Frugal Foodie Mama

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Cheese Platter {& How to Throw a Wine Tasting Party on a Budget}

I am partnering with ALDI today to bring you all this fun & delicious Holiday Cheese Platter and to share my tips for hosting a budget friendly wine tasting party...
How to Create a Holiday Cheese Platter + tips and ideas for hosting a budget friendly wine tasting party #ALDIPairings
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I think by now most of you all who have been following me for any number of months (or even weeks) have figured out that I have much love for the ALDI grocery store chain.  I do have to admit though that there was once a time in my life when I turned up my nose to the very thought of shopping there. (Can you all even believe that??)  That all changed when I made the decision that I wanted to stay at home with my daughter after she was born.  I was searching for ways to cut down on our budget when I decided to give ALDI another chance. And folks, I have never looked back since... ;)

You may already know that ALDI has fabulous deals for your everyday grocery shopping, and that their ALDI brand products almost always stand up to and even surpass their name brand counterparts.  But did you know that ALDI can also help you throw a swanky wine tasting party for the holidays without totally emptying your wallet?  Today I am going to show you all how.

Just about everything I used for my holiday wine tasting party that I am sharing with you all today was purchased at my local ALDI. From the wine to the cheeses to the grapes and baby carrots, even the fun slate cheese platter (around $10!) you see below was bought there.
The focal dish for my wine tasting party was this fun and simple Holiday Cheese Platter. I created mine in the shape of a Christmas tree, but you could certainly get even more creative and try a wreath or a candy cane shape...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Monopolizing A Little Family Time During the Holidays

Check out Hasbro Game Channel and experience MONOPOLY for a new era!
Take time for a family game night this busy holiday season with the help of Hasbro Ubisoft #ad
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While the holiday season is supposed to be all about spending time with and enjoying our loved ones, we can often find ourselves doing anything but spending quality with our families as the busy holiday season goes into full swing. With family gatherings, parties with friends, company holiday parties, pageants and dance recitals, it seems that we are doing everything but carving out quality time to spend with our family members.

This holiday season with a little help from Hasbro Ubisoft my family and I are vowing to include more family game nights into our busy holiday schedule.  Hasbro Ubisoft has brought one of our favorite family board games, Monopoly into the new era with the Hasbro Game Channel...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Easy Cranberry-Almond Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

This Easy Cranberry-Almond Cream Cheese Cake Coffee Cake is so simple to make yet so impressive- perfect for your holiday morning breakfast...
Easy Cranberry-Almond Cream Cheese Coffee Cake for Real Housemoms- this simple, yet impressive coffee cake starts with a can of refrigerated cinnamon rolls!
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Am I the only mother who happens to have this far fetched fantasy of having her family sit down to a perfectly prepared holiday breakfast before the gift unwrapping frenzy begins each Christmas morning? I mean, honestly it is a fantasy. And maybe just a little cruel to the kiddos to do so too. ;)

But even when I know that I will be up before the crack of dawn on the 25th.  And I know that there is no way my kids (and perhaps even my husband) would sit down to a nice family breakfast without scarfing their food down just so they could get to those presents quicker, I still would like to prepare a special breakfast for Christmas morning without missing all of the gift opening to do so.
Enter this delicious and holiday perfect (and easy to make!) Cranberry-Almond Cream Cheese Coffee Cake...

Monday, December 15, 2014

White Chocolate Dipped Cherry Shortbread Cookies

These buttery, crispy cookies are studded with sweet & tart dried cherries and then dipped in white chocolate- perfect for the holidays... 
White Chocolate Dipped Cherry Shortbread Cookies- buttery, crispy cookies are studded with sweet & tart dried cherries and then dipped in white chocolate
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This year was my first time participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  Last year I remember seeing food blogger friends posting all the fabulous cookies they were receiving from other food bloggers and wanting to kick myself for not signing up. So this year as soon as the sign-ups went up, I headed over and registered. :) What is the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap? To participate, each food blogger donates just $4 to Cookies for Kids' Cancer. Then you receive the addresses of 3 other food bloggers that you will bake cookies for and send off at least a dozen to each. In return, you will get 3 different dozens of homemade cookies from 3 other food bloggers. Helping a great cause and getting to try cookies from other food bloggers? That is a win-win in my book, folks. ;) And this year's cookie swap raised over $12,000 for Cookies for Kid's Cancer! 

If you follow me on Instagram, you already got a peek at the delicious cookies that came my way during this year's swap. 
My cookie swap recipients received these crispy and buttery dried cherry studded shortbread cookies that I dipped in white chocolate and finished off with some holiday festive sprinkles...

Friday, December 12, 2014

Biscoff Gingersnap Brownies {& A Cookbook Giveaway!}

Chocolaty, fudgy brownies get a chewy gingersnap crust and are then topped off with a creamy Biscoff buttercream in these Biscoff Gingersnap Brownies...
Biscoff Gingersnap Brownies- fudgy brownies with a chewy gingersnap crust are frosted with a creamy Biscoff buttercream
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I think by now you all are well aware of my obsession with and love for Biscoff spread, aka cookie butter.  It started with that very first spoonful. And trust me.... that is all it takes to begin the addiction, folks. ;)

So, you all can probably guess at how thrilled I was to discover that there is a cookbook out there filled with just recipes that use Biscoff spread and cookies!  As soon as I made this discovery, I ordered my copy from Amazon- The Biscoff Cookie & Spread Cookbook from Katrina Bahl of Katrina's Kitchen.  It was also pretty nice to know that there happens to be another food blogger out there who shares my affinity for all things cookie butter. 

I had been kicking around an idea for a gingersnap crusted brownie for a couple of weeks now. I just love the combination of rich chocolate with spicy ginger.  But it needed something just a little more... As I was flipping through my copy of The Biscoff Cookie & Spread Cookbook, I came to the recipe for Biscoff Buttercream and I knew that I found the missing component for my brownie recipe idea.  The creamy buttercream with it's spiced buttery cookie flavor turned out to be just the icing on the cake (ahem... brownies) I was looking for for this new sweet treat recipe... 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Breyers Apple Pie A La Mode

In partnership with the folks at Lunchbox, I am sharing this recipe for a holiday dessert classic- Apple Pie A La Mode. All opinions expressed below are my own.
Breyers Apple Pie A La Mode- a classic apple pie made with a toasted pecan crust and topped with creamy Breyers Vanilla Caramel Gelato #ad #spon #MySweetHolidays
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When it comes to holiday baking and hosting guests for the holidays, you can just never go wrong by serving the classics. From hot cocoa with marshmallows to frosted sugar cookies to classic apple pie, the holiday classics are always sure to please and to disappear quickly. 

Homemade apple pie happens to be the most requested dessert in my home no matter what time of the year it may be.  For this holiday season, I am taking the classic apple pie and kicking it up just a notch by using my Toasted Pecan Pie Crust Mix for this and then topping it with a creamy, decadent surprise- Breyers® Gelato Indulgences in Vanilla Caramel... :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cinnamon-Sugar English Muffin Casserole

This simple & delicious Cinnamon-Sugar English Muffin Casserole can be made the night before making it the perfect breakfast for your holiday morning...
This simple & delicious Cinnamon-Sugar English Muffin Casserole can be made the night before making it the perfect breakfast for your holiday morning.
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I have to admit that the creation of this recipe came about because of a package of English muffins that somehow got pushed to the back of our bread box and then was buried by a couple of loaves of bread. About 5 or 6 days later as I was finishing up one of the loaves of bread making sandwiches for lunch, I spotted that package of English muffins stuffed back there in the corner. 
I let out an immediate sigh, grabbed the package, and started to head to the trash can with them. I mean, they weren't bad but they were definitely far from being fresh at this point. 

As I started to push the door of the trash can open, a light bulb went off...
What do I do with day old loaves of French or Italian bread??
I make french toast casseroles! So, why couldn't I do the same with less than fresh English muffins? I figure it couldn't hurt to give it a go, and the results were absolutely delicious, folks! :)

The little nooks and crannies of the English muffins were perfect for soaking up all the cinnamon-sugar goodness of this breakfast casserole.  The tops of the English muffin pieces were perfectly crusted with cinnamon and brown sugar. And the best part? You throw it all together the night before and then refrigerate it overnight, making it the perfect breakfast for a busy (or ahem... lazy) Christmas or New Year's Day morning... ;)