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Showing posts from June, 2017

DIY Chicken Stock Using Pressure Canner

Our local Wal-mart reduces any left-over rotisserie chickens to half price after 8:00 PM. So I can snag a chicken for $2.59. I bought one the other day and picked all the meat off. With the meat, I made Chicken quesadillas twice, a chicken bacon ranch pizza and chicken fried rice. I saved the carcass for this recipe!
I have also been saving leftover vegetable scraps. I mean the stuff that you would normally throw away. The top of a pepper, onion scraps and skins, carrot tops, etc. I had about two cups of vegetable scraps. 

I threw everything in the slow cooker and filled it to the top with water. Add a little salt and pepper to taste, or fresh herbs or whatever you like! I cooked in the slow cooker for 20 hours. You can do as little as 4 or as much as 24!

This part took a few minutes but using a fine mesh strainer, ladle the broth to get out all the little pieces. 

When you are done, you will be left with a deep, rich colored broth!
I put mine in the fridge overnight and skimmed off …

Homemade Jello Fruit Cups

Do you know those name-brand cups that have jello with fruit in them? Dole makes some but there are other brands, too. My husband really likes these for his work, but if you buy the name brand cups, it's usally $2.59 for 4 cups. That's insane. I can buy a box of jello for about $1 (if you buy the name brand it's about a $1 but the store brand is a good bit cheaper) and a can of fruit for about the same and get double the amount of cups for less than the name brand! I usually get about 8 cups when I make these.

These are SO easy to make and so refreshing. My husband likes strawberry flavored jello with diced peaches.

So all you need is a large can of fruit and one large box of jello. You will also need 8 small containers with lids. These are the Glad brand and there was 8 in a box for about $2.00. But you will be reusing them so you will save money in the long run.

First, I dice up the fruit. 

Then I place a small amount in each cup. It's filled up maybe 1/4 or 1/3 of …

11 Tips for Easier Family Camping (with Toddlers)

We recently were able to go on a camping trip. We have not been camping with our two kids and wanted to take them before it got too hot out. We went tent camping which in my opinion, is a totally different experience than camper camping. I would love to go camper camping, but right now, we have a tent, so these tips are geared more toward tent camping with small children. We have two kids ages 4 and 2.

1. Visit your local Dollar Store before you go. They have so much that is helpful. And who wants to spend more money than necessary! Here are some things I bought from the Dollar Tree that I found helpful.

      1a. Buy some inexpensive toys to keep the kids occupied. We weren't always doing things in the campground with the kids. Sometimes my husband would go fishing and I would stay at the campground with the kids, and sometimes they just needed something to do while I was cooking or setting things up. The biggest hit was off-brand Play-doh. This stuff was as good or better than …

Mixes to DIY to Save Time, Money and Eat Better

Lately, I have been wanting to start making more things from scratch. It saves a little bit of money and it's so much better for you.

So I figured I would start simple and try homemade pancake mix and homemade instant oatmeal packets. We eat both of these quite a bit, and I'm starting to not like any store bought pancake mix and making from scratch all the time is starting to get annoying!

Here is the instant oatmeal recipe I used. The only thing about this recipe that I might change next time is that 1/2 cup of mix per bag is a little too much oatmeal in one sitting for me. My husband likes it. But next time, I might only put 1/4 cup mix in each bag. 
We are reusing the bags since the same thing is going to go right back in  them again.
I use 2/3 cup water for each bag.

Here is the pancake mix I used. And I will have to say, I haven't used this recipe yet since I've made it, but it was a simple recipe. 

What other items would you want to make from scratch? I have an up…

Taco Salad

This is one of my favorite meals. It's salty, cheesy, crunchy, creamy, sweet, and need I say-delicious?

Oh, and EASY.

This is the perfect summer weeknight meal. I like to keep ground beef in the freezer that I cooked up with some taco seasoning, so for this meal, the cooking was basically done!

TACO SALAD 1/2 pound cooked ground beef (with taco seasoning added) 1 can kidney beans, drained Doritos (original flavor) Chopped lettuce French or Catalina salad dressing Sour cream Shredded cheese (I used Fiesta Blend)
If your meat has been cooked previously, then frozen, place in a pan on the stove with 1/4 cup of water and the kidney beans, and heat until beans are tender and everything is hot.
Place all ingredients on table and let people build their own salads. I start with a layer of Doritos that I crush slightly, then ground beef/beans, lettuce, cheese, sour cream and dressing. 

This was one of my favorite meals growing up, too! My mom used to mix everything together in a big bowl i…