How to Make Delicious and Easy Bread in Your Bread Machine Every Time

 
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Do you love the smell of fresh-baked bread? There really is no other smell like it. Some people feel like it smells like "home". But, do you avoid making it because you feel like it will be too hard?

Well, if you know anything about me, you know that I am ALWAYS looking for a quicker and easier way to do things and still have a great tasting product. My shortcut for this one? The bread machine. I know that sounds do 1998....Chad and I got a bread machine the year we married (1996) and I immediately went to the store in search of bread machine mixes. 

They had anything you could hope for. Blueberry Bread, Raisin Bread, 9-Grain Bread, and on and on. And I went to making bread in the bread machine. It was good, and it lasted for a little while, but for some reason I just kind of quit doing it. I do not know why?

Fast forward what seems like 200 years! My Emily LOVES bread. Like loves, loves, loves it. So one day i decided to pull out the bread machine and make homemade bread. But I didn't have a bread machine mix to make it with. So, I did what any good mom who spoils their children would do....I decided to see if I could make bread in the bread machine from scratch.

I know! WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? But it is actually 1,000 times easier than kneading it and blah, blah, blah. There are so many recipes on the internet, but I finally perfected one that we love. And, I told you it was simple...it is literally dumping ingredients into the bread machine and pushing a button.

I'm not joking. I put some sugar, warm water, yeast, flour, salt, and vegetable oil in the bread machine and walked away! 2 hours later, I had hot, fresh, homemade bread!


First thing I did was combine hot water, yeast and sugar in the bread machine and let it stand for 6 - 12 minutes. The yeast should foam. 

 
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While I waited for the yeast mixture to foam, I sifted the flour and salt into a separate bowl. 

 
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Once the yeast, water and sugar foamed, I added the rest of the ingredients into the bread machine. I closed the lid and chose the basic white cycle and left it to do it's magic.

Look at this beautiful specimen!!! AND, my house smelled A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!!! Take my word for it! Want to try it? Here is the recipe!  I'll note down at the bottom what to do if you don't have a bread machine. It's a little more work, but same great taste.

 
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BEST HOMEMADE BREAD

Prep time:

Cook time:

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups white flour

Instructions:
  1. Put hot water, yeast and sugar in bread machine and let stand 6-12 minutes.
  2. While yeast is foaming, sift flour and salt.
  3. Add salt, flour and vegetable oil to the bread machine and close the lid.
  4. Set the bread machine to rapid or basic white cycle.
  5. Enjoy the smell of fresh baked bread and eating it once it's finished cooking!!

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***If you don’t have a bread machine, you can make it like this:

Combine ingredients the same way. Add yeast and sugar to hot water and let foam. Sift flour and salt. Combine yeast mixture, salt, vegetable oil and about 2 cups of the white flour in a mixer. Add 1/2 cup flour at a time until the dough is not too sticky. Put the dough in a bowl and let it rise for an hour. Then, divide it into two equal balls. Place each ball in a loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let them rise for another hour. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Pull it out of the oven and brush the top with butter. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting.

This bread will make you want to keep baking it over and over again!

Happy Bread Baking,

Jennifer


The Most Delicious Valentine's Day Strawberry Cookies You Will Ever Make

 
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So I got your attention? Let me finish....these cookies are ADDICTING!!! And, y'all know I like easy. Another cookie recipe using cake mix! Easy, quick AND inexpensive? Well, yes, I think I will.

When I made these the first time, we literally ate them all in one day....that could be a problem. You may have to use some self-control when these are done, because they are so chewy and full of flavor. I just kept walking by and picking one up. And then another, and so on. My husband doesn't even LIKE sweets, but he sure had his fair share of these cookies. 

They are a beautiful pink color too, so what better time to make them than Valentine's Day? These literally could be brought to your child's school party, a home-school gathering, or just to kept at home. You could even wrap a few in some cellophane with a pretty ribbon, because they are that pretty.

I am always looking for easy recipes and quick recipes and this one hit the spot. It has 5 ingredients. That's it. I made them very quickly and they cooked quickly. They are very similar to my lemon cookies that I shared here, except I don't roll these strawberry cookies in powdered sugar. I could, but I wanted to try something different. Maybe next time I make them, I will try the powdered sugar! 

The ingredients include: A strawberry cake mix*, 2 eggs, 3 oz cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter and a bag of white chocolate morsels. 

*You can use any strawberry cake mix that you like, and any morsels. These cookies would probably be good with chocolate chips, but I like the look for he white with the pink.

 
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What I used:

Copper Chef Cookie Sheet

Rubber Spatula

Parchment Paper

Sifter

Cookie Scoop


How I Did It:

I first sifted the cake mix to get all of the lumps out. I set it to the side and creamed the butter, cream cheese and eggs. I then added the sifted cake mix and the white chocolate chips. 

 
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Look how good that dough looks! I really could just eat dough….but I didn’t!!

This dough is VERY VERY STICKY. The first time I made them, I used my hand mixer and it literally traveled to the top my mixer every time! So I have used my stand mixer and then eventually my hands! If it is too sticky to scoop into cookies, put it in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes. You can then form the dough into balls (I did mine about 1 TBSP a piece). You can use a cookie scoop or two spoons. Like I said, it's pretty sticky, but SO WORTH IT!

I just put them on a baking sheet and baked them in the oven for 8-10 minutes. You definitely need to watch them because they will be over-cooked in a split second and you won't even realize it because the bottoms will get very brown.

 
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When they come out of the oven I can hardly stand to let them cool, but I do (sometimes). I want to make sure that every cookie has enough chocolate chips in them and will dot some on top of the cookies when they come out, if they don't have enough in them.

Look how beautiful they are. I think that I think they are SO pretty because I know how delicious they are.  So, when you are looking for a quick and easy cookie to make, these are your prize! They have wonderful strawberry flavor, they only have 5 ingredients and they are not at all expensive to make! For sure you need to pop these out for Valentine's Day and make your sweetheart swoon all over again.

 
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DELICIOUS STRAWBERRY COOKIES

Prep time:

Cook time:

Ingredients:
  • 1 box strawberry cake mix )(15.25oz)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate morsels

Instructions:
  1. Sift the cake mix.
  2. Cream the butter, cream cheese and 2 eggs.
  3. Add the sifted cake mix and combine.
  4. Add 1/2 cup white chocolate morsels. (You will probably have to mix these in with a spoon by hand.)
  5. Drop cookies (about 1 TBSP) on a parchment lined cookie sheet. (If the dough is too sticky you can put in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.)
  6. Cook 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.
  7. Enjoy!

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If you've read any of my blog, you know I love to use cake mixes any way I can. Check out my other cake mix recipes like Lemon Cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.


Happy Baking,

Jennifer

How to Create Individual Pizzas for Your Entire Family the Easy Way

 
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You finish up a long day of work, or you've been at extracurricular activities with your kids, OR you just don't feel like preparing a heavy, labor intensive meal. But, you don't want to go through the nearest drive through either because you are trying to save money AND feed your family 1/2 way nutritious meals! 

What to do? I have a fabulous idea that is so easy and simple you will wonder why you haven't done it before. 

Individual Pizzas.....now I know you are thinking "Jennifer, I have thought of that, you aren't telling me anything new!" Well, I have made A LOT of individual pizzas and I have tried A LOT of different ways to make them. I don't have a pizza oven in my kitchen (I guess like most people), but I still want my crust to be crunchy and hold up to whatever ingredients I choose to put on it.

I think the key to this is the crust! And, I have tried A LOT (the theme here is A LOT!) of different kinds of pizza crusts for individual pizzas. Let's see, I have tried a flour tortilla, canned pizza dough that I cut in small circles, and even French bread. But, none of them have really satisfied my crunch I like in a pizza. They were either too soft, or they wouldn't hold my toppings and they would slide off the whole piece of pizza. I am then left with crust in my hand, and all of my toppings on the plate! Not good.

But, never fear, I found the answer!

What is it?  TA-DA: Pita Bread!!

 
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Yes, pita bread.....and let me tell you it is fantastic! You really can go about assembling the pizza any way you want, but I do have a little method. 

What I used:

Cookie Sheet

Copper Chef Pan

Rubber Spatula

Black & Decker Convection Toaster Oven


Before I started assembling this little gem, I sautéed some onions (sometimes I do mushrooms too, but I didn't have them this day). Anyway, I had everything out and ready to go and it literally took a hot minute to get these together, in the oven, and on the plate. Like 12 hot minutes!

 
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I started by putting pizza sauce on the pita, and then I put cheese (don't tell me why I always thought the cheese went on top? But, I read something that said to put the cheese on the bottom, then toppings, then a little more cheese, and all of your toppings will stay on your pizza!). Then I put my toppings, a little more cheese, and popped those babies in the oven, and 12-15 minutes later, I am eating me some pizza. And it is good! And the crust is crispy AND it holds all of the toppings!

Now, sometimes, if it's just me and Chad, or I'm just fixing one, I will not heat my big oven in my kitchen. Chad got me a Black & Decker Convection Toaster Oven and it is literally the bomb.com.

It works just like my big oven, but heats up faster, cooks a little faster and doesn’t heat up my whole kitchen.

 
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I mean, doesn’t this look delicious??!!

So if you are looking for a quick dinner OR snack for you, your kids, your hubby, whoever (I fed this to my whole family for dinner), this is the ticket. And, one of the best parts about it, is that you can individualize them to what each person likes!

Ok, so now I got to go, I made myself want this pizza!!


Happy Pizza Making,

Jennifer

Instant Pot No Fuss Chicken Parmesan and Pasta

 
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We Love Italian

When Chad and I first started dating, there was a little Italian place here that served the best chicken parmesan. We would go at least once a week and I would get the chicken parmesan and he would order lasagna and they were both amazing! 

Well, I've given you my crockpot lasagna recipe here, and I promise that you will never regret making it! I have made chicken parmesan a few times, but I don't really like frying anything. Besides the health reasons, I cannot stand the smell of fried foods in the house. I feel like it stays on me and in my hair for days and days.

So, when I got my Instant Pot, I had to try to make it, without the breading and frying and see how it tasted. I made this one night after work, and no kidding, I had it cooked and ready to eat in about 35 minutes. The best part of this, is that the chicken is so juicy! We are funny about boneless, skinless chicken breasts, because when you bake them they have a tendency to dry out, or have no taste at all. After I used them in this recipe, we all agreed they were the best cooked in the Instant Pot!

I didn't bread the chicken or fry it, but I guess you still could do that before instead of just browning the chicken breasts with no breading. I put a little oil in the Instant Pot and put in on sauté setting and browned the chicken breasts. About 5 minutes on each side because I wasn’t cooking it, just browning it.

 
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Building Dinner

After I had browned both sides of the chicken, I just literally added the rest of the ingredients to the Instant Pot. I added minced garlic, tomato sauce, butter and seasonings. I know, it all sounds TOO easy!

Then, all you have to do is turn the Instant Pot on and let it do its magic! It cooked for about 15 minutes and then I released the pressure, topped it with mozzarella cheese (the recipe calls for parmesan, we like mozzarella so that’s what I used), put the lid on and let it melt for 5 minutes. While the chicken was cooking, I boiled some pasta. As it was cooking, one by one, my family came out to see what was the smell....and when i finally took that top off of the instant pot, it filled the entire house with the most wonderul chicken and tomato sauce smell...like our little Italian restaurant we used to go to!

 
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Pulling it All Together

I also had a loaf of french bread that my sister had given me (thank goodness for her), and I spread some butter on that sucker and sprinkled some garlic powder on it and voila'! I had some fantastic garlic bread to go with my Italian meal! To say this meal was a hit is an understatement. It is rare that everyone in my family likes the same thing, but this dish is a keeper! 

And, you know how some dishes taste better the next day because they've been sitting up overnight letting the flavors all blend? This dish is one of them. I had it for lunch the next day and it was even better than the night before.

NO FUSS INSTANT POT PARMESAN CHICKEN AND PASTA

Prep time:

Cook time:

Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbsp shortening
  • 1/3 cups Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter, salted
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 1/3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Instructions:
  1. Heat the oil in the inner pot on saute setting.
  2. Brown the chicken breasts on each side.
  3. Add parmesan cheese, garlic powder, butter and tomato sauce on top of chicken.
  4. Lock the lid into place and seal the steam nozzle.
  5. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
  6. Quick release the pressure.
  7. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and replace the lid to let the cheese melt, about 5 minutes.
  8. Cook your pasta of choice according to package directions.
  9. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta.

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And, you know how some dishes taste better the next day because they've been sitting up overnight letting the flavors all blend? This dish is one of them. I had it for lunch the next day and it was even better than the night before. I will definitely be making this again! If you really wanted to bread and pan fry the chicken, you could do that in the inner pot on the sauté setting. This would also be a great meal for a large family or a crowd, because it goes a long way. We had a good amount for leftovers the next day and still a couple of servings after the leftovers. So, here is another great Instant Pot recipe for you to go try and let me know how much you love it!

Happy Cooking,

Jennifer

Easy Chocolate Chip Cake Bars

 
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So, I was thinking about this title and I thought, Chocolate Chip Bars? Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake? I don't know. There's so many things this could be called, but it boils down to delicious. And, quite frankly so easy it should be against the law...

Literally 5 ingredients, didn't even have to pull out my mixer!

And guess what else? I used a yellow cake mix.....radio silence 😃

I have made chocolate chip cookie bars from scratch, but I decided to try these with a yellow cake mix just to see if it tasted different and if it tasted good? But, you literally, dump 5 ingredients together, mix with a spoon, and pop it in the oven.

It really couldn't be easier.

I mean, you could go buy some from the store (although I haven't actually seen these in the store)....anyway, you'd still have to get in your car, go to the store, go IN the store and blah, blah, blah.

Ok, enough jibber jabber...here's how I did it:

A yellow cake mix - any kind any brand.

 
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Add 1/2 cup melted butter.

 
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Then add 2 eggs. I mean are you winded yet?? Tired? - my sarcasm is killing me! :)

 
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Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2 cups chocolate chips.

 
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All you have to do is mix it up and put it in a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Place in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Allow them to cool and cut into squares.

Doesn’t this look delicious?? I cannot get into eating raw cookie dough because I would incriminate myself!

 
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CHOCOLATE CHIP CAKE BARS

Prep time:

Cook time:

Ingredients:
  • 1 box yellow cake mix )(15.25oz)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chocolate morsels

Instructions:
  1. Combine cake mix, eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  2. Add 2 cups chocolate morsels.
  3. Put in a 9 x 13 baking dish and cook 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.
  4. Enjoy!

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I like to use my Pyrex dish like this and it has a cover, so if I am going to a party or a friends house I have a cover, or it’s awesome to just cover it to keep them fresh!

Y’all go make these (i’m sure you have everything in your pantry already)! And let me know how much you like them!!

Happy Baking,

Jennifer


 

JENerating A Good Year - 2019!

Have you heard it? Seen it? I know you have….Now is the time to lose weight, start new habits, lose some weight!

Your New Year’s Resolution!!!….that 90% of people DON’T keep!

It's like people are cramming it down your throats! Well, I am not disagreeing with the fact that we can all eat a little healthier and do something different everyday to feel better about ourselves and make some changes.

But why not do it on your terms.....I mean, every plan doesn't work for everyone. You kind of have to look at yourself, look at your habits, and do what works for you. I'm sorry, but you shouldn't lose 10 pounds in a week, it's not healthy and it's not going to stay off....I call myself a realist, my husband calls me "the dream crusher"! -HA!

Read More

Don’t Want Your Thanksgiving Leftovers to Go to Waste? 5 Ideas to Transform Them Into Entirely Different Dishes!

You plan and organize and stress over Thanksgiving. You have family coming and you want everything to be perfect..or you are just fixing for your immediately family and you still want everything to be the best that it can be. And it is! The turkey is perfect, the dressing is to die for, and dessert hits the spot. And then it's over. All the hype, worry and preparation, and it is over just like that, AND you are left with a ton of leftovers...ughh. What are you going to do with all of this leftover food? Well, I have gathered a few ideas to help you decide what to do with these things.

Read More

12 Dessert Ideas That Will Save You Time and Money During the Holidays

No holiday meal would be complete without a decadent dessert or two for Thanksgiving. Fortunately, there are a number of affordable and easy ones you can make at home so you don’t spend a fortune at the bakery.

 
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1. Pumpkin Pie

This is a traditional favorite that makes the most of the autumn pumpkin harvest. Buy pumpkins from a farm, cut in half, roast until tender, and scoop out the pumpkin puree. Each pumpkin should yield several cups, or you can purchase pumpkin pie filling at your local grocery store. 

2. Pumpkin Bread / Pumpkin Spice Bread

Pumpkin is very moist and makes a great cake or loaf. You can make it as spicy as you like to suit your taste. You could also frost or glaze it to make it look more festive.

3. Apple Pie

Make the most of the harvest in the orchards with a traditional apple pie. Make a lattice crust and serve with a dollop of cream or ice cream on the side. Making it from scratch means adjusting the seasonings as you like, and you can add raisins, cranberries and more to make it really festive.

4. Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is another healthy but filling dessert option which makes the most of the autumn harvest. Add raisins for sweetness and a cream cheese frosting and some nuts to dress it up.

 
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5. Apple Crumble / Apple Crisp

Instead of a buttery pie crust, use brown sugar, flour and spices as a crumble topping. An apple crisp uses oats. Both are very filling and great with cream or ice cream.

6. Pecan Pie


This classic Southern favorite is festive and tasty. Pecans can be expensive, however, so buy in bulk online. This is one that my husband loves, and I tend to make it more around Thanksgiving and Christmas, because pecans are falling from the trees and readily available. Sometimes I like to make little individual pies, and that is the real favorite!

7. Sweet Potato Pie

This is another classic Southern favorite that is similar to pumpkin pie, but uses yams and their natural sweetness for the pie filling. Making it from scratch means you can season it as you wish.

 
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8. Cheesecake

Cheesecake works well on its own, with chocolate, and with any fruit topping you like. Buy the cream cheese when it is on sale. You can also lighten things up by adding sour cream. There are so many variations of cheesecake, you can't go wrong with this dessert.

9. Chocolate Pie

Chocolate pie is a simple either custard base or pudding-like base with either meringue or whipped cream on top. This is another favorite with my family!

10. Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This is a very festive-looking cake thanks to the topping of bright yellow pineapple rings with red maraschino cherries in the center of each ring. Buy canned pineapple and yellow cake mix when it is on sale at your local supermarket.

 
 
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11. Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon meringue is a combination of an easy lemon custard and a sugary meringue on top. The meringue will require quite a few egg whites, but eggs are inexpensive. Plan another dessert like bread pudding to help use up the unwanted egg yolks from this recipe.

12. Angel Food Cake

This is a light, fluffy cake that gets its texture from egg whites. It is low in calories and an ideal pairing with most fruits.

Home-made desserts are not just less expensive, they are often more delicious than the bought option too. If your family is like mine, we have our favorites, and they are expected to be served at Thanksgiving! Use these ideas to give your guests a real Thanksgiving treat after their wonderful meal.

Happy Desserting,

Jennifer

RELATED POSTS:

Smart Ideas to Elevate Your Drink Making Skills During the Holidays

One of the main things that can help round out a Thanksgiving feast is a good assortment of beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. There are several ways to offer a variety of drinks and save money if you are prepared to spend the time and effort.

 
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Soft Drinks

Soft drinks such as Coke or Pepsi, Sprite or Seven-Up, are popular at the holidays - especially with children. Buy them at a warehouse club or when the supermarkets have them on sale. I also recommend staying away from the canned ones. They tend to get opened and left sitting around to go flat and basically wasted.

Mixers

Sodas that mix with other drinks include seltzer, club soda, tonic water, ginger ale, and so on. Seltzer is well-suited to making wine spritzers, which can lower the cost of each drink you serve your guests. Ginger Ale is a great beverage to put in a punch, whether it be alcoholic or non-alcoholic, it gives it that extra fizz of refreshment!

 
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Fruit Juice

Cranberry juice is a must at Thanksgiving. Orange juice is good for cooking and drinking. Apple juice is also a standard all year round, but particularly in the autumn. Apple cider, which is thicker and cloudier, is ideal for hot apple cider with spices. Look for large bottles of apple juice or bottles of cider at a warehouse club or the supermarket.

Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate

These drinks are a nice way to end the meal. They are also tasty with your dessert course. Avoid single cup coffee makers. Buy grounds and make them in a conventional pot. Use loose leaf tea for more flavor and less chemicals. 

Make your own hot chocolate using real milk and cocoa powder. Add a dash of cinnamon or a cinnamon stick if you wish, and a dollop of whipped cream. You can control how much sugar you put in compared with boxed mixes, and your own homemade cocoa will usually work out more cheaply as well. You can also use non-dairy nut milks if you prefer, such as almond or cashew.

The coffee and tea can also be as a base for iced tea and iced coffee.

 
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Milk and Cream

You will most likely need these in a range of recipes. You will also need more milk for coffee, tea, and cocoa. If you have guests staying in your home, you will probably need even more for beverages, cereal, and so on, especially if you have small children visiting. Buy these in bulk at a warehouse club.

Nut Milks

These are useful for anyone who is lactose intolerant or vegan. Choose from soy, rice, almond, oat and more. Look in your supermarket, warehouse clubs or buy in bulk online.

Shopping Apps

Some shopping apps actually give you a discount for the wine and spirits you purchase. Two worth registering with are Checkout 51 and Ibotta.

Happy Drink Making,

Jennifer

RELATED POSTS:

10 Ideas to Help You Become the Side Dish Queen at Your Thanksgiving Dinner!

One of the best things about a Thanksgiving meal is often the side dishes that go with it. They add color, taste, texture and variety on the plate and they are also a really good way to save money. Plan on serving 4 to 8 ounces of turkey to your guests, but let them load their plates and fill their stomachs with inexpensive side dishes. I love to bring side dishes to our potluck Thanksgiving. And, I love to eat the ones everyone else brings! Here are some great ideas for side dishes that won't break the bank!

 
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1. Flaky Biscuits

Biscuits are great as a bread on the side and perfect for mopping up gravy. They are warm, filling, and the smell when they bake really says it is holiday time. If you can make biscuits from scratch...more power to you. I am a frozen biscuit or canned biscuit kind of girl (especially when I am preparing a BIG meal).

2. Cornbread

Cornbread is another cheap, easy and filling option. Bake up a few pans of it to use as is, or in other recipes. Use any leftovers at breakfast the next morning. Cornbread is a staple in our cornbread dressing here in the South.

 
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3. Cornbread Stuffing

You can also make stuffing using your own homemade cornbread. Cut it into cubes, toast them, and then cook as you would bread stuffing. If you aren't into making homemade cornbread, it's ok to use the mix and help you get a little further with your preparations. Cornbread mix is not expensive at all. This is what I bring to Thanksgiving at my sister's house and it is a crowd pleaser!

4. Cranberry Sauce

Fresh cranberry sauce is easy to make. When making it yourself, you can adjust the sugar, add orange or apple juice for natural sweetness, and so on. If you choose to use the canned cranberry sauce, it is on sale always around the holidays.

5. Sweet Potatoes/Yams

This cheerful orange vegetable is very cheap and will go a long way towards filling up your guests. Cook in the microwave like a baked potato and top with some brown sugar or cinnamon, or boil up a pot to mash for a sweet potato casserole. 

To the mashed sweet potato, add milk, butter, brown sugar and/or maple syrup, and cinnamon and nutmeg. Bake and eat as is, or add a layer of marshmallows to the top and cook until just brown and puffy. Some people do a crunchy topping that is to die for. 

 
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6. Bread Stuffing

Bread stuffing is a great way to use up any stale bread you might have. Make sure it is dry, not moldy. Mix with herbs. Add onions, celery and broth and you have a filling dish to stuff a whole turkey with, or serve on the side.

7. Corn/Corn on the Cob

Corn is very filling, and eating from the cob can be a lot of fun. You can also eat with a little butter, or make your own homemade creamed corn with milk. I like to cut the corn off of the cob and fry it in a skillet with a little butter, salt and pepper...OMG...My sister make a corn casserole that I look forward to every year and it is quick and easy too.

8. Green Bean Casserole

This is a staple on many American holiday tables. Most people make it using canned cream of mushroom soup, canned green beans and a can of French-fried onions. These items are all readily accessible and inexpensive at your local grocery store. If you choose to make them with fresh green beans, that's awesome too! I also bring this to my sister's house and to my in-laws every year. One year I thought maybe they were all tired of it, so I skipped it....won't EVER do that again! I had some family members unhappy with me. Basically, don't fix it if it ain't broke.

9. Potatoes au Gratin

If you want something a bit more elegant for your holiday table, slice up the potatoes thinly and cook them in a creamy cheese sauce.

 
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10. Baked Potatoes/Mashed Potatoes

Nothing could be easier than some baked Idaho potatoes with butter, sour cream and chives, or cheese. They are cheap and filling, and add a restaurant-touch to your homemade meal. If you are more of a mashed potato family, just mash them while they are hot and add your butter, salt and milk to them and voila'! Mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving.

So whether you are hosting Thanksgiving or attending a potluck Thanksgiving, these are some great ideas of side dishes that are inexpensive and easy. Add them to your list of goodies to bring or serve and I promise, your guests (or you) will leave with a happy tummy!

Happy Side Dish Making,

Jennifer

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The Ultimate Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner Guide: 12 tips to pull your meal off like a pro

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