Homemade Toaster Strudels {quick and easy}

I like to show my kids that things they like in the grocery store or restaurants can usually be made at home. It takes some of the appeal out of spending that money when you know that you can make the same thing at home, and often times they are cheaper, healthier, and taste better. I’m not saying these Homemade Toaster Strudels are any healthier, but they were SO easy and very tasty!

Homemade Toaster StrudelsThese literally come together in just minutes using puff pastry and pie filling! Of course, you could certainly make them completely from scratch, but that would require a lot more time and patience. My kids aren’t big on patience!   [Read more…]

Healthy Whole Grain Waffles – Freezer Friendly

Back-to-school time is upon us once again. The hustle and bustle of getting the kids out the door, looking presentable, with everything signed and packed, and a nutritious breakfast in their bellies is no easy task. Even if your kids don’t have to leave the house, or if you don’t have kids at all…breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Your body needs it to jump start the metabolism and get needed fuel to those brain cells. With that being said, it’s sometimes so much easier to grab a bowl of cereal, or a granola bar as we are running out the door. That’s where these freezer friendly waffles come in!

freezer waffles EAH

A healthy breakfast is just a few minutes away when you have a freezer stocked with homemade, whole grain waffles, that only need to be popped in the toaster. In just minutes you have a hot, filling breakfast.  The kids will enjoy deciding what toppings to put on their waffles, while moms will love knowing they are getting whole grains, along with energy from natural sugars.  Some topping ideas may be bananas and peanut butter, blueberries and walnuts (my favorite), chocolate chips (my kids’ favorite)…the possibilities are endless! You can even fold them and carry them with you for breakfast on the go. If your kids do like them plain, you could always add in some extra cinnamon, pumpkin or apple pie spice, or whatever they like. I like to think of waffles, pancakes, and muffins as a sort of “blank canvas” that you can design however you want!

healthy whole grain waffles, freezer friendly

Healthy Whole Grain Waffles – Freezer Friendly
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk (cow's milk, almond milk, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons oil*
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey (could also use maple syrup)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • *I like to use a combination of olive oil and canola oil, or coconut oil.
  1. Whisk all of the ingredients together.
  2. Pour onto a greased waffle iron.
  3. Cook until steam is no longer coming from waffle iron.
  4. Eat immediately or cool and freeze.
  5. This made about 6 six-inch round waffles.
  6. To prepare from frozen: These can be microwaved, but for best texture I recommend cutting them in half (or fourths) and placing in the toaster until warm and crisp.

This recipe does not contain eggs, and could easily be made vegan.


Homemade Grab and Go Snack Bars

These bars are an experiment for my family.  The first part of the experiment is a success – the bars taste good and the kids like them!  The next part is to see if we can stop buying granola bars and eat these instead.

I don’t buy many snack foods, but during the school year I do make a habit of buying granola bars.  They are expensive.  I’ve wanted to try making my own for a long time, but kept putting it off.

Then I saw some soft baked bars in the granola bar aisle and a light bulb went off.  I remembered a recipe for oatmeal cookies from Whole Foods for the Whole Family and I was pretty sure it could be baked in bar form instead of cookies.

I made two different versions – Mixed Berry and Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip.  They are both great.  Bonus: they’re healthy too!  And they can be frozen.  Now we’re talking!

I wrapped the bars in plastic wrap and put them all in freezer bags.  The kids have been grabbing them to take to soccer and classes.  They say the bars thaw quickly and aren’t crumbly to eat.  They like them better than store bought granola bars.

I did tell the kids that they can only have them if they are leaving the house and will need a snack while they’re gone.  We have other foods they can snack on at home.  I want to have the bars used for the intended purpose and not scarfed down in two days.

Here’s what you’ll need to make the mixed berry version.  The peanut butter version has similar ingredients.  [Read more…]

More No Bake, No Cook, No Time Gifts – Homemade Seasoned Salt and Italian Herb Salt

I like keeping these seasoned and herb salts on hand to cook with.  I’ve shared the recipe for homemade seasoned salt before.  This version makes a larger batch and is tweaked just a bit.

Use the seasoned salt just like you would any other seasoned salt.  I like using it in pasta dishes, on grilled meats and even on zucchini.

[Read more…]

The No-Bake, No-Cook, No-Time Gift Solution – 4 Snack Mix Recipes in a Jar

4 Snack Mixes in a Jar for Gift Giving

These snack mixes couldn’t be easier to make. They’re perfect for teacher gifts or for the people you work with or anyone else you’d like to give a small gift to this year.

Here’s the story on these snack mixes and why they make their the perfect solution  – The Prep and Planning series that I’m doing with Liz from Hoosier Homemade starts today and we’d decided to do homemade gift ideas from the kitchen for the first week.

Friday night came and I knew I had to come up with an idea for today’s post.  I had nothing.  Squat nada.  Zilch.

But, a tiny bit of holiday magic happened and I woke up Saturday morning with the idea for snack mix in jars.

Not totally original, maybe, but   I think it’s the perfect idea.  I had no time to bake or cook.  I’m a no-fuss gift giver.  I’m not good at beautiful, well planned gifts.

This is perfect for me!  Everything looks better in a Mason jar, right?

Ever since I put these together on Sunday afternoon, my family has been munching on them.  I had to beat them off with a stick until I could take the photos.

I’ve got 4 snack mix ideas here, but use these just as a jumping off point.  Feel free to do your own thing.  I really wanted to do a Circus Mix with iced animal cookies, colorful marshmallows, peanuts and…whatever else sounded good.  I also think a Coffee Break Mix with chocolate covered coffee beans and other stuff sounds great.  Use your imagination and invent your own.  Or use the ideas below.

Bonus:  There’s a free printable to go with the Hollywood Mix.  I bribed my daughter into making it for us and I think she did a great job!

Here are the 4 mixes, all jarred up and looking cute.

[Read more…]

Homemade Whipped Topping aka Make Your Own Cool Whip

A few weeks ago, on Ingredient Spotlight, we shared frozen whipped topping recipes.  Loy, one of my readers who you get to meet next week, shared a recipe for homemade whipped topping.

I’d never thought about making my own whipped topping before, but the idea was intriguing.  And when I decided to make this cake, I knew this was the time to experiment (aka play) with the recipe.  The result is light, subtly sweet and creamy.  I really wished I could have added a hint of vanilla, but I didn’t want to use extract.  I wanted to keep it pure white and I also was unsure about messing up the proportions of liquid.

Later, I thought about using vanilla infused sugar.  You can do this at home just by putting a vanilla bean in sugar and leaving it there for about a week.  (I must try this soon.)  I think the vanilla flavor would greatly enhance the taste of the whipped topping.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it: [Read more…]

Seasoned Salt – Make Your Own

I decided one day to make my own seasoned salt.  I started grabbing spices and seasonings from my pantry and began to mix them together in amounts I thought sounded good.  Then I used the mixture on oven roasted potatoes.  So good!

A few days later, I mixed up a larger amount.  I’ve used it in all kinds of recipes, including the pasta that I will share tomorrow.  Here’s what you’ll need to make your own: [Read more…]

Dole Whip Float


I’ve had Walt Disney World on my mind the last few days.  We’ve gotten to vacation there several times in August or September and I must feel that I should be getting ready to go again.  But it’s not to be this year.  Last night I wanted a little taste of the Magic Kingdom.  There is a place called Aloha Isle in Adventureland that has the best snack.  It’s called a Dole Whip Float.

[Read more…]

Home Canning – Is It Worth It or Will I Just Blow Up My Kitchen?

This is a guest post by Phoebe at Cents to Get Debt Free.  I’ve never done any canning and I asked Phoebe if she would give us an introduction to the topic.  She has a fantastic blog, so don’t forget to pop over and visit her.

canning  Photo credit Renoir Girl

Phoebe and her husband decided 5 years ago that it was time for her to stay at home and raise their children. Through a lot of sacrifices and a lot of learning, they are embracing the frugal life and realizing that the simple life, is the life. Phoebe blogs daily at Cents to Get Debt Free where she shares her family’s journey at cutting costs, living the simple life and getting freedom from lender.

Gardening season is in full force, and this year many stores have seen a 40-60% increase in seed sales.  Being more self reliant is becoming the new normal. In addition to new gardens, many people will be canning and preserving their harvest for the first time this year.

[Read more…]

Honey Roasted Peanut Butter



This is my first official post on the new site.  I’m very excited to have made the move and hope that all of you find it easier to use and read too.  Let me know what you think.  Don’t be surprised if there are a few changes in the coming weeks and possibly a few hitches (hopefully, not too many of those).

Onto the Honey Roasted Peanut Butter.  A friend shared this with me a few years ago and it is so easy and good.  If you eat it soon after it has been made, the peanut butter will be a little warm, spreadable and dippable.  (Is that a word?)

[Read more…]