Frugal Foodie Mama

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Eggnog Muffins

 These moist, yet fluffy Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Eggnog Muffins are chock full of tart cranberries, white chocolate chips, and just the right amount of eggnog flavor. They are the perfect addition to that holiday breakfast table!






I find that people usually have pretty strong opinions when it comes to eggnog- they either love it or they hate it. There rarely seems to be a middle ground when it comes to this popular holiday flavor. I think that maybe I do fall into that all too rare middle ground here. I wouldn't say I love it, but I also definitely don't hate it.

I mean on the one hand, I do like the flavor. But I can't go for the traditional stuff with the raw eggs and rum and all that. I also don't prefer to go all dairy since my lactose intolerance isn't too cool with that option. 

The flavor of eggnog also happens to bring back a little holiday nostalgia for me. When I was a kid, we used to go to my grandparents' house every Christmas Eve for dinner and my grandma always set out a punch bowl of eggnog (non-alcoholic, of course). Before I was aware of my slight lactose intolerance or that such a thing even existed, I used to ladle myself cups of it to drink all evening until I almost sick to my stomach. Oops.

But I do like the occasional glass of soy or coconut milk eggnog with a little splash of whiskey while I am wrapping gifts or baking cookies during the holiday season. I also love the flavor of eggnog in holiday baked goodies like these Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Eggnog Muffins I am sharing with you all today...

Friday, December 18, 2020

Cranberry Ginger Gin Fizz

 This bubbly Cranberry Ginger Gin Fizz combines refreshing mint, tart cranberries, fresh lime, and crisp gin in a perfectly festive cocktail perfect for the holiday season...






So, Christmas is just one week away and the end of 2020 is definitely in sight (FINALLY!). And I think both of those things call for a festive and bubbly cocktail. What do you all think?


I mean, 2020 hasn't been all doom & gloom. But it definitely is not the kind of year that I would like to repeat any time too terribly soon. 


Besides the obvious (ahem, Covid, a global pandemic, and statewide shutdowns across the country), 2020 was also the year I acquired my first official funeral dress. I have attended 3 funerals this past year, the most recent being for my own grandmother just a few weeks ago. I was contracted for two of my biggest jobs ever as a food blogger, and both of those were permanently shelved within the past month thanks to the 'Rona virus. 

Friday, November 20, 2020

Roasted Butternut Squash & Brussel Sprouts Quinoa Salad

Inspired by the flavors of fall, this Roasted Butternut Squash & Brussel Sprouts Quinoa Salad makes the perfect side dish for a holiday dinner. It also happens to be hearty enough to serve as a vegetarian-friendly main dish...





Over the last year and a half or so, I have become obsessed with all things quinoa. In fact, I usually have some type of quinoa salad for lunch most days of the week now. My obsession with this super grain started when I decided that I was ready to make some healthier lifestyle choices and drop some of the weight I had been carrying around for a few years. A major part of what I changed about my diet was making green smoothies for breakfast and then having variations on quinoa salad for lunch at least 4-5 days a week. 

If we are going to be technical about it, quinoa really isn't a grain at all. It is actually what they call a super seed. Just one cup of cooked quinoa contains 9 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber (keeps you full for longer!). And if you happen to be following a gluten-free diet, quinoa could definitely become your new best friend. 

I decided to take my love for this super seed past the lunch table and right onto my holiday dinner table this year (even though leftovers of this quinoa salad would definitely make an amazing lunch option the next day). Inspired by the flavors of fall, this Roasted Butternut Squash & Brussel Sprouts Quinoa Salad makes the perfect side dish for a holiday dinner. It also happens to be hearty enough to serve as a vegetarian-friendly main dish.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Planning a Couple's Getaway to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Finally ready to plan an adults-only weekend escape? Be sure to check out my tips and recommendations for planning the perfect, socially distanced couple's getaway to rediscover Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania...


This post was created in partnership with Visit Pittsburgh. As always, all opinions & thoughts expressed below are 100% my own.



I get it- you all might be a tad apprehensive about traveling at all during the time of Covid. For months now, I have been living a cooped-up existence with my daughter in our home. We have avoided large family gatherings and have kept a tight circle of close family and a few friends since this pandemic started. We have been opting to do small day trips here and there instead of a weeklong vacation like we would normally do. 

But let's face it, you all- I think we all need a little adults-only time away from the kiddos for a few days after months and months of seeing their precious little faces day in and day out. Am I right? ;) 

You may be wondering if right now is really the right time to start planning a couple's road trip. And I totally understand your hesitation. But with the right planning and a little bit of research on your part, you can plan a fun, safe, and socially distanced getaway with your significant other.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

Rich & hearty, this homemade bolognese sauce simmers in your slow cooker all day. Just serve with rigatoni or tagliatelle for comfort food perfection. 


Rich & hearty, this homemade bolgnese sauce simmers in your slow cooker all day. Just serve with rigatoni or tagliatelle for comfort food perfection.



Well, folks... I think the start of comfort food season has officially arrived. The temps have started to drop slightly, the leaves are falling off of the trees, and I have actually had to turn on the heat a few times after waking up in the morning to a cold house. I know we typically think of bowls of cozy soups and cheesy casseroles as traditional comfort food, but I am about to step up your homemade comfort food game with this slow cooker recipe for an easy and flavorful bolognese sauce.

I fell in love with bolognese sauce earlier this year when my boyfriend helped to open a new Italian restaurant just north of Pittsburgh. There, they slow simmer their bolognese sauce on the stovetop all day and then serve it over homemade tagliatelle pasta. It quickly became my go-to pasta dish to order off the menu almost every time that I would drive up to visit my boyfriend while he was working at the restaurant.

Since I can't always make the two hour drive to the restaurant when I have a bolognese craving, I decided it was time to come up with my own homemade version of my new favorite comfort food. I did consult with the chef of the restaurant as to what his must-have ingredients are for a good, traditional sauce. And since I know that most of us do not have the time (nor the patience) to simmer & stir a pot of homemade bolognese over the stove all day, I decided that a slow cooker adaptation for the recipe was necessary.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread

This homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread is chock full of toasted hazelnuts and dark chocolate chunks. But the best part of this banana bread just might be the swirl of chocolate hazelnut spread baked right into each slice...

This homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread is chock full of toasted hazelnuts and dark chocolate chunks. But the best part of this banana bread just might be the swirl of chocolate hazelnut spread baked right into each slice.


I know the first official day of fall is just right around the corner, and that probably means I should be sharing something pumpkin spice or apple... but you know what? It's 2020, so anything goes! ;) So instead of diving head first into all of those fall flavors, I am going to go all chocolate and hazelnut on you all first.

I mean, is it even possible to go wrong with that flavor combo no matter which season of the year that it happens to be at the moment anyways? This homemade banana bread is chock full of toasted hazelnuts and dark chocolate chunks. And don't even get me started on that swirl of chocolate hazel spread (aka, Nutella) baked right into each and every slice.

A slice of this Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread pairs perfectly with that morning cup of coffee, a cold glass of milk in the afternoon, or while sipping on your favorite whiskey in the evening....

Monday, August 24, 2020

Citrus Coconut Sunshine Cake

This super easy to make and delicious Citrus Coconut Sunshine Cake is bursting with bright lemon, sweet mandarin oranges, and toasted coconut- just like summer on a fork!

This super easy to make and delicious Citrus Coconut Sunshine Cake is bursting with bright lemon, sweet mandarin oranges, and toasted coconut- just like summer on a fork!



So, the last time I posted a new recipe on here it was near the beginning of summer. I do apologize for the almost 3 month long hiatus, but I promise you all that it was for a very good reason. A very good reason that I can't reveal to everyone just yet, but that I should be able to tell you all about within the next two months or so. ;) So, stay tuned- because it is a pretty BIG. 

In the meantime, I am over here soaking up these last little bits of summertime and digging into this easy to make Citrus Coconut Sunshine Cake. Seriously, folks. This citrusy and bright cake is summer on a fork.

And when I say summer, I mean the pre-Covid, all day at the pool, backyard family BBQ's, beach vacation summer. Because let's face it- this has been a super weird summer. Summer 2019 with its outdoor concerts, and the crowded city pool, and packed restaurant patios seems like a lifetime ago at this point- am I right?