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 KraftFoods.com!


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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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Golden Oreo Strawberry & Cream Icebox Cake


Golden Oreo Strawberry & Cream Icebox Cake

Looking for a yummy 4th of July treat? We made tried out this recipe from Life, Love and Sugar, and goodness gracious, it was fantastic. This Red Velvet Ice Cream looks amazing too ~ so many great recipes for the 4th!



  • 2 – 3.4 oz packages cheesecake flavored pudding
  • 4 1/2 cups (1080 ml) milk, divided
  • 2 – 15.25 oz boxes golden Oreos
  • 1 lb package strawberries, sliced
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 12 oz Cool Whip


Make the cheesecake flavored puddings according to package directions (use 4 cups of the milk).

Put remaining 1/2 cup of milk into a small bowl – dip Oreos in milk quickly and place into the bottom of a 9×13 pan in a single layer.



Spread half of the cheesecake pudding on top of the Oreos.

Add a single layer of strawberry slices on top of the pudding.



Spread half of the Cool Whip on top of the strawberries.

Dip the Oreos in milk quickly and place on top of the Cool Whip in a single layer.


Top Oreos with the rest of the cheesecake pudding.

Add a layer of blueberries, save about 1/3 cup for the topping.


Top with Cool Whip.

Decorate the top of the cake with the strawberry slices and blueberries.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.





  • 2 – 3.4 oz packages cheesecake flavored pudding
  • 4 1/2 cups (1080 ml) milk, divided
  • 2 – 15.25 oz boxes golden Oreos
  • 1 lb package strawberries, sliced
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 12 oz Cool Whip



  1. Mix cheesecake puddings according to package directions (use 4 cups of the milk).
  2. Place remaining 1/2 cup of milk into a small bowl. Quickly dip Oreos in milk and layer in bottom of a 9×13 pan.
  3. Spread half of the cheesecake pudding over Oreos.
  4. Add a single layer of strawberry slices on top of the pudding.
  5. Layer half of the Cool Whip on top of the strawberries.
  6. Dip Oreos in milk quickly and place on top of the Cool Whip in a single layer.
  7. Top Oreos with remaining cheesecake pudding.
  8. Add a layer of blueberries, saving 1/3 cup for the topping.
  9. Top with Cool Whip.
  10. Layer the top of the cake with the strawberry slices and blueberries.
  11. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.



We also made these super cute fruit kabobs to go along with dessert ~  the kids loved helping me make these and devoured each and every one of them. 🙂





Looking for more things to make this 4th of July? Check out these 10 Easy 4th of July Dessert Recipes ~ Happy Independence Day!

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S’more Cones


I’ve seen this idea for S’more cones all over the internet this summer, so finally we had to try them out! 


Since Kroger’s Mega sale included a few deals on candy this week, we stocked up and then got our supplies together.


All you need is foil,




toppings (we used Rolo and Reese’s bites),


 and marshmallows.


Fill them up . . . 


and bake in oven at 350 for 5-7 minutes.





  • Aluminum Foil
  • Ice Cream Cones
  • Marshmallows
  • Toppings: we used chocolate chips, Rolo bites, and Reese’s bites



  1. Fill cone with a mixture of half marshmallows and half toppings
  2. Wrap cones tightly with foil
  3. Bake at 350 for 5-7 minutes (can also grill for 5-10 minutes on grill)
  4. Enjoy!



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Strawberry Salsa

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A friend of mine mentioned this recipe for strawberry salsa, and I’m so glad she did! Since strawberries are in season here and have been priced so well, I loved trying out a new way to use them.




My favorite strawberry recipe is still this strawberry pie, but this is a fun twist to serve at a get together. And, since fruit is so inexpensive while it’s in season, it’s a great way to take advantage of some great sales out there! Here’s the recipe so you can try it out too.




I love all the fresh ingredients and it just looks SO pretty!











  • 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
  • 2 Golden Delicious apples – peeled, cored and diced
  • 8 ounces raspberries
  • 1 pound strawberries diced
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons strawberry fruit preserves
  • 10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
  • butter flavored cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar



  1. In a large bowl mix kiwis, apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Coat one side of flour tortillas with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut tortillas into wedges and place on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.
  4. Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes and allow to cool. Serve with the salsa and enjoy!




Recipe adapted from All Recipes


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Slow Cooker Taco Meat

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Easiest Slow Cooker Taco Meat - PINTEREST

This is a re-post of one of my favorite slow cooker recipes. Enjoy!

How to Cook Taco Meat in the Slow Cooker

This recipe just might change the way you look at ground beef, my friends.

And, really, give you a whole new reason to love your slow cooker. 

For years I’ve been convinced that there was no way on earth to cook ground beef in the crockpot (unless I pre-cooked it ahead of time for something like chili), however, I’ve thankfully been proved wrong.


With the way my children’s afternoon/evening schedules have looked, I’ve had a hard time getting much besides cereal on the table if Mrs. Potts doesn’t do the cooking, so I was determined to give it a shot.

Guess what?

It worked. 


We used the new Old El Paso Stand & Stuff Tacos that I found a few weeks ago on sale ~ my family loved them!

Everyone walked in for dinner around 6:15, I rolled out the fixins’ for our home-cooked taco bar, and everyone (this momma especially) was pretty well pleased.

I also made a little “secret sauce” for my husband and I to add to ours ~ just equal parts low fat ranch dressing and barbecue sauce.  To really fluff things up I even put out some stockpiled French’s Fried Onions for my husband to add to his, and he declared it one of the best meals we’ve had in awhile.


‘Cause y’all know I worry that he likes his dinner. 😉

And to make things even better (does it get much better than a happy family at dinner time?), everything I used were items I’d gotten on sale for some crazy good deals. I’m pretty sure I spent less than $6 to feed our family of five ~ happy happy happy.


Here’s how to get started if you’d like a penny-pinched-delicious-and-easy meal too this week.

How To Cook Taco Meat In The Slow Cooker {Perfect For Homemade Taco Bar Night}


  • Taco Seasoning packet (or make it from scratch if you'd prefer ~ I was just in a hurry)
  • 2 lbs. ground beef (get more if you'd like to make extra to freeze)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups water


  1. Place ground beef, water, onion, salt, and garlic powder in slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally (I stirred it twice throughout the day)
  3. When meat is almost cooked through, stir again and turn your slow cooker down to low.
  4. Cook an additional 1-2 hours.
  5. Add in taco seasoning packet and give it a stir, then cook 20 more minutes.
  6. Drain completely (will be a little liquidy from the water and some of the fat in the beef).
  7. Serve over tacos, and freeze any leftovers so that you don't have to start from scratch the next time around!

Note: I don’t think this is the kind of slow cooker meal that I’d start and then leave on all day if you’re not going to be home – I think you need to be there to give it a quick stir every so often. If you’re looking for a delicious beef recipe with just about no work involved, check this out. 

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No Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake

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Don’t you just love when penny pinching makes you a wee bit resourceful, and the results turn out fantastic?


(Me too.)


Last week my sweet boy turned sixteen.





However, over the weekend we’d purchased a new car (finally retiring my 10-year-old-190,000-mile-mini-van ~ eek!), and I’ve been determined to really be wise with our finances. (We were able to purchase our new-to-us-car using cash which is the coolest feeling ever. But, shelling out that much cash that’s been saved hurts just a bit!)


So, I decided I was absolutely not going to buy anything we didn’t need for at least a few weeks.


And then I remembered that I needed a cake for my cute kid’s birthday.


I went through my pantry, fridge and freezer to try to come up some genius plan, and remembered this E’clair cake a friend of mine made for us years ago.


It usually calls for cool whip, but I only had Kroger Reddi Whip in the fridge, so decided to make that work.

Goodness, that boy of mine was in heaven.


In fact, he asked this weekend if I could make him some e’clair cake again.


The moral of the story?


Get a little creative with what you already have before spending more moo-lah ($40 for a cookie cake? No thanks!) and your family might just enjoy that little penny-pinched-splurge too.


Mix together cool whip or reddi whip, pudding and milk. Layer graham crackers on bottom of 9×13 baking dish.


Next, spread half pudding mixture over graham crackers, then cover with another layer of graham crackers.


Spread remaining pudding mixture over graham crackers, then top with another layer of graham crackers.


Pop frosting in microwave and heat for about 30 seconds. Then spread carefully over graham cracker layer.


Refrigerate for 4-6 hours, then serve.


No Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake


2 packages instant vanilla pudding
2 cans of dairy whipped topping (or one tub of non-dairy whipped topping)
3 cups milk
1 package graham crackers
1 container chocolate frosting


  1. In a bowl mix together the pudding mix, whipped topping, and milk until completely combined.
  2. Place a single layer of graham crackers in the bottom of a 9×13″ dish. Spread half the pudding mixture over the graham crackers. Top the pudding layer with another layer of graham crackers.  Add the other half of the pudding mixture and top that with a final layer of graham crackers.
  3. Spread frosting over the graham cracker layer all the way up to the edges of the pan. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours before serving.



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Recipe adapted from All Recipes.  If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Menu Plan Monday: Week Of 4/18/16



Good. gravy.


Do you feel life like is just racing by, and you’re in the backseat praying things will just slow down a wee bit?


Me too. 


After a big trip to Canada for Spring Break, a crazy season starting for my kids of soccer, track, and rugby (my son is playing rugby. please. pray. yikes. really. yikes.) and some big projects here on PPP, I feel like menu planning has been thrown right on out the window at our house.


So this morning I took a step back, started thinking about my first love here in my home as homemaker, and decided to get some control.



I shined my kitchen sink (don’t you love my little sign? I ordered it from Crystal and just love it as well as my Mrs. Meyer’s soap from my last Prime Pantry order)


Then I shared a quick video of my main 21 Day Fix must-have-foods with our PPP 21 Day Fix group (it’s not too late to join if you sign up today ~ go HERE to learn more!)


 I popped chicken and dumplings in Mrs. Potts, 


and even tackled our laundry pile.




While I love sharing deals here on PPP and running my little business from home, by far taking care of my favorites come first, and it was so nice to start off taking care of them first today. 


Curious what’s on our menu plan this week? Here you go:

  • MondaySlow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings, green beans, biscuits, salad (We don’t normally eat these kind of meals especially when I’m 21 Day Fixin‘ but I’ll have a big salad and we haven’t had a night off from activities in ages. This is my family’s favorite meal so I’m treating them after not really cooking in 3 weeks, but there was a tiny piece of me considering swinging by Sonic for 50¢ cheeseburgers!)
  • TuesdaySlow Cooker Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin, salad, brown rice, veggies
  • Wednesday – Leftovers
  • Thursday – Breakfast for dinner (we have soccer, rugby, track and cheer on Thursdays – eggs and fresh fruit it is!)
  • Friday – 21 Day Fix Grilled chicken (I’ll share the recipe I use later this week ~ I just sprinkle seasoning salt on chicken tenderloins, spray with Pam cooking spray, and broil for 4 minutes on each side until cooked through), baked potatoes, salad, veggies



Check out my recipes to try board on Pinterest, and see more penny-pinched recipe ideas.  


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