Friday, December 18, 2009

Food Friday: Hash Brown Casserole

This is a classic potluck dish. My aunt usually makes it for Christmas but I could easily eat it year round.

Hash Brown Casserole

32 oz bag frozen hash browns, defrosted
2/3 cup oleo or butter
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 10 oz can cream of chicken soup
1 8 oz carton sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
crushed cornflakes
oleo or butter

Mix together all but the last 2 ingredients. Put in a casserole dish. Add the cornflakes and butter mixture to the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Food Friday: Roast & Veggies

Growing up my mom would make roast with potatoes & carrots every so often. She would make the same recipe in the oven and the crockpot so feel free to try it both ways. I'm not a huge roast fan but every now and then I enjoy it and it always brings back good childhood memories. This is a quick and easy recipe and makes a lot so it is great to serve during the holidays when time is short and the house is full.


beef roast
potatoes - peeled & cut into bite sized pieces
carrots - peeled & cut into bite sized pieces
one can french onion soup

Place roast in a crockpot, fill in the spaces around it with potatoes and carrots. Pour soup over everything. Cook for approximately 8 hours. If you do not like mushy potatoes and carrots, add them about halfway through. I grew up with them cooking the whole time and do not mind them being a bit mushy.

Easy Gift Ideas

I enjoy giving homemade food gifts all year long so when this came across my email I thought I would share it with you. Mason jar gifts are great for more than just Christmas. I like to give soup mixes anytime in the winter. Brownie and cookie mixes are great the whole year through. Of course, who couldn't use a salt scrub or other pampering gift anytime of the year too.

When making jar gifts, think outside the jar. Mason jars are great and affordable but there are other alternatives. For smaller recipes I usually go with a cello bag and a cute ribbon. Sometimes I house recipes in a container that is part of the gift such as I mentioned in this post. The dollar store and the dollar section of Target sometimes have great containers so keep an eye out throughout the year.

Click on the banner to access the mason jar cookbook.

Holiday Ideas

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Simplifying Christmas

Last year at this time I felt like I was losing my mind trying to get through Christmas. I wrote this post on how I was planning to simplify Christmas. This year I feel like I'm losing my mind for completely different reasons but I chose to simplify ahead of time instead of waiting until I was in over my head.

So far this year, I've only put up the Christmas decorations that are near and dear to me. Although I would like it a bit more festive around here, I know I will just be fighting my oldest to stay out of it so I will save the rest for another year.

I bought most of my Christmas presents before Thanksgiving so other than wrapping them, that is one less stress. I still have a few more to buy but I know what I want, it is just a matter of finding a few moments to go get them.

I haven't baked a thing. Although I miss the baking, I don't really need it as I'm still trying to lose the baby weight. I have a few baking items I want to make for gifts and will tackle those as soon as my husband is done with school (just a few days to go!). Luckily next year he will be out of school so hopefully I can do more baking next Christmas.

I've also done less entertaining. I don't mind visiting another person's house and bringing food but it is much less stressful than if I had to clean my own house.

I keep reminding myself that this is just a season of life and someday my husband won't be working two jobs and going to school, I won't be juggling several online businesses, and my kids won't be this young. I want to enjoy my time with my kids so I'm voluntarily simplifying Christmas.

What are you doing this year to simplify Christmas?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tightwad Tuesday: Save on Shipping

Many of us are shopping online this year for Christmas. I try as much as possible to avoid paying shipping costs or at least find a coupon code with a discount enough to cover the costs. I found a new site that has many of these wonderful codes - Deal Blabs. Always check for a code or special offer before you finish your purchase.

Also, it has been awhile since I mentioned this so I thought I would remind everyone to search using SwagBucks. You can earn free gift cards for places such as and Starbucks simply for searching on the internet. I save mine and use them to buy gifts throughout the year.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Food Friday: Frozen Cranberry Salad

Years ago, I made a recipe book for my friends for Christmas. I contacted everyone's parents and asked them to send me a favorite family recipe. This was one that was sent and it quickly has become a favorite in my family. Sit it out to thaw about 2 hours before you need it. You want to serve it slightly frozen but it has to thaw enough to get a serving spoon into it. I usually make it in a medium sized baking dish. We serve it as a side dish for Thanksgiving and Christmas but several people have told me they think it would make a great dessert too.


1 16 oz. can whole cranberry sauce

1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained

1 mashed banana

1 12 oz. carton cool whip

Mix together. Place in a serving dish, cover, and freeze.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tightwad Tuesday: Homemade Christmas Gifts

I know many people are planning on making Christmas gifts this year due to a tight economy so I thought I would link up to a few ideas I've posted in the past and add a few new ones too.

White Chocolate Popcorn

Pumpkin Bread

Snickerdoodle Chex Mix

Inexpensive Christmas decorations

Gift Baskets

Kitchen Magnets

Finally, being a Tupperware consultant, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share a practical, yet usable gift idea. I've had customers fill some of our bowls and canisters with their homemade goodies to give as a gift. I've filled our spaghetti dispenser with a brownie mixture. Snack cups make a great holder for cocoa, tea, or coffee mixes. I've also filled Modular Mates and other bowls with pancake mix or soup mixes. This way the recipient receives yummy homemade gift in a very practical, reusable container. If you would like any of the recipes I fill these items with, just email me.

Design by Amanda @ BloggerBuster