Almost Homemade Sausage Cheese Biscuits

My boyfriend likes to eat these sausge rolls from a local bakery and/or sausage cheese biscuits from McDonald’s. Only problem is they cost a lot of money in the long run so I thought of a way to make portable breakfast pockets at home!

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Filling Ingredients (biscuits not pictured)

1 roll 10ct biscuits (I used Best Choice Texas Style)

cooked, crumbled up sausage

shredded cheese

scrambled eggs (optional)

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and press the biscuits down flat.

Pressed dough

Pressed dough

The I topped half of the dough with a mixture of sausage, cheese, and/or eggs.

Filled dough

Filled dough

Once you’ve filled them enough top with the other dough circles and seal them up.

Rolled edges

Rolled edges

First I rolled the edges of the bottom dough up and over onto the top layer.

Crimped edges

Crimped edges

Use fork to crimp all around the rolled edges making sure they are sealed up tight. Pierce the tops of the rolls (to vent steam if needed) and then spread with butter and top with salt.

Brushed with butter and a sprinkle of salt.

Brushed with butter and a sprinkle of salt.

Poke holes

Poke holes

I then baked them according to the biscuit package.

Almost Homemade Sausage Biscuits

Finished and ready to eat!

 

Alterations/Tips

#1 I made these a few weeks back and when they came out the biscuits puffed up quite a bit more then I expected since I had pressed them flat.

Yummy!

Yummy!

Since they puffed up then the ratio of bread to filling was off and there was barely any filling. So next time I make these I will use a rolling pin and roll the dough out until it’s 1/8 inch thick, or as thin as I can get them without breaking the dough.

#2 I also plan on using cooked sausage patties instead of crumbled sausage since it will fill it up easier. My boyfriend likes those pre-made banquet sausage patties so I will use those.

#3 You can use any filling you want like ham, eggs, cheese, hash browns, bacon…the possibilities are endless!

My boyfriend said these were good and I plan on making them for his breakfast so he can eat on the go and save us money in the long run!

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Homemade Chocolate Frosting

One day I was baking a cake when I realized that I had no store bought frosting on hand! So after a quick scan in my cupboards I found powdered sugar and cocoa powder that I had bought for holiday baking. So  a quick search and I found a simple recipe for chocolate frosting!

Ingredients:

3 cups powdered sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 stick unsalted butter

1/4 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

The inspiration: http://www.simplyscratch.com/2010/07/homemade-chocolate-frosting.html

Cocoa powder and powdered sugar blended together.

Cocoa powder and powdered sugar blended together.

Sift sugar and cocoa powder together in a bowl then in another bowl cream together the butter and vanilla. Add a cup of the cocoa sugar mix to the butter then add a bit of milk then more of the sugar coca mix. Keep mixing the sugar cocoa and milk until you get the desired consistency.

Finished frosting!

Finished frosting!

Then you use the frosting!! I spread mine over a sheet cake and it was delicious!!

cake ready to eat!

cake ready to eat!

Tips from me:

#1 I didn’t have a sifter to mix the sugar and cocoa powder so I added each to my food processor and pulsed it for a bit until it was blended!

#2 For thicker frosting use less milk and for thinner frosting, like a glaze, use more milk.

#3 Before you go and buy anything at the store look in your pantry! I am big on reusing items and I used up the rest of the cocoa powder and powdered sugar that I had purchased for Christmas cookies!

I liked how easy and delicious this frosting is! I have been using it ever since for all my cakes, brownies, and cupcakes! At first my daughter wasn’t sure if she wanted to try it. I realized then just how little I made basic items like frosting if her only exposure in 13 years is store bought! I informed her that before once upon a time people had to make their own cakes and frosting at home before mixes and store bought frosting was available. She then tried a slice of cake and declared it was the best frosting she’d ever had! Now I make it a point to make a lot of stuff without mixes so she can taste real home cooking!

 

Happy Pinning!!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Two things I have mentioned a once or twice or twenty is that I like to save money and reuse items I have on hand. After Christmas I got some cheap premade Pillsbury peanut butter cookie dough for less then $1 a roll. After Easter I snagged mini Reese’s peanut butter cups on clearance for $0.98 a bag then I used $1/2 coupons on top of that to pay $0.96 for 2 bags ($0.48 each)! On the package of cookie dough it give a recipe for peanut butter blossoms that uses Hershey Kisses. Well I thought why not use the peanut butter cups I got instead?

Ingredients

1 roll Premade or Homemade Peanut Butter cookie dough

1 Bag of peanut butter cups

2 tbsp sugar

peanut butter cups

peanut butter cups

cookie dough

cookie dough

Roll cookie dough by the tablespoon into balls then roll those is sugar.

dough rolled in sugar

dough rolled in sugar

Cook for 9 minutes at 350 or whatever your dough suggests then once done remove from cookie sheet and place on flat surface or cooling rack. I lay my fresh baked cookies on the counter that is covered in paper towels. Then press a piece of candy in the center of the cookie before it cools down.

finished and ready to eat!

finished and ready to eat!

 

Tips By Me:

#1: I have made these with Hershey’s Kisses before and the candy gets soft quickly but as the cookies cool the candy hardens back up slightly. With the peanut butter cups however they melted significantly, mine were even frozen, before they cooled. So I would suggest freezing the candy because room temperature candy may melt completely before they can cool to harden.

 

Happy Pinning!

Pie Crust

Most people think making a homemade pie crust it so difficult or time consuming so they would rather buy  pre-made ones. I about fell over when I saw how much refrigerated pre-made pie crust cost! It was about $5 for 2 crusts! Buying those graham cracker and/or Oreo ones cost about $4 for 1! Pie crust is not that hard to make nor does it take a long time and it costs less the $1 if you use items you have at home.

Ingredients for Single Crust: 

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 stick Crisco baking stick shortening OR 1/2 cup Crisco shortening…make sure it is cold. Chill it in the fridge for a bit before using it!

3-6 tablespoons cold water

Blend flour and salt together and set aside. If using Crisco baking sticks cut them into small cubes before using. Cut the shortening into the flour using a pastry blender, If you don’t have a pastry blender (I don’t) use a butter knife, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs about pea size.

Cut shortening into flower

Cut shortening into flower

Crust ready for water. See the pea sized lumps of shortening?

Crust ready for water. See the pea sized lumps of shortening?

Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of water onto the flour and shortening mixture then use a fork to mix the water into the flour. Add another tablespoon of water until dough is moist enough to hold together when pressed together. Shape dough into a ball then roll out onto a floured surface until it is the desired thinness. Then fold the dough in half then pick it up and distribute it into the pie pan, make sure not to stretch the dough when unfolding it. Let it rest loosely in the pan.

Formed and ready to roll

Formed and ready to roll

Seeing if the crust is big enough for the pie pan.

Seeing if the crust is big enough for the pie pan.

Ready to fill!

Ready to fill!

Once the crust is in the pan take a fork and gently press against the dough hanging over the edge of the pan to remove the excess. Then you are ready to fill and bake it!

Tips:

#1 For ease in rolling, wrap dough in plastic wrap the chill for 30 minutes but no more then 2 days.

#2 Instead of rolling it out on a floured surface you can place the dough between two sheets of wax paper then roll the pin on top of the wax paper.

 

This the recipe I use every year to make delicious homemade pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Happy Pinning!

10 Tips to Spend Less on Food

I know it has been awhile since I have posted on my blog but life has just been so busy! My boyfriend is moving in with me so we’ve bene working on that then he dislocated his shoulder which has left us in a bind. So we’ve been focusing on the move and almost nothing else! After looking on pinterest I found a post about top 10 tips on how to save on food. Being a frugal person I love this pin and I do several important things on it to keep my own costs down.

The Pin:

Food saving tips

Food saving tips

Tip #2: I always use brown bananas to make banana bread! I don’t know anyone who doesn’t but I never thought about freezing them! A local store always has cheap, brown bananas for super cheap so I may try this once.

Tip #3: I rarely have leftovers because I usually cook just enough for my family because a lot of us don’t like to eat them. If there are leftovers I will take some for lunch the next day but things that won’t taste good reheated I will put out for the strays.

Tip #5: Every Wednesday I get the food ads in the mail so I will look at whats on sale and plan my meals around that. If chicken is on sale for a cheap price, $1.99/lb or less I will buy enough for 2 weeks worth of meals. I also combine this tip with #4 and use items on sale this week with items I got for cheap last week. It works well and saves me a lot of money every week/month/year. I also combine these sales with tip #10 and get things on sale then use coupons on them to pay a lot less. This week target has Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup for $0.69 and I have a coupon for $0.40/4 and 5% off so for 4 cans I will pay $2.22 (about $0.50 each).

Tip #6: This tip also gets combined with #5 in those weekly ads you will see cheap produce on sale and the cheaper items are the ones in season. Also in the fall I will go to local markets like an Amish store or the local farmer’s market for cheaper, local fresh produce.

Tip #7: I don’t think I have ever done a meatless meal….I love my chicken, pork and fish lol!!

Tip #8: This is a good tip but I don’t make a list I have a rotation system in my freezer. I have my packages of chicken on one shelf and when I get more I pull the older ones to the front and put the newer ones behind them. So when I grab a package in the front I know it’s the older ones. I also will date the packages, sometimes with a date, but at times I get to lazy for this lol!

Tip #9 and #10: I will buy generic foods but often times I find I can get name brands for cheaper with coupons and sales. I haven’t had a good trash bag deal so I got the Target brand and used a 5% off to get some cheap bags. As for coupons….I could write a whole post on this!! Now I am not extreme…most legit coupon users find this to be an insult…I am a logical coupon user. I make sure to use them on the right things and never try to cheat the system! Target is the best place to shop since they have their own coupons on their site, you can use Sunday paper coupons, get their debit card to get 5% off, use their mobile q’s, and their new Cartwheel which gives you % off items. So I can clean up there lol!! I often save thousands of dollars by using coupons matched with sales and gift card deals!!

I love this list of tips since it can save you lots of cash! I am a big fan of saving money, using coupons, and by reusing items you have at home! I never realized how much I do this until I cleaned out my boyfriend’s deep freeze, freezer, fridge and pantry durin the moving process! He had so much expired foods in vast quantities…it looked like he forgot he had certain things in back so he bought more. The deep freezer was the worst he would just pile fresher foods on top of the old foods (he has a chest freezer mine is an upright) and by the time I got to the bottom of it he had food from 2007!!! Thankfully we agreed that I would do all the shopping for us lol!! Hope you  like the tips!!

Happy Pinning!

Crock Pot Round Steak and Gravy

I am sure I have said this before but I LOVE my crock pot. I just love putting ingredients in, turning it on, and leaving for work so when I get home dinner is ready to be served! So I am always looking for new recipes to use so I can expand my crock pot horizons! I bought some eye of round steaks at a local store sale ($1.90 for 2 steaks! Amazing!!) and wanted to do more then just pan frying them up. So off to Pinterest search I went and I came up with this:

The Pin:

http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/main-course/beef/crock-pot-round-steak-gravy.html#.UE3G0Kia0FA.pinterest

Ingredients:

Round steak (or eye of round like I used)

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 packet Lipton onion soup mix

1/4 cup water

All you do it place the steak in the crock pot and add the soup, water, and onion soup mix on top of it and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Ready to cook!

Ready to cook!

After this is done cooking you can put these steaks on top of pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes….or you can eat them as is! I cooked tri-color rotini pasta and placed a steak on top of the noodles and poured some of the gravy on top. Yummy!

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

Tips from me:

#1 Before I added the onion soup mix I blended it with the water before pouring it over the steaks and mushroom soup.

#2 Right when they were done cooking, while I was baking the biscuits for dinner, I sliced up some mushrooms and onions (I left them in rings). I heated up a frying pan and added a small bit of butter and when ready I added the onions and let them slowly caramelize. When the onions were half cooked I added a little more butter and added the mushrooms and cooked until done! When I plated dinner I put the rotini on bottom, added the steak, poured a bit of gravy on top, and then top it all with a healthy dollop of the onions and mushrooms.

Onions and mushrooms added.

Onions and mushrooms added.

It turned out beautifully and tasted so yummy! Even my picky daughter said she loved them! She never liked mushrooms before so while cooking I had her help me caramelize the onions and mushrooms so when plating the food she said she wanted some. She has never cleaned her plate up so fast! She said she wants it more often so after I post this I am off to the store to get some more! I loved how quick and easy this dinner was (sometimes crock pot meals require more work once the entree is done) and the flavors….just amazing! Enjoy!!

Happy Pinning!!!

How to Freeze Cheese

Yes you read that title right I am posting about a good way (it’s probably not the only way) to store sliced cheese in the freezer. When I say sliced cheese I don’t mean those processed american cheese slices. What I mean is those real cheese slices by Kraft or Sargento among others. I have found in the past that when I freeze these then thaw them out they stick together despite being separated by manufacturer’s placed wax paper. So I figured out a great way to keep them separated without sticking together. Now this isn’t a pin yet, after I post this I will pin it lol but I wanted to share this because it’s a great way to save money! I keep posting about my own frugality and there is nothing I hate worse then paying full price for items…except maybe having to throw things away due to preventable issues! I recently got a bunch of Kraft Sliced Natural Cheese at a BOGO Sale ($2.99 each and I used a $1.50/2 coupon to pay $1.49 for 2 packages) so I used this to freeze them effectively.

Items needed:

Sliced Cheese

Freezer Paper

Freezer Bags

Ingredients

Ingredients

First I tore off a sizable chunk of freezer paper and I placed one slice of cheese on top of the paper leaving enough space at the bottom so you can fold this on top of the slice of cheese.

Lay cheese on freezer paper.

Lay cheese on freezer paper.

Then I laid another slice of cheese on top of the paper that I folded over the first cheese.

Fold over and add another.

Fold over and add another.

Then I roll the slices over so the top slice is covered then I add another slice and another until I have a packet of layered cheese, making sure none of the cheese is touching anything other then freezer paper.

 

4 slices layered and wrapped up.

4 slices layered and wrapped up.

I fit about 4 slices to a packet so I had 3 packets after all ten slices were rolled up.

All 10 slices wrapped up.

All 10 slices wrapped up.

Then I put all packets in a freezer bag and placed the empty package on top so I knew which flavor was in each bag.

Everything all wrapped up and ready to store.

Everything all wrapped up and ready to store.

Once you needed cheese all you have to do is pull a bag out, thaw it in the fridge, and then peel a slice off the paper and use it! It may be a bit crumby, all cheese is after freezing it. But it should still be manageable enough after this to use.

Happy Pinning!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Yup this anohter pumpkin themed recipe! I love this time of the year because of all the yummy pumpkin themed food and drinks! While making the pumpkin puree (https://aradiasilvermoon.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/pumpkin-puree/) I put the seeds and strings in a bowl of water so I could roast them later. I didn’t even know you could do this until my boyfriend asked about it, apparently he love them! The same pin which inspired me to make my own pumpkin puree had instructions to roast the seeds.

The pin: 

http://dailysavings.allyou.com/2012/09/24/pumpkin-cooking/

It says to place the pumpkin innards in a bowl of water and then mush them until the seeds separate and float to the top.

Soaking

Soaking

Once you have the seeds floating on top of the water scoop them out and lay them out flat to dry them out.

 

Ready to dry!

Ready to dry!

I laid mine on a clean dish towel and let them sit out for a few hours to dry. Then you lay them in a single layer on a lightly oiled pan and season, I used sea salt, and toast at 325 for 10 to 15 minutes. Check them after 10 minutes and gently shake the pan once or twice and if needed toast them longer until lightly browned. After roasted transfer into a bowl to cool down then enjoy!

Roasted and ready to eat!

Roasted and ready to eat!

Tips from me: 

#1 Let them dry completely! When I roasted mine they were still “tacky” feeling and because of this they took extra long to roast.

#2 You can season them anyway you like! My boyfriend told me he likes them sweet so next time I will sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Also the pin states you can use cumin and chili powder or salt and pepper….whatever you want!

#3 Separating the seeds from the  strings can be challenging and you won’t get them all but your patience will be rewarded with yummy crunchy goodness!

I found these to be so yummy and even my uber-picky daughter loved them and stated they tasted like sunflower seeds! I am going back to get more pie pumpkin from the Amish market and will definitely make this again!

Happy Pinning!

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

After making the steel cut pumpkin pie oats and the homemade pumpkin bread I had to break down and buy some more pumpkin so I could continue my cooking. But what I found shocked me! The canned pumpkin was $1.99 for generic and around $2.xx for name brand! I was astonished and decided I wouldn’t buy any! When I got home I looked on my pinterest and I found a how to on making your own pumpkin puree for use in recipes. I also like the idea of making my own because it won’t have any dyes, preservatives, or other artificial ingredients in it!

The pin: 

http://dailysavings.allyou.com/2012/09/24/pumpkin-cooking/

I went to a local grocery store and found they had pie pumpkins on sale for $0.89 and I bought two for under $3. The are a lot smaller then carving pumpkins, you should use pie pumpkin because they have a better taste to them. First you cut them in half legthwise (start at the stem and cut until you reach the stem again. After cutting it scoop out the seeds and put them aside (I am going to roast them for the first time tonight and post about it tomorrow) in a bowl of water.

Cut, scooped, and ready to bake.

Cut, scooped, and ready to bake.

Place both halve cut side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cook on 350 degrees the time ranges due to several factors. My tiny ones cooked up in 45 minutes but it can take up to 2 hours depending on size and density.

Baking

Baking

After they are cooked fully the flesh should scoop out easily, if not place back in over and cook longer. Wait until the pumpkin is cooled then scoop out the flesh and place into a bowl and toss the rinds in the trash, or compost. The pin said to mash it up but I had trouble and couldn’t mash it well enough so I dumped into a food processor until it was all smooth.

Pumpkin puree

Pumpkin puree

I baked two pumpkins and got around 3 cups of puree and since the bread calls for one and a half cups I measured out that amount. I put some into the fridge then froze the rest. I found nicer, darker pie pumpkins at a local market that sells Amish and Mennonite produce (they were $1.49 each) and I will bake them today but I don’t expect much change. I asked my mom about how pale the pureed pumpkin was compared to the canned pumpkin (she makes her own canned pumpkin) and she said the color didn’t matter. She said the products I made would be paler in comparison (to canned products) but taste the same since pumpkin has really no taste of it’s own…it’s the spices that make the taste. So don’t be frightened if your puree is pale too.  So for under $3 I got enough pumpkin for 2 loaves of bread compared to $2.xx for one can which would only make one loaf! It was super easy and unless I can find a crazy good deal on canned pumpkin I will make my own!

Happy Pinning!

Food (and life) Saving Tips

Imagine you’re cooking your favorite meal and halfway through it you realize you don’t have the spices for it or another important ingredient. Nothing is more frustrating right? Well thanks to Pinterest I have found so many neat tricks that have saved me a lot of time, money, and most important frustration!

Seasonings

I was halfway through making tacos one night when I realized I didn’t have any taco seasoning packets! I was also broke so I couldn’t just run out and buy one! Thankfully I remembered I had pinned some seasoning blends so I went to my computer and found this lifesaver!

Taco Seasoning:
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
mix and use! When I made this I omitted the red pepper flakes since I don’t like it to spicy. Also when using this put a little in at a time then taste it before adding more. I didn’t do this and my meat came out really spicy so I had to cut it down with water and more meat before we could eat it.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend:

I was making the pumpkin pie steel cut oats I realized that it called for pumpkin spice blend and I didn’t have any! S0 again I dug through my pins and found a great helping recipe.

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves

mix together and use!

The best thing about these blends is the fact that they have no MSG, preservatives, or other additives! I like knowing what is in my food and I love how with a few simple spices you can save money by not buying packets at the store!

Freezing

Ever make something only to have a TON of it and no idea what to do with it all? I always freeze items for quick and tasty meals but I found some great tips that made this process a bit easier.

#1 Use a muffin tin!

Oatmeal in a muffin tin

Oatmeal in a muffin tin

(the pin http://highermiles.blogspot.com/2012/03/friday-food-oatmeal-from-freezer.html) After I made the pumpkin pie steel cut oats (post here https://aradiasilvermoon.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/pumpkin-pie-steel-cut-oats/) I took a 1/2 cup measuring cup and filled the muffin tin with the oatmeal then I put it in the freezer. After they froze I used a knife to gently loosen them so they popped out and I put them in the baggie to save for later!

bag of oatmeal!

bag of oatmeal!

You can also use your freezer to make yummy desserts!

The pin: http://www.funelf.net/ice-tray-strawberries-chocolate-go/

Slice strawberries in half, place in an ice cube tray, pour melted chocolate over,and freeze! I would spray the tray with a bit of non stick spray so you can pop them all out then break apart!

Misc Tips: 

#1: Use your muffin tin to poach eggs!

Poached eggs

Poached eggs

Crack the eggs into a muffin tin and cook at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes! You can then freeze them like this then heat up for breakfast or make sandwiches out of them and freeze those!

#2 Use 2 cookie sheets to make crispy, baked sandwiches!

Perfect grilled sandwiches

Perfect grilled sandwiches

Hopefully these tips will help you in your cooking future!!

Happy Pinning!