Southern Living Chunky Apple Cake


I’ve posted this recipe each fall since I first started blogging, and it’s one of those recipes that no one should miss (so I feel it’s my duty to re-share!)  If you haven’t tried it yet, add the ingredients to your grocery list this week, and enjoy. 🙂 


This is by far my favorite fall treat, and when my daughter and I made it last week she even made a cute little video to show the process. I could make this cake all year long and never grow tired of it, but it just sounds so good in the fall and makes our home smell delicious!

Note – I’m not sure why on earth the video has those few extra spots for “titles” in it – they didn’t show up when we were uploading it but apparently are in there somewhere – we’re learning! 🙂 
When I first found the recipe nine years ago I was teaching preschool “cooking and science” and my preschool classes made the cake – our entire church smelled heavenly! So, grab your apron and a few apples (you might love this apple peeler/corer too), and get baking.


Southern Living re-printed this recipe in their October 2010 issue (along with a few variations), but I’m sticking with the original. 🙂

Southern Living Chunky Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs Publix 18 ct. on sale $2
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced I think any tart apple will do – we used a bag of apples on sale at Publix in last week’s sale.  (To see detailed apple information, check out this site!)  If you have an apple peeler & slicer it makes this so easy, and my kids love watching it work!  If not you may have a little more prep time on your hands.
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (optional, but we’ve never used them)


  1. Stir together first 4 ingredients in large bowl until blended.
  2. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture, stirring until blended.
  3. Stir in apple slices and 1 cup walnuts.   (Batter will be very thick, almost like cookie dough.)
  4. Spread into a well-greased 13- x 9-inch pan. (It’s pretty sticky, so make sure to grease your pan well!)
  5. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  7. Spread with Cream Cheese Frosting; sprinkle with walnuts, if desired.



Cream Cheese Frosting

note – you may want to double frosting – we always like extra!


  1. 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  2. 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  3. 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  5. 1/8 tsp. salt

To make the Cream Cheese Frosting . . .

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar and salt, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla.




Recipe adapted from Southern Living MagazineIf you need a little more menu inspiration, check out the Recipe Index


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PPP Live: Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chili

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Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chili

Looking for a simple (healthy?!) recipe to make this week in Mrs. Potts? Watch HERE to see how I made Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chili this morning in Mrs. Potts. (I even used my new Instant Pot for the first time as a slow cooker ~ so exciting!)

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Homemade Peach Ice Cream

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Note from Laurie: My friend Cheryl made this homemade peach ice cream, and it looks divine (and good for you too ~ yum!)

Hand picked peaches in the south (or anywhere) are soooooo good!  There is an orchard close to our home so we decided to go and pick some peaches for the first time ever.




I was searching for a healthier recipe for peaches when this one for Peach Ice Cream popped up and I knew we had to try it.


I’m SO … so … so glad we did!


Here’s what you’ll need to get started.




Gather up your ingredients and peel and slice your peaches.  The riper the peaches, the easier they are to peel.




Once you have your peaches peeled and sliced, pop them into a food processor or blender until they are finely chopped.  My little one loves peaches almost as much as cupcakes and couldn’t wait to help.




Mix the remaining ingredients into a large bowl.




Pour all that into your ice cream maker (this was a splurge Christmas present from last year and we have really enjoyed using it!)




Once it’s done you can eat it right out of the ice cream maker and store any remaining in the freezer for up to two weeks.  Enjoy!!


Homemade Peach Ice Cream


3 cups ripe peaches, sliced and peeled

1 cup fat free half and half

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Blend the peaches in a food processor or blender until finely chopped. Put the peaches, half and half, sugar, milk and vanilla in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Put the entire mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze any leftovers and enjoy!


Recipe adapted from Emily Bites.






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Zucchini Lasagna

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I have to tell you, I loved this recipe. 


But in the interest of full disclosure,

my family,


did not. 


zucchinilasagna1They tried it, ate a bit, and weren’t completely opposed, 


but, there were no second scoops, and the leftovers went uneaten. 🙁


Honestly? They just want their big ole’ white lasagna noodles, however I’m determined to keep at it and show them just how yummy fresh veggies can be.


It’s a work in progress around here. 

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 1.33.32 PM


I did use this super-fancy-cool-amazing veggies slicer that came with this spiralizer, and I loved how easy it made the process. If you’re hoping to sneak in a few veggies on your family too, it’s definitely worth checking out.



Zucchini Lasagna


2 large zucchini
1 tbsp salt
1 lb ground turkey or ground beef (we used ground turkey)
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 cup tomato paste
1 (16 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup red wine
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
hot water as needed
1 egg
1 (15 ounce) container low-fat ricotta cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 (16 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
8 oz grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  2. Slice zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices using a peeler. Sprinkle slices lightly with salt and set aside in a colander to pull the moisture out of the zucchini.
  3. Cook the ground beef and black pepper in a large skillet over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Add in the green pepper and onion; cook until meat is done. Stir in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, wine, basil, and oregano, adding a small amount of hot water if the sauce is too thick. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. In another bowl stir egg, ricotta, and parsley together.
  5. Assemble lasagna, spread 1/2 of the meat sauce into the bottom of a greased pan. Next layer 1/2 the zucchini slices, 1/2 the ricotta mixture, all of the spinach, followed by all of the mushrooms, and 1/2 the mozzarella cheese. Repeat by layering the remaining meat sauce, zucchini slices, ricotta mixture, and mozzarella. Spread Parmesan cheese evenly over the top and cover with foil.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), for an additional 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.

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Tamale Pie

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Looking for a new recipe to spice up plain old Taco Tuesday? This one’s for you. 😉







Tamale Pie



  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 pack taco seasoning
  • 1 can whole kernel corn (drained)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes or Rotel do not drain
  • 3 cups French’s fried onions
  • 1-2 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a large skillet, cook ground beef until done. Drain
  3. Stir in taco seasoning, corn (drained), canned tomatoes or Rotel (not drained) and French fried onions. Spread into the bottom of a 2 1/2 Quart size dish or a 9X13 dish.
  4. Prepare muffin mix according to package directions (if you use a 9X13 you may need 2 boxes of Jiffy). Spread the muffin mix on top of the beef mixture to cover it. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until cornbread is golden on top.  Top with cheese and remaining French fried onions.  Return to oven until cheese is melted about 2 – 3 minutes. Serve with sour cream. 🙂



Recipe adapted from Southern Plate

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Peanut Butter Butterscotch Brownies

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If you’re looking for a super flexible recipe to use up whatever’s in your pantry, this is for you.


I add butterscotch, peanut butter and chocolate chips into mine, but you can take away any of the baking chips and it still turns out amazing!




It’s my nine-year old daughters top five favorite desserts 🙂 and we sometimes add ice cream to it but it’s really perfect all on its own. Yum!




Peanut Butter Butterscotch Brownies


1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1 cup of butter (2 sticks)

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

2 cups of all purpose flour

1 teaspoon of salt

2 cups of butterscotch, peanut butter and chocolate chips (you can decide how much of them to equal 2 cups)

1/4 teaspoon of shortening (use shortening do not substitute this one)


1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 15-1/2×10-1/2×1 in jelly roll pan (I had no idea what this was but head over HERE for an idea)

2.  Stir together brown sugar, butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl; beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and salt just until blended. (try not to over mix). Set aside 2 tablespoons of each of the baking chips of your choice. Stir in the remaining chips in the batter.

3. Spread the batter in the pan

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.

5. Place remaining  2 tablespoons of each of the baking chips and shortening in a small microwave bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir until smooth. Drizzle over bars.







Recipe adapted from Hershey’s Kitchen.

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins


Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins


Looking for a yummy (healthier) treat? These are one of our favorites!



We use over-ripened bananas that I freeze whole (then just thaw out before using on the counter) and it works perfectly. If you’re looking for a yummy breakfast treat, these are for you. 🙂





1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1 cup mashed bananas
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and coat 12 cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, salt, and sugar. Mix in egg whites, applesauce, and mashed bananas just until moistened. Now stir in the chocolate chips and fill up the muffin cups.
  3. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


Adapted from AllRecipes.



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Oreo Stripe Delight

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Note from Laurie: Shannon made this recipe to share this week, and oh my stars it looks just amazing! If you need a chocolate fix this summer, this one’s for you. 🙂 



This recipe is SUPER easy and tastes just amazing! It’s perfect to take to a potluck or any family function. We made this the other night with company and they asked to take some home . . .  it’s that good. 🙂




I love all the layers and this dessert really comes together so easily, your kids will want to help out with this one.




Here’s what you’ll need . . .



Oreo Stripe Delight



  • 35 Oreo Cookies
  • 6 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 package cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cold milk
  • 1 tub of Cool Whip
  • 2 packages Jell-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
  • 3 1/4 cup of cold milk



  1. Place Oreo Cookies in a food processor blend until finely crushed. Transfer to medium bowl and mix in with the butter.  Press into bottom of 13 x 9 inch dish.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk cream cheese, sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk in medium bowl until blended.  Stir in 1 1/4 cups of the Cool Whip and spread onto the crust.
  3. Beat pudding mixes and 3 1/4 cups milk with whisk for 2 minutes and let stand 5 minutes until thickened.  Pour the pudding mixture over the cream cheese layer and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
  4. Right before serving, cover with the remaining cool whip and enjoy!




Recipe adapted from!


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Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps

You’re going to love this. 🙂




You know how we’re working really hard to eat healthier this year?  Well, we stumbled upon this recipe and have added it to our rotation because EVERYONE loves it (and you know that doesn’t happen . . .  like EVER!)




Here’s how to get started:


First, mix all the sauces in a bowl and set that aside for later.




Next pop those mushrooms into a food processor.  (I use this one.)  Now . . . my kids are not really mushroom fans at all but these chop up so small that they won’t even know they’re in there.  And, adding in the mushrooms will REALLY help you stretch that budget leaving lots of leftovers.


Do the same with the bell pepper and cucumbers.  Oodles of veggies in one meal and the kids have no idea.  Success!




Put all the veggies in a bowl to add in later.

Now, heat up sesame oil in a skillet until hot, and add the grated ginger until fragrant (yum!)



Next add the turkey (or pork, or chicken) until brown and then add all the vegetables until combined.  Once you have that all mixed in add the sauce and let simmer for about 2 mins.




Load up those lettuce leaves, top with sriracha and/or hoisin and enjoy . . . you’re welcome! 🙂




  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp sriracha chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 tbsp ginger root, grated
  • 1 lb uncooked ground turkey (or pork or chicken)
  • 1 small container of white mushrooms
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/2 cucumber peeled and seeded (diced)
  • 12 leaves of butter lettuce (or bibb lettuce)


  1.  In a small bowl mix the hoisin, sriracha and soy sauces – set aside.
  2. Using a food processor chop the mushrooms, bell pepper, and cucumber – put in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Place the sesame oil in a skillet until hot, add grated ginger until fragrant.
  4. Add ground turkey (or pork/chicken) and cook until brown.
  5. Add the vegetables to the turkey in the skillet until combined (about 1 to 2 mins), then add in the sauce until it’s all good and mixed in.
  6. Put turkey mixture in a bowl and serve in butter lettuce leaves, top with sriracha or hoisin and enjoy!





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Chicken & Broccoli Stir Fry


Chicken & Broccoli Stir Fry

I’ve been looking for a healthier stir fry option, and this recipe was delicious! This summer I have so struggled with taking time to make a menu plan each week, but when I noticed pre-cut stir fry veggies marked down to $1.49, I couldn’t pass them by.


We used low sodium soy sauce along with a few other ingredients we had in the pantry, and this turned out perfectly.


 If you need a yummy alternative to takeout when you don’t have much time to prep, this one’s for you! 🙂



  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
stir fry veggies – we used carrots, broccoli and snap peas



  1. Mix soy sauce, brown sugar, and corn starch in a small bowl and set aside.  Add the ginger, garlic, and red pepper into the sauce.  Marinate the chicken in the sauce and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in your skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir carrots, broccoli, and snap peas just until tender (about 5 minutes). Remove vegetables from skillet and keep warm.
  3. Remove chicken from marinade, reserving liquid. Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until slightly pink on the inside (about 2 minutes per side); add in the vegetables and reserved marinade. Bring to this all to a boil; cook and stir until chicken is done and vegetables are tender (about 5 to 7 minutes). Serve over rice (optional).



Recipe adapted from All Recipes.


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