March – 2013 – Frugal Novice
Monthly Archives

March 2013

Healthy Veggie Pizza & Delicious Stuffed Cinnamon Roll Bites – Recipes

GreatValue_CreamCheese_Crescents Can you believe Spring is already here as of today? It seems like the first quarter of the year has flown by, but I’m ready for nice weather, playing outside with the kids, grilling, and having friends over.

We got a jump on ideas for delicious spring treats last night at my Great Value baking party – and everything we made just involved a few ingredients – so easy!

We decided to make something savory and something sweet, and the starring ingredients in both dishes were the Great Value crescent rolls and cream cheese spread. I love having dishes with overlapping ingredients, because it makes it cost even less to provide great food when you entertain – not to mention the lower Great Value prices to begin with!

So, I’m sure you’re curious about what we made, right? First let’s talk about our savory dish – cold veggie pizzas shaped to look like carrots! These are a fun way to introduce veggies into your kids’ meals, and with Easter around the corner you can remind them that bunnies love to eat carrots, so they should eat some too!

For our pizzas, first we rolled out crescent roll dough into sheets on baking pans, and baked them at 375 degrees until they were golden brown. Then my friend Amanda chopped up broccoli into fine pieces, while my friend Kristi did the same with carrots.

GreatValue_SpreadingDough   GreatValue_ChoppingBroccoli   GreatValue_ChoppingCarrots

 

Once the dough is baked, we just cut out cone-shaped pieces. We made ours small, but you could easily make these bigger for a more substantial pizza piece. Then just spread each piece with cream cheese, and sprinkle with carrots and broccoli! The idea is to make the broccoli look like the leafy part of the carrot, but you can approach the design however you like best.

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These are REALLY good – I’d had something similar before, so I knew I’d like these, but my friends were a little skeptical. These won them over, though, and I think they’ll be making them in the near future!  My friend Jennifer’s daughters liked them, too:

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Now, on to the sweet treats (always my favorite part)! We made stuffed cinnamon roll bites – and let me tell you, these are AMAZING. Like, so good I can’t even convey it with words… you will just have to make them for yourself.

For this dish, all we needed was the crescent roll dough, cream cheese, cinnamon, sugar, powdered sugar, and vanilla.

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We mixed up a cinnamon-sugar combination to coat our crescent roll dough. We tore off small pieces to fit in a fun bunny-shaped muffin tin I bought, coated each one on both sides, and pressed it into each of the bunnies.

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Then we mixed up 1/2 cup of cream cheese, 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla to use as a filling.

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For these small bites we just used a tiny spoonful, not filling the cavity up completely. Then we topped these off with another piece of cinnamon sugar-coated crescent roll dough.

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Once these baked and cooled just a bit we popped them right out (easy with the silicone pan!) and had adorable little bunny-shaped, stuffed cinnamon roll bites. The tops of these are slightly crispy and the bottoms are gooey and amazing. We flipped ours upside down because the bottoms showed the bunny shape a little better. Aren’t they adorable?

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You could easily modify these with other shapes, or you can do like my friend Jennifer did and make roll-ups – she coated a full triangle of crescent roll dough with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, spread it with the sweetened cream cheese filling, and rolled it up like you would a normal crescent roll. YUM!

I hope you’ll give both of these fun spring treats a try – and don’t forget you can make other easy desserts with Great Value cookie dough – I think we’ll be making Easter cookies soon!

Note: I am participating in the Great Value program with The Motherhood. I have been compensated for my time.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.

 

 

Give Cheer with ProFlowers this Spring!

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I think fresh flowers are an instant mood-brightener. I love looking over and seeing a pop of color on my desk at work, or on our dining table at home. And as Spring is right around the corner, it only makes sense that flowers are a perfect addition to add some cheer for you or your loved ones.

ProFlowers.com has a ton of options perfect for Spring and for Easter. I love their bouquets, wreaths, and gift sets – so fun! I got the chance to receive one of their bouquets – the Deluxe Shower of Flowers.

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You know it’s going to be a good day when this box shows up at your desk!

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Everything comes packed really well so that your flowers are kept safe and sound!

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My flowers on the day I received them. I will say the bouquet was quite a bit darker than I realized it would be, but everyone commented on how pretty the flowers were. Even more impressive? The flowers just get prettier as the days go by. Check out how the bouquet looked 5 days after I received it:

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So, be sure and check out ProFlowers for amazing Easter decor – and not just bouquets! Click the link above and you can see the variety of great items they have available. And don’t forget, they always have great coupon codes available!

Note: I received a bouquet to facilitate my review. I was not compensated monetarily for my post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

 

 

Free Cleaning Calendars are Back!

Are you looking for the latest version of my free printable cleaning calendar? Click here to get the newest PDF – one you can use for each month!

Last year I started posting cleaning calendars, and then ended up tapering those off. They’re helpful for us, and I hope they’re helpful for others, so after a request to bring them back, here’s a calendar for April – perfect timing for spring cleaning! I will plan to continue these calendars throughout the year, and if you have any tips or suggestions please let me know!  Click here to download a high-resolution, printable PDF of the calendar.

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Since March is almost halfway over, I didn’t make a full-fledged calendar, but here are cleaning suggestions for each day through the rest of this month starting on Sunday:

  • Sunday, March 17: Laundry Day; Sweep & Vacuum all floors in the house
  • Monday, March 18: Surface clean living room & kitchen (put away items, dust)
  • Tuesday, March 19: Surface clean bedrooms (put away items, dust)
  • Wednesday, March 20: Sweep front porch and sidewalk; rake leaves
  • Thursday, March 21: Clean bathrooms (toilets, showers, floors, walls, counters, mirrors, sinks)
  • Friday, March 22: Clean doorknobs, phones, remotes, switchplates – anything that’s repeatedly touched
  • Saturday, March 23: Clean all interior windows and window sills
  • Sunday, March 24: Deep clean living room (mirrors, baseboards, artwork, etc.); spot clean carpets
  • Monday, March 25: Vacuum and sweep all floors in the house
  • Tuesday, March 26: Mop hard surface floors in house
  • Wednesday, March 27: Clean out refrigerator (& wipe down shelves) & pantry
  • Thursday, March 28: Surface clean bedrooms & extra rooms (office/den)
  • Friday, March 29: Sweep front porch and sidewalk
  • Saturday, March 30: Clean exterior windows; remove screens if needed, or do a quicker clean if short on time
  • Sunday, March 31: Laundry Day: Wash rugs, curtains, and other items you don’t regularly wash; sweep back porch/deck and spray down with hose if needed

Great Value Spring Party Prep

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I can hardly believe Spring is right around the corner! We’ve survived the time change, and now we’re looking forward to warmer weather, longer patches of sunlight, and lots of fun outside.

It also means it’s about time for my next Great Value baking party! I am looking forward to another excuse to get together with friends and bake some delicious goodies – and without spending an arm and a leg on supplies.  This party I’m going to focus on some good crescent roll recipes. I’ve loved crescent rolls for a long time, and they definitely add a great flavor to all sorts of recipes, both sweet and savory.

One thing we’re going to make is some mini, bunny-shaped sopapilla cheesecakes. I bought this silicone mold at Walmart:

BunnyMold

What we’ll do is take small pieces of crescent dough and coat them with a cinnamon/sugar mixture, then press them into the bottom of the molds. Then I’ll put a dollop of sweet cream cheese filling in the middle, and then top with another piece of crescent dough. I’m excited to see how these turn out, because I think they’ll be adorable AND delicious.

For the savory side, we’re going to make some veggie “pizzas” in the shape of carrots, an idea I got from Hungry Happenings. So cute, easy, and it’s a way to sneak some veggies into your kids’ diets.

I bought my veggies and cream cheese along with the crescent roll dough, so I’m all set!

Veggies CreamCheese

And last but not least, since crescent rolls are pretty delicious all on their own, we’re going to make some “bunny buns”; all we have to do is roll the dough into a rope and twist to make a cute addition to meals your kids will love. I’ll show you the trick to those in my next post, along with photos from the party! Be sure and check back for the pics, recipes, and tips for some great Spring snacks and treats – I’ll share a cookie recipe with you, too, so you can use your Great Value cookie dough for some adorable desserts. Can’t wait!

Note: I am participating in the Great Value program with The Motherhood. I have been compensated for my time.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.