Quick & Easy “French Bread” Pizza

kids french bread pizzas 026

Tot Tuesday is a weekly feature where I highlight a special kids activity, frugal recipe for kids, kids tutorial, etc.


Do your kids like pizza? Why am I even asking? Of course they do! If you are anything like me though, inevitably when they ask I either A. don’t feel like making the crust and don’t have any frozen or B. Don’t feel like spending money on expensive delivery.

So today when my son asked for pizza, I quickly improvised with food I already had laying around! I call these French Bread Pizzas because they are made on leftover french bread rolls from some sandwiches we had late last week. You could easily do this on hot dog buns or really any kind of leftover bread you have laying around though. If it looks like pizza, and it has cheese and sauce…most kids don’t care!

Quick & Easy “French Bread” Pizza (sub any kind of bread you like for French Bread)

Ingredients:

  • Bread…I used french bread sub rolls
  • Tomato sauce
  • part skim mozzarella
  • salt & pepper
  • italian seasoning
  • Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

Toast your bread on the side that you will be putting the sauce and cheese on first. I made mine on our electric grill. You could put garlic butter on the bread first to make it even tastier, but my kids just want a delivery vehicle for cheese and sauce so I didn’t.

Meanwhile, take your tomato sauce and add your salt & pepper & italian seasoning to taste. Throw in a dash of Worcestershire sauce.

Flip bread over when it’s toasted and spread tomato sauce on bread. Top with cheese. Let the bread sit and toast for a bit on the other side while the cheese melts.

Voila! Quick and easy. Kids get pizza, you use up leftover bread!

Weight Watchers Friendly Chicken Divan

So as you know, I’m on Weight Watchers (are you sick of me talking about it yet?) and I’m searching for some staple recipes to round out my menus from week to week. I like my eating to be as thoughtless as possible, so you’ll see me testing a lot of recipes for awhile and after that it will probably die down a bit (unless you all just beg me for more, well I’d have to do it! Anything for my readers!).

The most recent obsession of mine is Gina’s Skinny Taste website. Not only do her recipes look gorgeous, they also taste amazing.

I love chicken paired with broccoli, and this recipe adds oodles of cheese (I’m sure oodles of cheese is a keyword, best bold it so all the search engine peeps can find it.)…so it sounded like a dream come true.

Gina’s Chicken Divan is divine, but next time I do think I’ll leave the wine out of it. It was too strong paired up against the swiss cheese (which isn’t a flavor that I love to be honest), so next time I’ll just use chicken broth (did you know you can substitute chicken broth for white wine in most cases? Unless you are looking to get intoxicated, in which case…chicken broth will NOT work.)

So here’s my latest weight watchers recipe in pictures. You can see the full directions and ingredient list on Skinny Taste. I made no substitutions in this one, so I don’t feel right posting the recipe here (also I like to share the link love). I do have to admit that I could not find the low fat versions of the cheeses though, so I had to adjust the points accordingly.

Chicken Divan courtesy of Skinny Taste

Lots and Lots of chopped up broccoli. Chopping up broccoli is messy.
My mother in law gave us an electric grill for Christmas. It gets a lot of work nowadays. Love those grill marks. They make even plain old chicken look delicious!
Don't have a way to measure 2 ounces of wine? Grab an old baby bottle, make your husband take a picture and sit back and wait for CPS.
While you are pouring wine into baby bottles, your daughter gets stuck in a laundry basket (of course you have to grab the camera before you help her out).
And your son flashes you those big hazel eyes and says "Can I just eat candy instead?"
Anything topped with breadcrumbs AND cheese has to be good...right?
Melty, bubbly goodness. Yum.

This recipe was awesome as is, and I definitely will be changing it up a bit next time…maybe subbing the swiss cheese for something else as well? Regardless, a hit in my book.

You can read the full recipe right here.

Enjoy!

Weight And Budget Friendly Spaghetti And Meatballs

Weight and Budget Friendly Spaghetti and Meatballs

So, most of you know that I have resolved to lose weight in 2011. Call it a plan, call it a goal, call it whatever you like…2011 will see much less of me as the year comes to a close! I will be blogging about losing weight on my Weight Watchers blog, so I won’t be talking much about my progress here on Family Friendly Frugality. That said, I have a duel goal of posting more recipes on Family Friendly Frugality and eating well…so you’ll see a lot more healthy frugal recipes popping up over here!

The internet is a great source of inspiration to me in the kitchen. To be honest, although I have several cookbooks…I often refer to the internet first. While searching for Weight Watchers recipes, I found the site Skinny Taste and was delighted to see that Gina has a category specifically for meals under $10. Of course, much like brick and mortar stores (where I immediately make a beeline for the clearance rack!) that’s the first  place I checked out!

Her pictures are A-Mazing…so I needed to try out some of her recipes to be sure it wasn’t some fancy shmancy camera trickery making all of her food look so tasty. Yum, nope…the food is good y’all!

My first attempt at a Skinny Taste recipe were these Skinny Italian Spinach Meatballs. I, of course, didn’t make them exactly according to the recipe (because honestly…who does that?), but they were a total hit served with garlic bread and some low point spaghetti! The only changes I made were slight. I couldn’t find the Tutorosso tomatoes so I just used generic canned crushed tomatoes. I also didn’t buy Weight Watchers bread because we use Nature’s Own Light Bread (sidenote: Does anyone have a healthy low cal bread machine sandwich bread recipe?).

For the original recipe, be sure to head over to Gina’s Skinny Taste blog, but here’s my take (in pictures) on this yummy low Weight Watchers AND Budget Friendly recipe!

Budget Friendly/Weight Friendly Spaghetti & Meatballs

Mmm, nothing like raw meat and spinach. Seriously these are really awesome meatballs though!
I didn't count how many meatballs this made. All I know is that it served my whole family one dinner and one lunch.
The sauce, although surprisingly simple, was very tasty and would probably be good with anything that required spaghetti sauce.
My meatballs started to brown too much in the pan, so I let them finish cooking in the sauce
I let the meatballs cook away in the sauce while I cooked the pasta
Okay, the garlic bread was kind of high points...but I had the points for it and it was so yummy!

It was a fabulous dinner, and even my non-spinach loving husband enjoyed it. He did request that next time I chop up the spinach a bit more so it’s not quite so “stringy”. The taste was excellent and my kitchen smelled better than any Italian restaurant I’ve ever walked into!

For the full ingredient list, directions and nutritional information head on over to Gina’s Skinny Recipes.

Kid Friendly Couscous w/ Chicken & Veggies

Tot Tuesday is a weekly feature where I highlight a special kids activity, frugal recipe for kids, kids tutorial, etc.

So it’s a new year and many of us have resolved/planned/decided (no matter what you call it!) to eat healthier. This doesn’t start and end with us adults though. Our children need to be eating healthier too! In an effort to expand my little ones palettes, I have resolved to try a new recipe every single week with them, whether it’s ingredients they enjoy or not. You just never know when something is going to spark an interest or open a window!

So this week, I decided to pull out one of my favorite kid cookbooks: Superfoods-For Babies and Children by Annabel Karmel.

I bought this cookbook originally when I first decided I wanted to try and make my own baby food. The book has recipes all the way up to the elementary school years however. I have several children’s cookbooks, but I do have to say that this one is my favorite.

Since this resolution (feeding the kids one new recipe a week) was kind of a new one, I had to work with what was in my pantry and fridge. I flipped through the book and found a neat little couscous recipe and decided it was worth a shot.

Now my kids have never had couscous (in fact I haven’t either…), but on a whim awhile back I purchased some. My son is not a fan of pasta or rice, so I thought it might be worth a shot to see if he would eat couscous (I’ll spoil the ending on this one…no. My daughter did though!).

Feel free to omit the chicken in this recipe and use it as a side dish.

Kid Friendly Couscous w/ Chicken & Veggies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • 1 tbspn unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup diced onion (diced very small)
  • 1/2 cup diced zuchini (diced uniform to the onion)
  • 2 tomatoes peeled and diced (I used canned tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup cooked chicken diced uniform to veggies
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring the chicken broth to a boil. Pour over couscous (be sure to do this in a bowl with plenty of room) and let sit. Fluff with a fork when the liquid is absorbed.

2. Melt the butter in a pan and cook the onions and zucchini until fork tender. Add the tomatoes and heat through, about a minute.

3. Take the pan off the heat and add the couscous, combining the veggies and couscous.

4. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

My daughter really enjoyed this.


My son wanted no part of it! My daughter is definitely our more adventurous eater, but I’m still glad I presented the dish to my son. I think it’s important to expose even the pickiest eaters (especially the pickiest eaters!) to a wide variety of foods on  a regular basis.

He really enjoyed his yogurt at least!

No Gingerbread Houses Here: Candyland Houses!

Tot Tuesday is a weekly feature where I highlight a special kids activity, frugal recipe for kids, kids tutorial, etc.

This will be the last Tot Tuesday post of 2010, so I thought we should go out with a sugar induced coma. The other day, I was browsing through Momtastic and found this adorable recipe for a Mini Candyland House. I am not a fan of gingerbread, so the fact that this used Graham Crackers was a huge plus to me!

I’ll admit, I generally buy the kits at the store to make our yearly Gingerbread Houses.

Unfortunately, those kits are way too expensive and to be honest, the candy really stinks. I wanted good candy and I wanted to use stuff I already had on hand! We did make a small candy run to Walgreens, but spent less than $4.

I portioned out our candy into a handy little plastic serving dish I have:

The icing was a breeze to make, but I didn’t realize just how rough my kiddos would be on their houses. Honestly, I should have made the houses and let them dry before handing them over to my over eager toddlers (I can still call my son a toddler right? He’s not 4 until March!).

It started off really well, but very quickly this (above) turned into this (below):

After assuring him it was okay and we would still decorate our Candyland Piles, he got back to work.

Lizzie was a bit bothered by how sunny it was outside, but she had a lot of fun building her Candyland Pile as well.

The finished product wasn’t quite what we expected, but we had so much fun! I highly encourage you to make some Candyland Houses (or Piles!) with your little ones while you await Christmas! For maximum success, build your houses before you hand them over to your excited children. It’s not necessary though. Even with a less than stellar after product, we had:

Candy+Icing+Graham Crackers=Fun times for all!

For the recipe and a Non-Heather Tutorial, check out this awesome craft on Momtastic.

Tot Tuesday won’t be back until 2011!  This is my favorite series though, so I’ll be bringing it back in early January though!

Turkey Soup Recipe

What exactly is your plan for the bones of your leftover turkey? I know what I always do… make turkey soup! My version is super easy, fast and frugal!

Turkey Soup

1 picked over turkey
Veggies…whatever you like (we use carrots, onions, potatoes, okra…seriously whatever you like)
1/2 cup rice
salt
pepper
leftover turkey

Put turkey in a really big pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then lower down to a simmer for about 2 hours. Push the turkey down as it starts to tenderize (is that the right word for it?) and break down.

When the turkey is pretty much just floating bones, drain the stock into a colendar. Throw out all the bones (you can keep the meat if any meat is leftover) and put the stock back on the stove.

Season with salt and pepper and add all the veggies and turkey in. Simmer until the veggies are nice and soft. Add rice about 15 minutes before you intend to eat.

Enjoy!

Super easy, super frugal!

What do you do with your leftover turkey?

My name is Heather and I am a frugal mommy saving money! Want to learn a bit more about Family Friendly Frugality? First subscribe to FREE daily emails. Next, learn more about our frugal blog by reading our about me post or read the popular series Our Story. Or jump in head first and learn how to reduce the family grocery budget, play the drugstore game, or catch up on the hottest frugality finds!

Silly Silly Applesauce Muffins

This morning I decided I was going to take advantage of the “extra” hour given by DST and wake up earlier than my kiddos. I only ended up getting 40 minutes (try telling my kids we get an extra hour of sleep..they aren’t buying it!), but they were the most productive 40 minutes I’ve had in a LONG time.

In 40 minutes, I:

1. Read my Bible Verses
2. Did a quick 10 minute exercise DVD from Netflix
3. Took a shower!

The only thing that would have made the morning more productive is if breakfast had been ready by the time the kids woke up. Noah requested Silly Silly Muffins, and unfortunatley I have no recipe for that (what kind of mommy am I!). I was able to convince him that Applesauce Muffins were really quite silly…so we pulled out the ingredients and got to work! Here’s our recipe:

Silly Silly Applesauce Muffins
(we use cupcake liners and it makes about 12)

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (we do half wheat half white)
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 1/2 tspn baking soda
  • 1/2 tspn salt 
  • 1 tspn cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbspn butter
  • 2 cups apple sauce
  • 2 small apples diced
  • 2 eggs
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix dry ingredients together
  3. Add wet ingredients and apples and mix until batter is just moistened
  4. Line cupcake pan with liners and spoon in batter
  5. Bake for 20-22 minutes
  6. Let cool and enjoy!
I thought this recipe would be a great addition to the frugal recipes here on Family Friendly Frugality! 

Want to learn a bit more about Family Friendly Frugality? Learn more about our family blog by reading our about me post. Or jump in head first and learn how to save money grocery shopping, play the drugstore game, or catch up on the hottest deals!

Comforting Potato Soup!

So yesterday I was checking out one of my favorite frugal recipe blogs $5 Dinners.

I came across this super simple recipe for Potato Soup and had to try it. I’ve made potato soup in the past and it was a total failure. This is amazing. I highly encourage you to try it! Super cheap, easy and quick.

I changed things up just a tad, so here’s my version.

Adapted from Connie’s Potato Soup For 10
Connie from Smockity Frocks on $5 Dinners

Ingredients:

  • 10 potatoes
  • 1 lb sausage (I used Jimmy Dean Sage)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 cup cheddar
  • 2 cups cooked broccoli (frozen or fresh, just make sure it’s steamed to be pretty soft)
Directions:
  1. Peel and cut potatoes into small cubes
  2. Put potatoes into a pot and cover with water (just a bit over the potatoes)
  3. Set to boil 
  4. Meanwhile, brown onion and sausage seperately
  5. When potatoes are soft…DO NOT DRAIN. Add sausage, onions, cheese, cream of mushroom soup and broccoli
  6. Let simmer until you are ready to eat! It will naturally thicken
Let me tell you, this is even better the next day. I meant to take a picture of my bowl, but I couldn’t stop eating it long enough!
Perfect for a chilly fall day and to get rid of those potatoes sitting on your counter! My husband ate an enormous bowl and my daughter even ate it! My kids are NOT soup eaters (I might have told her it was cheese soup LOL)

Guest Post: Fun Halloween Treats!

Guest Post by Jessica from I’m Not Your Everyday Average Mom

This weekend my family and I are going to do some fun baking!!
We made homemade chocolate last night which my son got a kick out of!
Today we are going to pick some fresh apples from an orchard and make a caramel apple pie!
And to top it off we are going to go pick out our pumpkins and carve them tonight!
I love doing fun family activities!
With all of the baking, making, and creating we are doing this weekend I got to thinking about what kind of OTHER stuff we could do!
I found some really fun treats that would be so fun to make, alone or with kids!
Cooking with kids is a great learning and teaching tool as well!
The teacher in me LOVES that aspect, and the mother in me loves the family time and togetherness!
MONSTER TEETH
Ingredients
  • Apples
  • Slivered almonds
Instructions
  1. Just quarter and core an apple, cut a wedge from the skin side of each quarter, then press slivered almonds in place for teeth.
    CREEPY FINGERS
    ingredients
    • vegetable dip
    • 4 long carrots
    • 1 medium carrot
    • softened cream cheese
    • sliced-almond
    • baby carrots
    Instructions
    1. To prepare them, just fill a serving bowl with your favorite vegetable dip. Wash and peel 4 long carrots for fingers and 1 medium carrot for a thumb.
    2. With a paring knife (a parent’s job), cut a flat, shallow notch in the tip of each carrot. Then use a dab of dip or softened cream cheese to glue a sliced-almond fingernail atop each notch.
    3. Stick the fingers in the dip, as shown, and serve with plenty of peeled baby carrots for dipping.
    MELON BRAINS
    Ingredients
    • 1 small seedless watermelon
    Instructions
    1. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the entire green rind, exposing the inner white rind.
    2. Slice off the bottom of the melon to create a flat base that will keep it from rolling. With a toothpick, outline squiggly furrows that resemble the folded surface of a brain.
    3. Finally, carve narrow channels along the tracings with a sharp paring knife (a parent’s job) to expose the pink fruit beneath the rind.
    1. MUMMY PIZZAS
    Ingredients
    • English muffins
    • Pizza sauce
    • Black olives
    • Scallions
    • Red or green pepper
    • Cheese sticks or slices
    Instructions
    1. Heat the oven to 350º F. For each mummy, spread a tablespoon of pizza sauce onto half of an English muffin (toast it first, if you like).
    2. Set olive slices in place for eyes and add round slices of green onion or bits of red or green pepper for pupils.
    3. Lay strips of cheese (we used a pulled-apart cheese stick) across the muffin for the mummy?s wrappings.
    4. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the muffin is toasty.
    JELLO EYEBALLS
    Ingredients
    • 3.4-ounce box vanilla pudding mix
    • Jelly beans
    • LifeSavers Gummies
    • Plastic eggs
    • 2 empty egg cartons
    Instructions
    1. Prepare the pudding according to the package directions. For each eye, fit a jelly bean into the center of a LifeSavers Gummies candy and place it in a plastic egg half.
    2. Fill the egg cup with the pudding, then place the egg halves in an egg carton in the freezer until they’re firm (about 3 hours).
    3. Remove the egg halves from the freezer and let them sit at room temperature for about 3 to 5 minutes.
    4. With the back of a fork, gently press down on the edge of the pudding, rolling the frozen ball out of the egg cup. If you’re not serving them right away, place the eyes in a freezer-safe dish in the freezer until you’re ready.
    FROG EGG POPSICLES!
    Ingredients
    • 2 Kiwi fruit
    • 1 cup of limeade (we used a natural brand without artificial color)
    • 1 tablespoon of honey
    • 8 3-ounce paper or plastic cups
    • Popsicle sticks
    Instructions
    1. To make a batch, cut a ripe, peeled kiwi fruit into chunks. Blend the fruit chunks with 1 cup of limeade and a tablespoon or so of honey until the mixture is somewhat smooth (some small lumps are fine).
    2. Slice a second kiwi into eight thin pieces and press them into the bottoms of eight 3-ounce plastic or paper cups. Pour the blended mixture into the cups, filling them each about halfway.
    3. Place the cups in a Pyrex baking dish and cover them with foil. Insert a popsicle stick through the foil and into each cup (the foil will hold the sticks in place) and freeze the pops until solid, about 4 hours.
    4. When you’re ready to remove the pops from their molds, you can loosen them by briefly dipping the bottoms of the cups in warm water if necessary. Makes 8.
      SWAMP JUICE
      Ingredients
      • FOR 8 SERVINGS:
      • 1/2 cup small tapioca pearls (found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores)
      • Food coloring
      • 4 tablespoons sugar
      • 8 gummy fish
      • Seltzer water
      • Lemonade
      • 8 gummy worms
      Instructions
      1. MAKE THE EGGS: Bring 6 cups of water to a boil and add the tapioca pearls. Reduce the heat slightly and boil the pearls, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes.
      2. COLOR THE EGGS: Divide the pearls, with the remaining water, between two bowls. Add 4 drops of food coloring (we used 3 drops of yellow and 1 drop of green in one bowl, and 4 drops of blue in the other) and 2 tablespoons of sugar to each bowl. Stir the mixtures, then allow them to sit uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and rinse the pearls with cold water.
      3. ASSEMBLE THE DRINK: Spoon 2 tablespoons of pearls into each glass and drop in a gummy fish. Fill the glasses with seltzer water, then add a splash of lemonade. Place a gummy worm around a spoon as shown.
        MONSTER FINGERS

        RECIPE INGREDIENTS:

        Cocktail wieners
        6-inch tortillas
        Ketchup or mustard
        Toothpicks

        DIRECTIONS

        2. Cut the tortillas into strips about 4 inches long and 3/4 inch wide. Discard the ends.
        3. Soften the strips in the microwave between damp paper towels for 10 to 30 seconds.
        4. Roll each wiener in a tortilla strip and secure with a toothpick.
        5. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove them from the oven, then fill the toenail with ketchup or mustard. Remove the toothpicks before serving.
        BRAIN CUPCAKES
        Ingredients
        • Food Coloring
        Instructions
        1. Bake a batch of classic cupcakes.
        2. Spread a coat of light orange icing (we stirred drops of yellow and pink food coloring, and just a touch of green, into 2 cups of buttercream frosting until we had a hue we liked) on a dozen cupcakes.
        3. Use a pastry bag fitted with a number 10 round tip to top them with fat zigzags. It works best to first pipe two zigzags down the middle and then fill in the sides.
          Hope these give you some fun ideas!!!
    5. Jessica lives in Eastern Washington and is a former teacher now stay at home mom to two little ones!! Her family, being a Young Life leader, and blogging are her passions! She loves to blog about online deals, freebies, product reviews, giveaways and anything else life decides to throw her way! Visit her website at I’m Not Your Everyday Average Mom!

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