Homemade Mac-n-Cheese : Frugal Home Friday link up

Frugal HOME Friday

Link up your frugal tips for home and homestead,

recipes, DIY or crafts, and share ideas to inspire others

 

Featured Participant:

bandicam 2014-04-10 22-24-24-317

Homemade Mac-N-Cheese

by Lou Lou Girls

 

Please share your own Frugal Home and Homestead posts

You could be our next featured blogger:

Each week we will be choosing a new blogger participant to feature in our Friday Link Up.  Share your posts – old or new – that involve anything HOMEkeeping, HOMEschooling, HOMEsteading, HOMEindustry!

By linking up – you agree to allow us to use your photo and link to your blog if you are chosen as our Featured Participant. We share links on FB, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest as well to let the world know about your great ideas. Thank you for participating and sharing.

There are so many wonderfully creative bloggers out there who have a wealth of knowledge to share on topics for the home and homestead. If you run a home business, enjoy gardening, raising bees or chickens, love cooking, are good at organizing or any other topic that will be valuable to our readers – please link up your pictures and share the knowledge to inspire others!

If you don’t blog – you can link up photo’s from an Instagram account to share ideas as well or leave us a comment with your thoughts!

linking up: Fabulously FrugalOrganized 31,Fabulously Frugal Thurs,Sunday Showcase Works 4 Me

 

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Homemade Baking Mix – with Build A Menu

Homemade Baking Mix

 

 

Homemade “Bisquick” Baking Mix

 These days there are many reasons to consider making your own baking mixes. One, of course, is that it is more affordable for the family.  The other is, with all the additives that go into the boxed products you find on the shelves at the grocery store, it’s nice to get back to basics with ingredients you choose yourself – and ones you can pronounce!
Ingredients
  • 6 cups of flour
  • 3 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 cup shortening
Instructions
  1. Whisk together dry ingredients.
  2. Add shortening.
  3. Mix with the whisk attachment on your stand mixer, a hand mixer or your food processor.
  4. Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator or freezer.
Notes
Single Recipe Method: Combine two cups of flour, 1 tbsp. of baking powder, 1 tsp. of baking soda, 1 tsp. of salt and 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. of sugar. Mix in one-third cup of shortening.

You can DOWNLOAD and Print Your Own Copy HERE

 

Healthier and Frugal . . . that works for me! 

Homemade Granola Bars: Build A Menu

Homemade Granola Bars

 

This week’s Cooking With Kids recipe is almost too simple, yet the results are fantastic. It’s also a recipe that is very easy to sub Gluten Free/Allergy Friendly ingredients if needed. They last up to a week in an airtight container, making it super easy to make on the weekend and have ready for snacks all week long! Ready to get started? Check the recipe below for your list of ingredients and then follow these simple steps to make your own homemade granola bars.

Homemade granola bars

Ingredients: 

Healthy Granola Bars from Scratch

Directions: 

  • First, dump ALL the ingredients together in a mixer.
  • Add in any of your favorite ingredients like chocolate chips, nuts, etc.
  • Mix well.
  • Spread the granola mix out on your baking sheet, making sure to keep it about the same thickness all the way across.
  • Once it’s done, cut it while it’s still warm because once it cools it’s crunchy and harder to cut. Use a pizza cutter and cut into “bars.”  
  • Let the bars cool on the pan. Separate once they’re cool enough to touch and have hardened.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Print a copy of this recipe from Build A Menu HERE

Build A Menu  is an online menu planning service that makes meal planning and grocery shopping fast, easy and budget friendly. Not familiar with them? Take a minute to browse the site and see how they can save you time and money, too!

Molly Members get free access to their Dine on a Dime planner and shopping list from the member page – and a special discount to the full service. See benefits here. 

Oven Roasted Fresh Green Beans with Thyme

Oven-Roasted Fresh Green beans by Build A Menu

 

Delicious Oven Roasted Fresh Green Beans with Thyme are a real treat any time of the year, and perfect for spring!

Have you visited our friends at Build A Menu.com yet?  If you are working on your Spring meals for the family or Easter Dinner for a crowd – they can help you get your ducks in a row.

Here is one dish from B.A.M. that looks good and tastes great on any table: 

“There are only three ingredients in this simple yet elegant side dish.  Fresh green beans, olive oil and thyme.  Inexpensive, healthy, and so yummy.  You can find this recipe and many other delicious side dishes in our menu planning website.” ~ Lisa Holcomb 

Try the delicious Oven Roasted Fresh Green Beans with Thyme on a week night or a special occasion and it may just become a new family favorite!

Hop on over to check out their full list of services and various menu planning options here. 

Enjoy regular recipes and meal planning ideas from the ladies at Build A Menu in each new issue of Molly Green Magazine! Have you joined yet? Get the details and become a Molly Member here.

linking with Works for Me Wed

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Easy Cheesy Crackers from Build A Menu and cooking with kids

Easy Cheesy Crackers

You will love these Easy Cheesy Crackers – another great guest post and recipe from our partners at Build A Menu.

I like to give my kids recipes that involve them getting their hands dirty. They love to make a mess, love to get their hands right down into the process. So I figure, why fight it? I took a recipe for cheese crackers, ramped up the flavor a bit with some garlic, and tossed the pastry cutter idea out the window.

Who needs a pastry cutter when you have ten fingers ready to stir and squish? And while using cookie cutters might be super cute, with a relatively crumbly dough I knew the frustration factor (hard to move from board to cookie sheet!) would be too high for my children. So I had them just roll it out right on the cookie sheet and use a pastry wheel to cut squiggly lines.

They loved it! When the crackers came out of the oven, I actually had excited children standing by the cooling rack.

This recipe is a keeper!

Easy Cheesy Crackers

Ingredients

• 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

• 4 tablespoons butter, softened

• 3/4 cup flour

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1 tablespoon milk

Directions

Heat oven to 350°. Put the cheese, butter (cut in pieces), flour, salt and garlic in a bowl.

Cracker Ingredients

Use clean hands to mix the ingredients together between your fingers (squish that butter!) until the dough is coarse crumbs, about the size of peas.

Add the milk and use your hands to form the dough into a ball. If you are a 7-year-old boy it is okay to make the dough into a volcano first. This is not a necessary step in creating the crackers, but may be necessary to the creative process; volcanoes often are – if you are a little boy.

Lightly flour a baking sheet. We lined ours with foil because it is an old beat-up sheet, but it proved to be useful as we were able to easily remove the crackers on the foil for cooling. Place the dough on it and roll out the dough until it is 1/8″ thick.

Cross cut dough for cheesy crackers

Cut lines in the dough like a grid to make cracker-sized squares. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Cool on the baking sheet, then break apart into squares.

Yummy Cheesy squares

Build A Menu is an online menu planning service that makes meal planning and grocery shopping fast, easy and budget friendly. Not familiar with it? Take a minute to browse the site and see how it can save you time and money, too!

Go HERE to check it out and download your printed recipe for delicious Easy Cheesy Crackers!

Molly Members – Access Dine on a Dime HERE- Exclusively for Molly Members from Build A Menu! 

Members Page HERE – New MGM 2014 Issues

Molly’s $7 Suppers HERE 

linking with Works for me Wednesday

Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad: Build A Menu

Cilantro Chicken Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doesn’t this Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad look spring fresh and amazing? It is a colorful and deliciously healthy way to welcome in the new season.

Just in case you haven’t noticed … we are big fans of the Build A Menu program! If you are a Molly Green Magazine member, you can download their Dine on a Dime menu and shopping list right from your member page.  You also have a discount code – exclusive for Molly Members to join and start using this fantastic program today!

From Build A Menu

Who says eating on a budget has to be boring? One of our goals here at Build A Menu is to give our members plenty of mouth-watering choices that are surprisingly low cost to make.

Take this recipe for example: Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad on Avocado Serves 4-6 people and costs under $6 at most grocery stores (that’s for the entire recipe, not per person!).

Not only does this recipe look fabulous and taste scrumptious, it costs less than $1 per serving to make! Want more low-cost recipes to feed your crew? Check out what’s on our menu this week.

How does Build a Menu work? Just choose your grocery store, select the recipes you want for the week, print your customized shopping list and you’re done. You’ll always know how much your groceries will cost before you ever get to the store.

This is an “S” meal if you follow the THM plan. We make grocery shopping fast, easy and budget friendly!

Bon Appetit!

~ The Team At Build A Menu

Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad

Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad on Avocado

Recipe type: Main       Cuisine: Chicken        Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 3 Tbsp mayo
  • 1 Tbsp brown mustard
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 5 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 3 avocados
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Half avocados and remove seeds.
  2. Mix all ingredients together (except avocados) in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Spoon into each avocado half and serve. Enjoy!

 

PRINT A Copy For Yourself HERE

linking with Works for me Wed 

Frugal Home Friday: Featured Participants

Frugal HOME Friday

Link up your frugal tips for home and homestead,

recipes, DIY, or crafts and share ideas to inspire others:

Featured Link-Ups:

Do More and Save Money in 2014 – by Mumtopia 

and . . . . .

 

Gluten Free Cowboy Stew

from The Gluten Free Homestead 

GF Cowboy Stew

 Get the Recipe HERE

 

Please share your own Frugal Home & Homestead posts

You could be our next feature!

linking up: Fabulously FrugalOrganized 31,Fabulously Frugal Thurs,Sunday Showcase Works 4 Me

 

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Cheesy Tuna Casserole: Dine on a Dime Recipe

Cheesy Tuna Casserole

 

They had me at cheesy!

Once I read the rest of the ingredients for this  Cheesy Tuna Casserole, I was a goner for sure. Fresh mushrooms, onions, chicken stock, and whipping cream are a few of the top-secret tips that dress up this cheesy tuna casserole. The creamy ingredients add rich flavor and have made it one of my family’s new favorites! I bet your family will love it too.

Cheesy Tuna Casserole

 Ingredients 

  • 2 6-ounce cans tuna, drained
  • 1 16-ounce package frozen green beans
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup onion(s), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Cook the green beans as directed on the package; drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms and onion in the butter until very soft and starting to brown a bit.
  3. Add the broth; bring to a boil.
  4. Let the liquid reduce by half, then stir in the cream. Bring back to a boil.
  5. Turn down the heat a bit and cook until reduced and thickened, stirring frequently and watching closely so it doesn’t boil over.
  6. Season to taste.
  7. Stir the tuna and mushroom soup mixture into the green beans.
  8. Add salt and pepper, if needed.
  9. Mix in the cheese; put into a 1 1/2 – 2 quart casserole.
  10. Microwave or bake until hot and bubbly.

If you are following the Trim Healthy Mama plans, Cheesy Tuna Casserole is an S.

This recipe only cost an average of $9 at most major grocery stores and serves four to six, making it an affordable option, before you even consider pulling out the coupons. I haven’t tried yet, but I think a couple of substitutions could be made to save even more on this dish. I’ve been known to make a cream sauce using powdered milk, a bit of butter,  flour and chicken broth (homemade, of course), and though I’m certain the heavy cream is tastier, I could pull this off in a pinch. It’s hard to beat, just the way it is.

Perfect cheesy tuna casserole makes a wonderful meal for a good old-fashioned family dinner!

You can download a printable copy of this recipe right from our friends at Build a Menu HERE. 

Remember, you can enjoy regular menu plans and printable shopping lists from the Build a Menu – Dine on a Dime plan right from your Molly Green Member page! It you haven’t joined the All New Molly Green yet, go here to get the details.

Inspired Bloggers Network – Family Dinner HUGE Giveaway for $800 set of cookware is HERE

Garlic Pretzel Hearts: from Build a Menu

Garlic Pretzel Hearts

Garlic Pretzel Hearts? Yes, please! Our friends (and columnists for Molly Green Magazine) from Build a Menu – have done it again with these super simple, tasty treats for your favorite pretzel lovers!

Garlic Pretzel Hearts

Ingredients:

1 roll refrigerated garlic breadstick dough (8 oz)

1 egg coarse salt (also called kosher salt) note: if you are unable to find garlic breadstick dough you can use plain breadstick dough and replace the coarse salt with garlic salt.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.  Open roll of dough, and separate strips of dough. Fold each strip in half lengthwise and gently roll the strip so that the edges pinch together; try not to lengthen the dough while rolling.

rolling pretzel dough

Make a circle by crossing over the ends of the dough rope, twisting the two ends together, and slightly pinching the tip into a point. Somehow we did not get a picture of this part; I guess we were so engrossed!

Put the circle onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, make the twist point into the center, and shape into a heart. Repeat with remaining ropes of dough. Beat the egg.

Paint egg onto each heart until covered.

Sprinkle salt onto the pretzels (if you are using plain dough, sprinkle garlic salt now.)

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

 

fresh baked heart pretzelsCool on rack – and ENJOY!

This is a wonderful semi-homemade gift idea for little bakers.  Help them create as a treat for the family this Valentine’s Day! Of course, they are simple enough to be enjoyed any day.

How are you showing the family some love this week?

For more great ideas, visit the ladies of Build a Menu today – download a printable copy of this recipe here. 

Get a membership for Molly Green Magazine and receive menu planner and shopping list from Build a Menu’s popular Dine on a Dime here.  Get the full details on what the all New Molly Green membership is all about!

Looking for our $800 Giveaway for All-Clad cookware?  Find it here. 

Valentine Ideas For Your Spouse that won’t break the bank

Valentine Spouse ideas

Go Digital

Remember mixed tapes? This Valentines Day, make your husband or wife a cd with all their favorite music.

Send them a You-Tube video with a song or a poem singing their virtues!

Send a special Skype video message instead of a traditional love note, listing all the reasons you love them still.

No sitter?

Take a family walk – be sure to hold hands and talk about the good old days.

Put the kids to bed early and share a candle light dinner with your favorite foods.

Love Notes

Bring them breakfast in bed with a handmade card.

Place sticky notes around the house – like on the bathroom mirror, by the coffee maker, on a breakfast tray, in a briefcase – all with different messages telling them why you love them.

Coupon Book 

Create a coupon book full of favorite date night ideas and romantic notions that can be redeemed monthly, weekly, and daily.  These don’t need to be expensive to be appreciated. Think: evening picnic, a foot rub and a favorite movie,  a drive in the country, or a stroll through downtown and out for coffee.

Create a practical book with redeemable coupons for the chores they hate to do. How about: wash the car, cut the grass, or weed the garden? Use whatever may be a small sacrifice on your part, but will mean the most to them!

homemade chocolate peanut butter cups

Homemade Goods

Bust out the apron and get to baking! No need to spend lots of money on chocolate candy when the homemade kind is even better.

Get a recipe HERE for Giant Peanut Butter Cups

Homemade Lotion

Women aren’t the only ones who need good moisturizer! Using natural ingredients and essential oils, you can create lotion and bath/shower products your man will love.

See recipe HERE for a manly lotion

Go HERE for homemade scrubs

homemade lip balm

Subscription 

For an affordable gift that will encourage and inspire all year long – give a subscription membership to Molly Green Magazine

Member benefits include cottage industry web site hosting where you can network and sell your products for home industry and small business! You can’t beat the cost – (Launching in March).

Members also enjoy exclusive access to Dine on a Dime menu planner and shopping list by Build a Menu (downloaded right from the member page)!

Learn about beginner homesteading, gardening, bee keeping, and valuable information to run your home and family life in a more simple, back to basics style. Wonderful for city dwellers who want to make steps in that direction or down home on the farm!

linking with Works for Me Wednesday & Fabulously Frugal Thurs

 

Do you have more ideas to share? I’d love to hear about them – in the comments!