Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Upside Down Cupcakes!


Upside down Cupcakes
I have an awesome recipe for cupcakes that I love to make, for two reasons. One they don’t require frosting and two my family will loves them so they will eat them.
The no frosting is awesome because less sugar is better for me and my family. My four year old unlike my other children gets a VERY NOTICABLE sugar high that in turn makes my stress level rise and causes some weird reaction where I pull out my hair! (Not really but it does drive me crazy!) I watch what goes into this kid’s mouth because I can seriously see a difference, and this has made me aware of what our whole entire family has been eating. I want to slowly change the way we eat to something much, much better.
So that being said, here is the recipe for my upside down cupcakes, and you will love the fresh ingredients it uses. I am going to try and tweak it even more to get rid of a few other “bad” ingredients. I will be sure to let you know. Meanwhile this is a great tasty recipe that everybody will love. The no frosting will not only save you from the sugar and the dyes if you buy your frosting but it will also save you time too!

Upside down Cupcakes



Glaze at the bottom:
Combine ¼ cup orange juice (I squeezed one orange), two teaspoons of grated orange peel, 1/8 cup sugar, and ¼ cup butter melt in pan or microwave safe dish. Mix.


Double line cupcake/muffin pans with cupcake liners. I used one paper one foil. This recipe makes about 24 cupcakes. Scoop about 1-2 teaspoons of Orange glaze to the bottom of your cupcake liners, and then place about 6-7 blueberries on top of the glaze. The blueberries can be fresh or frozen.


Aunt May’s White Cake Mix:
½ cup Crisco
1 cup milk
1 ½ cups sugar
2 ½ cups flour (I used unbleached)
¼ tsp. salt
3 tsp. rounded baking powder
5 egg whites stiffly beaten

Melt ½ cup Crisco in a pan over low heat with 1 cup of milk. Melt it slow so it does not scald.
Combine 1 ½ cups sugar, 2 ½ cups flour, ¼ tsp. salt, 3 rounded tsp. of baking powder.
In a small bowl stiffly beat 5 egg whites and then combine with dry ingredients.
Add melted Crisco, and mix well.
Add to cupcake liners, fill to almost the top, because will settle some. Bake 350 for about 25 min or until toothpick comes out clean and golden brown in color.
Cool on a rack for about 5 min then flip over and cool upside down.

(If you are just making a white cake Aunt May’s recipe calls for 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 tsp. lemon that I omitted for the cupcakes.)
My family likes to eat these upside down, oh just in case that means you eat the cupcake upside down, and not eat the cupcake while standing on your head!

I made a double batch of these for my son's Valentines Party at Preschool and sent 1/2 of them to school. My Dad, two neighbors came over and had one, and I have only 1 left!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Free Museum Admission Today March 12 from Smithsonian Magazine

The Museum Day Live! ticket provides free admission for two.  I enjoy taking my son to museums with this free event every year.  We sometimes get to explore museums that I typically would not attend and / or afford.   
When we visited Washington DC it was a nice surprise to find that the well known Smithsonian Museums, offer free admission every day.  In that same spirit Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket… for free.
This is a great way to fit in a FREE Homeschool field trip, or maybe cut your costs in half.   
To find a participating museum click here.
You must find a museum, and print out your ticket before you can attend.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Free Museum Admission on March 12 with Smithsonian Museum Day Live!

The Museum Day Live! ticket provides free admission for two.  I enjoy taking my son to museums with this free event every year.  We sometimes get to explore museums that I typically would not attend and / or afford.   
When we visited Washington DC it was a nice surprise to find that the well known Smithsonian Museums, offer free admission every day.  In that same spirit Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket… for free.
This is a great way to fit in a FREE Homeschool field trip, or maybe cut your costs in half.   
To find a participating museum click here.
You must find a museum, and print out your ticket before you can attend.  

Thursday, February 25, 2016

#IceCastles! Freezing Good Fun!

We had a great time at Ice Castles in Lincoln NH.  Have you ever been to one?  They have them in several locations in the US and even in EDMONTON, AB!  

We went to the one in Lincoln, NH

It was an acre-sized, all-ice castle with amazing ice features including archways, tunnels, slot canyons, ice slide, caverns, glacial waterfalls and a frozen throne.   My son LOVED the tunnels and so did most of the other kids that were there.  My son made a couple instant friends and they started playing in the tunnels playing tag and hide-and-seek.  We had to pry them away from each other when it was time to go.  

I wanted to go last year but didn't for whatever reason seems lame now, because I am SO glad we went!  I had never been to something like that and it was amazing!  




They lite everything all up with beautiful color changing lights that makes all of the ice formations breathtaking and spectacular to see.    When you first walk in through the first "Ice Cave" you are saying "Whoa!  Look at that!"   I heard another family  say that it was different than it was last year so I am hoping that next year when we go I will see new wonders!  


Your kids and all ages will enjoy squeezing, squishing, sliding, stomping and crawling through parts of the stunning Narnia Like Display. You instantly feel like you are in a fairy tale.
Can you tell he likes camo?  :)


Make the trip to either the one in Lincoln NH that we went to or the others in UT, MN, EDMONTON, AB and see the natural frozen ice tones during the day; colorful LED-lit ice set to music at night. Over an acre of frozen ice walls, tunnels, towers, archways and more!   






Hurry for this year and get 15 % off your ticket with this coupon!  

Wear warm clothes!  They have hot cocoa!  



This post may contain affiliate links,  I was provided tickets to experience and give an honest review.  :) 

How I Save on Groceries Without Coupons!

Using coupons, shopping when things are on sale or in season, buying in bulk, making your own, and sticking to your list are all great ways to save on your grocery bill.   I have to admit though one of the best ways to save on your grocery bill is to serve meals that are frugal.  Meals that cost less to make is a no brainier right?  But I can get caught up in what tastes good, what's good for us, or my idea that we have to have all the food groups in one meal.

I have to remind myself we don't need steak, potatoes, salad, veggies and a roll or something like it every time I serve a meal.  If I serve all of those items my husband will skip the salad anyway and go back for seconds on the steak and the rolls!  

Finding a list of good frugal meals that are your go to meals is key to saving on your grocery bill.  I say finding because if you typically don't serve a one dish meal, or soup for dinner your family may balk at the idea.  Sadly just because it is cheap does not mean they are going to like it, and eat it.  If they don't eat it you might have started with a frugal meal but you just wasted it when no one ate it.

So that being said you know what your family likes and what they are used to. If they are used to the whole full 7 course meal you might have to slowly work your way to some of these ideas.  Try making them with a side dish that you know they love or adding garlic bread or their favorite roll.  If they will eat what you serve them JUMP IN!  Start saving today!  

Soups On!  

Soup typically is a frugal meal depending on what you put in the soup pot.  Some of my family love soup, some don't.  Right now my oldest son moved out into his own place and so we have more soup than we used to.  My oldest really didn't care for soup.  He wouldn't complain, but he would put about a pound of crackers in it before he ever ate it.  That's not good!   If I put beans in the soup....forget about it!

Below are two of my family's favorite soup meals.   I really like the frugal factor.  I need to mention two things about the Roasted Garlic Soup.  One, it will cure any cold or sniffle in one day and two don't be afraid of the amount of garlic in the recipe.  It is roasted so it gives it a smooth mellow flavor that you will love.


1800's Onion Soup

Ingredients

5 medium purple onions (or any onion) sliced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
8 cups beef broth
salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation

In a large pan
saute onions and olive oil over med heat stirring occasionally for about 10 min or until translucent and starting to golden.  stir in butter and once melted add flour and then add in beef broth.  Simmer on medium heat for 20 min.  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

I like to use Better than Bouillon for my beef broth.  I love the flavor and it is pretty frugal.  I cook my onions in a cast iron pan and then transfer the onions into my soup pot when I add the broth.  This is good over a roll, or toasted bread.  I like to by the bread rolls on the clearance rack and this is perfect for that.


Roasted Garlic Soup

Ingredients

25 cloves Fresh garlic, peeled
4 tablespoons Olive oil
2 medium Finely chopped onions
8 cups Chicken broth
1 tablespoon Flour
1 pinch Salt
1 pinch Pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Thyme
1/2 cup Sour cream

recipe makes 6 Servings

Preparation

Heat oven to 350. Place garlic in baking dish drizzle with a Tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper toss to cover. Roast 30 min and then cool. In deep skillet add rest of Olive oil and onions cook on med heat till translucent. (About 6 min) Add thyme salt and pepper cook 2-3 min. Add broth whisk in flour simmer about 20 min. Cut off ends of garlic cloves add to broth. Puree in blender in batches. Whisk in sour cream heat throughout and serve.
You can see by the picture below that I didn't use 25 cloves last time I made this soup.  Those cloves were HUGE!  They were the size of my thumb, so I didn't feel the need to use as many.   Please be very careful when you Puree in the blender because the soup is hot!  If you hit the pulse button you may blow the lid off your blender.  If you use a blender or a food processor make sure the lid is on tight and go slow to avoid burns.    I have made this a few times and forgot to put the sour cream at the end and no one noticed so you could even skip that ingredient for an even more frugal meal.


If you make your own chicken broth like I do out of my left over roasted chicken, it makes it all the better frugal wise, tasty wise and heath wise in my opinion



Saturday, February 6, 2016

Family Fun at Amazing Ice Castles! UT,NH,MN,and AB!



This looks amazing!  Wouldn't your family love to check this out?  Mine does and you can!  In NEW HAMPSHIRE it is an Acre-sized, all-ice castle in Lincoln, NH. One of four Ice Castles in America.


I have always wanted to go and visit and this year with such savings now is the time!  

My family will have an amazing adventure squeezing, squishing, sliding, stomping and crawling through parts of the stunning Narnia Like Display!  

They have Natural frozen ice tones during the day; colorful LED-lit ice set to music at night. Over an acre of frozen ice walls, tunnels, towers, archways and more!   You should bring your family out and make some Frozen Memories!   

Dress your little girls up in their favorite Frozen costume and they are the next princess!   


Or maybe Superman...


Look at the Amazing ice features including archways, tunnels, slot canyons, ice slide, caverns, glacial waterfalls and a frozen throne. 


-
My readers get to save off admission! Fun and Unique experience with your family at Amazing Ice Castles! UT,NH,MN,and AB! Use Code USFamily and Save 15% off admission on IceCastles.com 

You can find NH Ice Castle at  64 Railroad St Lincoln, NH 03521
and their hours are:
M - Th: 3pm to 9pm
Friday: 3pm to 10pm
Sat: Noon to 10pm
Sunday: 3pm to 9pm
Tuesday: Closed

If NH is not your neck of the woods you can check out the Ice Castles in EDMONTON, AB, UTAH, or MINNESOTA!



This most contains affiliate links

Save $50-$100 a month on Groceries No Coupons!

I have been using Swagbucks for a few years but not regular.  I wish I had started using them every morning years ago and I would have been saving all this time!  

Every morning I sign on to Swagbucks on my phone app and watch couple videos while my coffee is brewing or I am washing up and I earn 2 bucks.

Then I do the daily crave, and a daily poll and get a couple more swag bucks, then I do one or two surveys at some point during the day and I typically earn about 100-300 bucks each day with those.  The surveys are typically 10-20 mins long and I do them on my down time.  I know as a mom when do I have down time?  Well when I typically would be wasting time on Facebook or when I am waiting for dinner to bake, or when I am waiting for my son to finish his school worksheet.

My step-daughter is away in college and we have been sending her care packages of food and things...when I do that I shop though Swagbucks   and I earn 7 bucks per dollar.  Or I typically spend $50 or more a month on things I need or think I need at Walmart and now I shop through Swagbucks  and have my sugar, baggies, or whatever delivered to my house.  I like this I save even more money by only ordering what is on my list.  If I actually walk into Walmart I will come out with a few extra impulse buys and I blow my budget.  This way I earn and spend at the same time.  

Add caption
Amazon has Prime pantry and I get a whole box of stuff shipped to me for $5.99 or I use the Prime membership I have and get free two day shipping on Prime items.

Walmart gives free shipping on orders over $50 or free in-store pick up...win-win.

Sign up for Swagbucks today, get Swagbucks while you search or shop online!

I just earned 2200 Swagbucks and cashed them  in for a $25 Amazon card.  I will use that card and shop online through Swagbucks and earn more Swagbucks for my next card!

You can even listen to the radio all day and get $5 bucks every 35 min!   They have tons of other stores too if you like Target or are smart enough to buy a gift card to eat out on and then earn while you are eating!   Endless possibilities!