Jul 242014
 
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Bacon and Onion Vegetable Dip!  Perfect Party Recipe!

My youngest sister was having a baby shower, and I wanted to put together something simple yet delicious.

I told her I would bring vegetables to the party, so I figured I would also make a dip to go along with it.  In addition, I also brought along a Layered Dessert Trifle.

Bacon and Onion Vegetable Dip!  Perfect Party Recipe!

This would be my first time making a vegetable dip from scratch, but I wanted this recipe to include Bacon so I came up with my own concoction.

After some experimenting, I created a mixture that was SO GOOD! Not to mention, it got great feedback at the shower.

Bacon and Onion Vegetable Dip!  Perfect Party Recipe!

Of course I took photos just in case it turned out to be a keeper, and AWESOME tasting. So, here is how I did it.

Bacon Onion Vegetable Dip - Serves 20 or more depending upon the crowd

What you will need:

5 pieces of cooked crumbled bacon  (You will set aside one of the pieces)

1 tsp of Garlic Powder

1 tsp of Seasoned Salt

1/2 cup of Diced Green Onions (You will set aside 1 tbsp)

3 tbsp of Mayonnaise

2 blocks of 8 oz cream cheese

Cream Cheese for Bacon Onion Vegetable Dip

Directions:

Completely combine the 4 pieces of crumbled bacon, garlic powder, seasoned salt, diced green onions, mayo, and cream cheese with a mixer.

Tip: I first mixed it a little with a spoon to break apart the cream cheese, and then I started the mixer on the medium setting.

Bacon and Onion Vegetable Dip!  Perfect Party Recipe!

Once it is totally combined, place this into a decorative bowl for serving.

Tip: It is a thicker dip so you can always add a little more mayo to make it creamier.

Bacon and Onion Vegetable Dip!  Perfect Party Recipe!

Some of it will stick to the mixer, but it is easily removed with a spoon. Smooth this out in the bowl for a level surface.

Bacon and Onion Vegetable Dip!  Perfect Party Recipe!

Top the mix in the bowl with the left over pieces of crumbled bacon and tbsp of diced onion. Refrigerate.

Serve along side carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, or other chopped veggies.

Bacon and Onion Vegetable Dip!  Perfect Party Recipe!

A little goes a long way, and I served this at a party with over 20 adults.

I did not set up my veggies until I got to the party, so I took a photo of the finished product with my phone.

Bacon and Onion Vegetable Dip!  Perfect Party Recipe!

Do you make a similar Vegetable Dip? What ingredients do you include?

If you try this recipe out, Enjoy!

FFM

Jul 132014
 
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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions about Lifeway Kefir are mine alone. #KefirCreations #CollectiveBias

Tropical Smoothie Kefir Freezer Pops! 3 Ingredient Recipe! #KefirCreations #Collectivebias #Shop

As a parent, I can’t help but worry about whether my children are getting proper nutrients.  I try my best to offer them foods to promote “well-being”, but I wonder if I could do more. This worry is compounded with my youngest child since he has a sensitivity to milk products.

I happened to mention this to a few mom friends at breakfast one day and they said, “Have you tried Kefir. Our kids love it.” After hearing this, I did some research and found out that Lifeway Kefir Smoothies contain Vitamins A & D, has 11 Grams of Protein, and No Artificial Sweeteners. They are also rich in Calcium, 99% Lactose Free, and a Probiotic.

Tropical Smoothie Kefir Freezer Pops! 3 Ingredient Recipe! #KefirCreations #Collectivebias #Shop

Well after reading this, I didn’t need any more convincing and this past week I took a trip to my neighborhood Winn-Dixie to pick up a couple varieties of these Lifeway Kefir Cultured Milk Smoothies.

I bought 3 – 32 ounce containers of the Kefir Smoothies in the Raspberry, Blueberry, and Plain Unsweetened varieties. I even found an online coupon to use with my purchase.

Tropical Smoothie Kefir Freezer Pops! 3 Ingredient Recipe! #KefirCreations #Collectivebias #Shop

As soon as I got home, I opened up a bottle of a fruit flavored Kefir and taste tested. It was REALLY good.

The next day the kiddos took turns trying it out, and they were of the same opinion.

Tropical Smoothie Kefir Freezer Pops! 3 Ingredient Recipe! #KefirCreations #Collectivebias #Shop

My youngest has also taken to these fruit smoothies, and as he inhales a cup he then asks for more!

As for the Plain Unsweetened Flavor, I found that it would make a perfect base to Freezer Pops. After some experimentation, I determined that the combination of Coconut, Orange, and Kefir created a sweet tropical flavor. It was a keeper!

Tropical Smoothie Kefir Freezer Pops! 3 Ingredient Recipe! #KefirCreations #Collectivebias #Shop

To recreate these Tropical Smoothie Kefir Freezer Pops, you will need:

6 slot Freezer Pop Container

1/2 Cup of  Plain Unsweetened Lifeway Kefir

2 – 4 oz Containers of Mandarin Oranges in Light Syrup

2 Tbsps of Shredded Coconut

Tropical Smoothie Kefir Freezer Pops! 3 Ingredient Recipe! #KefirCreations #Collectivebias #Shop

Directions:

Combine 1/2 cup of Plain Unsweetened Kefir with the drained juice of 2 Mandarin Orange containers and 2 Tbsps of Shredded Coconut.

Tropical Smoothie Kefir Freezer Pops! 3 Ingredient Recipe! #KefirCreations #Collectivebias #Shop

Put 2-3 Oranges into each freezer pop container, and then pour the mixture over this. Freeze for 2-3 hours until solid and Serve.

This recipe is really that easy to create, and it is so nice to know that I can give my family a tasty healthy treat.

Tropical Smoothie Kefir Freezer Pops! 3 Ingredient Recipe! #KefirCreations #Collectivebias #Shop

How do you incorporate Kefir into your diet? What recipes have you used this ingredient in?

Want to know more about Lifeway Kefir and take advantage of a coupon? Visit Lifeway Foods Coupons for more details! You can also look for additional recipes at their Facebook page at facebook.com/LifewayKefir and Twitter at @lifeway_kefir.

We are really enjoying these smoothie flavors, and I am so glad I have found a great way to add more “well-being” into my family’s diet.

FFM

Jun 282014
 
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Easy Red, White, and Blue Dessert Trifle! Simple Patriotic DIY Recipe!

If you are looking for a quick dessert for this 4th of July or any other Patriotic holiday, try this easy Trifle Dish I put together.

It only requires 4 ingredients and of course a glass container to display it in. Serves around 10-12.

Easy Red, White, and Blue Dessert Trifle! Simple Patriotic DIY Recipe!

To get started you will need:

- A frozen pound cake (makes it easier to cut)

- 1 Package of Strawberries

- 1 Package of Blueberries

- 1 Container of Whipped Cream

I happened to have a box of presliced Sara Lee Pound cakes I bought 50 % off and whipped cream I got Buy One Get One Free at Publix, so these worked out perfectly for this dessert.

Easy Red, White, and Blue Dessert Trifle! Simple Patriotic DIY Recipe!

First, I cut the cake into crouton like squares.

Easy Red, White, and Blue Dessert Trifle! Simple Patriotic DIY Recipe!

Second, I washed and dried all my fruit and then sliced my strawberries into thirds.

Easy Red, White, and Blue Dessert Trifle! Simple Patriotic DIY Recipe!

Next I started layering. My first layer was half of the cake.

Easy Red, White, and Blue Dessert Trifle! Simple Patriotic DIY Recipe!

Then a layer of half the whipped cream. Next came all the strawberries.

FYI, I set aside 6 slices to make a flower on top.

Easy Red, White, and Blue Dessert Trifle! Simple Patriotic DIY Recipe!

Then I added the rest of the cake. Then another layer of the rest of the whipped cream, and then the blueberries.

FYI, I set aside 9 blueberries.

Easy Red, White, and Blue Dessert Trifle! Simple Patriotic DIY Recipe!

To finish, I made my strawberry flower on top and put the blueberries in the middle.

Easy Red, White, and Blue Dessert Trifle! Simple Patriotic DIY Recipe!

It was that easy to create and it looks pretty. Not to mention, this dessert tastes delicious.

Easy Red White and Blue Dessert Trifle! Simple Patriotic DIY Recipe!

You can even use it as your centerpiece since it has such a great Patriotic look.

Easy Red, White, and Blue Dessert Trifle! Simple Patriotic DIY Recipe!

This was an absolute hit at my Memorial Day Party and disappeared rather quickly.

Easy Red, White, and Blue Dessert Trifle! Simple Patriotic DIY Recipe!

Do you make a similar dessert? How do you arrange yours?

If you make it, Enjoy!

FFM

Jun 112014
 
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The following is a sponsored post on behalf of Produce for Kids and the Get Healthy Give Hope Campaign. Photo and recipe were provided. Opinions expressed are that of my own.

Bow Ties and Veggies Recipe

Produce for Kids and Publix have teamed up again to raise money to benefit a wonderful cause and to bring you delicious recipes!

For the 12th year, both of these great organizations have partnered up for the Get Healthy, Give Hope campaign.  This initiative has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to benefit various children’s groups and non-profits. Publix alone, through the help of employees and customers, has raised nearly $2.3 million for local children’s organizations since 2002. 

To help increase this year’s donations, shoppers are encouraged to add more produce to their grocery carts through 12 participating fruit and vegetable suppliers. These include Bolthouse Farms Juices & Smoothies; D’Arrigo Bros. of California – Andy Boy Broccoli; Chiquita Bananas; Fresh Express Packaged Salads; Coast Tropical Mangoes; Crunch Pak Sliced Apples; Del Monte Foods – Fruit Naturals Cups; J & D Produce, Inc. – Little Bear Brand Vidalia Sweet Onions; Minute Maid Pure Squeezed Orange Juice; Shuman Produce – RealSweet Vidalia Onions; Ventura Foods – Marie’s Dressings; Paramount Farms – Wonderful Pistachios.

Check out the following Produce for Kids dish that can be prepared and paired with many of these “Good for You” ingredients!

 

Produce for Kids Logo

 

Bow Ties & Veggies Recipe

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. olive oil

½ large Little Bear Brand Vidalia sweet onion, sliced

½ cup Andy Boy broccoli, chopped

½ cup cauliflower, chopped

½ cup rainbow bell peppers, chopped

2 cups bow tie pasta, prepared according to package directions

½ cup cherry tomatoes, chopped

½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

½ cup strawberries, sliced

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; add onions, broccoli/cauliflower and peppers, and cook 5 minutes or until tender.
  2. Reduce heat to low; add cooked pasta and tomatoes, and heat 1 minute or until warm.
  3. Top with cheese and strawberries.

For a complete meal, serve Bow Ties & Veggies with:

  • Fresh Express packaged salad topped with radish, avocado, cucumber and lowfat Marie’s salad dressing
  • A glass of Bolthouse Farms juice

Are you more likely to purchase foods when you know it benefits a great cause? Which of the participating brands do you currently buy?

At the conclusion of this campaign, these fruit and vegetable suppliers will make a consumption-based donation to local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit that provides comfort, treatment and hope to millions of sick kids. Look for signage in store and information in Publix ads, featuring a list of all the participating brands and healthy, easy-to-prepare recipes.

For more information about the Get Healthy, Give Hope campaign and for additional recipes visit produceforkids.com.

I think it is awesome that Produce for Kids and Publix have teamed up for this, and I can’t wait to fill my cart with “Good for You” items and try out some of the recipes.

FFM

Jun 052014
 
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Italian Shrimp Po' Boy Sandwich! An Easy Recipe With Alternative Ingredients! Dish

Out of a desire to use what I had on hand, and to put off going to the grocery store for a couple more days, I have been getting creative with meals this week.

One of the dishes I put together is an Italian Shrimp Po’ Boy Sandwich.  I choose this name only because I wanted to make a Po’ Boy Sandwich and I ended up raiding the fridge and garden for items to top it off with.

Italian Shrimp Po' Boy Sandwich! An Easy Recipe With Alternative Ingredients! 6

I know this is traditionally served on a hard bread like a baguette, but it just so happens that I had left over hot dog buns in the freezer from Memorial Day.

In addition, I had a package of SeaPak Popcorn Shrimp that I had bought  Buy One Get One FREE at Publix, so there was no need to add any seasonings.

Italian Shrimp Po' Boy Sandwich! An Easy Recipe With Alternative Ingredients! Start

To recreate this dish you will need:

18 oz Box of Frozen Popcorn Shrimp

An Eight Count Pack of Hot Dog Buns

Marinara Sauce or Spaghetti Sauce

Chopped Green Onion (I used 2 long leaves of it)

Shredded Mozzarella

Italian Shrimp Po' Boy Sandwich! An Easy Recipe With Alternative Ingredients! 2

To get started making this recipe, I preheated the oven and put some marinara in a pot to warm up. Once the oven was ready, I placed the shrimp and cooked it according to the directions on the box. When there was about 5 minutes left on the time, I put the defrosted buns into a pan and warmed them up in the oven.

Tip: You will want to put the buns in the oven to dry them out a bit.  That way they will hold up to the marinara.

Italian Shrimp Po' Boy Sandwich! An Easy Recipe With Alternative Ingredients! 3

After the shrimp was cooked, I turned off the oven and added 5-8 pieces in each bun. Next, I added a little green onion on top.

Then I topped these off with some marinara, and then shredded cheese.

Italian Shrimp Po' Boy

I placed the buns back into the warm oven, and kept them in until the cheese melted.

Italian Shrimp Po' Boy Sandwich

Once it was ready, I served immediately and paired it with a Parmesan Broccoli Recipe.

Italian Shrimp Po' Boy Easy

This dish was that easy to put together and as a frugal mom, I was glad to use what I already had on hand. It was also a filling meal and my family loved it. My husband said it looked like it came right out of a restaurant.

I can’t wait for those shrimp to go on sale again.

Italian Shrimp Po' Boy Sandwich! An Easy Recipe With Alternative Ingredients!

Do you create a similar dish?  What ingredients do you use?

If you try this recipe out, let me know what you think!

Enjoy,

FFM

May 142014
 
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3 cheese macaroni and cheese

I have been trying to perfect a Homemade Macaroni and Cheese recipe that involved as little effort as possible.  I found a keeper this week.

This has been something I have been playing around with, and my results were either to dry, or the cheese was too strong. I finally picked the right ingredients and combination to create a delicious and creamy 3 Cheese – Macaroni and Cheese.

   3 cheese macaroni cheeses

If you want to recreate this dish, this is what you will need:

(Serves around 5-6 as a side)

8 oz of pasta (half a box, I used Penne)

2 Slices of American Cheese

4 Tablespoons of Sour Cream

1 Cup of Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

3 Tablespoons of Margarine

3 cheese macaroni in pot

Directions:

Cook the pasta according to the directions and drain the water.  Put the pot back onto the warm burner with the pasta.

3 cheese macaroni dish

Immediately add all of the ingredients and stir.

Do this until the Cheeses and Margarine are melted and the pasta is completely covered. Serve immediately.

3 cheese macaroni meal

That is all it took to make this, and it is really good. I paired it with Italian Pork Meatballs and Green Beans. My family liked it a lot, in fact my Toddler said, “MMMM, Maa Maa!”.

Do you make your Macaroni and Cheese from scratch? What ingredients do you use?

I like that this recipe requires minimal effort, and ingredients. If you try this out, let me know what you think.

FFM

Apr 282014
 
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The following is a sponsored post on behalf of El Monterey. Opinions expressed are that of my own.

Cinco de Mayo with El Monterey Taquitos and Bean Dip Picture

When it comes to parties, I like to keep them as simple as possible and serve food that is EASY to prepare with a great taste.  

El Monterey Taquitos helped me do exactly this when I recently hosted a Cinco de Mayo themed dinner for my family.

El Monterey Taquitos on the table at Cinco de Mayo Party

To get our meal started right, I was sent Southwest Chicken Battered TaquitosTaco Seasoned Beef and Cheese Battered Taquitos, and Fiery Hot Shell Shockers.

I also created tasty recipes to compliment the Taquitos, crafted homemade Chili Pepper Pinatas, and purchased Cinco de Mayo themed items to make it festive.

Homemade Chili Pepper Pinata Photo

Since I wanted to represent the colors of Mexico, I picked up a Mexican Flag banner at the party store, bought red, green, and white napkins, and purchased Margarita glasses at the “Dollar Store”.

I also used a sombrero as a centerpiece to display the colorful napkins.

El Monterey Southwest Chicken Taquitos

In regards to food preparation, I placed the Southwest Chicken Battered Taquitos on the table near the non-alcoholic strawberry margaritas and fruit parfaits.

I knew these sweet items would be great to offset the heat of the Taquitos.

Cinco de Mayo white Chocolate Fruit Parfait

If you would like to recreate these Cinco de Mayo Parfaits, use kiwi and strawberry, whipped cream, and layer them in over sized Margerita cups.

I ended up with 4 fruit layers alternating the whipped cream in between and used about a 1/2 cup of strawberries on each layer with enough kiwi to cover the whipped cream.

Layered cinco de Mayo Fruit Parfait with White Chocolate

When I was finished making the parfaits, I topped them with a fruit flower and shredded white chocolate on top.

As for the Margaritas, I followed the directions on a premade mix, and used chopped ice in the blender. I also cut up some limes as a garnish.

El Monterey Beef Taco Taquitos

The Taco Seasoned Beef and Cheese Battered Taquitos and Fiery Hot Shell Shockers were next on the table near a fresh vegetable tray with dip and tortilla chips.

This was actually my first time trying the Fiery Hot Shell Shockers and they are YUMMY. These Taquitos have a really pretty color as well, and definitely pack some heat, I made sure to keep my drink nearby.

El Monterey Fiery Hot Chicken Taquitos

Tip: Stack the Taquitos up to give them a fuller effect.

For this party I also put together a Bean Dip. My family raved about this dish and how well it with went Taquitos.

Non alcoholic Strawberry Margaritas with Cinco de Mayo Fruit Parfait

If you would like to recreate this recipe, here is what you will need.

Cinco de Mayo 6 Layer Bean Dip

This dish serves approximately 10 or more people.

1 16 oz Can of Refried Beans

2 Cups of Shredded Sharp Cheddar

2 Cups of Chopped Tomatoes

3 Ripe Mashed Hass Avocados

16 oz Bottle of Medium Heat Salsa

16 Oz of Sour Cream

Cinco de Mayo 6 Layer Bean Dip Photo

Directions:

In this order, layer the dip starting at the bottom.

1st Refried Beans

2nd Sharp Cheddar

3rd Tomatoes

El Monterey Taquitos Paired with 6 Layer Bean Dip

4th Avocado

5th Salsa

6th Sour Cream

Tip: Since the dramatic layers are what make this dish pretty, I suggest putting the dip in a glass trifle or deep glass bowl.

Cinco de Mayo Decorations Food

Have you tried El Monterey Taquitos before? Which of these varieties are you most excited to try?

To learn more about El Monterey and their other products visit elmonterey.com. You can also check them out on Facebook at facebook.com/ElMonterey and Twitter at @elmonterey.

Sombrero Cinco de Mayo Party

Needless to say between the food, drinks, pinatas, and fun decor my kids and the adults were loving this party. Of course once we finished dinner, my son got the sombrero off the table and claimed it as his own.

I’m thinking that we will probably do this again on Cinco de Mayo, and I can’t wait to eat more dip with the Taquitos.

FFM

Giveaway Details

And, thanks to El MontereyI have been authorized to Giveaway 4 FREE Taquitos and Shell Shockers Product Coupons to two (2) lucky Frugal and Fun Mom readers. This is a $35.96 value. 

To enter, please allow a moment for the Rafflecopter Form to load below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

FFM

Apr 222014
 
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Pretzel Brownie Recipe

I was in the mood to change-up the usual brownies the other day, and since I had marshmallows and pretzels on hand I figured I would try to make a fun topping for the brownies.

The results turned out pretty, and my kids really liked them a lot, so I figured I would share what I did here.

Pretzel Brownie Recipe

To recreate this recipe you will need:

Brownies

Pretzels

Small Marshmallows

Margarine

Pretzel Brownie Recipe

Directions:

In advance I made the brownies,  I just used a box mix. Next, I ground the pretzels in a nut grinder until I had 1 cup of pretzels.

I spread this on top of the brownie.

Pretzel Brownie Recipe

Then, I heated 2 cups of small marshmallows and 2 tbsp of margarine together in the microwave for 30 seconds.

I stirred this until it was completely smooth.

Pretzel Brownie Recipe

I poured this over the top of the pretzels on the brownies and then let it cool.

Pretzel Brownie Recipe

Once the marshmallow cooled and set, I carefully cut through the brownie concoction with a pie server and served them immediately.

I say carefully as to not separate the topping from the brownie.

Pretzel Brownie Recipe

I suggest storing these in an air tight container once cooled, and put any left overs into the fridge. I am not sure how well they would do being left out for long periods. In addition, they are better if you eat them within a day, since by the second day the pretzels started to soften up.

Do you make a similar dessert?  What ingredients do you use?

They must have been good since the kids wanted seconds, and they even asked me to send some to their teachers at school.

FFM

Apr 162014
 
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Red Potato Soup Recipe

It was a little cool out the other day, and it put me in the mood for Potato Soup.  As always, I decided to use what I had on hand, so I put together a dish with Red Potatoes. I even threw in some Green Onion from my garden.

This is a hearty soup that could be served as a side or as a meal. If it is any indication of how good it turned out, my 5-year-old daughter asked for seconds.  I ended up eating it 2 days in a row.

Red Potato Soup Recipe!  An Easy Side or Dinner Idea!

If you would like to recreate this dish, here is the recipe and directions:

Red Potato Soup Recipe

Estimate, Serves 5-6 as a side.  Serves 3-4 as a meal.

5 cups of chopped Red Potatoes (Skin left on)

1/4 Cup of Diced Green Onion

1 /4 Tsp of Garlic Powder

1/2 Tsp of Salt

1/8 Tsp of Pepper

1 Cup of Milk

1 1/2 Cups of Water

Optional: Shredded Sharp Cheddar

Red Potato Soup Recipe!  An Easy Side or Dinner Idea!

Directions:

First chop up the Red Potatoes and put them on to boil for 30 minutes. Dice the Green Onion while waiting.

Red Potato Soup Recipe!  An Easy Side or Dinner Idea!

Then, drain the potatoes and mash.  I just used a hand masher and left it a little chunky.

Red Potato Soup Recipe!  An Easy Side or Dinner Idea!

Next, add the garlic, salt, pepper, milk, water, and Green Onion.

Red Potato Soup Recipe!  An Easy Side or Dinner Idea!

Combine and cook on Medium for 5 to 10 minutes stirring occasionally (watch to avoid burning). Then move to a low setting, continuing to stir occasionally for 20 minutes.

Red Potato Soup Recipe!  An Easy Side or Dinner Idea!

While waiting, shred the sharp cheddar. When the soup is ready, serve plain or top with cheese.

Red Potato Soup Recipe!  An Easy Side or Dinner Idea!

The soup turned out yummy, and is so simple to make.  I love that it has all kinds of great texture. 

Do you make a potato soap as well?  What ingredients do you include?

If you try this out, let me know what you think.

FFM