No Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

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This simple no churn Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream is the perfect summertime treat.  No ice cream maker needed - just a few ingredients and your mixer!

Summer is in full swing.  What is better on a hot summer afternoon than ice cream!  I’ve got an amazing and SIMPLE recipe you can make yourself at home.  Best of all, you don’t even need an ice cream maker to create this yummy treat!

 

Ingredients

2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
14 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
1 tsp Mint Extract (do NOT use peppermint)
Green Food coloring

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, food coloring an mint.  Next, add in heavy cream and mix on high speed until soft peaks form.  Fold in chocolate chips and spread into a plan (loaf pan works best).  Cover with foil and freeze until firm (may take overnight).

Serve and enjoy!

The Ultimate Bacon & Cheese Dip Recipe

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This dip is the ULTIMATE combo of bacon and cheese - and is perfect for any get together or party!!!

Get ready to be BLOWN AWAY with this undeniably amazing Ultimate Bacon & Cheese Chip Dip!!! Once you try this dip you will be hooked. Just make sure to have an entire bag of chips for yourself because you aren’t going to want to share.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • Pepper to taste
  • Chips

Directions

Allow cream cheese to sit out for about 20 minutes to soften. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Top with bacon, green onions and cheese. Serve with your choice of chips and try to have some self control. If you are not careful you may eat all of the dip before you get a chance to serve it to your guests!

This is the ULTIMATE dip!  Bacon AND Cheese?  Together?  Does it really get much better than that?!

My Weekly Menu Plan for January 18th

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Weekly Menu Plan | www.pennypinchinmom.com #menu #plans

 

If you have never done a menu plan, you may think that you don’t need one. That is actually not true. By planning, you can save yourself time and money. Of course, if you’ve never set one up before you might not be sure where to start! Take a look at this post on How to Create a Weekly Menu Plan and Shopping List.

Before you get started creating your own plan, make sure you take a look at all of our FREE Menu Plan and Shopping List forms. You can either print them off, or even fill one out before printing it for the week – the choice is yours!

Here is my menu plan for the week!

 

BREAKFAST

 

Waffles
Toast
Cereal

LUNCH

 

Sandwiches
Quesedillas/sandwiches, chips, fruit, yogurt, cheesesticks

 

SNACKS

 

Crackers
Apples w/peanut butter
Yogurt
Smoothies

 

DINNER

 

Sunday:  Steak, fried potatoes, steamed broccoli
Monday: Tacos
Tuesday:  Pancakes and bacon
Wednesday:  Fish sticks, cube potatoes, green beans
Thursday:  Left over night
Friday:  Homemade cheese pizza
Saturday: Dinner out

5 Menu Planning Tips to Save Time and Money (Includes FREE Forms)

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You may have good intentions and WANT to plan your weekly meals, but aren't sure where to start.  We are here to help!  Check out these 5 simple tips ANYONE can follow to plan a menu (and even get some FREE forms you can use to make your own)!!  Menu planning is the easiest way to save money and stay on budget!

Picture this.  You are driving home and look at the clock and notice it reads 5:18 p.m.  You sigh because you see the traffic ahead and know that it will take you another 20 minutes (at least) before you hit your driveway.  When you finally walk through the door at 5:44, you don’t hear “Hi!  I’m glad you’re home!”, but rather “I’m starved!!!  What’s for dinner?!”   You had a hectic day and have no idea what to make, so you tell everyone to jump in the vehicle and you head out to dinner.  There goes another $20 (at least)…..for the 3rd time this week.

Now, imagine reliving that same scenario 8 – 10 times per month.  That means you will eat out more than 200 meals in a year.  Put a dollar value to this ($20 per meal) and you will have spent more than $4,000 dining out!   In the moment, $20 isn’t too bad, but when you take another look at what you spend annually, it can be shocking!

I am not saying dinner out is bad.  Not at all.  My family eats dinner out once a week (and sometimes, we don’t go out to eat at all).  We just have a set amount budgeted and stick to that.   am not saying you shouldn’t eat out at all.  You just need to make sure that is a line item in your budget and stick to it. We started doing this when we were working ourselves out of debt (you can read Parts 1, 2 and 3 of our own debt free story).  For us, it is normal to fix dinner at home and something to which we are accustomed.

When it comes to dining in, the key factor is planning.  You absolutely must plan ahead.   This is where a Menu Plan can help.  You can have great intentions to eat dinner at home, but if you aren’t sure what to make, then you are back to dining out again (or having to run to the store to buy things, which may not be on sale and end up impulse shopping while you are at it).

Menu planning is not difficult and really is not that time consuming, when you have some tools and tips to help you do just that.  Sometimes, it just isn’t in the cards to do your own and you need some help.   It is simple to plan your own weekly (or even bi-weekly) menu yourself, but you will need to take a few things into consideration before you do.

1.  Plan no more than one or two weeks at at time.  

If you are new to menu planning, don’t try to be a super hero and plan out 30 days worth of meals.  You just won’t stick with it.  Instead, work them up for one or even two weeks at a time.  Plan them for each day of the week, Sunday through Saturday.  Don’t forget to include your breakfasts, lunch (even if packing them for school or work) and your snacks, in addition to what you will have for dinner each week.

2.  Check to see what you have on hand before you plan.

When planning your menu, take a look in your refrigerator, freezer and pantry.  Perhaps you have some left over chicken which will go bad if you don’t use it – that might turn into chicken salad one night.  You might notice 4 boxes of pasta and realize that if you picked up some sauce and used some beef from your freezer you can put together spaghetti for little cost.  Checking to see what you have on hand helps ensure that you are not throwing away foods which might spoil, which in turn saves you money.

ads

3.  Look at your store’s weekly ad for deals.

If you find that soup is on sale this week, it might be the perfect night for soup and sandwiches (don’t forget a few extra cans for your stockpile at those low prices).  You might also notice that your favorite meat is on sale.  Go ahead and pick up an extra couple of pounds and place them into your freezer.  That way, you save money on your meal this week and have more at a lower price to eat in one of the upcoming weeks.

4.  Ask your family for input.

Why not ask them if there is anything they want to have for dinner this coming week.  This helps because you don’t have to do it all yourself and you know you will be preparing meals they will actually eat!

5.  Write your plan down before you shop and make sure it is visible.

You can have great ideas in your mind, but if you don’t write them down, you may forget come Thursday what it is you have left to prepare for the week.   You should also have it displayed or kept where you can easily find it (as can others in your family).

This can also help your family members know what is for dinner so that someone might be able to start cooking dinner if your are running late.  It is also good so that you can pull out those items from your freezer in the morning so that they are thawed by the time you get home from work in the evening.   

We have 3 different forms available for you.  You can customize these, but entering your information into the blue sections on the form, or you can just print them out and complete them by hand, the choice is yours.

Weekly Menu Plan with Shopping List (print only)
Weekly Menu Plan with Shopping List (customize and print)

Two Week Menu Plan – Horizontal Format (print only)
Two Week Menu Plan – Horizontal Format (customize and print)

Two Week Menu Plan – Vertical Format (print only)
Two Week Menu Plan – Vertical Format (customize and print)

Weekly Shopping List (print only)

I actually recommend that you print out a blank Menu Plan (which ever one you want) and go to your UPS or office supply store and have them laminate it for you!  Then, place magnets on the back of it and keep it on your refrigerator, where you family can see it.  Not only does it make it easy to plan, you only have to print it one time.  You just use a dry erase marker each week to do your planning, wipe it clean at the end of the week and then start over again!

laminate

Another suggestion is to print one form.  Then, visit your copy store and get it reproduced in black and white.  This can be less expensive than using ink and paper to print a new form each week.

These forms not only help you know what to eat for your meals, they also helps you plan your shopping trip.  When you go through each meal on your list, you can check to see which items you need to purchase so you have all of the ingredients needed come dinner time.  That way, when you get home, all of your items are in your pantry, fridge or freezer, ready for you to prepare your meal!

Not only will this make dinner time less stressful, and will also save you time and money!  When you make additional trips to the store, you are spending fuel and money (most people don’t buy just the one item they need when they go to the store).  You are also spending your time at the store, when you ‘d probably rather be home sitting down to dinner.

It took my family and I a little time to get use to the menu plan, but now that we use it, we can’t imagine NOT having it available to help us plan our meals.  I still am not a fan of sitting down to plan out what to eat each week, but when I am done and realize the time (and money) am saving because of it, I always smile and then hang the plan back on the fridge.

Looking for more forms to simplify your life?  Take a look at all of the FREE forms available HERE!

Sweet & Creamy Butternut Squash Recipe

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This has to be the best recipe I've ever tried when it comes to butternut squash.  You can easily create your own Sweet & Cream Butternut Squash soup at home.  No cans.  No mixes -- made from scratch!

Autumn soups are the best! So hearty, delicious and comforting. This Sweet & Creamy Butternut Squash Soup recipe is absolutely perfect for bringing in the cold brisk Fall days. It will illuminate your house in fabulous aromas of roasted veggies and will satisfy your senses completely!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 cans vegetable or chicken broth 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper

Directions: 

  1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. On a large baking sheet add the butternut squash, sweet potato, and carrots. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper (I also add a little sprinkle of white sugar at this point to help veggies caramelize better).
  3. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, stir and return to the oven for another 20 minutes. Remove the veggies from the oven and set aside.
  4. In a large dutch oven or pot, saute onions and garlic until translucent.
  5. Add roasted veggies and broth to the dutch oven, with the cinnamon, salt and pepper.
  6. Allow the soup simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
  7. Add butter and brown sugar to the soup.
  8. Transfer soup to a blender (make sure to hold the lid on tight with a dish towel) and puree soup.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Mississippi Pot Roast Recipe: Simple and Divine!

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mississippi pot roast ppm

If you haven’t tried this Mississippi Pot Roast crockpot recipe I recommend doing so ASAP! There is no prep, only 5 ingredients and it is guaranteed to be a family favorite! We love to make this meal on cool brisk days. It’s always a crowd pleaser. Serve with roasted veggies, mash potatoes and/or a salad. This recipe is sure to be your families next BEST recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chuck roast
  • 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix
  • 1 packet of dry McCormick’s au jus gravy mix
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 5-6 Peperonicini’s

***If you are feeling adventurous add carrots, potatoes, celery and/or mushrooms. Num Num Num

Directions:

  1. Place the uncooked chuck roast in a crockpot. Slather roast with the Hidden Valley dry ranch seasoning mix and au jus mix.
  2. Place a stick of butter and 5-6 Peperoncini’s on top of the roast (Or add as many Perperocini’s as you would like! These are not spicy so there is no need to worry about that.)
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours in the crockpot (or 5 hours on high)
  4. Shred, serve and enjoy!

 

My Weekly Menu Plan: October 19 – 25

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Weekly Menu Plan | www.pennypinchinmom.com #menu #plans

 

If you have never done a menu plan, you may think that you don’t need one. That is actually not true. By planning, you can save yourself time and money. Of course, if you’ve never set one up before you might not be sure where to start! Take a look at this post on How to Create a Weekly Menu Plan and Shopping List.

Before you get started creating your own plan, make sure you take a look at all of our FREE Menu Plan and Shopping List forms. You can either print them off, or even fill one out before printing it for the week – the choice is yours!

Here is my menu plan for the week!

 

BREAKFAST

 

Waffles
French Toast
Cereal
Granola Bars

 

LUNCH

 

Leftovers
Sandwiches, carrots, apples, yogurt raisins, baked chips, fruit snacks, cereal treats, cheese sticks, yogurt sticks (variety of these for school lunch)
 

SNACKS

 

Cake Batter Dip with graham crackers
Celery with peanut butter
Cheese and crackers

 

DINNER

 

Sunday:  Spaghetti with meatballs, salad, french bread
Monday:  Grilled burgers, hot dogs, beans, coleslaw
Tuesday:  Leftover night
Wednesday:  Tailgating for Royals Game (eating with friends)
Thursday:  Fish Tacos
Friday:  Easy sloppy joes, fresh veggies and chips
Saturday: Dinner Out

Mini Apple Pie Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

These mini apple pies are easy to make and so yummy!!  They also help with portion control (unless you decide to eat 2 or 3 at a time, of course)!!

These mini apple pies are the perfect for a dessert for family get together’s, bake sales or the next holiday dessert table spread. They are easy to make and come out in the perfect portion for one person.

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of Betty Crocker Pie Crusts (pre-made, not frozen)
  • 2.5-3 lbs Granny Smith Apples
  •  Juice of 1/2 lemon or 3 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed evenly

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut, peel and core apples. Evenly coat with lemon juice.
  3. Combine cinnamon, white sugars, brown sugar, flour and nutmeg together and mix well. Add mixed dry ingredients to diced apples. Make sure coat evenly.
  4. With your pie crusts, cut 24 circles out.
  5. Place crust circles into ungreased cupcake pans.
  6. Fill each pie crust with the apple mixture.
  7. Put a sliver (or cube) of butter on each apple pie.
  8. Using the second pie crust, make another round of circles  or strips for the tops of the mini apple pies.
  9. Cook for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

These mini apple pies are easy to make and so yummy!!  They also help with portion control (unless you decide to eat 2 or 3 at a time, of course)!!

Weekly Menu Plan For October 12 – 18

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Weekly Menu Plan | www.pennypinchinmom.com #menu #plans

 

If you have never done a menu plan, you may think that you don’t need one.  That is actually not true.  By planning, you can save yourself time and money.  Of course, if you’ve never set one up before you might not be sure where to start!  Take a look at this post on How to Create a Weekly Menu Plan and Shopping List.

Before you get started creating your own plan, make sure you take a look at all of our FREE Menu Plan and Shopping List forms.  You can either print them off, or even fill one out before printing it for the week – the choice is yours!

Here is my menu plan for the week!

 

BREAKFAST

 

Waffles
Cereal
Pancakes

LUNCH

School lunches
Cheese sandwiches, baked chips, grapes, apples, cheese sticks, cereal treats
Leftovers

 

SNACKS

 

Graham crackers
Cheese and crackers

 

DINNER

 

Sunday:  Penne Rigate, salad and french bread
Monday:  Left over night
Tuesday: Ranch chicken tenders, mac ‘n cheese and corn
Wednesdsay:  Mini meatloaf, mashed potatoes, beans
Thursday:  Leftover night
Friday:  Dinner out
Saturday:  Mini pizzas

Weekly Menu Plan For 9/14/14

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Weekly Menu Plan | www.pennypinchinmom.com #menu #plans

 

If you have never done a menu plan, you may think that you don’t need one.  That is actually not true.  By planning, you can save yourself time and money.  Of course, if you’ve never set one up before you might not be sure where to start!  Take a look at this post on How to Create a Weekly Menu Plan and Shopping List.

Before you get started creating your own plan, make sure you take a look at all of our FREE Menu Plan and Shopping List forms.  You can either print them off, or even fill one out before printing it for the week – the choice is yours!

Here is my menu plan for the week!

 

BREAKFAST

 

Cornbread
Waffles
Cereal
Toast

 

LUNCH

 

Sandwiches, Gogurt, apples, raisins, baked chips, cereal bars, and/or cheese sticks
School lunches
Leftovers

SNACKS

 

Cheese and crackers
Cereal bars
Grapes
Oranges
Apples with peanut butter

 

DINNER

 

Sunday:  Pulled pork sandwiches, chips, fresh veggies
Monday:  Spaghetti, french bread, salad
Tuesday:  Grilled chicken, rice, green beans
Wednesday:  Leftovers
Thursday:  Fish Tacos
Friday:  Sutffed pork chop, salad, cubed potatoes, corn
Saturday:  Dinner Out