Easy American Flag Fruit Pizza

American Flag Fruit Pizza

This American Flag Fruit Pizza is an easy fruit pizza dessert that is made from a sugar cookie mix topped with a sweet frosting and fresh berries.

 

With the Fourth of July coming up, this American Flag Fruit Pizza is sure to be a crowd pleaser during your patriotic celebration.

I made this for my family and they loved how the berries were made to look like a flag. They also loved the taste of the sugar cookie and asked for seconds and thirds to eat.

I’m all about making easy desserts and saving time when I make desserts. And this is an easy dessert to make. The thing that take the longest to do is hull and slice the strawberries. Since there are about 20-25 strawberries to hull and cut for this fruit pizza dessert, this strawberry huller and fruit slicer set is a kitchen tool accessory that is handy to have in the kitchen. It will make putting together this easy fruit pizza recipe even easier.

As people make Fourth of July dessert recipes and come across fruit pizza desserts, here are a few questions people ask.

 

What is fruit pizza?

Fruit pizza is a fruit dessert which is made like a pizza. It doesn’t have any of the ingredients of a traditional pizza you would make or purchase from a pizza place or restaurant. Instead, it’s a large sugar cookie with sweet frosting and fresh berries on top.

Sugar cookie dough tends to be used best for fruit pizza desserts. It makes a large pan and is great to serve at large holiday gatherings or parties. And it tastes best when served the day it’s made because the fresh fruit isn’t as fresh the next day.

 

Flag fruit pizza

What is the recipe for fruit pizza?

To make the American flag fruit pizza, first preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use cooking spray to lightly coat a 12 x 17 baking sheet. And prepare the sugar cookie mix according to the directions on the package.

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Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies

Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter CookiesThese are the best Reese’s Pieces peanut butter cookies with more than a cup of creamy peanut butter.  And adding Reese’s Pieces, peanut butter chips and chocolate chips make these the ultimate peanut butter cookies!

 

I made these Reese’s Pieces peanut butter cookies and they are amazing! They are soft in the middle and have a delicious peanut butter flavor with a mix in of Reese’s Pieces, peanut butter chips and chocolate chips.

I made this easy peanut butter cookies recipe a few weeks ago. They turned out so good that my family asked if I would make them again this week.

I make these Reese’s peanut butter cookies smaller by only rolling them into 1.5 inch balls. A kitchen item I love using now and that makes the cookies come out round and all the same size is a 1.5 Tablespoon cookie scoop. Until a few years ago, I would use a spoon to measure the dough and then roll it into a ball. When I finally purchased and started using a cookie scoop, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t purchased one sooner. It’s definitely convenient to have, and I use it every time I make cookies now.

Before I get into how to make these Reese’s Pieces peanut butter cookies, here are some questions that people have asked.

What Are Reese’s Pieces?

Reese’s Pieces are a peanut butter candy that are a roundish shape covered in a yellow, orange or brown candy shell.

 

What Are The Ingredients in Reese’s Pieces?

Here are the some of the main ingredients in Reese’s Pieces:

  • Sugar
  • Partially defatted peanuts
  • Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil
  • Corn syrup
  • Artificial colors
  • Salt

To see all the ingredients, head over to Hershey’s website.

 

Do Reese’s Pieces Have Chocolate In Them?

Unlike the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, it turns out that Reese’s Pieces do not actually contain any chocolate.

 

If you want to make these Reese’s peanut butter cookies, keep reading to get the recipe.

 

Reese's peanut butter cookiesStart by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Using an electric mixer, cream together the peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, and sugar until combined. Add in the eggs and vanilla extra, and mix until creamy.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Add this to the creamy peanut butter mixture and mix until combined.

Fold in the Reese’s Pieces, peanut butter chips and chocolate chips.

 

Easy peanut butter cookies recipe

Use a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop to form dough balls, and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Press additional Reese’s Pieces onto each cookie dough ball.

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Chicken Broccoli Potato Casserole

 

Chicken broccoli potato casseroleThis chicken broccoli potato casserole tastes delicious with a creamy cheese sauce and crunchy topping. Prepare the chicken and potatoes ahead of time and use frozen broccoli to make this meal come together quickly.

 

My mother used to make a chicken broccoli casserole regularly for my siblings and I when I was younger, and I just loved it. Then when I was married with a family of my own, my sister-in-law said she added potatoes and a creamy sauce on top that varied from what my mom did.

I took both of these recipes and created a chicken broccoli potato casserole that is creamy and delicious.

You can also make an extra chicken broccoli potato casserole and freeze it for later. Head over here to get tips on how to freeze casseroles.

TIME-SAVING TIPS:

Since I know that making dinner can take time, there are a few things I do in advance to make this casserole faster and easier to get in the oven.

Preparing the Broccoli:

I used to always steam fresh broccoli for this recipe, but now to go faster, especially on busy days, I use frozen broccoli from a bag. If you want, you can still steam fresh broccoli, but if you don’t have time, then bagged broccoli it is.

Preparing the Chicken:

I always keep cooked, shredded chicken in the freezer that can be pulled out and thawed in the fridge or microwave. This tip helps me a lot to get dinner on the table faster.

What I do is cook chicken in the crock pot or Instant Pot, shred it, then place it into individual re-sealable bags and put it in the freezer. Head over here for more info about preparing chicken in advance.

Preparing the Potatoes:

I also cook, peel and slice the potatoes in advance and place them in the fridge or freezer so it’s easy to thaw and add to the recipe.

Sometimes when I know I’ll be making this homemade chicken and broccoli casserole for dinner, I’ll also plan another dinner with potatoes. So on the day I am cooking potatoes for a dinner, (for instance, if I’m making potatoes with chili on top), I’ll always cook extra potatoes that I can place in the fridge or freezer that will be used later for the casserole.

Now that you know my time-saving tips to make this easy chicken broccoli casserole, here are some answers to questions people have had.

 

WHAT IS BAKED POTATO CHICKEN BROCCOLI CASSEROLE?

With almost any baked potato chicken broccoli casserole, the recipes range from using mashed potatoes, hash browns, cubed potatoes or sliced potatoes, then mixing in or adding bite-sized pieces of broccoli and chicken.

This homemade chicken and broccoli casserole recipe that I share on this post includes baked potatoes that are peeled and sliced. The potatoes are placed in a casserole dish on top of the broccoli and chicken. Then a creamy sauce is poured over top, followed by cheese and a crunchy topping. You can get the delicious recipe below.

 

HOW DO YOU MAKE CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI SOUP?

I love a good broccoli soup and so does my family. I’ve tried a bunch of different recipes, but this broccoli cheese soup recipe here is my family’s favorite.

It doesn’t have chicken in it, but it’s really good. And you could add in cooked chicken if you want. I make the broccoli cheese soup for my family regularly, and it’s the best broccoli cheese soup I’ve tasted.

If you are looking for a chicken and broccoli soup, then here are a few recipes you could try:

Creamy Chicken Broccoli Soup by The Recipe Critic

Easy Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Soup by Sweet CS Designs

 

HOW DO YOU MAKE BROCCOLI AND CHEESE CASSROLE?

This chicken broccoli casserole recipe that I share on this post is really delicious. Below are the step-by-step instructions of how to make the recipe.

 

Chicken broccoli potato

Arrange the broccoli florets in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.

 

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2-Ingredient Homemade Shower Cleaner

 

Spring cleaning is now starting to happen at our house, and this homemade shower cleaner will help you get your tub and showers clean and shiny.

It also helps to get rid of a lot of the hard-water spots that form on the tub and shower surfaces. Plus, this shower cleaner is inexpensive to make and is only two ingredients.

Check out the video below to see how to make this easy shower spray cleaner. If you can’t see the video, head over to my YouTube channel here.

 

Here is the basic instructions of how to make this homemade shower cleaner.

What You’ll Need:

Directions:

Pour the vinegar and blue Dawn dishwashing soap into the spray bottle. Shake it until the solution is mixed. Spray the tub and shower with the cleaning solution. Wait for 15 minutes, then wipe/scrub down. Rinse it off with water.

Note: Over time, the solution may become thicker. If this happens, then just add more vinegar to thin the solution so you can spray it.

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Easy Red Velvet Cookies Recipe

Easy Red Velvet Cookies

Only four ingredients are needed to make these delicious and easy red velvet cookies.

 

I love simple cookies and desserts that I can make around the holidays. And these easy red velvet cookies are a perfect treat for Valentine’s day or Christmas or whenever you are craving something sweet.

It only takes about 10 minutes to prep these cookies, and there is just four ingredients: Red velvet cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil and holiday M&M’s. You could substitute the M&M’s for white chocolate chips instead, which tastes really good too.

 

Red velvet cake mix cookies

 

Before sharing this easy red velvet cookies recipe, here are some regularly asked questions:

What Makes Red Velvet Cookies Red?

Red food coloring is what makes red velvet cookies red.

If you want a deep red color to the red velvet cookies, use gel food coloring. It’s a better coloring option for the cookie dough than liquid drops of red food coloring.

The gel gives the cookies a more vibrant color and you’ll use less than with the liquid food coloring. And too much liquid food coloring can actually alter the taste and texture of the red velvet cookies.

 

What Is The Best Recipe for Cake Mix Cookies?

There are many different recipes that use cake mix to make cookies.

I personally think that these red velvet cake mix cookies are one of the best cake mix cookie recipes. Check out the easy recipe below.

If you want to learn how to make cake mix cookies from just about any cake mix box, head over to The Best Cake Recipes where they’ll show you how with only three ingredients.

 

And here are some really good cake mix cookie recipes to try:

Cake Mix Peanut Butter Cookies from Artsy Fartsy Mama

Funfetti Cake Mix Cookies from The 36th Avenue

Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies from Moments with Mandi

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Country Cook

 

How Do You Make Red Velvet Cookies?

Here is the step-by-step process of how to make the red velvet cookies recipe:

 

Red velvet cake mix cookies

Preheat oven to 357 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer, in a bowl mix the red velvet cake mix, eggs and oil until fully mixed.

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9 Tips How to Stay on a Grocery Budget

How to Stay on a Grocery Budget

These simple tips and ideas will help you know how to create a grocery budget, learn how to stay on a grocery budget, and reduce grocery spending.

 

Trying to stay on a grocery budget can be challenging. There are times when it may seem like there is never enough money left at the end of the month to purchase the groceries you need.

For some, you are trying to figure out how much money would be reasonable to spend on groceries and how to stick to a food budget. You might wonder how you can reduce your grocery spending.

For others, a grocery budget may seem restrictive and that you can’t buy your favorite things.

Whatever the challenge, your monthly grocery budget can have an impact on your overall financial situation, so it’s important to learn how to stay on a grocery budget.

If you struggle with how to stick with a grocery budget and make it work, or if you’re not sure of how to create a grocery budget, below are 9 tips to help you know how to stay on a grocery budget, create a grocery budget, and reduce your grocery budget over time.

 

Sign up below to receive a FREE Grocery Budget Tracker Worksheet printable to help you keep track of your weekly and monthly grocery spending.

 

 

 

1. Calculate Your Current Spending

Before you can figure out how to stay on a grocery budget, you need to first know how much money you are currently spending on groceries.

This may take some of your time, but look back at your bank statements for the past 3-4 months and take a monthly average to see how much money you’ve been spending on groceries.

Another option to figure out what your spending on groceries is to track your food spending this month by keeping all your grocery receipts and writing it down on a paper or notebook.

Doing this will give you a good idea of how much money you are spending on groceries.

 

How to create a grocery budget

 

2. How to Create a Grocery Budget

Now that you know about how much money you spend on groceries in a month, you can create a realistic grocery budget.

Every family is different and has different needs. A grocery budget will be unique to your family situation, where you live, and your dietary needs. So it’s important to figure out a grocery budget that will work for you.

A recommendation and starting point when creating a grocery budget is to budget $100 per family member per month.

For a single-person, start with a base amount of $200. For a two-person household, start with a base of $300. This allows for room in the budget to stock up on sale items.

For my family, our food budget for a family of 5 is $500 per month.

When grocery shopping weekly, break the monthly grocery budget total down into weeks. And each week only spend that amount when you grocery shop. For example, for our family that would be $125 for a weekly grocery budget.

So you might be asking, “What should I include in my grocery budget?”

Some people say that the grocery budget is just that–groceries only.

However, for our family, our grocery budget also includes household and personal hygiene items.

I think it’s completely doable to include household and personal hygiene items in the grocery budget, but every family’s situation is different, so you decide what will work best for your family’s grocery budget.

With any extra money leftover at the end of the month, I also purchase extra food items that I can keep in my kitchen pantry and in my basement food storage.

As your grocery budget allows, try to purchase 2-4 extra items each grocery shopping trip when an item is on sale. This will save you money because it’s on sale, and then you’ll have the item on hand for a dinner another day.

This could also save you from having to run to the store in the middle of the week because you will already have the item in your pantry that you need for dinner.

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Easy Lasagna Soup Recipe

Easy Lasagna Soup Recipe

This easy Lasagna Soup Recipe is now one of my favorite soup recipes. It has the delicious taste of lasagna with beef, noodles, tomatoes, cheese and herbs but in the form of a soup. 

 

I love to eat soup multiple times a week during the fall and winter months. And this easy lasagna soup recipe is one of my go-to soup recipes to make regularly because it’s so delicious! Even my kids ask for second helpings!

I like that the lasagna soup has all the flavors of lasagna but in a soup form.

If you enjoy eating soups, you’ll want to also check out these 12 Favorite Soup Recipes here. These are some of our family’s favorite soups to eat.

Before getting into the details of how to make the tasty lasagna soup recipe, here are some questions people have asked:

 

best lasagna recipe

 

Even though the recipe on this post is about easy lasagna soup, not lasagna, many people have asked about lasagna recipes. So here are some answers.

What Is The Best Lasagna Recipe?

There are many amazing and delicious lasagna recipes out there. Head over here to check out what I think is one of the best lasagna recipes.

And here are a few more recipes that say they are the best lasagna recipe:

Pioneer Woman – The Best Lasagna. Ever.

Stay at Home Chef – The Most Amazing Lasagna Recipe

Lil’ Luna – Easy Lasagna Recipe

 

How To Make Lasagna From Scratch?

To make lasagna from scratch, first cook the sausage or ground beef. Add in the onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

Cook the noodles for 10-12 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse noodles with cold water.

In a medium bowl, combine the egg, Ricotta and Parmesan cheese.

In a 9×13 baking dish, spread 1/2 cup of the beef sauce on the bottom. Layer half of the cooked noodles on top of the sauce. Overlap noodles as necessary to fit. Spread half of the cheese filling on noodles. Top with half of the remaining beef sauce and half of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers. Sprinkle additional mozzarella and Parmesan cheese over top if desired.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

To see the full lasagna recipe, head over here.

 

How Do You Cook Lasagna In A Crock Pot?

To make lasagna in a crock pot is quite simple.

Start by browning ground beef. Add in chopped onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, oregano, and basil, and simmer about 5 minutes.

In a separate bowl, mix cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese.

Combine everything in the crock pot by spooning part of the beef and tomato mixture into the slow cooker. Break uncooked lasagna noodles in half and arrange them over the beef mixture. Top with the cottage cheese and mozzarella mixture. Repeat with another layer and finish with remaining beef mixture.

Cover crock pot and cook on low setting for 4 hours.

About 10 minutes before you eat, in a small bowl, combine mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle it on top of the lasagna. Cover and let the cheese melt.

Head over here for the full recipe of how to cook lasagna in a crock pot.

 

HOW TO MAKE LASAGNA SOUP:

 

Lasagna soup recipe ground beef

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How to Create a Budget + Free Budget Worksheet

how to create a budget

Whether you’ve never budgeted or are wanting to improve your budgeting skills, here you will learn how to create a budget and implement it, plus you can get a free budget worksheet.

 

Learning how to budget can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be.

A budget will help you be in control of your money and choose where you want to spend it. It also helps you become more aware of where you are spending your money.

Once you learn how to create a budget, as well as some basic budgeting principles, then you’ll be able to save money and start seeing a difference in your finances.

Before learning how to create a budget, be sure to first print off the FREE budget worksheet (sign up below to get it), and fill it out while you walk through the budgeting principles below. 

 

 

 

 

 

I put together a video of how to use the free budget worksheet and also talk about the basics to budgeting. Watch the video above or click the link here to view it on my YouTube channel.

 

What are the Steps to Creating a Budget?

Here is how to create a budget and also use the free budget template printable worksheet.

1. Set Financial Goals

Since you are reading this, you are most likely motivated to start budgeting.

Before you start your budget, determine what is motivating you to do this and then set some financial goals. Are you wanting to get out of debt or save up a down payment for a home? Do you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck or save for a big family vacation?

Whatever your motivation is, you need to keep these financial goals in mind as you are budgeting each month. Write these goals down because they will help keep you on track and focused each month.

It’s also important that you have financial goals with specific numbers. For instance, how much money are you wanting to save each month? Which debt will you pay off first and how much money can you afford to put toward it each month?

Make sure these goals are realistic and achievable. You may not be able to save $500 a month, but maybe you can save $200 a month.

In order to save $200, that would mean setting aside $50 a week. In order to save $50 every week, some things you could do is don’t eat out, cut your grocery bill down, don’t go to the convenience store to grab a drink, or cut out subscription services.

It’s the small changes that make a difference over time.

Once you’ve determined what your financial goals are and printed off the free budget worksheet, then the next step is how to start budgeting.

 

2. Determine Income and Expenses

First, add up all of your sources of income and determine how much money you have coming in every month. This includes day jobs, night jobs and side jobs.

Add this to the top of the free budget worksheet template.

Now under the expenses section, divvy up and allocate how much money should go to each expense budget category.

Start by listing the expenses that are “needs”. This includes mortgage/rent, utilities, food/groceries, and transportation. Write down when these expenses are due so you pay them on time, and write under the “budgeted amount” column how much money will go toward each expense.

An example of the budget worksheet might look something like the one below. This is just an example. Tailor the budget worksheet to fit your income and expenses. Grab the free budget worksheet above.

free budget worksheet template

 

Click here to open the example budget worksheet in a PDF format. 

 

Once you’ve written down your “needs” expenses, then continue to write down other expenses from more important to less important. Additional expense categories could include debt, insurance, medical, eating out, clothing, pet, holidays, birthdays, charitable giving, savings, etc.

If you are unsure of how much to budget next to each expense, it will be helpful if you take time to analyze your spending and figure out where your money is being spent. Look at your bank statement to see which categories are taking the most of your income. By looking at this, you’ll be able to budget about how much you spend in each expense category. And by seeing where your money is going, you’ll also be more mindful of your spending.

It’s also important to budget realistic amounts for each expense category and stick to the budget. Remember that if the money runs out, then you can’t spend more on that category until the next month.

At the bottom of the “Budgeted Amount” column, the total expenses should equal your total income. Meaning all of your income money is accounted for and allocated to a budget category. This is called a zero-based budget when you tell every dollar where it needs to go.

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Hot Chocolate Cookies with Marshmallows

Hot chocolate cookies with marshmallows

These easy hot chocolate cookies with marshmallows are simple to make and delicious. They are made with hot cocoa and are a perfect Christmas cookie to take to a holiday party or to give to others.

 

My family loves hot chocolate, and we love cookies that have hot cocoa in them. I made these hot chocolate cookies for my family, and everyone couldn’t get enough of them. The kids kept asking if they could have one more to eat.

And one of my daughters asked if we could give some to neighbors because they were so delicious and she wanted to share what we had with others. She is so thoughtful and sweet!

This hot chocolate cookies recipe is a perfect treat to give to others during the holidays. The hot cocoa gives them a sweet and chocolatey flavor that is delicious. It’s definitely a cookie that everyone will love.

Before making the hot chocolate cookies, here’s a couple of things to keep in mind:

This recipe calls for mallow bits, not mini marshmallows. If you use mini marshmallows, they won’t work the same and can be a bit of a sticky mess.

I purchase the mallow bits at the grocery store, however, there have been a few times when I went to the store and the mallow bits were out of stock. What I did instead was purchase the hot chocolate with Mallow Bits and used it in my recipe.

And this recipe won’t taste as good if you use a sugar free hot cocoa. So stay away from that and just use a regular hot cocoa mix. Swiss Miss is one of our favorite brands.

The Christmas hot cocoa cookies recipe is below, but first, here are some regularly asked questions when people are wanting to bake cookies.

 

How Do You Make Chocolate Cookies with Cocoa?

There are a bunch of good recipes out there on how to make chocolate cookies with cocoa. Head over to Food.com for one recipe.

This hot chocolate cookies recipe doesn’t have cocoa powder in them, but they have a chocolatey flavor that comes from the hot cocoa and the chocolate chips. If you want these Christmas hot cocoa cookies to look darker than they are, then you can add one tablespoon of cocoa powder or dark cocoa powder. The hot cocoa cookies recipe is below.

 

What Is the Best Chocolate Cookie Recipe?

My friends over at Fabulessly Frugal have the best chocolate cookies recipe ever. You have to try them!

Their triple chocolate cookies are not the fastest, easiest, healthiest, or cheapest to make, but they are the most delicious. The cookie recipe includes cocoa, a pound of semi-sweet chocolate, and chocolate chips. It’s heaven for all chocolate lovers!

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Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

 

Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

This is an easy pumpkin chocolate chip bread recipe that is moist and packed with chocolate chips, and it’s a delicious recipe to make in the fall.

 

I love the smell of this easy pumpkin chocolate chip bread recipe baking in the oven because it makes my entire house smell delicious. And the milk chocolate chips added a perfect sweetness to the recipe.

I decided to make this homemade pumpkin bread one afternoon for a snack when my kids got home from school. I couldn’t wait for it to come out of the oven because it smelled so good. And when my kids got home, they were so excited for the snack. They loved it so much that they ate multiple pieces.

And a few days later my little boy told some people how much he loved pumpkin bread. I smiled at that comment and then decided to make this simple pumpkin bread recipe again so he could have more pumpkin bread.

 

pumpkin bread chocolate chip recipe

When making homemade pumpkin bread, here are some questions that are often asked:

Why Is My Pumpkin Bread Dry?

There are a combination of things that could make your pumpkin bread dry, such as too much flour, not enough pumpkin puree or liquid, over-mixing your batter, or baking the bread on too high of a temperature.

By not having the right amount of pumpkin puree, the flour will make the batter thicker which will lead to crumbly and dry bread. Also, overcooking bread or baking it at too high of a temperature will make it denser and dry.

If you follow this pumpkin bread chocolate chip recipe below, your pumpkin bread should turn out moist and delicious.

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