Frugal Foodie Mama

Friday, April 17, 2015

Two Reasons You Need to Plan a Visit to Weston, West Virginia

If you ever needed a reason to plan a road trip to Weston, West Virginia, then I have two for you- the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum & Lambert's Vintage Wines...
Wine lovers, history buffs, photogs, and ghost hunters can all agree on one thing- the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum & Lambert's Vintage Wines are both worth the road trip to Weston, West Virginia.
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I know when most people think "road trip", the small town of Weston, West Virginia probably doesn't even cross their minds. Unless you happen to be into ghost hunting and paranormal activity, you may have never even heard of the infamous now closed mental hospital there. And you may be hard pressed to find the handcrafted wines that the quaint Lambert's Vintage Wines produces at a wine shop or liquor store near you. But scores of weddings, events, and celebrations are booked at that local owned winery tucked away at the end of a gravel road from visitors across the country each year. So much so that Lambert's is already booking weddings and events into 2016!

On a rare all day date with my husband and my sister and her fiance, we decided to head 45 minutes south down I-79 to Weston for the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum's opening day of the year. Ghost hunts and tours are offered all year round per reservation, but the asylum opens to the general public for tours in April of each year.  The asylum offers two types of tours to the general public- historic/heritage tours and paranormal tours/ghost hunts.  Since this was our first time visiting the asylum and my husband and I happen to be history buffs, we all decided on the 90 minute historic tour.  Plus, we wanted to take advantage of the special deal being offered only to West Virginia residents with a photo ID just during the month of April- $10 off the the 4 floor historic tour. ;) 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lemon Risotto with Brussels Sprouts & Crispy Ham

I am partnering with Speck Ham today to bring you all this recipe for a creamy & bright Lemon Risotto with Brussels Sprouts & Crispy Ham- your new favorite spring dish...
Bright lemon, fresh Brussels sprouts, crispy ham, and creamy arborio rice come together in this perfect for spring Lemon Risotto with Brussels Sprouts & Crispy Ham.
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I am a gal that can enjoy a good homemade risotto any time of the year. It is pretty much my adult version of mac & cheese. A sophisticated take on comfort food, if you will. But there is just something about a good spring risotto- Am I right?
When you combine the bright, fresh flavors of spring with the creaminess of a risotto, delicious magic just happens, folks. ;)

When Speck Ham approached me about becoming their April Speckulator a couple of weeks ago, my mind was just spinning with the many ways that I could enjoy and prepare their amazing Italian ham that has been prepared and smoked using the same family recipe that has been passed down for generations. But ultimately, I knew that the smoky saltiness of their Speck Alto Adige ham would pair perfectly with bright lemon, fresh Brussels sprouts, and creamy risotto- a dish perfect for your spring dinner table!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Triple Chocolate Tiramisu #FWCon

Whether you are a chocolate addict or a tiramisu lover, this Triple Chocolate Tiramisu is sure to become your new favorite dessert...
From the chocolate ladyfinger cake to the mocha coffee it is soaked in, to the chocolate mascarpone topping, and then the finishing touch of a cocoa powder dusting and a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips, this Triple Chocolate Tiramisu is a chocolate lover's dream dessert. #FWCon
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This Triple Chocolate Tiramisu has been in the making for a couple of weeks now. Tiramisu happens to be my absolute favorite dessert. And when I heard about the 2015 Dixie Crystals Chocolate Dessert Recipe Contest for the Food & Wine Conference this July in sunny Orlando, I knew exactly what I wanted to make- a chocoholic's dream of a homemade tiramisu. I knew that I wanted this dessert to have chocolate in every layer and component, including the espresso soaked ladyfingers. But I was posed with a problem- where could I buy chocolate ladyfingers? Since specialty bakeries are very few and far between around here, I decided to embark on making my own chocolate ladyfingers. My first attempt at baking my own chocolate ladyfingers ended up being a complete baking fail which I shared over on my Instagram. I ended up with what looked more like small flat chocolate pancakes than ladyfingers, so it was back to the recipe drawing board. Not wanting to deal with that whole piping of the ladyfinger batter mess again, I decided why not make the batter into a sheet cake instead? And folks, that plan worked perfectly.  The chocolate ladyfinger cake turned out exactly like I had hoped that it would! :)

From the chocolate ladyfinger cake to the mocha coffee it is soaked in, to the chocolate mascarpone topping, and then the finishing touch of a cocoa powder dusting and a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips, this Triple Chocolate Tiramisu is a chocolate lover's dream dessert...

Friday, April 10, 2015

Groupon Coupons- A New Way To Save Even More!

I am partnering with Groupon Coupons today to share with you all one of new favorite ways to save money online and in stores...
Groupon Coupons has partnered with over 8600 stores to bring you all more than 55,000 coupons- all 100% free to use!
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I think by now you all know that I am always on the look out for good deals and for new ways to save even more money on products and services that I would be purchasing anyways. I have been a long time fan of Groupon for finding fabulous deals on restaurants, attractions, and getaways when we travel, so I was beyond thrilled to learn that they have a new extension of their money-saving site- Groupon Coupons

Groupon Coupons has partnered with over 8600 stores to bring you all more than 55,000 coupons- all 100% free to use! :) And finding the coupons that you need is super easy. You can easily search by specific store before you head out to shop or click over to their site online...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Chipotle Sausage Skillet Mac

#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between my site and Hillshire. This could include Hillshire providing me with content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Chipotle Sausage Skillet Mac- this creamy, smoky and sweet, and healthier weeknight pasta dinner can be on your table in under 40 minutes! #HillshireSausage
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Do you all ever get stuck in the weeknight dinner rut? You have some good ole stand-by dinner recipes that are perfect for busy weeknights, but you come home and even the usual favorites don't sound good. And then you start to reach for that phone or those car keys to order in or run out to pick up a pizza. Sound familiar? ;) 

If so, then you will love the recipe that I am sharing with you all today!  All you need is around 40 minutes to get this flavorful and creamy Chipotle Sausage Skillet Mac on your dinner table. And the best part? Since it is made with your favorite Hillshire Farms smoked sausage, there is no need to worry about making sure you have chicken defrosting for dinner before you leave the house in the morning.
This Chipotle Sausage Skillet Mac is creamy, hearty, smoky & sweet, and sure to please every member of your family...

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Truth About Starting A Blog

Been kicking around the idea of starting a blog of your own? Come find out The Truth About Starting A Blog...
The Truth About Starting A Blog- the 3 questions you need to ask yourself first & the 5 basic steps you need to take to start a blog
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I get this asked this question quite often from friends and acquaintances- How do I start a blog? I have a feeling that when they pose what seems like such a simple question to me that they have no clue just how loaded it is. My mind starts spinning with everything that goes into blogging- the importance of discovering who you want to be as a blogger and choosing a name and style that fits, weighing whether to start with Blogger or WordPress, consistent branding, how you can't successfully do blogging without also doing social media, knowing a little about good photography (which is important across all niches of blogging), and the list goes on and on. I often don't even know where to start when I am asked this question! 

So today's post is for my curious friends and for all of you out there who have tossed around the idea here and there about starting a blog. But before I start with the steps you need to take to start a blog, you should ask yourself these three questions first...

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins

These creamy & moist Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins combine two bright spring flavors- sweet strawberries and tart lemon...
These creamy & moist Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins combine two bright spring flavors- sweet strawberries and tart lemon.
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It feels like spring has finally arrived here in my little corner of West Virginia! This whole week has been filled with warmer temperatures, lots of sunshine, and a few spring showers. Last weekend? It felt a little more like January.... 
My son had his first big track meet of the season last Friday and Saturday, and it was in the 20's and 30's the entire time. My daughter, mother, and I shuffled between watching my son run in his events, and then heading to the parking lot to sit in a warm car. I lamented in my head (and aloud) about just why spring had disappeared so suddenly.

But luckily, spring made her presence known again this week (and hopefully she is sticking around for good now!) this past week, and I am in the mood to celebrate in the way that I best know how to- with bright, fresh spring flavors! :) These creamy and moist Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins with their fresh sweet strawberry slices and bright lemon zest and juice are the perfect way to celebrate a sunny spring morning...