Frugal Foodie Mama

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Haunted Pumpkin Patch Popcorn Crunch

Candy pumpkins and ghost shaped sprinkles are tossed with peanut butter coated popcorn in this irresistible Haunted Pumpkin Patch Popcorn Crunch...
Candy pumpkins and ghost shaped sprinkles are tossed with peanut butter coated popcorn in this irresistible Haunted Pumpkin Patch Popcorn Crunch.
This ghoulishly delicious recipe was created in partnership with Dixie Crystals. As always, all opinions & thoughts expressed below are 100% my own.

Can you all believe that the month of October starts this weekend?? It would be a bit of an understatement to say that I am just a tad excited. I have always been more of a fall kind of gal since I was a kid. There is just something about the smell of fall leaves, the crisp air, our annual pilgrimage to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch, and of course one of my favorite holidays of the year- Halloween! :) I just love everything about Halloween- the pumpkin carving, taking our youngest trick or treating, dressing up for my parents' annual costume party, and all the holiday inspired spooky recipes. In fact, I make it a goal of mine every fall to come up with a couple of new treats to bring to my parents' house for our family Halloween party.

This year I will be whipping up a batch of this crunchy & chewy Haunted Pumpkin Patch Popcorn Crunch. Candy pumpkins and ghost shaped sprinkles are tossed with peanut butter coated popcorn in this hauntingly addictive sweet treat for Halloween...

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cracker Bars

You only need 4 simple ingredients to make these no-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cracker Bars...
You only need 4 simple ingredients to make these no-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cracker Bars.

I don't normally post new recipes on the weekends, but this weekend is the exception. Because today would have been my friend Joan's (aka, Chocolate, Chocolate and More) 50th birthday. Some of you all may remember me talking about Joan last October shortly after she died. Though I didn't know Joan well and only had the opportunity to meet her in person once, she had such a huge impact on who I am as a food blogger. And I think the same can be said for pretty much every single food blogger who was lucky enough to have known her. She freely shared her knowledge of the blogging business and social media world with all of us. She believed that we should build each other up, & not always be in competition with one another. She taught many of us that we are worth far more than we give ourselves credit for sometimes. And she was a sweet soul who didn't see you in terms of follower numbers or page views, but rather as a kindred spirit who also loved sharing delicious recipes & their love for chocolate with others as much as she did.

So, today myself and other bloggers from across our food blogging community are celebrating Joan's life and honoring her memory in the best way that we know how- by sharing some of her time tested & amazing recipes with you all. And let me just say that browsing through Joan's extensive list of recipes & trying to choose just one to share today was no easy task, folks. ;) But I finally ended up zeroing in on her Chocolate Peanut Butter Cracker Bars. I mean, can you blame me? Just look at these scrumptious bars! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Apple Pie French Toast for One

This perfectly portioned for one Apple Pie French Toast takes just a handful ingredients and a few minutes to make in your microwave...
This perfectly portioned for one Apple Pie French Toast takes just a handful ingredients and a few minutes to make in your microwave.

Okay, you all. I have another apple pie inspired recipe for you guys today! And yes, I am well aware that I just shared my Easy Apple Pie Trail Mix recipe with you all last week. ;) But you see, I have apple pie on the brain lately. I am totally craving the combo of sweet apples with cinnamon and sugar, but I am not quite ready to dive into full-on pie baking mode yet. Mostly because it still feels like summer here. Like in the 80's with some humidity. I definitely have no desire to kick on the oven and bake when I am still have to have the AC on pretty much all hours of the day. Where is the crisp fall weather at already?? Because I am SO ready for jeans and flannels, okay? 

Until the temperatures drop and it actually starts to feel like fall around here, I will satisfy my apple pie cravings without heating up the kitchen with this easy to make Apple Pie French Toast for One. This perfectly portioned for one french toast in a mug takes just a handful ingredients and a few minutes to make in your microwave...

Friday, September 16, 2016

Easy Apple Pie Trail Mix

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Post Consumer Brands. 
All opinions are entirely my own.
Whip up this fall inspired Easy Apple Pie Trail Mix in just minutes with only 4 simple ingredients.
Whip up this fall inspired Easy Apple Pie Trail Mix in just minutes with only 4 simple ingredients.

Between cross country practices and meets, a preschooler who is always "starving" the second she gets home from school, and my son & I's more frequent weekend hikes, I am always trying to come up with tasty & satisfying snacks that are also perfect for my on-the-go family. Lately we have really been into trail mixes. I can throw a few scoops of trail mix into plastic baggies for quick snacks for my son to munch on during meets or to toss into my backpack before a Sunday hike. Recently I discovered Malt-O-Meal® bagged cereals (like my family's new favorites- Cinnamon Toasters, S'Mores, & Golden Puffs) at my local Food Lion, and the wheels began to turn. Crunchy, delicious cereals make the perfect base for homemade trail mixes. And with 34 family favorite flavors available to choose from, just think of all the trail mix possibilities, folks! ;)

Since fall is quickly approaching and I have fall flavors on the brain, I snagged a bag of the Malt-O-Meal Cinnamon Toasters. I mean, what are some of our favorite flavors of fall without the cinnamon? I decided to toss the Cinnamon Toasters with crunchy walnuts, dried apples, and sweet white chocolate chips to make this easy and delicious trail mix inspired by one of my family's favorite fall desserts- apple pie...

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Establishing a Preschool Bedtime Routine in 3 Easy Steps

Make sure your little one gets plenty of rest for a full day of fun & learning with these 3 Easy Steps for Establishing a Preschool Bedtime Routine...
Make sure your little one gets plenty of rest for a full day of fun & learning with these 3 Easy Steps for Establishing a Preschool Bedtime Routine.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ORAJEL. The opinions and text are all mine.

I will be honest with you all- when it comes to my 4 1/2 daughter, I have been pretty lax with her bedtime routine. We have let her follow her natural sleep patterns, falling asleep & waking up when she needed to. When my son was younger, I had an established, well oiled bedtime routine that went off most nights without a hitch. If someone would ask me why such the huge difference between how I have handled bedtime between my two kiddos, I would say it is being a work-at-home mother now versus being a full-time working single mom then. Staying at home and working from home has given me the luxury of not having to establish a strict bedtime routine with my youngest... up until recently. ;)

My daughter has officially started her first year of Pre-K at a public school. That means she has to be up at a certain time so she can be on time for school, which in turn means she needs to get to asleep at a certain time each night to ensure she gets up early and gets plenty of rest for a full day of fun & learning. The easiest way to make sure this happens each and every school night is to establish an easy and simple bedtime routine...

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Planning a Getaway to Grapevine, Texas

Experience luxury, delicious Texan cuisine, and a brief step back in time in the historic & charming town of Grapevine in North Texas...
Experience luxury, delicious Texan cuisine, and a brief step back in time in the historic & charming town of Grapevine in North Texas.
All accommodations, meals, & experiences were provided courtesy of Travel Media Showcase & its sponsors. As always, all opinions & thoughts expressed below are 100% my own.

Last month I had the pleasure of attending Travel Media Showcase for the first time in the lovely city of Grapevine, Texas, which is located halfway between Dallas & Forth Worth. While I spent a good part of my first visit to the state of Texas at the actual showcase events, I did get a little time to explore the resort we were staying at and to experience the charms & tastes of Grapevine. 

But before I get into the details of my Grapevine Getaway, let me tell you all a little bit about Travel Media Showcase (TMS). The showcase (which is in its 16th year) is an opportunity for travel writers, journalists, & bloggers to network and learn from each other as well meet and interact with representatives from convention & visitors' bureaus (CVB's) from across the country. Not only are those in travel media given the opportunity for one-on-one meetings with the CVB's of their choice, but the showcase provides plenty of opportunities for writers and CVB reps to interact and get to know each other on a more personal level whether that be over a cocktail or as part of a local tour of the area. The connections that you can make at the Travel Media Showcase with other travel writers as well as with those representing the visitors' bureaus are simply invaluable. So much better than a back & forth over email, don't you think? ;)

Though my visit to Grapevine was far too brief, I did come away with a few travel nuggets to share with you all about the area...

Friday, September 9, 2016

12 Fun & Healthy On-the-Go Breakfast Ideas

These 12 Fun & Healthy On-the-Go Breakfast Ideas are perfect for back to school & busy mornings...
These 12 Fun & Healthy On-the-Go Breakfast Ideas are perfect for back to school & busy mornings.

I think by now we are all waist deep into all things back to school- am I right? ;) My kiddos have both been in school for over 2 weeks now, so we are finally starting to find our groove each weekday morning. Most mornings everyone gets up & dressed with lunches packed and backpacks ready to roll and with enough time to spare to sit down and enjoy a bowl of cereal before heading out the door for school. But then there are those mornings... I know that you all have to know what I am talking about here.

The mornings when the oldest hits the snooze button one too many times or "accidentally" turns his alarm off and now he is running behind.

The mornings when the youngest has a total meltdown because I wouldn't let her to go to school in her mismatched (and often outgrown) outfit that she picked out all by herself. I mean, I can deal with mismatched every now & again as long as it is at least the right size clothing, okay? ;)

Or how about the mornings when your high school senior forgets that he has an assignment for AP English due that day, and he is frantically doing it at the kitchen table 10 minutes before he has to leave for school? Or when mom (oops!) forgets that she is supposed to provide snacks for the youngest's Pre-K class that day?