Frugal Family Tree

Friday, August 28, 2015

Day of Fishing with Smucker's Snackation #Smuckers #sponsored

*This is a sponsored post from Smucker's and the #Snackation campaign. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. 

Summer is coming to end and we celebrated by taking a trip to our local lake and taking a Snackation. We were teaching our son about fishing and making our own power bait by mixing a few items and he asked the curious question, "Is there power bait for kids?" So I made my own version of power bait for kids, Flax Power Balls with flax cereal, seeds, nuts, dried fruit and Smucker's jam. You can read the recipe here.

The day we went fishing it was 100 degrees outside so we did a little swimming as well as fishing. Making sure we stay hydrated I also wanted to keep our energy levels high with our Flax Power Balls. They were perfect for one handed snacking.

We were not catching any fish in the lake. We agreed maybe that it was the fact that there was only a small percentage of water than normal due to the terrible drought in CA so we changed up our bait a bit to see what would happen. My son put some of his Flax Power Ball onto the hook and cast as far as he could.

We did get a few nibbles but not enough to catch any fish. We did however capture the attention of a flock of geese. Oh my can geese be aggressive with food, especially something as tasty as a sweet flax power ball. They surrounded us and quacked at us very loudly! My son was giggling so much and I shared with him one of my stories I tell all the time, the time I was bitten by a goose as I ran from it cookie in hand when I was little. My son noticed that one of the geese had a hurt foot and hopped on one leg, he wanted to share some of his snack with another creature that was needing a Snackation. It is moments like this that are priceless and we will talk  about over and over.

It was a long hike back to the car being tired and hot but we were energized from our snacks. We finished them all and I plan to head back to Walmart to get ingredients for my next Smucker's creation for our next adventure.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

It's almost back to school time here in the Seattle area for my grandchildren. It's been a really good summer for them, their mom has kept them busy with fun activities that they have loved, but it's time to get ready for the school year ahead.

For some reason, peanut butter cookies always make me think of elementary school. It must be because my own mother packed them in my lunch on occasion, and I can still recall how wonderful they smelled, and how delicious they tasted. Good memories for sure.

This recipe for Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies is from Martha Stewart, and it's very quick and easy. They always turn out just crispy enough, but just soft enough to melt in your mouth. Pair them with a glass of milk, and they are pretty near perfect.

I know I'll be making a lot of  these cookies to tuck in lunch bags, and have on hand for afterschool snacks for my grandchildren. And if you have any leftover, they keep well in an air tight container for up to a week.

Recipe for Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat peanut butter, sugar, and butter until smooth. Beat in egg. Gradually add flour mixture, beating to combine.
  3. Pinch off dough by the tablespoon; roll into balls. Place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Using a fork, press balls in a crisscross pattern, flattening to a 1/2-inch thickness.
  4. Bake cookies, rotating halfway through, until lightly golden, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
Makes 2 dozen cookies.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Smucker's Snackation: Getting ready for our Fishing Trip #Smuckers #Sponsored

*This is a sponsored post from Smucker's and the #Snackation campaign. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

My son loves to be outside. Anytime we have a chance to go to the lake or river in our area we take it. We are lucky to live in a part of California that has Folsom Lake and the American River very close by. This summer we decided we would take a day to go fishing and show our son how to bait a hook.

We have been prepping a bait mixture we make to go fishing that we call power balls. Its a mix of worms, power bait and a secret ingredient to catch fish. My son asked about his snacks for the lake and if there was a human Power Ball he could have. This made me giggle but he did have a point. He wanted a one hand grab and eat treat that he could enjoy while on the lake waiting for a fish to bite.

We headed to Walmart, our go to spot for good prices on ingredients we need for baking and snacks. I wanted to make something that had fruit, nuts and grains in it for his Power Ball snacks. I enjoy baking with Smucker's Jams and had seen a similar recipe for granola bars on their website that I wanted to try to create my own spin on. I decided to make two separate flavors with their own jams and nuts in them for a delicious flavor using one of my favorite flax cereals as a base instead of granola.

My recipe is an easy one and turns out so delicious. You can add the dried fruits, nuts and seeds that you like to create your own version. I made two batches of the Flax Power Balls. One has Smucker's Apricot, cashews, dried cranberries and chia seeds. The other batch has Smucker's Grape, sunflower seeds, golden raisins and flax seeds.

Recipe for Smucker's Snackation Flax Power Balls:

2 Cups of Flax Cereal
1 Cup of Smucker's Jam
1/4 Cup of Nuts
1/4 Cup of Dried Fruit
1 tbsp. of Chia Seeds or Flax Seeds

Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Roll into small balls, place in 350 degree oven for 15 min or until slightly browned. Let cool and enjoy!

Now that we have our power balls for the fish bait and the Flax Power Balls for our snacks we are ready to pack up the car and head to the lake. If you are planning a fun outing and need Snackation ideas head to Walmart to see what you can create with Smucker's brand items.

Check back with us next week for the post where we will be going to the lake to test our power ball bait and see if our Flax Power Balls keep us full and energized while we spend the day in the sun fishing.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Raspberry Cobbler Recipe

This summer seems like it has just flown by, doesn't it? Pretty soon school will start, and two of my grandsons will be starting kindergarten this year. I can't believe these little guys are each five years old, they still seem like babies to me in so many ways.

But I'm still hanging onto summer as long as I can, and making fruit desserts with all that summer fruit still in the markets. Raspberries are a favorite with my family, so I decided to make this delicious Raspberry Cobbler for us all.

This is a super easy recipe, and you can substitute other berries if you don't have raspberries, or do a combination of different kinds. I love making this as a dessert, and then having any leftovers for breakfast the next morning.

When I was a kid, my parents always topped fruit desserts with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, and it's a tradition that I'm more than happy to carry on.

Recipe for Raspberry Cobbler


  • 3 cups fresh raspberries 
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Directions:

    Preheat oven to 375°. Grease  8” square ceramic baking dish.
    Place berries in prepared pan. Drizzle with lemon juice.
    Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
    In a medium bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until well-blended. Mix in dry ingredients until mixture resembles crumbs. Drop dough evenly on top of berries.
    Bake for 30 minutes, or until top is lightly browned and fruit is bubbly.
    Serves 6.


    Tuesday, August 11, 2015

    Little Caesars Soft Pretzel Crust Pizza & Cheese-N-Pretzel Dippers Review and Giveaway #PretzelCrustNation

    For my family we enjoy pizza in the summer the most. We love not having to heat up the house on a hot day with the oven and just a drive to Little Caesars to pick up dinner. This particular trip to Little Caesars we planned to try the Soft Pretzel Crust Pizza and Cheese-N-Pretzel Dippers. I absolutely LOVE soft pretzels and was eager to try the pizza pretzel combo.

    My son loved the Soft Pretzel Crust Pizza and wanted more of it after 3 pieces. It was a good pizza combo with the soft pretzel crust, I thought the pretzel cheese on it was a bit rich but my family loved it. I did eat like 4 slices of it, it was hard not to! The Cheese-N- Pretzel Dippers were delicious. I have always been a huge fan of Little Caesars bread sticks and now I will be adding the pretzel dippers to my must have side items at Little Caesars.

    Little Caesars brings back Soft Pretzel Crust Pizza by popular demand and introduces CHEESE-N-PRETZEL DIPPERS. #PretzelCrustNation

    Little Caesars new CHEESE-N-PRETZEL DIPPERS are 16 savory pieces of buttery, salty, toasted, soft pretzel bites served with a side of warm, creamy cheddar cheese dip, all for $3.49. 

    The Soft Pretzel Crust Pepperoni Pizza is a large specialty pizza that starts with a flavorful, buttery, soft pretzel crust made fresh daily in store. It is topped with creamy cheddar cheese sauce, a blend of 100% real cheese, and pepperoni, and then finished with an irresistible four-cheese gourmet blend of Asiago, Fontina, Parmesan, and White Cheddar cheese for just $7.

    Tired of the hassles of online ordering? Walk into Little Caesars and walk out with a large, Soft Pretzel Crust Pepperoni Pizza for just $7 plus tax! No need to call ahead, it’s HOT-N-READY every day between 4pm to 8pm or order anytime. And if you love the taste of pretzel, add an order of delicious CHEESE-N-PRETZEL DIPPERS for just $3.49 plus tax. Available for a limited time at participating locations.

    Pizza + Video Games = Super Fun Summer Day

    Little Caesars just started a Sweepstakes called Pretzel Crust Nation. This relates to Little Caesars bringing back the Soft Pretzel Crust Pizza and introducing the CHEESE-N-PRETZEL DIPPERS. There are great prizes such as a GoPro Camera and Little Caesars gift cards. #PretzelCrustNation
    Hurry over to enter the sweepstakes and let me know if you win! I am also hosting a Little Caesars gift card and carry bag giveaway here on Frugal Family Tree.


    Little Caesars $20 Gift Card and Little Caesars carry bag.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    *Limited to US residents 18 years old and above. Giveaway starts August 11, 2015 and ends on August 21, 2015 at 12:01 am EST. Winner will be emailed and has 72 hours to respond before another winner is selected. 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. I was sent a product to review for this post.


    Monday, August 10, 2015

    Garden Fresh Chicken Zucchini Bake Recipe


    There are lots of zucchini and other veggies coming from our garden right now, and it's really exciting. It can also be a challenge to find a way to use them in recipes, and to make sure they don't go to waste.

    This recipe for Chicken Zucchini Bake uses four cups of chopped zucchini, a box of stuffing mix, and a couple of cups of cooked chicken. It's easy to make, and is super good.

    When I made it last night for dinner, I was hoping for leftovers, but no such luck. It was really nice though to see my grandchildren eat this dinner up, and get some of that good zucchini in their bodies.

    Of course, if you don't have a garden filled with zucchini, the grocery stores and farmer's markets are filled with them.

    This dish is great-tasting, easy to make, and when you have leftovers, reheats beautifully. And even if you are not a zucchini lover, try this recipe and you just might change your mind.

    Recipe for Chicken Zucchini Bake

    Makes 6 Servings


    6 ounce package of boxed stuffing mix (like Stovetop)
    1/2 cup melted butter
    4 cups zucchini, diced
    2 cups of cooked chicken, cubed
    1 can Cream of Chicken soup (10.75 ounces)
    1/2 cup onion, diced
    1/2 cup sour cream
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    In a large bowl, combine the stuffing mix and melted butter. Set aside 1/2 cup of the of the mixture for the topping. Add the zucchini, chicken, soup, onion and sour cream to the remaining stuffing and stir together well.
    Place the zucchini mix into a greased 9 x 13 glass baking dish and spread out evenly with a spatula.
    Sprinkle reserved 1/2 cup stuffing mix on top and bake uncovered for 45 minutes.

    I originally posted this last August, but since it's such a great zucchini recipe, I wanted to share it with you again. Enjoy!!


    Tuesday, August 4, 2015

    Sofft Shoes Summer Sandal Sale and Breeze Sandal Review

    I am a blogger and a working Mom. I am on my feet 8 hours a day and shoes are the most important item in my wardrobe. Being comfortable and fashionable can often be a challenge. I know many gals at work who have aching feet, knees and back from not so good shoes. Luckily I am able to wear many types of shoes to work and in the summer that allows for sandals. I LOVE cute and comfy sandals!

    There are a few brands I know I can trust for comfort and Sofft Brand is one of them. I selected the Breeze Sandal in Luggage color for my review since its a cute wedge heel, stylish and would be secure on my foot with the zip back. I could not be happier with this shoe. I have worn it to work many times this past month which happens to be our second busiest time of the year and my feet did not ache. I even found a co-worker wearing the exact same pair of Sofft Breeze sandal. We giggled a bit that we were shoe twins.

    Sofft shoes is having a Summer Sandal sale where you can get the Breeze or any of the other stylish shoes on sale. Some styles of Sofft shoes are on sale at Nordstrom too.

    The Breeze Sandal in Black

    I enjoy shopping online from the comfort of my home or on my phone. I always try to find a good deal, a discount code or free shipping, every little bit counts. Sofft shoes has Always Free shipping and returns. Another nice thing about Sofft is they make a Made in the U.S.A. Collection in addition to their other lines. I like the Sofft Cadee shoe from the U.S.A. collection.

    You can connect with Sofft Shoes on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. When I find brands or sites I like I usually sign up to their emailing lists to get the sales and coupon notifications. Do you own any Sofft shoes? What is your favorite one?


    Friday, July 31, 2015

    Plum And Raspberry Galette Recipe

    A few days ago my family and I went to a friends' house to pick yellow plums from her plum trees. We brought back baskets full of the sweetest, juiciest, plums I've ever eaten.

    I'd never seen or heard about yellow plums before, all I know is that they are delicious. So I decide to make a couple of fruit galettes, one for my family and one for our friend who let us pick the plums.

    I decided to combine the yellow plums with some raspberries. I've found that raspberries go really well with other kinds of fruit in a galette or pie, or even a fruit crisp.

    The warm weather we've been having here in the Seattle area has helped make the plums ripen beautifully. There were so many of them, and the air was actually fragrant with the smell of sweet plums.

     Even my grandchildren picked some when we held them up high enough so they could reach them. And we ate as we picked because they were so delicious, right of the tree.

    I know a lot of people get nervous about making pastry, so making a pie can seem intimidating. I felt that way too, so I started making fruit galettes.

    They are really quite easy to make, and I love the rough, rustic way they look. You only make one piece of pastry, and then pile the fruit filling in the center and then fold the dough in on top of itself.

    I love making these, and they are really so delicious. I hope our friend likes the one I'm making her as a thank you for all those delicious plums.

    Recipe for Plum and Raspberry Galette

    Ingredients for pastry dough:

     2 cups all-purpose flour
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    1 large egg yolk
    3 tablespoons ice-cold milk

    1 egg
    1 tablespoon water (to make egg wash)


      Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk together egg yolk and milk, pour into flour mixture, stirring just until dough starts to form a ball.
    Press together with lightly floured hands, and form into a flat round. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

    Ingredients for filling:

     4 cups yellow plums, quartered, pitted, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
    1 cup fresh raspberries
     1/2 cup sugar
     2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


     Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    In a large bowl, toss together plums, raspberries, sugar, and flour.

    Remove dough from refrigerator. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface into an approximate
    10-inch round. Place on a large, lightly greased baking sheet. Scoop plum and raspberries mixture into center of round.
    Fold about 1 inch of dough all the way around to form a rim. Combine egg and water, brush outside of galette with the egg wash.
    Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on pan 20 minutes, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

    Can be served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
    Serves 6.


    Wednesday, July 29, 2015

    Shop The HUGE Safeway Anniversary Sale For Great Savings

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

    Do you love a good sale? You can bet I do, so I'm excited to share with you about the Safeway Anniversary sale. There are so many great items on sale, including 24-can Pepsi cubes, 8-pack bottles of Gatorade, and the party size bags of Lays Potato Chips. And I'm totally loving these chicken breasts that are on sale, too!

    Since Safeway opened a new store that's only a quick drive away for me, it's become my favorite place to do my grocery shopping. I can always count on finding my favorite products, gorgeous fruits and veggies, and a super friendly group of employees who are always so helpful.

    Of course, if you are like me and my family, saving money on my grocery bills is pretty important. We are very price-conscious shoppers, so shopping at Safeway every week has become what we do to save grocery dollars, while still buying what our family wants and needs.

    Since my daughter's birthday is coming up very soon, I'm stocking up on our favorite items for a birthday barbeque for her. I can almost taste those yummy barbequed chicken breasts. Not only will they be great for her birthday dinner, but because they are on sale, I can stock up and freeze them for other meals, too.

    I live with my daughter and her family, which includes my three grandchildren. I had forgotten how much kids eat, and boy, do they! So it's great to save money on our grocery bills, which seem to get higher as the kids get older.

    The Safeway Anniversary sale runs July 29 - August 11. I shopped the Safeway Huge Anniversary sale, but be sure to check out what great deals are available at Albertsons, Vons, Star Market, and Shaws too!

    Since my son-in-law is such a big Pepsi lover, I was happy to get the Pepsi cubes on sale for a great price. When we have friends and family over for barbeques, I love putting lots of cans in a big tub of ice, and everyone just helps themselves to a drink.

    Oh how I love Lays Potato Chips! They have been my favorite brand for many years, and I love all four kinds.

    They are a big must at our house for barbeques, picnics, and just plain snacking. The Party size is a terrific value, and the Anniversary sale makes it easy to stock up on them.

    Since my five kids are all grown-up, it can be a challenge to buy them a birthday gift that they will really like. Safeway offers the biggest selection of gift cards that I have ever seen, so I've been giving gift cards, which seems to make everyone happy. And no returns needed!

    I can pick up a gift card here to some of my kid's favorite stores and restaurants. It's super convenient and one of the reasons why Safeway is my favorite grocery store.

    We are all Gatorade fans, and stocking our pantry with it while it's on sale is a must. There are so many flavors to choose from now, and I have quite a few favorites.

    Seattle is experiencing record breaking heat right now, and like lots of people here, our house doesn't have air conditioning. The house gets hot and stuffy, so we have been spending lots of time out on the deck.

    It's great during the day, and especially during the evening. And we love our Lays Potato Chips and our favorite dip to enjoy no matter what time it is!

    I make an onion flavored dip to eat with the wavy or regular chips. I don't make it as spicy as I used to because my grandchildren don't like it that way.

    Of course these two little partners in crime had to get in on the chips and drinks. My two youngest grandchildren are only a little over a year apart. So when they aren't arguing, they are best buddies.

    We love our Pepsi and Gatorade, and with the heat wave we have been having, we sure are going through a lot of beverages.

    I'm so glad I can stock up at Safeway right now and take advantage of those great Anniversary sale prices.

    Since I live in the Seattle area, it's very often cold and rainy during the fall and winter. Getting your groceries into the car after shopping can mean you are soaked by the time you're finished. That's why I am so happy my new Safeway has underground parking. It really makes all the difference, and my grandchildren love taking the elevator and pushing the buttons.

    Safeway is my go to grocer. Shop the HUGE Anniversary sale and stock up on your favorite brands 7/29 - 8/11.

    I'd love to hear how your family will stock up!