Creamed Spinach Casserole

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Looking for something new to try out for Easter brunch this Sunday? My favorite side dishes are the traditional Corn Casserole, Broccoli Cheese Casserole and of course Green Bean Casserole (without the cream soup), so I decided to hunt down something different that most folks may not have tried before.

 

This was so good, and reminded me of the Creamed Spinach that Claudia Sanders restaurant serves in Shelbyville, Kentucky(If you’re ever near Shelbyville, you have to try it out. While it’s far from a penny-pinched meal, it’s so good and just a fun place to visit!) It took about two minutes to mix together after I really thawed out and drained the spinach (be sure to really drain it well), and would be a perfect recipe to enjoy this Easter Sunday. Here’s the recipe so you can try it out too!

Creamed Spinach Casserole

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened - I used the original cream cheese spread which is a little more creamy and easy to work with)
  • 3 10 oz. packages frozen spinach thawed and drained
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 6 oz can French's onions, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Thaw and drain spinach (you'll want to drain the spinach really well- squeeze out any extra liquid by draining spinach in a colander and pressing out as much liquid as possible.)
  3. Mix together spinach, cream cheese, mushroom and 1/2 of the French's onions.
  4. Pour into greased casserole dish.
  5. Add remaining French's onions.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until heated through (make sure not to let onions brown too much.)
  7. Enjoy!
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Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 4/16/14):

  • Birdseye Veggies 50% off at Publix
  • Birdseye Veggies $1 at Target
  • Philadelphia Cream Cheese $1.50 at Publix, Target and Kroger, use $.75/1 Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • Campbell’s Cream Soup $1 at Publix or $.75 at Target, use $.40/3 Campbell’s Soups
  • French’s Onions BOGO at Publix, use $.30/1 French’s Onions, $.50/1 French’s Onions from the 2/9 Smart Source insert, or $1/1 French’s Onions from the 4/6 Smart Source insert

 

Looking for more Easter brunch recipes? Here are some of my favorites . . .

 

Sweet & Savory Broccoli Salad

Easy Slow Cooker Ham 

Slow Cooker Ham

Corn Casserole

Green Bean Casserole 

Green Bean Casserole {no cream of mushroom soup}

 

Strawberry Cake

 

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

 

Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

Homemade Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

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I know that picture is just plain old pitiful, but you’ve got to trust me that this is the best ever Homemade Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake you will ever bake. My son turned 14 this weekend (craziness!), and his sister was determined to bake him a cake. It had been a crazy week around here so I really didn’t have much planned (we went out to eat for his birthday), but she found this recipe, rode her bike up to Publix to grab the ingredients, and came home to bake it right up for him.

 

Goodness, it was good. In fact, it was so good that that big-ole’-fourteen year old even thanked his eleven-year-old sister for it more than two times, which is a pretty big compliment coming from him to her! ;) Here’s how to get started . . .

Homemade Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup M&Ms (could use all chocolate chips, we just decided to use both)

Instructions

  1. Beat butter, white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until fluffy.
  2. Add eggs and beat well.
  3. Slowly add in flour, salt and baking soda, then mix until well blended.
  4. Add in chocolate chips and M&Ms.
  5. Spread into 9x13" pan.
  6. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.
  7. Frost with favorite buttercream frosting if desired (I just mix together 1 stick of butter (softened), 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 cups powdered sugar, then add a few tablespoons of milk until it's at desired thickness.)
  8. Enjoy!
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Recipe adapted from All Recipes.  If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

Strawberry Cake

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If I had my druthers, I’d invite every one of you right into my kitchen this afternoon and slice you up a piece of this cake. But, since that’s probably not going to happen, I’ll just share the recipe, and maybe you can invite a friend or two over to enjoy it too. ;)

 

My sister-in-law buys the most wonderful Strawberry Cake from a bakery in Western Kentucky every Easter, and I’ve always wanted to make one at home. So,  I can’t even begin to tell you  how excited I am about this little (big?) slice of happiness!

 

While the cake is pretty darn good, the icing is perfection. When I read through the directions I was afraid it would be a little more challenging than I had time for, but it really was fairly simple, and undoubtedly the best Strawberry Icing I’ve ever tasted. So, dust off your mixing bowls and get ready to bake – this one will be perfect for Easter brunch in your home too!

 

{Excuse me while I run and get just one more bite of that cake, then we’ll get started . . . } ;)

 

Strawberry Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 white cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • 3 oz package Strawberry Jello
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 3/4 cup mashed fresh strawberries (divided)
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted and divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Mix together cake mix and dry Jello in mixing bowl
  2. Add eggs, oil, water and 3/4 cups mashed strawberries.
  3. Beat with mixer until blended.
  4. Pour into two greased and floured 9" pans.
  5. (Important - be sure to grease your pans well and then flour them, or they will not come out of the pan.)
  6. Bake for 27-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes in cake pans, then place on wire racks and cool completely.
  8. While cake is baking, smash 1 cup strawberries until smooth (you may want to use a blender - I used my Pampered Chef chopper and just got them good and smashed.)
  9. Place strawberries in saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  10. Continue to cook until mixture is reduced by about half (for about 12-18 minutes.)
  11. Remove from heat and cool completely. (I put them in a small bowl in my refrigerator to cool more quickly.)
  12. Beat butter with electric mixer until fluffy.
  13. Add in 1 cup powdered sugar until blended.
  14. Add 2 tablespoons of cooled strawberry puree and vanilla extra, beat into butter mixture until blended.
  15. Repeat with another cup of confectioners sugar, then an additional 2 tablespoons of strawberry puree.
  16. Add one more cup of confections and another 2 tablespoons strawberry puree.
  17. Beat in remaining 1/2 cup confectioners sugar until light and fluffy.
  18. Spread frosting on cake and enjoy!
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Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 4/9/14):

  • Duncan Hines Cake Mix BOGO $1.89 at Publix
  • Betty Crocker Cake Mix $1.25 at Kroger
  • Publix Butter on sale $2
  • Kroger Land O Lakes Butter on sale $2.50, use $1/1 Land O Lakes Butter
  • Strawberries on sale $2.99 at Publix, $2.50 at Kroger or $.99 at Target

 

Cake recipe adapted from Kraft.com, and Strawberry Icing Recipe from All Recipes.  Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chili

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I know it’s Spring and probably time to pack away Mrs. Potts along with all my favorite slow cooking soup recipes, but I’m just not quite ready yet! So, I’m clinging to every last easy meal I can eek out in the slow cooker, and absolutely loved how simple and delicious this meal was last night.

If you’ve got about 8 minutes in the morning to dump all the ingredients in your slow cooker, you’ve got one delicious dinner all done. (Have I mentioned lately how much I love that?) ;) Here’s the recipe so you can get a (healthy!) meal on the table at all with just a few minutes of effort.

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chili

Ingredients

  • 16 oz black beans
  • 16 oz kidney beans
  • 2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 10 oz can frozen corn kernels
  • 2 14.5 oz cans Rotel
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 onion
  • 1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • cheese (optional - for topping)
  • sour cream (optional - for topping)
  • tortilla chips (optional - for topping)

Instructions

  1. Place everything except chicken, cheese and sour cream in slow cooker.
  2. Place chicken on top of the other ingredients in the slow cooker.
  3. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
  4. Once cooked, shred chicken and then stir back in - let cook another 10 minutes.
  5. Serve with cheese, chips and sour cream if desired (will count as extra Weight Watcher points) and enjoy!
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Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 4/2/14):

  • Publix Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast on sale $2.39/lb. (stock up price for Publix!)
  • Kroger Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $1.99/lb
  • Kraft Shredded Cheese $2.50 at Publix
  • Ro-Tel on sale $1.35 at Publix, use Buy 2 Get 1 Free Ro-Tel coupon from the Pubilx Advantage Buy Flier
  • Market Pantry Cheese $2.50 at Target, use $.75/1 Market Pantry Cheese when you text SPRING to 827438
  • Publix Sour Cream $1.50

 

 

Recipe adapted from Skinny Taste and has 5 Weight Watchers points per 1 1/4 cup serving. 

 

Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

Ham and Cheese Pasta

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This {easy!} Ham and Cheese Pasta Bake is so simple, and such yummy warm comfort food on a cloudy day like it is here in Alabama. Almost everything you’ll need is probably in your pantry (thankfully I’d frozen a bunch of ham at Christmas), and it’s a great way to frugally feed your family some good old-fashioned comfort food.

 

It’s one of those meals that your kids will love (think delicious homemade mac-and-cheese with some ham added in), and you can add a side salad to finish out your meal. Most of the items are on sale in the new Publix and Kroger ads this week, just scroll to the bottom of the post to see how to penny-pinch this meal in case you’re missing a few of the items you’ll need to get started!

Ham and Cheese Pasta

Ingredients

  • 12 oz box bow tie pasta
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded Colby cheese (could substitute with Cheddar)
  • 4 oz cooked ham, diced
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 and cook pasta until al dente.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
  3. Saute garlic for thirty seconds.
  4. Add in flour, salt and pepper, whisking constantly.
  5. Once flour mixture is smooth, gradually add in milk, a little bit at a time while stirring constantly with a whisk.
  6. Bring to boil for one minute.
  7. Add in mustard and Colby cheese, then continue to cook until cheese is melted through.
  8. Mix together with cooked pasta and ham, then pour into 2 quart baking pan.
  9. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes, until bubbly. Enjoy!
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Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 3/19/14):

  • Smithfield Honey Ham Slice BOGO $3.49 at Publix, use $.75/1 coupon from the 3/9 Smwart Source insert
  • Kroger and Winn Dixie Pasta $1
  • Ronzoni Pasta BOGO  $1.38 at Publix, use $.75/1 Ronzoni 150 Pasta, if included in sale
  • Kraft Cheese 8 oz $1.99 at Kroger, use $1/2 Kraft coupon from the 3/9 Smart Source insert
  • Publix Shredded Cheese 16 oz. $4.99 at Publix

Recipe adapted from All Recipes - get a one year subscription to All Recipes right now for just $8.99, including their free Slow Cooker Cookbook! Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

Menu Plan Monday: Week Of 3/17/14

 

ham and cheese sliders

Have you made your menu plan yet for the week? Like I shared last week, I’m not so sure how many of these menus will actually make it to the table this week, but here’s a peek at what I’d like to have! ;)

 

Do you have anything yummy on your menu plan this week?  I’d love to hear what you’re having, and if you have any great recipe ideas please leave a comment to share!  

 

 

Check out my recipes to try board on Pinterest, and see more penny-pinched recipe ideas.  This post is linked up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday where you can find lots more menu planning ideas! 

 

Mexican Lasagna

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This Tex-Mex Mexican Lasagna recipe might be just what you need for a change out of your normal weeknight-dinner-rut! My friend Misty was actually sweet enough to make the recipe and then share it with us here today- I tried out the leftovers before snapping a picture this morning and they were oh-s0 good. (Nothing like Mexican Lasagna for breakfast, right?) ;)

 

My mother-in-law made a similar recipe for these years ago and I’d forgotten all about it, but when I saw the sales ad at Publix this week I knew it was worth trying out. Here’s the recipe so you can treat your family too!

Mexican Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 2 packets taco seasoning
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 18 6" corn or flour tortillas (we used flour tortillas)
  • 1 jar salsa
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 16 oz container sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Brown ground beef in skillet over medium high heat until browned.
  3. Drain beef, then add taco seasoning, garlic and water. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Place 6 tortillas into greased baking dish.
  5. Then spread a third of the salsa on top of the tortillas.
  6. Spread half of the meat over the salsa.
  7. Layer 1/2 green onions over ground beef.
  8. Then layer 1/2 of the sour cream (just drop evenly over the green onions.)
  9. Add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese.
  10. Repeat layers again.
  11. Top with 6 more tortillas and spread with additional 1/3 salsa.
  12. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  13. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  14. Enjoy!
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Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 3/12/14):

  • Ground beef on sale 15% off at Target, use $1 off coupon when you text SPRING or THANKS to 827438
  • Publix Ground Beef $4.49/lb.
  • Kraft Shredded Cheese BOGO $3.99 at Publix, use $.75/1 Kraft coupon
  • Sargento Shredded Cheese $2.50 at Kroger
  • Mission Tortillas BOGO $2.79 at Publix
  • Market Pantry Salsa on sale $1.59 at Publix, use $1/2 Market Pantry Salsa Target store coupon
  • Or Pace Salsa on sale $2 at CVS, use $1/2 coupon from the 1/26 Smart Source insert (get back $3 ECBs when you buy $10 in Pace at CVS this week)
  • Friendship Sour Cream on sale $2.29 at Publix, use $.75/1 Friendship Dairy coupon from the Lucky Savings Flier

 

Love Mexican? Try out a few more of my favorites:

 

Recipe adapted from All Recipes.  Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

Menu Plan Monday: My Recipes To Try List

BEST Garlic Chicken & White Sauce Pizza – you’ll love this one!

 

Ready for another week of menu planning? I’ve got to confess, I’m so rarely cooking “real meals” around here while our  home is on the market - it’s just been too much for me to keep up with it all! So, while I do have some great suggestions of meals for you, I’m not so sure they’ll actually happen in our home anytime soon. ;) We’re still eating at home most nights (I’m simplifying life by making breakfast for dinner or simple sandwiches), but it’s definitely in one of those weird seasons of life and I’ve just decided I just can’t do it all.

 

 

If I was cooking a bunch this week, these are a few of recipes I’d add to our menu (I’ve been hoarding them on Pinterest, but thought you might enjoy a peek):

 

Do you have any suggestions on how to keep dinner coming at home when you’re in a crazy season of your life? I’d love (love!) to hear them – leave a comment to share!
Check out my recipes to try board on Pinterest, and see more penny-pinched recipe ideas.  This post is linked up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday where you can find lots more menu planning ideas! 

 

Last Minute Chicken

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Need dinner in a hurry? My neighbor Sarah shared this simple chicken recipe with me, which is perfect when you need dinner in a hurry but don’t have anything planned! I’m betting you have most of the ingredients in your pantry, and you’ll have dinner on the table in less than the time it would take you to swing through McDonald’s. ;)

Last Minute Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup potato flakes (or substitute with bread crumbs)
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in halves

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375.
  2. Mix together Parmesan cheese, garlic salt and potato flakes in a pie plate.
  3. In separate pie plate, melt butter.
  4. Dip chicken in butter, then dredge in potato flake mixture, then place in baking dish.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  6. Enjoy!
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Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 5/5/14):

  • Tyson Frozen Chicken Breasts $7.99/lb. at Kroger
  • Publix Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $2.99/lb.
  • Bi-Lo 40 oz. Frozen Chicken Breasts 40 oz. BOGO $11.99/lb.
  • Winn Dixie Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts 40 oz BOGO $12.99/lb.
  • Use $.50/2 Betty Crocker Boxed Potatoes coupon from the 2/2 Smart Source insert
Zax Sauce
You could also add some Zax Sauce to dip your chicken in, or try these Easy Homemade Chicken Tenders if you’d prefer to use bread crumbs. Either way dinner is done, and you’ll have skipped the drive thru! (Love that . . .)

Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

Menu Plan Monday: Week Of 3/3/14

 

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chilil

Have you made your menu plan yet for the week? Here’s what’s on our menu plan this week . . . I’m only trying out one new recipe and sticking to a few of our simple favorites to make life easy this week!

 

Do you have anything yummy on your menu plan this week?  I’d love to hear what you’re having, and if you have any great recipe ideas please leave a comment to share!  

 

 

Check out my recipes to try board on Pinterest, and see more penny-pinched recipe ideas.  This post is linked up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday where you can find lots more menu planning ideas! 

 



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