Tropical Pineapple Peach Slushie

These Tropical Slushies with pineapple and peaches will have you totally refreshed and in the summer mood in no time!

Spring is here!  We’ve been trying to get into the warm weather mood over here by creating delicious pineapple peach slushies!  We’re big smoothie fans so a slushie adds a bit of “specialness” to the same old!

You’ll want to look no further than this if you’re looking for a refreshing cold drink. These Tropical Slushies with pineapple and peaches will have you totally refreshed and in the summer mood in no time. They’re super simple and use just three ingredients to create a perfect blend.

Tropical Pineapple Peach Slushie

Tropical Pineapple Peach Slushie
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup diced Peaches, frozen
  • 1½ cup diced Pineapple, frozen
  • 1 cup Pineapple Juice
  • Maraschino Cherries for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Put pineapple, peaches and pineapple juice in the blender and run until smooth.
  2. Pour into glasses and garnish with cherries.

Let me know what you think!  I’ve got a couple more healthy treats coming up in the next little bit that you may want to look out for. :)

These Tropical Slushies with pineapple and peaches will have you totally refreshed and in the summer mood in no time!

Valentine Gum Drops

Valentine Gum Drops

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching!  That means it’s time to show some love and appreciation to our valentines.  Sweet treats are a great way to show some appreciation, but I happen to think homemade treats are extra special! Today I want to show you how fun and easy these gum drops are to make. Get the kids involved with cutting out the shapes too. This set of heart shaped cookie cutters has a variety of sizes to choose from, but any small shaped cookie cutter will work!

Valentine Gum Drops

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened Applesauce
  • 2 1/4 cups Sugar
  • 2 boxes (3 oz) Strawberry Jello
  • 2 envelopes Unflavored Gelatin {like Knox}

gum drop collage

Directions

  1. Spray 9×13 baking pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan on the stove.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  4. Boil for one minute.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and refrigerate until set.
  6. Dust a cutting board with sugar.
  7. Use a spatula to loosen sides and turn out onto cutting board.
  8. Dust the top of the Jello with sugar.
  9. Use heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out gum drops.
  10. Roll edges in extra sugar and set onto wax paper for 1 hour to dry out slightly.
  11. Store in an airtight container.

Homemade Valentine gum drops your Valentine is sure to love!

Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette

Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette

I recently made this salad dressing for an event we had to attend and it was amazing!  It went over really well with everyone!  This is a perfect recipe for winter since pomegranates are currently in season.

Here are a few quick facts about pomegranates:

  • Pomegranates are one of the healthier foods you can eat.
  • High in antioxidants, potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.
  • Pomegranates pack a nutritional punch that most foods can’t come close to!

This is the technique I use for removing pomegranate seeds (arils).  Works really well.

I sure hope you enjoy this Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette as much as we do!

Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette

Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Pomegranate Juice
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • pinch Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • ⅓ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp Dijon Mustard
Instructions
  1. Bring pomegranate juice to a boil over medium.
  2. Boil 15 minutes until reduced to about ⅓ cup.
  3. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Whisk in remaining ingredients and set aside to cool.
  5. Once cool, pour over a salad with lettuce, pomegranate seeds, feta, bacon, tomatoes and what ever else strikes your fancy!

 

More Last-Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

Karen from Abundance on a Dime has two great recipes for last minute gifts!  Cracker Toffee (pictured above) and Chocolate Barks!  Yum!

Have you got an expectant mom on your list?  How about a recipe for Belly Butter from Keeper of the Home?

Cookie Dough Truffles…yes please!  Don’t they look delicious?

Here’s a great idea for a kid’s gift!  Gingerbread playdough from Creative Juices!

These snack bags from Angry Chicken would be a breeze to sew!  Maybe you could fill them with some treats?

This is so pretty!  For the tea cup and candle lover on your list!

This just looks divine!  Tidy Mom has a recipe for Cinnamon Honey Butter!

Last-Minute Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

There always seems to be the need for a last-minute gift around Christmas time. From that impromtu Saturday night dinner to the appy party on Sunday, there’s always a host to give a cute gift to! Check out these easy and inspiring last minute homemade Christmas gift ideas:

Here’s a great recipe for Vanilla Sugar!  (And some other cute ideas)

Kelleigh Ratzlaff shows us how to make a wonderful Sugar Scrub!  She even has instructions on how to make the neat box pictured in the above photo.

I think that this S’mores Kit is just the neatest idea!

Sunset magazine has four different recipes for homemade hot chocolate in a jar!  Great idea!

I know some girlfriends that would love some homemade body oil and body dusting powder!

These crock-pot Sugared Cinnamon Almonds would look great in a glass canning jar!

I’m liking this gift idea for Year Round Yum!  Each time the recipient empties the contents, they’re entitled to a refill!

Now I think this is a genius idea for disguising a gift card you’re giving!

Have you got any great last-minute gift ideas you could share?  Send your idea or post to me here!

Rudolph Peanut Butter Cookies

rudolph peanut butter cookies

We love peanut butter cookies in this house.  Any time of the year actually!  Since it’s Christmas time and all, I thought I’d jazz up some ordinary cookies and turn them into Rudolph cookies!  Cute right?  They taste especially delicious too.  In fact, I think Santa would love to find some of these Rudolph peanut butter cookies on his travels!  Be sure to leave a plate full :)

Rudolph Peanut Butter Cookies

Rudolph Peanut Butter Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Peanut Butter
  • ½ cup Butter
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Egg
  • 1⅓ cup Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 48 Red M&M's
  • 96 mini Chocolate Chips
  • Mini Twist Pretzels
Instructions
  1. Break pretzels into pieces to use as antlers.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Cream together peanut butter, butter, sugar and brown sugar until smooth.
  4. Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  5. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
  6. Slowly add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, beating until incorporated.
  7. Roll into ½-3/4" balls and place on cookie sheet several inches apart.
  8. Sprinkle with sugar and gently make an indentation slightly off the center of each cookie.
  9. Bake 12-14 minutes.
  10. Place an M&M in the indentation of each cookie.
  11. Insert 2 mini chocolate chips (pointy side down) above the M&M to be the eyes.
  12. Insert 2 pretzel pieces to be the antlers. (If the antlers won't stick, place some chocolate chips in a sandwich bag and microwave 30 seconds and knead until soft. Clip the very tip of the corner and pipe onto cookie to act as glue.)

I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as we do!

Easy Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

Now here’s a Christmas fudge recipe that will be great for gift giving!  I think it would pair nicely with this Homemade Peppermint Bark!

I’m afraid I’m getting a reputation for only making easy things, but really, if you have to add extra things to your already full calendar, why spend a lot of time creating?  It’s the thought that counts, right?  Anyways, this recipe is so easy, it only calls for four ingredients. That, my friends, is how you impress on a budget and use minimal effort and time. :)

Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

Chocolate Peppermint Fudge
 
Ingredients
  • 2 packages of 12 oz. Wilton dark chocolate candy melts
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 ½ Cans of sweetened condensed milk (14 oz cans)
  • 6 candy canes, crushed
Instructions
  1. Spray an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Pour the candy melts and the sweetened condensed milk into a large microwave safe dish. Add in the 1 tsp of peppermint extract.
  3. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute and stir. Heat for another minute and stir again, heat again in 20 second increments stirring if not completely melted.
  4. Immediately pour the melted mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle with the crushed candy canes (see photo).
  5. Allow the chocolate to cool at room temperature. Once it is cool, place the baking dish in the fridge (covered) to allow the fudge to completely set.
  6. Cut into 12 large squares or 24 mini squares.

Chocolate Peppermint Fudge 2

I sure hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

Apple Pie in Jars

The idea of having the perfect personal portion of apple pie to pop into the oven is so awesome to me!  I give you...Mini apple pie in jars!

I happen to think that everything made in mini size is really just the best. If you spend any time on Pinterest, I’m sure you’ve read about or heard mention of things baked or served in mason jars. I’ve seen everything from pies, cheesecakes and even quick breads made in mason jars.  The idea of having the perfect personal portion to pop into the oven is so awesome to me! That’s why I decided I needed to give this concept a try.  I give you…Mini apple pie in jars:

Mini Apple Pie in Jars:

  • 6 medium apples, peeled and sliced; I ended up cubing my a bit to make them fit better in my jars.
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 8oz. wide mouth mason jars

Pie Crust Ingredients – You will want to make (2) batches of the crust if making 8 mini pies. You will have some crust left over but it’s better to have more crust than not enough.

  •  1 ½ Cups flour
  • ¼ Cup milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ Cup vegetable oil

Mix all pie crust ingredients and roll out using flour and a rolling pin. You will want to cut the pieces to fit the jars. I actually used the lid ring to cut mine and then pieced them together in the jar. Easy.

ApplePieJar1

Combine the dry ingredients: brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Add in the apples and stir to coat them well.

Scoop the apple mixture into each pie jar.

ApplePieJar2

Next, cut a few more pieces of pie crust using the lid ring again. Use a sharp paring knife to cut the piece into strips for your lattice top on the pies.

Cris-Cross the crust pieces and gently press down on the edges of the jar.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

In no time at all, you’ll have a bunch of little pies ready to go into the oven for yourself or for hostess gifts even.  These little pies can also be place in the freezer unbaked!  All you have to do is create these pies in the jars then screw the lids on and then pop them into the freezer. Next time your sweet tooth strikes, simply take a pie out of the freezer and bake. These would also make a great quick dessert idea to have in your freezer for unexpected dinner guests!

Apple Pie in Jars 2

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

slow cooker spaghetti sauce

Nothing beats a good plate of spaghetti and meat sauce.  It’s a comfort food at it’s finest!  Making a big pot of spaghetti sauce is also a great way to feed a crowd.  Delicious and frugal! While this recipe for slow cooker spaghetti sauce calls for peppers, you could throw in any veggies that you’d like to use up.  Such as a lone carrot or mushrooms.  It’s really flexible.

This homemade spaghetti sauce recipe could be made in a big pot, but I prefer the set it and forget it feature of the slow cooker. :) But, you’ll still want to cook up the garlic, onions, beef and sausage before you throw it into the slow cooker. I use this Cuisinart programmable slow cooker, but any slow cooker will do.

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 lb Italian Sausage
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 cup minced Onion
  • 1 tbsp minced Garlic
  • Red and Yellow Peppers (stems and seeds removed)
  • 1 Carrot (optional)
  • Mushrooms (optional)
  • 45 oz Diced Tomatoes, drained
  • 24 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 2 tsp Basil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium.
  2. Crumble and brown ground beef and sausage, along with onion and garlic.
  3. Drain excess fat.
  4. Place meat mixture into slow cooker.
  5. Add remaining ingredients.
  6. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

This recipe could possibly make enough for leftovers that you can freeze!  I love grabbing a “pre-made” meal out of the freezer on busy days.  Simply reheat on the stove.

DIY: Lemon Ginger Cold Remedy

Unfortunately, as the weather gets cooler, cold &  flu season also approaches :( But, I’m going to try to be prepared by keeping this recipe on file!

Visit Nifty Thrifty Things for her recipe for a Lemon Ginger Cold Remedy!

Thanks, Mom :)