Saturday, March 27, 2010

Another recipe to do with those ripe bananas

Have some ripe bananas you aren't sure what to do with? Here is another idea I found from one of our followers. Jenn McCoy is a runner, who has taken on the task of recording what she eats, and she has this cute little blog where she records her "eats", as she calls them, and she recently posted a yummy (and healthy) banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookies recipe on it. Check it out!

How To: Freeze Bananas and Strawberries

Our Meijer always has bananas that are just a bit brown for super cheap. I got two bunches of bananas for $ 0.39 and I bought five bushels of strawberries for a buck each! Both bananas and strawberries freeze well. We freeze these fruits for things like summer time smoothies, strawberry soup, cereal toppers and more!

What to do:

1. Wash your fruit. Peel the bananas. Take the green tops of the berries. Cut away any bad spots.

2. I freeze mine in a ziplock,but whatever you are going to use is fine. Add a bit of lemon juice to the bag, which will help preserve flavor and color. Just a side note~ I have not purchased new ziplocks in over a year. I wash and re-use mine. Do it!
3. Place the fruit into the bag and stick them into your freezer. Pull out as needed!

It's the Weekend!

What a relief that it is Saturday!

Ruby Anne's silly face

How many of you are still in your jammies?!? Or maybe you are the type that is up at 6, running errands and getting things checked off your to-do list! Either way- we should all breath a slow, deep breath and find ways to savor the day!

Sophie and Addie making me laugh!

How about savoring a free meal at Perkins!?

All you need to do is go to Perkins website and sign up to join their e-club (bottom right hand corner). Once you sign up for their e-club (you can sign up one per e-mail address), you will recieve a FREE entree coupon in your inbox! No strings attached! I received mine and my husband signed up to get one too. Pair that with 99 cent kids meal and you have a very FRUGAL night out with the family! Check here to find a Perkins near you.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Click here to enter our give-away!

My son and I were reviewing some of these Kids Choice cards and his answers were terrific to hear, even when he did ramble on about Buzz Lightyear for some time. Three year old kiddos have the most interesting thoughts when we take the time to ask and listen. I simply modified the questions a bit to suit him and the conversation started flowing.

I do have to share this. I asked him, from the Kids Choice cards, "How would you feel if your friend won a race that you were really hoping to win?"

He thought about it for a minute and said, "I would feel proud of him."

Aw, my little darling.

So~ to have your "AWWW" moment with your darlings go enter our give-away!

Friday: Super Tasty Breakfast Casserole

I know there are a lot of breakfast casseroles out there, but this one beats them all (in my opinion!)! It is frugal to make, easy and has a great tang to it.

My soon to be sis-in-law, Staci, made this for our family and I fell in love with it! I have made it on several occasions; when company is over, when I need to take a potluck dish to a brunch or just because it is darn good!

Here is what you need:

1 pound sausage, 6 TB melted butter or margarine, 1 cup bisquick, 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese, 1/2 pound cheddar cheese, 1 tsp onion flakes (or 1/4 tsp. onion powder), parsley (use your discretion on amt.), 1/4 tsp. salt, 6 beaten eggs, 1 cup milk

Step 1:

Brown your sausage

Step 2:

Beat 6 eggs

Step 3:

Combine all ingredients listed above

Step 4:
Grease 9x13 casserole dish (does not have to be glass)

Step 5:

Pour casserole from bowl into casserole

Step 6: Bake in oven for 40 minutes at 350 degrees

Step 7: Dive in and enjoy !

I am always looking for new brunch/brinner ideas. Leave a comment and let us know what your "go to" brunch ideas are!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm in the mood for a give-away!

Drum roll please!
I am in the mood for two things, dark chocolate and a give-away. Well, I have the chocolate in hand so the only thing left is to reveal the give-away.

At the Hearts and Home conference we stopped at a booth that was chock full of great resources for teaching children responsibility and encouraging open honest communication. The people behind Family Tools were happy to donate items towards a give-away with Meal Planning Mommies.

Their website is full of practical resources for parents, so check Family Tools out today!

Thanks to the people behind Family Tools three lucky readers will win Pocket Editions versions of: Kid's Choices, Family Choices, and Teen Choices. These playing card sized tools are full of scenarios to encourage discussions about Biblical principles with your children. Great for the car, dinner table, or anywhere really!

To be eligible for the give-away become a Meal Planning Mommies blog follower and leave us a comment letting us know two things.
1). Which package you would like (kids, teens, or family).
2). Your favorite late-night snack!

So, once again there are THREE steps.
1. Follow Meal Planning Mommies!
2. Tell us which pack you want to win!
3. Share with us your favorite late night snack!

Good luck friends!
Give-away will be ending on Sunday night, 9pm central.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thursday: Divine Monte Cristo Sandwich with Rapsberry jam along with Carrots sticks and dip

If you have ever been to Bennigans' Restaurant and tried their Fried Monte Cristo sandwich, I am sure you left there satisfied, but overly full and "greased out!" At Bennigans they have a deep fried monte cristo sandwich, it is to die for! However, the grease is too much!

Here is a great recipe for a monte cristo sandwich from It is not deep fried, just fried in the skillet the same you would cook french toast. I know you may look at some of the ingredients and think- what? Raspberry jam, mayonnaise, mustard and powdered sugar?!? Yuck! Trust me on this one, just try it! It really goes together great!

Here is what you need for a family of 4:

8 slices of bread, mayonnaise, mustard, 4 eggs, 1 cup milk, 8 slices of cooked ham, 8 slices of cooked turkey, 4 slices of swiss cheese, raspberry jelly & powdered sugar

Step 1:
Add mayo and mustard to one side of your bread

Step 2:
Whisk your 4 eggs and 1 cup of milk together (I have great helpers!)

Step 3:
Assemble your sandwiches. Each sandwich gets: 2 slices of bread, 1 slice of swiss cheese, 2 pieces of ham and 2 pieces of turkey (* Pictured are 3 separate sandwiches stacked on top of each other)

Step 4:
Dip the entire sandwich in the egg mixture (just like you would french toast!) and cook in a greased skillet over medium heat until browned on both sides.

Step 5: Sprinkle with powdered sugar and add a side of raspberry jam to dip your sandwich in- so tasty! Then add some carrot sticks and dip!

Leave a comment and let me know what you think about the Monte Cristo Sandwich. Are you going to try it? Have you tried it in the past?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wednesday: Toddler Friendly Homemade stuffed crust pizza

This pizza dough recipe comes from another blogger mom, I am sure many of you have heard of her: Crystal over @ She has a great blog dedicated to "helping you become a better home economist." If you haven't checked out her blog- you are missing out on some great deals!

So here is her recipe, which I use very often! I love how easy it is to make and that you can make several batches to freeze for another day!

Check it out below!

(Still at the hotel, so no pictures on this post yet! Sorry!)

Pizza Crust:
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups flour

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the rest of the ingredients in and mix.

Dump onto a floured surface .

Knead into a smooth dough (five minutes or so).

Roll out and press down onto a greased pizza pan.

toppings. (Have fun and be creative with this! Our favorite variety is
salsa or barbecue sauce, diced cooked chicken, and cheese.)

Bake at 450 degrees F. for around 12-15 minutes until the crust looks crispy and lightly browned.

the way, you can make up a double or triple batch of the pizza crust
dough and freeze the extras if you don't need it. This speeds up the
preparation even more as all you have to do is pull out a bag of dough
and a bag of chopped cooked chicken in the morning and then put the
pizza together right before you're ready to eat. You can also freeze
the pizzas already cooked but I doubt it would ever stay uneaten long
enough to make it to the freezer around here! (Crystal- @

In order to make this a stuffed crust pizza, I used shredded mozzarella and make a small "pile" around the edges. Next I folded the edges over, pinching the dough so that the cheese is on the inside and won't melt out. You then add the rest of your toppings, bake and enjoy!

Does your family have a favorite pizza recipe? I would love to hear your creative ideas!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tuesday: Cobb Salad and sweet dinner rolls

So who hear has heard of Houlihans?

Houlihans was my first experience with a "chop salad", and let me tell you- they have one awesome Chop Salad with homemade ranch dressing! Since I have been craving that salad since I had it (We don't have one in our town! So sad!) I figured, this can't be too hard to make- I will dish it up myself!

Now, I am sure you are wondering- but didn't she say we were making a "cobb salad?" Hmmm... well I totally got the chop salad and cobb salad confused! They are truly not the same thing, and I have decided that I am not a fan of a cobb salad! I need to try this again and use what is in a "chop salad" next time.

Well... as things sometimes go, it didn't quite turn out the way I had hoped! I added a few extra ingredients like avocado and hard boiled eggs and didn't use corn or croutons. I tried to make my own ranch dressing. I found a ranch dressing recipe on and was truly disappointed! It tasted like mayonnaise!

Still... I will post my pictures and recipes for you, even though to me it was a FLOP!
(I cannot post pictures until a later date b/c the hotel I am in isn't a great connection and it won't let me upload pictures! I will get them to you ASAP!)

Here is what you need for a salad for 4 people:

Salad mix or chopped iceberg, avocado, 3 hard boiled eggs, sliced tomato, bacon, shredded chicken and feta cheese

Only Step: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and add dressing!

Ranch Dressing Recipe (definitely a 0 out of 5 stars from me!):

1/2 cup sour cream, 1 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 tsp. dried chives, 1/2 tsp. dried parsley, 1/2 tsp dried dill weed, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, 1/4 tsp. onion powder, 1/8 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp ground pepper

Step 1: Whisk together all of the ingredients

Step 2: Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving

Recipe found at

Sweet Dinner Rolls

These are absolutely the best dinner rolls! I like to make a big batch and freeze some for later. You can roll the dough into crescent rolls, dinner rolls or even make cinnamon rolls! I am going to direct you to the link that includes the recipe and lots of other great tips in making these.

Sweet Dinner Rolls

Someone please rescue me!

Leave a comment and let me know if you have a great recipe for a homemade ranch dressing.

I also want to hear what your favorite salad idea is. I am always looking for ways to spice up salad to make it easier for my husband to enjoy! ;<)

Carrot Face...

One of my friends on facebook posted this picture and I just had to share, because it is so stinkin cute! Carrot stick, dip, small piece of celery for mouth, even smaller pieces of broccoli for eyes. How much fun would little kids have making their carrots talk to each other before one got eaten up by the big, bad herbivore? (your kid) :0)

Monday:Mouth Watering Black Bean Chili and Sweet Corn Bread

This recipe is seriously makes my mouth water just thinking about it! It is enough to feed a family of 6. You can always double the recipe and freeze some in individual portions to use at lunchtime or in a large portion for either dinner.

Tasty Green, Katie Brabson (pictured below), was with me when we ate it and her toddler son Samuel, ate 2 servings! He also told me last week that he wants me to make it again!

Here is what you need:

1 TB vegetable oil, 1 diced onion, 2 garlic cloves-minced, 1 lb ground turkey, 3 cans of black beans, 1 (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes, 1 1/2 TB chili powder, 1 TB dried oregano, 1 TB dried basil, 1 TB red wine vinegar

Step 1:
In a stockpot over medium heat, add 1 TB vegetable oil and your diced onion. Cook the diced onion until it begins to look transparent.

Step 2:

Mince 2 cloves of garlic and add to the onion. If you don't have a garlic press, you are truly missing out on what fresh garlic (as opposed to jarred) can do for your meals! I bought mine through Pampered Chef, but lots of places sell them now.

Step 3:

Add 1 lb ground turkey (if you don't like ground turkey- you can add beef) to the onion and garlic. Continue cooking until meat is browned.

I wasn't sure about using turkey because our family is a big ground beef family, but you couldn't even tell it was turkey! It also gives you the added health benefits of a much leaner meat.

Step 4:

Add all the other ingredients to you stock pot: 1 TB dried basil, 1 TB dried oregano, 1 TB red wine vinegar, 1 1/2 TB chili powder, 1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes, 2-3 cans of black beans, I will definitely be using only 2 cans next time because 3 was a little much for my taste (you can also use a bag of black beans- which would be more economical! You need to read the directions on the back of the bag- soak them overnight, drain and then cook slowly the next morning).

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for at least 60 minutes.

Delish! Serve with warm sweet corn bread (recipe to follow)

Also great with cheese!

Sweet Corn Bread

This is going to become a staple corn bread in our house! While it is more expensive that the box mix, this is soooo much better! You really only spend $ on the sour cream. Once you have the corn meal, it will last you several corn breads!

Here is what you need:

1 cup flour, 1 cup cornmeal, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 egg (slightly beaten), 1 cup sour cream, 1/3 cup milk, 1/4 cup butter (melted)

Step 1:

Combine all dry ingredients into a bowl.

Step 2:

Now mix all of your wet ingredients together.

Step 3:

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients just until moistened.

Step 4:

Place in a greased 8 inch square baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Serve Warm!

This is the most delicious, mouth watering, so very moist cornbread ever!

Frugal Total (Chili and cornbread combined, does not include staples like eggs, milk, butter, flour, sugar etc.)

Cost for a family of 6: $9.50

Cost per person: $1.58

Not bad for a mouth watering, healthy meal for your family!

I want to hear from you! Please leave a comment and let us know if you will be or have be tried either the chili or the cornbread with your family!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Frugal Table Meal Plan

Hi everyone! Happy Meal Planning Day!

It's Sarah from the Frugal Table ready to give you some great recipe ideas for your week ahead! Like always use my meal plan to your taste- pick what you like and add that to your personal meal plan or use it all!

Frugal Table Meal Plan:

Monday: Mouth Watering Black Bean Chili and Sweet Corn Bread (Seriously, my mouth is watering! This was sooooo good!)

Tuesday: Fresh Cobb Salad and rolls

Wednesday: Toddler Friendly homemade stuffed crust pizza

Thursday: Divine Monte Cristo Sandwich with raspberry jam and carrot sticks (This is similar to the one they serve at Bennigans, but sans the grease and extra fat!)

Friday: Super Tasty Breakfast Casserole

Happy Meal Planning Everyone!