[Video] Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe – Healthy and Easy!

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



One thing I love about summer time is all of the fun cookouts and get togethers with family and friends.  The kids’ birthdays start in May and run through September, so we are always having some sort of celebration around here!  As I’ve been working to change my eating habits (and mindset), I’ve been playing around with different recipes that I love to make for parties, and tweaking them to make them healthier.  One of my favorite party dips is a hot bubbly Buffalo Chicken Cheese Dip, but it’s no secret that it’s not too healthy!  When BzzAgent sent me some of Green Giant’s new veggie chips to try out a few days ago, they included a Zesty Cheddar flavor and I figured it would be the perfect chip to try out with a healthier chicken dip.  They’ve already got a nice cheesy taste, so I knew I could use that flavor in place of the normal cheddar cheese overload in the traditional recipe.  Check out my healthy twist on Buffalo Chicken Dip below, and let me know what you think!

Buffalo Chicken Dip - Healthy and easy!

Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip

Ingredients:

2 cups of chopped chicken (I use canned)

2 cups Greek yogurt

1 pack of ranch dressing mix (3 Tbs)

3 Tbs hot sauce

3 Tbs green onion

1 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

3/4 tsp pepper

Diced tomatoes and green onion for garnish (optional)

Buffalo Chicken Dip - Healthy and easy!

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients, making sure to mix well.

2. Top with tomatoes and green onions.

3. Serve with chips or veggie sticks.

It’s that easy!

Buffalo Chicken Dip - Healthy and easy!

This healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip would also make a delicious chicken salad or spread.  Just use 1 cup of yogurt instead of two, and you may want to use a little less hot sauce (unless you like a like of spice).  Much better for you than a salad made with mayo for sure!

Buffalo Chicken Dip - Healthy and easy!

What’s your favorite healthy party dip recipe?  Share below!

BzzAgent did send my family some Green Giant chips to try out, but I was not compensated for this post.  The chips just happened to work perfectly with my dip recipe!

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Easter recipes – Kid friendly bunny cinnamon rolls

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Earlier this week I shared a fun Easter recipe for kid friendly Breakfast Easter Baskets.  Another one of the Easter recipes I came up with that we tried out recently was inspired by these Bunny Rolls that I found on Pinterest.  They are so easy to make, and literally only use one ingredient.  I hope you and your family enjoy them as much as my family does!

Easter bunny cinnamon rolls

Easter Bunny Cinnamon Rolls

(Makes 8 bunny rolls)

Ingredients:

1 tube/can cinnamon rolls with icing (that’s it!)

Easter bunny cinnamon rolls

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400.

2. Pop open tube and remove icing packet.

3. Unroll dough into long flat strips.

4. Cut 3 one inch segments from the end of each strip for two ears and a tail.

5. Roll up 2/3 of the remaining dough strip.

6. Starting from the other end of the strip, begin rolling the dough in the opposite direction. (Like an S)

7. Press two 1″ strips onto the smaller round part at the top (the head).

8. Pinch another 1″ strip in half and press it onto the side of the larger bottom part (the body) to make the tail.

9. Place bunny rolls onto a greased baking sheet.

10. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.

11. Remove from heat and drizzle with icing before serving.

(For a printer friendly version of this recipe, click here) 

Easter bunny cinnamon rolls

I hope you enjoy this fun Easter recipe, I know we did!  What’s your favorite Easter recipe to share with your family?

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Easter recipes – Kid friendly ham and egg breakfast baskets

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



One of our family traditions is to have a big, fun breakfast or brunch on special holidays.  This year I decided it would be fun to come up with two twists on recipes I have seen on Pinterest recently, Ham Egg Bowls and Bunny Rolls.  When I surprised the kids with my recipe ideas, they were ready to try them out right away!  We did a quick trial run today so we could share with all of you before Easter gets here.  The first of the two Easter recipes is below, we hope you enjoy!

Breakfast Easter Baskets

Breakfast Easter Baskets

(makes 12 baskets)

Ingredients:

12 pieces of sliced ham (in circles)

8 eggs

6 Tbsp shredded cheese

2 cups raw spinach (loosely packed)

12 slices of precooked bacon

1/8 tsp salt

Pinch of pepper

Breakfast Easter Baskets

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Line muffin tin with paper or silicone liners.

3. Press ham circles into tin.

4. Whisk eggs well.

5. Tear spinach into smaller pieces.

6. Combine eggs, spinach, cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well.

7. Pour into ham cups.

8. Bend bacon into a U-shape and place end into egg mixture like handles.

9. Roll up aluminum foil into a stick shape and slide underneath rows of bacon handles to keep shape.

10. Bake for 12-15 minutes until egg is cooked completely.

11. Remove from heat, slide foil from under bacon and serve.

(For a printer friendly version of this recipe, click here)

Breakfast Easter Baskets

I hope you enjoy this fun Easter recipe, I know we did!  Be sure to check out my Easter Bunny Cinnamon Roll recipe too! What’s your favorite Easter recipe to share with your family?

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Molten lava cake (from a box mix!)

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



We’ve all been to restaurants that offer those delicious looking molten lava chocolate cakes on the dessert menu. They look amazing, but frankly I am a little too cheap to order dessert out after having dinner. When I saw this mix on clearance at Aldi, I immediately grabbed it because I knew my family would really enjoy it.

Molten Lava cake from a box

I expected to find some sort of chocolate truffle balls in the mix that go in the middle of the cakes, so I was surprised when we open it up and found nothing but a bag of cake mix. At that point, I was a little skeptical of how exactly they were going to turn out. But we all love chocolate, so we dug right in anyway, lol!

(By the way, I’m not listing ingredients and measurements because this is a box mix, and each one is different.  I don’t want to give you directions that are different from the ones on the box you may purchase.)

Molten Lava Cake - From a box!

This was one of the simplest mixes I have ever seen.  It only required eggs and butter, and of course the bag mix.  Instead of using ramekins, we used the muffin tin we had.  The recipe called for us to oil the tin first, but I chose to use Cake Release that I had on hand.  If you haven’t ever used Cake Release, it is AMAZING!  You can literally just dump the cake right out of the pan after baking.  Be sure to use it liberally, or your cake will stick. It has the consistency of a soft butter, not quite as thin as oil.  You should be able to find it at any grocery store or specialty baking shop for under $3.00.

Cake Release - It's like magic!

The directions are pretty easy.  Whisk the eggs, melt the butter, and slowly mix the two together.  Then add in the bag mix and stir until mixed completely (don’t beat).  Then pour into the greased pan and pop it in the oven.  That’s it!

Molten Lava Cake - From a box!

The key to making these molten lava mini cakes is to cook them until the tops are just barely done.  The middle ends up being soft and runny, but the heat is enough to cook the eggs inside, so don’t worry about that.

Flip the cakes out of the pan and serve them upside down.  I dusted these with powdered sugar to add a nice touch at the end.  When you cut into the cake with a fork, you can see the yummy chocolaty center.

Molten Lava Cake - From a box!

Doesn’t it look divine?  I was so impressed that this bit of deliciousness came from a box mix, and only took a few minutes to throw together.  And the best part of making these cakes?  Licking the bowl, of course! 🙂

The best part of making cake ;)

Have you ever made a molten lava cake from a box mix?  What’s your favorite cake to make from a box?

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Macaroni and Cheese Recipe – Restaurant Style

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Macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite dishes.  Not the fake version that comes in the blue box, but the real deal.  My mother made it from scratch when I was a child, and now I do the same for my family.  Often times I’ll just make it with American cheese and a little bit of butter and milk, but lately I’ve been playing around with richer, creamier versions.  Multiple cheeses, heavy cream, and even a pinch of cayenne can take this simple comfort food to an entirely new level.  My newest recipe (which I’m sharing today) has quickly become a favorite in our home.  A layer of seasoned breadcrumbs and a few minutes in the broiler gives it a lightly crispy topping that is a perfect compliment to the delicious, creamy sauce.  The result is a delicious dish that is similar to one you would get at a restaurant!  (For more make-at-home restaurant style dishes, check out this post with 10 of my favorite copycat recipes!)

Restaurant style macaroni and cheese

 

Restaurant Style Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:

6 cups water

2 cups elbow noodles

1 Tbs butter, unsalted

3/4 c milk

3/4 c shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese

3/4 c shredded Italian style cheese

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp salt

Pinch of cayenne

1/2 c Parmesan herb panko bread crumbs (Private Selection from Kroger)

Restaurant style macaroni and cheese

Directions:

1.  Bring water to a boil on high heat.

2.  Add in noodles and boil for 8-10 minutes.

3.  Remove from heat and drain in a colander. Set aside.

4.  Set oven to high broil.

5.  Melt butter in pot on medium heat.

6.  Add in milk, cheese, and spices.  Whisk until melted completely.

7.  Fold in elbow noodles, stirring gently to coat with sauce.

8.  Pour noodles into oven safe dish.

9.  Top with panko bread crumbs.

10.  Place in oven for 2 minutes until top is browned.

11.  Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Printer friendly recipe for Restaurant Style Macaroni and Cheese

Restaurant style macaroni and cheese

Do you have a macaroni and cheese recipe that’s a family favorite?  I’d love to hear your version, please take a moment to share in the comments below!

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Smoky beef and bean chili recipe

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



One of my favorite dishes to make is chili.  It’s effortless, great for any season, and it freezes perfectly!  It’s also a great source of protein, and can be very good for you when it’s not coming from a can!  I’ve been making lots of chili over the last month because the hubs won’t stop eating all the frozen stock I put away.  He eats it on everything.  Fries, hot dogs, rice, nachos, potatoes….you name it, he’ll cover it with chili.  Luckily it’s made with ingredients that are simple to find at any grocery store, and I spend about 10 minutes physically preparing it, so it’s not too bad.  Don’t let the longer list of spice ingredients scare you off either.  I promise this spice mix is 1000x times better than what you get in the pack at the store, and it’s wheat and preservative free!

My favorite two ingredients in this chili are the sausage and the smoked paprika.  Something about chili with sausage is just SO much better to me than plain ol’ beef.  Of course, if you don’t eat pork, just switch it out for more beef.  If you aren’t familiar with smoked paprika, it is one of my most favorite spices of all time.  It’s subtle and smoky, and you don’t need too much, but it gives you a delicious finish that would make you swear that the meat in your chili had been cooked on a smoker.  Just don’t go nuts with it, too much smoky flavor can be a bad thing!

Smoky beef and bean chili

The Bizy Mommy’s Best Chili Recipe

Ingredients:

1 Tbs oil
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 lb beef
1 lb sausage (I use mild)
1 can light red kidney beans (drained)
1 can chili beans (I use mild)
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
2 can diced tomatoes (15 oz)
4 beef bouillion cubes
4 cups water
1.5 Tbs chili powder
1/4 Tbs red pepper flakes
1.5 Tbs onion powder
2 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs ground cumin
1 Tbs parsley
3/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbs salt

Smoky beef and bean chiliDirections:

1. Heat oil on medium high in a stock pot and add in pepper and onion.  Cook until the onions start to soften.
2. Add in beef and sausage and cook on medium high until browned throughout.
3. Add in all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent burning to the bottom.
4. Once boiling, reduce heat to low/med and cover.  Let simmer for at least 2 hours, the longer the better.

(Click here for a printer friendly version of this recipe)

Smoky beef and bean chili

-It’s going to look *really* thin while it’s simmering.  Don’t worry, it thickens up as it cooks and then cools.

-The red pepper flakes give it a tiny bit of heat, but it’s not spicy.  If you don’t do heat, leave that out.  If you love heat, keep on pourin!

-You can sub out 4 c. beef broth for the bouillion cubes and water.

-Smoked paprika *really* gives this a nice finish.  If you can get it, I would really suggest using it!

-This makes about 16-18 cups of chili, so if you don’t need a ton, throw it in the freezer for lazy dinner nights!

-If your slow cooker is big enough, you could definitely simmer the chili in it all day.  I would still cook the peppers, onions, and meat in another pot first though, and then add in everything on medium heat for an hour, and then low heat for another 3-4.

Hope you enjoy our family’s favorite chili recipe!  Let me know what you think!

 

 

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

$5.00 No Peek Pot Roast

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



So I kinda threw my food budget out the window over the holidays, and now we’re playing catch up.  I actually find it rather entertaining, because being short on funds means I have to get really creative with healthy meals that don’t break the bank.  Earlier this week, Lori over at Vann Clan 5 shared a simple no peek beef tips recipe that got me thinking.

I headed out to Aldi to do my shopping and was stoked to find THREE marked down packs of eye of round steak for right at $3.00 each.  I LOVE picking up discounted packs of tough-as-leather-nobody-wants-to-buy-it meat at Walmart and Aldi, because once you slow cook it, it’s tender as can be!  I grabbed some carrots and onions and a few more ingredients and headed home to make some magic.  This is *such* an easy recipe for anyone to make, check out my $5.00 No Peek Pot Roast below!

$5.00 No Peek Pot Roast

$5.oo No Peek Pot Roast

Ingredients:

1 pound of cheap beef (cut into 1/2-1″ cubes) – $3.25

2 cups of chopped carrots (I used 5 medium carrots) – $0.40 [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Cooking with the kids: Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Today while doing last minute stocking stuffer shopping, I grabbed a bag of Kraft peppermint marshmallows.  My kids love marshmallows, and I thought the peppermint ones would be really tasty in their Christmas morning cocoa.  Once I got home, Angel saw there was a recipe on the back and asked if she could make it for everyone.  I love letting the kids cook and create in the kitchen, so of course I said sure!

Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn 

Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn

Ingredients:

1/2 tsp salt

12 cups air-popped popcorn (6-8 Tbs kernels)

1/2 cup dark chocolate morsels

1 stick unsalted butter

40 mini peppermint marshmallows

Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn

Directions:

1.  Heat oven to 275.

2.  Add chocolate and butter into a microwaveable bowl and heat for 30 seconds at a time until melted completely.

3.  Stir in marshmallows and heat for 15 seconds at a time until melted.

4.  Stir in salt.

5.  Pour over popcorn and toss until coated.

6.  Spread out on a greased baking sheet.

7.  Bake for 10 minutes, stir and bake for another 10 minutes until crisp.

8.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn

This would make a great treat for a party, or a gift for someone special on your list.  Adding in extra marshmallows after the mix cools can give it some extra color and texture.  The original recipe called for semi-sweet chocolate, but we are big dark chocolate fans over here, so we used that instead.  If I hadn’t used all of our mint flavoring on fudge this week, I would have added in a bit more to the chocolate mix, as it wasn’t *quite* as minty as we would have liked.  Still delicious overall though!

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Christmas on a budget: $250 for six kids

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Wowzers!  I wrote this post last year to share what I purchased for my children for Christmas, and to show that it is completely possible to shop for six kids on a $250 budget.  The information I shared is very specific to what I actually did and how I saved.  As of late, this post has become very popular and I want to be sure to share information that is helpful for you as a visitor to my site.  Please check out the 2 posts below some awesome tips that will help your holidays rock even with the smallest budget!

10 tips for planning Christmas on a budget

10 Stocking Stuffers for Whole Family for Under $2

Our family typically doesn’t spend a ton on Christmas gifts, but this year our budget is really tight.  I decided in October that I was going to try to get gifts for all six children for under $300, and I did it!  See what I bought and how I did it below:

Christmas on a budget - $250 for 6 kids

© Devy | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

How I saved

1.  Earned referral fees from retail sites.  Some of the items below were free with referral credits I had earned from various websites.  You *do not* have to be a blogger to earn referral fees, and it’s a great way to save on things for your own family, some offer up to $15 per friend that you refer! Some of my favorites are One King’s Lane and Zulily.  And yep, those are my referral links. 🙂

2.  Enter giveaways hosted by local bloggers.  Some of the other items say FREE because I won them through giveaways hosted by local bloggers.  I do sometimes enter larger, national giveaways, but the odds are better if you stick with smaller, local blogs.  I also won several Amazon gift cards as well, as you’ll see below. [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Paper Christmas Tree Craft (with free download!)

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Every year we make all sorts of holiday crafts and decorations with our children, and I’ve ended up with a whole box of crumpled, torn paper crafts as a result.  I want to save them all, but I’m running out of ways to display (and repair) them!  This year, we decided to start a grow-with-me holiday centerpiece that we can add to every year and proudly display on the table or mantle.  Check out this fun, easy craft below!

Keepsake paper christmas tree craft 

Supplies needed:Keepsake paper christmas tree craft

Cardstock (see link to the right for free template download)

Markers/crayons

Scissors

Glue

Paperclip (optional)

 

Instructions:

1. Print out the template on cardstock and have your child decorate it as desired.

2. Cut out the colored tree. (You may need to help younger ones with this step)

3. Fold the tree in half down the center.

4. Glue the tree halves together, back-to-back.

5. Glue the last two backs together.

6. Fan out the papers so the tree can stand on its own.

7. Enjoy your new holiday decoration!

Keepsake paper christmas tree craft

A few notes here:

-If you want to add to the tree each year, don’t glue the last two backs together.  Instead, clip with together with a paper clip.  The tree can be folded flat after the holidays for storage, and you can easily add in new trees each year.

-Be sure to download and save the coloring sheet you choose to use, so you can have it next year and in years to come.

-Have children write their name and the year on the bottom of the tree for future reference.

-If you have less than three children, you’ll need to have them color more than one trees for the finished tree to be able to stand.

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

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