3 Ingredient Oreo Truffles

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These Oreo Truffles are decadent and look like they took hours to prepare, but they actually take just 3 ingredients and about 15 - 20 minutes from start to finish!!

This simple dessert is one of my kids’ favorites.  In fact, we will make them on a summer afternoon – just because! Of course, they are definitely a hit during the holidays and are part of our “must bake” list of goodies.

What I love about them is that they are simple to make.  However, what I probably love even more is that my kids can help!  We work as a team and they roll up the balls and I will dip them into the chocolate.  Then, of course, we make sure we do our first sample together!

The only problem we have is that they never last for very long!  We gobble them up before we know it – and you will too!

3 Ingredient Oreo Truffles
Cuisine: Dessert
Recipe type: Oreo Truffles
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 package of Oreos
  • 1 cube of cream cheese
  • 1 package of chocolate almond bark
  • Wax paper
  1. Crumble the entire package of Oreos. If you have a food processor you can use that. However, if you do not have one, place them into a gallon size freezer bag and use a rolling pin or heavy object to crush them. They should be in a fine powder.
  2. Fold in the cube of cream cheese. If you have a mixer, you can use this to mix it easily. If you do not have one, you can do so by hand (just make sure the cream cheese is at room temp so it will blend more easily).
  3. Melt one half of the almond bark in the microwave. Put in for 1 minute and then stir. Warm for another 30 - 45 seconds. Just make sure it does not burn.
  4. Roll all all of the Oreo mixture into small balls (make them about bite size).
  5. Dip into the melted almond bark. I use a fork and roll until full covered.
  6. Place dipped Oreo balls onto cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
  7. Repeat until out of bark and then repeat steps 3 - 6.
  8. Once all are covered, dip a fork into the remaining melted almond bark and drizzle stripes across the tops of the truffles.
  9. *Optional: Before the almond bark hardens, you can add sprinkles, nuts or other toppings.


Grandma’s Homemade Spice Bars Recipe

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Forget the pie!! Once you make these Grandma's Spice Bars you will thank yourself! These are not made with pumpkin, but rather a secret ingredient!! Trust me - if grandma made these then you know that makes them a winner - right?!

I am not a chef.  I am not a baker.  I cook out of necessity for my family.  However, once in a while, the baking bug strikes and I feel like dancing around the kitchen making something great for friends and family.  I actually had to go to an event last night and thought it would be fun to whip up my grandma’s yummy spice bars!

As the title says, this is not the recipe for you if you are on a diet, as you will soon learn.  However, if you swap out an extra 20 sit ups or five more minute at the gym, it would be worth it!  I was raised on these bars.  We had them every year during the fall months.  I love them because there is not any “stuff” inside. I do not like nuts, or raisins or chunks of anything in my baked goods.  I go for the smooth and simple.  That is why these work for me!  The fun thing about these is the secret little ingredient.  Want to know what it is?

baby food

Your eyes are not deceiving you!  It is in fact, baby food!  It may sound nuts, but the texture of the carrots really pulls the recipe together.  Ready to learn how to make these yourself?  Here we go!



Grandma's Homemade Spice Bars Recipe
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 24
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • BARS:
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1½ cups of oil*
  • 2½ cups of flour
  • 3 small jars of carrot baby food
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinammon
    *substiute 1 cup of the oil for ¾ to 1 cup of unsweetened natural applesauce

  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix all items in the order given until smooth.
  3. Pour into a greased 11 x 17 jelly roll pan
  4. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes (or until the sides leave the side of the pan and your knife comes out clean).
  5. Allow to completely cool before frosting.
  6. ***Tip: Freeze the bars before you try to frost and you will have a nice firm surface and will be less likely to tear the bars.

Frankenstein Brain Halloween Treat

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frankenstein popcorn brain

Hello Penny Pinchin’ Mom readers, Kristin from Orville Redenbacher’s here. I am excited to be writing for Tracie today! Let me introduce myself. I live in Chicago with my Bichon Frise, Joey. What I love most about the city is that there’s always something to do: grab drinks with friends, stroll along the Riverwalk, check out a new exhibit at the Field Museum, ride a Divvy bike on Lake Shore Drive and so much more. When I am not exploring new pockets of the Windy City, I am cooking one of my favorite dishes or a new recipe from Pinterest.

Come October, I go into a frenzy preparing for the fall weather and my favorite holiday of the year—Halloween! I’m actually not a fan of scary movies or haunted houses, but I love throwing a costume party with spooktacular snacks and drinks. Popcorn is a great ingredient to work with because you can create unique shapes—like a brain! This recipe uses colored marshmallow-coated popcorn formed into a brain shape to make a popcorn ball. Spook your guests by serving a platter of Frankenstein brain!

Frankenstein Popcorn “Brain”


  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 bag Orville Redenbacher’s® Natural Microwave Popcorn
  • 4-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 5 drops green food coloring
  • 3 drops yellow food coloring
  • Cherry-flavored twist licorice


Spray a large bowl, your rubber spatula and a sheet of waxed paper with cooking spray; set aside. Prepare microwave popcorn according to package directions. Remove all unpopped kernels and place popped corn in the large bowl.


Microwave marshmallows and butter in large micro-wave safe bowl or until marshmallows melt and mixture blends when stirred.  Add food coloring, stir until well-blended.

Mini Marshmallows
Pour marshmallow mixture over popped popcorn. Gently toss with a rubber spatula to coat well. Cool until mixture is easy to handle. Divide popcorn mixture to shape into 2 brain lobes. Place on waxed paper and press lobes together. Cool until set. Transfer to serving platter; decorate with cherry-flavored licorice. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

Bright Red Licorice Candy

It’s that easy! I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Check out Orville Redenbacher’s website for easy snack recipes!

Healthy Candy Corn Parfaits

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This is a HEALTHY and FUN treat for Halloween!! These candy corn parfaits will be the hit (and will keep the sugar out of those teeth)!


Halloween is known for it’s sweets and other treats.  You can still have a lot of fun and fed the kids something fun – while they are still eating something healthy!

These candy corn parfaits are the perfect fit for any party.  Made with fruit and whipped cream, the kids see a fun treat.  However, mom and dad are able to see them eating something that is not so loaded with sugar!

Add some sprinkles to the top (cuz let’s face it, anything with sprinkles is a treat to kids), and you’ll have something fun they’ll gobble up!


Candy Corn Parfaits
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 4 servings
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 4 plastic cups
  • 1 can diced pineapple
  • 1 can mandarin oranges
  • Whipped Cream
  • Sprinkles (optional)
  1. Open and drain both the pineapple and oranges.
  2. Place a layer of pineapple on the bottom of the cup.
  3. Add a layer of oranges
  4. Top with whipped cream and add sprinkles!


Caramel Vanilla Latte

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Nom nom nom.......Make this decadent Caramel Vanilla Latte right at home (save yourself the time and money having a barista do it for you)!!!

Caramel Vanilla Latte

Cool fall nights and crisp autumn mornings make you want to get something warm to fill your belly.  That is where this decadent caramel vanilla latte steps in!  Made with simple ingredients you probably have in home, it is super easy to whip up.

What is best is that this tastes like something you’d get at the coffee shop – but costs a whole lot less!  That may not make your local barista very happy – but that is just how life goes, isn’t it?!

Caramel Vanilla Latte
Recipe type: Beverage
  • 6 oz of your favorite coffee (vanilla can bring more flavor
  • 1 Tbs caramel sauce (Ghirardelli recommended)
  • 1 Tbs Torani salted caramel syrup
  • 3 Tbs French Vanilla Liquid Coffee Creamer
  • ½ cup milk
  • Whipped Cream (optional)
  1. Pour 6 oz coffee into an 8oz+ size mug.
  2. Add caramel sauce and stir until melted.
  3. Add caramel syrup and stir until blended.
  4. Add coffee creamer and stir until blended.
  5. In small pan, heat milk, whisking vigorously until it creates a foam.
  6. One milk is hot, remove from heat. Use a spoon and hold back the foam, while pouring the milk into your coffee.
  7. Add foam to the top.
  8. Top with whipped cream and additional caramel sauce (optional)


Goya Grilled Chicken Tacos

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These Goya Grilled Chicken Tacos can turn Taco Tuesday into Taco "MOM YOU ROCK" Tuesday!! Super easy to make, but full of amazing flavors that make you mouth VERY happy!!!

Goya Grilled Chicken Tacos


We love to make tacos here.  Not only are they easy to make, they are honestly, pretty difficult to mess up (even for the worst cooks out there).

With kids, we usually stick with the basic tacos which consist of beef, lettuce, tomato, cheese and taco sauce.  Sure, they are good, but they get pretty boring after a while.  We decided to try to make them more exciting by trying something new.

We happened to have some Goya marinate in the refrigerator and chicken which was thawed and begging to be turned into something fabulous.  My husband and I racked our brains and thought, why don’t we turn the tacos the kids want tonight into something better?!

We went to town creating and the result was a truly mouth watering taco unlike anything we’d ever made before.  Best of all, it is easy to make.  Yep – this is another one of those recipes that is difficult to mess up!!!

Goya Grilled Chicken Tacos
Recipe type: Entree
  • 1-2 lb of chicken breasts, sliced into 1-2" wide strips
  • 2-3 cups of Goya Mojo Criollo
  • 1 - 2 small chunks of mesquite wood and smoker box (optional)
  • Homemade Salsa (may use store bought)
  • Shredded lettuce (as much as you need for your shells - based upon desire)
  • Sour Cream (if desired)
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Corn taco shells (may also use flour tortilla shells instead)
  1. Place sliced chicken breasts into bowl and cover with Goya Mojo Criollo
  2. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours
  3. Soak wood in water for at least 4 hours prior to grilling.
  4. Place wood in a grill box or on top of flame shields to start burning.
  5. Grill slowly, until grill marks are on the chicken and the edges are white (time will vary based upon thickness).
  6. Flip at least 2 - 3times over the course of 8 - 10 minutes (or until cooked throughout).
  7. Cube chicken into small chunks.
  8. Place in the bottom of the taco shell or on the tortilla
  9. Add lettuce, salsa, cheese and sour cream (if desired)
  10. Enjoy!!


Homemade Salsa

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Making salsa is easier than you may realize. Find out how to make this fresh and spicy homemade salsa youself!! Just serve with your favorite Mexican dishes to bring an extra layer of flavor!

Homemade Salsa


No need to ever use the canned salsa from the store.  Not once you learn how easy it is to make yourself at home!

This is such a great way to take those fresh veggies and turn them into something that you can use to serve with tacos, chips……or just as a topping for your favorite grilled chicken or other meats.

A few things will make the difference between blah and amazing:

  1. Allow it to marinate.  Make your salsa at least an hour before you want to serve it.  That will allow your flavors to mingle and will also draw out the moisture.  Keep in mind that if it sits for too long, it can turn soupy.
  2. Use the right tomato.  Skip the cherry and heirloom tomatoes and go for the roma, beefsteak or vine-ripened varieties.  They make the best salsa.
  3. Take out the seeds.  This is a little known tip, but if you leave the seeds in your salsa, it can actually break down the tomato, which could make it extra watery.  It is an additional step, but I promise you that it is well worth it!
  4. Only use salt – no pepper.  When it comes to the spices, salt is the winner here.  Black pepper doesn’t give you the type of spice you want in your salsa.  Stick to the chili peppers in order to get the flavor you want.
  5. Fresh spices are a must.  When it comes to cilantro, don’t use the dried variety.  Make sure you opt for fresh.  Sure, it takes a bit longer to chop them up, but the work will be worth it in the end.

Now that you know my best tips to make a perfect salsa, here is our tried and true recipe!

Homemade Salsa
Recipe type: Snack
  • 4 vine ripened tomatoes (slice and remove all seeds)
  • ⅓ - ½ red or white onion (I prefer red)
  • 1- 2 serrano, aneheim or jalapeno chile peppers
  • 1 lime
  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp white sugar (cuts acidity)
  • Pinch of cumin (optional)
  1. Finely chop tomatoes, onion and peppers by hand (or use food processor and plus - just do not puree or will have runny salsa) and put into a bowl
  2. Squeeze in one lime (to add juice)
  3. Add salt (usually 1 - 2 tsp can be enough)
  4. Add sugar (and cumin if desired)
  5. Allow to sit for at least 1 hour before serving
  6. Store up to 1 week in a covered container/jar in the refrigerator


Fun, Colorful Layered Cupcakes

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Pillsbury Layered Cupcakes


My kids and I LOVE to head into the kitchen and bake together.  It is just something that the four of us can do where we are getting away from the stresses of daily life and more importantly – -devices!  Whenever I ask the kids to bake, the drop the computer and iPad and run into the kitchen to help.  They don’t even have a desire to watch a video when we are engaged in making something fun.

That is why these Pillsbury Layered cupcakes are perfect.  Not only are they fun to make, they are so SUPER simple!  I am sure you see how to do this, but here is how we did this.

Fun, Colorful Layered Cupcakes
Recipe type: Dessert
  • 2 Pillsbury Bagged Cupcake Mixes (2 co-ordinating colors)
  • Ingredients as listed on the bagged mix
  • 2 Pillsbury Frosting (2 co-ordinating colors)
  1. Preheat over according to package instructions.
  2. Mix up mixes into two different bowls (according to package instructions)
  3. Scoop about ¼ cup of the first color (which will be the bottom of the cupcake) into each cupcake tin.
  4. Scoop ¼ cup of the second color (the middle) onto the TOP of the first color.
  5. Rotate to make another set of cupcakes, or repeat for the same pattern.
  6. Bake according to instructions.
  7. Allow to cool for 20 - 30 minutes.
  8. Put into the freezer for 45 min - 1 hour (easier to frost frozen cupcakes)
  9. Place frosting into bag and pipe onto the cupcake, or simple frost with a knife.
  10. Add sprinkles as desire.
  11. Enjoy!!


Homemade Apple Jam

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This homemade apple jam recipe is the simplest recipe.....and the taste?! O.M.G. Find out how to turn some simple apples into your favorite way to top your morning toast!


When I think fall, one food that comes to mind is apples.  Apple cider, apple butter, apple pie…..all things apple.  One thing you may love and think is difficult to make is apple jam.  You might be surprised at just how easily you can make this yourself (without all of the preservatives and additives you find in the store bought items).

Homemade Apple Jam
Recipe type: Breakfast
  • 6 large crisp apples
  • 2 cups of apple cider
  • 1 box of Pectin
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 tbs of cinnamon
  • 4 8oz mason jars or 8 4oz jars
  1. Peel and finely chop apples.
  2. In a large sauce pan place apples.
  3. Add 1 cup of sugar and apple cider.
  4. Over a medium heat let fruit cook for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Once it comes to a boil add one package of fruit pectin.
  6. Stir fruit so it does not stick.
  7. Continue cooking over a medium heat until sauce becomes thick.
  8. Ladle into mason jars.
  9. Put on lids and put in the fridge.
  10. Let cool for 1-2 hours.
If you do not like chunks, use a potato masher, immersion blender or food processor for about 1 minute.


Healthy Zucchini Pizza Bites

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Love pizza but not the fat and how unhealthy it can be? Make these Zucchini Pizza Bites instead - and get all the flavor with less guilt!


One of my favorite foods is pizza.  I am not ashamed to admit it.  Of course, pizza is not a food that we consider healthy.  However, there is a way to turn this junk food into a healthy one  — that you and your kids will love!  These healthy zucchini pizza bites combine the love of pizza with a bit if healthy eating making the perfect combination!

Healthy Zucchini Pizza Bites
Recipe type: Kid Friendly
  • 2 large zucchini, cut into ¼-inch thick rounds
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • ¼ cup marinara sauce
  • ½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • ¼ cup mini pepperoni pieces, optional
  • Italian seasoning, for sprinkling
  1. Lightly mist both sides of zucchini rounds lightly with olive oil.
  2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Broil or grill the zucchini rounds (I used a grill pan set to medium-high) for 2 minutes on each side.
  4. Place cooked zucchini rounds on a large lined baking sheet.
  5. Top with small amounts of sauce, cheese and pepperoni pieces. (Optional).
  6. Broil on low for 1-3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  7. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and serve warm.