Peppermint Bark

A few years ago I fell in love with Peppermint Bark. It became a staple around my house during the Holiday’s! But then, the store I use to buy it from stopped carrying it!! And if you are a lover of peppermint bark like I am, you know it is best FRESH and not that prepackaged and old kind. So I figured I would try and make it myself. I had heard it wasn’t that hard to make, and I was surprised to find out that is VERY true. Not only is it easy, it’s also even better as its much fresher! And your kids can help you with making it so it becomes a fun tradition for the whole family! Here is my easy to follow, quick, and delicious recipe for Peppermint Bark. Hope you enjoy!

Peppermint Bark

 

Ingredients:peppermint bark

12 ounces white chocolate (chopped up if using a chocolate bar)

6 ounces dark chocolate

1 and ½ teaspoon coconut oil

½ teaspoon peppermint extract

4 Candy Canes, crushed (can use more or less)

 

Directions:

Place the dark chocolate and ½ teaspoon of oil into a small microwavable bowl. The key with melting chocolate in the microwave is do it slowly, don’t rush! I start out by putting it in for 15-30 second increments and stir each time until it is melted and creamy.

Once it is melted, add in ¼ teaspoon of peppermint extract and stir well. Next, line an 8 inch baking sheet with aluminum foil. Pour the chocolate on the pan and spread evenly. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, or in the freezer for 8 minutes.

Next, melt the white chocolate following the same steps as with the dark chocolate (don’t forget to use the oil!). Remember to melt it slowly so as not to burn!

Once it is melted, add in the ¼ teaspoon of peppermint extract and stir. Then remove the dark chocolate from the freezer. Pour the melted white chocolate over the dark and use a spoon or spatula to even it out.

Now, crush up your candy canes! I do mine by putting them in baggies and letting my kids crush them with a rolling pin, or a plastic bowl/cup. Makes its fun for them plus a little help for me! Once the candy canes are crushed, sprinkle them over the white chocolate and return it to the fridge. Leave it in the fridge until it is hard, approximately 20-30 minutes. Once it is hardened, you can break into pieces and enjoy! Store it in the fridge and it will keep for at least 2-3 weeks!

Dana

Healthy Crock Pot Chili

One of the only things I like about winter is getting to eat lots of soup!! I’m one of those people who can’t eat soup when its hot outside, so I really enjoy it for most of the winter. I normally make 4 different types of soup, and freeze them so we have an easy meal every week. Chili is one of the favorites in my house, my 18 month old LOVES chili!! I like it as its packed full of protein, healthy, and fills you up! Plus this recipe is super easy and makes a huge batch so I also have something for lunch all week too. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

 

Healthy Crock Pot Chili12063587_10153286085164576_4687325389345251948_n

 

Ingredients 

1 Lb. Lean Ground Turkey

1 Onion

1 Yellow Pepper

1 Red Pepper

2 Cans Tomato Sauce (15 Oz)

2 Can Diced Tomatoes (15 Oz)

2 Cans Black Beans (15 Oz)

2 Cans Kidney Beans (15 Oz)

1 Cup Frozen Corn

1 Tbsp Chili Powder (add more if you like your chili to have a kick!)

1 Tbsp Cumin

1 Tsp Salt

½ Tsp Pepper

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

 

Directions

10353088_1061867783846687_4815752159621034768_nPour the olive oil into a saute pan and cook the ground turkey. While it’s cooking, chop up the onion and peppers and pour them in the crock pot. Rinse off the beans and add those to the crock pot too. Next add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Once the ground turkey is brown, add it to the crock pot along with the corn. Stir the ingredients in the crock pot. Next add the spices and stir again. One everything has been stirred, turn the crock pot to low and cook for 6 hours (or 4 hours on high).

Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!!

You can also freeze this and warm it up when you need it!

 

 

 

Dana

Slow Cooker Chicken

Being a busy Mom can be tough!!! Especially at lunch/dinner time! See, I want to eat healthy, save money, and have quick meals. That’s not asking for too much right?!?! One of my favorite ways to reach all those goals is to utilize my Slow Cooker!! I’m a big fan of cooking soup in there, and freezing half of it for later meals.

 

12065860_10153287801124576_1231623165631488924_nI also use it every single week (yes I’m a creature of habit!) for my lunch! For a while I was buying the bags of grilled chicken that you just toss in the toaster oven, for my lunch each day. But those are expensive! One bag was around $5.99 and only lasted a few days. You know me, I had to find a better way!

 

Now I buy a whole chicken for usually around $5, cook that in the Slow Cooker, and eat it for lunch all week long! Here is the recipe I like, but you can change up the spices to fit your tastes.

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 Whole Chicken

1 Bag Baby Carrots

2 Cups Celery

1 Whole Onion, chopped

½ Cup Water

1 Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Pepper

1 Tbsp Basil

1 Tbsp Oregano

 

DIRECTIONS:

Pour the water in the bottom of the Slow Cooker. Next chop the onion and celery and add those. Pour in the carrots. Rinse the chicken and remove the giblets and place in the Slow Cooker. Rub the seasonings on top of the chicken. Cook on slow heat for 4-6 hrs.

 

And enjoy!!!!!

 

For more money saving tips in the kitchen, make sure to get my Healthy Eating On A Budget EBook!

 

Dana

Graham Cookies

As a parent, it is always a struggle between finding foods my kids will eat, and my desire to have them eat healthy foods. Lately as I have noticed that effects sugar have on my 4 year old, I’ve been working hard to find healthy foods that I can make. And that he will still enjoy haha. One recipe I recently found that everyone loved, is home made graham crackers! These are very easy to do and delicious!

INGREDIENTS:graham cookies

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour or flour of choice
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup butter, cold
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a blender combine the ingredients.
  3. Next put in the chilled butter.
  4. Scoop the mixture onto a piece of wax paper, with another sheet onto and roll out with a rolling pin or cup
  5. Roll dough out and use cookie cutters to make shapes or a cup just for circles.
  6. Place cookies on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

 

To Freeze, simply cut the cookies into shapes and then place them onto a baking sheet and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then you can place them in a plastic bag and you can freeze them for up to 3 months. When you are ready to bake them, just cook them with an additional 1-2 minutes of bake time added on and keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

yuuuummmmy

 

 

 

Dana

Save $400 Off Your Grocery Bills

saving moneyWhen extra money is needed, my first suggestion is to always look at your budget and see where you can make cuts. My family was living paycheck to paycheck and we had a strong desire to pay off all our debt, but with no extra money that was hard to do. A detailed look into my budget showed me my family of 5 was spending over $1000 a month on food. Eating out, snacks, extras, desserts….all those goodies were adding up, and adding up very fast. So I decided to make some cuts. Ok, BIG cuts to be honest, and get our grocery bill down to $400-$500 a month.

 

Is it doable?? YES! I have been sticking to this new plan for over 8 months now and have saved tons of money, and in fact I wrote the whole plan out to help others do the same!! ((you can read more about that at the end plus how to get it for 50% off!)) The hardest part for me is I am a healthy eater, so I needed foods that were cheap, but also healthy for my family. That took some researching, trial and error, and finding bargains. But it worked and we are now able to put at least $400 a month into our savings!

save 400 on food

 

Here are a few of my top tips for eating on a budget, and scroll down to the bottom for a list of cheap, easy recipes!

 

TIPS:

*Plan out your meals for the week. This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks! If you know what you are going to eat, you will be less likely to spend money eating out

*Make your own snacks. I make all my kids snacks except pretzels. I do homemade cheese crackers, graham crackers, yogurt, muffins, bread….pretty much everything can be made from home for cheaper and a LOT healthier

*PLAN PLAN PLAN: I promise this is the number one tip for staying on track

*Make two nights a week a “veggie night”. Meat is pricey and you can get just as much protein from veggies, but for cheaper.

*Make a grocery list and stick with it! If its not on the list, and you don’t need it, then don’t buy it!

*Go with frozen or canned fruits and veggies. Cheaper!!

*Buy from stores like Aldis, Save A Lot, Costco, or Sams. Make sure to compare prices though as items aren’t always cheaper.

*Buy discount items in bulk and freeze! When I see meat or cheese on sale, I buy a lot and stick it in the freezer.

*PLAN! Keep snacks in your bag so you aren’t tempted to go through a drive thru

*Coupon! But make sure you have your meals planned out before looking for coupons. Otherwise you end up spending more by buying things you didn’t need that were on sale.

CHEAP MEAL IDEAS:1947685_10152074914309576_1158232217_n

*Grilled Cheese

*Cheese Quesadilla

*Veggie Quesadilla

*Soups (chicken and rice, vegetable beef, broccoli and cheese, etc)

*Veggie Spaghetti Sauce

*Chili

*Rice and Beans

*Chicken or Tuna Salad Wraps

*Tacos

*Casseroles (chicken, broccoli, rice and cheese is my favorite!)

*Potato “Bar” Night

*Breakfast for dinner

*Homemade pizza

 

OR take all the guesswork out of meal planning and go snatch up my copy of Healthy Eating on A Budget. (( https://sellfy.com/p/inKs/ )) Over 100 copies sold and thousands of dollars saved!!! Make sure to enter code “ Musings ” when you checkout and get it for 50% off! This program includes:

4 Weeks Of Meal Plans (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks)cover
Recipes For the Meal
Additional Healthy, Cheap Recipes
(over 30 total recipes)
Weekly Grocery Lists
Money Saving Tips
Grocery Shopping Tips
Healthy Cheap Foods List
Meal Ideas
Specific Food Tips

And more!!!!

Go read a few of the fabulous testimonials from people who have used this program and saved big!

Dana