Frugal Family Tree

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sweet Potato Soup Recipe


Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite vegetables during the fall and winter. I love their sweet flavor, and the fact that they are very healthy for you. I often roast up a batch as a side dish for dinner, and then will eat the leftovers for lunch during the week.

My local indoor farmer's market had them for a great price last weekend, so I ended up buying quite a few pounds of them. And as much as I love them, I can only eat so many roasted sweet potatoes.

Since I'm such a big fan of cooking Butternut Squash Soup, I thought that the sweet potatoes would make a great pot of soup, too.

The soup is quite delicious, and I even managed to get my grandson to have a small bowl. Nothing makes me happier than to see my grandchildren try new foods, especially ones that are good for them.

Since the weather is so cold and snowy in lots of the country still, this is a wonderful soup to make and enjoy for a cozy lunch or dinner.


Recipe for Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onions
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

In a Dutch oven, saute celery and onion in oil until tender. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Discard bay leaf. Using an emersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Or, using a regular blender, process soup in batches until smooth. Return batches to pan and heat through. Use desired toppings.

Makes 4 servings.

Enjoy!!


Patricia

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Apple Cake Recipe From Smitten Kitchen



One of my very favorite food blogs is Smitten Kitchen. Deb Perelman is such an inspiration, and what I love about her recipes is that they are all completely doable, even for beginning cooks.

This recipe for an apple cake is from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Let me just say that I think this is the most delicious thing I have ever baked. This cake is so moist, so full of apple tasting goodness, and it will fill your whole house with the most wonderful scent.

It is now on my list of fall and winter favorite desserts to make. And it's certainly a dessert that would be welcome for a party or celebration of any kind.


Recipe for Smitten Kitchen Apple Cake

Ingredients:

Butter or nonstick spray for the pan
6 apples (2 1/2 - 3 pounds) McIntosh apples
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 cups plus 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Confectioners' sugar, to finish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch tube pan, or coat it with nonstick spray. Peel, core, and chop the apples into 1/2 - 3/4 inch chunks. Toss them with all of the cinnamon and the 5 tablespoons  granulated sugar, and set them aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, orange juice, and remaining 2 cups of granulated sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones, then scrape down the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Stir in the walnuts if you are using them.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Spread half the apple chunks over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples, and arrange the remaining apples on top.
Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean, then transfer to a cake rack to cool.
Cool completely before taking cake out of pan and place onto a serving platter. Dust with Confectioners' sugar and serve.

Serves 12-16
 

 
I made this last February, but it's become such a favorite of family and friends, that I wanted to share it again. Enjoy!! 


Patricia

Easy Meal Time with Chef Boyardee Rollback Prices at Walmart

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




With winter almost behind us, I am looking for easy, scrumptious meals for my family. Less time in the kitchen means more time for other fun activities. Now through March 16, 2015, each 14.5-15 oz can of Chef Boyardee is on rollback at Walmart for only $0.75. Chef Boyardee raviolis, mac & cheese, and spaghetti and meatballs are just some of the varieties you can enjoy at a low price. Be sure to head to Walmart and stock up on this great deal while supplies last!


See the entire list of great Chef Boyardee 14.5 - 15 oz cans on rollback price:

While shopping at Walmart, be sure to look for the Rollback signs for Chef Boyardee in the Canned Food aisle!


Laura

Friday, February 20, 2015

Saying Happy Birthday With A Gift From T-Mobile Simply Prepaid™

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


Birthdays have always been very special occasions in our family. When my kids were growing up, planning their parties, baking cakes, and buying them presents are some of the happiest memories I have. And just because all five of them are all grownup doesn't mean I have to stop making a big deal about the day they were born.

My youngest daughter Megan is almost at the end of her 2-year contract with a big name cellphone service provider. She hasn't been very happy with them, especially when her bills are unexpectedly high and she has to try and talk to a representative with the company to get some answers. So for her birthday, I decided to get her the T-Mobile Simply Prepaid™ plan and Samsung Galaxy Avant cellphone.


Megan and I had talked about her switching to a prepaid plan, so I knew this was something she wanted to do. Like lots of young people her age, she just went with a big name carrier when it was time to start paying for her own cellphone service, and not knowing there are better choices.

Introducing Simply Prepaid™ from T-Mobile lets you get unlimited talk, text, and data with your choice of a high speed data amount starting at $40/month. And there are no overtures, credit checks, or annual service contracts required.

This makes this plan a great choice for young people just starting out or on a budget. And I love that T-Mobile offers the best in wireless, now in prepaid.

Living in the city and paying high rent, I know that having a low-cost phone plan will help Megan balance her budget much easier each month. She's actually very good with money, but opening her phone bill every month was a stress that I'm very happy she won't have to deal with anymore.


I went shopping at Walmart to find my daughter's birthday present. I knew I wanted to pick out the perfect phone and plan for her, and I couldn't wait to give it to her. We are big on presents in our family, though I don't usually give cellphones, but I knew how much she would appreciate this gift.


With Simply Prepaid™ you get 4G LTE data on T-Mobile. And how cool is the Samsung Galaxy Avant phone? I know it will be great for Megan's super busy life and let her stay connected to family and friends with ease.


Look for T-Mobile Simply Prepaid™ at your local Walmart. You can find it in the No-Contracts Phone aisle.

Don't settle for second-rate prepaid wireless. On T-Mobile's Nationwide 4G LTE Network, there's no reason you have to.


I'm off to meet the birthday girl and give her this great new phone. I know she'll love it. I know I'll love that she loves it. And with this fabulous new phone, there is no reason at all why she can't call her mother.








Patricia

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes Recipe


A Bundt cake is one of my absolute favorite cakes to make, and so I couldn't resist the mini Bundt pans I found while at the thrift store the other day.

Specialty cake pans can be expensive, and most of us don't really use them very much so it can be hard to justify spending the money. But for a couple of dollars, these were well worth it.

Chocolate was my first choice (it usually is!!) for the kind of minis I would make. This recipe has a delicious, rich flavor that I really like. And feel free to drizzle on as much glaze as you like, the more the better I think.

One thing I did notice is that a couple of the cakes did get stuck in the pan, so be sure to use plenty of baking spray so that they come out easily. These mini cakes can be made in so many different ways, and for so many different occasions. I'm going to try a vanilla pound cake recipe next.


Recipe for Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk

For the glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons milk
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat 2 mini Bundt pans (or repeat twice for one pan) with nonstick spray, place on a cookie sheet and set aside. With a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the remaining cake ingredients one at a time, making sure to mix thoroughly in between each addition. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides as needed until thoroughly incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the Bundt pans and bake for 16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the molds.

To make the glaze, place powdered sugar. milk and vanilla extract in a bowl and whisk together until completely smooth. Add another tablespoon or 2 of milk if needed. Spoon glaze over cooled cakes.

Makes 12 mini cakes.

Enjoy!!

Patricia

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pink Velvet Cupcakes Recipe


Have you ever tried Pink Velvet Cupcakes? Red Velvet flavor is pretty popular and I do love it, but pink velvet is made with buttermilk, and tastes so good!!

I made these cupcakes for an early Valentine's Day party, and they were a big hit. But Pink Velvet isn't just for that holiday, it can be used for little girl's parties, baby showers, and any spring celebration. I just think that they are so cute, and you can change the cupcake liners and sprinkles to fit the occasion.

These cupcakes are topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting, and it's one of my favorite frosting recipes. I don't like to spend a lot of time on frosting, but it really does taste so much better when it's homemade.


Recipe for Pink Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened
1-1/4 cups sugar
2-3 drops red food coloring
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk

For frosting:

 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) at room temperature
1 8oz. package of cream cheese at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and food coloring until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 23-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. 

 With an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl to ensure even mixing.
Beat in the vanilla extract just until mixed. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until desired thickness. Frost cupcakes with a spatula, and decorate with sprinkles.


Makes 2 dozen cupcakes.

Enjoy!

Patricia

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Enjoy A Chocolate Raspberry Shake Made With New Müller® Ice Cream Inspired Yogurt

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


Every year after the holidays are over I think that life will slow down. But that didn't happen in January, and February is turning out to be just as busy. And though at the age of 57, I am in good health, I'm finding I need to take more occasional 'me moments' to feel my best.

Sometimes those moments include a good book, a quick yoga session, or listening to music. Or they can include a yummy snack, like ice cream. But I don't need all those calories from ice cream, so I'm very happy that I recently found a new yogurt at Walmart that is a great alternative.

Müller® Ice Cream Inspired Yogurt is a great snack or breakfast option. Or you can use it to make simple and delicious recipes like my Chocolate Raspberry Shake. With just a few ingredients, this shake has become my favorite way to indulge in a delicious but better for me treat.


Müller® Ice Cream Inspired Yogurt comes in different flavors, including my favorite Raspberry Chocolate Chip, Vanilla Bean, and Mint Chocolate Chip.

I love that not only does this new yogurt taste great, but it's a good source of protein and it has less
 sugar than other yogurts and only 190-210 calories.


I eat lots of fruits, and raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries are always in our refrigerator. They are great on their own, but I really like making shakes and smoothies with them.

So when I saw this Raspberry Chocolate Chip flavor, I knew it would make a super good shake.

All you need is some fresh raspberries, or frozen if you don't have fresh, milk, ice, a handful of chocolate chips, and a container of this yummy flavor.


It's so easy to just toss everything in the blender to make this. I've had this shake for breakfast the last few days, and it really makes me feel so much better than some of my other breakfast choices.

I enjoy taking some quiet time in the morning to have my Chocolate Raspberry Shake before the day begins. I'm finding that this time that is all mine, can set the tone for a day that is much calmer and happier.


Last weekend I attended a demo for Müller® Ice Cream Inspired Yogurt at Walmart. Do you love demos like I do? I love tasting new products and I've found some of my favorites by sampling them first at a demo.

 Love Muller? Visit http://www.mullerquaker.com/ to sign up on for their mailing list and receive the latest news and offers. As a thank you, you'll also get a coupon to use toward your next purchase!


You can find this great tasting new ice cream inspired yogurt at a Walmart near you. Just look for it in the yogurt aisle. And  check out other Müller yogurt varieties now available on Rollback at Walmart for $.88 until March.



Recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Shake

Ingredients:

1 container of  Raspberry Chocolate Chip Müller® Ice Cream Inspired Yogurt
1 cup of 2% milk
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
8 ice cubes
handful of mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Place all the ingredients into a blender, and blend until desired consistency.
Makes 2 shakes.


So do you have a favorite way to enjoy your own special 'me moment'? Please leave me a comment, I'd really enjoy reading about yours.


Patricia

Monday, February 9, 2015

My Favorite Salmon Cake Recipe


Living in the Seattle area makes you well aware of the abundance of the delicious fresh fish we have available to us. There's nothing more tasty than a fresh salmon filet prepared with your favorite recipe.

But that fabulous piece of fish comes with a hefty price tag. So I don't use it for salmon cakes because they can be made with canned salmon, and still be great.

There are lots of variations on a salmon cake recipe, and I have tried quite a few during the years. But this is my favorite. I like the combination of the onion and yellow bell pepper together. And I add a teaspoon of Tabasco sauce for an added kick.

These can be put on buns to make sandwiches, but I like them best with a tasty coleslaw and some salty French fries.



Recipe for My Favorite Salmon Cakes

Ingredients:

1 (14.75) can salmon drained and flaked
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs, plus more for outside of cakes
1 egg
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

Pick through the salmon and remove any bones. In a medium bowl, add salmon, breadcrumbs, egg, mayonnaise, onions, bell pepper, Tabasco sauce, salt, and pepper.
Mix together well, and shape into 4 equal sized patties. On a piece of foil, sprinkle extra breadcrumbs and press patties lightly into breadcrumbs on each side.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Fry each patty 4-5 on each side until they are slightly crispy and golden brown.

Serves 4.

Patricia

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Lemon Pound Cake


Do you have a favorite cake recipe that never fails you? That you can make for almost any occasion, whether it's a friends' birthday, office party or picnic?

For me, it's this delicious Lemon Pound Cake. I'm a real lemon lover, so this really satisfies my desire for that tangy, tart flavor. I'll sometimes make it for dessert for a family gathering, and have some left over for a piece the next day with a cup of tea.

I like recipes for Bundt cakes. Bundt cakes always look homemade and somehow comforting to me. I remember my Mom making the Tunnel Of Fudge cake with a mix that was so popular years ago. But I always think it's worth the extra time to make a cake from scratch, and makes all the difference in taste.




 

 
Recipe for Lemon Pound Cake
 
Ingredients:
 
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) at room temperature, plus more for the pan
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more for the pan
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
8 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
2 cups confectioners' sugar
 
Directions:
 
  1. Heat oven to 325° F. Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice, then the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add half the flour mixture, then the yogurt, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until combined (do not overmix).
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 60 to 65 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and the remaining tablespoons of lemon juice until smooth. Pour glaze over cake.
Serves 12
   

Patricia

Friday, January 30, 2015

Starting Mornings My Way With McCafé Coffee

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and it's advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #McCafeMyWay #CollectiveBias


One of the things I've come to learn about myself as I've gotten older is that I need my morning routine. I need to have quiet time for thinking, planning my day, and my yoga practice. But before I do any of these things, I need a great cup of McCafé coffee.

I'm a true coffee lover, and that first cup of morning coffee is really important to me. I recently discovered McCafé coffee pods that I can use with my Keurig machine to brew up a delicious cup of coffee in no time at all.

Since I live with my daughter and her family, which includes three of my grandchildren, I like enjoying my coffee before everyone else wakes up. I adore my grandchildren, but it's so nice to have some me time before everyone's busy day begins.


The Premium Roast coffee pods are my favorite for my first cup in the morning. They have a wonderful aroma, and taste. I also love the French Roast, too.

McCafé coffee is made with 100% Arabica Beans, and harvested from the rich soils and mountainous regions of the foremost coffee growing areas of the world. And as much as I like using the coffee pods for time saving convenience, it's also available in premium coffee bags as well.


Using my Keurig lets me have my cup of coffee quickly and easily. I love just popping the coffee pod into the machine, with no measuring, no coffee filters, and no mess. After my cup is brewed, I add a little creamer, and I'm good to go!


I want 2015 to be the year of change for myself. I would love to earn more money, seek out new opportunities, and find a charming little apartment in the city.

With my cup of coffee and my calendar notebook, and before I open my computer, I use that time to think and plan. And as much as I do love my computer, there is just something special about writing things down by hand.

When I was a busy mom raising my five children, there was no morning time for me. I know that is so true for many moms today. My daughter enjoys getting up before her kids wake up, and having that first cup of coffee in quiet. It's so worth losing a little extra time sleeping in, and can make all the difference in a mom's day.


My morning routine includes a thirty minute session of yoga a few mornings a week. Nothing terribly strenuous like this book cover, but enough to help me stay healthy and fit. I enjoy yoga very much, and I'm excited to start going back to a local yoga studio in addition to my home practice.

After yoga, it's time for a light breakfast and another cup of McCafé coffee. Using the coffee pods lets me have a freshly brewed cup of coffee each cup. For me, drinking coffee that has been sitting in a pot for an hour or two, is not my idea of a good cup of coffee.


I first tried McCafé coffee at a coffee demo at Walmart. I got hooked right away. I'm actually quite picky about the coffee I buy and drink, so this had to taste great to win me over.

I was a little early for the demo, but I'm so glad I stayed to try the McCafé. Walmart has lots of demos, and I've actually found a lot of my favorite products by sampling them this way.


You can find McCafé coffee pods and bagged coffee in the coffee aisle at Walmart. Look for several different varieties of each product.

McCafé coffee is part of the Kraft brand that includes many of our favorite and well-known brands available at Walmart.
If you need more inspiration, check out the Cooking Up Good website. It has recipes, sweepstakes, loyalty programs, coupons and more! What's not to love? If you're looking for a new dinner idea or a chance to win some awesome prizes, be sure to check it out!


How about you? Are you someone who would love a less rushed morning? Do you have a morning routine that helps you get a good start? And how important is a great tasting, convenient cup of coffee to you?

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please leave me a comment below. And thanks!!


Patricia