Frugal Foodie Mama

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pina Colada Macaroons

Baking up a batch of these moist & delicious Pina Colada Macaroons is a sure-fire way to cure a case of the beach blues...
Baking up a batch of these moist & delicious Pina Colada Macaroons is a sure-fire way to cure a case of the beach blues.
Pin It

Pardon me, friends... But I happen to be going through a little bit of beach withdrawal this week. My family and I traveled to the Outer Banks with 9 other members of our family last week to take up residence in a 3 story beach house complete with a pool and hot tub for a full 7 days. If you happen to follow me on Instagram, you may have caught some of my photos from our little trip to the beach. ;)

We spent lots of time on the beach (no shark sightings or attacks for us, thank goodness!) and just hanging out together relaxing in our big ole beach house. We may have also enjoyed a frosty cocktail or two. Frozen pina coladas, to be exact. Once I saw that our beach house kitchen was equipped with a blender, I headed to the next little town over to seek out a liquor store. I picked up some white rum and a bottle of pina colada mix and got right to whirling away frozen and fruity concoctions for the ladies of the family. I blended up a few traditional pina coladas, and then spying the fresh fruit we had on hand I decided to make a few strawberry and banana ones as well. 
While I am glad to be home and back to the the familiar, I am missing the beach. The salty breezes, the seashell hunting, and those frosty pina coladas...

Monday, June 29, 2015

Exploring Willamette Valley, Oregon- The OXO Farm Tour

From a local farm cooperative to a true farm-to-table restaurant experience, explore the Willamette Valley and immerse yourself in the local foods scene of Portland and Oregon...
From a local farm cooperative to a true farm-to-table restaurant experience, explore the Willamette Valley and immerse yourself in the local foods scene of Portland and Oregon. #OXOFarmTour
Pin It

I had the pleasure of attending the first ever Indulge Conference in Portland, Oregon at the end of last month. If you happen to follow me on Instagram, you may have caught some of my photos and experiences from that trip. I promise to share all the details of the conference and my thoughts on exploring Portland's local food scene (can we say all the foodie fun?) with you all soon, but today I am going to give a little recap of Day #2 of the conference- the OXO Farm Tour. OXO happened to be one of the major sponsors of this year's Indulge Conference, and in partnership with Travel Oregon generously arranged for the food bloggers in attendance to experience one of two farm-to-table outings on the last day of the conference- Hood River or Willamette Valley. I opted for the Willamette Valley tour myself. If you happen to be into the whole farm to table experience, then you are definitely going to want grab a cup of coffee and sit back and read through today's post... And then start planning a trip to Oregon. ;)

Friday, June 26, 2015

Sweet & Spicy Sriracha Cheese Ball

As a Blue Diamond Tastemakers blogger, I am sharing with you all this recipe for an easy to make, crowd pleasing Sweet & Spicy Sriracha Cheese BallThis post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.
This Sweet & Spicy Sriracha Cheese Ball is the perfect combination of sweet & spicy with its roasted, crunchy sriracha almonds, sweet dried apricots, and an added extra kick of heat from a little sriracha sauce. #ad
Pin It

My husband and I love to entertain all year round, but we really kick up our party and get-together hosting once the warmer weather arrives. Our side deck and fire pit become an extension of our kitchen and dining area making it easy for us to invite over and entertain even more family and friends. Most of our summer get-togethers are laid back with very little fuss. While I love cooking and creating in the kitchen, I would rather be spending more time chatting with our guests and enjoying the company so I try to make self-serve dishes and appetizers that I can easily prep while guests are arriving or that can be completely made ahead of time.

When Blue Diamond sent me some of their brand new Bold Sriracha Almonds to try, I instantly was inspired to create an easy to make cheese ball that would be perfect for summertime entertaining. These Bold Sriracha Almonds are addictive, my friends. After enjoying a few small handfuls of these crunchy and spicy almonds, I knew I wanted to pair them with a little sweetness for this cheese ball.  This Sweet & Spicy Sriracha Cheese Ball is the perfect combination of sweet & spicy with its roasted, crunchy sriracha almonds, sweet dried apricots, cooling cream cheese, and an added extra kick of heat from a little sriracha sauce... 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Peach-Mint Green Smoothie

As a Blue Diamond Tastemakers blogger, I am sharing with you all this recipe for a refreshing & healthy Peach-Mint Green SmoothieThis post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.
Fresh mint, sweet peaches, leafy greens, and chia seeds are blended together in this creamy & healthy Peach-Mint Green Smoothie #ad
Pin It

In late spring of each year, I get down into the dirt and start planting seedlings and seeds in a spot in our backyard with dreams of having a garden brimming with homegrown veggies come July and August. And almost every summer, I am met with a little disappointment. A few tomato plants seem to do well early on, and then for what seems like no reason at all they just dry up and never produce another tomato. Pumpkin vines start sprawling through half my garden making me excited for all the fun (and free) pumpkins we would have in October only to have them bloom and produce cantaloupe sized pumpkins... in mid August. This year I decided that I needed a break, so we didn't plant a garden. Then a very strange thing started to happen late last month... plants just started appearing on their own.

First, it was the parsley plant I had dumped over the side of my deck railing at the end of last fall. It came back to life. Then it was a single pumpkin plant in what was my garden last year. And after a few good rains here the past couple of weeks, I now have an abundance of fresh, beautiful garden mint at my disposal. I have come to the conclusion that maybe I am better at accidental gardening than purposeful gardening. ;)
Now when I say I have an abundance of fresh mint, I am not exaggerating. I have a TON, folks. Since peaches are so affordable right now due to it being peach season, I knew I wanted to create a healthy and summer perfect recipe combining those sweet peaches with the refreshing crispness of the mint. And that is just what I did with this Peach-Mint Green Smoothie... 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

5 Tips for Curbing Road Trip Motion Sickness



5 Tips for Curbing Road Trip Motion Sickness- give nausea the boot on your next road trip! #Dramamine #CG
Pin It

I think that it goes without saying that I love to travel. Whether taking road trips with my family or flying solo across the country for a foodie adventure, I love the thrill of exploring a new place. :) But what many people probably don't know about me is that I have suffered from some serious motion sickness ever since I was a kid. In fact, I still vividly remember the summer that my grandparents embarked with my sister and I on a mission to visit a different area of West Virginia each week while we were off from school. Though I love the fun memories we made that summer, I mostly still remember those day trips because of how many times I had to ask my grandpa to pull the van over because I felt absolutely nauseous. You see, we do not have very many straight roads on the back hills of West Virginia. In fact, there are a lot of hairpin turns on our roads through the hills and mountains. We have another name for those types of turns, but I will spare you that term since I like to keep things PG-ish around here. ;)

Motion sickness has followed me into my adult travels as well. Mountain highways still make my stomach turn. Rough waters while in a small boat leave me darting for the side railing. And I once even had to grab that little white bag as the plane was landing on the runway in Denver. Talk about a walk of shame as I exited that plane!
Over the years, I have learned some methods and tips for helping to curb that motion sickness making for much more pleasant travels for all involved. The tips below are more specific to road trips, but you could employ almost all of these in any instance where you are experiencing nausea due to motion sickness...

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Caramel Peanut Butter Cup Skillet Cookie

This delicious Caramel Peanut Butter Cup Skillet Cookie -stuffed with peanut butter cups and gooey caramel- may be big enough to share, but that doesn't mean that you have to...
This delicious Caramel Peanut Butter Cup Skillet Cookie -stuffed with peanut butter cups and gooey caramel- may be big enough to share, but that doesn't mean that you have to.
Pin It

I have to admit it, you all- I was late to the game as far as embracing my cast iron skillet goes. Way back in the day, I was given one as a wedding day gift and promptly turned up my nose to it. What was I supposed to do with that awkwardly heavy thing anyways?? I pretty much had no cooking or baking skills to speak of at the young age of 19 (Yikes! That is how young I was when I married my first husband.), and I was definitely completely unaware of all the absolutely fabulous dishes you could make in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. Maybe if had known about the perfectly fried chicken and the buttery, flaky biscuits and the mother of them all- a huge skillet cookie- I would have felt differently back then. ;) 

Fast forward about 16 years later, and I was finding myself researching and asking for cast iron skillet recommendations from friends and fellow food bloggers. And why the change of heart? Well, I think it may have had a little more to do with my stomach than my heart, but I started seeing all these amazing dishes made in cast iron skillets popping up all over some of my favorite food blogs. The more cast iron recipes I saw, the more I started to come around to the idea of owning one myself. But the kicker for me was all these huge, gooey, amazing skillet cookie recipes I kept coming across! I wanted to make them all
So, of course one of the first things that I made in my brand new cast iron skillet was a bigger than my face skillet cookie! This Caramel Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie is packed with chopped peanut butter cups, gooey caramel, and chocolate chips. It is certainly big enough to share, but I promise to just look the other way if you decide to keep this big delicious cookie all to yourself... ;)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Grilled Beer Cheese Fondue #FWCon

This ooey, gooey Grilled Beer Cheese Fondue is a perfectly tasty way to start off your next cook-out or campfire dinner...
A soft and crusty bread bowl is stuffed with a beer & garlic infused fondue cheese and then heated until melted and gooey over a grill or campfire in this Grilled Beer Cheese Fondue. #FWCon
Pin It

So it just occurred to me over the weekend that Father's Day is next Sunday. I swear, all of these holidays always seem to sneak up on me! Or maybe I am just trying to block out knowing that it is coming... 
Have I ever mentioned that my dad happens to be the hardest person ever to shop for?? I am sure I am not the only daughter who has this same issue, but when my dad sees something that he wants he just buys it. So every single year, Father's Day, Christmas, and his birthday are always a gift-giving struggle for me. I had been buying him gift cards to his favorite stores and online shops to solve this on-going dilemma, but my mother confessed to me recently that my dad often forgets that he has them and they are all stacked together in a far corner of a shelf. So this coming Father's Day, I have a new plan- to make him a dinner fit for a dad! ;)

When I think of my dad and food, grilling automatically comes to mind. My dad rarely cooked when I was at home, but he always manned the grill. When I started planning my Father's Day feast, I knew that the grill would definitely have to be involved. Yep, the grill and cheese.And meat and beer. All the makings of a perfect Father's Day cook-out. 

And then I started reading about the 2015 Wisconsin Cheese Recipe Contest for the Food & Wine Conference this year, and a light bulb went off. I knew exactly what I wanted to make not only for my contest submission, but also to start off my dad's special dinner next weekend... A beer cheese fondue that is made on the grill!