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Tuesday
Sep162014

PB&J Cake

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Nothing says fall like "back to school." Of course back to school started in my state a month ago. (Don't get me started.) 

And of course nothing says "back to school" like a little peanut butter and jelly.  

I present you with the PB&J cake! I came up with it Sunday. (It's just an excuse to eat cake, right??) You will notice the cake is the same basic recipe from this recipe I made last week. 

What you'll need:

1 1/2 cups AP flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

1 cup lowfat yogurt

3 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp strawberry preserves (or your favorite flavor jam or jelly)

1/2 cup oil

 

Frosting:

1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used natural and it turned out just fine)

3 cups confectioners sugar

2 tbsp milk

1/2 cup butter melted

Combine your first four dry ingredients. It works best if you sift them together. But if you don't have a sifter you can whisk them!

Then combine your next five wet ingredients in a separate bowl. 

Then combine your wet and dry ingredients. I used a bunt pan and baked at 350 for 35 minutes. 

Next, combine your peanut butter, milk, confectioners sugar and butter and whisk to perfection. I used a wooden spoon, but I'd highly recommend using your mixer for a smoother consistency. 

When your cake cools ice and enjoy. It's really good if it's a little warm. 

What fun baking have you done this week? 

Monday
Sep152014

Making plans to pay yourself

A few weeks ago I talked about making your first budget. I answered a question from a viewer on my YouTube channel

That sparked a few more questions from a few more viewers. On in particular caugh my interest. 

 

We put our bills first, we know they're coming and we prepare for them. Whatever is left from our income after bills is split between things we need, our own allowance and savings. All our bills, except electricity and water, we know exactly how much it'll be at the end of the month. So instead of waiting for the bill to come in we pay half of it every two weeks (aka fortnightly). So then it's not as big a bill at the end of the month. It also allows us to put a little extra on the bill and then every now and then we get a free month from that bill. For example, our phones are $63 each a month, so we put $40 on each every fortnight and at the end of the month we are $7 ahead. That also goes for loans. Our car loan was supposed to be for 3 years, 2 years later we had paid it off. 
We're so good at the paying of bills and we SUCK at the savings. Since having our daughter (who will be 2 soon) we never seem to keep our savings long. 

We need all the tips and tricks to saving money as we can get. Before Hubby and I met he was good at paying his bills but the left over money was free money to blow on anything he was interested in that week. That has influenced me to do the same. Help?
Quick disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor. I am just a lady who lives on a budget. But Jason and I did answer her question: 

 

What plans do you make to pay yourself? Do you set savings goals? Tell me all about it! 

 

Friday
Sep122014

Creamy Peanut Butter Apple Dip 

It's apple season!!! I love apples. I really do. I miss living in Northwest Georgia where apples are abundant. 

And now that Honey Crisps are in season... ahhhhhh!!!!

My sweet boy loves apples too. So I wanted to make a dip he could eat with his apples as a meal. 

(Quick tip: you can sub bread for apples in a pb&j.)

What you'll need:

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 8 ounce package of softened cream cheese

2 tbps honey

Cream your cream cheese. Then add your peanut butter. Finally add in your honey and whip. 

 

Thursday
Sep112014

The easiest way to cook a chicken… handsdown down 

 

Chicken is a simple go to recipe, right? I mean you can do a million things to a chicken.

Well, it just got even easier.

A few weeks back I was at Winn-Dixie when I saw this deal on chicken- $.89 a pound. What???? So of course I stocked up on whole chickens.

Also because I paired this with a bag of steamed vegetables dinner was less than $5!!!!!

The problem I've had in the past is that they dry out in the oven and I have to keep checking and checking.

Nope. Not anymore. I cooked that bad boy in my crock pot. So simple and required next to no effort on my part. 

What you'll need:

A chicken- mine was 4.25 pounds

1/4 to 1/2 a large onion

Various seasonings and herbs

A crock pot.

Rinse the chicken and take out any innards. (If there is a neck keep it for broth.)

Dice your onion and line the bottom of the crock pot. You can spray your slow cooker with Pam if you so desire.

Next, peel back the skin of the chicken. You might have to use scissors for this part. Sprinkle the meat of the chicken with herbs. I used kosher salt, pepper and paprika. (I LOVE paprika.)

Place the skin back and sprinkle with fresh, or dry herbs. I used some fresh basil off my plant. It is both fragrant and delicious.

Place the bird in the pot and cover. No, you will NOT need liquids. Simply put the slow cooker on low and cook for five hours.

That's it. You're done.

What is your favorite way to cook a chicken? 

 

Wednesday
Sep102014

Lemon Herb Leg Quarters in the Slow Cooker

As you probably notice I have become momentarily obsessed with my crock pot. I don't have a lot of time to stand in the kitchen.

Plus, it's hot. Hot, hot, hot. The weather lady said to run the AC full blast today. But since I'm frugal, it's on 79. (We had a $330 electric bill! Can you believe that???)

At anyrate. I purchased some leg quarters for $.79 a pound a couple weeks ago. They were beautiful and I wanted to cook them in my slow cooker, but sometimes meat falls apart in the crock pot.

These didn't. These leg quarters came out gorgeous!

Best part was, and are you ready for this, the entire meal (which served 4) only cost $2.48!!!!! Yes, it deserved that many exclamation points.

Here's a break down:

Chicken- 2 lbs @ $.79 a pound: $1.58

Brown rice- 4 servings @ $.10 a serving: $.40

Green Giant steamed vegetables- One sale $.50

Let's get started.

What you'll need:

4 leg quarters (thighs and legs)

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 tbsp lemon juice

dried basil, oregano, paprika and kosher salt

You can spray your crock pot if you want. I didn't and it turned out fine.

Sprinkle your chicken with the herbs. You can either remove the skin, leave it on and sprinkle the skin with the seasoning, or you can put the seasoning under the skin. It's all up to you.

Place chicken in the pot and pour in broth and lemon juice.

Cover, set on low. Walk away. Go to work. Come back when dinner is ready!