{One Skillet} Pizza Pasta Casserole

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Pizza Pasta Casserole

Don’t you just love when dinner comes together (easily?) On Monday my kids were all home for a snow day, so I decided to start dinner early and have it all out on the counter for everyone to grab before heading out for our weeknight activities.

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(I was pretty impressed with myself for being so organized.) ;)

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I’m telling you what folks, following a menu plan will make your life so much easier. Even though we swapped around the days a bit this week on our plan, it’s just such a little gift knowing that everything I need to feed my family for the week is in the kitchen.

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Not only do we get yummy recipes just about every night, I’m not worrying each afternoon at 5 o’clock what dinner is because we have a plan in place!

 

Success.

 

Here’s what you’ll need to do to get started ~ you could easily make this all in one pot if you’d like, or if you don’t have a skillet that’s oven safe just mix it all on your stovetop and then pour it into a casserole dish. Either way you’ll have dinner done. 

 

{And, did I mention it’s delicious?}

 

Yum!

 

One Skillet Pizza Pasta Casserole

Ingredients

  • 8 oz dry pasta (we used bowtie)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 oz Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup pepperoni
  • 15 oz tomato sauce (I used pizza sauce because that’s what was in the pantry this week, but it was a little on the thick side – next time probably would use spaghetti sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • fresh parsley (optional)

Directions

  • Heat oven to broil.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • In oven-save skillet, brown Italian sausage in olive oil, about 3-5 minutes  until cooked through. Drain fat.
  • Add in 1/4 cup pepperoni and cook for 1 minute.
  • Then add in tomato sauce, oregano, basil, garlic powder and season with salt and pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes until heated through.
  • Stir in cooked pasta and cook an additional minute or two until everything is thoroughly warmed.
  • Sprinkle mozzarella and additional 1/4 cup pepperoni on top and remove from heat.
  • Broil in oven for 1-2 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden.
  • Enjoy!

 

Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 1/28/15):

  • Barilla Pasta $1.16 at Target, get $5 Target gift card when you buy 10 participating items use $1/3 Barilla Pasta
  • Buitoni Pasta BOGO $2.50 at Publix, or Dreamfields Pasta $1.66 use $1/1 Dreamfields Pasta
  • Barilla Pasta $.89 at Kroger when you buy 6 participating Mega Sale items use $1/3 Barilla Pasta
  • Kraft Cheddar Cheese $2.49 when you buy 6 participating Mega Sale items use $1/2 Kraft cheese
  • Hormel Pepperoni $2.49 when you buy 6 participating Mega Sale items use $1/2 Hormel Pepperoni
  • Sargento Cheese BOGO at Publix $2.49, use $.50/2 Sargento coupon from the 1/25 SmartSource insert
  • Ragu BOGO $2.79 at Publix, use $1/2 coupon from the 1/4 or 1/25 Red Plum insert

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Looking for more easy recipes like this one? Here are a few of my favorites . . .

Recipe adapted from DamnDelicious, and thanks to I Heart Publix for some of the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Menu Plan Monday: Week Of 1/26/15

menuplan

Here’s this week’s menu plan and grocery shopping list! I created this handy dandy free printable google doc for you to print 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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If you’re hoping to get on track too, check out my Menu Planning board on Pinterest where I’ve got all the links to the recipes we’re eating each week. Head on over HERE to check that out, and I’d love for you to join all the PPP boards on Pinterest too.

 

 

Here’s what’s on the menu this week . . .

Shopping List
  • 8 frozen chicken breasts (one for taco night, one for chicken chili night)
  • 8 oz spicy Italian Sausage
  • 1/2 cup mini pepperoni
  • 2 packets taco seasoning (Aldi carries them for 39¢)
  • packet ranch
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 10 flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • shredded cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, fresh cilantro (toppings for chili & tacos)
  • onion
  • tortilla chips
  • 16 oz black beans
  • 16 oz kidney beans
  • 2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 10 oz package frozen corn
  • eggs
  • bacon
  • toast

 

Side Dish Extras

  • salad
  • garlic bread
  • fresh fruit

Pantry Staples

  • salt
  • pepper
  • cumin
  • olive oil
  • oregano
  • basil
  • garlic powder
  • kosher salt
  • parsley

 

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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How To Clean Stainless Steel With Lemon Juice

lemonjuice

Here’s a super easy kitchen trick for you! If you’ve been struggling with a way to get a stainless steel fridge clean (or to clean any stainless steel in your kitchen), try this out:

Ingredients:

  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 4-5 tbsp hot water

Directions:

  1. Mix together hot water and lemon juice in a small bowl
  2. Using a soft cloth, wipe fridge down with lemon juice and water mixture going along with the grain of the stainless steel
  3. Then wipe down again with a dry paper towel
  4. You’re done!

When you’re all finished up use the leftover lemon along with some ice to freshen your garbage disposal or even remove stains from stainless steel in the sinkI’ve tried cleaning my stainless steel fridge with olive oil (I love it for shining the kitchen sink), but for whatever reason the oil bothers me on the fridge. So, this is a great way to easily freshen things up without using any chemicals ~ easy!

 

Do you have any other tips on how to clean stainless steel? Leave a comment to share!

 

 

I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See  previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

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Slow Cooker Root Beer Barbecue

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rootbeerbarbecue

 

Need an e.a.s.y. recipe on a busy weeknight? 

 

This is for you. ;)

 

Literally ~ just dump a few simple in Mrs. Potts, turn the dial on low, then walk away and let her do the cooking all day.

 

s.i.m.p.l.e.

 

Let’s get dinner started, shall we? ;)

3 Ingredient Pork Barbecue

Ingredients
  • 18 oz bottle barbecue sauce (we used Sweet Baby Ray’s)
  • 2 pound pork tenderloin
  • 12 oz rootbeer
Directions
  • Place pork tenderloin in slow cooker.
  • Rub with salt & pepper (optional – I did add a little salt and pepper to mine.)
  • Pour root beer over pork.
  • Let it cook for 6-7 hours on low.
  • Drain all juices and shred pork.
  • Dump bottle of barbecue sauce on top, let cook for 15 minutes on low until heated through.
  • Serve over hamburger buns – enjoy!

Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 1/14/15):

  • Pork Tenderloin $3.49/lb at Kroger
  • Boneless Pork Tenderloin Buy One Get One Free at Harris Teeter
  • Meijer Pork Tenderloin $2.89/lb.
  • Publix Barbecue Sauce $1.19

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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Homemade Egg McMuffins

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We tried out these homemade Egg McMuffin Sandwiches last night for dinner, and they were so much like McDonald’s but even better because I knew exactly what was going into them! Even though none of the items were on sale (and I paid way too much for them here at our Giant Eagle ~ yikes!), I still saved a bundle over heading through the drive thru. Here’s the cost breakdown:

  • 6 English Muffins $4.29 (I was shocked at that price – you can definitely find a better sale on those!)
  • 1 package Hormel Canadian Bacon $4.99 (also really high – I’ll watch for a sale next time)
  • 6 eggs $1
  • American Cheese Slices $.75
  • Total = 11.38, compared to $2.79 each at McDonald’s or $16.74, and that was without a sale (or even shopping a store like Aldi or Walmart – I’ll definitely do that next time!)

 

Both Publix and Winn Dixie had Thomas English Muffins on sale for $2.10 this week, and I’m betting if I waited for a sale I could get Canadian Bacon for around $3. If I’d been able to get them just for those prices my total expense would have been $6.86 or $1/14 per sandwich, almost 1/3 of the McDonald’s cost ~ I’ll definitely watch for sales on those to stock up next time!

 

The best part about making them at home though is you get to control what goes into your sandwich. You could easily substitute the cheese for Swiss or Cheddar to skip processed cheese, and you know exactly what’s going into your frying pan. I followed these directions exactly, used a mason jar lid ring to make the eggs like they recommended, and my husband agreed that they tasted just like the real thing.

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While it’s not the most exciting meal out there, this was an easy way to feed our bunch before we all headed out to different activities, and helped us skip a trip through the drive thru. I’d love to hear if you’ve made other restaurant recipes at home and they’ve worked out ~ one of the biggest way to pinch pennies is definitely by just eating at home!

Looking for restaurant recipes to try at home? Here are a few of our favorites . . .

 

If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

 

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How To Remove Rust Stains From Stainless Steel (& Freshen Your Sink Too!)

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How to remove rust stains from stainless steel (and freshen your sink too!)

 

I’m super excited to share this quick fun tip that works great if you have a rust stain in your kitchen sink, and to clean your garbage disposal while you’re at it! This weekend I left an old baking pan in our sink to soak, and it left a nasty rust stain on the stainless steel that needed some TLC.

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Since I had an extra lemon in my fridge (and always have baking soda in the pantry), it was super easy to clean off. I just poured a little baking soda on the stain,

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cut the lemon in half, squeezed out a bit of lemon juice, and then used them lemon to do a quick scrubbing.

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In under a minute the stain was gone!

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Since my garbage disposal can always use a thorough-de-stinking, I cut the lemon into quarters,

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added some ice,
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And let the disposal churn it all around a bit. (Note, your disposal will sound awful while this mixture is running through, but the ice will sharpen the blades and the lemon will make the disposal smell fresh!)

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I did a super quick cleanout of the sink using olive oil (I’ve always used it to shine my stainless kitchen sink)

 

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And the sink’s all freshened up, as good as new. Love that!

 

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Do you have any other tips for cleaning stainless steel? I’d love to hear them - leave a comment to share!

 

 

 

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Menu Plan Week Of 1/11/15 (Includes Printable List!)

menuplan

Here’s this week’s menu plan and grocery shopping list! I’m so excited because I’m trying out a new plan this week ~ I’m going to pre-cook and organize everything we need for the week this weekend, that way dinner can be thrown together in just a few minutes each night!

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I also created this handy dandy free printable google doc for you to print 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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If you’re hoping to get on track too, check out my Menu Planning board on Pinterest where I’ve got all the links to the recipes we’re eating each week. Head on over HERE to check that out, and I’d love for you to join all the PPP boards on Pinterest too.

 

 

Here’s what’s on the menu this week . . .

 
Shopping List
  • 3 lb shoulder roast
  • 2-3 cups cooked chicken (I’ll make mine ahead using a whole chicken in the slow cooker)
  • Canadian bacon
  • 2 onions
  • 8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 beef broth (can substitute by making broth with beef bouillon cubes)

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  • 1 can beefy mushroom soup (make sure to get the right soup – not cream of mushroom soup)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can rotel
  • 1 can black beans
  • English muffins
  • eggs
  • American or Swiss Cheese (I’m going to substitute Swiss Cheese for American in the Egg McMuffins)
  • 32 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz Parmesan cheese
  • 28 oz jar pasta
  • 12 oz jumbo pasta shells

Side Dish Extras

  • salad
  • potatoes for mashed potatoes with pot roast
  • canned, fresh or frozen veggies to have with pot roast
  • chips for tortilla soup
  • garlic bread
  • fresh fruit

Pantry Staples

  • salt
  • pepper
  • flour
  • garlic powder
  • olive oil
  • beef bouillon cubes
  • corn starch
  • parsley
  • chili powder
  • cumin

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!  Here are a few previous menu plans that you can also try out:

 

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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{Pantry} Chicken Stew

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Note from Laurie ~ I was looking over Shannon’s recipe and it looked so good that I decided to pop it in Mrs. Potts today. (It’s 10 degrees outside, so definitely the kind of day for some chicken stew!) To make it in the crockpot, I put the potatoes in Mrs. Potts along with 2 cups of chicken broth (I boiled 2 cups water and added in 1 cube chicken bouillon) and set on high for one hour. Next I’ll mash the potatoes up, add in the remaining ingredients except the butter, and let it simmer all day (I’ll add the butter in a few minutes before serving.) This looks so good ~ I’ll let you know if we like it tonight!

 

UPDATE from Laurie – IT WAS SO GOOD! I added the potatoes and 2 cups chicken broth to my slow cooker and cooked on high for an hour until they were pretty soft. (My slow cooker cooks FAST, so you may need to cook them a little longer if yours doesn’t.) Then I mashed the potatoes, added everything else in except the margarine/butter (decided to skip those completely) and the chicken was even frozen. I let it cook for 5 hours on low. Shredded chicken and mixed everything back in. It was one of my husband’s favorites! (It makes a LOT – my crockpot was actually overflowing so I only added a total of about 4.5 cups of broth – including the 2 cups I used for the potatoes initially.)

 

This is the perfect recipe for those cold winter days. I’m betting you have everything you need in your pantry for this recipe, which makes it just the perfect recipe.

I craved my Grandmama’s Chicken Stew when I was pregnant with my 16-year-old and never got it (since we lived in Alaska away from family.)  It never dawned on me that I can actually make it myself!  :)  When I found this recipe about a year ago I messed it up a few times, however this final recipe is just delicious. And it tastes just like any restaurant (and my Grandmama’s) Chicken Stew.

 

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Chicken Stew

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked
  • 2 large onions
  • 7 cups of water
  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cans of corn (or 1 bag of frozen corn)
  • 2 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes or (1) 28 oz can
  • 5 tsp of salt
  • 3 small chicken boullion cubes

Instructions

  1. Place the water in an 8 quart stockpot.
  2. Add potatoes and onions cook on high for 30 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Take 1 cup of cooked potatoes out and mash that cup potatoes using a fork.
  5. Return mashed potatoes to stock pot (this will thicken your soup.)
  6. Add corn, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, bouillon cubes, sugar and cooked chicken (I cook my chicken in my crock pot for 3-4 hours on low, then shred)
  7. Cook on low at least an hour.
  8. Add butter 45 minutes before serving.
  9. Freeze leftovers. Yum!
http://passionatepennypincher.com/2015/01/chicken-stew-3/

If you’d like to make the recipe using a whole chicken instead of boneless skinless chicken breast, check out the original recipe at Southern Plate. 
Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 1/7/15):

  • Earth Fare $5 Rotisserie Chicken every Friday
  • Kroger Boneless Skinless Frozen Chicken Breasts 18-26 oz $4.99 after Mega Sale
  • Perdue Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Buy One Get One Free at Kroger (Midsouth Region)
  • Publix Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast on sale $2.49/lb. after BOGO sale
  • Publix Russet Potatoes 5 lb. bag $2.99
  • Kroger Organic Russet Potatoes 3 lb. bag on sale $1.99
  • Del Monte Canned Vegetables BOGO at Publix
  • Meijer Canned Vegetables $.79

 

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

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Menu Plan Monday: Week Of 1/5/14

 

cheeseburger soup - PINTEREST

Anyone else in desperate need of some menu planning at their house? After surviving the Christmas crazies here (I really do love every minute of it!), our pantry was in sore need of some basic staples, and we absolutely needed a menu plan.

 

I’m hoping to work on healthier menus for our family this year (we’ll see how they feel about that), and am trying to work our meals out around our busy weeknight schedule. My big goal is to try and start pre-cooking everything for the week ahead starting next Saturday, so I’ll update you on how that goes and what work it entails once I try it out myself. (I would love any tips if you have them!

 

Here’s what’s on the menu this week . . .

 

 

And here’s the shopping list I used. (We’re supposed to get 3-4″ of snow that will stick for a few days here, and since I’m still pretty clueless as to how to drive in snow I stocked up on everything today!)

Grocery List

  • 12 oz fettucine
  • fresh garlic
  • celery
  • 2 onions
  • 3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan
  • salad
  • fresh fruit
  • 10 oz can Healthy Request Cream of Chicken soup
  • Rotel
  • 4 oz can green chiles
  • 1 package 8 tortillas (low carb, optional)
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • baked low fat tortilla chips
  • yeast
  • cornmeal (optional – for pizza dough but I may skip that step?)
  • mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz low fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/w cup Mexican shredded cheese (low fat – optional)
  • 8 oz low fat sour cream
  • pizza toppings
  • chicken nuggets
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

 

Pantry Staples

  • olive oil
  • flour
  • chicken broth
  • milk
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika

 

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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Coca Cola Cake

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!

 

cocacola

 

Wow.

 

I think I have found the perfect chocolate cake. And the perfect chocolate frosting. (I will never make chocolate frosting another way again. This was perfect!)

 

Since the New Year’s right around the corner I’m just about finished posting delicious treats (2015 resolutions, you know!), but here’s one last yummy to satisfy that sweet tooth.

 

And by the way, I never (ever?) buy buttermilk. Just pour 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar into a measuring cup and add enough milk to make 1/2 cup, then let it sit on the counter for ten minutes to sour the milk.

 

You’re welcome. ;)

 

Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy too ~ Happy New Year’s!!!!

 

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Coca Cola Cake

Ingredients

For Cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup butter
  •  1 1/2 cups marshmallows
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup coca cola
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 tsp vinegar along with enough milk to make one cup – then let sit for ten minutes to sour the milk)

For Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsp coca cola
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Mix together flour and sugar in large mixing bowl.
  2. In microwave, heat butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa, and 1 cup coca cola until boiling (it took mine 3-4 minutes to boil.)
  3. Pour butter mixture over flour and sugar and mix well.
  4. Immediately add in marshmallows and give the bowl a quick stir to help them melt quickly. Then add buttermilk, eggs, baking soda and vanilla.
  5. Mix well with a spoon by hand, and pour into greased 9×13 pan.
  6. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, mix 1/2 cup butter, 2 tablespoons cocoa and 6 tablespoons coca cola in microwave safe bowl.
  8. Heat to boiling, then pour over 4 cups powdered sugar.
  9. When cake is done, wait a few minutes and frost with chocolate frosting while still warm.
  10. Enjoy!

 

 

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

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