Frugal Foodie Mama

Friday, January 19, 2018

Pecan & Date Granola

This easy-to-make, homemade Pecan & Date Granola is brimming with toasted golden oats, crunchy pecans, & sweet dates...
This easy-to-make, homemade Pecan & Date Granola is brimming with toasted golden oats, crunchy pecans, & sweet dates.

Can we talk about raisins for just a quick second? In general, I don't like them. I mean, they have their place in the culinary world, but for me that wouldn't be straight from the box. Or baked into any kind of bread or bagel (oatmeal cookies though are a-okay with me ;) ). Or as part of a trail mix (I always pick around them). And especially not in my granola!

Do you know how difficult it can be to find a box of store bought granola that does not have raisins in it?? Nearly impossible. Believe me- I have tried. 

If you have an aversion to raisins in your morning granola like I do, then you are going to love the recipe that I am sharing with you all today! This homemade Pecan & Date Granola is brimming with toasted golden oats, crunchy pecans, & sweet dates.... and absolutely no raisins whatsoever! ;)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Experience a Taste of Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas

The city of Amarillo, Texas embodies the very essence & spirit of Route 66 with its quirky roadside stops & historical sites...
The city of Amarillo, Texas embodies the very essence & spirit of Route 66 with its quirky roadside stops & historical sites. The perfect destination for experiencing a taste of this iconic American highway!
This post was created in partnership with Visit Amarillo. As always, all opinions & thoughts expressed below are 100% my own.

I think many Americans and foreign tourists alike share the dream of one day traveling the entire length of the historic & iconic Route 66. It is one of those bucket list items. The ultimate American road trip. A journey back to a simpler time when Cadillacs ruled the roads & families packed up the station wagon or camper to head out west for the annual family vacation.

But the nearly 2,450 mile drive from Chicago to Santa Monica can seem a bit daunting at first. This trip can take you weeks round trip, especially if you stop often to take in the quirky & iconic roadside attractions along the way. I mean, what's the point of making the epic Route 66 journey if you aren't going to actually going to make the time to experience everything this nostalgic highway has to offer?

If weeks of paid vacation time is not something that you currently have the luxury of possessing, but you are itching to get a taste of Route 66 then a trip to Amarillo, Texas is definitely the cure for what ails you. ;) Amarillo happens to be the largest city along the 178 mile stretch of Route 66 from Oklahoma to New Mexico. And even though only a little over a mile of the Mother Road runs through the historic district of Amarillo, the city embodies the very essence of Route 66 with its quirky roadside stops & historical sites...

Monday, January 1, 2018

Asian Chili & Garlic Pork Sliders

These super flavorful Asian Chili & Garlic Pork Sliders are sure to be the MVP of your next game day get-together... 
These super flavorful Asian Chili & Garlic Pork Sliders are sure to be the MVP of your next game day get-together.

Of all the game day recipes I have posted to this blog over the years, I have never once posted a sliders recipe.... that is, until today. And I have no clue why it has taken me this long! I mean, sliders make the perfect football food. They fit in one hand leaving one hand free for making gestures of victory or disgust during the game. ;) You can pack a ton of flavor into these tiny burgers. And they are perfectly snack-sized so you that can save room for the other game day goodies being served like hot wings and chips & dip. That is game day food perfection in my books, folks.

These Asian Chili & Garlic Pork Sliders are actually inspired by some of the flavors that I used in these Slow Cooker Banh Mi Pork Sandwiches that I posted to the blog in October 2016. And those pulled pork sandwiches were inspired by the Banh Mi pork sliders I made with some of my fellow food bloggers while attending the Pass the Pork tour in Minnesota in September of that same year. Isn't it awesome how recipe inspiration can work sometimes? :)

Friday, December 29, 2017

18 Bubbly Cocktails for that New Year's Eve Toast

Ring in the new year right with one of these 18 Bubbly Cocktails perfect for a New Year's Eve midnight toast...
Ring in the new year right with one of these 18 Bubbly Cocktails perfect for a New Year's Eve midnight toast.

A new year is just around the corner, folks. I am not the type to set unrealistic New Year's resolutions. Or to write out a long list of personal & professional goals that I hope to accomplish over the next 365 days. And I have never chosen a word to reflect my purpose or focus for the upcoming year. Not dogging those who do, but it just doesn't happen to be my thing. 

But what is my thing at the beginning of each new year is to start it off right with a bubbly champagne filled toast at midnight. (Now I may or may not promptly pass out right after that midnight toast, but that is besides the point. ;) )

My favorite way to raise a glass to the start of a new year is with a fizzy & fun cocktail in hand. I mean, I do like a glass of good champagne just as much as the next gal, but we all know that the real stuff (aka, French champagne) can get a little pricey. So I like to go with the cheaper stuff (think sparkling wines & prosecco), but I doctor them up a bit with my favorite liquors & fruits so that you can't even tell that you are not drinking the expensive bubbly. Clever, right? I get to ring in the new year with a glass of delicious bubbles & not break the bank in the process.

If you happen to share my same sentiments about a bubbly New Year's Eve toast, then you are going to love this collection of 18 sparkling cocktails I am sharing with you all today. You are sure to find the perfect glass of bubbles to ring in the new year with below...

Friday, December 22, 2017

10 Easy Microwave Fudge Recipes

These 10 Easy Microwave Fudge Recipes are the ultimate collection of easy, fuss free, practically foolproof fudge recipes perfect for celebrating the holidays (or any day!) with...
These 10 Easy Microwave Fudge Recipes are the ultimate collection of easy, fuss free, practically foolproof fudge recipes perfect for celebrating the holidays (or any day!) with.

Today's post is for the last minute holiday fudge maker. For the person who just can't seem to ever get fudge to set right (this is SO me, by the way)- it either doesn't set up at all or it ends up being dry and crumbly. This post is for the Christmas procrastinator... the mama (or dad) short on time this Christmas weekend... the wife who just now found out that her husband needs to bring in a dessert for the office holiday party... the person who always craves fudge during the holiday season, but doesn't want to mess with a double boiler and a candy thermometer. Today's post is the ultimate collection of easy, fuss free, practically foolproof fudge recipes perfect for celebrating the holidays with.

Each of these fudge recipes require just a few simple ingredients and a microwave oven. No stove top, no pots or double boilers, no thermometers, no fretting over whether you have cooked it too long or not long enough. They are simple, easy, & most importantly- no one will be able to tell that you didn't stress over a stove, constantly stirring a pot to make one of these homemade fudge recipes. 
Shhhhhhhh... Don't worry. I won't tell anyone. It will be our little secret, k? ;)

So whip up a batch of one of these 10 Easy Microwave Fudge Recipes this weekend & put the time that you will save towards the tedious task of wrapping those oddly shaped boxes that toy manufacturers insist on packaging every. single. toy. in instead. ;) (Yes. This would be my current holiday frustration, lol.)

Monday, December 18, 2017

Cranberry-Ginger Eggnog French Toast for One

Grab some leftover rolls or bread & the eggnog from the fridge, and whip up this decadent Cranberry-Ginger Eggnog French Toast for One in less than 10 minutes...
Grab some leftover rolls or bread & the eggnog from the fridge, and whip up this decadent Cranberry-Ginger Eggnog French Toast for One in less than 10 minutes.

Picture this for one second, folks- it is the morning after Christmas Day. You are up early, and the house is quiet. The kids are sleeping in after waking up super early the morning before to raid the gifts under the tree. You have a cup of coffee brewing & are just enjoying the stillness of the morning after the Christmas craziness of the day before. The only thing missing is a warm plate of french toast sitting in front of you.

But you don't want to drag out everything to make french toast. Or stand over the stove flipping the egg soaked pieces of bread. Plus, the delicious smell of homemade french toast is just sure to wake up the entire family, and there goes your much deserved quiet morning to yourself.

But wait! I have the perfect solution for this little day after Christmas dilemma of yours. ;) How about french toast just for one that you can make in your microwave? Grab some rolls or that loaf of bread leftover from Christmas dinner & the eggnog from the fridge, & whip up this decadent Cranberry-Ginger Eggnog French Toast for One in less than 10 minutes...

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

5 Festive Reasons to Visit Pittsburgh During the Holidays

Twinkling lights, holiday magic, and festive family fun await you & your family this holiday season in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania...
Twinkling lights, holiday magic, and festive family fun await you & your family this holiday season in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
This post was created in partnership with Visit Pittsburgh. As always, all opinions & thoughts expressed below are 100% my own.

I have spent most of my life living 2 hours or less from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and never once in that 30+ years did I visit the Steel City just to take in the sights & the sounds of the holiday season. To shop at the malls for holiday gifts? Yes. But we had never took the time to go and see the twinkling lights at Kennywood, or to take in the wonder of the season at Phipps Conservatory, or to try our luck at ice skating downtown. That is, of course, until a couple of weeks ago. ;)

Let me just start by saying that we have been missing out! I don't know how many times during our most recent visit to Pittsburgh (aka, Kidsburgh) that I turned and looked at my husband & asked him why we have never taken the kids to the city do all of these fun & festive things during the holidays before? Pittsburgh becomes something so much more during the holidays than just a former steel town, a home to major league sport teams, the point where the Allegheny, Monongahela, & Ohio Rivers meet. During the holiday season, the city becomes a magical place alive with the spirit of holiday wonder.

Although there is so much to do during the holidays in Pittsburgh, I am sharing with you all my top 5 festive reasons to visit the Steel City during the holidays in today's post...