Sunday, October 13, 2013

Happy Birthday Harper Ellyson!

This special, precious, beautiful girl made me a mommy 7 years ago!  I can't imagine my life without her and even though she's only 7, we have been through so much together that she's also my best little friend!  I love you to the moon and back my little mini-me!!
My little dark eyed, black haired baby turned into my blue eyed, (thickest ever) curly blonde hair big girl...

How did this happen so fast?

Happy Birthday Harper!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Saving Money in the Kitchen

I'm always looking for easy ways to save some money and there's a few of my new favorite ways that I want to share with you...

I don't know about you but with five kids (mine plus two I babysit) we go through a lot of granola bars!  And those things aren't cheap, even when you buy the generic brand.  So I hoped on Pinterest and found a recipe that I'm in love with.  It's pretty easy and really yummy!  Click here for recipe.
Here's all the ingredients
I used a rolling pin to flatten the mixture out and make it even in the pan.
May not be the prettiest granola bars ever but they are delicious!  I used a pizza cutter to cut out the granola bars...I found that to be easier than using a knife.

My bars were falling apart somewhat so I store them in a container in the fridge...solved that problem!

You know those little "Energy Bars/Cookies" you can purchase at the grocery store for $4.99 for a tiny container?  Love them but not paying those kind of prices when we would go through one container in a day!  So when my aunt made some delicious Energy Cookies, I told her I had to have her recipe. The recipe makes 2 1/2 dozen and they are "cookies" I don't mind feeding my children.  
 Here's the recipe: 

-Microwave 1/2 cup of butter at HIGH for 30-40 seconds or until butter is partially melted

-Whisk together partially melted butter, 1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp of honey, 1 tsp vanilla extract

-In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour, 1 tsp baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt

-Stir in 1 1/2 cups uncooked regular oats, 1/2 cup milk chocolate morsels, 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate morsels, 1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar, 1/4 cup roasted/salted pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries 

-Add flour mixture to butter mixture, stirring just until combined (Do not overmix)

-Shape dough into 2 inch balls and place 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets

-Bake 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned at 350 degrees's a staple in our pantry.  But there's a cheaper way to have the convenience of those packets that cook in a minute in the microwave. All you need is a big container of quick cook oats, brown sugar, and snack baggies.  Put a 1/4 cup of the oats in each baggie then add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to each.  I made 40 "packets" of oatmeal for less than $4.  You can also add dried fruit, cinnamon or other things to the baggies if you want a variety.  Here's where I got this idea.  

If you have read my blog before you might know how much I L.O.V.E. this blog!  Not long ago she had such a simple but amazing tip for making your own pumpkin flavored coffee (it's fall and I'm all about pumpkin flavored everything!).  So simple, I had one of those, "Why didn't I think of that!?" moments.  All you do is sprinkle some pumpkin pie spice right on top of your coffee grounds and hit the brew button.  You can decide how strong you want the pumpkin flavor to be...Happy Fall Yall!

Anyone have any favorite ways to save money in the kitchen?