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Inside Simple & Delicious and Fresh & Easy you will find 600+ recipes which includes selections from appetizers & snacks to cakes, pies & more.

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I love having some great cookbooks on hand for fresh dinner ideas.  You can save SO much money by cooking at home, plus since you can control the ingredients, it’s much healthier!

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Homemade White Bread Recipe from Scratch

Homemade White Bread Recipe from Scratch
This Homemade White Bread Recipe from scratch is so easy to do.

Homemade White Bread Recipe from Scratch

1 1/4 Cups Warm Water
1 Tablespoon Dry Yeast
2 Tablespoons Butter/Margarine/Oil
2 Teaspoons Salt
2 Tablespoons Sugar
3 Cups White Flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add butter, salt, sugar and 1/2 of the flour. Beat for 2 minutes in mixer adding the other 1/2 of the flour as it mixes, or by hand until smooth while adding the rest of the flour. Cover with cloth and let rise for 30 minutes.

Grease the loaf pan and put dough in the pan. Let rise until dough is near the top of the pan. Do NOT preheat the oven, dough will rise more as the over heats. Turn oven on to 375 and put the pan in. Bake for 45 minutes or until top is brown.

Cool, slice and enjoy!

Pairing suggestion: Try this with Loaded Baked Potato Soup

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Cinnamon Roll Waffles {2 minute breakfast}

Waffles

OK, so this isn’t really a recipe, but it’s a brilliant idea!  It’s time to dust off your wafflemaker!  You can make SO many different treats in it.  We use ours for cornbread, brownies and hash browns too!

Want quick cinnamon roll waffles? Take a tube of cinnamon rolls, place them in your waffle maker and voila! You have quick mini waffles in around 2 minutes.

We are loving these right now.  Perfect size for kids, too!

What is your go-to quick breakfast? 

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How to Freeze Produce

produce collage 2

Have you gone crazy stocking up during a good sale? Even if there isn’t a super sale going on, freezing produce is a great way to stretch a dollar.

Don’t shy away from reduced produce unless it shows signs of mold.  Bruised bananas can be peeled, peppers can be washed and cut.  It’s the best way to save money in a department where coupons are hard to find. (This goes the same for the meat department!).

My number one tip for freezing produce is to freeze them on a cookie sheet before in baggies.  It helps keep everything from mushing together in the freezer.

Strawberries

I found an great trick on Pinterest to prolong the life of berries.  We’ve been doing this for about 6 months and it really works.  When you bring your berries home, get a big bowl of cold water ready.  I know they have always said NOT to wash berries, but this trick works, I promise!

Into the bowl of water, add 1 cup of white vinegar.  Dump your berries in there for 30 seconds, then remove.  DO NOT rinse.  You can put a paper towel in the bottom of the container and return the berries, or chop to freeze.

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Strawberries: Chop and freeze on cookie sheet BEFORE in baggies

Peppers

These are pretty straight forward, but I would like to highlight the different ways I chop them to freeze.  It’s helpful to vary them for certain recipes.  I like to do a half cut for stuffed peppers, strips for fajitas and chopped for sauces.  Freeze them on a cookie sheet before placing them in baggies.

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Green Onions

Did you know you can freeze green onions?  Chew some gum while you cut them to cut back on the tears!

I chop them up, then put them in an old coffee creamer container (another Pinterest idea!).  I can shake them out when I need them for salads, soups or potatoes!

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Mushrooms

Clean and chop, freeze on a cookie sheet.  I like to keep some whole for certain recipes and most whole.  I don’t mind the stems, so I keep them on there when I clean.

The easiest way to clean mushrooms is to dampen a paper towel.  Since they are so absorbent, it’s not a great idea to wash them under water.

By now you get the general idea:

  • Clean
  • Slice
  • Freeze on a cookie sheet for a couple of hours
  • Store in baggies or containers

Happy shopping and freezing!

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Turkey Mexican Lasagna {Great freezer meal!}

Mexican Lasagna

This is a great Mexican lasagna recipe that I’ve made a bit healthier by using ground turkey.  Feel free to use beef, or make it vegetarian with ground Boca!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can of kidney beans (I have also used black beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 (4 oz) can of green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (16 oz) bottle of salsa (use up all of the cheap Chi-Chi’s salsa!)
  • 6 corn tortillas (I like Mission Extra Thin)
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1 package of Mexican or Co-Jack shredded cheese (2 cups)
  • Garnish: olives, picked jalapenos, cilantro or tomatoes…whatever you like!

Let’s make some lasagna!

  1. Toast tortillas in the oven at 350 for 5-8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, brown turkey with onion. Drain. Add beans, chilies, chili powder, salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Time to assemble! In a 9 x 13″ pan, add 1/4 cup salsa. Spread sour cream over tortilla and layer two over the salsa. Next comes 1/3 turkey mixture and top with 1/3 cheese. Repeat layers twice.
  4. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
  5. Top with desired garnishes.

This is a great freezer meal!  I also like to make this as a dish for new parents!

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Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Baked potato soup

With snowy days like we’ve been having here in Michigan, a few great soup recipes are mandatory.  I love this baked potato soup because it’s super easy and can warm you up in less than 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter (half of a stick)
  • 1/4 cup of onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups of chicken stock (I tend to use a bit more if it gets too thick)
  • 12 ounce can of skim evaporated milk
  • 3 large potatoes (or use up leftover mashed potatoes!)
  • Toppings: Anything you like on a potato: bacon, chives, cheese, sour cream
  1. Put the potatoes in the microwave for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through.  If you are using mashed potatoes, you will need 2-3 cups.  Let them cool long enough to chop.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
  3. Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, until soft.  Stir in flour and cook 1 minute.
  4. Gradually add milk and broth.  Soup will thicken after cooking.  Turn heat to low until potatoes are added.
  5. Scoop pulp from one potato and mash it with a fork.  Add to soup pot. Chop the rest of the potatoes, with or without skin, and add to the soup.
  6. Cook over medium heat until soup comes to just a boil, then season with salt and pepper.

Load up the soup and serve!

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Mexi-Mix Dip Recipe

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Mexi-Mix Dip

2 Large Avocados
1/2 Lime, squeezed
8oz (1 cup) Salsa
8oz Sour Cream

Mash avocados and lime together in a mixing bowl. Then mix in salsa and sour cream.

Enjoy as a tortilla chip dip or put on your tacos/fajitas.

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Greek Yogurt & Oatmeal Banana Bread

Banana bread

I have little toddlers that love to eat.  Not quite where it all goes, but their appetite is the main reason it is absolutely necessary for us to shop at Costco.  I am lucky they like to eat healthy foods, at least!  My new trick is I have been adding flax and other forms of fiber to anything I can: smoothies, pancakes, etc.   Just be careful at first…haha.

We like to have banana bread on hand for a quick breakfast or snack.  I have tried many different banana bread recipes.  Some are too dry, some are mushy in the middle and some are just plain tasteless.  I finally came up with a recipe that is perfect!  We usually make 3 loaves at a time, it freezes really well.

Greek Yogurt & Oatmeal Banana Bread

Makes: 1 loaf, 3 mini loaves

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs (or 1/2 cup egg beaters)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup plain oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plain 0% Greek yogurt
  •  3-4 bananas, mashed (check for markdown bananas at the store!)

Mix it up!

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. With a mixer (or by hand in a bowl), combine the butter and sugar.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix until combined completely.
  4. In a small bowl add flour, salt, soda, oatmeal and flax.  Mix it up with a spoon ans slowly add to big bowl.  Mix for a minute or so to combine.
  5.  Add yogurt and bananas.
  6. Coat bread pan with cooking spray.  Pour into a bread pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.  I always cook it a bit longer than expected to get the center cooked.  It won’t burn, it adds a great crust to the bread.
  • For a nice touch, add a sprinkle of raw sugar on the top before baking or mini chocolate chips!

Enjoy!

What’s your favorite bread to make?

 

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Herbed Drop Biscuits Recipe {From Scratch}

Herbed Drop Biscuits Recipe

Herbed Drop Biscuits Recipe {From Scratch} – Makes 10-12

2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
7 Tablespoons Margarine
7/8 Cup Milk
1/2 Tablespoon Basil
1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 Tablespoon Parsley

Optional: Cheese. I used about a handful of Colby Jack Shreds in and on the top of these, but we usually prefer Cheddar and they are good without as well.

Preheat oven to 425. Mix everything together in a large bowl. Drop onto greased pan.

If you top with cheese do it at this point.

Bake for 16-18 minutes, until slightly golden brown.

Serve. Enjoy!

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Peanut Butter, Oatmeal & Chocolate MONSTER cookies!

monster cookie

 

These monster cookies are to die for.  Normally, we are a chocolate chip cookie house but I saw this recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction and I had to try them.  This is a perfect combination of flavors and they come out perfectly: chewy with a crunch.  Good luck keeping them on the  plate!

Here’s what you will need:

  • 1 stick of salted butter (or add 1/4 teaspoon salt to unsalted), softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 & 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup quick oats (NOT instant)
  • 1/2 cup mini M&Ms (or 3/4 cup regular sized, any flavor you like!)
  • 1/2 chocolate chips (any type! We tried white, peanut butter, milk…all are tasty)

Let’s get baking!

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. With a stand or hand mixer, cream butter and sugars together for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Mix in peanut butter, then egg and finally vanilla.
  4. Add in flour and baking soda, do NOT over mix.  Finally add oatmeal.
  5. Finish off the batter by folding in M&Ms and chips.
  6. Roll into balls (use about 2 tablespoons of batter).  If dough is really sticky, refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  7. Bake for 8-9 minutes, no longer than 10 minutes.
  • When you take them out, they will not look done…don’t worry!  Take a fork “X” them, like a regular PB cookie.  Let sit on baking sheet, then cool on racks.

Enjoy!  These are a perfect way to entertain the kids on a snow day!

 

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