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

Tater Tot Casserole

If you’re looking for an inexpensive kid friendly meal you will love this.  I’ve come across several different versions but this one still remains my favorite. Note: if you don’t have cornflakes on hand it’s perfectly fine without.  You can also make this with ground beef.

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1 (2 pound) package tater tot potatoes
1/2 cup melted butter
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups crushed cornflakes cereal
1/4 cup melted butter

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine tater tots, 1/2 cup melted butter, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, chopped onion, Cheddar cheese, salt and pepper.

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Place mixture in a 3 quart casserole dish.

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In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sauté cornflakes in 1/4 cup melted butter.

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 Sprinkle the mixture over the top of the casserole. Bake covered in preheated oven for 40 minutes and 20 minutes uncovered.

 

Chicken and Noodles over Mashed Potatoes

This is a wonderful recipe my mother used to make in the winter time.  I always loved it and now my kiddos LOVE it.  It’s thick and creamy and can be served alone or on a bed of mashed potatoes.   It’s the ultimate comfort food and high in carbs but your family will feel the love. This recipe makes a boatload and freezes like a dream.  In fact, when you decide to eat the rest of it up, you can always add some extra chicken stock and just have it as Chicken Noodle Soup!  It is best made with homemade noodles, but I’ve found Reames Homestyle egg noodles work great.  Perfect for a cold winter night:)

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3 cups shredded chicken or turkey
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
2-32oz boxes of chicken stock or broth or homemade is even better!
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp onion powder
Reames Homestyle Egg Noodles (found in the freezer section)
Potatoes for mash potatoes
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Mix all ingredients except chicken/turkey. When combined completely add poultry.  Bring to a boil and add the noodles a handful at a time until they are all in the pot! After cooking there should be VERY little broth.  You want it thick.  Sorry, I forgot to take a picture with the chicken and noodles. 😦

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Ladle your noodles over a bed of mashed potatoes and eat your heart out.  If you don’t have a great mashed potato recipe, here is a great one from my frugal gal Loaded Mashed Potatoes20131030-190459.jpg

So delicious!

Taco Soup

This is the best taco soup I’ve ever made!  It’s a quick, throw together soup that taste just as good the next day.  You can cook this soup on the stove or your slow cooker and let it simmer.  Then serve with chips, shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Ingredients:

 1lb ground turkey or beef

1 Large onion, chopped

1 package Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

1 package taco seasoning mix

1 can each: pinto beans, chili hot beans, corn, stewed tomatoes, and one can stewed tomatoes, one can rotel mild tomatoes.

Brown the meat onions, drain.  Add in dressing and taco mixes.  Then, without draining, add all of the other ingredients.  Simmer 1 hour.  Makes 12 – one cup servings.  Enjoy!

Freezer Friendly Meatballs

The best week nights are the ones you can pull out a freezer meal and have dinner ready in minutes.  I found this true a few nights ago when I wasn’t feeling well and needed a miracle to happen in my kitchen.  HA!  I’m sure any mom can relate to this dilemma.  Below is a great recipe for freezer friendly meatballs I found from RecipeGirl.com  but you can make up meatball mixture using your own favorite recipe if you have one.   Also, make sure you check out our Sweet and Sour Meatballs for another great recipe!

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Ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
splash of milk
olive oil
6 cups marinara sauce or our homemade pasta sauce 

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For the meatballs… they are a simple combo of ground beef, garlic, fresh parsley, eggs, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, salt/pepper and a splash of milk.  Form them using an ice-cream scoop; place in a single layer on a greased baking sheet.

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Place sheet with meatballs in freezer for approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

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Transfer frozen meatballs to labeled freezer bags, and freeze.

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On cooking day, brown meatballs toss them in marinara sauce and top a pile of freshly cooked noodles with them, or stuff them into a roll to create a meatball sub sandwich with melted mozzarella.  Make your own hot dog buns by going here!  Enjoy!

Creamy Chicken Primavera Bake

One main lesson I’m learning in my frugal adventure… the better I stock my pantry the quicker I can make a delicious and wholesome meal.  I typically try to stock my pantry with a variety of convenient foods and pantry staples that I can grab quickly when I’m planning for the week.  Depending on what’s on sale, I try to purchase more of these staple items to save money. Pasta, rice, marinara, broth, and salad dressing are all must-haves in my pantry.   Basil pesto is also a good item to have.  It’s a simple delicious stir-in for pasta, salads, and sauces.  Check out how to make and freeze your own Basil Pesto for a quick fix in a meal.

This casserole is a tasty one I found in  Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade Money Saving Meals recipe book.  It turned out really good and  makes a quick freezer friendly go to meal as well.

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8 ounces rotini pasta

1 bag (16 ounces) frozen Italian-blend vegetables

1 jar (16-ounce) Alfredo sauce

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 pound chicken breast or rotisserie chicken cut into 1 inch pieces

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta for 7 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  Meanwhile, cook and cut chicken into 1 inch pieces.  In a covered, microwave-safe dish, microwave vegetables on high setting for 6 minutes.

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In a large bowl, stir together Alfredo sauce, Italian seasoning, and garlic salt.

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Add pasta, vegetables, chicken and mozzarella cheese, fold to combine.

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Transfer to a 3-quart casserole dish; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

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Cover and bake in a preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until heated through and bubbling.

Boiled Chicken

My favorite store had their whole chickens on sale last week for $.67 per lb. I had to stock up! The great thing about boiled chicken meat is it’s called for in many other recipes, and is a wonderful basic recipe to have for many uses. You can make casseroles, wraps, chicken salad, etc… I did some research on the best ways to cook up this gregarious bird and this is what I came up with.  Also, if your looking for tasty ways to use some of this chicken, check out a few of Two Frugal Gals favorite recipes!

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

Freezer Friendly Creamy Chicken Casserole

Copycat Cafe Max Chicken Salad

Copycat Corner Bakery Chicken Salad Recipe 

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What you need:

1 whole chicken

1 celery rib

1 carrot

1 onion

4 garlic cloves

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If your not sure if your getting a good deal on meat, use the unit price to see what the price is per pound.

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Bring 1 whole chicken and enough water to cover to a boil in a large pot.  Add celery, carrots, onion and garlic cloves.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer about 40 minutes.

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Remove chicken, and discard vegetables, reserving broth.  Remove chicken from bones, and shred.  Place 2 cups shredded chicken in labeled quart-size freezer bags.  Seal and freeze.

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Strain broth, cool, and refrigerate.  Freeze broth in airtight containers or freezer bags for soups and other yummy recipes.

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