I’ve been a bit preoccupied lately as you might be able to tell by the lack of blog posts. My family, along with my blog, have been suffering with a lack of cooked goodies. In fact, this morning there was a minor revolt with my husband’s daughter refusing to eat the cereal that we had on hand. Although my husband dealt with that situation, I figured I should take some time to bake this morning.
As you might be able to tell, I personally enjoy sweets with a light texture and flavor. In order to make myself as well as my family happy, I decided to bake up a batch of these cream cheese muffins this morning. I have made these muffins in the past, and they are perfect for breakfast, snacks, or even desserts. With their fluffiness and sugary crust on top, they are definitely a win.
In order to stave off any family revolt, then you might want to consider making some muffins for breakfast. They are a quick option that can be made the night before, and they are certainly cheaper than most boxed cereals. You can relax with a muffin and your coffee while the kids eat happily. A peaceful morning definitely is worth a bit of baking.
I often think that I will make a special breakfast for my family on Saturday morning. Then Friday night comes, and I have nothing planned. Too, I believe that I can whip something up that morning, but doing something pre-coffee always sounds a bit too much. My family therefore usually fends for themselves for breakfast. That is, until today.
Looking at my friends’ posts on Facebook, I had been seeing over the past few weeks recipes using canned crescent rolls. I was impressed as I had never thought of using them to make cookies and such. Perhaps my view of these pre-made goodies was stuck in the 1970’s and 1980’s, when they were purchased as dinner rolls only for very special meals. Thinking that I might be able to use them for a quick breakfast, I purchased a can last week during a shopping trip.
Now, you might wonder how pre-made foods can be frugal. I’ll admit that they’re certainly more expensive than making something yourself. However, I consider the occasional purchase of them to be “love calories.” Why? When I was regularly reading the environmental blogs during the mid-2000’s, I would often see authors talk about “love miles.” Wanting to limit their carbon usage, they were driving less; however, they considered visiting family to be “love miles” and thus not part of the carbon equation. The occasional purchase of a ready-made food could be similarly thought of as “love calories.” Too, if the product is bought on sale or as a store brand, it could still be frugal!
This morning I whipped up a half batch of cream cheese squares. By using the pre-made crescent rolls, I could still make them while my coffee was brewing. As I wanted to make sure that the filling was extra creamy, I used my stand mixer for that task. It also made it easier as I could do other things while the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla were beaten into submission. The only thing I changed in the recipe was the use of margarine; I used butter instead.
So this morning I actually fixed a special breakfast for my family. Of course, I had to wake them up to enjoy it. Having coffee already prepared certainly helped to rouse my husband. Love calories can be good for an occasional treat and can keep up the morale of your frugal family.
Recently, during a thorough cleaning of the refrigerator, we discovered a package of cream cheese tucked in the back of a drawer. Does this ever happen to you? Luckily, it wasn’t a container of moldy leftovers, but rather some creamy goodness. As it was nearing the end of its life, I decided to use it in a recipe for cream cheese mints from allrecipes.com.
One thing that I certainly appreciate is that there are an endless number of recipes available online. By doing a quick search for ingredients, you can often find a recipe that will utilize what you have on hand. Some websites even specialize in providing personalized recipes based on the ingredients that you enter. Being frugal does mean being creative, but it’s nice to find just the perfect recipe every now and then.
Making the mints, I found that the mix came out a bit wetter than described in the recipe. I thought briefly about adding more powdered sugar to the bowl or putting it in the refrigerator, but I admit I was impatient. I scooped up the sugary dough into a plastic bag and cut off the tip. Grunting a bit as I carefully squirted out perfect lines of mint, I turned over the bag to my husband, who quickly made thick lines with crazy swirls. Not exactly like what we saw in the picture, but it would do.
As the mints seemed to be too wet to “dry” as I read in the recipe, I simply put them in the freezer. Letting them harden completely proved a bit difficult for both of us, and so we tasted them early. Not exactly pretty, but definitely delicious!
Doing a quick search on the internet such as I did to find the mint recipe can yield tasty and frugal treats. When so much food gets thrown out each year by American households, making sure that every scrap of food is used up and enjoyed is a positive goal for any home. And when the result is as tasty as the mints? Why wouldn’t you do it?