Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Frugal Recipe: Cookie Pizza

Last year I made my kids each a cookie pizza for their birthdays. :)  They were huge hits!

It was so simple and inexpensive!

Ingredients: (with cost of use)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix ($1.00)
Swedish Fish "anchovies" ($.98)
Reese's Pieces  ($2.00)
M&M's with Peanuts ($1.00)
Mini Chocolate Chips ($.50)
White Almond Bark  ($.05)
Nutella  ($1.00)
Smucker's Caramel Ice Cream Topping ($.25)
Pecans (given to me so FREE)

Total Cost: $6.78    
Serves 8
 Cost per Serving:  $.85

First I mixed up the cookie mix per the instructions.. spread the dough onto a pizza pan.. try to get as round as you can, doesn't have to be perfect.

Once it baked I let it cool on a wire rack.

Once cooled I spread Nutella on as the "sauce"

Then topped with a handful of Pecans

Arranged the various toppings then drizzled the 'mozzarella' cheese on.

Let set before shipping or serving.

To ship wrap in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil then place in box with peanuts or popcorn around it to hold it in place.  These ship well.

The possibilities are endless depending on who you are giving it to.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Frugal Breakfast: Sausage Biscuits & Gravy

So many people feel that making biscuits and gravy is difficult... well it's not, not even a little.

First if you are using refrigerated biscuits (my Grandma calls them 'Whop Biscuits'  lol)  pop them open, put them out on your cookie sheet .. if you like them with a crust all the way around bake them 2 inches apart, if you like some of them softer then bake them closer together so that they touch.   Either way don't put them in yet, just set them aside and start your oven preheating.

For the gravy:

1 lb. Sausage (I use Jimmy Dean HOT sausage)

Brown sausage in skillet (start out with a skillet large enough to hold the finished gravy).  Once completely browned, if using Jimmy Dean you will not have any fat, which is important for this, so I usually end up adding a 1/4 cup vegetable oil.  Or you can use half JD sausage and half other type of sausage that has more fat content.)

Add flour to the skillet... mix enough flour into the fat to not be too runny and not be too solid.  I know, I know, not real helpful, but you'll get the idea once you start working.

Allow flour to "burn".. not really, but you do want it to get so dark that you're sure it's burnt.

Now add your milk. I don't know why it makes a difference, but it always comes out better if you pour your milk over a wooden spoon.  Maybe it allows the milk to not hit the hot pan so hard, I don't know, but my Grandma always did this, so I do too.

Add Salt and Pepper your skillet...   and stir with a wooden spoon.
This will take some time.
Your flame should be medium.

Put your biscuits in the oven.. don't forget to set your timer.

Keep stirring your gravy... as it thickens you will want to keep stirring the thickened part off of the bottom.

If your gravy doesn't start to thicken, get a cup add a half cup or so of cold water and a Tablespoon of flour.. whisk it up and pour into your gravy.

Keep stirring.

You'll know it's finished when your gravy is the consistency you can live with.  It will thicken more once it starts cooling.

Your biscuits should be ready.

Serve hot with an egg or two.

Breakfast of champions. :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Frugal Recipe: Waffle Cookies

Waffle's aren't just for breakfast anymore, although these cookies would make a nice breakfast treat.

2 marshmallows
1 teaspoon jam (your favorite flavor)
2 waffle cookies

Heat broiler. Place the marshmallows on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil, turning once, until golden brown, 1 minute.

Spread the jam on one of the cookies and top with the marshmallows.
Sandwich with the second cookie.

Happy Tastebuds!

Frugal Well Being: Detox Water


This water has been known to keep your liver healthy and "cleaned" out.  
Should also help keep our bellies flatter. 

The recipe is simple, just use:  

2 lemons and/or limes  
1/2 cucumber  
grated ginger
mint leaves
3-qts purified water  (filtered water)

Using organic is ideal. 
Wash thoroughly and cut into slices, then place into the water. 
Grate ginger
Add mint leaves
Allow to Infuse overnight in refrigerator to create a natural detox water that helps to flush impurities out of your system. 


Source: 4outof7 food, gardening, housing and thriving

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Frugal Craft: Bullet Angels

I've had these shotgun shell casings for quite some time. I gathered them so I could make my shotgun shell Angel ornaments. I think they turned out cute.

For anyone that would like to make your own here is how I did it....

The materials that I used:
Spent shotgun shell casings (spent meaning shot)
Wooden balls (I used 1")
Plastic sheeting or plastic shopping bags
Wire (any color, I used white)
Curly hair (I had white and tinted it with coffee)
Craft paints: pink, rose, blue, black, white, yellow
Hot glue gun and sticks
Bowl of ice water (for dipping your fingers in when you get hot glue on them)

1. Make sure the curly hair you are going to use is ready to use, ie, dyed and dry.  If it is you're ready to make your Angels.

2. Cut a 2-3 inch piece of wire, then wrap around one of the wooden balls to form the halo.  Twist ends and do not bend yet.  Make as many as the number of Angel's you are going to be making. Maybe make a few extras just in case.

3. Paint Wooden Balls. To make it easier I stacked the balls by threading them onto paintbrushes. This made it much easier to hold them while painting.   Paint wooden balls flesh color (which I came up with mixing pink, yellow and white)  Let dry.

4. While the wooden balls dry I cut the plastic sheeting into rectangles approximately 3-4 inches wide and 2 inches tall, then fold accordion style, hold in the center and hot glue to the shell casing.  I did all of mine at once.

5. Next paint the rosy cheeks and eye color onto the wooden balls for the Angel's faces.  Let dry

6. Next paint the black pupil and mouth (I used a toothpick instead of a paintbrush)  After the pupil is dry, again using a toothpick, add the white glint onto each eye.

7. Hot glue a head to each shotgun shell (make sure they are facing the correct way)

8. Put a drop of hot glue into the hole on top of the head and insert the wire halo

9. Cut the curly hair you plan to use and attach to the head using hot glue (careful you WILL burn your fingers, use your bowl of water!)

10. Once the hair is attached the way you want, bend the halo foward.

Viola!  You're Shotgun Shell Angel is complete and ready to hang.

You can add a hanger if you like.  I left mine for people to attach a wire hanger to the halo, or around her neck. It's up to the person receiving her! :)   

I have some left if you'd rather purchase one instead of making your own.  They are available here on my Etsy Shop.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Heartburn Relief... a more natural way

Yesterday, my husband woke up feeling extremely bloated, his stomach was hard as a rock and he had heartburn.  

I remembered that not long ago my Mom told me how she had heartburn one night and being out of her usual remedy she looked online and found a recipe using baking soda.   So many of us have gotten away from using more natural remedies, but anyway, I mixed my husband up a small teaspoon of baking soda in a cup with a couple of fingers of water...  he drank it and immediately started burping, which alleviated the bloated belly and the heartburn went away right away.   

Although some people should check with their doctor if they have sodium restrictive diets or have heartburn/acid reflux often, this is a wonderful, quick and cheap way to get some relief!

 For more information please visit Healthline.com

Food Stretch: Four Chicken Breasts = Four Dishes/Six Meals

I purchased a package of four chicken breasts for $7.23.

First I browned them in a skillet, to enhance the flavor.
Then I put them in my crock-pot with a container of chicken stock, sliced carrots, diced onions and diced celery..... salt and pepper.
Cooked on high for about six hours.

Meal One: Chicken Stew served with wheat crackers.

Next night ... reheated in crock-pot.. added in two packages of rice mix (chicken flavor)   served with wheat crackers (yes we like wheat crackers! lol)

Meal Two: Chicken and Rice

Third night ... put leftovers in skillet, added some water, bowtie pasta (any pasta will work) and broccoli... put on lid and let simmer until pasta is cooked.

Meal Three: Chicken Pasta and Broccoli Skillet

Chicken Pasta & Broccoli Skillet

Fourth night ... put leftovers in baking dish, mixed up a biscuit dough from scratch
(simple biscuit recipe:  2 cups all-purp flour, 1 Tblsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 Tblsp sugar, 1/3 cup shortening, 1 cup milk)  spread biscuit dough over chicken dish.

Bake at 425 degrees for about 13-15 minutes until biscuit top is golden brown.

Fourth, Fifth and Sixth meal:  Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

The chicken pot pie lasted us for three meals. :)  So I guess four chicken breasts actually made us six meals.

And that is how I stretched four chicken breasts into four dishes and six meals for two adults.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Recipe of the Day: Natural Oven Cleaner

Natural oven cleaner without the toxic fumes

 3/4 c Baking Soda
1/4 c Salt

Add enough water to make into a paste -
using a sponge or rag, spread onto oven.
Leave overnight (at least 8 hours).
Spray w/ water if it has dried. Wipe it up.
Spray w/ vinegar to get rid of any baking soda residue.

Repeat if necessary.

Using a pumice stone (found in the cleaning deptartment of most stores for very little money) works wonders on stove tops (not glass ones), and may come in handy for problem areas inside of the oven as well.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Recipe of the Day: All Nature Weed Killer


Store bought weed killer tends to be expe nsive, if not somewhat toxic.  

This weed killer is easy on the pocket book as well as your pets feet! 

Sprinkle weeds with baking soda and let sit 30-45 min. 

Pour on some white vinegar. 

Rinse with fresh water the next day.

Couldn't be easier! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Great Gift Find: Homemade all Natural Sugar Scrubs

These scrubs are handmade by my Mom. :)  They are all natural, come in a 16oz jar and make your skin feel amazing! We live in the southwest desert. It is so easy for my skin to dry out, but using these scrubs helps keep my skin soft and supple and not dried out!

These make inexpensive gifts at only $8.00 each!  Great for the teachers, babysitters, bus drivers and everyone else on your list!
She offers the following scents/essential oils, at the moment, and is adding more all the time. If you want a scent she doesn't have listed, just ask! She'll do her best to find it for you!

The Peppermint is wonderful for use all over your body, makes your whole body feel so alive and soft!

The Brown Sugar scrub is pure luxury on your body and simply scrumptious for your face!  

The Lavender is so fragrant, you'll feel calm and relaxed after using this one!

Other scrubs available:
Honey - Simple and really great for your face!
Tea Tree Oil - Wonderful for waking you up!

To order visit my Etsy Shop and look under Bonita Bath and Body

Monday, September 10, 2012

Recipe of the Day: Natural Mosquito Repellent

  Many people like to joke that their state bird is the mosquito. These little pests tend to be big problems, especially if you're like me and are allergic to them.  When I get bit I get a itchy red sw ollen welt that sometimes takes a week or more to go away. I even have some bites that have left dark marks that never go away.  
I hate using chemicals, especially on my body. I'd much rather find alternative and more natural methods.
This recipe works fairly well. Don't use if you can't stand the scent of garlic. :) 

Minced Garlic
Mineral Oil
Lemon Juice

Step One
  Mince a few cloves of garlic (or use pre-minced garlic)
  Cover with mineral oil
  Allow this mixture to set for at least twenty-four hours, over night can work    
  also, it just won't be as strong.
Step Two
  Use 1 tsp of the oil (without the garlic pieces) and mix into 2 cups of water   
  and 1 tsp of lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best, but use what you have).   
Step Three
  Pour oil and water and juice mixture into a spray bottle. If you have bits of garlic in this mix strain through a cheesecloth first. 
Shake before each use. 

Recipe of the Day - Sink Cleaners

Sink Cleaner #1

This can replace Comet, Soft Scrub or any other abrasive cleaners with this homemade one.
Combine baking soda and salt, in equal amounts and scrub sinks.
Works great on stainless sinks and porcelain alike.

Sink Cleaner #2

Sprinkle baking soda onto a damp sponge and use to scrub sink and vanities.
Make a paste of baking soda and water, apply to the tub or sink, and allow to stand for 10 to 20 minutes, for tougher dirt and grime.
Dirt, soap scum and deposits soften and are easier to remove.

Today's Tip: coffee filters

Ever have a problem getting your coffee filters apart?  

It's simple!
Just blow on them and one will seperate for you!  Been doing it for years and it always works! :)

Cooking Tip: Corn on the Cob

One of the best ways to make corn on the cob: Place in zip bag, heat in microwave for approx 5 min. Corn comes out crispy, juicy and full of flavor!