Frugal Foodie Mama

Friday, October 24, 2014

Cookie Butter Candied Pumpkin Seeds & Pecans

Carving pumpkins this weekend? You will want to be sure to save those pumpkin seeds to make these crunchy, sweet & salty Cookie Butter Candied Pumpkin Seeds & Pecans then...
Cookie Butter Candied Pumpkin Seeds and Pecans via - crunchy, sweet & salty!
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Each fall when we visit our favorite pumpkin patch, my son goes on the quest to find the largest pumpkin that he can possibly fit his two arms around. 
At first, I thought it was just a boy thing.
Or maybe he wanted a larger surface area for carving.
But nope.
This year his true intentions came to the surface...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Easy Homemade Chicken Broth

Using ingredients you were probably going to toss out anyways, you can make rich, flavorful Easy Homemade Chicken Broth at home instead...
Easy Homemade Chicken Broth via - make this rich, flavorful broth at home with ingredients you usually toss out
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Okay, okay.... I know what you all may be thinking. 
Why in the world would you take the time and effort to make your own chicken broth at home when you can easily pick up a carton of the store bought variety for less than $2 at your local grocery store?

Let me tell you all why...
It just tastes better than store bought. Hands down.
Another very good reason? You know everything that is going in it and everything that will not be in it.  No added sodium. Or ingredients you can't pronounce. Just all of the good wholesome stuff that do you want.
Another perk of making your own chicken broth? You can tweak the flavors in it according to your preferences. Love garlic? Add more in there. Hate it? Leave it out! 
See how that works? ;)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Portobello Red Wine Mini Meatballs

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I am partnering with Imagine® Organic Culinary Simmer Sauces today to bring you all this super simple recipe for Portobello Red Wine Mini Meatballs perfect for a busy weeknight...
Portobello Red Wine Mini Meatballs via with just a few ingredients this tasty meal can be on your table in around 45 minutes! #PanWithAPlan #ImagineNation #ad
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I have to be real with you all for a moment- I love having a few easy to throw together, quick dinner ideas at my disposal.  Even with the best of intentions and a well planned out meal plan for the week, there are nights when cooking from scratch just goes out the window.
I know you all know what I am talking about... ;)
Those evenings when a day at home with the little ones has been just a little too long.
Those evenings when you come home and the office has managed to wipe out every last bit of self motivation you may have left.
Those evenings when the kids' practice, that work meeting, the traffic has taken just a little longer than you had planned for.
Those types of evenings happen at least a few times a month in this home.
I defrost chicken or ground beef that morning only to come home and realize that I just do not have it in me to make the recipe I had originally planned to use them in.

In fact, this very such thing happened to me when I came home one evening and had ground beef thawed in the fridge. My original plan was to make a pot of chili with it, but I was wiped out. All the chopping, and browning, and simmering just didn't appeal to me at all.  I was just about to cave into the fast food drive-thru when I remembered that I had a pouch of the Portobello Red Wine Imagine® Organic Culinary Simmer Sauce sitting in my pantry! :)
That pack of ground beef quickly became tender mini meatballs smothered in a rich and creamy Portobello Red Wine sauce...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Is Your Teenager Ready for Contacts?

I wrote this review while participating in an Influencer campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. and received a promotional item from Mom Central to thank me for participating.
Is Your Teenager Ready For Contacts? Find out how to know if they are really ready. via
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My 16 year old son came to me about two months ago stating that he was ready for contacts. He was done with the glasses. He always seemed to be bending them or knocking them around, and we were taking him to the vision center often for readjustments or to have an ear piece tightened up.  
Also, he had come to that stage in his teenage years where vanity was kicking in just a bit. ;)
And I would be lying if I told you all that I wasn't able to relate.  I also made the switch to contacts in my early teens because I wanted to fit in better.  In the mid-90's, glasses were not cute or cool.  The style and lens options that are available today simply just didn't exist back then.

But was my son ready to make the jump to contacts? I mean, he clearly couldn't take care of his glasses all that well. But in his defense, he does have three little sisters all under 4 years old who all happen to love climbing on him and wrestling with him.
The will to want to wear contacts was definitely there, but was he ready to assume the responsibility? 
Unlike glasses, not taking care of contacts could have some serious repercussions for his eye health.  I mean, those suckers sit right on their eyes.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Chipotle Pumpkin & Chicken Lasagna {For Two}

A big thank you to Dreamfields Pasta for sponsoring this post and helping me bring you all this delicious recipe for Chipotle Pumpkin & Chicken Lasagna For Two...
Chipotle Pumpkin and Chicken Lasagna via thefrugalfoodiemama #IHeartDreamfields
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A few times a month my husband and I try to squeeze in a date night.  Sometimes we go out and grab dinner.  And other times we drop the little one off with a relative and come back to our home for a date night-in. 
We may rent a movie and pop open a bottle of wine. I will usually cook a little something for just the two of us. These are my rare opportunities to prepare a meal without having to keep in mind the taste preferences of a finicky toddler and a very picky teenager. ;)  So when they do happen I go all out with flavors that my husband and I love, but that the kiddos would probably turn their nose up at.

This amazingly delicious Chipotle Pumpkin & Chicken Lasagna is just one such example of a more "adult"-like meal.  My husband and I have always been a fan of chipotle peppers in adobo.  They add a smoky, spicy kick to this lasagna.  The creamy pumpkin and ricotta cheese balance out the spiciness of the peppers. And a hint of cinnamon brings a touch of sweetness to the entire dish...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Creamy Buffalo Ranch Potato Salad

Creamy Buffalo Ranch Potato Salad via - traditional potato salad gets a game day makeover #hometailgate
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When you are the parents to a little one under 3, your days of tailgating are pretty much over or at the very least are put on hold for a few years. But that certainly doesn't mean that the fun and food of football season has to come to a grinding and depressing halt, folks! Not when you could just move the tailgating to your home. ;) I mean, who says that tailgating has to happen in a parking lot anyways?

And tailgating at home doesn't have to be super time consuming or complicated either. Grab a few Red Baron, Freschetta, or Tony's pizzas, kick in a few tasty appetizers and side dishes, a dessert or two, and some fun drinks, and you are good to go!
Be sure to check out the Tailgate At Your Place virtual hub for recipes, home tailgating tips, & more to get you started.

One of my favorite go-to side dishes for a tailgate at home party is this Creamy Buffalo Ranch Potato Salad. It is super easy to make, full of flavor, and a touchdown with just about everyone...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Princess For the Day With a Princess Makeover...

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias , Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
Princess For the Day With a Princess Makeover via #DisneyBeauties #shop
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While Little Miss is considered a princess just about everyday by myself and most who know her, every once in a while a little girl just deserves a day to truly be treated like a princess.  To have a complete princess makeover, to have a tea party with another princess, and to kick back and enjoy a truly royal movie.  
And even though I am a stay-at-home mom, I also happen to be a work-at-home mama. Most days I am able to make plenty of time for Little Miss, but other days I am not.  (Cue the mom guilt, folks.)
I love to plan days like this with my littlest every so often to bring balance to the SAHM/WAHM conundrum.  And I have to let you all in on a little secret... this mama just happens to love to play princess herself. Is that something us gals ever really grow out of? ;)