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15-Minute Oreo Pie Recipe

15-Minute-Oreo-Pie

Looking for a super simple recipe to take to a Christmas gathering this weekend? How about some Oreo Pie?

Cool Whip sent me a basket of ingredients and encouraged me to try a new recipe using Cool Whip. Truth be told, we prefer making our own whipped cream with real cream. But I had fun looking through Cool Whip recipes and choosing one to try. I finally decided to go with the Oreo Pie recipe, considering everyone in our family loves Oreos.

Did I mention we love Oreos? Just to prove this statement, I’ll confess that it took me three tries to actually get the pie made, because the first two packages of Oreos I bought were consumed before I could so much as attempt to make the pie. And it wasn’t just the children who were responsible for the disappearing Oreos.

Ahem.

My husband declared this pie “delicious!” despite the lack of real whipped cream. However, his first question after telling me it was good was, “Do you think you can make it with real whipping cream?”

Yes, we’re real whipping cream “snobs” like that. 😉


World’s Easiest Christmas Candy Recipe

This Christmas Candy is SO simple, deliciously addictive, and super inexpensive! Make a BIG batch for frugal gift ideas!

We have a yearly tradition of making this Christmas Candy. It’s the easiest stuff ever to make, it is inexpensive and it’s addicting!

I originally found the recipe in the book Queen of the Castle: 52 Weeks of Encouragement for the Uninspired, Domestically Challenged or Just Plain Tired Homemaker. It was called “Crookies” in there, but we’ve re-named it “World’s Easiest Christmas Candy.”

All you need is brown sugar, saltines, butter and chocolate chips.

Lay one sleeve of Saltines out on a cookie sheet (you might want to spray or grease the pan first, though I’ve not had trouble with it sticking, but some mentioned in the comments they’d recommend this).

Melt one cup brown sugar and one stick of butter in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat until a gooey mixture forms. Pour this mixture over the saltines and spread around with a spatula to generously coat them.

Stick the pan in the oven on 350 degrees for around five minutes until the brown sugar mixture is bubbling on the crackers.

Pull out of the oven and pour two cups of chocolate chips over the crackers and let them sit for a few minutes until they are starting to melt.

Spread the melted chocolate chips evenly over the crackers and then stick in the freezer for around an hour (until chocolate hardens).

Once chocolate is hardened, lift off the cookie sheet with a metal spatula and break into pieces.

Put into gift baggies and store in the freezer until ready to give as gifts.

Celebrating A Simple Christmas: Teaching Our Children to be Givers

One of the things we try to emphasize a great deal in our home is giving. We want to train our children to not only understand how to be wise in handling money, but we want to instill in them what we believe is one of the greatest purposes for wisely stewarding money: so that we have more to give to others.

In our everyday lives, we are seeking to encourage them to be givers. One of the ways we are doing this is by sponsoring children through Compassion International.

We read the letters from our sponsored children to them, we walk about the living conditions in other countries, we talk about how much a small amount of money we give can be used for so much good in countries where they have next to nothing and we involve our children in making cards and pictures to send back to our sponsored children.

Yesterday, we made Christmas cards together to send to our sponsored children (yes, I know, they won’t get there until after Christmas, but I figured that the sentiment would still be meaningful!).

After our cards were finished and addressed, it was dark and Jesse was home, so we all loaded up into the van and went to look at Christmas lights. The light displays didn’t seem as plentiful this year, but we still had fun together — and that’s what was most important!

How are you encouraging your children to be givers this Christmas season? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Managing Your Time When It’s “Just You”

Guest post by Becky, a single woman from Washington State

If you’re only taking care of yourself, how can it be that you still cannot find enough hours in the day?

Value your time

It’s easy to over-commit to work, volunteer or social activities. After all, you don’t need to go home and take care of anyone else. But it’s still important to remember that you do have someone to take care of – you!

You need to eat healthy food, wear clean clothes, maintain your house, pay bills and so on. You may have more time to share than someone with additional family obligations, but nobody expects you to live in chaos because you have no time left to meet your own needs.

Figure out what motivates you

When you’re single, you don’t have to answer to anyone. That can be freeing, but it’s also a lot easier to waste time. Sometimes it can be motivating to have to answer to someone or be working together toward a goal or lifestyle.

When it’s just you, you could spend the entire weekend eating chips in your pajamas and nobody would know. Figure out a way to hold yourself accountable – setting personal deadlines for projects, creating a daily/weekly routine, sharing goals with friends or family; whatever works to keep you productive and using your time wisely.

Be creative

Tweak existing time management ideas to work for you:

A twist on “Freezer Cooking”

Cooking an entire new meal every night for one person isn’t a good use of my time and leads to wasted food. At the same time, I can only eat my favorite black bean soup so many times in a row.

I work to find recipes I like that freeze well and then freeze the leftovers in single-serve containers. These are great to take for lunch or to reheat on nights I get home late and don’t have time to cook.

I cook a couple times a week and then rotate through my leftover “meals” for variety — you can easily add a side salad or vegetable.

A twist on “When your child is napping”

Many articles on time management for moms talk about accomplishing small tasks when your child is napping or you’re waiting to pick up a child from an activity. You can apply the same concept to work.

Instead of chatting with co-workers, you can use your lunch hour or coffee break to pay bills, write a letter or e-mail or run to the grocery store. (Please note, I am not advocating that you multi-task and do these activities during your work hours.)

A twist on “Delegating tasks”

You don’t have a spouse or children you can ask to help you, but depending on your circumstances, you may be in a position to hire help.

I have a friend who works in a well-paying position (with long hours) that she loves. She’s happy to hire someone to do her deep cleaning a couple times a month.

If you’re currently single, we’d love to hear your tips and tricks for time management! Share them with us in the comments.

photo from Shutterstock