Crock Pot Chocolate Lava Cake

We made this for dessert last night and it was super good!  It took a whole 15 minutes to put together then it cooks in the crock pot for 3 hours.  We served it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it made a perfect winter dessert.  Enjoy!

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ingredients

For the Cake:
Cake Mix
1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs

For the Topping
1 box (4-serving size) instant chocolate pudding and pie filling mix
2 cups milk
1 bag (12 oz) milk chocolate chips (2 cups)

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Spray 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In large bowl, beat Cake ingredients with electric mixer as directed on cake mix box. Pour into slow cooker. In medium bowl, beat pudding mix and 2 cups milk with whisk as directed on box. Pour into slow cooker over cake batter. Do not mix. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top. Cover cook on Low heat setting 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours or until cake is set and pudding is beginning to bubble out of cake.  Delicious!20140118-095356.jpg

 

Stuffed Manicotti

We are HUGE pasta fans in our house.  We typically eat at least one pasta dish a week and this is one of our favorites!  Making this dish is a bit time consuming so I normally make double and freeze a batch for another meal.  Don’t worry if someone doesn’t like ricotta or cottage cheese…blended in, it only adds flavor.  My daughter Kinley doesn’t even notice.  Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
1 (8 ounce) package manicotti pasta
1 pound lean ground beef or 1 Pkg. Johnsonville Ground Italian Sausage
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese or ricotta
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (32 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce

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Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cool boil pasta to half the recommended time on the package- then place ice cold water over manicotti. 20140114-121923.jpg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large skillet brown beef on medium heat. Drain and cool.  Combine beef or sausage, cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg and oregano. Mix well.

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Stuff shells with mixture. The key to stuffing the manicotti is by using a pastry bag or zip-lock bag (with corner cut).  Or just hold the noodle in one hand and plug the end with your fingers and stuff it with the other.

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Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour enough spaghetti sauce in dish to cover the bottom. Place stuffed noodles in the dish.

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Cover with spaghetti sauce and top with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake covered in preheated oven for 50 minutes. Enjoy!

Mini M&M Cookies

I made a meal for a friend today and came across a new cookie recipe I had to try.  I love trying new recipes but… I LOVE trying new desserts!  These cookies turned out super soft and chewy.  My kiddos loved them too!  Grab a glass of cold milk and you’ve got the perfect after school snack!

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ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup M&M mini’s
1 cup mini chocolate chips

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch, baking soda and a salt together. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients.  and mini chocolate chips. Form cookie dough into teaspoon balls and place on prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart.20140115-120337.jpgBake cookies for 8 minutes, or until slightly golden brown around the edges. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for two minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.20140115-120347.jpg

To freeze: Place cookie balls on a cookie sheet and freeze for one to two hours. Remove from cookie sheet and place in an airtight freezer bag.
To bake: Pull out the desired amount of balls and place on a greased cookie sheet for 30-45 minutes to thaw. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until done.  Makes approximately 40 cookies. 

Also, check out our other cookie recipes below!
White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Copycat Chick-fil-A Cookies
Freezer-friendly Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Sugar Cookie Dough

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

 

 

Ok…We love breakfast around our house.  And there is nothing better than a meal that requires you to pour sugar all over the top.  Seriously, is there a better way to start the day?

Recently, we made a cake and had some extra cream cheese icing left over.  We decided to put it to good use and made some cinnamon waffles.  Toss some icing on top and you have a cinnamon roll in waffle form.  Whoo Wee!

Here is what you need:

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 3/4 cups milk

2 TBS sugar

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 tsp cinnamon.

For the icing:

2 oz cream cheese

1/2 stick butter, melted

1 cup powdered sugar

milk  (Use a TBS at a time to reach desired consistency)

 

For the waffles:  (Sorry for the lack of pictures.  I wasn’t cooking this for the purpose of the blog, but once we tasted them….I had to share!)

Mix your waffle ingredients in a bowl until well mixed.  There will be some lumps, but that is good.  Cook waffles in your waffle iron until golden brown.

 

For the icing:

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Mix all the ingredients on low until you get a creamy mixture.  I like mine a little runny for the waffles, just add the milk slowly.  You can always add more!

20131231-222833.jpgWOW!!!!!!!

New York Cheesecake

Cheesecake is just plain awesome!  I have a little restaurant in Baton Rouge, LA that I personally think have the BEST cheesecake, but since that is a four hour drive from Houston, I have to settle for this awesome recipe instead.  It is a pampered chef recipe that I got back in the days when I was a consultant.

Here is what you need:

For the Crust:

1 sleeve graham crackers crushed in the blender (About 1 1/4 cups)

4 TBS butter

For the Filling:

4 packages of cream cheese, softened

1 Cup sugar

3 TBS flour

1 tsp lemon zest

1 TBS lemon juice

4 eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

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Dump your graham crackers (You can use butter cookies or Oreo’s if you prefer) in the blender and grind them fine.  Melt the butter in the microwave.  Mix the crumbs and the butter and press firmly in the bottom of a springform pan. Bake on 325 for 8 minutes.

20131231-222315.jpgPlace your softened cream cheese, sugar, flour, lemon zest and lemon juice in a blender and mix on low until it is creamy.  About 3 minutes.

20131231-222407.jpgAdd the eggs and mix on low for 3 minutes.

Blend in sour cream and vanilla by hand.

20131231-222416.jpgPour filling into your springform pan and bake on 325 for 55-60 minutes.

20131231-222426.jpgI have burned plenty of cheesecakes in my day.  They never seem done because the middle is still a little jiggly. (Is that a real word?)  But when you pull it out you want it to jiggle just a little in the middle.

20131231-222434.jpgWhen you pull it out of the oven, you want to run a knife all the way around the edge immediately.  Then let it cool completely

20131231-222446.jpgYUM!

20131231-222455.jpgHere I topped it with some candied pecans and chocolate.  To. Die. For!

Broccoli-Cheese Soup

Since the start of my adventure into the “cooking” world, I’ve been slightly scared to make Broccoli soup.  Crazy right?  I guess I have too many scary memories of all of those “Cream of” canned soups growing up.  And for years, I wished that I could duplicate the broccoli and cheese soup I remember eating back home at my favorite deli Murray’s.  Their soup was incredibly flavorful as a side to their Turk-ado sandwich which was a triple decker with turkey, avocado, bacon, and sprouts. Yummmm  So I figured it was time to finally stop being afraid of what could go wrong and think of what could go right.  I’m glad I did!  This soup was also a great way to get the kiddos to eat their vegetables they don’t ordinarily like.  Mission accomplished!

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1 whole Onion, Diced
1 stick 1/2 Cup Butter
1/3 cup Flour
4 cups Whole Milk
2 cups Half-and- Half
4 heads Broccoli Cut Into Florets
1 pinch Nutmeg
3 cups Grated Cheese (mild Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar, Jack, Etc.)
Small Dash Of Salt (more If Needed)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Chicken Broth If Needed For Thinning

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Melt butter in a pot over medium heat, then add the onions. Cook the onions for 3 to 4 minutes, then sprinkle the flour over the top. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute.20140110-112048.jpg

Then pour in milk and half-and-half. Add nutmeg, then add broccoli, a small dash of salt, and plenty of black pepper.  Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Stir in cheese and allow to melt.

Taste seasonings and adjust if needed. Then either serve as is, or mash it with a potato masher to break up the broccoli a bit, or transfer to a blender in two batches and puree completely. (If you puree it in a blender, return it to the heat and allow to heat up. Splash in chicken broth if needed for thinning.) Enjoy!

Two Frugal Gals Top 10

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It’s always fun to look back to see which recipes and Money Saving post on Two Frugal Gals were most popular in terms of traffic in 2013.  Here is this year’s top 10 most read posts in 2013.  If you haven’t read them, be sure to check them out.  And while you are at it, feel free to save them to Pinterest!

Dessert in Crockpot
Copycat Chick-Fil-A Cookies
Home Made Body Wash
Easy, Cheesy Spaghetti Casserole
Copycat Starbucks Iced Lemon Pound Cake
Chicken and Noodles over Mashed Potatoes
Homemade Pasta Sauce
Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
Grocery Price List
How to Save Money

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