Frugal Family Tree

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Raspberry Crumble Bars Recipe

There are lots of recipes out there for crumble bars, and these yummy jam filled treats are ones that I really love making for family and friends.

There is something about them that reminds me of being a kid. Maybe it's because I ate a whole lot of jam sandwiches growing up that my mom made for me, and that's where the association comes from. Food can bring up so many memories of the past for us. And fortunately for me, I grew up in a house where my mother was a good cook and we never went without full bellies and treats after dinner.

Sometimes you take things for granted and don't realize until years or decades later just how lucky you were.

Now as a grandmother, cooking and baking for my family is something I truly enjoy doing, and I hope they remember all of it with the love and affection that is put into whatever I make for them.

Anyhow, this is Ina Garten's recipe from her cookbook, Foolproof. Everyone who knows me knows I adore Ina, she has been a real inspiration for me for years now.

Recipe for Barefoot Contessa Raspberry Crumble Bars


1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
10 to 12 ounces raspberry jam
2/3 cup granola without dried fruit
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling if desired


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed just until combined. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla.
Sift the flour and salt together and, with the mixer on low, slowly add to the butter mixture, mixing until it almost comes together in a ball. Turn the dough out on a board. Lightly pat two-thirds of the dough evenly on the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan and about 1/4 inch up the sides.
Spread with the jam, leaving a 1/4-inch boarder. Mix the granola into the remaining dough with your hands. Break the dough into small bits and distribute it onto the top of the jam, covering most of the surface. Sprinkle the almonds on top. Bake the bars for 45 minutes, until lightly browned.
Cool completely and cup into 9 or 12 bars. Sprinkle lightly with confectioners' sugar if desired.

The recipe is actually quite easy to make and other kinds of jam would work well here too. I love the crust on these bars, it's soft and a little chewy.

Be sure to let them completely cool before slicing them so that they don't fall apart. I cut into them too early and had this problem, and had to let them sit longer so they would be firmer.

If you're looking for a treat to take on a picnic or the beach, these are a great choice, and they travel well. And they are just so yummy!!



Friday, June 17, 2016

Usborne Passport to Adventure Summer Reading Club for Local Sacramento & Roseville Moms

My whole family has a love for books and reading. My son and I love to spend time reading books and making up stories of our own. With school out for summer vacation it is always nice to find creative ways to encourage summer reading. I was talking to a local Mom about summer reading and found out she is working with a few local Sacramento Charities and Usborne Books to promote not only summer reading but kids helping out other kids in need. I am not affiliated with Usborne Books but thought I would love to share what another local Mom is doing in our community.

It started June 6th but anyone who joins now can do it for a 10 day period up until June 29th and read for a minimum 200 minutes.

Here is some info on her Reading Club:

Join the Usborne Summer Reading Club!

During the summer it’s easy to let literacy and education fall to the side. Almost, all kids fall behind on their reading skills every summer, which can put them farther behind when the new school year starts.

The Passport to Adventure Summer Reading Club is designed to not only give the child rewards for their reading, but provides them an opportunity to give back to their community. It is open to children of all ages, including non-readers who are being read to.

This free program is being run by Waiyee Poon Jones and Ranin Zubi, Educational Consultants with Usborne Books & More. Local to Folsom and Sacramento we are working with charitable organizations in our area to provide books to children in need.

Readers will gather pledges for their reading. One part of the pledge goes back to the child in the form of books (of their choosing) and the other part will be donated to the selected charities. Once they sign up we provide the printables including pledge tracker and reading log.

People can ask for pledges how they like but we try to keep it simple with just a total pledge for completing the minimum (which is 300 mins over the 3 week period). The kids get 50% of the pledges and the other 50% is donated books.

The charities we are working with are 1) The Mustard Seed School 2) The Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento and 3) Love, Talk, Read 4) A charity of their choice which we can contact on their behalf.

Sign Up ASAP on this form below to get involved in this great reading event. 

Want to know more? Email us at and we will tell you


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding Recipe

I think there are two kinds of people in this world, those that love bread pudding and those that don't. I'm a bread pudding lover through and through, but most of my kids and grandkids don't care for it at all, which makes me sad that they don't love this homey and comforting dessert that is a favorite of mine.

But I guess that means that there's just more for me, ha-ha. This recipe for Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding is just beyond yummy. It's moist and rich, and tastes great warm or chilled.

Can you see that I made it extra fabulous and added a small scoop of chocolate ice cream? Of course it didn't need the ice cream, but I don't think you can ever have too much chocolate anything. It's a theory I'm sticking by!

You can also make this bread pudding in a 9x5 inch loaf pan if you want. I happen to like using my ramekins for individual desserts that I think are sort of special. And don't forget that good old whipped cream makes a super yummy topping for any kind of bread pudding you make.

Recipe for Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding


4 eggs
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups cubed stale white bread
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray six 3-inch ramekins with baking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, mix eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in bread and chocolate chips, let stand for 10 minutes for bread to absorb liquid.
Fill ramekins 2/3 full, and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until custard is set.
Serve warm from the oven or chilled. Top with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Father's Day & Kid's Day at Wizard World Comic Con Sacramento 4 Pack of Tickets Giveaway #‎WizardWorldSacto‬

What could be more fun for a Dad that loves his kids and Wizard World Comic Con in Sacramento than winning a 4 pack of tickets?!?! Sunday June 19th is Father's Day and Kid's Day with a kid's costume contest at Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con at the Sacramento Convention Center. You can win tickets right here at Frugal Family Tree!!

WWE the Big Show will be attending the event on Saturday and Hall of Fame Baseball player Reggie Jackson will also be there. Super Man Dean Cain, William Shatner, Agent Carter Haley Atwell, Winter Solider Sebastian Stan and Billy Boyd from Lord of the Rings are a few of the stars on the schedule for Sacramento. There will also be gaming tournaments for Tekken 7 and Street Fighter V. You can register for  tournaments taking place at ‪#‎WizardWorldSacto‬ June 17-19. Free to enter with a chance to win CASH PRIZES. For more information and to register visit‪m


June 17–18–19, 2016
LOCATIONSacramento Convention Center 1400 J St.Sacramento , CA 95814

SHOW HOURSFriday, June 17, 2016 – 3pm - 8pm
Saturday, June 18, 2016 – 10am - 7pm
Sunday, June 19, 2016 – 10am - 4pm

You can buy tickets here for any of the 3 days and there is even a 3 day pass option. Photo Ops can be purchased online as well.

My readers can use discount code WIZBLOG16 for 25% off all general admission!!


WIN a 4-pack of Tickets to the Sunday June 19, 2016 Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con 

Rafflecopter giveaway

 *Limited to US residents 18 years old and above. Giveaway starts June 10, 2016 and ends on June 14, 2016 at 12 pm PST. Winner will be emailed. I was not paid for this giveaway or post. The opinions on this item are 100% mine and may vary from others. The sponsor is responsible for providing the prize.
**Winner has until June 15th at 2pm PST to email back to claim tickets.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Pork Tenderloin Dinner With Honey Orange Broccoli Salad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Great4Grilling #CollectiveBias

One of the things I love about warmer weather is grilling outside on our charcoal grill. This week the weather has been unusually hot for Seattle, so we decided to have dinner out on the deck one evening.

With all of the end of the year parties and events for the kids, and our busy schedules, we need to get dinner put together pretty quickly. But we still wanted to enjoy a great barbeque, so luckily I knew just what we should put on the grill.

When I was grocery shopping at Walmart I had picked up a couple of Smithfield® Pork Tenderloin. They are already marinated, and the Peppercorn & Garlic flavor sounded delicious. We marinade a lot of our grilled meats, but it can take hours, so this was really a big time saver for us.

Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork is 100% pork. It's available in different flavors in Tenderloins, Loin Filets, Roast, and Ribs.

Pork is one of my favorite meats, especially for grilling. It's much more tender than beef I think, and chicken can dry out while it's cooking.

How delicious does this look? My son-in-law grilled the tenderloins pretty perfectly, and they were so amazingly good!

I had bought two, thinking one would make great sandwiches for dinner the next day. But everyone had seconds, thirds even, that's how tender and good they were. And I really love it when I find something the whole family enjoys eating.

You don't have to sacrifice having a great meal just because you need to have a quick dinner. With the great pork choices from Smithfield®, it's an easy solution for any night of the week.

When you're barbequing, it's not just about what's on the grill. The side dishes are definitely important too.

So I want to share this very easy and very tasty recipe for Honey Orange Broccoli Salad. The combination of orange juice, honey, and olive oil makes it tangy and sweet.

I just picked up a bag of chopped salad and a small head of broccoli. Chop up the broccoli and add it to the salad.

Raisins, sliced almonds, and noodle crackers go on top. But you can add or substitute ingredients. It's also great with almonds.

I really like honey, so I buy different flavors. But just regular honey is delicious in this recipe. Grate in some orange peel with a zester.

After you've made the dressing and poured it on, give everything a big stir to make sure it's all combined.

Recipe for Honey Orange Broccoli Salad


1 12 ounce package of chopped salad
1 cup chopped broccoli
4 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
grated orange peel
1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
1/3 cups raisins
1/3 cup sliced almonds
handful of noodle crackers, if available


In  large bowl, combine salad and broccoli. In a small bowl, combine honey, olive oil, orange juice, grated orange peel, and salt and pepper. Whisk together.
Pour over salad. Add toppings and mix together well.

Makes 6 servings.

My family and I enjoyed this Smithfield® Pork Tenderloin so much that I can't wait to try the other flavors. I'm sure it will be requested many times during the summer, and my grandson has already said he wants it for his birthday dinner when we celebrate it in July.

You can find Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork in the meat aisle at your local Walmart.

 Be sure and look for the Pork Tenderloins and grill up your own delicious and easy dinner.

And check out this video below for a great recipe from Smithfield® that you'll want to try. Looks so good!



Tuesday, June 7, 2016

My Homemade Bread Recipe and How Advil Lets Me Enjoy The Simple Things

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WhatInconvenience #CollectiveBias

Baking bread has become one of my very favorite things to do in the kitchen the last couple of years. When all my kids were growing up, I never had the time to bake bread and sometimes it got so busy in our house that it seemed like a circus just to get dinner on the table.

But now I have the time, and it's become something that is calming and centering to me. And of course I love the taste of freshly baked bread. There's really nothing like it.

Though I'm a busy lady with work and family, on weekend mornings I love having a cup of tea and slice of toast with my favorite jam. My kids and grandkids love this bread too, and so I'll often make two loaves and give one away. It makes me very happy to share my bread with others, and that they really appreciate it.

As much as I enjoy making bread, the kneading it requires can really make my hands hurt. I have to deal with the pain of arthritis, but I try not to let it interfere with doing the things I love.

I consider myself very lucky to be fairly healthy at the age of almost 59, and I try to take care of myself so that I can live an active life with my family, which includes my four grandchildren.

Did you know that arthritis effects nearly 53 million Americans? It can really have an impact on the quality of life for many people. Though my arthritis and joint pain isn't nearly as severe as some other people's, it can make some things I do much more challenging.

If you've ever struggled to open a bottle of pain medication like I have, then you can understand how glad I was to find Advil with the new EZ Open cap. I can open it quickly and easily, and not get frustrated the way I feel with some other bottles.

Before I start making bread, I take Advil for the relief of my joint pain. It really makes a big difference for me in the way my hands feel, and lets me enjoy the bread making process so much more. The kneading of the dough is key to how your bread turns out, and Advil helps me be pain-free.

I wanted to share my favorite recipe for white bread. It's delicious, and I've found that the bread you make at home is so much better than anything you can buy at the store. And like anything, the more you bake bread, the better you become at it.

Recipe for Crusty White Bread


1 egg
1 egg yolk
2/3 - 1 cup warm water
3 1/2 cups white bread flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons butter, diced
vegetable oil, for greasing pan


Place the egg and egg yolk in a 2-cup measuring cup and beat lightly. Add enough water to make 1 1/4 cups. Stir well.

Put the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Make a well in the center, add the egg mixture, and stir with a heavy spoon to a smooth dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead well for 10 minutes until smooth.

Brush another large bowl with oil. Shape the dough into a ball, place it in the bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or is doubled in volume.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Oil a loaf pan. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for one minute, until smooth. Shape the dough into a loaf size and place it in the greased pan.

Cover and let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes, until the dough has risen above the pan.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until firm and golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Makes 1 loaf.

It's so delicious right out of the oven, or great for toast or sandwiches. It also makes fabulous French toast when you make it with flavored coffee creamer.

The EZ Open Cap is great for people who struggle with arthritis. Based on a survey of monthly doctor recommendations, nothing's proven stronger than Advil for arthritis and other joint pain.*  *For minor arthritis pain.  Among OTC pain relievers.

I've been using Advil for years for relief of headaches, backache, and other kinds of joint pain. It lets me keep up with what I want to do in life, and helps me to be pain-free to enjoy it all.

You can find Advil EZ Open bottles at your local Walmart in the pharmacy section.

If you suffer from arthritis or joint pain, go ahead and check out the Better Living Tool Kits from the Arthritis Foundation.

I don't intend to let arthritis keep me from enjoying life and being an active and vital woman. And neither should you.


Friday, June 3, 2016

Banana Coffee Cake Recipe

Coffee cake will always remind me of my mother, and being a kid who grew up in the 60's. It seemed to me that all of the other moms I knew had a favorite coffee cake recipe too, and it always seemed to be available as a snack.

My mom would make one every Friday afternoon so that we could enjoy it over the weekend. I remember waking up and going into the kitchen on Saturday mornings and there would be my father at the kitchen table, reading the newspaper, a cup of coffee and a slice of my mother's coffee cake in front of him.

There are hundreds of recipes for different kinds of coffee cakes, using many different ingredients. I wish I had some of my mother's recipes, but I don't.

This recipe for Banana Coffee Cake is really delicious, moist and tender cake with walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon inside the cake and on top.

I baked this in a tube pan but you can easily use a Bundt cake pan and that works great too. Make sure your bananas are very ripe to bring out the banana flavor in the cake.

Enjoy it in the morning with a cup of coffee or tea, or for dessert with whipped cream on top, like my grandchildren ate it.

Recipe for Banana Coffee Cake


1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
powdered sugar, for dusting cake


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup tube or Bundt pan with baking spray.
In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat thoroughly to combine. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract, and bananas, and beat until just smooth.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat well until fluffy and thick.
Combine the walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the nut mixture. Spoon the remaining batter over the nut mixture and then sprinkle the top with the remaining nut mixture.
Bake in the oven for 50-55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Let the cake rest 10 minutes before removing it from the pan, let cool on a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Makes approximately 8 servings.


Monday, May 30, 2016

Hard Rock Cafe San Francisco 2016 World Burger Tour Review #worldburgertour

*The information, gift card, gift pack and giveaway have been provided to me by Hard Rock International.

This year for Mother's Day we decided to drive to San Francisco to celebrate. I LOVE the city, the food, the people, the houses and the ocean. Each time we go to San Francisco we stop at Pier 39 to eat and shop. This time we decided to eat at Hard Rock Cafe San Francisco. The first thing my son loved was the giant guitar that stands outside the entrance of the restaurant, we had to take a classic tourist picture of course. The gift shop is the first thing you walk into as you go into the restaurant, they have so many great items and even a Bob Marley life like figure.

Once you are in the restaurant the place has so much to see. The priceless items that decorate the walls are amazing! The wait staff encourages everyone to walk around and look at the memorabilia and other patrons are very nice if you want a pic of something cool near their seating area. There was even a guy going around making animal balloons, of course we had to have him make my son one.

The menu has so many great burgers on it! I had a hard time deciding which one to select. My mother in law went with the Legendary Burger and I had the World Burger Tour Seattle Java Lava Burger to celebrate my own Mother who lives in Seattle area. The Java Lava is amazing! It has a very unique flavor from the espresso rub that I loved. It was a juicy burger with crispy onions, bacon and even a fried jalapeno.

The wait staff was amazing too! We were seated by the kitchen which for me is a treat. I like hearing the kitchen bustling, seeing and smelling all the great food passing by us as we wait for our own. Our server Matt was super kind, he fixed an issue we had right away, checked on us often, made recommendations and even giggled with us as my son ordered two things off the menu. My son could not decide on a meal so I let him get both, he picked a bit from each and we took the rest to go.

We had a wonderful experience of good food, great location and amazing staff. We stopped in the gift shop to get my son a Hard Rock Guitar plate like the one his meal was served on. He loves that plate and has me serve his lunch on it daily. I bought myself a Hard Rock coffee mug with pictures of San Francisco on it so I can be reminded of the great Mother's Day I had there.

With full bellies and smiles on our faces we left Pier 39 and headed to the beach to make sand castles and jump in the waves. I highly recommend eating at the Hard Rock Cafe in San Francisco, its good food and a fun environment. I told a couple I met at my work who was visiting from Australia to check out the Hard Rock Cafe since they had plans to go to San Francisco the next day. Hopefully they will grab a World Tour Burger too!

The limited-time World Burger Tour menu is available Sunday, May 1 through Thursday, June 30, 2016. Hurry to a Hard Rock Cafe near you to try these legendary burgers! I made a reservation using the Open Table App, it was super easy and I recommend reservations in the upcoming summer months since it is a busy time for Pier 39.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Strawberry Clafoutis Recipe

This recipe for making a Clafoutis is becoming one of my favorites. It's sort of like a flan and a tart, and it's French, so how can you go wrong?
I know when I have read about making this dessert, it seemed like something I would never attempt. My first and only try at making flan was somewhat of a disaster, so a Clafoutis would have the same fate I thought.

But I was wrong, and it turned out delicious. So here I am again, using strawberries to make this one, and it's amazing.
A Clafoutis is very simple to make, and you can use different fruits in it for different tastes. It's creamy and smooth, and just fancy enough to impress your guests.
After it bakes in the oven, let it cool for a bit, then sprinkle it with powdered sugar. And you could even top it with a tiny bit of whipped cream if you like.

Recipe for Strawberry Clafoutis


 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup half-and-half
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


 Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Brush a 9-inch ceramic pie plate or casserole dish with the melted butter.
In a large bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, egg yolk, sugar and almond extract. Add the flour and whisk just until smooth, being careful not to overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and scatter the raspberries evenly over the top.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the Clafoutis is just set and the surface is golden brown. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve warm. 

Serves 6.

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