How to Flash Freeze Cookie Dough

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How to Flash Freeze Cookie Dough

Love warm homemade cookies but hate making a mess in your kitchen? Here’s how to make the dough ahead of time so you can whip up a batch whenever you’d like!

 

1. Mix your favorite cookie dough (I use this one.)

2. Drop in spoonfuls onto baking sheet (I place them close together since they won’t bake together on a sheet, you’re just using the sheets to freeze them.)

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3. Place cookie dough in freezer while on baking sheets.

4. Freeze dough until completely frozen.

5. Remove dough from freezer and place cookie dough into large plastic bags or plastic storage container. (I’ve read that you should wrap them with in plastic or wax paper first, but have never done that and the dough has been just fine.)

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6. Store frozen for up to 3 months.

7. To bake, place on parchment paper and bake according to original cookie dough recipe. Enjoy!

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(See how I recently whipped up a triple batch before flash freezing over HERE. Yikes!)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

And try out my all time favorite cookie dough recipe if you’re looking for the best chocolate chip cookies!

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If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

 

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Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

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We made this recipe from Eat at Home Cooks two weeks ago and I loved it, so much so that while visiting my in-laws I made it for them again last night! It’s such an easy way to cook up a bunch of veggies, and since the sauce is gluten free (my mother-in-law eats a gluten free diet), we easily cooked up gluten free pasta to make a simple gluten free meal for her too.

 

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I’ve just about decided it’s my new go-to simple crockpot meal because it tastes great, and there’s just nothing like coming home to a home smelling like a yummy Italian meal. It’s an easy way to change out every day spaghetti, and we’ll definitely add it to our menu plan at least once a month!

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Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore (adapted from Eat at Home Cooks)

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds frozen chicken tenders
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 sliced green pepper
  • 1 sliced red pepper
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb cooked pasta

Directions

  1. Place frozen chicken in the bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Add sliced onion and green peppers on top of the chicken.
  3. Mixed together crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper, then pour sauce over chicken and veggies.
  4. Cook on low 7 hours or high 4-5 hours.
  5. Serve over pasta with fresh parmesan cheese and enjoy!

 

If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Beef Stir Fry {In Less Than 30 Minutes}

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With fresh produce in season, there’s no better time to use tons of fresh veggies as you cook! We had this (super) simple beef stir fry last night and I loved that it was loaded with vegetables and protein, and cooked up in under 30 minutes.

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I noticed this recipe also at All Recipes (it looked so good!), but since the marinade needed to mix for several hours I opted for this simple recipe. The flavors are all so good on their own that you don’t need to add too much, and you can have dinner done in less than 30 minutes. Love that!

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Beef Stir Fry (in Less Than 30 Minutes)

  • Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound beef sirloin, cut in 2″ strips
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • broccoli florets or carrots (I didn’t have those but they would have been great to add in!)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional – we were out but I wish we’d had them!)

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Directions

 

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  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.

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  1. Cook beef until browned, 3 – 4 minutes.
  2. Put beef on one side of the skillet, then add in veggies and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.

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  1. Mix in beef and add in soy sauce and sesame seeds.
  2. Continue to cook until vegetables are tender, for another 3-4 minutes.
  3. Enjoy!

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

 

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4 Ingredient Bisquick Mix Recipe

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4 Ingredient Bisquick Mix Recipe

I don’t know about your kids, but mine love morning waffles in the summertime. And, since these days with my kiddos feel like they’re fleeting way too fast, I try to indulge them as often as I can. (Thankfully they’re all pretty busy kids, so whatever they eat for breakfast they wear off throughout the day!)

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Our favorite waffle recipe is this one, but I’ve been looking for a way to simplify things in the mornings and finally decided to try out a Homemade Bisquick recipe. Since all that’s really in it is flour and a few other ingredients, I knew I could make it for next to nothing, and I love knowing exactly what’s going into it! Here’s what you’ll need:

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Homemade Bisquick Mix

Ingredients

  • 6 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 cup cold butter

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Directions

  1. Mix together flour, salt and baking powder in large bowl.
  2. Using a pastry cutter, mix in butter until the mixture is crumbly (I use this pastry cutter and love it, but you could also use a food processor to mix it all in!)
  3. Store covered in refrigerator until ready to use, for up to 4 months (makes enough for 3 to 4 days of pancakes and waffles at our house – so double the recipe if you need more!)

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To make life easier in the mornings, I leave the pancake and waffle recipes right on the container so my kids can whip up a batch themselves if I’m working in the morning (my Caroline is an expert already!) Here are the recipes we use . . .

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Waffles
  • 2 cups mix
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Pancakes
  • 2 cups mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs

 

You can also use them to make these Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits. Yum!

4 Ingredient Bisquick Mix Recipe

If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

 

 

 

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Red Robin Whiskey River Barbecue Chicken Wrap

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Not sure this qualifies as real cooking, but if you’re in a hurry and need a quick meal this week, this recipe is perfect. My friend Shannon keeps reminding me about it, so I figured it was time to update the recipe and picture from when I originally posted it way back in 2012. 😉

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Grill the chicken yourself of make life easy on a busy night like I did and take advantage of pre-cooked chicken. Either way dinner will be done fast, and your family will love it! Here you go . . .

 

Mix together equal parts barbecue sauce and ranch dressing and warm chicken up in microwave.

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Add chicken to wrap.

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Then add lettuce,

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and onions (red onions are my favorite.)

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Sprinkle with cheese . . . img_2070

Top with tortilla chips or French’s onions.

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Drizzle with ranch dressing and barbecue sauce mixture,

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Wrap it all up . . .
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And enjoy!

Red Robin Whiskey River Barbecue Chicken Wrap

Ingredients

  • 1 package flour tortillas (we use the Mission Spinach variety)
  • 1 cup cooked and sliced chicken breast (to make life easy I used pre-cooked Tyson Grilled & Ready Strips, but you could easily make them yourself – try out this chicken marinade!)
  • 1/2 cup light ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • lettuce
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 red onion
  • tortilla strips or French’s onions we used stockpiled French’s onions
  • bacon (optional)

Directions

  1. Mix together barbecue sauce and ranch dressing, set aside.
  2. Chop onion.
  3. Warm chicken according to package directions and cook bacon.
  4. Add lettuce, chicken, bacon, cheese, onion, and tortilla strips to wrap.
  5. Drizzle with barbecue sauce dressing mixture, and enjoy!

If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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The Best Spinach and Artichoke Dip

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Folks, this is the best spinach and artichoke dip you will ever eat.

 

Promise.

 

So, if you’re planning a summer get together and need an appetizer to share, here’s the one for you. Enjoy!

Hot Spinach, Artichoke & Chile Dip

Ingredients

  1. 2 8 oz packages cream cheese
  2. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  3. 4.5 oz can chopped green chiles, drained
  4. 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan
  5. 12 oz jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  6. 10 oz box frozen spinach chopped, thawed and drained

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Directions

  1. Mix together softened cream cheese and mayonnaise in a bowl and stir until mixed together.
  2. Add in Parmesan cheese, drained artichokes, spinach, and chiles.
  3. Pour mixture into baking dish
  4. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips – enjoy!

Note – I doubled the recipe and it made a TON – I used an 8×11 Pyrex dish and there was plenty to serve 25 people. 

Need a little more menu inspiration? Go HERE

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Cake Mix Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake

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My neighbor Sarah shared this recipe with me years ago for Cake Mix Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake, and I’d forgotten just how yummy it was until I made it again over the weekend!

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My girls helped me mix up two of the cakes for the baby shower we hosted, and it was just perfect. One of the guys couldn’t believe I actually made it myself, and my kids have been fighting over every last  morsel.

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Sweet success :)

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I’m telling you what, I know you should be out making all kind of Memorial Day recipes this weekend, but this is a no-brainer-gonna-be-perfect-I-promise-your-family-will-love-it cake to make too. Here you go . . .

 

Sarah’s Cake Mix Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake

Ingredients

  • 18.25 oz package devil’s food cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • 5.9 oz package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (plus 1/4 cup extra to sprinkle on top at the end)

Ingredients for the glaze

  1. 2 Tbsp. butter
  2. 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  3. 2 c. powdered sugar
  4. 3-4 Tbsp. water
  5. 1 Tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

  • Mix together first 6 ingredients.
  • Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean (cake will be moist though.)
  • Let cool in pan for at least one hour before turning out on plate.
  • Once completely cooled, drizzle with glaze, and sprinkle with additional chocolate chips.

Directions for the glaze

  1. Melt butter & chocolate.
  2. Add sugar, vanilla and water.
  3. If needed add more water to thin frosting. (Whisk the frosting if there are any lumps).
  4. Drizzle over cake and sprinkle on extra chocolate chips if you’d like. Enjoy!

 

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If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

 

 

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Birds Eye® Steamfresh® Vegetables Review + Giveaway

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This week I picked up a few bags of Birds Eye® Steamfresh®  Vegetables and Protein Blends at Meijer (don’t forget to enter to win that $25 Meijer Gift Card Giveaway!), and wanted to let you know what we thought after trying them out this week.

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Over the weekend my hubby handled the grilling, and to make life easy he popped a bag of Birds Eye® Barbecue Sweet Corn in the microwave about five minutes before he finished up grilling the burgers. My husband and I enjoyed the corn (honestly, it wasn’t a favorite for my picky kids ~ they like plain ole’ corn best!)

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But, today I tried the Birds Eye® Southwest Style Protein Blend for lunch and it was fantastic.

 

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It has a whopping 17 grams of fiber per serving and 14 grams of protein, and was probably one of the yummiest easy meals I’ve had here at lunchtime (in fact, I ate about 1/3 of the bag and will save the rest for lunches all week long!) It really was so good (especially for a Tex Mex loving girl like me), and I’d highly recommend it if you need a quick meal on a busy day.

Visit your local Meijer (or other grocery store!) to try out Birds Eye® Steamfresh®  Vegetables – I’d love to hear which is your favorite variety when you try them out. Choose from . . .

  • Barbecue Sweet Corn
  • Ranch Broccoli
  • Teriyaki Broccoli
  • Buffalo Cauliflower
  • Southwest Style Protein Blend
  • California Style Protein Blend
  • Italian Style Protein Blend

 

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And take a minute to enter to win this week’s $25 Meijer Gift Card Giveaway ~ good luck!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Birds Eye® . The opinions and text are all mine.  Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

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Menu Plan Monday: Week Of 5/9/15

 

 

Here’s a peek at our menu plan for the week! Be sure to check out my Menu Planning board on Pinterest where I’ve got all the links to the recipes we’re eating! Head on over HERE to check that out, and I’d love for you to join all the PPP boards on Pinterest too.

 

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Print this handy dandy free printable google doc if you’d like to follow our menu plan – hopefully it makes your life a little simpler this week (let me know if you like it!) If you’re new to Google Docs, here’s how to print your list:

  • Open the document HERE
  • Click “file” in the top left hand corner of the screen
  • Click “print” at the bottom of that menu and print your list

 

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Shopping List
  • 1 1/4 lbs ground beef
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 pork chops
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese (substituting for the 1 cup shredded Cheddar & Monterey Jack in the Taco Pasta shell recipe)
  • 1 package sliced Swiss cheese
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • eggs
  • 2 8 oz. containers sour cream
  • chili powder
  • 18 pasta shells
  • 1 cup taco sauce
  • tortilla chips
  • green onions
  • black olives
  • 2 large onion
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms
  • fresh fruit
  • bag salad
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • biscuits (or pick up the ingredients for these 7Up Biscuits – just 1/2 cup sour cream, Bisquick, and 7up)
  • dry white gravy mix for biscuits and gravy
  • egg noodles

 

 

Pantry Staples

  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • sugar
  • butter
  • garlic powder
  • flour
  • chicken bouillon cubes
  • canned, frozen or fresh vegetables for side dishes
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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Smothered Pork Chops

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My hubby loves a good pork chop, so when I came across this recipe with amazing reviews for Chef John’s Smothered Pork Chops, I had to try it out. It definitely took a little more energy than most of the recipes I make here at home, but the results were so good!

 

If you’re in a hurry (but remember to slow cook in the morning), these still are my go-to pork chop slow cooker recipe (you may also want to try out these on the grill . . . ), but this one is absolutely delicious when you have a little extra time to put into it. If I was making it again I’d double the onions (I love caramelized onions!), and 4 large pork chops were more than enough to feed our family. Here’s the recipe so you can try it too . . .

Smothered Pork Chops

Ingredients

  • 4 large bone in pork chops, about 1″ thick
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion sliced (I would use two next time!)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Sprinkle pork chops with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning.
  2. Heat oil in skillet on medium high heat, brown pork on both sides, about 5 minutes on each side.
  3. Set pork chops on a plate and set aside.
  4. Drain excess grease from pan and melt butter in skillet.
  5. Add onion into the skillet with a little salt, then cook on medium heat until onion is caramelized, around 15 minutes.
  6. Add in garlic and cook another minute, then stir in flour and cook 2 minutes longer.
  7. Add in chicken broth and stir, then add in any juices that have drained on plate under pork chops into your skillet.
  8. Add in buttermilk and mix until smooth, then add water.
  9. Bring sauce to simmer, then drop heat down to look, and cook an additional 15-20 minutes until sauce is thickened. (I told you this one is a little more work than normal!)
  10. Place pork chops in sauce, spooning sauce over meat to cover it.
  11. Reduce heat to low and simmer until chops are cooked through, about 10 more minutes.
  12. Add salt and pepper as desired and serve with gravy. Enjoy!

 

Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 05/06/15):

  • Pork Chops $1.99/lb at Kroger in select regions
  • Publix Pork Chops on sale $3.79/lb.

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

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