Frugal Foodie Mama: February 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

Bailey's Irish Kiss Brownie Thumbprints

These thick, chewy cookies start with a brownie mix and end with a fudgy Bailey's spiked center & are topped with a classic Hershey's Kiss...
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As a food blogger, I am occasionally faced with the dilemma of being stumped on a name for a delicious recipe I have created to share with you all.
About 95% of the time, the absolutely perfect name for a recipe comes to me before I have even finished researching and writing the actual recipe.

This was not the case with these Bailey's Irish Kiss Brownie Thumbprints.  
I mean they are cookies, but they are made with a brownie mix.
At first, I thought maybe I could name them brookies, but after chatting with a few food blogger friends it seems that the consensus is that a "brookie" is a cookie/brownie hybrid with two distinct components.
I briefly entertained calling them crownies... for like two seconds.  But that didn't sound right at all.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Pierogi-strone Soup

Just when you think that a homemade minestrone couldn't get more delicious, I go and add hearty pierogies to it...
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During my one year stint as a Pennsylvania resident, I was introduced to the delicious goodness that is called a pierogi.  Other than the well-known Primanti Bros sandwiches, pierogies are the single most culinary creation associated with the Steel City.

The city of Pittsburgh is known for pierogies with every kind of filling imaginable, but traditionally most contain a mashed potato filling combined with cheese or onions.  
Pierogies really do rule there.
If you have ever attended a Pittsburgh Pirates game at PNC Park, then you know that they have an entire relay race dedicated to those delicious Polish dumplings.  Yep.  Mascots dressed as various flavors of pierogies race around the bases each and every game.
There is no doubt about it- Pittsburgh loves their pierogies. ;)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Announcing the Winner of the Spiked! Chocolate Liquor Recipe Challenge...

Good morning all and happy Tuesday!  We had another fantastic round of Spiked! recipes for this month.  You all seriously wowed us yet again!  

This month's Spiked! ingredient was Chocolate Liquor.  Recipe submissions could be anything using a Chocolate Liquor except for a cocktail or drink.

So, without further adieu here are the Spiked! American Chocolate Liquor Recipe Challenge runner-ups (in no particular order)...

Monday, February 24, 2014

An Elmo Birthday Celebration!

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I am not ashamed to admit it- I want to be that mom who throws the Pinterest-worthy birthday parties for her little one.
Like every single year.
Maybe I am a little overly ambitious, but I do plan to do the best I can with the time & resources that I do have each and every year.
I started planning my daughter's first birthday party like months in advance.   I scoured Pinterest and some of my favorite blogs and pulled together a pretty awesome Rainbow Birthday Bash for her last year.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

30+ Tasty Green Smoothie Recipes

I have gathered up over 30 of the best, most delicious, healthiest green smoothie recipes from some of my favorite food bloggers for you all...
I have gathered up over 30 of the best, most delicious, healthiest green smoothie recipes from some of my favorite food bloggers for you all.

So, I have to know... After this week's Green Smoothie Week on the blog, are you all sold on green smoothies yet?
Have you tried any of the green smoothie recipes I have shared this week?  
And most importantly, are you hooked on the green smoothie craze now?

If so, then you are hitting the green frozen goodness mother load today, folks! :)
Because I have gathered up over 30 of the best, most delicious, healthiest green smoothie recipes from some of my favorite food bloggers for you all.

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Celebration Giveaway with Real Housemoms {Win a Canon EOS Rebel T3 or an iPad Mini!}

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I am happy to be helping Real Housemoms celebrate her birthday and reaching 200,000 Facebook fans with this incredible giveaway for you all! :) 

Two reasons to celebrate and TWO prizes- One person will win a Canon EOS Rebel T3 and another will win an iPad Mini!  I seriously wish that I could enter this one, you all...
Good luck, friends! :)

PB&J Green Smoothie

Enjoy all the deliciousness of a peanut butter & jelly sandwich in this creamy & healthy PB&J Green Smoothie...
Enjoy all the deliciousness of a peanut butter & jelly sandwich in this creamy & healthy PB&J Green Smoothie.

Post updated 1/23/18- This creamy PB&J Green Smoothie deserved some updated photos. I did leave one of the originals down below just so you all can see for yourself why this recipe so desperately needed a little face lift. ;)

This PB&J Green Smoothie is another one that will probably go down well with the kiddos.  
Who I am kidding?  It goes down pretty well with the grown-ups too. ;)

I use natural creamy peanut butter in mine and usually strawberries since strawberry jam is my spread of choice for my PB&J's, but I have been known to throw some blackberries in there instead.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tropical Green Goddess Smoothie

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I am bringing you all a different kind of green smoothie today.  The green is this Tropical Green Goddess Smoothie does not come from leafy greens this time.  The green in this creamy, tangy, & sweet healthy smoothie is mashed avocado! 

Yep, folks.  Avocado.

Avocados are already so creamy and have such a mild taste that they work perfectly into fruit smoothies.  And because the avocado makes this smoothie so darn creamy, I left out the yogurt when making this one resulting in a delicious dairy-free option for Green Smoothie Week on the blog. :)
(P.S. You can make any of the green smoothie recipes I am sharing this week dairy free by subbing soy or coconut milk yogurt for the low fat or Greek yogurt.)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Super Berries Green Smoothie

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My Super Berries Green Smoothie is definitive proof that not all green smoothies necessarily have to be green.  I know that I have had more than one reader or commenter tell me that they just can't get past the green color of green smoothies to enjoy them.  Let me introduce this tasty solution to you all then! :)

It is a well noted fact in the medical and health community that berries of all kinds are super foods-rich in antioxidants and fiber, packed with Vitamin C, and they are also considered a "juicy food" meaning they contain mostly water, are filling, and are awesome for helping with weight loss.  (If you want to read a little more on the health benefits of berries, Joy Bauer breaks it down by individual berry in her Health Benefits of Berries article.)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Oatmeal "Raisin" Cookie Green Smoothie

Sneak extra leafy greens and healthy fruit into your daily diet with a creamy, low fat green smoothie that tastes just like one of your favorite baked treats...
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I have a sweet tooth.  There is no question about that.
And sweets have always been my weakness when it comes to healthy snacking.
So, I went on a mission to create a few smoothie recipes that taste like some of my favorite sweet treats. 

The idea for this Oatmeal "Raisin" Cookie Green Smoothie came to me after I had tried a sip of my daughter's prune juice.  The first thing that came to mind was how much it tasted like raisins to me.  Hmmmmm... raisins. How could I use this prune juice in a green smoothie?
Honestly, I am not a huge fan of raisins, but I do like a good oatmeal raisin cookie... so the wheels started spinning and this Oatmeal "Raisin" Cookie Green Smoothie was concocted and taste-tested. 
And yum! :)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Green Smoothie Week {Win a Smoothie Blender For You & One For a Friend!}

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If you happen to follow me on Instagram, you have to be well aware by now of my obsession with concocting and making new green smoothie recipes.  I am pretty sure I post at least two photos of tasty frozen smoothies on there every week.  And I have had several requests for the recipes.  ;)
Well, guess what??  I am going to share them all with my readers this week during my Green Smoothie Week on the blog!  And not only will I be sharing FIVE new green smoothie recipes with you, but myself and a few of my blogger friends are giving you all the chance to win two of my favorite blender for smoothies- one for you and one to give to a friend! :) I really do love this blender! The blender cups are the perfect smoothie portion so you can just unscrew the cap off, pop a straw in, and enjoy.  And it is a powerful blender- no worries about little pieces of spinach or kale showing up in your green smoothies. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Spiked! Chocolate Liquor Recipe Submissions {Submit 'Em If You Got 'Em!}

Hello all!  Julie and I are so excited to see what awesome and delicious Chocolate Liquor recipes you have come up with for our first Spiked! Recipe Challenge of 2014! 

Be sure to review the all the rules on the Spiked! Recipe Challenge Page and make sure you have included the Spiked! button in your entry post. :)  Just copy and paste the image below into your recipe submission post!  If the Spiked! button is not in your post, your recipe will not be considered for judging. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Chocolate Screwdriver Angel Food Cake

This Chocolate Screwdriver Angel Food Cake is a light, airy chocolaty orange angel food cake with a rich, gooey chocolate ganache glaze oozing down each slice of it...
This Chocolate Screwdriver Angel Food Cake is a light, airy chocolaty orange angel food cake with a rich, gooey chocolate ganache glaze oozing down each slice of it.
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I may have been a little excited when Julie (aka, This Gal Cooks) and I had decided on the Spiked! Recipe Challenge ingredient for this month.  I had kind of been just itching for a reason to go buy some chocolate liquor.  I originally was gunning for a bottle of Godiva liqueur, but the only bottle my local liquor store had of it was practically a ginormous jug.  I am sure I could have put very good use to an extremely large bottle of Godiva chocolate alcohol, but I wasn't going to risk it. ;)
After poking around the store a bit longer, I found my favorite liquor- Pinnacle Whipped Vodka in chocolate.
Say what??
Yeah, I was sold.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fudgy Secret Ingredient Cherry Brownies

These thick, chocolaty and rich brownies are packed with tart dried cherries & have a secret healthy ingredient that you won't believe...
Fudgy Secret Ingredient Cherry Brownies- These thick, chocolaty and rich brownies are packed with tart dried cherries & have a secret healthy ingredient that you won't believe.
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So here is the thing, you all... I am keeping a BIG secret from my husband.
Like HUGE.

If he finds out the secret ingredient in these Fudgy Secret Ingredient Cherry Brownies, he may not talk to me for a couple of hours.
Why?
Because he pretty much hates avocados.  Like a lot.
And after I whipped up this batch of thick, fudgy & moist brownies, I let him lick the batter bowl clean.
Which normally he would LOVE me for, but you see there was an entire mashed avocado in that brownie batter. ;)
I sort of held my breath as he started to scrape the bowl clean with a wooden spoon sure that he would know.
But he didn't.  He had no clue.

And I still haven't told him to this day. 
Shhhhhhhhhh...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Red Hot Chocolate Martini

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I have been a long time fan of the cinnamon and chocolate flavor combination. Some may know it as Mexican chocolate.
I came across some whipped chocolate vodka the other day and starting scheming of a way that I could make a chocolate cinnamon martini perfect for Valentine's Day to share for my February contributor post for White Lights On Wednesday.
Yes, I know there are cinnamon flavored liquors out there... but if you are familiar with the ones that are on the liquor store shelves, you probably know those are also pretty hardcore (ahem... *cough* Firewater).

Monday, February 10, 2014

Overnight Red Velvet Cake French Toast Casserole

This rich, decadent Overnight Red Velvet Cake French Toast Casserole starts with your favorite red velvet cake mix, is put together the night before, and then simply popped in the oven in the next morning- a perfect Valentine's Day weekend morning treat!
This rich, decadent Overnight Red Velvet Cake French Toast Casserole starts with your favorite red velvet cake mix, is put together the night before, and then simply popped in the oven in the next morning- a perfect Valentine's Day weekend morning treat!

I am pretty much a fan of any delicious breakfast I can assemble the night before, pop in the fridge, and then just bake the next morning.  You know, pretty much any easy breakfast casserole. ;)
I have created a few overnight french toast casseroles in my day by now, but I have to admit it- this Overnight Red Velvet Cake French Toast Casserole is by far my favorite! 

It is rich.  It is decadent.  It is creamy. It is absolutely perfect for Valentine's Day weekend!

Friday, February 7, 2014

DIY Aromatherapy Shower Disks

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Hello, my name is Carrie.... and I am not a huge fan of long bubble baths.
Gasp.

I know, I know... what is wrong with me, right?
I have tried so many times to embrace the widely cherished hot bath that so many women (and men... ahem) LOVE.
I have lit a candle.  Bought aromatherapy bubble baths and bombs that smell delicious or relaxing.  Put on music.  
Slipped in ready for a long soak. 
And less than 10 minutes later, I am ready to get out.
I think I usually spend more time getting the bath ready than I actually spend in said bath.

Honestly, give me a good long hot shower, and I am a MUCH happier woman.  
But I still want the whole aromatherapy thing that a hot, steamy bath gives you. 
When I saw this tutorial for aromatherapy vapor shower disks on Peacoats & Plaid, I knew I had to give it a shot. :)
I ended up LOVING them!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Double Chocolate Cherry Biscotti

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Is your sweetheart a coffee lover?  Or are you maybe looking for a sweet treat that your co-workers would appreciate being left by the break room coffee maker Valentine's Day morning?
Not that you need anyone to make these Double Chocolate Cherry Biscotti for.  ;) You could totally bake up a batch of these and keep them for yourself.

Not a coffee fan?  They would be tasty dunked in a mug of hot chocolate or a tall glass of cold milk.

These biscotti have a deep, rich chocolate flavor.  And combine that with the tart dried cherries?  Perfection, folks. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

14 Romantic Dinners-In For Valentine's Day

No need to make dinner reservations this Valentine's Day! Not when you have these 14 Romantic Dinners-In for Valentine's Day...
No need to make dinner reservations this Valentine's Day! Not when you have these 14 Romantic Dinners-In for Valentine's Day.

I don't know about you all, but my husband and I have spent every Valentine's Day since we started dating at home.  I cook a romantic meal, we pop open a bottle of wine, and maybe watch a movie.

I have a confession...
The thought of going out the evening of Valentine's Day incites all sorts of anxiety for me. From the "we should have made a reservation", to the circling to find a parking spot, to the waiting for a table, to the overcrowded restaurants and the jacked up prices.
I would just rather stay at home.  
There is nothing romantic to me about crowds, spending too much money, and waiting... waiting... waiting.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Big Breakfast On-The-Go With Jimmy Dean Pancakes & Sausage

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Jimmy Dean, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #onthego http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.
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As the mother to a teenage son, I am always look for tasty, filling breakfasts that...
A. He can easily make on his own
B. Can be made very quickly
C. He can take on-the-go.
I mean, he is the typical teenage boy- he gets up at the latest time that he possibly can get by with.  
Which often means, he will choose to skip breakfast or make some not so healthy choices because he can grab it and go as he is sprinting out the door to catch the bus...

Monday, February 3, 2014

All She Cooks Blog1Versary Giveaway {$200 PayPal Cash}

Ready for another big PayPal Cash Giveaway??  If you didn't win The SuperBowl of All Giveaways & the $500 cash prize from yesterday, then no worries!  Here is another chance for you to win- this time for $200 in PayPal cash to celebrate my blogging friend, All She Cooks' first blogversary... :)

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All She Cooks is ONE!!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

February Spiked! Recipe Challenge Sign-Ups!


Hello all and welcome to February!  And to the very first Spiked! Recipe Challenge of 2014! :)
It is a new year so we decided it was time that Spiked! sported a spiffy new look.  How do you all like the new button?? My booze-baking partner in crime, Julie from This Gal Cooks designed the new one.  Yes, folks.  Not only can she cook and bake, but she can also create some awesome design graphics.  ;)

So who is excited for Spiked!? 
I know I am because this month's boozy ingredient is...