Archive for April, 2010

Homemade Granola Bars

April 27, 2010

In an effort to stay away from High Fructose Corn Syrup and various other additives I make lots of things that your average person buys already processed and premade. This recipe is no different 🙂

From my Meal Plan this Week…

Homemade Granola Bars


  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or other goodies


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease one 9×13 inch pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, flour, baking soda, vanilla, butter, honey and brown sugar. Stir in the 2 cups assorted chocolate chips, raisins, nuts etc. (picture shows bars made with 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup peanut butter chips)
  3. Firmly press mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 9 minutes. Pull from oven and press mixture firmly again into the pan. Bake another 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes then cut into bars. Let bars cool completely in pan before removing or serving.

Meal Plan for the Week of April 26

April 26, 2010

Running a day behind on this post. Sorry 🙂

Monday-Turkey Burgers and Corn on the Cob

Tuesday-Cranberry Stuffed Chicken and Green Beans (didn’t fix it last week)

Wednesday-Rotisserie Chicken (Found in the middle of this post) ,Green Beans and Biscuits

Thursday- Chicken and Dumplings and Peas

Friday-Crockpot Pot Roast (made from the cow we bought), Potatoes and Carrots

Saturday-Easy Stromboli (we will be having a Yard Sale so I needed to plan something simple. I will be assembling it Friday night and putting it in the fridge to cook on Saturday around lunch time)

Sunday-Veggie Soup made from Leftover Pot Roast from this week with Wraps (pictured in the bottom of my Sprouting post)

Everything else we will be eating (Breakfast and Lunches) is the same as posted before. The only exception is that I will be making a batch of Homemade Granola Bars 


Little Frugalista

Filled Cupcakes for Quiltie’s Birthday

April 22, 2010

Way too cheap to purchase a Debbie Meyer\’s Cupcake Pan I came up with a way to fill my regular ol’ cupcakes….

The secret is a Melon Baller. Just take your warm cupcake that you’ve just baked (pictured are Devil’s Food) and carefully create a hole to fill….

The whole pan with holes…

I chose to fill these with mini Reese Cups. The possibilities are endless on what you can fill them with…….

Just peel off the papers and push them into the center of the cupcakes. Look how yummy and melty they look….

Let them cool and ice them with an icing of your choice, whether store bought or homemade. Pictured is Cream Cheese Icing. Top with half of a mini Reese…

Happy Birthday Quiltie! These are for your Cookout in my back yard 🙂


Little Frugalista

Save Money Making Your Own Dumplings

April 21, 2010


Don’t waste money making Dumplings from Mixes like Bisquick when they are so darned easy to make from scratch.

I make a type of Chicken Gravy by picking meat off the bone  and boiling the leftover Rotisserie Chicken we have for dinner the night before (on my meal plan for the week), pull the chicken out of the pot when the water hits a boil, add a can of cream of chicken and thicken with Cornstarch and Milk. Season to taste (for us that means, salt, pepper, garlic and powdered onion).

Once it all comes to a boil again I put the dumpling mixture (below) in the pot by tablespoon full and cook for about 15 minutes until the Dumplings are nice and fluffy. I serve the cooked Dumplings and Gravy over the chicken I removed from the pot and sat aside.

These Dumplings are a nice addition as well to soups 🙂


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Mix together and drop by TBSP into boiling broth, gravy or soup pot.

    *NOTE-My family are such dumpling fans I usually make a double batch to add to the pot*

    Artwork by Little Miss and Little Man

    April 21, 2010

    Like any good mom I have to brag about my kids….

    I got the idea for these Blottos from Kinderart who’s link is over to the right, on my blog roll. After showing this piece to a neighbor she told me they used to use the same technique but put strings in between the paper and pulled them to create unusual patterns. We will try that next time.

    Little Man had a blast creating them 🙂

    Little Miss did this piece for her school Art Show and she titled it “Field of Four Flowers”. She created the concept and did all the work herself with me supervising. She cut flower templates out of cardboard, traced them on the canvas with pencil and then painted them in. She then filled the rest in freehand. The Sky and Grass are scrapbook paper mod podged.

    Both projects cost under $10 total. Most of the supplies I already had on hand. I even had the canvas because I had been dabbling with painting. I only had to purchase a few pages of scrapbook paper and 4 bottles of Tempra paint which happened to be on sale. Little Miss mixed her own paint colors from the primary colors (red,blue and yellow) along with black.


    Little Frugalista

    Meal Plan for Week of April 19

    April 19, 2010

    Dinners in no particular order:

    -Toasted Sesame Garlic Broccoli Chicken, Egg Rolls and Corn on the Cob

    -Stuffed Cranberry Chicken with Green Beans

    -Chicken Breast with Tomatoes and Olives with Corn on the Cob

    -Crockpot Rotisserrie Chicken, Baked Potatoes and Green Beans

    -Chicken and Dumplings with Green Beans

    -Pot Roast with Potatoes, Carrots and Peas

    Sunday: Leftover Veggie Soup and Grilled Cheese

    Breakfasts and Lunches will be the same as posted before 🙂


    Little Frugalista

    Hobo Dinner

    April 19, 2010

    My family loves it when I cook Hobo Dinner and it couldn’t be easier or cheaper to make…

    My instructions are for 4 but it wouldn’t be hard to make more or less.

    -Lay 4 aluminum foil sheets out

    -Put 1tsp olive or canola oil in the center of the foil sheets

    -Take 1 pound of ground meat (beef or turkey) and season to taste. I used salt,pepper and BBQ seasoning

    -Mix the seasoning into the meat and make 12 balls of meat

    -Place 3 Uncooked Meatballs onto each foil sheet

    -Dice 4 Medium Potatoes and place onto the 4 foil sheets

    -Chop 1 Medium Onion and place in even amounts on the 4 foil sheets

    -Finally place 1 ear of frozen corn on the foil sheets

    -Salt all 4 foil sheets

    They should look like this when you are finished……

    Close the Foil sheets up and make Packets. They should look like this….

    Place on your grill on Medium or on a cookie sheet in your oven at 400 for about 45 minutes to an hour or until the meatballs are at 165 and the potatoes are tender. They will look like this when they are finished cooking….

    Experiment with the seasonings your family enjoy to get the taste exactly like you want.

    My kids love the novelty of eating them from th packets and I love that they are super easy to make and clean up 🙂


    Little Frugalista

    Another Discount Just for Asking

    April 18, 2010

    This past Saturday was my Sister’s Birthday and as is tradition for all of our family birthdays we went out to eat. IHOP was her restaurant of choice. We met at 6pm to be seated and they pretty much gave us a big table right away. We sat and chatted for a while and then began to really get hungry. We waited, and waited, and waited…. An hour and a half later we began to question where our food was. I don’t know if you’ve ever waited that long for food with children but is a vast understatement to say that is was not pleasant.

    Our food began to show up at the 2 hour point and some of us got food, whereas other did not (which included the VERY hungry cranky kids). Showing our manners, those of us that got our food waited for the rest of our group to get theirs to begin to eat. Needless to say once the rest of the food showed up our food was cold.

    I went to pay and very politely asked the girl checking us out… “We waited over an hour and a half for our food. Is there anyway you can give us a discount for waiting?”

    She very nicely took %10 off of our check.

    So we got 2 free kids meals for their kids eat free promo AND %10 off our total order. Our total was around $20 which is not bad at all for 2 adults and 2 children to fill up on, not as cheap as cooking at home but still not a bad deal 🙂

    Just goes to show you that A)You don’t have to be mean to get a discount and B)It never hurts to ask 😉


    Little Frugalista

    Lunchbox Idea: Making Sandwiches Fun

    April 17, 2010

    To make sandwiches fun use a cookie cutter to cut the bread (also the meat and cheese if it’s not pb&j). This one I cut in the shape of a flower (got the cookie cutter after Easter for .25) and if I’d had M&Ms I would have placed one in the center of the flower but alas I didn’t have any.

    The crust I cut off goes into my bread bag in the freezer to become some of the dishes I posted before in my Got Stale Bread? Post. On occasion we also take bread from the freezer bag to feed the Geese at a local pond, which is a great free activity for my kids. We begin visiting in early spring when the mama geese lay their eggs and then visit every week to watch the babies grow into full size geese.


    Little Frugalista

    Breakfast for Lunch

    April 15, 2010

    Yet another easy Lunchbox idea… Breakfast for Lunch. Little Miss removes the syrup from the container and puts the waffle,egg and precooked bacon in the microwave to warm up. Add to that a side of cut up Strawberries sprinkled with Truvia and Ihop eat your heart out lol


    Little Frugalista