Frugal Foodie Mama

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Ultimate How-To Guide to the Butler County Donut Trail

Located just north of Cincinnati, the Butler County Donut Trail is a donut lover's dream come true! This is the ultimate how-to guide to conquering this countywide culinary trail...
Located just north of Cincinnati, the Butler County Donut Trail is a donut lover's dream come true! This is the ultimate how-to guide to conquering this countywide culinary trail.
This post was created in partnership with the Butler County Visitors Bureau. As always, all opinions & thoughts expressed below are 100% my own.

Located just north of Cincinnati, Butler County, Ohio probably isn't the first destination that you think of when looking for a foodie-centric getaway. But a unique culinary trail that the county started in 2016 is quickly putting them on the map & on the radar of foodie travelers everywhere- their Donut Trail that spans 80 miles in over 6 different cities of the county. Butler County lays claim to one of the highest number of donut shops per capita in the Midwest. 

Yes, folks. Dreams do come true. A trail filled with homemade donuts from 12 different local donut shops does exist. Now this isn't exactly a hiking trail (although you can bike it on September 1st of this year if you would like). This is a load the family in the car and cart yourselves from donut shop to donut shop until you pop kind of a trail. 

When the Butler County Visitors Bureau reached out to me inviting my family & I to take on their Donut Trail, I knew we were more than up for the challenge. Plus, donuts! Hello, people. How could I possibly say no? ;)

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Curd Buttercream

Super moist layers of lemony cake are frosted in an amazing homemade buttercream flavored with lemon curd & fresh lemon zest in this Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Curd Buttercream...
Super moist layers of lemony cake are frosted in an amazing homemade buttercream flavored with lemon curd & fresh lemon zest in this Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Curd Buttercream.

Who else seems to be stuck in spring limbo (aka, what I am deeming as sprinter) where you live?? It is almost mid-April, & we have had snow flurries off & on over the past few days. Tomorrow it will finally feel like spring here in West Virginia with some sunshine and temps in the 60's. The weather man is predicting a high of 79 for both Saturday & Sunday (sprummer, anyone?), and then we are headed right back into the 40's with possible snow by the beginning of next week. I really wish Mother Nature would get it together already! 

In the meantime, I am just going to go ahead and create a little sunshine of my own with this luscious and bright Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Curd Buttercream. ;) I actually made this cake for Easter dessert this year, and it was a huge hit with my family. You just can't go wrong with these super moist layers of cake bursting with lemony goodness, all frosted in an amazing buttercream flavored with homemade lemon curd & fresh lemon zest...

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Bacon & Ranch Smashed Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts

These crispy & flavorful Bacon & Ranch Smashed Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts will quickly become your new go-to side dish...
These crispy & flavorful Bacon & Ranch Smashed Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts will quickly become your new go-to side dish.

Confession time: Once upon a time I was one of those kids who didn't like Brussels sprouts. I wouldn't go near them. I had even convinced myself that they were the little cabbages that Cabbage Patch dolls were born from (yes, I had quite the imagination as a kiddo). 

Not that I think that made me unique or anything as a child (other than that Cabbage Patch dolls bit ;) ). It seems to be pretty standard that most kids won't touch Brussels sprouts. Even my own kiddos aren't fans of them.

This has me convinced that Brussels sprouts must be an acquired taste, something you must come to appreciate and love as you get older. I also have another theory about my disgust with Brussels sprouts growing up- they weren't being cooked right. The sprouts I ate as a kid were steamed, and mushy, and pretty bland. It wasn't until I had oven roasted Brussels sprouts early into my adulthood that I finally found my affinity for this misunderstood veggie.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Packed full of chunks of chocolate & crunchy peanuts, this Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Banana Bread is a chocolate & peanut butter lover's dream come true...
Packed full of chunks of chocolate & crunchy peanuts, this Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Banana Bread is a chocolate & peanut butter lover's dream come true.
This post is sponsored by Walmart, Thyme & Table, and The Women's Blogger Network. As always, all opinions & thoughts expressed below are 100% my own.

I know when most people think of their "happy place" they usually think of a beach with a cocktail in hand. Or a secluded cabin in the mountains. And while I could definitely go for either one of those places right about now, my favorite happy place happens to be my kitchen.

It is the one room in my house where I can create. And cook. And bake. And tinker with new recipe creations while also whipping up the tried & true recipes that my family loves and asks for time & time again. The rest of my house can be an absolute chaotic mess, but as long as my kitchen is clean, & tidy, and stocked with all the pretty things then I am able to find my inner calm and breathe.

One way that I am keeping my happy place decked out in trendy, yet functional utensils, gadgets, & cutting boards is with the Thyme & Table kitchen line from my local Walmart. Thyme & Table is the newest line of stylish kitchen products from Core Home. For those of you who have been following along with me for a while now, you all already know of my love for Core Home. Their products have been a staple in my kitchen for the past four years now. :)

Monday, March 19, 2018

Funfetti Cupcake Popcorn

Get the party started with this festive, cake batter flavored Funfetti Cupcake Popcorn...
Get the party started with this festive, cake batter flavored Funfetti Cupcake Popcorn.
This post may contain affiliate links. Purchasing through them helps support this website.

Can we have a quick chat about kids' birthday parties for a moment? Up until my daughter's most recent birthday, we had always had a themed family party at our house & allowed her to invite three of her friends from school. For her sixth birthday just last month, we finally caved & decided to let her have a separate party for her friends from school. Having limited parking at our house, I knew we would have to rent a space somewhere local to host her party for her friends. After a little crowd sourcing on Facebook, we found a cute little cupcake shop in the next town over that rented out their bakery for parties on the weekends.

I put down the deposit and then started brainstorming party game ideas & searching Amazon for cute cupcake themed party favors. Everything was coming together. The invitations had been handed out to her classroom a couple of weeks before the party date. My mom (who happens to be much craftier than I) created an amazing pin the candle on the cupcake game. I bought a cupcake bingo game from etsy & found free printable cupcake coloring pages online.

But a week out from her party I started to get this sinking feeling. Only 2 of the 14 kids she had invited had RSVP'ed that they were coming. Panic started to set in. What if it was only my daughter & these two friends at her party? Did I really just spend *that much* money to rent a cupcake shop only for there to be just 3 kids at the party?

Friday, March 9, 2018

McAllen, Texas: An Unexpected Foodie Destination

McAllen, Texas has become an unexpected culinary incubator in southern Texas- melding traditional Tex Mex & Mexican cuisine with a Texan twist on the farm to table dining experience...
McAllen, Texas has become an unexpected culinary incubator in southern Texas- melding traditional Tex Mex & Mexican cuisine with a Texan twist on the farm to table dining experience.
This post was created in partnership with Visit McAllen. As always, all opinions & thoughts expressed below are 100% my own.

When I traveled to to the city of McAllen in the southern tip of Texas last November, I expected to find some amazing local Tex Mex & Mexican restaurants. After all, McAllen is located in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, just a short 10 minute drive from the Mexican border. And while I did sample some amazing traditional Tex Mex fare during my stay, I was truly surprised by the number of restaurants in this city that had embraced the farm to table concept in new, exciting, & delicious ways. 

I was introduced to a bodega that proudly cures it's own meats. To a restaurant & bar in the New American style of dining that prides itself on it's cocktails inspired by locally sourced ingredients. To a wine bar & bistro that is redefining fine dining in the Rio Grande Valley area by bringing the freshness of the valley to each and every one of their dishes. 

The local food scene of McAllen, Texas definitely far surpasses the expectations that you may have of a just north of the border Texan city. This bustling metropolis, which attracts about 18 million visitors each year, has become somewhat of a culinary incubator- melding traditional Tex Mex & Mexican cuisine with a Texan twist on the farm to table dining experience...

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole

This creamy & cheesy Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole requires only five simple ingredients to make & can be on your dinner table in under an hour...
This creamy & cheesy Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole requires only five simple ingredients to make & can be on your dinner table in under an hour.

At least once a month, I whip up a pot of my Easy Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup for dinner. It is so much better than most of that stuff that comes out of the can or the carton, and it also happens to be one of my daughter's favorite dinners that I make. My recipe makes a generous batch of this homemade goodness. And because of this, we often get tired of enjoying the leftovers before they are all gone. 

My solution? I transform some of that leftover chicken noodle soup into a creamy, cheesy, & comforting casserole perfect for busy weeknights! :) 

This easy to make Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole requires only five simple ingredients to make & can be on your dinner table in under an hour...