to make the brownies, dump into a bowl.  Add 1 cup oil, 2 teaspoon vanilla and 3 eggs.  Mix well.  Pour into a greased 9X13 pan and bake on 350 for 25 minutes. 

For Super soft Sugar Cookies:

 1 ½ cup powdered sugar

 2 ½ cups flour

 1 tsp.  baking soda

 1 tsp. cream of tarter

  

Dump dry ingredients into a bowl.  Add 1 cup softened butter, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  Mix well.  Roll out and cut cookies.  Cook on 375 for 8-10 minutes.  Store in airtight container to keep cookies soft.

Window Cleaner…bye bye Windex!!

photo(141)There are a few things in my life that I have learned NOT to buy in a generic bottle.  Up until recently, Windex was at the top of that list.  (It used to be Velveeta!)  Then I decided to experiment with some recipes to make my own.  After dumping out some bottles of stuff that left behind streaks, I landed on one that works just as well as it’s $4 partner, Mr. Windex!

 

 

 

Here is what you will need:

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Squirt bottle

2 Ounces Rubbing Alcohol

1 Ounce Ammonia

3 Drops Dawn soap

Water

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Pour the Ammonia and the Alcohol into the bottle.

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Add your drops of Dawn.

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Fill the bottle up with water.

 

Wha Lah……Window cleaner!  No streaks and it dries QUICK! 

Cost for the entire bottle:  $0.15

 

 

Copycat Cafe Max Chicken Salad

I was introduced to Cafe Max when we first moved to Dallas by my best friend Tina.  And since our move five years ago, I can honesly say without a doubt, this is my favorite place to eat salad. I always get the salad trio.  The chicken salad is DELICIOUS!  Flavorful, sweet (but not too overpowering). I also get the Ceasar salad (the dressing is really good), then I get the pasta salad which is so rich and tasty.   If you live in the Dallas area I stongly recommnend stopping by Cafe Max, they are moderately priced at about $10 dollars but they give you SO MUCH FOOD!  However, if your looking for the recipe on their chicken salad I FINALLY found it!!  It’s a faboulous salad that is super simple, elegant and flavorful.  Trust me it’s so good and perfect for any special brunch occasion.

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Ingredients:

3-4 Chicken Breast

1/4 cup Soy Sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup pineapple juice

red/yellow/green pepper

Toasted Pecans (optional)

Red Pear

Italian Salad Dressing

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Mix soy sauce, brown sugar, and pineapple juice.  Marinate chicken in mix in a plastic bag or dish for atleast an hour chilled.  Once chilled bake chicken and mixture in a baking pan at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  (Make sure chicken cooks all the way through).

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While baking, julienne slice pepper and pear.

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Once chicken is cooked thoroughly, slice chicken into strips and add pear and pepper slices.

Pour Italian dressing over mix (as much as you desire).

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