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Piping Hot Doughnuts made from Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits

If you’re a donut lover then you know if you want a fresh, hot, melt-in-your-mouth donut for breakfast you’re gonna have to haul your butt outta bed, get yourself dressed, hop in the car and drive somewhere.

You can stop by the local Speedway and get Krispy Kreme donuts that were made sometime within the last 48 hours or so, or you can run into Walmart and get donuts that come in frozen.

But the local selection is nothing compared to a REAL donut, made out of real dough, piping hot out of the fryer and dripping with sugar or glaze.

Since everybody loves donuts – especially when they’re hot and dripping with sugar – and since everybody has a few cans of Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits in their stockpile, we thought we’d give you our favorite recipe for Homemade Doughnuts.  You’ll never get dressed before breakfast again!

 

Homemade Biscuit Dough Donuts

What you’ll need:

Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits

Vegetable oil Large cooking pot

Directions:

While oil is heating, lay out biscuits on counter or cutting board and use a 1 ½ inch cutter to cut out a hole in the middle of each biscuit.

Set “holes” aside to fry for donut holes.

Let donuts rest for about 30 minutes before you start frying. If you fry them as soon as you open the can they’ll be too wet and they’ll absorb oil while they’re frying.

Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in your cooking pot over medium heat until it’s 350 degrees.

Fry donuts in oil until golden brown then turn. Remove when both sides are golden and place on paper towel to drain oil. Don’t forget to fry the donut holes, too.

Toppings: Granulated sugar or Cinnamon and sugar – Toss donuts while they’re still warm in sugar or a cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Powdered sugar – Toss donuts in powdered sugar while they’re still warm and then toss again after they cool.

Vanilla icing – Combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 Tablespoons of milk and ½ teaspoon of vanilla. Ice donuts warm for a glaze or wait until they cool if you want more of a frosting texture to the icing.

Chocolate icing – Combine 1 cup powdered sugar, ¼ cup cocoa powder and 3 Tablespoons milk. Ice donuts warm for a glaze or wait until they cool if you want more of a frosting texture to the icing. Decorate with sprinkles, chopped nuts, coconut – if you can get to it before they’re all gone!

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Chocolate Gravy recipe – serve over warm Pillsbury Grands! biscuits for a special breakfast treat

Most everyone is familiar with sausage gravy and a lot of people have even heard of hamburger gravy or coffee gravy or even flour gravy. But you have to have a little bit of Appalachia in you to have heard of Chocolate Gravy and those who have will tell you – it’s about as close to Heaven as you can get.

Sound a little… unusual? Well, a good recipe for Chocolate Gravy is a must for any cook living in Appalachia or the Deep South and here in Berea you’ll find several variations. Prized recipes have been passed down from grandmothers to mothers to daughters for generations and those secrets are hard to come by unless you have connections.

So it’s not surprising that you haven’t heard of this wonderful breakfast gravy. What IS surprising though is that you’re still sitting here reading this when you COULD be in the kitchen whipping up your own batch of this heavenly treat!

Chocolate Gravy Recipe Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  • In small, heavy saucepan combine cocoa, flour and sugar and mix well
  • Add ¼ cup of milk to saucepan and whisk until all lumps are removed
  • Stir in remaining milk
  • Heat over medium heat until mixture starts to boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching
  • Serve immediately over crumbled biscuits
  • Yields approximately 2 ½ cups of chocolate gravy
  • Can be store, refrigerated, and served cold, too

Biscuits For easy preparation on those mornings when everyone is in a hurry, use canned bicuits. Just pop them in the oven and they’ll bake while you’re preparing the gravy.  Get a coupon for Pillsbury Homestyle Buttermilk Grands! here.

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Our Harry Potter Chocolate Frogs

I never thought I’d fall under the Harry Potter spell, being a huge fan of Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell and Bentley Little and all, but that’s exactly where I’ve found myself.  And now I’m trying to concoct Harry Potter-ish treats for the mini-couponers.  What do you think of my Chocolate Frogs?!

The 8-year old mini-couponer is an avid reader.  He even takes Red Bull magazines into the bathtub!  So for Christmas I decided to stop by the local thrift store and fill a big box with books. They happened to have the first two Harry Potter books.  I almost didn’t pick ’em up because he’s into science and technology and history and trivia, but I thought he could use a little magic and make-believe in his life (the kid is sooooo serious!) so into the cart they went.

When he opened the package on Christmas you coulda knocked me over with a feather! “Cool!  Harry Potter books!  These are awesome!  Thanks, Grandma!”

And then, he gave me perhaps one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever received… “Hey, Grandma – We should read these together!” And so we are 🙂

Every night at 6:45 the TV goes off and everyone gathers ’round for the next chapter of Harry Potter.

Friday night I got the brilliant idea to try to come up with some Harry Potter-themed snacks to have while we’re reading, and that’s how the Chocolate Frogs came to be.  They’re made out of modeling chocolate, which is sooooo easy to make and so easy to work with, and they taste like Tootsie Rolls.

You only need two ingredients to make modeling chocolate – Karo Corn Syrup (the clear one) and chocolate chips (I prefer Hershey’s but as long as it’s a good brand you’ll be fine.) I only made small batch and I had enough for two Chocolate Frogs.  I’ll give you the measurements I used and the original measurements are in parenthesis.

Modeling Chocolate Recipe

1 cup chocolate chips (2 cups) 1/4 Karo syrup (1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons)  

Directions

In the top of a double boiler or in a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips being careful not to scorch or burn the chocolate.

Stir until completely smooth. In a separate, microwave safe bowl or measuring cup, warm the Karo syrup just until it’s warm to the touch.  Do not overheat and definitely don’t let it come to a boil.

Using a wooden spoon, stir the warm Karo syrup into the melted chocolate.  The mixture will be stiff so you’ll want to make sure you don’t use a flimsy rubber spatula.

Mix well. Pour mixture out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and spread it out until it’s about 1/4-inch thick.  Cover with more plastic wrap.

Allow the modeling chocolate to rest for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until it’s completely cool. At this point, if you’re not going to use it right away, seal it up in a ziploc bag and store it in a cool, dry location.  No need to refrigerate.  And it lasts forever.  

How to Use Modeling Chocolate

I’m no sculptor so I’m not even going to try to give you directions to make these frogs.  I used these directions at Polyform.com. To work with your modeling chocolate, just break off a piece and start kneading it in your hands.  The warmth of your hands will soften it up and then you just work with it like you would Play-Do or Sculpy – only it tastes a heck of a lot better 🙂

Good luck with your Chocolate Frogs.  I hope you and your kids have as much fun with them as we did 🙂

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Take the 52-Week Savings Challenge!

Every December I find myself wishing I’d been a little more frugal throughout the year. I look back at Christmas and think about all the gifts I didn’t buy and all the cookies I didn’t bake because the money ran out before I got to the end of the list.

Don’t get me wrong, we had plenty of Christmas cookies and everybody enjoyed their gifts. We even put together a big donation for the food pantry.

But I just always want to do more. I want to give cookies to everybody in our neighborhood and give presents to people I don’t even know – just because it’s Christmas. I want more lights and decorations and lots and lots of bows and tinsel.

As a couponer you’re probably thinking you already do everything you can to save money. You spend hours clipping and scanning the ads and a few hours more scanning the shelves for the best bargains. And it’s true – as couponers we do already have a leg up on everyone else when it comes to saving money.

But everybody gets in a rut. It’s human nature. You think you’re doing everything you can simply because you don’t know of anything else you can do so you just keep plugging along, patting yourself on the back, and at the end of the year you’re in the same boat you were in last year – wishing you had just a few dollars more for Christmas.  

Take the 52 Week Challenge

What would you do if you had an extra $1,378 on December 1, 2015? That’s about 4 times what I spent on Christmas this year so I know I’d be over the moon, but what about you? Think about it…

You’d be able to pay cash for Christmas and you wouldn’t get all those depressing credit card bills in January. Maybe that extra $1,378 could pay for a trip to Grandma’s house for the holidays or you could use it to take the kids to Disney World. Or maybe that’s just the cushion you need to allow you to help give someone else a brighter Christmas.

Seriously, what would you do if an extra $1,378 showed up in your wallet on December 1, 2015?

Here’s how to get it – painlessly!

Start today – right now – before you even finish reading this. Get yourself a big envelope, or open up a savings account or set up a Paypal account if you have to, and put $10 in it – now. Why $10? Because if you want to have $1,378 on December 1, 2015, you need to catch up. And in the grand scheme of things $10 is almost nothing these days so just do it. Do. It. NOW!

Now, every week for the next 48 weeks you’re going to make another deposit into your envelope or account, based on the amounts in this chart:

Now, think about it…

Your first deposit was $10. You next deposit is only $5, then $6 the next week, then $7, and so on. You won’t have to deposit $10 again for another 6 weeks and by then you won’t even notice it.

The most you’ll ever have to deposit is $52 on the last week. That’s only $7.43 a day for that week and you probably spend that much on coffee and danish every morning or fast food for dinner or pay-per-view movies or something else you don’t really need.

And by the time you get to that last week you’re already going to be in another rut only now it’ll be a good rut – a savings rut – so you’ll probably be thinking, “Jeez – this is so easy I should have doubled my deposit every week and I’d have $2,756!”

Let’s get started!

Just like going to the gym or going on a diet, it’s always easier if you do it with a friend so you can help each other over the humps. I’m going to track my progress here every week to help keep you motivated so keep checking back.

Today – $10… Next Christmas? $1,378!

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Get Ready for Deals on Pillsbury Cookie Dough

Pillsbury refrigerated cookie doughNote to self: Remember to tell everybody about the Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough coupon next year. Last year we saw deals on Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough at every store you can think of, throughout the months of December and January. Right after Christmas we also saw at least 3 stores running un-advertised specials in our area. With coupons, we picked up 30-some rolls of cookie dough for about $.25 each. You can put keep this dough in your freezer for up to 6 months or more, but you’re only going to want to do that if you buy it in bulk. And the best way to do THAT is to put this coupon in your binder NOW so you have it whenever you see the deal! This is just the first of many sales we’re going to see, but this week you’ll find Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough (reg. Price $3) on sale Buy 2 Get 1 Free at Giant Eagle, 12/18 through 12/24. With this coupon that means they’re just $1.50 each! Save $1/2 any Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough (2/28/2015)

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Jessica's Kroger Mega Event Haul 11/8/2014

  Jessicas Kroger Haul Earlier this year all the Kroger stores in our area decided to stop doubling coupons so Jessica and I did what any other couponers would do – we started shopping somewhere else. We have Giant Eagle stores here in Columbus and they not only double coupons, they welcome couponers with open arms. Now, Giant Eagle stores are nice and the employees are all wonderfully helpful, but they’re sometimes lacking in variety. But, instead of crossing the threshold of that traitorous Kroger store we usually decided to do without. We rationalized that we were saving even more money at Giant Eagle because they still double coupons and the few items they were lacking really didn’t make that much of a difference. But then we thought to ourselves, “Most of our customers have to shop at store where they no longer double coupons. What kind of couponers are we, anyway, if we’re relying on double coupons to make a good haul?” So, with the Kroger Mega Event fast approaching, Jessica started putting together one of her famous Kroger Hauls. This Kroger Mega Event is one of the Buy 10 Save $5 Instantly events. Buy any combination of 10 participating items and you save $5. You can buy as many as you like as long as you buy in multiples of 10. And what really kicked off this major Kroger Haul was that $.35/1 Pillsbury Baking Mixes and Frostings coupon. With the Mega Event pricing and the coupon we knew we could get these for just $.14. BUT… there were a couple of glitches: Kroger only allows 5 like coupons in a single transaction. That meant that we could only get 5 cake mixes in one transaction BUT if we wanted to get the Mega Event pricing we had to buy 5 other participating items. And, if we wanted to buy 20 cake mixes (which we did) we’d have to come up with 4 separate transactions that each included 5 cake mixes and 5 of some other participating item for which we also had a coupon. Whew! But we did it. And we got $351.78 worth of groceries for only $142.89. We saved $208.89 and nary a coupon was doubled. This Kroger Mega Event runs through 11/18/2014. Check out our haul, grab your coupons and head for your nearest Kroger!    

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Quick, Easy Peanut Butter Pie

We haven’t had a homemade dessert around here for, well… at least 24 hours, and today I just happened to be researching the Skippy Peanut Butter deal at Giant Eagle that starts this Thursday and one thing led to another and, well…

I just had to dig out my Easy Peasy Peanut Butter Pie recipe and head into the kitchen.

The littlest mini-couponer says, “We’re so lucky to have a baking-grandma on hand!” Ahhh…out of the mouths of babes!

Easy Peasy Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 – 9-inch prepared graham cracker pie crust
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup Powdered sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed

$.50/1 any Skippy Peanut Butter or Spread products 15 oz. or larger (12/29/2014)

Garnish

  • 2 tablespoons Hershey’s Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
  • 1 Peanut Butter M&M’S 1.63 oz.

 

Directions:

  • In a large bowl combine powdered sugar and cream cheese and mix until creamy.
  • Add peanut butter and mix until well blended.
  • Stir in Cool Whip and mix until light and fluffy.
  • Spoon mixture into prepared pie crust and smooth to edges.
  • Melt Hershey’s Chocolate Hazelnut Spread in microwave for approximately 20 seconds.
  • Drizzle chocolate over top of pie and sprinkle with Peanut Butter M&M’S.
  • Chill until ready to serve.

 

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Are You Making This Huge Mistake With Your Coupons?

Be PreparedEvery day we clip thousands of coupons and we see so many people making the same mistake, over and over again. We know exactly what you’re doing because we used to do it, too. Every Sunday morning Mary sits down with the ads from her Sunday paper and plans out her weekly shopping list. She then turns to her favorite coupon clipping service – The Happy Couponer – and orders up 2 coupons for this and 2 coupons for that, may 3 of this one and oh wait, I only need 1 of those this week… Before she clicks the Paypal button, Mary leaves us a little note in her shopping cart:

Please, please PLEASE ship my coupons today. My ad expires on Wednesday!

But Mary must have forgotten that we don’t ship coupons on Sunday.  The Post Office isn’t open on Sunday therefore we couldn’t ship her coupons on Sunday even if we wanted to.  She’ll have to wait until Monday and that means she might not get her coupons in time to hit that big sale. [box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Mary could save herself so much stress and worry if she’d only plan ahead and order her coupons when they first become available instead of waiting until the products go on sale.[/box] In every household there are certain items you purchase on a regular basis. Whether you shop weekly or shop to build a stockpile, it only makes sense to always have coupons on hand for these staples. You never know when you’re going to trip over a great sale, and even if the product isn’t on sale you’ll still save money when you use the coupon. It’s also safe to assume that almost every product you have a coupon for will go on sale before that coupon expires. So if you’re thinking, “Wow! That’s a great coupon, but I’m not going to waste money ordering it right now. What if XYZ product doesn’t go on sale?” then you’re thinking wrong. It’s almost a sure thing that it will go on sale and you’ll miss out on the deal because you waited too long to order your coupons. But even if XYZ product doesn’t go on sale before the coupon expires, you’re going to need to buy it anyway. It might have cost you a few cents to order that coupon, but having it handy when you need it will save you a few bucks. Plan Ahead and Be Prepared! [box type=”tick” border=”full”]If you see a coupon for a product you know you’re going to need to buy sometime before the coupon expires, order it now and put it in your binder.[/box] [box type=”tick” border=”full”]Almost every product in the store goes on sale 4-6 times a year. Order enough coupons to meet your needs until the next sale.[/box]