Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes

Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes

Jesse joined a gym here in TN not too long ago and has been working toward some ambitious fitness goals. As a result, he’s been looking for recipes that pack a nutritious punch.

Yesterday, he made these Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes and we thought they were pretty good — especially for their high protein content.

Here’s how he tweaked the recipe:

What are your favorite high-protein, high-nutrition recipes? I’d love to know!

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Making Homemade Cinnamon Rolls (photos by Silas)

Making Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Silas (just turned 5) asked if he could “be my cameraman” while I made Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls yesterday.

His photos turned out so well, that I had to share them here. I loved seeing this progression through his camera lens.

Making Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Making Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Making Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Making Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Making Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Making Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Making Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

After we pulled the Cinnamon Rolls out of the oven, Silas helped me make the glaze to go on the Cinnamon Rolls. We didn’t have any more butter, so I just made a glaze with milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla.

Making Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

I LOVE using this homemade vanilla that my Kansas friend, Angie, made for us! Someday, I’m hoping to try making my own homemade vanilla.

Making Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Making Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

The finished result: SO delicious!

If you haven’t made Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls yet, do yourself a favor and put this recipe high on your priority list. You can thank me later. :)

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3 Crockpot Freezer Meals for Summer

freezer meals

Guest post from Sarah of Sidetracked Sarah

A couple of years ago, I was browsing Pinterest, when I ran across a genius idea that I now know as Crockpot Freezer Meals. If you’re not familiar with Crockpot Freezer Meals, here’s a quick description.

1. Find several of your favorite slow cooker recipes (I prefer to do 6, which works out to be a week’s worth)

2. Prepare/chop all the ingredients for those recipes at once.

3. Assemble each individual recipe into a gallon size freezer bag.

4. Label that bag with the name of the recipe and any individual instructions and lay it flat to freeze.

5. Get the bag out the night before you plan to cook it (if possible) and then follow the cooking instructions on cooking day.

What I love about this plan is that I get freezer meals, without the processed freezer meal taste.

The recipes that I originally found were not a fit for my family, so I set out to find recipes that would work better for us. I was absolutely amazed at the results!

My family was better fed than they had been in a long time. We were eating dinner on time and not at erratic hours. Dinner preparation time was shortened by a lot!

Typically, I can assemble 6 meals in about 1-2 hours, depending on how complicated the recipes are.

Summer time is a great time to be using your slow cooker because it won’t heat up your house.  Here’s 3 recipes that will help you get your freezer meals started!


Crockpot Sausage & Peppers - Works as a Crockpot Freezer Meal

Crockpot Sausage & Peppers


  • 2 lbs. sweet or hot Italian sausages
  • 2 onions
  • 3 red, yellow or green peppers, cut into 2″ slices
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 T. dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 t. pepper

Instructions (to cook immediately):

  • Brown the Italian Sausages in a skillet. (I usually start with them whole, then slice them up while they’re cooking. They stay intact and keep their shape better that way).
  • Layer half of the onions on bottom of slow cooker, then add half of the peppers.
  • Put all of the browned sausage on top of that, followed by the rest of the onions and peppers.
  • Mix together diced tomatoes, tomato paste and beef broth and pour over the top.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours.
  • One hour before mixture is done, add the spices. Stir.
  • Cover and cook an additional hour.

Instructions (to freeze and cook later):

  • Brown Italian Sausages
  • While browning, slice peppers and onions.
  • Place onions, peppers, and sausage in freezer-safe bag.
  • Mix together diced tomatoes, tomato paste and beef broth and place in a 2nd freezer bag.
  • Label & Freeze
  • Follow instructions on cooking day.

**It helps to at least have the sauce thawed out when you’re putting it in the slow cooker, but not required.

Meat Loaf

Crockpot Meat Loaf


  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ c milk
  • 2/3 c bread crumbs
  • ½ chopped onion
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ t sage
  • 1 ½ lbs ground beef
  • ketchup or BBQ Sauce to cover with while cooking

Instructions (to cook immediately):

  • Mix all ingredients into 1 loaf (except Ketchup or BBQ Sauce).
  • Pour sauce over the top.
  • Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

Freezer to Slow Cooker Instructions:

  • Chop 1/2 of onion.
  • Mix all ingredients together, except Ketchup or BBQ Sauce.
  • Form into loaf.
  • Place in gallon size freezer safe bag.
  • Label & Freeze.
  • On cooking day, follow cooking instructions above.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Crockpot Pulled Pork Sandwiches


  • 4 pound pork roast (shoulder or butt)
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 cup Ginger Ale
  • 1 bottle BBQ Sauce (your favorite flavor)
  • BBQ Sauce for serving (optional)
  • Hamburger Buns

Instructions (to cook immediately):

  • Slice onion and place in bottom of the crock pot.
  • Put in the roast and cover with the other onion.
  • Pour Ginger Ale over the top.
  • Cover and cook on low for about 12 hours (for older crocks) or about 8 hours (for newer crocks).  I like to do mine overnight.
  • Once cooked, remove the meat, straining the onions, but discarding the liquid.
  • Shred the meat with 2 forks.
  • Discard any fat, bones or skin.  Most of the fat should have melted away.
  • After it’s nicely shredded, return the meat and onions to the slow cooker and cover it with the BBQ sauce, stirring it in to cover the meat well.
  • Cook another 4 to 6 hours on low.
  • Serve on hamburger buns.

Instructions (to freeze and cook later):

  • Slice 2 onions
  • Place Onions and Roast into gallon size freezer safe bag.
  • Label & Freeze.
  • On cooking day, follow cooking instructions above.

Please Note:  It is best to have your recipe thawed out, by removing it from the freezer and putting it in the refrigerator the night before.

Each recipe serves approximately 6 adults.  

Sarah loves finding ways to make life easier for herself and others. She blogs about it at Sidetracked Sarah. She has 8 week of Crockpot Freezer Meals on her blog and she’s giving away a free one week printable menu to subscribers.

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Oreo Ice Cream Cake


Need a quick and easy recipe for a hot day? This is such a simple recipe and pretty much everyone loves it!

Oreo Ice Cream Cake

It’s perfect for a summer birthday or get-together. Plus, it doesn’t heat up the house and can be made ahead of time — which is always helpful!

Oreo Ice Cream Cake

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Homemade Sweet and Salty Chocolate Candy


Guest post from Alison of Pint-sized Treasures

In our family of eight, we typically do not buy packaged candy. Instead, we make our own for special occasions or for our traditional Family Night that we celebrate every single Friday.

A couple of weeks ago we decided to try to create our own candy recipe that would be simple, frugal and of course — super yummy! We added this adventure to our “fun things to do on Friday night” list. We typically play games, watch a family movie, have a fun snack, and end it all with a slumber party in mom and dad’s room. It’s super fun — even for mom and dad!

Now, back to the recipe! One of our favorite ingredients to use in a fun dessert, snack, or candy recipe is white, fluffy sugary things we call marshmallows. Whoever invented those wonderful bites of happiness needs a GIGANTIC hug! So many memories have been made by roasting marshmallows over an open fire. Just think what this world would be without those large, fluffy, wonderful yummies!

Since our family stays busy with homeschooling, ministry, cooking, cleaning and many other things under the sun, we always try to find the quickest way to get desserts, snacks, and meals from the table and to our mouths. We also love it if we can make an expensive food product at home for a fraction of the price. That’s where this candy comes in.

It only took me a few minutes to whip this up on the stove. The longest part of the candy-making process was just waiting for it to cool in the fridge before we could all dive in and enjoy a late night treat. When the cooling period was over, we all taste-tested our creation. The decision was unanimous. THIS recipe was a winner!

Everyone started grinning at each other and nodding. That’s the signal for a recipe gone right. My three-year-old gave me a thumbs up sign. That’s his little way of saying, “Mom, this is goooooood!”

The sweet and salty flavors came together like melody and harmony. Each flavor was playing its part beautifully in every single bite. It was hard to stop at only two pieces of candy, but we did and saved the rest for another day.

That’s another great part of this recipe — it’s freezer-friendly! Cut the candy into squares and freeze between sheets of parchment paper inside a ziplock bag. It can be frozen for up to two months. Plus, it tastes great straight from the freezer!

Are you ready to try a frugal homemade candy recipe that your family will love? Enjoy!

This is definitely one of our family’s favorite snacks… and it’s great that I can make it on a budget! 

Alison is a mom of six kids and writes about parenting, frugal living, crafts and anything mom-inspired at Pint-sized Treasures.

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Healthy Fettuccine Alfredo


Guest post from Brooke of Skinny Mom

Who doesn’t love Fettuccine Alfredo?

It’s a favorite with my family. My little man, E, loves to slurp up the creamy noodles one at a time and his little fettuccine-covered face creates an Instagram moment every time we have it for dinner.

This used to be a meal that we splurged on when eating out at our favorite Italian restaurant but I was determined to create a more affordable, and more waist-line friendly, version that I could prepare at home.

The most economical aspect of this recipe is that you likely have most of the ingredients needed already (butter, garlic, flour, milk, etc.). The few items you may have to add to your shopping list are the whole wheat fettuccine, which can also be substituted for spinach fettuccine depending on which one might be on sale or you have a coupon for.

In addition to the cheese, the recipe calls for fresh parsley, but if you don’t have this on hand, you can opt for the dried seasoning in your spice cabinet to save a few dollars.

Preparing homemade sauces, dressings, and other condiments can usually be surprisingly less expensive than you might expect when you realize the foundation ingredients are already in your pantry and refrigerator. This is a great way to control the amount of artificial ingredients, added sodium, calories, and fat that can be hidden in the canned and jarred ready-to-use options.

Don’t be afraid to make more of this recipe than you need for one meal. I promise, your family will love it and it’s just as scrumptious served as leftovers the next day. You can even jazz it up with some of your pantry staples by adding tomatoes (canned or fresh) and/or some spinach (frozen or fresh) when you serve it for lunch or dinner the next day to mix up the presentation.



What are your favorite frugal dinner recipes?

Brooke is the founder and CEO of Skinny Mom, the digital lifestyle brand that gives moms the skinny on healthy living. Brooke is also a certified personal trainer and fitness enthusiast, however Brooke’s most important job is being a single mom to her 3 year old son. In her spare time Brooke loves cooking skinny meals and running outdoors

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