Make Cookies or Brownies in Your Waffle Iron!

Friends, I have an oven again! Not only that, it is my dream oven!! I can’t find an exact match to show you, but it’s like this, only we got it for $less$ because we found it on Craig’s list. It is so perfect. The family who originally owned it had loved it, but moved into a house with electric and couldn’t use it any more. We got a great deal on a perfectly wonderful double gas oven!!!

My husband is amazing, working for hours to switch our electric hook-up to gas, getting it all set up for me. I love it and drag people into my kitchen to show them my new toy – even if they probably don’t care. Thankfully, everyone has pretended to care. People are so nice. My apologies to our mailman. Little did he know that when he brought a package up to our porch that I would grab him by the collar and… Relax. I’m kidding.

(It was really the UPS man.)

While it felt longer, it was really only two weeks of oven-less time for me. I missed having an oven, for sure. But we survived with all our other appliances and our grill. When you have to adapt in the kitchen, you start getting creative. Thanks to one reader, Lisa, who put this grand idea in my head – we learned that we can make cookies and brownies in our waffle iron!

Waffle Cookies - Low Sugar

If that isn’t the coolest kitchen hack since…ummm…the last cool kitchen hack I learned (freezing muffin batter, perhaps?).

A word of warning: It’s a little messy.

When you make actual waffles in a waffle iron, the only potential mess is adding too much batter and having it run over the edges. (So I’ve heard. I’ve never, ever actually done that myself. I’m always very, very clean when I cook.)

But with cookie and brownie batter, I found that the butter separates out a little bit, filling the waffle iron crevices with buttery goodness. It’s not a big deal. I just ran hot water over it to clean it out after it cooled. Just be aware that this process can be a little bit messy. Worth it. But messy.

Waffle Brownie Strawberry Parfaits

See that? For company one night we made Waffle Brownies and set them out with strawberries and whipped cream. What a fun treat!

How to make waffles and cookies in a waffle iron

  1. Mix up cookie or brownie batter as normal (my suggested recipes are below).
  2. Use a medium or large sized cookie scoop to add batter to a pre-heated waffle iron.
  3. Close iron and “bake” brownies or cookies for about 2 minutes each.
  4. I was able to make three at on time if I spaced them out correctly.How to Make Cookies and Brownies in Your Waffle Iron

This process takes more time than simply throwing a pan of brownies into an oven to bake. But when you don’t have an oven, or when you want a little something unique – these cookie and brownie waffles are SO MUCH FUN.

Recipes I Used:

Pin this idea to use this summer when you want a fun treat but don’t want to heat up the house by turning on the oven!

Have you ever tried this trick before? 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A quick Mother’s Day idea:

Love Is close up

This is the May Flexi-of-the-Month. So beautiful. This (or any Flexi-Clip) would be a fantastic Mother’s Day gift! Bonus: Get a free set of U-Pins (valued up to $16) with every order over $60!

Thanks, Paula, for being a loyal advertiser here at Heavenly Homemakers!

How to Feed Your Family When Your Oven is Broken

How is it that I feed my family all summer without turning on the oven, but right now I’m like, “Oh no! My oven is broken! What will we eat? How will I cook?”

I’d grill but it’s been rainy and drizzly for several days. This rain makes me want to bake. Of course. Poor me. I’m stuck with only my stove-top, electric skillet, fryer, blender, food processor, and crock pot. As you can see, I’m practically without any options.

Heavenly Homemaker's Messy Kitchen

The good news:

I think I’m getting my dream stove/oven out of this!!!

When the oven went out on Sunday, producing banana bread that was crispy on top but more like tepid, stringy banana pudding in the middle (so yum), Matt spent some time (once again) trying to fix it. Could he fix it? Yes. But after a while, he was over it. He surprised me with an offer. “How would you like to go shopping for a new oven?”

I thought he was kidding. We always just make do. If it breaks, we fix it. If it’s barely hanging on, we hang on with it. Therefore I kidded back with, “Yes! I want it to be a double oven! Also, I want to get rid of the electric hook up and instead hook up gas! Let’s go shopping for a gas range with a double oven!”

And Matt was like, “Hmm. Sounds good.” {Laura passes out.}

I’d never shared these dreams with him before. But knowing how much I cook and bake (which of course benefits him greatly), and how lame our stove/oven have been for so many years, I think Matt decided it was time to fork it out for a quality appliance.

I might have started acting like a five year old who was getting a double oven for Christmas. Sure, it was hard for me to think about paying extra for my dream range. But we were going to have to drop some money on a new range anyway. Might as well get the one that benefits our family and guests the most.

More good news:

You guys, not only am I going to have a double oven – I’m gonna have gas. I’m also going to say it like that to everyone I meet because it catches people off guard and makes us all giggle. I’ll say, “I haven’t had gas for years, but Matt is awesome and surprised me. So now I have gas. Finally!!” And then my friends will say, “Laura has gas! We are so happy for her.”

Won’t that just be so much fun? 

In the meantime, I still don’t have an oven.

One doesn’t drop that much money without first doing research to decide which is the best option for purchase. (We’re looking at one like this. It’s one of the least expensive, if you can believe it. Cha-ching!) While I’m waiting for the range to come in and be installed, I decided to make a list of non-oven great food options. There are hundreds. I’ll just make a list based on what I have on hand and what is on sale this week.

Funny, by the way, that since I know I can’t bake, all I can think of are foods I want to bake. That’s the main reason I’m making this list. I have to get my mind off of cake.

Meals You Can Make Without an Oven

Food I Can Make While My Oven is Broken

I had decided that breakfast is the trickiest, but as I look through this page of Breakfast Recipe Ideas, I’m finding quite a bit to work with. I have no idea why I’m making this hard. I’m just spoiled, that’s all.

Score!!! (Time Sensitive!)

This year’s Ultimate Homemaking Bundle just came out. In it? A bunch of new Crock Pot recipes. How did they know I needed this right now??

 

These eBooks are only part of what is included in the bundle this time. It amazes me! My favorite is this so please check into it!!

Links to My Favorite Non-Oven Appliances

In case you’re interested, this is what I have in my kitchen. These will all be used double time this week, you can be sure!

  • My Crock Pot
  • My Electric Skillet (This is 60% off right now!)
  • My Cast Iron Griddle (Also being offered a huge discount right now if you need one. Only $22!)
  • My Blender (Pricey but worth it)
  • My Waffle Iron (It’s a cheapo)
  • My Fryer (Mine is actually a little different than that, but they don’t seem to make mine anymore.)
  • My Toaster Oven (I do NOT recommend this one. It’s cheap and burns toast. I had one like this before but when we broke the door I was too stingy to pay that much again. I regret the “money savings” – something I’m trying to keep in mind while shopping for a double oven.)

As you can see, I’ll still be able to make huge messes in my kitchen and my children won’t even starve while I am without an oven. There are loads of options.

As soon as I have gas, I’ll let you know. If that isn’t something to look forward to, I don’t know what is.

Do you have any non-oven recipe ideas to share? How about double-oven purchasing advice? Gas related thoughts? Really. I’m open to just about anything you’d like to share. 

How to Clean Cast Iron

Today you will have the honor of seeing my cast iron skillet covered in a layer of crusty scrambled egg residue. This is so special. Thank you for sharing this fine moment with me.

cast iron5

In describing how I clean my cast iron, I’m also going to reveal to you what is, in fact, my favorite of all the gadgets in my kitchen. It’s something I use many times each day (even more than my blender, and that’s saying something). I use this little gadget on cast iron skillets, on stoneware, and on my counter-tops to easily clean up flour or dough. My friends, allow me to introduce you to my BKFF (Best Kitchen Friend Forever) –

The Rubber Scraper

rubber scraper

It’s the best six dollars you’ll ever spend. Or if you already have the little brown ones that came with your Pampered Chef stoneware, you’re golden.

If you are one who hates cleaning your cast iron and even avoids using it entirely so that you don’t have to mess with cleaning it, I have two words for you: Rubber Scraper.

You guys. Cleaning cast iron is about the easiest job there is when you:

1) Soak the skillet or pot for a few minutes in hot water and
2) Use a rubber scraper to scrape all the food away.

If I didn’t have a rubber scraper, I would also hate cleaning my cast iron. I don’t even know how I would do it otherwise. Truly. How did Grandma clean her awesome skillets and griddle? I have no idea. Rubber scrapers rank up there in modern conveniences as high as cell phones and flush toilets. They are the exact same in their ability to improve life.

Allow me to present a step-by-step tutorial of my easy cast iron cleaning system:

1. Run hot water into the dirty, crusty skillet or griddle.

cast iron6

2. After a few minutes, use a rubber scraper to scrape away all the food residue.

cast iron2
3. Rinse the cast iron with hot water.

cast iron 1

4. Allow cast iron to air dry, or rub it dry with a tea towel.

cast iron 3

Before taking the above picture, I had just rubbed my skillet down with some coconut oil (or palm shortening – I can’t remember which). I rarely need to oil it down, but if you find your cast iron looking rusty or dry, rub in some coconut oil or palm shortening. They likes these fats as much as you and I do. Can you blame them?

Something to note:

Do not use soap on your cast iron.

It isn’t necessary and you don’t want it to absorb soap which will leech into your food. Hot water is all it needs. That and a rubber scraper.

Seriously, how did Grandma clean hers??

How to Clean Cast Iron

My favorite and most used cast iron pieces are…

A large skillet like this one:

cast iron 1

This big griddle:

cast iron 2

 

 

 

 

Those babies get used all the time at our house. Eggs, pancakes, meat, hashbrowns – my skillet and griddle make all of these naturally taste so much better!

None of you need to fear using your cast iron since you now know how to clean it easily! Rubber scrapers to the rescue. Who knew such a small, simple square piece of rubber would play such an important role in the kitchen?

Have cast iron? How do you clean it?

30-Second Whipped Cream and Even Easier Applesauce

When all my kids were little-bitty, I needed to utilize every time-saving kitchen trick I could. Cooking while holding a baby, keeping the toddler from grabbing a knife, and playing referee between the two pre-schoolers – well no wonder so many moms resort to boxed dino-nuggets.

four boys pilgrim

Somehow (my kids and) I lived to tell about it.

Then there were what I lovingly refer to as “the golden years.” That was when my kids were between the ages of 4 and 12. They could all buckle themselves into their van seats, they could entertain themselves without having to be watched constantly, and they began to do more and more of their school work independently. I no longer had to do all the wiping. I won’t go into details (there is no need) but it is a blissfully happy day when the mom no longer has to do all the wiping. You know I’m right.

Parenting was still challenging during “the golden years” but not as relentless as the baby years. I found myself with a little extra time to do things I loved like bake bread every week and can 100+ jars of produce each year. How nice! I could now run circles around my kitchen and have much to show for it.

Then the teen years hit. I still hold to the truth that teenagers are wonderful and amazing, and I love this stage like no other. I constantly marvel watching God grow my children from little boys to young men, and I thoroughly enjoy the fun we have as our boys discover gifts and talents and grown-up personalities.

boys at wedding

But the intensity of parenting needs has increased in ways that have blind-sided me a bit. Their schedules got busier outside our home, which meant that mine did too. Instead of teaching them to read, we are teaching them to drive. Instead of talking about sharing toys, we talk about maintaining purity. What used to be a 20-minute math lesson has turned into two hours of complicated algebra (which they can mostly do on their own ~ XOXOXO Teaching Textbooks). Reading aloud while we lay around on couches and pillows has turned into writing 5-7 page papers in MLA format for college professors.

This is all a part of life and raising kids. God continues to equip and prepare and provide, just as He always has. All I’m really saying here about raising teenagers is this:

I now have less time for cooking for a family who eats five times the amount of food.

No big deal.

Perhaps you’ve noticed a theme with my last few months’ recipe and food posts. While I’ve always been into simple-to-make recipes, now I’ve even more of a need to make real food, fast. Food has to be quick, easy, make-ahead, stir-and-pour, wash-and-serve, heat-and-eat. It’s all still real food. It’s all still delicious. But if I can’t make it without very little brain-energy and time, I just can’t make it. There is no time for kneading or canning right now. My people need me now more than ever.

But there is also a big need for food. So I’ve learned:

Any kitchen appliance that saves me time while feeding my family real food is a must-have. Allow me to share my current favorite.

For years, I’d heard from several of you about how awesome a Blendtec is. Their price tag startled me though, so I kept spending $25 on cheap blenders that would give out after about a year. (I use a blender several times every day. After 10-12 months none of the Walmart blenders can handle me anymore. “Get me out of this lady’s kitchen,” they say, just before they die.)

Finally about a year ago, instead of dropping another $25 on a cheap blender, I decided to go ahead and invest in a Blendtec. It made sense after reading how powerful they are, and if felt silly to keep dropping $25 on what I would soon have to put in the dumpster.

I’m never going back to a cheap blender again. The Blendtec has changed my kitchen life, and if you think I’m exaggerating, go back and read the paragraphs above about feeding teenage boys while trying to keep up with their schedules. This blender saves me so much time in the kitchen! It blends a smoothie in 1/5 of the time it took to make smoothies in a cheap blender. I don’t have to take it apart to clean it (and then put it back together) – hallelujah. And my favorite discovery: I can use it to whip cream!

Instead of getting out a bowl and my hand mixer, then whipping cream for several minutes until soft peaks form, I dump the cream into my Blendtec and turn it on. Approximately 37 seconds later, I have whipped cream. It is so easy (even if the pictures below are ugly).

blend tec 1
blend tec 2

You know how I’ve been going on and on for the past few years about my Victorio being so wonderful for making applesauce and tomato sauce? I still hold to this and will always and forever use it to make tomato sauce. That appliance is a huge time saver! But if you can believe it, my Blendtec makes applesauce even easier. I didn’t even know it was possible!

See the huge bowls of applesauce below? (Well, the one on the left used to be full of applesauce.) I was able to make those so quickly because of my Blendtec.

Applesauce Cups

I made the applesauce using this method, then just dumped the cooked apples into my Blendtec and blended until smooth. (I edited this post to update you on what is now the quickest way I’ve found to make applesauce.) It actually makes the applesauce creamy, and it takes so little time and very little effort on my part. (By the way, you can read about my cute little applesauce cups here.)

Well, yay for anything that saves time in the kitchen, no matter what season of life we are in. I think good food is important (obviously), but there is more to life than standing on our feet in the kitchen. There are people to love on, events to attend and support, needs all around us to be met. The more we can learn about making real food faster and simpler, the better.

What are some of your favorite time-saving appliances in your kitchen? Do you have a favorite blender?

Psst…I have another fun Stir-and-Pour Bread tip for you tomorrow! We’ll save even more time and money!

This post contains affiliate links.

Homemade Applesauce Cups To-Go ~ For Just a Few Cents

Brace yourself for the cuteness. 

Homemade Applesauce Cups

Typically I make a boat load of canned applesauce each year. Still, there are always times I end up buying the little packaged applesauce cups to take on the road with us to soccer or basketball games. It feels so silly to spend money on the pre-made applesauce cups when I have home-canned applesauce in the pantry. Still, I do it. We need food for the road, after all.

This year, I got a brilliant idea. (My one and only of 2015. We’ve been waiting ten months for this.)

I checked online for little cups with lids to fill with applesauce to take on the road.

Small jars with lids work great for to-go applesauce, but those make our cooler weigh 380 pounds. Plus, I wanted to give some to Asa for his dorm fridge but didn’t want him to have to mess with saving all the jars to bring home. The cups with lids are a great solution!

~~Let us all pause here to say nice things about avoiding plastic and disposables in general. Plastic disposables are not our friend. I agree and I know there are strong opinions about this. Right now I’m the mother of many teenage boys who are active, hungry, and on-the-go frequently. It was either compromise and buy these plastic cups in an effort to save us money and help us eat well on the road – or spend more to buy them pre-made – or buy junk from concessions or McDonalds. I chose the plastic disposables and I am excited about what this provides for my family right now. Now, back to the cute applesauce cups.~~

Organic 100% fruit applesauce cups cost around 74¢ each. Non-organic are around 33¢ each. My homemade organic applesauce cups just cost me 15¢ each. This makes me very excited. Plus if it’s okay that I say so, my homemade applesauce tastes better than store-bought. :)

Applesauce Cups

This batch of applesauce turned out such a pretty shade of pink because I used a variety of dark red apples with very white flesh (Empire, I believe). No one who eats this can believe I didn’t add sugar. No need for sugar, my friends. Not when God made apples this good and sweet.

The cups with lids I chose are a perfect 5.5 ounce size. I filled them about 3/4 full, put the lids on top, then froze them. (I tested one to see if it froze/thawed well. It did. Now I have a freezer full!)

Next time we need travel food, we’ll grab several homemade applesauce cups from the freezer. I am so excited about this!

Homemade Applesauce Cups To-Go ~ For Just a Few Cents

Have any other good ideas to share for fun travel foods?

This post contains affiliate links.

BOGO Coconut Oil With Free Shipping (And My Favorite Ways to Use Coconut Oil)

I love coconut oil and buy other brands when I find a good deal. But the Tropical Traditions brand is by far my favorite and by far the best in quality. So when it’s on sale (with free shipping), I get very excited!

tropical traditions coconut oil 2

This weekend, Tropical Traditions is offering a Buy-One-Get-One-Free deal on their 32-ounce jars of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil – the highest quality they offer. This is the best of the best!

On top of that, they are offering FREE SHIPPING on orders over $19. Use the code 19151 at check out for free shipping to apply. This is what awesome is!

5 of My Favorite Ways to Use Coconut Oil

In my opinion, if there was a be-all-and-end-all item, coconut oil would have to be it. It has so many uses and so many health benefits. Truly, I say “use coconut oil for that” at least once a day. (And also, “go take a sip of water.” My kids love how predictable I am.)

Below are five of my favorite uses for coconut oil, in no particular order…

1. Sunburns

We try very hard not to let ourselves get sunburned. But we were on the soccer field all last weekend, which was very sunshiny even if it is October. Our faces all turned pink. We all slathered cheeks, foreheads, and noses in coconut oil. So soothing and healing!

2. Popcorn

We pop corn in an air popper, then stir in melted coconut oil and sea salt. It is the best popcorn in the world.

White Chocolate Popcorn

And then after you’ve popped your corn and stirred in the coconut oil,
you should make this White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn.

3. Skin Issues

Whenever any of us has something weird going on (any variety of weird) with our skin – the first thing we always try is coconut oil. It can’t hurt, and it almost always helps.

4. Frying Food

Most oils become hydrogenated (aka terrible for the body) when heated to high temps for frying. But coconut oil and palm oil are an exception to this. They can withstand high temps and remain stable. Hallelujah french fries! I prefer frying food in palm shortening or expeller pressed coconut oil because they are both flavorless. (The above mentioned coconut oil that is on sale this weekend has coconut flavor.)

sweet_potato_fries_2

Sweet Potato Fries
You’re going to need to make these.

5. Baking

Every muffin, quick bread, or cake I make with melted coconut oil is amazing. It’s also wonderful in my Whole Wheat Waffles. And Chewy Granola Bars. Here are some of my favorite recipes made with coconut oil:

Low Sugar Chocolate Cake

I think we can all see now why we need a lot of coconut oil in our lives (and it may or may not have something to do with chocolate cake).

Take advantage of the Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil deal with free shipping (code 19151). New customers with Tropical Traditions who click through the referral links in this post automatically receive a free Virgin Coconut Oil Recipe Book with their order!

Leave a comment to let us know your favorite ways to use coconut oil.

This post contains referral links.

40+ Pumpkin, Apple, & Cinnamon Recipes! {How I’m Stock-Piling for Fall}

I’ll give you one guess as to my favorite thing about fall.

Yep! Food, food, food, food, food. Different seasons bring on different foods, as do different special events and holidays. This should, by the way, make us super appreciate how blessed we are to have such variety and bounty. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to eat the same two or three foods day after day, all year long, because those are my only meager options. We are spoiled by our vast food choices and we often still complain. If you ever hear me say, “Oh I’m so overwhelmed because I have so many apples and tomatoes that I need to put up” just shake me.

(This perspective seeking heart-check is brought to you by yours truly – after I spent an evening at our local mission with a homeless single mama and her 3 year old twins and 2 year old. It reminded me that I have soooo much! Also, my boys and I are reading Louis Zamperini, who, among other things, was lost at sea for 28 days then a tortured prisoner of war for a year and a half – so I vow to never complain again. Also, there’s Gladis. I have absolutely nothing to complain about. But if/when I slip up and do it anyway – call me out on it. I’m serious.)

So back to fall food and all the happiness that comes with it. My kitchen is spilling over with amazing foods and it makes me so excited. I love summer like you wouldn’t believe, so fall with its cinnamon deliciousness certainly softens the blow of “brace yourself, winter is coming!” (Not that I’m going to complain. Do I or do I not have closets full of blankets and sweaters? I do.)

Right now, I am in fall food stock-piling mode. We’ve been picking raspberries as much as we can. Apples are everywhere. It’s pumpkin time. I guess I’m finding myself shifting in thought as to what foods I want to keep on hand for fall, winter, and holiday cooking. Here are my top priorities:

Fall Foods To Stock Up OnYum

Tomato Soup

Our favorite Tomato Soup recipe is easy and super good. When we run out of my homemade soup, I’ll buy a case of Pacific Organic Tomato Soup because I really love having it on hand for casseroles or simply to warm up to eat with grilled cheese sandwiches. So yum!

Tomato Soup for the Freezer

Pumpkin Puree

This is how I easily cook whole pumpkins to have inexpensive pumpkin puree on hand. See list below of our favorite pumpkin recipes! I also stock up on organic pumpkin from Vitacost when I run out of home-preserved pumpkin.

Psst…here’s how you can get a super price on the Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin Puree at Vitacost! It is discounted to $2.19/can right now. If you are a new customer with Vitacost and click through this referral link, they’ll give you $10 off your first order of $30 or more. It’s a sweet deal. Get free shipping also when your purchase includes $25 worth of Vitacost brand products. (Hint: They have great Vitacost Brand Coconut Oil that’ll help you get free shipping!)

pumpkin_12

Cinnamon

Of course. This is a fall must-have. I buy a one-pound package from Vitacost, then transfer it to a shaker or a jar for easy measuring. I also love the Cinnamon Sticks from Olive Nation.

cinnamon_swirl_bread
That thar
is Cinnamon Swirl Bread – a delicious part of this complete fall breakfast.

Apple Pie Filling

I almost always have great sources each fall for free or inexpensive apples. One of my favorite ways to preserve apples is to prepare pie filling then freeze it. If I have time or a full freezer, I will instead can the apple pie filling. I can then easily dump the prepared filling into a Whole Wheat Pie Crust or easier yet – make Apple Crisp.

apple_pie_filling_5

Applesauce

Having plenty of applesauce on hand is awesome for so many reasons. It’s a great side dish or snack, and it’s also great to bake with. If you haven’t tried Applesauce Bread, well, it’s fall. You need to make Applesauce Bread.

My favorite (and easiest) way to make applesauce is with a Victorio. That tool makes my work so much less work-ish!

Chicken and Beef Broth

It’s soup time, so having veggie loaded broth prepped and in my freezer is so helpful. Must reads: How to Make Beef Broth and How to Make Chicken Broth.

turkey carcass and broth

And now, over 40 of my favorite fall recipes using these foods! There is some overlap since almost all pumpkin and apple recipes also call for cinnamon(but don’t worry, none of them call for broth).

What to Make With Cinnamon

14 Recipes With Cinnamon

What to Make with Apples

11 Apple Recipes

What to Make with Pumpkin Puree

12 Pumpkin Recipes

What to Do with Beef Bone Broth or Chicken Broth

11 Ways to Use Beef and Chicken Broth

What is on your fall stock-pile list? What are your favorite fall foods?

5 {Easy!} Real Food Breakfast Plates for About $1.00 Each

Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to put together five different real food breakfast plans that are super simple and cost about $1.00 per plate. We’re going to save money, save time, and eat well…all at the same time.

Confession time – my family of teenage boys eats BIG. Three of my boys cannot eat these foods for $1.00 because they eat such a freakishly large amount of food in one sitting. I do all I can to keep our costs down, but their plate quantities are something else. So just know that when I say $1.00 per plate – we’re talking about normal people plates. Not active, growing, hungry all the time, teenager people plates. (Not that my boys aren’t normal. But just, you know.)

Other Disclaimers: Your costs and my costs are not going to match up exactly. Fruit prices fluctuate, so I recommend price-matching (if it is an option for you), ordering from Bountiful Baskets or Azure Standard (if it an option for you), and buying in season and on sale.

5 Real Food Breakfast Plates for About $1.00

1. Fried or Scrambled Eggs, Whole Grain Toast with Butter, Fruit

I love that this meal can be prepared and put on the table in such a short time – and that is so packed with nourishment from protein to vitamins to minerals.

fried egg breakfast

2. Oatmeal with Fruit and Nuts

Make this inexpensive meal easier than ever by making ahead Instant Oatmeal Packets or Frozen Oatmeal Cups. Add any fruit you have, whether fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried.

One Dollar Breakfast 2

3. Muffins, Eggs, Fruit Smoothies

Make muffin batter ahead as described here, then bake in the morning. So easy! Scramble or fry some eggs. Throw frozen fruits into the blender for a smoothie. Voila! Our favorite smoothie recipe is: Pineapple Mango Smoothie. It is so delicious! We also love Green Machine Milkshakes and Creamy Orange Coolers.

One Dollar Breakfast 3

Creamy Orange Cooler

4. Homemade Grape Nuts Cereal, Fruit

This is super easy to make ahead of time, and the cereal is very filling! Throw berries into your cereal bowl or eat fresh fruit on the side. Need some protein to finish this off? How about a hard boiled egg? Perfection.

One Dollar Breakfast 1

5. Ham and Egg Breakfast Bowls, Fruit

My family can’t get enough of these, and you can make them according to your veggie preferences. These can be made ahead and re-heated in the morning if you like. They are great for a grab and go breakfast!

ham and egg cups1

I’d love to hear what your inexpensive real food go-to breakfast plates look like! Because my wheels are turning now, I feel like I could put together another post with an additional 5 Breakfast Plates for About $1.00. I’ll see what I can come up with – and I’d love to include your ideas too!

Stay tuned for 5 {Easy!} Real Food Lunch Plates for Less Than $1.00 Each and 5 {Easy!} Real Food Dinner Plates for Less Than $1.00 Each coming up in the next couple of weeks. (If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to our free newsletter so you won’t miss out! This one is daily; this one is weekly. Join us!)

I Love Food, and Talking About Food, and Sharing Recipes. Also Here is a Wiggams the Cat Update.

Last week was a fun food (and cat) week at our house. That means that we’re eating like kings (and queen) this week. Check out these raspberries we got to pick (for free, oh my goodness, thank you friends with oodles of raspberries):

groceries sept 222

That had to have been $30 worth of berries if we were to have bought them at the store, and these are by far superior quality! There are more where those came from, so we’ll be heading back to pick again this week. We’ve been eating them to our heart’s content, but look what I made with the last few of this batch:

raspberry syrup1

Simple Raspberry Syrup recipe coming up.
It took five minutes of brainless work to make that goodness for our Quick Mix Pancakes this morning.

In other (free and plentiful) fruit news, our neighbor has been sharing fresh peaches with us. Man, this time of year is delicious. We’re freezing most of these and making a lot of Peach Milkshakes.

groceries sept 224

Tomatoes are doing great for us, though not really great enough to make sauce and can it this year. We’re just enjoying them with our salads and as side dishes.

groceries sept 221

Those are my Easy {Low} Sugar Cookies you see there. They have nothing to do with the tomatoes except that they made it into the same picture. That is also a juicy steak on the plate with the tomatoes. This fall, we’re gonna grill until we can’t grill no more (aka when it gets too cold to stand at the grill).

I finally got another Bountiful Basket order last week. I’ve been unavailable during every delivery day for several weeks, so it was awesome to be a part of it again. I loaded our kitchen table with fruits and veggies! (And also some Whole Wheat Bread for our soccer trip sandwich convenience.)

groceries sept 223

This plate was too pretty to ignore, so I snapped a shot before I handed it to Matt. (He’s used to it.) That is Creamy Salsa Enchilada Casserole from Lesson 2 of the Let’s Do This! eCourse, in case you were wondering. Of course I made two casseroles that day so we could eat one and freeze another.

enchilada meal

We just got a load of apples delivered to us from “the Apple Man” also known as “the Honey Man” also known as “our friend with the orchard and honey bees.” It is always a joy when he and his wife show up on our porch. I help disperse the apples to friends, and we all make loads of Homemade Applesauce.

Malachi loves the cat…

apples wiggams and malachi

Oh hey look – it’s Wiggams (and Malachi). They like each other just a little bit. I am so happy to share that I saw Wiggams doing her job of pouncing and eating in our back yard last week. I was both grossed out and proud, but mostly proud (and pretty grossed out). Yay, Wiggams! This is why we kept you. Plus, we can’t help but love you. Who knew?

What fall foods are you enjoying these days?

Proof That I Can’t Talk and Cook at the Same Time

I’ve told you this before, but I thought maybe you needed some pictures to back up my claim. I can multitask till the cows come home, but when I try to have a conversation with someone while multitasking in my kitchen, this is when I know that the cows have indeed come home.

So there I was, making cheese. And lunch. While talking to our college-age friend Brittany who was over doing laundry and chatting with me while I did too many things at once. This led to a ranch dressing disaster.

While I was in the “wait one hour before doing something or other with the cheese” process, I got out my Ranch Dressing Mix to make some Spicy Ranch Dressing because I wanted to wow Brittany with the ranchy goodness at lunchtime. (Oh, I wowed her alright.)

I should never talk and cook at the same time.

I loosened my dressing mix jar lid, but somehow – and I can’t imagine what it could have been in my relaxed, stress free kitchen – I got distracted and walked away. Coming back to the jar of dressing mix, I gave it a good shake – which is always a good idea so that the ingredients are mixed well before you put them into the buttermilk/mayo.

Except that this is not at all a good idea when the lid is not securely on your jar. But I had loosened the lid, so off it flew, as did thousands and trillions of tiny ranch dressing mix ingredients.

It doesn’t look like much…

ranch disaster2

But trust me. It was much. All over me. In between my toes. Under my feet. Everywhere.

ranch disaster

That there is a lid that can’t be trusted.

No use crying over spilt ranch, but we all declared that very soon, I would smell ranchy (or would that be…raunchy?). I swept my precious dressing mix into my dustpan and dumped it into the trash. Sad day.

ranch disaster3

Somehow I got lunch on the table, even the Spicy Ranch Dressing.

Too bad this story isn’t over yet. Oh no. That was just the beginning.

About an hour after lunch, I offered to make Chocolate Frappes for Matt and Brittany. (The older boys weren’t home to enjoy one, but slowly I’m pulling them all over to my coffee drinking ways. All except Malachi. He thinks we’re all weird.)

All was well until I tried to talk while pouring the last bit of foamy frappe goodness out of the blender. Blop. It all came out at once. All over the counter, down the front of the dishwasher, and yep – all over my foot and in between my toes. I now had Ranchy Frappe toe jam.

ranch disaster8

This post has no point. It does link you to some delicious recipes, so there’s that. (Chocolate FrappesSpicy Ranch DressingRanch Dressing Mix, and Mozzarella Cheese) Let us wrap up our time together with some lessons learned:

  1. I should stop talking and cooking at the same time. You would think I’d know better by now.
  2. Always be sure the lid is securely on your jar of dressing mix before you shake it. This is obvious.
  3. Frappe foam blops. It just does. Stop being surprised by this, or maybe you can just get out a spoon to help it to ease out nicely.

I’d love to hear what you can do until the cows come home, and maybe the point at which you have crossed the line and realized that the cows have arrived.