Rice Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Guest Post by Megan

Here’s an easy,kid-friendly meal you can make in a rice cooker.

Ingredients:

– 2 cups elbow macaroni
– 1 3/4 cup chicken broth
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheese
– 1/2 cup frozen mixed vegetables
– 1/2 cup cooked meat (optional) I like diced ham
– salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Place pasta, vegetables, and chicken broth in the rice cooker. Cook 15-20 minutes until pasta is tender. Turn off rice cooker. Add milk and shredded cheese. Stir in cooked meat.

Enjoy!

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S’mores in the Oven

Guest Post by Megan

Sometimes you want the experience of camping out without leaving the comfort of your home. Tonight, we decided s’mores would be good, but since it’s raining and we are not camping, we decided to make them in the oven.

To make your own s’mores at home, you will need:

Graham crackers
Hershey’s chocolate
Big marshmallows (cut in half)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees OR set on broil. Line baking sheet with foil. Arrange crackers on foil.

Next, arrange chocolate on top of crackers.

Finally, place marshmallow halves on top of chocolate.

Place in oven and watch closely the entire time! The marshmallows should be lightly brown (within approximately 45-60 seconds) when you remove them.

Top with another graham cracker and enjoy!

My 2 year old finds this to be quite delicious!

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Recipe: Crock-Pot Chocolate Lava Cake

I wanted to re-post this recipe. It is super easy and frugal….and awesome!

You are either going to love me or hate me for this recipe…..

You’ll love me because it is SO easy but I will admit…it is hard to control yourself with this cake….and I confess I didn’t…control myself.

First thing to know- you will cook this in the crock pot (I LOVE my crock pot- have I mentioned how he changed my life…)

Ingredients:

Cake Mix

Cooking Spray

Cake Mix (1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist triple chocolate fudge cake mix)

1 1/4 cups milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

Topping

1 box (4-serving size) instant chocolate pudding and pie filling mix

2 cups milk

1 bag (12 oz) milk chocolate chips (2 cups)

Directions:

Spray your crock pot with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix up your cake batter per the instructions on the cake mix box. Pour into your crockpot.

In medium bowl, prepare your instant chocolate pudding per the directions on the box. Pour into your crock pot over the cake batter. Do not mix.

Then sprinkle chocolate chips over top.

Cover; cook on Low heat setting 2 1/2  to 3 hours or until cake is set and pudding is beginning to bubble out of cake.

The pudding and chocolate chips will actually end up inside the cake after it is cooked- as you can see by the picture above.

I served with vanilla ice cream. It was fantastic.

I am not currently seeing a Cake Mix coupon, but you can keep an eye on the Betty Crocker coupon page here

You can currently grab a coupon for Chocolate chips here

Recipe compliments of Betty Crocker and Eclectic Recipes

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Easy Caramelized Bananas Recipe (3 Ingredients)

 

Guest Post by Megan

What do you do when your kids ask for dessert after dinner? We usually don’t serve dessert. It’s more of a special treat around here, but one night, after all their plates were clean, my boys asked if we could have dessert.

Not having much available, I decided to serve something which can be found in a Brazilian steakhouses. Of course, they can do it better than I can because I imagine they grill their bananas, but this recipe is good too for the average kitchen.

Ingredients:

Ripe bananas
Sugar
1 Tbsp butter

Directions:

1. Heat butter over medium heat in skillet on stove.

2. Meanwhile, slice bananas in half and then slice in half again down the length of the banana.

3. Place sugar in a bowl (approx 1/2 cup), roll bananas in sugar coating all sides.

4. Place sugar coated bananas in skillet and cook until the sugar begins to brown.

5. Remove from heat and serve warm. You can also top with a scoop of ice cream.

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Homemade Cereal Bar Recipe & Tutorial

Guest Post by Megan

Our children are ALWAYS hungry! Sometimes it feels like we are feeding them all day long. The pantry that looked full earlier in the week seems to look like a barren wasteland come the weekend.

One of my children’s favorite snacks is the cereal bar. Nutri-Grain or Trader Joe’s…my children don’t discriminate. They LOVE cereal bars! When I stumbled across this recipe, I decided to give it a try.

Please note that I used a small food processor (Cuisinart mini food prep) to make this recipe, however I highly recommend using a larger one. It was a tight squeeze, but my mini prep stayed strong!

Ingredients:
– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 1 cup while wheat flour
– 1/4 cup rolled oats
– 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
– 1/4 cup wheat bran (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp cinnamon
– 4 Tbsp cold butter, cubed
– 2/3 cup milk
– 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Place flours, oats, wheat bran, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder in a food processor and pulse until oats are ground.

Add butter and pulse again until it resembles coarse meal.

Next, add milk and vanilla extract slowly while food processor is pulsing to make dough.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap or cover in sealed container. Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours to allow dough to stiffen. This makes it easier to work with.

While the dough is chilling, it’s time to make some filling (that rhymed- totally unintentional). Please refer to the original recipe to see how she made her cereal bar filling using dried fruit and water. I didn’t have dried fruit on hand, so I made up my own using some puréed pumpkin (from all that fall baking), a dash of pumpkin pie spice, and a sprinkle of sugar. For kicks, I even took the kids’ blackberry jam and gave that a whirl as filling. Warning about jam: it gets hot, it leaks out and makes a big mess on the cookie sheet. I see why the author of this recipe suggests using dried fruit. I just like to experiment with my own ideas. 😉

Sprinkle flour onto a clean dry surface and divide dough in half.

Roll dough into an 8″x12″ rectangle.

Cut dough in half so you have two long 4″ strips of dough.

Spread approx 2 Tbsp of filling about 1″ wide down the middle of each strip of dough. (I might have gotten a little carried away)

Fold one side slightly over half of the filling. Use an egg wash (one egg white + 1Tbsp cold water) on the open side of the dough and lightly apply. Then fold dough over filling overlapping the first fold by 1/4″. Press to seal and flip strip of dough so it is seam side down. Apply another light coat of egg wash, sprinkle with bran, and cut into three 4″ bars.

Place on cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes. Allow to cool before eating.

This recipe yields 12 bars.

The verdict is that they were delicious! Now, I will say that my pumpkin filling was pretty good to me, but my kids gave it a “ugh, that’s yuck mommy!” I recommend trying the dried fruit method for the kiddos and save the more sophisticated stuff for the adults. The kids DID like the blackberry jam bars. I may experiment in the future and try a banana purée with brown sugar. The dough is excellent and the filling possibilities are up to your taste preference.

Recipe Credit

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Easy & Frugal Recipe: Chicken Broccoli Roll-Up

Guest Post by Megan

I have given up on trying to cook chicken. In the oven, in the crockpot, on the stove…it tastes alright, but when compared to a rotisserie chicken you can pick up at the store, I’m just not that impressed with my own skills.

So, I have started buying a rotisserie chicken once a week from Costco for $4.99. It’s always so good and we usually have leftovers. Here’s what I like to do with our leftover chicken:

Chicken Broccoli Roll-Up

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked chicken (chopped)
1/2 cup broccoli (finely chopped)
1/2 cup carrot (finely shredded)
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup mayo
Salt and pepper to taste
1 package refrigerated crescent rolls

I usually buy the refrigerated crescent rolls, however I made my own dough in the bread machine this time. I thought it was so much better but this recipe is still yummy with the store bought dough.

(You can currently print a Pillsbury Crescent Roll coupon here and here)

Directions:

Combine first 6 ingredients.

Spoon filling onto crescent roll and roll up.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes until crescent roll is slightly golden.

Enjoy!

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Christmas Crafts & Recipes Recap

I wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas! Thank you so much for reading Jessica’s Coupons. I hope you take this time to enjoy your friends and family….and remember the Reason for the Season!  (Luke 2:1-21)

Here are a few crafts and recipes featured this holiday season….see you December 26th!

Holiday Craft: Snowman Handprint Ornament

Holiday Craft: Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

Easy Christmas Banner Tutorial

DIY Kissing Ball Tutorial

Ode to Cranberry

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe & Tutorial

Fancy Water Recipe

Pineapple Casserole Recipe

Merry Christmas!

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Recipe: Pineapple Casserole

This is one of my favorite recipes….so I thought I would share it with you again.

I make this every Christmas morning. It is ALWAYS a hit….and it is super easy to make (& frugal too)

Ingredients

1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 can crushed pineapple with juice (20 ounces)
1/2 pack of Hawaiian Rolls or 6 pieces of white bread
3 Tablespoons of butter
1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup of Confectionery Sugar to top
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 1 quart baking dish (I used butter)….in a bowl mix together the sugar, flour and salt. Then add in the eggs (beaten), canned pineapple with juice and mix together. Pour the mixture into your baking dish. Break the rolls or bread into pieces to top your mixture. Then dot the with the butter. Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is nice and brown. Once I remove the dish from the oven top with the confectionery sugar and cinnamon. I like to let the dish set for about 5-10 minutes before scooping out portions to cool.

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Recipe: Fancy Water

So several months back I cut out sodas…well mostly…I still have one now and again…but I did have about 4-5 can a day habit.

This is how I did it. I call it Fancy Water. So many of my friends and family have asked me for the recipe….I thought some of you may be interested too…plus, if you are entertaining this Holiday Season…I think it may be a nice beverage option. It looks really pretty in a nice pitcher.

Ingredients:

Cucumber (peeled & sliced)
Mint Leaves
Fresh Lemon Juice
Water

You can add or subtract any ingredients of course…as far as the ratios…you will want to do it to taste….but I will tell you how I like my “fancy water”

I use 2 gallons of water, 1-2 lemons, 15-20 mint leaves, and 1/2-1 cucumber.

I like to let the water sit in the refrigerator over night so all the flavors can mesh.

I also like to use a pitcher that “filters” out the leaves & cucumbers….a pitcher with a pour spout or infusion pitcher.  I personally don’t like the cucumbers and mint leaves in my glass.

I think it taste great and I am NOT a water person.

Enjoy!

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Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe & Tutorial

Post by Megan

About 3 years ago, I was introduced to a website that is wonderful! At the time, she was rising in stardom, but still not well known like she is now. Thepioneerwoman.com is an excellent resource for comfort food recipes. Ree knows how to cook! And her tutorials are hilarious! I love her sense of humor.

Anyway, every year, I make The Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls. They are a fabulous addition for breakfast, brunch, or can stand alone as dessert. This recipe makes a huge batch, so if you aren’t planning to share them, you can bake the cinnamon rolls and freeze them without the icing.

Be sure to print this coupon while it is available as well…

$1.00 off any Reynolds Genuine Parchment Paper
$1.00 off any Reynolds Genuine Parchment Paper

The following recipe has been taken directly from www.thepioneerwoman.com with a few minor changes to the butter and sugar amounts. She is very generous with the sugar and butter she uses. I can assure you, they still taste great with less!

Ingredients

1 quart Whole Milk (4 cups milk)
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Sugar
2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
Plenty Of Melted Butter
2 cups Sugar (I reduce this amount to 1 cup which is plenty for the entire batch)
Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
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MAPLE FROSTING:
1 bag Powdered Sugar (2lb)
2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
1/2 cup Milk
1/4 cup Melted Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup Brewed Coffee
1/8 teaspoon Salt

Preparation Instructions

For the dough, heat 4 cups of milk, 1 cup of vegetable oil, and 1 cup of sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. You want to scald it, not boil it so turn off the heat once you see bubbles and movement in your milk mixture (it looks like the milk is about to erupt). Set aside and cool approximately 45 minutes to an hour so it is warm, not hot. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.

Add 8 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine.

Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. (I often make the dough one day and the cinnamon rolls the next day)

To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the bowl. On a clean and floured surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle.

The dough should be rolled very thin. (I hardly ever get this right. Mine is usually 1/4″ thick because it falls apart if I roll it thinner. I’m also not good at making a rectangle, as you can see)

To make the filling, pour 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough (I use 1/2 cup butter for each of my rectangles).

Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly.

Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon and 1 cup of the sugar (again, I reduce this amount to a little less than 1/2 cup sugar per rectangle) over the butter.

Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down.

At this point, I hope you’re feeling confident that this process doesn’t require perfection. My photos show that clearly…but these cinnamon rolls are so forgiving!

Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch slices. Pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into disposable foil cake pans and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd.

Repeat the rolling/sugar/butter process with the other half of the dough and more pans.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.

While the rolls are baking, make the maple icing: In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, salt, and maple flavoring. Whisk until very smooth. The icing should be slightly thick but still pourable.

Remove pans from the oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor.

Seriously delicious!!!

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