Grandma Carol’s Peanut Butter Fudge

I have shared a recipe for peanut butter fudge once before, but that was before my Grandma Carol’s recipe turned up after being lost for awhile!  I was so happy when my mom told me she had it. This is the smoothest, most peanut-buttery fudge you will ever taste.  Make a batch for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day, because nothing says I love you quite like this delicious treat!

Peanut Butter Fudge

Continue reading Grandma Carol’s Peanut Butter Fudge

Sandhill Plum Jelly

Have you heard of a sandhill plum?  These plums are small (about the size of cherries or large marbles), grow wild in some parts of the midwest, and are super sour.  Just about the only thing I know to do with them is make jelly!  It so happens that Sandhill Plum Jelly is my dad’s favorite kind of jelly.  And since there is not a lot of commercially available sandhill plum jelly out there, sometimes the only way you can get it is to make it yourself.  Luckily, we have a thicket of 4 trees on our acreage, so I get to make this special treat for my dad around this time of year!

Sandhill Plum Jelly Recipe

Continue reading Sandhill Plum Jelly

Sweet & Salty Peanut Butter Cookies

When you are short on time, but want a cookie that tastes like you spent all afternoon in the kitchen, these Sweet & Salty Peanut Butter Cookies are sure to be a hit!  These cookies start with the convenience of a cookie mix, and are made your own with the addition of crushed pretzels and chocolate chips. Make them a fun gift for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day.  These are the perfect cookies for my sweetheart, as the combination of chocolate, peanut butter, and pretzels is one of his favorite!

Sweet & Salty Peanut Butter Cookies

Continue reading Sweet & Salty Peanut Butter Cookies

My Kitchen Essentials

There are many tools in my kitchen which I view as essential.  While there may be some other tool that works well in place of those I mentioned, this list contains my personal favorites.  I have a hard time placing any sort of ordinality to these items, so I am just going to list them in the order they come to mind,  which may or may not mean anything.  And, chances are, I will forget something and will probably have to do an update post in the future!

Randi, this post is for you 😉

Continue reading My Kitchen Essentials

Homemade Vanilla Extract

I love looking for ways to make some of my favorite things at home.  In this case, it was vanilla extract!  I found myself with an excess of vanilla beans on hand (thanks to Amazon!) and I wanted to make some special gifts to give.  A few glass bottles later, I had some fun and practical homemade gifts on hand!

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Continue reading Homemade Vanilla Extract

Sugar Cookie Cutouts

I love old family recipes.  They mean so much to me, because not only are they the foods that I grew up with, but my family grew up with them as well.  It’s that connection to past generations which makes them all-the-more special.  Growing up, we made sugar cookies for just about every holiday.  I remember picking out the cookie cutters to match the holiday or season, rolling out the dough, cutting out the cookies, and then decorating them after they cooled.  I have such fond memories of decorating the cookies with my mom and sister!

Sugar Cookie Cutouts

I love making these recipes over and over, and I hope to pass them on to my children as well!

Continue reading Sugar Cookie Cutouts

Valentine’s Day Ideas

Candy and Valentine’s Day can hardly be separated. Try to imagine a Valentine’s Day without seeing one of those giant heart-shaped boxes full of chocolates…  It’s pretty difficult!

However, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to show your loved ones just how special they are to you.  This Valentine’s Day, try your hand at making some goodies for them.  Not only will you save a lot of money, your loved ones will know that you took the extra time to make something just for them.  Because, let’s face it, anyone can buy something at the store!

Here are a few ideas to get you started…

Chocolate Truffles

Homemade Snickers

Oreo Truffles

Or, how about decorating some Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting?

Cream Cheese Frosting Continue reading Valentine’s Day Ideas

Book Review: The Money Saving Mom’s Budget

I am so excited that the first official book review on my website is for a book written by the author of my favorite money-saving blog… Crystal Paine of  Money Saving Mom!

Crystal’s website is wealth of knowledge.  She offers excellent advice, and shares good recipes, too!  In fact, I published her Brown Sugar Biscuit Twists on my blog almost a year ago.  I have been fortunate to have a few of my recipes featured on her blog as well (homemade granola, and gingerbread friends)

Anyway, back to the book.  No matter what shape your financial situation is in, I believe you can learn a few tips and tricks from The Money Saving Mom’s Budget.  Crystal advocates for a life of simplicity, which is something that I constantly wish I had!  Among all of the great advice, what stuck with me most is her positive, can-do attitude.  If anything, you will be invigorated to set a few new goals in your life!

The Money Saving Mom's Budget

One new goal of mine is to get better about planning a weekly menu (see chapters 6 and 7).  It’s something I have done sporadically in the past.  However, I have found that life is much simpler when I plan ahead, even if it’s just a little.  I want to incorporate this new menu-planning goal into this website, in hopes that it can help some of you out, too!  Here in the near future, look for a weekly menu plan complete with any links that I can share.

Crystal’s book is more than just a compilation of the information on her website.  It’s so much more than just planning a budget and clipping coupons.  Crystal’s tips will help you streamline all aspects of your life, so that you can embrace today and enjoy what you have.

I hope that you all will enjoy The Money Saving Mom’s Budget as much as I did.  As Crystal mentions, “It’s been said, ‘You’ll be the same person you were last year except for the books you read and the people you meet.'”  I am so glad that I have had the opportunity to read her book, as I believe it has changed my life in a positive way!

You can order the book through Amazon, and it will ship when it releases on January 10.  It would make a great gift for all of the money-minded women you know!