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Hearty Bean and Lentil Soup Recipe

Let’s be honest. Lentils don’t make for the prettiest soup. They often look dark and unappetizing, making most kids turn up their noses at dinner. This lentil and bean soup is something different entirely though because it not only tastes delicious, it’s also lovely to look at and appealing for everyone. I hope that you’ll enjoy my hearty lentil and bean soup recipe!

Never Cooked with Lentils? This Hearty Lentil & Bean Soup is quick & delicious!

Never Cooked with Lentils?

We aim to eat 2-3 meatless meals during the week for our health and digestion (lots of fiber in this bowl!) We also try and choose organic when we can. This is a deliciously hearty cold-weather meal that can be served with a slice of buttered bread, roll or a warm tortilla.

I’ll be totally honest: I never cooked with dried beans until just a few years ago. I thought they were time consuming and that I wouldn’t make them correctly. And I never really liked the flavor either.

Never Cooked with Lentils? This Hearty Lentil & Bean Soup is quick & delicious!

I didn’t make beans because I didn’t think the kids would eat them. However all of my kids have grown to love beans, and so have I! If you use great ingredients, the flavors just come together. My preschooler says he doesn’t like soup so I just serve him the beans and the veggies on a plate, sans broth and he gobbles it up (silly boy!)

My local store sells these lentils and beans in a dry goods blend. For around $1.50 a pound, you’ll get a great mix of lentils and dry beans. If your store doesn’t sell this type of mix, you can easily put one together yourself with a colorful mix of lentils and some dry beans.

Never Cooked with Lentils? This Hearty Lentil & Bean Soup is quick & delicious!

Sometimes I use the beautiful organic rainbow carrots for an even more colorful bowl of soup! The dark specks are from the fire roasted tomatoes, which add lots of great flavor but not a bunch of heat.

Hearty Lentil and Bean Soup Recipe

Hearty Lentil and Bean Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup of celery, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups dried lentil & bean mix
  • 2 cans (or one box) vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery. Stir and cook until onion is tender.
  2. Add garlic, oregano and basil and cook 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in lentils and beans then add broth and water and the can of tomatoes with the juice.
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer covered for 90 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot!
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Never Cooked with Lentils? This Hearty Lentil & Bean Soup is quick & delicious!

 

Cookies for Santa – Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe with "healthier for you" ingredients!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

When Christmas Eve rolls around this year, don’t forget to set out that delicious plate of treats for Santa (with a cold glass of milk, of course!) This is one that Santa (and the rest of the family) is sure to love. These Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies would be perfect for a cookie exchange or bake sale as well.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

I prepared these Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies with “better for you” ingredients like whole wheat flour, coconut oil, organic peanut butter and oats. But there was no scrimping on taste whatsoever; my family went wild over these cookies with such phrases as, “Melts in my mouth!” and “Amazing!” I think you’ll love them too…just don’t forget to leave a few for Santa!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter (I used organic version, just nuts & salt)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup quick-cook oats

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together coconut oil and butter until blended.
  3. Add brown sugar and white sugar and mix until creamed.
  4. Add peanut butter and mix well.
  5. Add eggs, beating after each.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and coconut. Mix well to combine.
  7. Add dry ingredients to wet a little at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  8. Mix in dry oats.
  9. Use a tablespoon to drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  10. Bake 10-15 minutes until cookies are lightly browned. Watch to make sure they do not overcook.
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Perfect Picnic Potluck Slow Cooker Baked Beans Recipe

This baked beans recipe is the perfect side dish! It's budget-friendly and crowd-pleasing. Best of all this baked bean recipe goes together in the slow cooker!

Need a perfect side dish to take with you to a potluck? How about an easy side dish that you can put together quickly and then leave to cook on its own? Something cheap and that everyone will love? Of course, we all want those kind of dishes and this baked beans recipe fits the bill! And it can be cooked in the slow cooker so that’s even better! Keep reading for the baked beans recipe-

My mom has been making these beans for years and brings them to each family gathering. In fact, our family doesn’t ask her what she’d like to bring to a potluck, they just tell her, “You’re bringing your baked beans”. They are just so good and perfect for a potluck.

When I had a potluck invitation last month, I requested the bean recipe from Mom. And when I got to the part in the recipe that said “Bake for 7 hours” I stopped in my tracks. Temperatures were in the high 90s and there was no way I was cooking a casserole of beans for 7 hours when I don’t have air conditioning! So I adjusted the recipe and made it in my slow cooker and they came out just as delicious.

This baked beans recipe is the perfect side dish! It's budget-friendly and crowd-pleasing. Best of all this baked bean recipe goes together in the slow cooker!This baked beans recipe is the perfect side dish! It's budget-friendly and crowd-pleasing. Best of all this baked bean recipe goes together in the slow cooker!This baked beans recipe is the perfect side dish! It's budget-friendly and crowd-pleasing. Best of all this baked bean recipe goes together in the slow cooker!

Don’t be nervous about using dry beans, they are totally easy to work with. And so inexpensive (a one pound bag for this recipe costs just around $1.20). Feel free to adjust the amount of brown sugar and molasses to taste. If you prefer them less sweet, just add less sugar. I find that the liquid thickens up nicely overnight in the fridge and you can skim off any fat from the bacon that has floated to the top. The beans heat up well in a pan on the stove top for leftovers…if there are any! I hope you enjoy my mom’s recipe.

This baked beans recipe is the perfect side dish! It's budget-friendly and crowd-pleasing. Best of all this baked bean recipe goes together in the slow cooker!

Perfect Picnic Potluck Slow Cooker Baked Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dry navy beans or small white beans
  • 1 package (12 oz) bacon
  • Yellow onion, chopped
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Add dry beans to a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cover. Leave to soak in hot water for one hour.
  2. Cut bacon into 1" pieces and fry in a skillet until starting to crisp. Add chopped onion in with the bacon and grease and saute until onion is softened.
  3. Remove two cups of water from the soaking beans and pour into a bowl. Add brown sugar, dry mustard and molasses, stirring to combine.
  4. Drain beans of the remainder of water and add to the slow cooker. Add bacon and onions, stir to combine. Pour liquid into the cooker and stir all. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 7 hours.
  5. Add salt to taste.
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Kid’s Quick Breakfasts (with Nutritious Ingredients They’ll Never Notice)

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

Kid's Quick Breakfasts (with Nutritious Ingredients They'll Never Notice)

All kids should be eating breakfast. And I’ll even amend that to say that everyone should be eating breakfast. I wasn’t always in that camp but after noticing a “before and after” of sorts, I’m a breakfast convert. I feel so much more focused in the mornings when I eat a balanced breakfast and that goes for my kids too. I’ve come up with some quick breakfasts, with added nutritious ingredients my kids don’t even know about!

It wasn’t all that long ago that my “breakfast” consisted of a package of mini doughnuts and a diet soda from the convenience store. Now, we all know that breakfast is considered the “most important meal of the day” but it’s taken a new mindset to get me motivated towards more filling and nutritious breakfast choices. Having three little ones who watch and learn from me was a catalyst for change. Can’t really push a healthier breakfast on them if I’m eating doughnuts myself, right?

Being on a budget is another game-changer. All those convenience store and fast food stops are expensive. One of my excuses was that I just didn’t have time to make a well-balanced breakfast in the morning. However it takes just as long to make breakfast at home as it does to go through the drive-thru so that excuse goes out the window! Sure, it takes a little forethought to plan breakfast meals and to make sure you have ingredients on hand but once you start, the benefits of eating a nutritious breakfast far outweigh any reasoning I used to have about stopping to get mini doughnuts! And I’m setting a good example for my little ones too.


Are you ready to challenge yourself in expanding your breakfast repertoire?

Carnation Breakfast Essentials® is encouraging everyone to take the 7 Day Breakfast Challenge. Accept the challenge and complete the daily missions to win prizes. You can start by picking up Carnation Breakfast Essentials® powder or Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Ready-to-Drink bottles in strawberry, vanilla or chocolate flavors at Walmart. Keep reading on how to participate and enter.

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Carnation Breakfast Essentials® are already an important part of our healthy morning routine. My youngest doesn’t care for the taste of milk but will happily drink it down if I add Carnation Breakfast Essentials® powder. And I’ll admit that I’m the same way! One of my favorite ways to use Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Powder is in a nutritious smoothie.


Two “Sneaky” Smoothies

Here are two versions I make at home, one with Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Powder in chocolate and the other in vanilla. See at the bottom of the post for the full recipe.

Kid's Quick Breakfasts (with Nutritious Ingredients They'll Never Notice)

I add milk (soy, almond or cow) and vanilla Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Powder to a blender jar. Add in half a banana, a handful of fresh spinach and kale and a half cup of either frozen berries or frozen pineapple. The frozen fruit completely masks the flavor of the veggies.Whir it up and it’s a breakfast that’s packed with flavor and healthy ingredients. In fact, I just had one this morning!

Depending upon the fruit that you use, your smoothie may vary in color from pink or purple or green. If your little one is anything like mine, they may turn up their nose at a green smoothie, no matter if it tastes like berries or not. I like to sneak my son’s smoothie into a cup with a straw or a sippy cup so he never sees the color…success!

Kid's Quick Breakfasts (with Nutritious Ingredients They'll Never Notice)

I also make a smoothie with the chocolate Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Powder. I again add milk, a teaspoon of powdered peanut butter, a half of a frozen banana and a few ice cubes. My secret ingredient in this one is a teaspoon of ground flax seed. Blend it up and nobody is the wiser that they’re getting an extra boost of fiber!


What breakfast swaps can you make for a more nutritious morning?

Here are some quick and easy ideas:

Breakfast Sandwiches – Skip the drive-through and make breakfast sandwiches at home. A bagel or sourdough toast with scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese are a morning favorite. I layer a few pieces of spinach in there too, for my adventurous eaters that don’t turn up their nose at “green” food.

Kid's Quick Breakfasts (with Nutritious Ingredients They'll Never Notice)

Doughnuts – Instead of stopping at the doughnut shop or grabbing those mini “donuts” from the convenience store, consider baking them up yourself at home. Not only can you avoid all the frying and grease, you can use nutritious ingredients like pumpkin into your baked doughnuts. I bake these up in bulk on the weekend and freeze them so I just have to set out a few of them the night before to have them defrosted by morning.

Cereal – Swap out sugar-laden cereal for a more nutritious option with plenty of whole grains and fiber. If the kids want something sweet, add in chopped banana or strawberries to the bowl. We breakfast on hot cereal or oatmeal several times a week with a healthy serving of chopped apples, raisins, walnuts and just a little bit of brown sugar or agave to sweeten.

Kid's Quick Breakfasts (with Nutritious Ingredients They'll Never Notice)

Yogurt – A dollop of plain Greek yogurt becomes a bit like dessert with the addition of a few toppings. Chop up banana, walnuts, drizzle with agave and then, just for fun…some dark chocolate chips!

Muffins –  The muffins at the store are the size of Texas (more like a 2 or 3 serving sized and not individually portioned). Bake up a batch at home, “sneaking” in grated carrot or zucchini along with flax seed, ground oats or whole wheat flour for something that’s more filling and nutritious. I also freeze these and pull them out the night before so breakfast is ready.

Kid's Quick Breakfasts (with Nutritious Ingredients They'll Never Notice)

And if you really need to have breakfast on the go, Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Ready-to-Drink bottles will fill them up fast. We found these at Walmart and my little one chose strawberry. He was tickled pink with this treat he could drink in the car while we took the big kids to school.

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Are you ready to accept the challenge?

Carnation Breakfast Essentials® wants everyone to get into a #BetterBreakfast routine. Complete simple breakfast missions through the end of February for chances to win prizes in the #CarnationSweepstakes! Follow these easy steps:

1. Sign up at CarnationBreakfastChallenge.com

2. Complete a simple yet fun breakfast mission for a chance to win. New prizes will be revealed every day!

3. Come back any day in February to complete missions and see new prizes. The prizes range from a Fitbit to a GoPro and other awesome stuff!

4. Head to your favorite store to purchase a Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Nutritional Product and upload your receipt for five extra entries per day.

And be sure to check out the Carnation Breakfast Essentials Facebook page for more nutritious breakfast ideas.

Kid's Quick Breakfasts (with Nutritious Ingredients They'll Never Notice)

"Sneaky" Berry Smoothie with Leafy Greens

"Sneaky" Berry Smoothie with Leafy Greens

Ingredients

  • 8 oz milk (soy, almond or cow)
  • One Packet Vanilla Carnation Breakfast Essentials
  • Half a banana
  • Handful of fresh Kale/Spinach blend
  • Half cup of frozen berries

Instructions

  1. Add all to a blender cup and whir it up!
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How will you accept the #BetterBreakfast routine? Share your ideas in the comments!

Everything Good Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe #SplendaHoliday #ad

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

Everything Good Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe #SplendaHoliday #ad

It’s baking season at our house! When visiting friends, attending holiday parties or participating in cookie swaps, I like to bring something that’s full of flavor but with an ingredient twist and I really love taking full fat and sugar recipes and tweaking them. Using SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend is a way to cut out some of the sugar but still retain lots of taste in my Everything Good Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. The addition of whole wheat flour, coconut oil, and ground flax seed add a nutty flavor and nobody ever knows that I’ve strayed from the standard recipe, they just want more!

I was able to pick up the SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend at my local Walmart, along with a few other necessary ingredients like eggs and vanilla.

Everything Good Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe #SplendaHoliday

I’ve been making these cookies for my family for years and have been tweaking the ingredients in different ways to our liking. Out went about half the butter, replaced with coconut oil. I’ve used whole wheat flour in addition to all-purpose flour. I add a bit of ground flax seed for extra fiber. We usually use raisins because that’s what we most often have in the pantry, but have also used dried cranberries with much success. Chopped walnuts add a wonderful texture. Chocolate chips, yes! But with all the other yummy ingredients, you won’t need a lot of chocolate in the dough. Can you see why I call these Everything Good?

Everything Good Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe #SplendaHoliday

BAKING TIPS – When subbing SPLENDA® Sugar Blend into your own recipes, keep in mind that you’ll use half the amount of SPLENDA® Sugar Blend as you would sugar. A half cup of SPLENDA® Sugar Blend has the sweetness of one full cup of sugar, so a little goes a longer way.

Everything Good Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe #SplendaHoliday #ad

I also found that when using SPLENDA® Sugar Blend in my cookie recipe, there is less spreading. This is easily remedied by flattening the dough slightly with my fingertips before placing into the oven.

Everything Good Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe #SplendaHoliday #ad

Everything Good Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Everything Good Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed powder
  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, broken up with fingers

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat butter and sugars until creamy.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla, Beat well.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and ground flax seed. Mix well.
  5. Add oats and combine.
  6. With mixer running, add raisins, chocolate and walnuts and mix just until combined.
  7. Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Dough may be crumbly and require shaping and flattening with fingers.
  8. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool one minute on the pan then transfer to a wire rack for cooling.
  9. Baked goods made with SPLENDA® should be stored in an air-tight container and will retain freshness up to 24 hours. Freeze extra cookies.
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Stop by Walmart and pick up your bag of SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend this baking season! It’s a great way to participate in the SWEET SWAPS™ Initiative and remove some of the sugar from your holiday treats. Enter the J&J Holiday Baking with SPLENDA® giveaway and win Walmart gift cards!

J&J Holiday Baking with Splenda®

Everything Good Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe #SplendaHoliday #ad


 

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes for Easy Entertaining #PotPiePlease #CollectiveBias

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

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes for Easy Entertaining

Our holiday leftovers are gone and we’re moving into a busy time of year. With two birthdays, several Christmas parties, decorating, wrapping, cooking and crafting along with our favorite holiday traditions all squeezed into the month of December, we have a lot on our plate! On those days when we have lots of other activities going on, it’s nice to have dinner items ready on hand that can be easily popped into the oven and ready to serve.

After Thanksgiving, I still had a huge bag of gold potatoes. Well, my family never gets tired of having mashed potatoes, so I whipped up an extra batch of them and put them in a casserole dish, ready to heat up in the oven during the week. Buttery potatoes, mixed up with cream cheese to make them even more creamy and then topped with sharp cheddar cheese for that extra “zing”. This is an easy, but decadent accompaniment that goes perfectly with chicken pot pie!

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes for Easy Entertaining

Marie Callender’s pot pies at Walmart…quick, easy and budget-friendly!

I stopped by Walmart earlier this week and picked up a Marie Callender’s pot pie for each of us. They were displayed in three places, an end-cap freezer, the main freezer aisle and the Family Size was with other large frozen dinners. I bought three chicken and one beef, just to be different! I already had the potatoes done, just needed to warm them up and set on the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese on top. Mmmm…it was a homey dinner we all appreciated on a chilly night. Marie Callender’s pot pies are warm, filling and taste like homemade.

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes for Easy Entertaining

We all enjoyed our individual pot pie and delicious potatoes before heading out to walk through our neighborhood to look at Christmas lights. It’s an annual tradition. We were warmed inside out with our satisfying dinner! Here’s how I prepared them.

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes for Easy Entertaining

Aluminum foil strips prevent the crust from burning.

Marie Callender’s pot pies have a delicate golden, flaky crust so I crimped together two strips of aluminum foil and curved them around the edges of the pie to protect the edges. My kids loved having their own pie to themselves but you can also purchase the Family Size that is convenient for serving to guests.

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes for Easy Entertaining

Perfectly golden and flaky crusts!

I enjoy entertaining but don’t always have the time (or money) for large, extravagant meals. The Marie Callender’s Pot Pies are fast, tasty and reasonably priced for serving to guests. Make sure to check out the rebates available right now for the 10 oz or 16 oz size as well as the Family Size.

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes for Easy Entertaining

Serving Marie Callender’s Pot Pies at a family gathering is a great way to share a delicious meal and not spend a ton of time in the kitchen when you could be socializing. Having the Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes prepared ahead of time means you only have to pop the casserole into the oven when guests arrive. Later this month I’ll have guests over for a holiday crafting party and I know just what to serve for dinner!

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes for Easy Entertaining

Broiled cheese send these potatoes over the top!

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes for Easy Entertaining

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes for Easy Entertaining

Ingredients

  • Gold potatoes, approximately 8. Scrubbed, peeled and quartered
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4 Tbsp cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • Milk
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Steam or boil potatoes until tender.
  2. Melt butter and cream cheese in a pot over low heat.
  3. Add cooked potatoes and mash, keeping heat low to prevent lumps. Mash potatoes until completely broken apart.
  4. Add seasoned salt and pepper.
  5. Drizzle milk into potatoes and mash. Continue to add milk until desired creaminess.
  6. Spoon potatoes into medium casserole dish. Can refrigerate until ready to cook.
  7. If preparing dish straight from the fridge, heat at 350 degrees about 30 minutes, until potatoes are warmed. If preparing dish while potatoes are freshly prepared, skip the warming step.
  8. Sprinkle top of hot potatoes with cheese and set under the oven broiler on high for 3 minutes (check constantly to make sure it does not burn). Cheese should brown and bubble.
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What side dish would you serve with your Marie Callender’s Pot Pie? Check out these meal ideas!

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes for Easy Entertaining

The perfect dinner


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Disneyland 60th Anniversary Sugar Cookie Bars

Disneyland 60th Anniversary Sugar Cookie Bars

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Teal loop. Today we are sharing some of our favorite holiday cookie recipes.


I love sugar cookies. But I don’t love having to bake the dough, chill the dough, roll the dough, cut them out and make fancy royal icing to decorate them. For me, that’s a 2 day process. You know what’s a lot easier? Sugar cookie bars that you bake in a pan, thickly frost and cut out! And you know what’s totally the best? Making sugar cookies that remind you of your favorite place, like these cookie bars that I decorated for Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary! Using just a few store bought items and a few minutes of time and you have cute sugar cookie bars that don’t take two days to make and 5 seconds to eat.

Disneyland 60th Anniversary Sugar Cookie Bars

Bake the cookies in a pan until just done

I found this delicious recipe online at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for the sugar cookie bars.

Disneyland 60th Anniversary Sugar Cookie Bars

I wanted variety so I iced half in blue and the other half in white with blue sprinkles

To decorate, I wanted these bar cookies to reflect the beautiful blue and white decor that is all over the Disneyland Resort this year for the Diamond Anniversary. I used half of the frosting as it was and then colored the second half blue so I’d have a variety.

Disneyland 60th Anniversary Sugar Cookie Bars

After chilling in the fridge a bit, I cut the pieces and then decorated each square a little differently. Some received a pearlescent candy ball. Others received hard-shell candy Mickey silhouettes because my little one loves a “hidden Mickey”, especially one made of candy!


Here is the map of Magical Blogorail Teal | Holiday Cookie Recipes Loop:

Holiday Dessert-to-Go – Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

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

Holiday Dessert-to-Go - Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

The holidays are upon us and that means, family, food and more food! I’m always up for dessert, but sometimes after a big meal, my guests aren’t always ready to indulge. But that doesn’t mean they want to miss out completely! Thanks to Rubbermaid TakeAlongs, guests can box up dessert to go so they can have a treat for later.

Holiday Dessert-to-Go - Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

I baked a pan of Apple Oatmeal Cake especially for my guests to take home with them. I love this Apple Oatmeal Cake recipe because it’s just as delicious for dessert as it is for breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea. So if your guests just can’t find any room after their big holiday meal, they can save their cake to eat in the morning. It’s fantastic when warmed slightly and served with a dollop of whipped cream, mmmm!

Holiday Dessert-to-Go - Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

After letting the cake cool, I cut it into pieces and boxed the slices up into the Rubbermaid TakeAlongs. Having my family around me during the holidays is a gift and I want to thank them for joining us. Sharing a meal together and giving a special treat to take home with them truly highlights what the season is all about.

Holiday Dessert-to-Go - Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

Since I know you’re busy, I created this Thank You Printable for you to use on your Rubbermaid TakeAlongs. Simply print and cut out. I delegated this task to my kids, who used simple craft sticky dots to secure the thank you cards to the top of the Rubbermaid TakeAlongs before we boxed up the treats.

Holiday Dessert-to-Go - Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

We already have quite a collection of Rubbermaid containers for everyday use, but I don’t necessarily want to send these home with my guests (because I’ll never get them back!) Rubbermaid TakeAlongs products are available at Walmart at a reasonable price so you can pack up leftovers for your guests and send them home with them. On our stop at Walmart, we chose Rubbermade TakeAlongs in Deep Square and Rectangle but there are also TakeAlongs Serving Bowl, TakeAlongs Serving Rectangle, and the TakeAlongs Deviled Egg Tray.

Holiday Dessert-to-Go - Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

Find Rubbermaid TakeAlongs for the holidays at Walmart

The holiday Rubbermaid TakeAlongs come in a variety of holiday colors and prints. We brought home festive red and green. I bought a few extra in case anyone wants leftover turkey or stuffing (as if they wouldn’t!) Rubbermaid TakeAlongs feature Quik Clik Seal™ technology which helps prevent spills in the car on the way home. They are also microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe, so you can pop your Apple Oatmeal Cake into the microwave to warm it up before swooping the top with whipped cream.

Holiday Dessert-to-Go - Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

This recipe goes together quickly and the addition of applesauce, coconut oil, ground flax seed and oatmeal make this a healthier dessert option. And as I said, fantastic for breakfast (in fact, that’s what we had for breakfast today!)

Healthier Apple Oatmeal Cake

Healthier Apple Oatmeal Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or use sugar substitute)
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed (optional)
  • 1/2 cup oil (I used 1/4 cup melted coconut oil and 1/4 cup vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in bowl.
  3. Add liquid ingredients and mix just until moistened.
  4. Stir in apples and walnuts. Mixture will be quite thick.
  5. Pour into a greased 9 x 13" pan.
  6. Bake 30-35 minutes.
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http://momrewritten.com/2015/11/24/holiday-dessert-to-go-apple-oatmeal-cake-recipe-and-free-printable-sharetheholiday/

Holiday Dessert-to-Go - Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

Make sure to stock up on Rubbermaid TakeAlongs from Walmart so you’re prepared to pack up leftovers and share them with your guests! Click through to find out how you can get $1 Off Of Any 2 Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Products in this rebate offer, exclusive to Walmart shoppers (starts Nov 25th). It’s an excellent way to Share the Holiday.

Holiday Dessert-to-Go - Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

How will you #ShareTheHoliday with your family this year?


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Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

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

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

I’m not alone in thinking that a hot bowl of soup truly warms you up on a chilly day. But does it always fill you up? Depends upon the ingredients, because sometimes my tummy is grumbling for more food a short while after having soup for dinner. The key is to making a hearty and filling soup that truly satisfies, and still gives you that warm feeling! It’s also nice to have a soup recipe on a budget that can be easily doubled for a second meal.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

Recipe on a Budget

For me, soup needs to be budget-friendly and it needs to be easy. I made Chipotle Black Bean Soup for my husband and big kids a few weeks ago and they all loved it. Perfect for a chilly fall day, this soup is filling and full of flavor and fiber. With black beans, diced tomatoes, corn, green chiles and La Morena Chipotle Peppers this soup will warm you from the inside out. La Morena gives my dishes an authentic Latino flavor (and spice!) that we love.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

I like that I can serve this soup with a variety of toppings so my family can mix in exactly what they want. And my husband and I? We top it with EVERYTHING! A dollop of Greek yogurt, shredded cheese and sliced avocado. Add in a big bowl of tortilla chips and an icy Coca-Cola…I’m in heaven.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

*ahem* I already took a sip of this Coke…I couldn’t help it!

Take a Little Time to Save Money

I like to cook on a budget so instead of canned black beans, I prep dry beans for cooking in this soup. You could certainly go the canned black bean route but to save a little money, it’s not hard to take a little time when you’re home to soak and boil a bag of dry beans to have ready when you need it. A one pound bag of dry beans costs $1.70 and makes at least six cups. Versus one can of black beans at $1.30 each that only makes about two cups. If you have the time, truly, try making the beans from scratch. I soaked mine overnight and then boiled them up for 90 minutes today so they’d be ready for the soup at dinnertime.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

In Store Special

The rest of the soup goes together quickly, especially with the use of canned diced tomatoes, canned corn, green chiles and La Morena Chipotle Peppers. I picked up the La Morena product and cute Coca-Cola glass bottles at Northgate Market. They are currently offering a special when you combine La Morena products with Coca-Cola: Buy (1) 7.5oz Mini Can or 6 pack PET bottles of any Coca-Cola brand + La Morena product and receive $0.50 off. Consider doubling this soup recipe and freezing half so you’ll have a ready-to-serve meal during the busy holiday season!

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

Feelin’ hot, hot, hot? You won’t even need this entire pepper to make your soup spicy.

Now, a warning. Chipotle peppers in adobo are HOT. You will not be using the entire can in this soup. I used only 1/3 of the can and probably shouldn’t have even used that much because my soup was still quite spicy. I’d recommend starting with 3/4 of one pepper because you can always add more later if you want more kick. I used 1 1/2 peppers and it was probably too spicy. Fortunately we topped our soup with Greek yogurt which cooled it down.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

Bag up and freeze the rest of the can to use later.

So here’s what I did with the rest of the peppers in the can. I labeled plastic baggies and put them in the freezer so I can use them in another recipe in the future. You could also cut them up and divide into ice cube trays so you have a small shot of spice to use later.

Dinner in 20 minutes

Once you have the dry beans prepped and ready, this soup only takes about 20 minutes to toss together and cook. Great on those days when you’re short on time and need something hot and filling on the table fast!

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

The combinations of flavors is complex and satisfying, and oh-so warming on a chilly day. If you enjoy this recipe, make sure to search #MejoresRecetas for recipes from La Morena and Coca-Cola. For additional savings, also look for the specially marked displays in your stores.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

Chipotle Black Bean Soup

Chipotle Black Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • I lb bag of dry black beans, prepared (instructions follow) OR 2 cans black beans, rinsed & drained - You will need a total of 4 cups black beans
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • Can of Chipotle peppers in adobo, to taste (I recommend between 3/4 of one pepper to 1.5 peppers)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1.5 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 can chicken broth (2 cups)
  • 1 can of corn, well drained
  • 1 can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 4-oz can green chilies

Instructions

  1. Preparing the Dry Black Beans - Pick through the beans (don't skip that step, I found a pebble once!) Rinse beans thoroughly.
  2. For an overnight soak, add beans to a pot with 8 cups of cold water and let them sit overnight or at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse beans. For a quick soak, add beans to a pot with 8 cups of cold water and bring to a boil for two minutes. Remove from heat and cover pot with lid. Let stand one hour, then drain and rinse beans.
  3. To cook the Beans - add 8 cups hot water to prepped & soaked beans. Simmer gently with lid tilted until desired tenderness is achieved, between 1.5 - 2 hours.
  4. To Make Soup - In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat.
  5. Add onions, chipotle pepper, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and use spoon to break up pepper into small bits. Cook until slightly softened, about five minutes.
  6. Add garlic, paprika, cumin and chili powder, then stir to combine. Cook another five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add four cups of cooked and drained beans, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, corn and chilies. Stir to combine and then cover.
  8. Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Serve with toppings, like Greek yogurt or sour cream, cilantro, avocado slices, shredded cheese and tortilla chips.
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Eat at Home & Save – Creamy Cashew Chicken and Rice Recipe

Eat at Home & Save - Creamy Cashew Chicken and Rice Recipe

I’ve had this recipe (handed down from me from an family member) for nearly 20 years. I’ve always loved this dish but I don’t make it often because I don’t always have all the ingredients on hand. I don’t often buy mushrooms. Very rarely buy whipping cream. Parsley? Nope, don’t usually buy that one. And cashews…well, if there were cashews in my house, I’d have already eaten them because they are my favorite nut.

Eat at Home & Save - Creamy Cashew Chicken and Rice Recipe

My husband had never had my Cashew Chicken because it’s been about 8 years since I made it! But this week the stars aligned and I just happened to have every single ingredient available (except the parsley, I did have to pick that up fresh at the grocery). And oh, was I glad I made it because it was just as good as I remembered. I even love it rewarmed the next day after the flavors have blended in the fridge overnight. It’s worth the extra grocery trip to get parsley.

Definitely use all the ingredients. I’ve made this dish in the past, omitting the mushrooms or the parsley, but really every ingredient adds great flavor so don’t skimp. Even though I don’t care for mushrooms myself usually, I use them in this dish because it gives the sauce an incredible flavor.

Eat at Home & Save - Creamy Cashew Chicken and Rice Recipe

Now that I’m a stay-at-home-mom I’ve been better with my meal planning and going through my old recipes. I’d gotten in the habit of buying the same ol’ same ol’ at the grocery and not picking up too many extra things. But it’s those little things that definitely add flavor and interest to your dish. It’s not that hard to add a few extra ingredients to your shopping list and try something creative. Especially when they are budget friendly ingredients, like in this dish. I bought the mushrooms in a big pack at Costco and there have been plenty left over for my husband to cut up over his salad and for me to saute and serve with beef. The brown rice we also buy at Costco, in huge bags. The bottle of cooking sherry I’ve had for a while. It’s not very expensive and and I use a little bit often to give my sauces a nice nutty flavor. The cashews can be pricey but a little goes a long way here, since you just sprinkle a few on top of your dish.

Let me know what you think of this rich and creamy dish. Yep, it’s heavy on the butter and cream, but we don’t eat like this very often. Besides it’s brown rice and that’s healthy, right? When I plated it and served it to my foodie son, he said, “I can’t eat this! It’s too pretty!” I knew my work was done (and yes, he gobbled up every bite and proceeded to lick the plate…really!)

Creamy Cashew Chicken and Rice

Creamy Cashew Chicken and Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, boneless & skinless
  • 1/4 cup dry Sherry (or apple juice)
  • 1 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 or 2 large cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms OR 8-10 large mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 Tbsp butter (divided)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup salted cashews
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Brown rice, cooked and hot, ready to serve

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together sherry, cornstarch, garlic, salt and curry. Add chunks of chopped chicken breast and mix well. Set aside to marinate, at least 15 minutes.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt 2 Tbsp butter and add sliced mushrooms. Saute until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add rest of butter (2 Tbsp) to the pan. Add chicken and sauce and saute until golden brown.
  4. Return mushrooms back to the pan and stir to combine.
  5. Slowly add whipping cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring until cream is boiled down and thickened, about ten minutes.
  6. On each individual plate, add scoops of hot brown rice and spoonfuls of chicken with sauce.Sprinkle with chopped parsley and nuts just before serving.
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http://momrewritten.com/2015/11/04/eat-at-home-save-creamy-cashew-chicken-and-rice-recipe/


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