Dairy Free “Caramel” Popcorn

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dairy-free-caramel-popcorn-header

Welcome back to Sunday Scratchups, your weekly recipe from scratch around grocery store matchups, coupons, and sales. This week, we’re actually doing a Costco recipe! I’ve been doing a little more shopping there lately, and one thing that’s always a good buy at Costco is this 27 oz Kirkland almond butter at $10.79. This is a staple in our house lately, simply because it is made of awesome. Um. Almonds. But it’s really good, guys! Recently I also impulse bought a very large bag of Skinny Pop — on sale (through yesterday?) for just $2.99, so how could I not?

dairy-free-caramel-corn-ingredients

Well as I always say: When life gives you popcorn and almond butter, make dairy free caramel popcorn! OK, I never actually did say that before… but I’ll be saying it from now on… I originally ran across this recipe on The Gracious Pantry and thought it looked interesting but that it used an awful lot of honey. Here, I used less and also added in a bit of vanilla to enhance the caramel-like flavor.

non-dairy-caramel-popcorn-2

Oh. My. Goodness! This stuff is dangerous. My intention was to scratch some up to have handy for dairy free Junior High Guy, but Mr. 8 and I got into it too and the entire batch disappeared in record time. Oddly, it tastes much more like caramel than like almond butter — and with just four ingredients, Dairy Free “Caramel” Popcorn is super easy to throw together.

Dairy Free “Caramel” Popcorn

bowl-of-popcorn

Ingredients

8 cups popped popcorn*
1/4 cup unsweetened creamy almond butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla

* Note: The Skinny Pop I used here was lightly salted — if you’re using unsalted popcorn, you’ll want to add in a little sea salt as well.

Directions

Add popcorn to a large bowl, then bring the honey to a boil in a small pot over high heat. After it bubbles for about 30 seconds, turn off heat and quickly whisk in almond butter and vanilla until well blended. Pour your honey-almond butter mixture over the popcorn and stir with a large spoon until popcorn is coated. Let it cool, then enjoy!

SO GOOD

dairy-free-caramel-popcorn-7

Seriously — if you’re dairy free and have been missing caramel corn, give this a try!

sticky-popcorn

You could probably also make popcorn balls and have other fun with this recipe around the holidays, since it stuck together pretty well once it cooled. I just broke ours apart for easy snacking. :)

Easy print version

Dairy Free "Caramel" Popcorn
 
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Ingredients
  • 8 cups popped popcorn*
  • ¼ cup unsweetened creamy almond butter
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • * Note: The Skinny Pop I used here was lightly salted -- if you're using unsalted popcorn, you'll want to add in a little sea salt as well.
Instructions
  1. Add popcorn to a large bowl.
  2. Bring the honey to a boil in a small pot over high heat.
  3. After it bubbles for about 30 seconds, turn off heat and quickly whisk in almond butter and vanilla until well blended.
  4. Pour your honey-almond butter mixture over the popcorn and stir with a large spoon until popcorn is coated.
  5. Let it cool, then enjoy!

Best Ever Banana Bread — Frugal Homemade

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banana bread

This week’s Frugal Homemade feature is: Banana bread. We happen to think it is the “best ever banana bread,” and hope you do, too! Overripe bananas happen to the best of us, so you may as well put them to use with this easy, delicious recipe.

Let’s get started!

banana bread ingredients

You will need the following ingredients:

3 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 ripe bananas
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Banana Bread ready to bake

Directions:

  1. Prepare loaf pan(s) with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    • I used 3 mini loaf pans, but you can use a regular loaf pan — it’s up to you!
  2. Beat eggs and mix in sugar, canola oil, bananas, and vanilla.
  3. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  5. Mix well and pour into prepared loaf pans.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes – an hour & fifteen minutes, depending on which pans you are using. When in doubt, toothpick test!

Enjoy!

Easy print version

Best Ever Banana Bread -- Frugal Homemade
 
This week's Frugal Homemade feature is: Banana bread. We happen to think it is the "best ever banana bread," and hope you do, too! Overripe bananas happen to the best of us, so you may as well put them to use with this easy, delicious recipe.
Author:
Recipe type: Brunch
Cuisine: Banana Bread
Ingredients
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Prepare loaf pan(s) with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees. (I used 3 mini loaf pans, but you can use a regular loaf pan -- it's up to you!)
  2. Beat eggs and mix in sugar, canola oil, bananas and vanilla.
  3. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.
  5. Mix well and pour into prepared loaf pans.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes - an hour & fifteen minutes, depending on which pans you are using. When in doubt, toothpick test!

Bee-bim Bop!

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bee-bim-bop-header

Let me introduce you to one of Mr. 8’s favorite books in the whole world: Bee-bim Bop, by Linda Sue Park. We’ve had this book about making this traditional Korean dish since he was a baby and it’s a perennial favorite — the illustrations are adorable, the rhymes are catchy, and it’s a fantastic read-aloud.

We never got around to making the recipe in the back of the book for all these years, though. Mr. 8 really wanted to give it a try this week, so in the words of Linda Sue Park: “Hurry, Mama, hurry, gotta shop shop shop!” This week’s Sunday Scratchups (your weekly recipe from scratch around grocery store matchups, coupons, and sales) features Bee-bim Bop, from the book of the same name.

slice-meat-for-marinade-2

The beef will be the most expensive part of this recipe, but it only calls for one pound of tender lean beef (such as sirloin tip). I picked up a little over a pound of sirloin tip steak at $4.89/lb at my local produce market, but this might be a recipe where you’d watch for clearance beef and then construct the rest of the recipe around that. 1 lb bags of Blue Ribbon long grain rice are on sale for $.50 at Jewel this week, baby cut carrots $.99 (or $.49 at my ALDI), and spinach was on sale this past weekend for $.99. Eggs are on sale at Meijer $1.25 a dozen, or 18 ct are $1.99 at Butera.

This is not my recipe; it’s from Bee-bim Bop by Linda Sue Park! My only minor changes were to use baby carrots (all I had), halve the amount of bean sprouts (I was the only one who ate them anyway), and use jarred minced garlic instead of cloves. I also only made one cup rice (uncooked) instead of the two in the original recipe because low carb Mashup Dad won’t eat it and Junior High Guy only ever likes a little.

Bee-bim Bop

Ingredients

For the marinade

2 tsp minced garlic
2 green onions, chopped
5 Tbsp soy sauce (use a gluten free brand such as San-J to make this recipe gluten free)
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/8 tsp black pepper

Everything else

3-6 cups cooked rice (1-2 cups uncooked)
1 lb tender lean beef (such as sirloin tip)
2 carrots (I used the end of a bag of baby carrots)
1 lb fresh spinach
8 oz bean sprouts
4 eggs
salt
pepper
vegetable oil

Directions

Cook up your rice (I made mine in a rice cooker): One cup rice to two cups of water. While that’s going, mix all marinade ingredients in large bowl and slice beef against the grain into thin strips.

not-a-fan-of-touching-raw-meatIgnore my messy counter, please!

Add beef to bowl with marinade, stir well, then squish it around with your hands for a couple of minutes. (It should go without saying, but: Wash hands well both before and after this step!) Mr. 8 did this part, and turned out to not be such a huge fan of getting his hands all into raw meat and oil, lol.

egg-pancake

Set beef aside to marinate while you cook up the other ingredients. Crack four eggs into a bowl, beat well, then cook about 1/4 of your eggs at a time in a little vegetable oil. Use a small pan over medium heat  and shake the pan as you’re adding eggs so they spread out into a thin egg “pancake.” Cook about a minute, then flip and cook the other side for another minute. Stack your egg pancakes as they’re cooked, then slice into thin strips and set aside in in a separate bowl.

Peel carrots if using whole, then slice into small sticks. Stir fry in about 1 tsp vegetable oil over high heat until tender, then set aside in separate bowl.

Cook spinach for two minutes in a pot of boiling water. Drain, cool for a couple of minutes, then squeeze some of the water out. Stir fry your spinach in vegetable oil in large pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, then remove to a separate bowl, season with salt & pepper, stir, and set aside.

Add 1 cup water and 1/8 tsp salt to a pot. Bring to a boil, add bean sprouts, cover, and cook for two minutes. Drain sprouts, then set aside in separate bowl.

Heat your large frying pan over high heat for about 30 seconds, then dump your entire bowl of beef + marinade into the pan. Spread it out across the bottom of the pan, and stir fry for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned. Pour the resulting cooked meat and gravy into another bowl.

bee-bim-bop-ingredients

Put all your ingredients out on the table along with some hot sauce for topping and a homemade centerpiece. (This was awesome with chili garlic sauce!).

mix-it-up

Add rice to your bowl, then proudly top with veggies, meat, egg, and chili garlic sauce (if desired). Mix it all up madly, then dig in!

This was really good

bee-bim-bop-3

This was so good, and a fun recipe to make with kids! The meat was very tender and had a great flavor — you don’t need a lot of it to add the garlicky goodness to your meal, but be sure to add a little of the “gravy” along with before stirring up your Bee-bim Bop. Be forewarned, though: This recipe is time consuming and creates a whole lot of dishes, lol.

mr8-reads-mop-mop-mop

Mr. 8 was so proud of himself, though, and after he ate a huge bowl of Bee-bim Bop he entertained everyone with a dramatic reading of the book. So all in all, awesome: And we’re definitely going to make this again! Good weekend recipe for some afternoon fun cooking with the kids. I highly recommend picking up a copy of the book, too: The recipe as printed breaks each step down nicely while suggesting which parts are good for kids, and the fun story completes the whole Bee-bim Bop experience.

bee-bim-bop-4

Yum — such a pretty all-in-one meal, too!

Easy print version

Bee-bim Bop!
 
Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Ingredients
For the marinade
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 5 Tbsp soy sauce (use a gluten free brand such as San-J to make this recipe gluten free)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
Everything else
  • 3-6 cups cooked rice (1-2 cups uncooked)
  • 1 lb tender lean beef (such as sirloin tip)
  • 2 carrots (I used the end of a bag of baby carrots)
  • 1 lb fresh spinach
  • 8 oz bean sprouts
  • 4 eggs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Cook up your rice (I made mine in a rice cooker): One cup rice to two cups of water.
  2. While that's going, mix all marinade ingredients in large bowl and slice beef against the grain into thin strips.
  3. Add beef to bowl with marinade, stir well, then squish it around with your hands for a couple of minutes. (It should go without saying, but: Wash hands well both before and after this step!)
  4. Set beef aside to marinate while you cook up the other ingredients.
  5. Crack four eggs into a bowl, beat well, then cook about ¼ of your eggs at a time in a little vegetable oil.
  6. Use a small pan over medium heat and shake the pan as you're adding eggs so they spread out into a thin egg "pancake."
  7. Cook about a minute, then flip and cook the other side for another minute.
  8. Stack your egg pancakes as they're cooked, then slice into thin strips and set aside in in a separate bowl.
  9. Peel carrots if using whole, then slice into small sticks.
  10. Stir fry in about 1 tsp vegetable oil over high heat until tender, then set aside in separate bowl.
  11. Cook spinach for two minutes in a pot of boiling water.
  12. Drain, cool for a couple of minutes, then squeeze some of the water out.
  13. Stir fry your spinach in vegetable oil in large pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, then remove to a separate bowl, season with salt & pepper, stir, and set aside.
  14. Add 1 cup water and ⅛ tsp salt to a pot.
  15. Bring to a boil, add bean sprouts, cover, and cook for two minutes.
  16. Drain sprouts, then set aside in separate bowl.
  17. Heat your large frying pan over high heat for about 30 seconds, then dump your entire bowl of beef + marinade into the pan.
  18. Spread it out across the bottom of the pan, and stir fry for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned.
  19. Pour the resulting cooked meat and gravy into another bowl.
  20. Put all your ingredients out on the table along with some hot sauce for topping and a homemade centerpiece. (This was awesome with chili garlic sauce!).
  21. Add rice to your bowl, then proudly top with veggies, meat, egg, and chili garlic sauce (if desired).
  22. Mix it all up madly, then dig in!

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon & Parmesan — Frugal Homemade

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cauliflower 3

This week’s Frugal Homemade features Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon & Parmesan. I have seen so many recipes for roasted cauliflower lately! So far what I’ve tried has been delicious, but I still have Rachel’s cauliflower rolls on my to-do list… Anyway, it’s been a busy week, so upon discovering a head of cauliflower in my fridge yesterday I decided to whip up what I could with it with the limited selection of ingredients I had on hand. So here you have it, Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon & Parmesan — healthy, easy, yummy!

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon & Parmesan

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees & lightly grease a baking dish.

cauliflower 1

Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic (I used crushed)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

cauliflower 2

Directions

Rinse cauliflower, pat dry, and cut into pieces. Place cauliflower florets in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and stir. Add salt, lemon juice, garlic, and Parmesan cheese, stirring until the cauliflower is coated. Pour onto prepared baking dish & spread out into a single layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, depending on the level of “roasting” you prefer.

Enjoy!

Easy print version

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon & Parmesan -- Frugal Homemade
 
This week's Frugal Homemade feature is Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon & Parmesan. I have seen so many recipes for roasted cauliflower lately! So here you have it, Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon & Parmesan -- healthy, easy, yummy!
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Dinner
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon garlic (I used crushed)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees & lightly grease a baking dish.
  2. Rinse cauliflower, pat dry, and cut into pieces.
  3. Place cauliflower in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and stir.
  4. Add salt, lemon juice, garlic, and Parmesan cheese, stirring until the cauliflower is coated.
  5. Pour onto prepared baking dish & spread out into a single layer.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, depending on the level of "roasting" you prefer.

Bodacious Blackberry Bites (in a Quinoa Crust Cup) — Gluten free, Dairy free

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

bodacious-blackberry-bites

Welcome back to Sunday Scratchups, your weekly recipe from scratch around grocery store matchups, coupons, and sales. Yes, it’s actually Monday — did Daylight Savings throw you for a loop yesterday, too? This week ALDI has 6 oz blackberries on sale for $1.29 (and this will be a great recipe for when they go as low as $.68 this summer at ALDI and the produce stores!).

quinoa-and-blackberries

And I’m kind of liking quinoa in all its nutty chewiness lately. So, several months ago I saw a quiche recipe with a quinoa crust in some long-forgotten magazine. This got me thinking: What if you instead played off the nuttiness in quinoa and created a dessert crust by adding in a little sweetness? So, these blackberries were staring at me, the quinoa was staring at me, Daylight Savings was taunting me with its promise of spring… and Bodacious Blackberry Bites were born.

cooked-black-quinoa

For this recipe I used black quinoa, which ran me $2.80 for 12 oz at the Big Lots 20% off sale last week. Its everyday price there is $3.50, ALDI has been running organic quinoa as a special buy at $4.49 (if your store still has it in stock), and Walmart sells Wild Oats organic quinoa for around $5.00. It’s just so pretty, isn’t it? I think black quinoa is a little crunchier than white or red, but any kind should do. Rinse your quinoa if desired to make it a little less bitter, then cook it up like rice: One part quinoa to two parts water. I used my little rice cooker (love that you can just set it and forget it and it keeps the rice or quinoa warm for you), but you can also cook quinoa in a pot on the stove top.

Bodacious Blackberry Bites (in a Quinoa Crust Cup) — Gluten Free, Dairy Free

crust-ingredients

Ingredients

For the crust:

2 cups cooked black quinoa, cooled
1/4 cup pecans, crushed
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp honey
1 egg

For the filling:

18 oz fresh blackberries
1.5 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp honey
pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp cornstarch

Directions

press-quinoa-mixture-into-cups

Mix all crust ingredients in large bowl, then press some of the quinoa mixture into each cup of a mini muffin tin. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. (Crust should be firmed up, but not completely browned.)

add-berries-to-crust

While baking your crusts, gently mix blackberries, lemon juice, sea salt, vanilla, honey, and cornstarch in a large bowl. Remove muffin tin from oven and increase temperature to 375 degrees. Top each par-baked crust with blackberry mixture (around 3-4 berries on each), then bake at 375 for another 25 minutes. Serve warm.

baked-blackberry-quinoa-cups

Your blackberries should be bright red, purple, and wrinkled up when done.

removing-blackberry-quinoa-cup-4

These shouldn’t stick, but you might want to use a spoon to get your Bodacious Blackberry Bites out of the pan without crushing the berries or breaking the crust.

So what’s the verdict?

blackberry-quinoa-in-hand-2

Oddly mixed, actually! You have to like quinoa to like these, since the nutty chewiness comes through very strongly (although tempered by the cinnamon and honey). I thought they were great, and the chewy crust was a fantastic contrast with the sweet, juicy berries. Junior High Guy is not a huge blackberries fan, so also thought the crust was great but that we should choose a different berry as the filling next time. (But then, being a junior high boy, he ate several anyway…) MashupDad took one bite and complained that quinoa got stuck in his teeth, lol — and poor Mr. 8 wasn’t feeling well, so declined to participate in our unofficial family taste test.

blackberry-quinoa-cups-4

All in all, I’ll take it — and will definitely be scratching these up again in all their gluten free, dairy free, superfood goodness. I’m already thinking about what else to make with some variation on the quinoa crust, since I have more cooked quinoa left over!

Easy print version

Bodacious Blackberry Bites (in a Quinoa Crust Cup) -- Gluten free, Dairy free
 
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Ingredients
  • For the crust:
  • 2 cups cooked black quinoa, cooled
  • ¼ cup pecans, crushed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 egg
  • For the filling:
  • 18 oz fresh blackberries
  • 1.5 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp honey
  • pinch of sea salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
Instructions
  1. Mix all crust ingredients in large bowl, then press some of the quinoa mixture into each cup of a mini muffin tin.
  2. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. (Crust should be firmed up, but not completely browned.)
  3. While baking your crusts, gently mix blackberries, lemon juice, sea salt, vanilla, honey, and cornstarch in a large bowl.
  4. Remove muffin tin from oven and increase temperature to 375 degrees.
  5. Top each par-baked crust with blackberry mixture (around 3-4 berries on each).
  6. Bake at 375 for another 25 minutes.
  7. Serve warm.

Turkey Stuffed Peppers — Frugal Homemade

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

Stuffed peppers 3

This week’s Frugal Homemade feature is: Stuffed Peppers! With a twist — instead of the more traditional ground beef, we’re here using ground turkey; instead of the traditional green bell peppers, we’re using red.. We’ve been trying to eat less red meat & more lean meats, and this turned out great!

Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers 1

Ingredients

4 red bell peppers*
1/4 cup dry brown rice, cooked using package directions
16 oz lean ground turkey
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 egg
1/2 can (approx. 7 oz) diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon parsley

Directions

Let’s get started!

Stuffed peppers 2

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tops off of peppers, remove seeds, rinse, & sprinkle the inside of each pepper with a little salt. Set the peppers in an oven safe dish.

In a large bowl combine ground turkey, cooked rice, Parmesan cheese, pepper, salt, crushed garlic and diced tomatoes. Mix well and stuff peppers with the turkey/rice mixture.

Next, combine tomato sauce, olive oil, sugar, basil, & parsley. Pour sauce mixture over peppers and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes (or until internal temperature of turkey mixture reaches 165 degrees). Baste frequently with sauce mixture.

Enjoy!

* Since there are only three of us, I used three peppers instead of four, with plenty of the mixture left over to stuff a 4th pepper. I used the rest of my mixture to make a couple small turkey meatloaves to keep in the freezer — I just added about 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese to the remaining turkey/rice mixture, put it in mini-loaf pans, & baked for about 30 minutes.

Easy print version

Turkey Stuffed Peppers-- Frugal Homemade
 
This week's Frugal Homemade feature is for Stuffed Peppers, except instead of the traditional recipe with ground beef, we're using ground turkey. We've been trying to eat less red meat & more lean meats, and this turned out great!
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 red bell peppers*
  • ¼ cup dry brown rice, cooked using package directions
  • 16 oz lean ground turkey
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 egg
  • ½ can (approx. 7 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut tops off of peppers, remove seeds, rinse, & sprinkle the inside of each pepper with a little salt.
  3. Set the peppers in an oven safe dish.
  4. In a large bowl combine ground turkey, cooked rice, Parmesan cheese, pepper, salt, crushed garlic, egg, and diced tomatoes.
  5. Mix well and stuff peppers with the turkey/rice mixture.
  6. Next, combine tomato sauce, olive oil, sugar, basil, & parsley.
  7. Pour sauce mixture over peppers.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes (or until internal temperature of turkey mixture reaches 165 degrees.)
  9. Baste frequently with sauce mixture

Cheesy Mushroom Chicken Bake

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

cheesy-mushroom-chicken-bake

Welcome back to Sunday Scratchups, your weekly recipe from scratch around grocery store matchups, coupons, and sales. Yes, it’s actually Monday — it was that kind of a weekend, lol.  Last week, many of us scored clearance prosciutto panino at ALDI, spinach was $.79 at ALDI and on sale at most of the produce stores, mushrooms were cheap at ALDI, and I found clearance Gold ‘n Plump boneless skinless chicken thighs at Target ($1.79 for 1.75 lbs after sale + $1.50 coupon!).

cheesy-mushroom-chicken-bake-6

What tasty ingredients to play around with, right? Couponers are lucky… the way we shop lets us try new things and gives us license to experiment. :) So, I scratched up this recipe with these things I bought plus stuff I had in the house, and it turned out pretty well in its salty cheesy comfort food way.

panino-and-thighs

Now, I realize that most of us aren’t generally going to have prosciutto panino just lying around. This recipe would still be lovely with plain old mozzarella, though — Toss in a little cut up bacon or prosciutto, or add a little sea salt if you want to give it the extra salty kick I have going here.

Cheesy Mushroom Chicken Bake

cheesy-mushroom-chicken-bake-2

Ingredients

3 medium baked potatoes
1.75-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (or thin sliced breast or tenders)
1 tsp minced garlic
black pepper
3 oz fresh spinach
8 oz prosciutto panino or mozzarella, sliced
1 tsp basil
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
butter
garlic salt

Directions

potatoes-on-bottom

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray (I used an au gratin dish) and preheat oven to 375. Slice potatoes (if you don’t have leftover baked potatoes, you can cook them up in the microwave first) and arrange in bottom of baking dish. Top potatoes with pepper and garlic. Add chicken on top of potatoes, then layer on spinach leaves and panino slices.* Add basil and bake for one hour or until chicken is fully cooked through.

add-basil

During the last few minutes of cooking time, saute mushrooms in butter over medium heat. Once mushrooms are browned, add a little garlic salt. Top baked chicken with mushrooms and serve.

* Note — I actually layered the spinach on top in my dish, but next time would layer under the cheese so the cheese browns better and the spinach doesn’t burn.

One dish comfort food

cheesy-mushroom-chicken-bake-5

Seriously, how could this be bad? Everything IN it is good! And, everything in it works well together. I got inspired to make this this one morning last week, had myself a tasty little lunch, and then we ate the leftovers at dinner the next day (while dairy free Junior High Guy had rotisserie chicken with sauteed spinach & bacon bits, and low carb MashupDad just skipped the potatoes layer…). You also get everything in one dish: Your meat, your starch, your cheese, your veggies, making this an easy one pan meal to throw together.

Did you find clearance prosciutto panino at ALDI last week? What did you do with yours?

Easy print version

Cheesy Mushroom Chicken Bake
 
Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Ingredients
  • 3 medium baked potatoes
  • 1.75-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (or thin sliced breast or tenders)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • black pepper
  • 3 oz fresh spinach
  • 8 oz prosciutto panino or mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • butter
  • garlic salt
Instructions
  1. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray (I used an au gratin dish) and preheat oven to 375.
  2. Slice potatoes (if you don't have leftover baked potatoes, you can cook them up in the microwave first) and arrange in bottom of baking dish.
  3. Top potatoes with pepper and garlic.
  4. Add chicken on top of potatoes, then layer on spinach leaves and panino slices.*
  5. Add basil and bake for one hour or until chicken is fully cooked through.
  6. During the last few minutes of cooking time, saute mushrooms in butter over medium heat.
  7. Once mushrooms are browned, add a little garlic salt.
  8. Top baked chicken with mushrooms and serve.
  9. * Note -- I actually layered the spinach on top in my dish, but next time would layer under the cheese so the cheese browns better and the spinach doesn't burn.

Whatever-ya-have Cookies — Frugal Homemade

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cookies 3

Every once in awhile my family starts dropping hints that they’d like some homemade cookies. Today was one of those days, and not wanting to go out in the snow, I made cookies from “whatever we have.” The recipe starts out like a modified version of  your standard chocolate chip cookie. Then it veers off course as you add whatever you have left over from previous cooking & baking adventures. Today I found some yummy leftover add-ins, and I guess you could say I made Heath-Coconut-Pecan-Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Whatever-Ya-Have Cookies

cookies 1

First, you’ll need to make your cookie dough base. You’ll add more flour to this after you’ve mixed in all of your “other stuff.”

Base Dough Ingredients

1 cup of butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt (use 1 teaspoon if you use unsalted butter)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cup flour

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter until fluffy.
2. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs & vanilla. Mix until well combined.
3. Add salt, baking soda & flour and mix.

Next, you can add your “extras.” I used the following:
1/4 cup Heath bits
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

After mixing the add-ins into the base dough the dough still wasn’t firm enough, so I added 1/4 cup of flour. If you add oatmeal, you may need to add less (or no) flour. The dough should be the consistency of your standard chocolate chip cookie dough.

cookies 2

Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Once baked, let sit for a couple minutes & then transfer to wire baking racks to cool. Makes about thirty 3″ cookies.

Other ideas for add-ins:

  • pretzel pieces
  • oatmeal
  • white chocolate chips
  • walnuts
  • almond slivers
  • M&Ms or Reeses bits

Enjoy!

Easy print version

Whatever-ya-have Cookies- Frugal Homemade
 
Homemade cookies using "whatever-ya-have" left over in your baking stash!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
Serves: 30 cookies
Ingredients
  • Base Dough Ingredients
  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt (use 1 teaspoon if you use unsalted butter)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ cup flour
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter until fluffy.
  3. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs & vanilla. Mix until well combined.
  4. Add salt, baking soda & flour and mix.
  5. **Next, you can add your "extras." I used the following: ¼ cup Heath bits, ½ cup shredded coconut, ⅓ cup chopped pecans and 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  6. After mixing the add-on ingredients into the base dough, the dough still wasn't firm enough so I added ¼ cup of flour. If you add oatmeal, you may need to add less (or no) flour. The dough should be the consistency of your standard chocolate chip cookie dough.
  7. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Once baked, let sit for a couple minutes & then transfer to wire baking racks to cool. Makes about thirty 3" cookies.

Sriracha Hummus Chicken Strips — Dairy free, gluten free

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sriracha-hummus-chicken-strips-header

Welcome back to Sunday Scratchups, your weekly recipe from scratch around grocery store matchups, coupons, and sales. Boneless skinless chicken breast has been on sale all over town over the last couple of weeks, and a new Zaycon chicken event just opened up here in Illinois. So, it’s a good week for chicken recipes. (Be sure also to check out the Spinach and Provolone Stuffed Chicken recipe in this week’s Frugal Homemade for another alternative.)

chicken-two-pounds

You’ll want about two pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast for this recipe — I pulled some Zaycon chicken out of the freezer that ended up being closer to 1.75 lbs, but it’s all good. (Seriously: SO good..!)

Sriracha Hummus Chicken Strips

sriracha-hummus-chicken-strips-ingredients

Ingredients

1.75-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup hummus (I used roasted garlic)
1.5 Tbsp Sriracha
1.5 cups crushed Rice Chex
Sea salt
Pepper
Olive oil

Directions

cut-chicken-into-strips

Cut your chicken breast into strips, trying to stay as even as possible. Salt and pepper the chicken strips.

breading-chicken

Drizzle the bottom of a metal roasting pan generously with olive oil. On a large dinner plate, mix together hummus and Sriracha. Pour your crushed Rice Chex onto a second large dinner plate. Dredge each chicken strip in the Sriracha hummus, then in the Rice Chex. (If you’re smarter than I am, move your plates to the other side of the chicken so you’re not reaching over raw chicken while you’re doing this — doh.) Arrange chicken strips in single layer in roasting pan.

cooked-sriracha-hummus-chicken-in-pan

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, flipping chicken halfway through.

Goopy, But So Good

sriracha-hummus-chicken-2

The breading is a little goopy, but that makes no nevermind to the utter juicy deliciousness of this dish! Since you’re not using a lot of Sriracha, it’s not overly spicy; it just has a little bit of a garlicky kick. This makes for a super easy weeknight dinner that is both gluten and dairy free — and Mr. 8 declared it the Best. Chicken. EVER.

juicy-chicken

The hummus and Sriracha infused the chicken with such a good flavor, and the vinegary Sriracha helped keep it juicy. This one is definitely going into our regular recipe rotation!

sriracha-hummus-chicken

I’m hungry again just looking at these photos…

Easy print version

Sriracha Hummus Chicken Strips -- Dairy free, gluten free
 
Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Ingredients
  • 1.75-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • ½ cup hummus (I used roasted garlic)
  • 1.5 Tbsp Sriracha
  • 1.5 cups crushed Rice Chex
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Cut your chicken breast into strips, trying to stay as even as possible.
  2. Salt and pepper the chicken strips.
  3. Drizzle the bottom of a metal roasting pan generously with olive oil.
  4. On a large dinner plate, mix together hummus and Sriracha.
  5. Pour your crushed Rice Chex onto a second large dinner plate.
  6. Dredge each chicken strip in the Sriracha hummus, then in the Rice Chex.
  7. Arrange chicken strips in single layer in roasting pan.
  8. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, flipping chicken halfway through.

Spinach and Provolone Stuffed Chicken — Frugal Homemade

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Stuffed Chicken 4

This week’s Frugal Homemade feature is sure to add some flavor to your standard chicken breast: Spinach & provolone stuffed chicken breasts that are quick & easy to put together! As a bonus, each stuffed breast is only around 170 calories, making this a pretty healthy low-cal & low-carb main dish.

Stuffed Chicken 1

Ingredients

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, approximately 4oz each
1 tsp olive oil
1T fresh lemon juice + the zest of one small lemon
Salt
Pepper
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tsp crushed garlic
4 slices of provolone cheese
1/4 C fresh spinach
Grape tomatoes (10 or so, plus a drizzle of olive oil & a little salt & pepper)

Pictured below: I only made three breasts because there are only three of us. Recipe, however, is adjusted for four.

Stuffed Chicken 5

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare marinade in a mixing bowl by combining olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and spices.
  3. Cut a slit lengthwise in each chicken breast (where the “stuffing” will go) and place breasts in bowl. Be sure to marinate inside of the slit, too!
  4. Marinate for about 10 minutes, then flip to marinate the other side for an additional 10 minutes.
  5. Cut the tomatoes in half & place in a small baking dish.
  6. Drizzle the tomatoes with a little olive oil & a dash of salt & pepper.
  7. Roast tomatoes in oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
  8. While tomatoes are roasting, saute the chicken breasts in the marinade on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, until they are slightly browned.
  9. Stuff each breast with one slice of provolone, 1/4 of the tomatoes, and 1/4 of the spinach. (If they won’t stay stuffed, use kitchen string to tie them together or use a couple of toothpicks to hold everything in place.)
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Easy print version

Spinach & Provolone Stuffed Chicken- Frugal Homemade
 
This week's Frugal Homemade feature is sure to add some flavor to your standard chicken breast- spinach & provolone stuffed chicken breasts that are quick & easy to put together! As a bonus, each stuffed breast is only around 170 calories, making this a pretty healthy & low-cal/no-carb main dish.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Chicken
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, approximately 4oz each
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1T fresh lemon juice + the zest of one small lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ½ tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 4 slices of provolone cheese
  • ¼ C fresh spinach
  • Grape tomatoes (10 or so, plus a drizzle of olive oil & a little salt & pepper)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare marinade in a mixing bowl by combining olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and spices.
  3. Cut a slit lengthwise in each chicken breast (where the "stuffing" will go) and place breasts in bowl. Be sure to marinate inside of the slit, too!
  4. Marinate for about 10 minutes, then flip to marinate the other side for an additional 10 minutes.
  5. Cut the tomatoes in half & place in a small baking dish.
  6. Drizzle the tomatoes with a little olive oil & a dash of salt & pepper.
  7. Roast tomatoes in oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
  8. While tomatoes are roasting, saute the chicken breasts in the marinade on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, until they are slightly browned.
  9. Stuff with one slice of provolone, ¼ of the tomatoes, & ¼ of the spinach. (If they won't stay stuffed, use kitchen string to tie them together or use a couple of toothpicks to hold everything in place.)
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.