Weight Watchers Soup

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If you looking at wanting to drop a few pounds, here is the famous zero point Garden Vegetable Soup from Weight Watchers. It’s super quick to make with minimal chopping. And frugal too!

The benefit of this soup is that it tastes great and it really does help you lose weight. Eat a healthy breakfast then a bowl of soup for lunch, an afternoon snack, and for dinner with some whole grain crackers or toast and you will see some serious weight loss fast. Each cup of soup has only 57 calories. This recipe makes about 20 cups of soup. It lasts in the fridge up to a week, and it freezes well.

Ingredients
2 cans chicken broth (you may use low-sodium)
3 cups V-8 juice (you can use low-sodium V8 or even tomato juice, homemade or store bought)
2 cans Italian diced tomatoes
1 small onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 package sliced mushrooms
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
2 cups fresh or frozen green beans
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3-4 cups shredded cabbage
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
In a large frying pan sprayed with cooking spray, sauté garlic, onions, carrots, and mushrooms for about 5 minutes. In a large crockpot, combine sautéed garlic and vegetables with the remaining ingredients. Cook on high for 2-3 hours, or until vegetables are cooked.
This makes a large batch of soup. If you would like to freeze portions of it to use later, undercook the vegetables just a little. Pour the soup into freezer Ziplock bags and let as much air out as you can. Lay the bags flat on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once the soup is frozen flat, it is easy to layer in your freezer and won’t take up much room. To thaw, place the bag in the fridge for 24 hours and then reheat.

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Pumpkin Pie Bites

Two Frugal Gals

I love mini food and I love baking in my mini muffin tins.  So when I came across these from Bakerella.com , I couldn’t resist making them for my bible study gals.  I know pumpkin pies are normally made during thanksgiving, but if you add a pumpkin face to them you can eat them in October:)  They were super easy and fun to make!   20131015-210400.jpg

What you’ll need:

2 refrigerated ready-to roll pie crusts

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter

Optional 1/2 cup chocolate morsels vegetable oil re-sealable plastic bags

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use cookie cutter to cut 12 pumpkin shapes from each pie crust. You will need to roll the dough thinner than it comes out of the box.  Press dough shapes into a 24 cup mini muffin tray.  Apply egg…

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Comfy Nap Mats is now Open!

Confy Nap Mats picture for blog

To all my blogging friends, If your looking for a comfy nap mat or are needing to upgrade for your little one, check out my store!  I have a huge selection of mats and if your looking for a specific fabric I also custom them with their favorite character.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ComfyNapMats?ref=search_shop_redirect  Go like me on Facebook too!

https://www.facebook.com/comfynapmats?ref=hl

DIY Candy Halloween Wreath

holloween wreath

Decorating for the holidays is so much fun in our house it’s a super fun way for our family to connect.  However, it’s not always fun to spend money on all that décor. Last year after Halloween we had tons of leftover candy and why not put it to good use? We made this adorable wreath and the kiddos loved separating all the candy.  I will admit, it’s pretty tempting to pull one off every time I pass by it in our entry way.  If you head over to Pintrest you can find tons of cute ways to decorate your holiday on a budget.

No Child Left Behind

Frisco Fast Pac

Last week my beautiful Friend Karen asked if we would be interested in helping our local shelter provide food for children who experience hunger on a regular basis in our community. Especially during the summer when school is not in session and these children aren’t getting regular meals provided. Frisco FastPacs is the name and I’m sure your local family shelter has something similar.  It was a great activity for our kiddos to participate in, and an awesome way to give back to our community.  If your looking for something to do with your kiddos this summer take some of your shopping savings and pay it forward!

Easy Freezer Friendly Baked Ziti

If your looking for  the perfect meal to feed a crowd of hungry people, here is one of the best Italian meals I’ve come across.  We made this for our family reunion this weekend and it was a huge hit.  The great thing about this meal is it’s super tasty, filling and fairly inexpensive. We fed 65 adults and kids and it was so good we’re adding it to the menu again next year!

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1 pound ground beef
1 box penne pasta
1 (15 oz.) jar Alfredo sauce
1 (24oz.) jar Marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

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Preheat oven to 375° F.  Spray a 9 x 13-inch pan with nonstick spray; set aside.  Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.  Return cooked pasta to pan; do not return to heat. Brown and drain your ground beef and add your jar of marinara sauce and set aside.20140527-131908.jpg

Add Alfredo sauce, to pasta and mix well and pour into a prepared pan.

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Gently layer marinara sauce on top of pasta and sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.  Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.  We served this up with a wonderful chop salad and fresh garlic bread and it was delish!

Copycat Chick-fil-A Cookies

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I am an addict.

I love Chick-Fil-A chocolate chunk cookies. I can attribute at least 5 pounds on my hips totally to these circles of deliciousness.

That being said, I am a frugal gal who hates to throw down just over a dollar every time my craving wins out. So what did I do? I scoured the web along with the Chick-Fil-A ingredient list and tried to come up with an equally delicious cookie.

I think my experiment was a S.U.C.C.E.S.S! (The house full of teenagers that come to bible study at my house on Wednesday nights agreed. Three of them actually work at Chick-Fil-A!!)

When digging around online I came across two blogs that have also attempted a copy cat. Check them out here and here. I tried both and they were pretty good! The recipe I landed on is a little different than theirs. After WAY too many batches, I think it is as close as I am going to get without hacking into someone’s computer system! (No…of course that thought never entered my mind…..)

Stop by and let me know what you think!

Here is the Recipe: (Step by Step Pictures are below)

2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Quick Oats
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/3 C Dark brown sugar
1/3 C Sugar
1/2 C Crisco or Lard
8 TBS Butter at room temperature (NOT Margarine
3 TBS Honey or Corn Syrup
2 tsp. Vanilla
2 eggs (at room temperature
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet Chocolate Chunks
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

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Mix the flour, oats, baking powder and baking soda

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In a different bowl combine the dark brown sugar, sugar, crisco, butter, honey (or corn syrup) and vanilla

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Add room temperature eggs.  This helps the cookies to rise better than using cold eggs.   You also want to wait to add the eggs after your have beat your other wet ingredients so the eggs don’t get over beaten.  This keeps the cookies from getting too dense or tough.  (I know…seems tedious but amazing cookies are in the details!)

Incorporate the dry ingredients and the chocolate.  Don’t over mix, just until all the flour is mixed in.

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Use a BIG FAT Ice Cream scoop and dish out on your cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for 8-11 minutes.  You want to pull them out when you just start to see browning on the edges.

Let cool…….If you can wait 🙂

 

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