Category: recipes

Simple & Healthy Pumpkin Spice Cranberry Cookies {Make Them with Your Kids!}

simple pumpkin spice cranberry cookies

With fall around the corner my thoughts turn to all things pumpkin. These healthy pumpkin spice cranberry cookies are perfect for snacks and quick breakfasts on the go. As part of our home preschool I have the Bear help me in the kitchen, and he is so proud whenever we make these cookies. Best of all, they are super easy to make and only contain healthy ingredients.


Super Easy & Delicious DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

simple diy pumpkin spice latte

Fall is so close I can almost taste it. Oh wait, that’s the delicious DIY pumpkin spice latte I whipped up this morning. I love a coffee shop treat as much as the next girl, but a daily splurge would wreck havoc on our budget. Instead of spending $5 a day on my favorite fall treat I’m making my own this year. There are quite a few of these recipes floating around Pinterest, and I’ve tried several but not found one I just loved until now. The main difference is that I don’t add any type of sweetener, because I don’t like super sweet coffee. I normally drink my coffee with just a touch of flavored creamer, so most pumpkin spice latte recipes are far too sweet for me. Mine keeps it simple and you can sweeten it up to your taste. Best of all, in under ten minutes you can make enough for a work week’s full of frugal  treats.


Game Day Parfaits with Fresh Fruit, Yogurt, and Jell-O for Your Tailgating Party #TeamJellO

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

1 #teamjello #shop #cbias game day parfaits

We are so ready for the start of football season around here. As a die hard Arkansas Razorback fan transplanted in Texas, I try to make sure my team spirit shines through on game day. When it comes to snacks for a tailgating party or watch party, I love to keep it simple so I get to enjoy the game with everyone else. Today I’ll show you how to create game day parfaits and a parfait station for your guests with fresh fruit, yogurt, and Jell-O Jigglers team spirit molds.

#teamjello #shop #cbias game day parfaits mini mason jars


A Fresh Seafood Meal Plan for Your Family Beach Vacation #BareFeetontheBeach


After 30+ years of beach trips, our family knows what we love and we stick to it. We try maybe one new recipe each trip, but we love to make our favorites year after year. I’ve put together our traditional beach meal plan for you to use to gather ideas for your own family beach vacation. One of the best ways to save money while traveling is to cook rather than dine out. This meal plan will help you save money without missing out on the fresh seafood flavors that make beach trips so amazing. Be sure to pin this post so you can find it later for your family beach vacation.


Meal Plan: Kid Friendly Meals with Tyson Panko Chicken Nuggets and Addictive Orange Dipping Sauce Recipe

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. The only way we can stick to our grocery and dining out budgets is by planning out our meals. We are always on the look out for quick, easy meals that the kids will actually eat, and we love to try to recreate our favorite restaurant meals at home. We all love the new Tyson Panko chicken nuggets from Sam’s, and they make a perfect kids’ dinner when paired with healthy fruits and vegetables. The Bear is big on dipping, so we experiment with new dipping sauces for our kid friendly meals. Jed whipped up this fabulous zesty addictive orange sauce to pair with our nuggets. It is quick and easy to make at home and tastes very similar to that of our favorite chicken restaurant. I will warn you – it really is crazy addictive.



Itty Bitty Bunny Cupcakes {Perfect for Easter}


I made these darling little bunny cupcakes for the Pearl Girl’s first birthday party, and thought they would be perfect for Easter. Her party had an Easter theme because, well, I’d already decorated for it and didn’t feel like taking the Easter stuff down to put birthday stuff up. You can find some of my other Easter posts here. I’ll share more about our little party soon, but had to show you these little cuties because they were so easy and I really loved how they turned out. I am obsessed with my mini muffin tin lately, so I used it to create 24 itty bitty bunny cupcakes – bite sized for adults and perfectly sized for toddlers.


FROZEN Play Time: Make Melted Olaf Dip and Build Elsa’s Ice Castles

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Is your family singing “Let It Go” nonstop these days? You’re not the only ones. I created a FROZEN play date for my kids and their cousins recently and it was a huge hit. The big kids were singing as they built Elsa’s Ice Castles and everyone got a kick out of my Melted Olaf Dip perfect for Eggo Frozen Waffles and fresh fruit. I picked up a few choice Walmart toys to share among the kids and set up snacking and building stations and we had a blast. Best of all, my recipes are healthy and activities are super easy to recreate. We are so pumped for the release of the FROZEN DVD on March 18th, and the discount price drop from $16.96 to $14.96 at Walmart. Grab a $5 off offer on special marked packages of Eggo Waffles and get an even better deal on the FROZEN DVD. Now for the #FROZENFun …


Meal Plan: Two Ingredient Two Step Tasty Tomato Basil Soup + A Bonus Week of Meal Ideas

This recipe is so simple and delicious.  My friends Cat and Becky made if for a women’s lunch a few years ago and it has been my favorite ever since.  It is my go-to for lunches during cold weather.  If you’ve ever had the Tomato Basil Soup from La Madeline, this tastes very similar. Ready to make it? You only need two ingredients and a blender.

Feed a Football Crowd without Missing Game Time + Make Football Ice Cream Brownie Cake & Cupcakes {Recipe & Tutorial}

It’s that magical time of year when big games are played and football party food fills your shopping list.  I’m sharing a few football party ideas to help you feed a crowd without spending a fortune or missing the game as well as a recipe for a delicious ice cream cake and cupcakes perfect for your big game celebration.  I picked up some delicious game time goodies from Walmart and prepped them ahead of time.  I also whipped up a few cute decorations in our team colors (spoiler alert: they didn’t win).

Pumpkin Spice Candy Bar Brownies with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing and the Perfect Halloween Party Punch for Your Spooky Celebration

For our Halloween festivities, as part of a sponsored campaign by Collective Bias, I created the most amazing Pumpkin Spice Candy Bar Brownies with decadent Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing and a simple and perfect party punch.  These recipes are so easy, but seriously delicious.  They are not exactly diet friendly, but this is time of year for treats so treat yourself.  Hopefully these will be new favorite additions to your Halloween Celebration menu. Pumpkin + M&Ms + Chocolate Brownies = Awesome.  
I love pretty much anything pumpkin spice flavored, and I tried a pumpkin ice cream cone dipped in chocolate the other day. This gave me the idea to experiment with pumpkin spice and pumpkin puree in my candy bar brownie recipe.  Our friend Mary introduced us to candy bar brownies at the beach years ago, and we’ve been addicted ever since.  I added the icing as a bonus, and the brownies are delicious with and without it.  If the dessert is too rich for you, leave it off or on the side. 
A perfect party punch is simple, colorful, and delicious.  This one fits that bill and will thrill audiences of all ages.  It can also be easily turned in to an adult beverage.  You can find coupons for some of the products used in these recipes here.   
Pumpkin Spice Candy Bar Brownies
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
4 eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 34.5 oz bag of Mixed Fun Size Mars Candy – M&M Plain and Peanut, Twix, and Snickers or Mixed Miniatures with Milky Way, Twix, 3 Muskateers, and Snickers

1) Preheat the oven to 350.
2) Grease a baking dish.  You can use an 8×8 for super thick brownies, or a 9×13 for less thick and more to share.  I prefer option two.
3)Beat the eggs in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer.
4) Add the sugar, butter, vanilla, salt, and pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin puree and mix well.
5) Add the flour and cocoa powder slowly, stopping to scrap the bowl often.
6) Pour half of the batter into your greased baking dish.
7) Lay your candy out across the batter.  For the larger pieces, I recommend breaking them up a bit.  Press them in to the batter just slightly.  
8) After you cover the whole pan with candy, pour the remainder of your batter over the top and smooth it down to cover your candy completely.  
9) Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Check it often.  I have an “That 70s” oven, so I’m always worried about my recommended baking times.  When your knife comes out clean you are good to go.  
10) Let cool for a few minutes and then feel free to sample a bit while it is hot and gooey.  Then cool completely before icing.  
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients:
8 oz cream cheese 
4 oz butter – softened
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup real pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
3 1/4 cups confectioners sugar – sifted

1) Cream the butter and cream cheese with a stand mixer (or hand mixer) until light and fluffy.
2) Add the pumpkin puree, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and salt, and continue to mix well.
3) Add the powdered sugar slowly, mixing well and scraping the sides of the bowl.  
4) Continue to mix until the icing is light and fluffy.  I’ll go ahead and quote the song: “Whip it. Whip it good.”
5) Once your brownies have cooled, spread the icing on top and enjoy.  If you have some left over, this icing is delightful as a dip for your graham crackers.   
For a kid friendly party, serve this dessert on festive paper or plastic plates with forks.  For adults, crystal or antique plates and an ornate cake plate set a haunting atmosphere.  Likewise, for a kid friendly party a carved out pumpkin or pitcher is perfect for serving party punch.  For the adults an antique crystal punch bowl adds a little extra Halloween flair.    
Perfect Party Punch Recipe:
1 2 liter bottle of 7 Up (or Diet 7 Up)
1 Gallon of Hawaiian Punch
1 1/2  Quarts of Rainbow Sherbet 
large punch bowl or pitcher
Perfect Party Punch Directions:
1) Pour your Hawaiian Punch into the punch bowl. 
2) Add scoops of the sherbet.  
3) Pour the 7 Up over the top to create the foamy green goodness that makes this punch a little spooky and seriously yummy.  

This recipe has a 1/1/1 ratio.  To create a smaller amount of punch, just cut the amount of each product in half or however much you need.  The punch may settle a bit if left alone too long, so give it a stir occasionally.

These brownies were a huge hit at our Halloween play date.  One of our four year old friends told his mom that this was the best dessert he’s ever had.  Out of the mouths of babes comes truth, people.  These sweet treats are seriously rich and delicious.  For other fabulous Halloween baking and party ideas, click here.  
What is your favorite pumpkin treat?