Gluten Free Dairy Free Blueberry Pancake Bites

Posts on Mashup Mom may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure and disclaimer here.

gluten-free-dairy-free-blueberry-pancake-bites

Welcome back to Sunday Scratchups, your weekly recipe from scratch around grocery store matchups! A couple of weeks ago I scratched up a recipe for Gluten Free Dairy Free Pineapple Bacon Pancake Bites. Well, Mr. 7-who-hates-pineapple was not pleased (as Junior High Guy rubbed it in while enjoying the entire batch noisily and with great gusto over the next few days), so he insisted I make some blueberry ones for him. Voila — Gluten Free Dairy Free Blueberry Pancake Bites were born.

(If you’d rather just have some gluten free dairy free pancakes, see the Brown Rice Flour Pancakes recipe these are based on.)

blueberries-and-rice-flour

This recipe also takes advantage of the cheap Dole frozen blueberries we can pick up this week, although mine were actually on clearance at Jewel a while back. Can’t find those? Check ALDI for affordable frozen fruit. For the brown rice flour, use the perpetual $1.00/1 Bob’s Red Mill coupon at Target or pick up Arrowhead Mills at Whole Foods with the coupon in this month’s Whole Deal. Brown rice is one of the cheaper gluten free flours in general, and this single flour recipe also requires no Xanthan gum or other additives.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Blueberry Pancake Bites

inside-a-pancake-bite-2

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice flour
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp maple syrup (these were pretty sweet, although the boys didn’t object! I might cut back to 1 Tbsp next time or omit entirely)
1 cup vanilla soy milk
1 egg
1 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
6 oz frozen blueberries (or what’s left after your own Mr. 7 equivalent eats some while you’re adding them to the batter…)
Cooking spray (to grease muffin tin)
Brown sugar (for topping — I might change that up next time too)

Directions

pouring-blueberries

In large bowl, stir together rice flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add egg, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and vanilla soy milk and mix until well blended.

mr-7-stirs

Stir in blueberries, preferably while wearing PJs and a winter hat…

add-brown-sugar

Pour batter into greased mini muffin tin. Top each with brown sugar and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until butter knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (These won’t get very brown, so don’t rely on that for a measure of done-ness.)

cooling-on-rack

Let cool in pan for a couple of minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool the rest of the way. Enjoy warm.

A hit with both boys

blueberry-pancake-bites

We enjoyed our Blueberry Pancake Bites with eggs and sausage as part of a comforting winter breakfast-for-dinner, but they’d also be fantastic for a quick make-ahead breakfast for busy school mornings. Next time I think I’ll make a double batch to freeze, and I’m also thinking about different mix-in ideas — maybe cut up some cinnamon baked apple, for instance.

blueberry-pancake-bites-5

These are tastier, fresher, and so much more affordable than some of the frozen gluten free/dairy free pancake alternatives, too! Definitely a keeper.

Easy Print Version

Gluten Free Dairy Free Blueberry Pancake Bites
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: breakfast
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 2 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup (or less, depending on desired sweetness)
  • 1 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 6 oz frozen blueberries
  • Cooking spray (to grease muffin tin)
  • Brown sugar (for topping)
Instructions
  1. In large bowl, stir together rice flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  2. Add egg, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and vanilla soy milk and mix until well blended.
  3. Stir in blueberries.
  4. Pour batter into greased mini muffin tin.
  5. Top each with brown sugar and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until butter knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (These won't get very brown, so don't rely on that for a measure of done-ness.)
  6. Let cool in pan for a couple of minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool the rest of the way.
  7. Enjoy warm.

Simplest Rice Pilaf

Posts on Mashup Mom may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure and disclaimer here.

pilaf cover

Welcome to Frugal Homemade! This week, I am going to share one of my favorite goes-with-anything side dishes. Everyone here loves it and it is beautifully uncomplicated.

pilaf ingredients

See? Totally simple. Not pictured: water. All you need is an onion, some basmati rice, butter (or oil, if you don’t do dairy), salt, pepper, and water. Useful equipment: deep saute pan with a tight fitting lid, medium fine-mesh strainer, and a thin cotton kitchen towel.

If you don’t regularly buy basmati rice, that will be your only real cost. The good stuff is imported from India and a decent sale price will be about $12 for a 10 lb bag. If you are skeptical, I understand, but trust me that it is totally worth it. It is the rice that makes this dish and so many others. This is essentially plain rice, but the aroma and delicacy of this stuff makes it delicious.

pilaf prep

Even the prep is ridiculously easy. Rinse a cup of rice a few times. Basically, you can stop when the water doesn’t immediately become opaque white. I usually do it about 30 minutes before I am going to cook and leave it in the strainer to dry. I do this partially because it toasts faster that way and also because I don’t want to worry about residual water in there messing up my rice to water ratio.

Finely dice a small onion.

Heat 1 2/3 cups of water to boiling. I just use the microwave, for about two minutes. To the hot water, add a teaspoon of salt and ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground black pepper.

pilaf collage

  • Melt two tablespoons unsalted butter over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and saute until soft (but not browned!).
  • Add the rice and saute a few minutes, until it all looks a little toasted.
  • Add the salt and pepper hot water and bring it to a boil.
  • Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed.

Now this is a trick I learned from America’s Test kitchen: Cover the pan with a folded kitchen towel, replace the lid, and let it sit for ten minutes. The towel absorbs any excess water keeps the rice from being too wet and clumping at the bottom.

Fluff with a fork. That is really it.

We serve this with a lot of things, but the meal that immediately comes to mind is salmon and creamed spinach. It is the perfect non-rich starch to go with the spinach and it is simple enough not to compete with the salmon. But seriously, it is rice, onion, salt, pepper, and a bit of fat, so it will be hard to find something it doesn’t go with. And it smells SO good!

What are YOUR go-to simple side dishes?


frugalhomemade-logo

Be sure to check back each week for something new! I will be bringing you how-tos, advice, and articles on everything pertaining to easy frugal living: From DIY, to recipes, to practical tips and tricks. To help balance out the couponing and deal chasing we do a lot of here, I’ll talk about easy ways to incorporate frugality into everyday life and to do more from scratch.

Simplest Rice Pilaf
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (or your choice of oil)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Rinse the rice 3 or 4 times, then allow it to drain and dry out a bit.
  2. Heat 1⅔ cups water to boiling, then add salt and pepper.
  3. Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat.
  4. Add the onion and saute until soft.
  5. Add the rice and saute a few minutes, until toasted.
  6. Add the salt and pepper hot water and bring to a boil.
  7. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed.
  8. Off the hear, cover the pan with a folded kitchen towel and replace the lid. Let sit for 10 minuted.
  9. Fluff with a fork

 

Del Monte Gold for Gold Treasure Hunt — And Pineapple Bacon Pancake Bites!

Posts on Mashup Mom may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure and disclaimer here.

This post is sponsored by Del Monte. I received compensation for this post; however, all opinions here are my own.

gluten-free-pineapple-bacon-pancake-bites

Have you seen these tags on Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet pineapple? How fun is this “Gold for Gold” treasure hunt promo, where you can enter through Nov. 16 for your own chance to win a pound of 24 karat Gold! (Two runners-up will also win an ounce of 24K gold.)

del-monte-gold-pineapple-3

I picked up my own pineapple at Jewel earlier this week (it was both fresh and juicy; look at those nice rings above), and you can find both whole and fresh cut Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet pineapple in the produce section of many local grocery stores. Check your own store for Del Monte displays — and possible fresh pineapple samples!

Fresh pineapple is a great way to enhance many holiday recipes, so Del Monte challenged me to come up with my own recipe using Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet Pineapple. Since holiday baking can be a challenge around food allergies, I thought it would be fun to get creative with fresh pineapple in a recipe that works well for either Thanksgiving morning or a holiday brunch — And these sweet & savory Pineapple Bacon Pancake Bites are both gluten and dairy free.

bowl-of-pineapple-pancake-bites-2

Let me know if you try these, and be sure to enter the Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet Pineapple Gold for Gold Treasure Hunt for your chance to win… real gold! :) For more information about the Gold for Gold treasure hunt promotion, you can visit Del Monte’s site or follow them on Facebook or twitter.

Gluten Free Pineapple Bacon Pancake Bites

serving-pineapple-pancake-bites

Ingredients

Topping

4 slices fresh Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet pineapple
Brown sugar
Gluten free bacon bits

Batter

1 cup brown rice flour
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 cup vanilla soy milk
1 egg
1 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 slice fresh Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet pineapple, diced
2 Tbsp gluten free bacon bits
Cooking spray (to grease muffin tin)

Directions

grilled-pineapple-2

First, make your topping: Generously sprinkle both sides of four fresh pineapple slices with brown sugar, then cook in a grill pan over medium heat for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. These are a treat in and of themselves, so you might want to make a couple extra just for eating! Let cool, then dice.

add-pineapple

Meanwhile, mix your batter: In large bowl, stir together rice flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add egg, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and vanilla soy milk and mix until well blended. Stir in one slice of fresh pineapple, diced, and 2 Tbsp bacon bits.

fill-with-batter-2

Spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray, then fill your tins 3/4 of the way with pancake batter. Top each pancake bite with diced grilled pineapple and additional bacon bits.

cooling-pineapple-pancake-bites-2

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until butter knife inserted in the center comes clean. Let cool in pan for a couple of minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool the rest of the way.

eating-pineapple-pancake-bites-3

Enjoy warm, drizzled with maple syrup. Makes 24 pancake bites.

Junior High Guy would eat these every day

pineapple-pancake-bite

I kid you not — he pronounced them the most delicious thing ever and inhaled about six in a row last night, then more for breakfast this morning. You get the sweetness of the pineapple contrasting with the savory salty bacon, both flavors enhanced and brought together by the maple syrup in the mix and on the bites. Plus, the grilled pineapple and bacon bits topping these pancake bites make for a pretty presentation for your holiday brunch!

Easy print version

Del Monte Gold for Gold Treasure Hunt -- And Pineapple Bacon Pancake Bites!
 
Author:
Recipe type: breakfast
Ingredients
  • Topping
  • 4 slices fresh Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet pineapple
  • Brown sugar
  • Gluten free bacon bits
  • Batter
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 2 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 slice fresh Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet pineapple, diced
  • 2 Tbsp gluten free bacon bits
  • Cooking spray (to grease muffin tin)
Instructions
  1. First, make your topping: Generously sprinkle both sides of four fresh pineapple slices with brown sugar, then cook in a grill pan over medium heat for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  2. Let cool, then dice.
  3. Meanwhile, mix your batter: In large bowl, stir together rice flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. Add egg, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and vanilla soy milk and mix until well blended.
  5. Stir in one slice of fresh pineapple, diced, and 2 Tbsp bacon bits.
  6. Spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray, then fill your tins ¾ of the way with pancake batter.
  7. Top each pancake bite with diced grilled pineapple and additional bacon bits.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until butter knife inserted in the center comes clean.
  9. Let cool in pan for a couple of minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool the rest of the way.
  10. Enjoy warm, drizzled with maple syrup. Makes 24 pancake bites.

Not Toll House Gluten Free Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posts on Mashup Mom may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure and disclaimer here.

gluten-free-dairy-free-cookies-and-soy-milk

Welcome back to Sunday Scratchups, your weekly recipe from scratch around grocery store matchups! This week we’re actually testing out an everyday priced product: The 5 lb Namaste gluten free flour blend I picked up at the end of August at Costco, stuck in the cupboard, and forgot about until this weekend.

namaste-gluten-free-flour

Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend ran me $8.99 for 5 lbs at Costco, but is rather expensive everywhere else: 3 lbs are $11.69 on the Namaste site, or get a six pack of 3 lb bags on Amazon for $44.59 shipped with subscribe & save (or cheaper on the 15% off tier), which is the equivalent of $12 for the 5 lb bag. Costco is a good bet if you want to try this out for yourself; if you don’t have a Costco or yours doesn’t carry it, Amazon is the next best price I’ve found.

namaste-gluten-free-flour-2

Namaste Perfect Flour Blend has Xanthan gum included and is supposed to measure cup for cup like regular wheat flour in recipes. It’s also top eight allergen free.

top8

No, Namaste isn’t sponsoring this post :) — Just info for those of you shopping and baking around food allergies!

junior-high-guy-eats-cookiesIgnore my messy Halloween paper-sorting counter, please!

So anyway… Junior High Guy decided this year that he’s too old to dress up and go trick-or-treating on Halloween. (Sniff… it’s the end of an era.) This is probably true, lol, but I think his decision was also influenced by the fact that a wheat-and-dairy allergy prevents him from enjoying most of the best candy. Instead, he and I cooked up a batch of gluten free dairy free chocolate chip cookies, all warm and snug in our cozy kitchen while MashupDad and Mr. 7 braved the crazy weather outside.

cookies-and-milk

Nestle Toll House cookies are the first thing I ever learned to make, and I baked endless batches of them as a teen. Toll House cookies were also the source of my first major kitchen mishap: My Mom one day decided to move her baking supplies into unmarked plastic storage containers, and I mistook the powdered sugar for flour. When I couldn’t understand why the first sheet of cookies came out super spread out and sweet, I decided to add more “flour” to thicken them up. And I kept adding… and adding… and… well… you can guess how that sad tale ended!

Given our long and only slightly sordid history, Nestle Toll House cookies seemed like a good choice for a first gluten free dairy free baking experiment with this new flour. So, here goes with our modified for food allergies recipe. For our first experiment here, I just made one-to-one substitutions and substituted Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend for regular wheat flour, substituted Earth Balance for butter, and substituted dairy free chocolate chips for Toll House (technically, the bag is also 2 oz smaller).

Not Toll House Gluten Free Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

ingredients

2 1/4 cups Namaste gluten free perfect flour blend
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup Earth Balance buttery spread, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
10 oz package Enjoy Life dairy free semi sweet mini chocolate chips

Directions

dough-is-goopier

In large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. In separate large bowl, mix all other ingredients except chocolate chips. Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients, mixing well, until well blended. Mix in chocolate chips. If you’re used to cooking with wheat flour, note that your dough will be, for lack of a better word, goopier than you might be used to.

baked-cookies-on-sheet

Drop spoonfuls of batter onto greased cookie sheet* and cook 9-11 minutes at 375 degrees or until bottoms are browned, rotating cookie sheets halfway through.

stuck-to-cookie-sheet

*Why greased? The original Toll House recipe called for ungreased cookie sheets, which I faithfully followed in our experiment here. Oddly, one cookie sheet came out fine and the cookies slid off nicely, but I’m still chiseling perma-fused cookie remnants off the other. Next time I’m spraying these with cooking spray!

gluten-free-cookies-on-rack

Let cookies cool on the sheet for a couple of minutes, then remove to rack to cool the rest of the way.

Survey says?

gluten-free-cookie-crumbles

Not bad! As is usual with gluten free flours, the texture was slightly grainier than the original — but the cookies stayed nice and soft rather than flat and dense, and didn’t crumble everywhere like some of the alternatives we have tried.

gluten-free-cookie

The Earth Balance flavor, however, was a little much, and I think I’d mess with that next time — will probably try using gluten free shortening instead. Junior High Guy thought these were the bee’s knees and inhaled three in a row in lieu of Halloween candy, which seems only fair. We’ll definitely be trying out other recipes with this flour, and the cup-for-cup thing is great for baby stepping into the complicated world of gluten free baking.

Easy print version

Not Toll House Gluten Free Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups Namaste gluten free perfect flour blend
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup Earth Balance buttery spread, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 10 oz package Enjoy Life dairy free semi sweet mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In separate large bowl, mix all other ingredients except chocolate chips.
  3. Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients, mixing well, until well blended.
  4. Mix in chocolate chips.
  5. Drop spoonfuls of batter onto greased cookie sheet and cook 9-11 minutes at 375 degrees or until bottoms are browned, rotating cookie sheets halfway through.
  6. Let cookies cool on the sheet for a couple of minutes, then remove to rack to cool the rest of the way.

Twelve Easy Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes

Posts on Mashup Mom may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure and disclaimer here.

easy-slow-cooker-recipes

Since talk has turned to Crock Pot recipes in comments, I thought it would be fun to round up some favorite easy slow cooker dinner recipes — with no cream soups! There’s nothing better than having a fully cooked meal all ready to go at dinnertime. :)

Twelve Easy Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes for Cold Fall Days

Some favorite simple Crock Pot dinner recipes — plus a couple of bonus slow cooker soup recipes!

Share Your Favorites

What are some of your own favorite Slow Cooker dinner recipes?

Sweet & Spicy Oven Roasted Chickpeas

Posts on Mashup Mom may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure and disclaimer here.

sweet-and-spicy-oven-roasted-chickpeas

Welcome back to Sunday Scratchups, your weekly recipe from scratch around grocery store matchups! This week I picked up a 7 oz bag of garam masala for $1.79 at Pete’s Fresh Market. When you’re shopping for ethnic spices, you’ll often find a much better deal when you look outside the regular aisle with McCormick, etc., and I found mine alongside their other Indian foods. I paired my new spices with a can of Ziyad chickpeas that ran me about $.59 at Pete’s at one point, but you can also pick up chickpeas cheap at Jewel (Essential Everyday are on price cut for $.79 as of the date on this post, and you can print $1.00/3 here), or Goya garbanzos run under $1.00 every day at Ultra Foods and you can use the $1.00/6 coupon here. Anywhere you choose to buy yours, this will be an affordable and easy gluten free dairy free snack.

Sweet & Spicy Oven Roasted Chickpeas

roasted-chickpeas-ingredients

Ingredients

One can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp brown sugar

Directions

skin-slides-off

Drain and rinse chickpeas, then pat as dry as possible between paper towels. A number of the skins will slide off, so just discard those. In separate bowl, mix olive oil, spices, and brown sugar. Add chickpeas and toss until well coated.

on-cookie-sheet

Spread spiced chickpeas in single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes, then turn off heat and leave in oven another 10-15 minutes so that they get crispier. Be sure to check them at 25 minutes so that they don’t get a little overdone like mine did, lol! (Although they were still darn tasty…)

Mix it up

roasted-chickpeas

These addictive little crunchy nuggets came out nicely sweet & spicy, with an underlying nuttiness from the roasted chickpeas. If you’re not a garam masala fan, though, spice them up any way you’d like — try chili powder and garlic salt, or if you’re not dairy free perhaps try Parmesan and garlic powder… whatever works for your family’s tastes. When my family tasted these, the kids and I devoured the whole batch within 15 minutes. I think I’ll double the recipe next time!

Easy Print Version

Sweet & Spicy Oven Roasted Chickpeas
 
Author:
Recipe type: snack
Ingredients
  • One can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas, then pat as dry as possible between paper towels. A number of the skins will slide off, so just discard those.
  2. In separate bowl, mix olive oil, spices, and brown sugar.
  3. Add chickpeas and toss until well coated.
  4. Spread spiced chickpeas in single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a
  5. silicone baking mat.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes, then turn off heat and leave in oven another 10-15 minutes so that they get crispier.
  7. Be sure to check them at 25 minutes so that they don't get a little overdone like mine did, lol! (Although they were still darn tasty...)

Easy Three Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Posts on Mashup Mom may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure and disclaimer here.

easy-three-ingredient-slow-cooker-salsa-chicken

Welcome back to Sunday Scratchups, your one stop shopping for weekly recipes from scratch around grocery store matchups! This week Jewel has boneless skinless chicken breast on sale for $1.99/lb (Butcher Block only), Pete’s is at $1.99/lb, and Valli has boneless skinless thighs at $1.79/lb, so we’re revisiting an oldie but goodie: Super easy Three Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken. This one is my go-to for busy evenings, since it takes just two minutes to throw everything in the Crock Pot and forget it in the morning — and everyone here looooves it.

chicken-thighs

For this recipe you’ll want either boneless skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs. It’s juicier with thighs, but they’re harder to find on sale, so watch clearance. My pack here was from Target clearance (regularly $5.99 for 1.75 lbs, minus $2.00 clearance sticker, minus $1.50/1 coupon = $2.49, or $1.42 a pound). Especially if you’re near a Super Target, always check the meat clearance and carry Gold ‘n Plump coupons with you, because you’ll often find a deal. As far as salsa, I used about 2/3 of a larger leftover jar of salsa verde from the Dominick’s clearance sales, but you can print this Chi-Chi’s coupon to get 16 oz jars for $1.04 if you’re headed to Super Target, $.50 at Jewel ($1.50 on sale this week!) or wait for Red Gold to go $.99 at Centrella stores again. Always pick up your tortillas at ALDI, where El Milagro corn are $.33 and flour $.89 every day. We get at least two dinners out of this recipe for our family of four.

Easy Three Ingredient Salsa Chicken

salsa-chicken-ingredients

Ingredients

1.5-3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
One packet taco seasoning
One 16 oz jar salsa — verde or otherwise

Directions

pour-salsa-on-chicken

Place chicken in crockpot. Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken. Pour salsa over everything. Cook on low for 7-10 hours, shred, and serve with your favorite taco fixings.

How much easier can you get?

salsa-chicken-burrito

The other nice thing about Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken is that this basic recipe is infinitely adaptable. Want it spicier? Use hot salsa and taco seasoning when cooking, or add jalapeño slices and hot sauce when assembling. Want it milder? Just use mild salsa. Gluten free? Use corn tortillas rather than flour. Dairy free? Skip the cheese and sour cream when assembling your tacos. Low carb? Serve yours on a low carb wrap or lettuce wrap. Want to stretch your chicken further, or sneak in some extra nutrition? Add a can of black beans and a can of corn to the Crock Pot before cooking. Hate tortillas? Serve over rice or on a taco salad.

salsa-chicken-burrito-2

Play with the basic recipe and fixings to suit your own family’s tastes and dietary needs, and enjoy a super easy weeknight meal that should please everyone in the house — it surely does here!

Easy Print Version

Easy Three Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
 
Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Ingredients
  • 1.5-3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
  • One packet taco seasoning
  • One 16 oz jar salsa -- verde or otherwise
Instructions
  1. Place chicken in crockpot.
  2. Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken.
  3. Pour salsa over everything.
  4. Cook on low for 7-10 hours, shred, and serve with your favorite taco fixings.

Apple Pancakes

Posts on Mashup Mom may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure and disclaimer here.

pancakes cover

Welcome to Frugal Homemade! This week, I am going to share one of my favorite frugal ways to make a breakfast staple more interesting. Apples cut in to rings add a nice sweetness to your pancakes and look cute too. I love to make these for guests during this time of year because they look impressive and people really appreciate knowing that we are using fruit from somewhere not terribly far away. But they are also easy enough that I am happy to just make them for the family’s weekend breakfast as well.

We are right in the middle of apple season and apples of all kinds are plentiful and cheap. Berries are a popular and tasty pancake addition but they aren’t always cheap or reliably tasty. You can almost always find a decent and reasonably priced apple and they last a while in the fridge, so even when it isn’t peak apple season they are fruits we often have on hand.

This week, apples are on sale all over the place! Caputo’s has all Michigan apples $.39/lb, Pete’s has Honeycrisp for $.99/lb and Johnathan for $.29/lb, Ultra has 3 lb bags of a few types for $1.88, Meijer and Hy-Vee have some for $.68/lb, Strack’s has a bunch for $.69/lb, and Jewel has $1.29/lb Honeycrisp. And no matter where you buy them, Checkout 51 has $.25 cash back on apples.

Add to your existing pancake routine

You can do this no matter how you typically make pancakes, whether it be from scratch, from a box, from a jug or can, gluten-free, etc. And you can use any type of apple you have!

pancake stuff

I am using a Golden Delicious simply because that is what I have, but really anything will work. A more tart apple would be great since you are cooking it, which will make it sweeter, and in all likelihood, syrup will be added.

I use Alton Brown’s “Instant” Pancake Mix. As a side note, I rarely have buttermilk on hand, so use lemon juice and milk for a substitution. For each cup of buttermilk you need, just put a tablespoon of lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup and whisking, slowly add milk to reach a cup.

Then, however you are doing it, mix up your batter.

prep apple

Peel and core your apple, then slice it about 1/8″ thick. I usually don’t use the top and bottom slice, so this medium sized apple gave me ten slices, which was perfect for the three of us.

Heat your skillet or griddle. When it is hot, rub some butter on it, then wipe it so there is only a thin coating. This is something I learned from the Alton Brown recipe and it really does work to make them brown but stay light and fluffy.

rings in pan

To the hot pan, add the apple rings.

pour batter

Over each ring, carefully pour batter to cover the ring. Just like any pancake, flip them when they start to bubble all over, then remove and keep warm when cooked through.

These can also be frozen and reheated in the toaster or toaster oven for quick weekday breakfasts.

What are YOUR favorite things to do with apples?


frugalhomemade-logo

Be sure to check back each week for something new! I will be bringing you how-tos, advice, and articles on everything pertaining to easy frugal living: From DIY, to recipes, to practical tips and tricks. To help balance out the couponing and deal chasing we do a lot of here, I’ll talk about easy ways to incorporate frugality into everyday life and to do more from scratch.

Apple Pancakes
 
Author:
Serves: 8-12 pancakes
Ingredients
  • Apple
  • Pancake mix (about 2 cups prepared)
  • Butter
Instructions
  1. Peel and core the apple.
  2. Slice apple into ten about ⅛" slices.
  3. Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat.
  4. Butter the hot griddle, then wipe away excess butter.
  5. Place apple rings in hot pan.
  6. Pour batter to cover each apple ring.
  7. When bubbling all over, flip the pancakes and cook until completely set

 

Easy Smoky Chili

Posts on Mashup Mom may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure and disclaimer here.

easy-smoky-chili-recipe

Welcome back to Sunday Scratchups, your go-to source for weekly recipes from scratch around grocery store matchups! This week canned tomatoes and beans are a great deal at Jewel, where you can use coupons to pick up Essential Everyday canned beans for $.46 each, EE canned tomatoes for $.36 each, and Hunt’s canned tomatoes for $.67 each.

smoky-chili-cans

Although I did buy both tomatoes and beans at Jewel this week, I actually used up some older cans I had in my pantry and replenished my stockpile with the new ones. Look: Safeway beans! I only have a couple of cans left from Dominick’s now, sniff.

clearance-ground-beef-target

As far as saving on ground beef, my best advice anymore is to watch for clearance: I bought 12 lbs of these 85/20 chubs last month at Target at $1.16/lb, minus $1.00/$5 mobile coupon + REDcard discount = $1.02 a pound. You could also use one pound of meat instead of two and fill in with extra beans in this recipe, because chili is forgiving and flexible, and some things are a matter of taste. (This recipe also feeds a family of four for two nights or more, so keep that in mind when figuring out costs.)

Easy Smoky Chili

smoky-chili-ingredients

Ingredients

3 medium jalapeño peppers
2 small cayenne peppers
2.5 Tbsp minced garlic
2 medium or 3 small yellow onions
2 lbs ground beef
6 oz tomato paste
2 14.5 oz canned diced fire roasted tomatoes (or one 28 oz can crushed, or one batch homemade fire roasted tomatoes)
1 can kidney beans
2 cans black beans
4 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano (or 4 tsp dried)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 2 tsp dried)
3 Tbsp chili powder
3/4 Tbsp cocoa powder
crushed red pepper, to taste
2 cans water (or one can if using 28 oz)
olive oil (for sauteing)

Directions

chopped-peppers

Brown ground beef in Dutch Oven over medium heat and drain well. Meanwhile, finely chop peppers and coarsely chop onion. (I like to hand chop the onions, but chop the peppers very small in the food chopper so that the flavor permeates the whole batch of chili but no one gets a randomly large chunk of too-spicy pepper in their bowl.) Saute onions, garlic, and peppers in olive oil in separate large pan until soft.

chopped-spices

While your ground beef and veggies are cooking, chop your herbs if using fresh. The amount of seasoning in a big batch of chili is largely a matter of taste, and often I don’t even measure, but just add and sample until the chili tastes great. You’ll want about a two-to-one ratio of oregano to basil, however, regardless of whether you’re using fresh or dried, and don’t skimp on the seasonings — you have a big old pot of chili to flavor here, so spice it on up!

add-spices

Add onion/pepper mixture, spices, cocoa powder, tomatoes, tomato paste, and water to browned ground beef and mix well. Simmer over low heat at least an hour, stirring occasionally.

big-pot-of-chili

After chili has simmered for an hour or more, drain and add beans. Stir, increase heat to medium low, and simmer another 15 minutes or so until beans are heated through.

bowl-of-smoky-chili-2

Serve topped with shredded cheese (unless you’re dairy free like Junior High Guy), sliced pickled jalapeños, sour cream, crumbled crackers, corn chips, or your own favorite chili fixings. Since low carb MashupDad was out of town last week, the kids and I carbed it up with chili and garlic toast the first night, and chili over baked potatoes the second night — and still had some left over.

SO good for a cool fall day

This is one of those easy warm comfort food recipes, and smells great simmering on the stove all afternoon. The peppers give it an underlying burn, but the cocoa powder mellows that out and combines with the fire roasted tomatoes for a smoky complement to the chili spice.

Easy print version

Easy Smoky Chili
 
Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Ingredients
  • 3 medium jalapeño peppers
  • 2 small cayenne peppers
  • 2.5 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 medium or 3 small yellow onions
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 14.5 oz canned diced fire roasted tomatoes (or one 28 oz can crushed, or one batch
  • homemade fire roasted tomatoes)
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 4 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano (or 4 tsp dried)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 2 tsp dried)
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder
  • ¾ Tbsp cocoa powder
  • crushed red pepper, to taste
  • 2 cans water (or one can if using 28 oz)
  • olive oil (for sauteing)
Instructions
  1. Brown ground beef in Dutch Oven over medium heat and drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, finely chop peppers and coarsely chop onion. (I like to hand chop the onions, but chop the peppers very small in the food chopper so that the flavor permeates the whole batch of chili but no one gets a randomly large chunk of too-spicy pepper in their bowl.)
  3. Saute onions, garlic, and peppers in olive oil in separate large pan until soft.
  4. While your ground beef and veggies are cooking, chop your herbs if using fresh.
  5. Add onion/pepper mixture, spices, cocoa powder, tomatoes, tomato paste, and water to browned ground beef and mix well.
  6. Simmer over low heat at least an hour, stirring occasionally.
  7. After chili has simmered for an hour or more, drain and add beans.
  8. Stir, increase heat to medium low, and simmer another 15 minutes or so until beans are heated through.
  9. Serve topped with shredded cheese, sliced pickled jalapeños, sour cream, crumbled crackers, corn chips, or your own favorite chili fixings.

Easy Refrigerator Pickled Jalapenos

Posts on Mashup Mom may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure and disclaimer here.

easy-refrigerator-pickled-jalapenos

Welcome back to Sunday Scratchups, your home for weekly recipes from scratch around grocery store matchups — or garden bounty! In October we’re really winding down the growing season here in Chicagoland, but I’m still picking pecks of pickled peppers… more accurately, my garden is still producing both jalapeños and cayenne. Just two jalapeño plants do our family nicely: I have several bags in the freezer for use in recipes over the winter, and garden jalapeño peppers have come in handy all summer for chili and salsa and roasted chile-lime chicken and jalapeño poppers and marinara sauce and more. Cayenne is also fantastic, if more sparingly, in chili, and this year I used some homegrown cayenne peppers to make my own crushed red pepper (filled another empty McCormick bottle this week) and copycat chili garlic sauce.

peppers

So let’s take the next logical step with Easy Refrigerator Pickled Jalapeños — another easy and flavor packed way to preserve these for later use. Note that I am not canning these and they are not shelf-stable; if you make a batch yourself, be sure to keep them refrigerated. These I actually made a little over a month ago, but I’m planning to do up another batch this week.

Easy Refrigerator Pickled Jalapeños

packed-in-jar

Ingredients

About 16 medium jalapeño peppers
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Kosher salt
1 cup water
1 cup vinegar
3 whole garlic cloves

Directions

Wash peppers, cut off stems, and slice into coins. Peel garlic cloves and add garlic and jalepeño slices to a one quart mason jar. Meanwhile, in small pot heat water, vinegar, salt, and sugar to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, stir, then pour over peppers.

pickled-peppers

Seal jar and refrigerate at least a week before opening and tasting, shaking gently once in a while. Your pickled peppers will get darker and a bit softer, but still stay nice and spicy for garnishing tacos and more.

Here’s how they look now

peppers-weeks-later

And here’s what’s left several weeks later, after we’ve eaten some and they’ve pickled about as much as they’re going to. See? Easy, peasy, pepper squeezy.

Easy print version

Easy Refrigerator Pickled Jalapenos
 
Author:
Recipe type: condiment
Ingredients
  • About 16 medium jalapeño peppers
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 3 whole garlic cloves
Instructions
  1. Wash peppers, cut off stems, and slice into coins.
  2. Peel garlic cloves and add garlic and jalepeño slices to a one quart mason jar.
  3. Meanwhile, in small pot heat water, vinegar, salt, and sugar to a boil.
  4. Reduce to a simmer, stir, then pour over peppers.
  5. Seal jar and refrigerate at least a week before opening and tasting, shaking gently once in a while.
  6. Your pickled peppers will get darker and a bit softer, but still stay nice and spicy for garnishing tacos and more.