DIY Life Preserver Donuts – Perfect for Beach Parties or Shark Week

Disclosure AffiliateDIY Life Preserver Donuts

Summer is in full swing. That means it’s the time for beached themed parties and the always-loved Shark Week! Whether you’re having a party at the beach, or just creating a beach atmosphere in your backyard, these DIY Life Preserver Donuts will add to the celebration. And even if your family is just enjoying Shark Week in the comfort of your own living room, they will make a fun evening snack!

Life Preserver Donuts Ingredients

 

DIY Life Preserver Donuts

 
Supplies Needed:

Life Preserver Donuts Decorating

Directions:

  1. Remove donuts from package and place on parchment paper or a paper towel.
  2. Open the red decorating gel and snip off the tip.
  3. To decorate, firmly press on the tube while drawing a line of red decorating gel across the donut. Make an X across the donut, but leave the middle open (do not apply gel to the middle of the donut)
  4. Allow the gel to dry before storing your Life Preserver Donuts.
  5. Serve and Enjoy!

DIY Life Preserver Donuts for Shark Week or a Beach Party

Crispy Garlic Ranch Chicken Recipe with Garlic Ranch Potatoes and Peppers

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Crispy Garlic Ranch Chicken Recipe with Garlic Ranch Potatoes and Peppers

My 7-year-old nephew loooooves to cook. He is an expert smoothie maker and he has wonderful food presentation skills. He is also a BIG fan of cooking shows on TV. He has picked up a pretty impressive amount of knowledge about cooking terms and concepts. I’m really interested to see if this cooking interest continues. With this head start he could be a great chef by the time he reaches adulthood!

Hidden Valley Ranch at Walmart

Yesterday my little chef went to Walmart with me to pick up some ingredients and then helped to create this yummy Crispy Garlic Ranch Chicken recipe along with a side of Garlic Ranch Potatoes and Peppers. He is actually very good at (and careful about) cutting vegetables and handled all of that, which is really the most time-consuming part of either recipe.

My nephew obviously enjoyed this cooking experience because my sister texted me this message late last night:

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I had to laugh because that “fancy pan” was nothing more than a baking rack placed over a 9×13 cake pan. Very fancy indeed!

Crispy Garlic Ranch Chicken Recipe Ingredients
 

Crispy Garlic Ranch Chicken Recipe

 
Ingredients:

1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup Hidden Valley Ranch Roasted Garlic
2 cups panko crumbs
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper

Crispy Garlic Ranch Chicken Recipe Process

 

Crispy Garlic Ranch Chicken Recipe Coating

Crispy Garlic Ranch Chicken Recipe Cooking

Directions:

Cut chicken into “chicken tender sized” pieces. Place in a bowl with Hidden Valley Ranch and mix well. Let sit at least an hour, but the longer the better (preferably overnight).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place panko crumbs in a shallow bowl and stir in paprika, salt and pepper.
One by one, place the chicken pieces in the crumbs to coat both sides. Place on a greased baking rack.
Bake approximately one hour or until cooked through and golden, turning once.

We made the potatoes recipe at the same time. To save space in the oven I placed the rack with chicken right on top of the pan with the potatoes. That’s what turned it into the “fancy pan”.

Garlic Ranch Potatoes and Peppers Recipe Process

IMG_20150701_153353517
 

Garlic Ranch Potatoes and Peppers Recipe

 
Ingredients:

1.5 pounds young red potatoes
1/3 cup Hidden Valley Ranch Roasted Garlic
1/2 medium onion
1/2 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously coat the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking dish with olive oil. Quarter the potatoes and slice the onion and peppers. Mix potatoes and veggies with Hidden Valley Ranch and the salt and pepper and cilantro if using. Pour into pan. Bake approximately one hour or until potatoes are tender and starting to brown.

Crispy Garlic Ranch Chicken Recipe with Garlic Ranch Potatoes and Peppers

Coupon: Are you ready to make your own? You can find Hidden Valley Ranch in the salad dressing aisle of your local Walmart. You can also save $1 on your next purchase of Hidden Valley Ranch with this printable coupon:

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 11.19.27 AM

Crispy Garlic Ranch Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup Hidden Valley Ranch Roasted Garlic
  • 2 cups panko crumbs
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  2. 1 cup Hidden Valley Ranch Roasted Garlic
  3. 2 cups panko crumbs
  4. 1 tsp paprika
  5. salt and pepper
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Minions Snack Mix Recipe + Reader Giveaway

Fandango Disclosure

Minions Snack Mix Recipe

We are getting soooooo excited about MINIONS arriving in theaters July 10th! We have loved these little yellow guys ever since we first saw them in the original Despicable Me. They so totally deserve their own movie! To celebrate, we have a super fun Minions Snack Mix Recipe. It’s fun and easy to make. The kids can get involved too, especially if you start with a bag of mixed colors M&Ms they can help you sort out the blue and the yellow to make your mix look nice and “minioney”.


Minions Movie Poster

Some notes on ingredients: You can get more involved and make your own Muddy Buddies to start the recipe, but to make it nice and easy, you can buy it pre-made. For this mix we used the peanut butter flavor and the brownie flavor. When it comes to M&Ms, as we mentioned above you can use regular M&Ms and sort them out, or else you can buy bags of blue M&Ms and yellow M&Ms.

Minions Snack Mix Recipe Ingredients
 

Minions Snack Mix Recipe

 
Ingredients:

2 Bags of Muddy Buddies
1 Cup Pretzel Sticks
1 Cup M&M’s Blue and Yellow M&Ms
1 Container of Wilton Candy Eyes
Yellow Candy Melts (optional)

Making Minions Snack Mix

Instructions:

If you are using the optional candy melts, melt according to the package instructions.
Mix the Muddy Buddies and pretzel sticks together.
Drizzle the melted candy melts.
Sprinkle with the Wilton Candy Eyes and M&M’s.

If not using the candy melts, simply mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

Serve and enjoy!
Minions Gift Cards

MINIONS will be in theaters soon, so plan ahead and save your seat by pre-ordering your tickets from Fandango! They also have super cute collectable Minions gift cards that would make a great gift for any Minion lover (or to keep for yourself!)

Reader Giveaway:  Two (2) lucky Thrifty Jinxy readers will each win a $100 Fandango Gift Card. (Note: It may not be a Minions gift card,but you CAN use it to see MINIONS – or any other movie – in participating theaters.) To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59pm ET on 7/20/15. Good luck!

Fandango Minions Giveaway

Patriotic Snow Cones Recipe – Easy and Inexpensive!

Patriotic Snow Cones Recipe

Are you ready for a super easy to make, yet super fun treat for hot summer days?  This patriotic snow cones recipe will cool you off!  They are easy to make with Kool-Aid packets and very inexpensive!  This is enough to make a nice BIG batch of snow cones.  To make these extra fun to make, the syrup can be put in squirt bottles, which are  also cheap to buy!

Patriotic Snow Cones Recipe

Patriotic Snow Cones Kool-Aid Sugar

INGREDIENTS
2 lb Sugar
1 qt Water
3 packets Unsweetened Kool-Aid (red, clear and blue)
Lots of ice

Patriotic Snow Cones Recipe Ingredients

DIRECTIONS
Combine sugar and water in a large pot and bring to a boil.
Turn off heat and allow to cool.
Put each flavor of Kool-Aid into a separate container.
Divide sugar syrup equally between each.
Replace cap and and shake well.
Refrigerate syrup.
You can get an ice shaver or you can use a blender or food processor to crush ice.
Heap shaved ice up to form a ball on top of your cup.
Carefully pour syrup in thirds on top to make stripes.

Easy Homemade Peanut Butter Recipe

Disclosure AffiliateEasy Homemade Peanut Butter Recipe

I LOVE peanut butter. But, I have to say I’m pretty picky about what kind I like to eat. I like to eat REAL peanut butter that doesn’t have a lot of “extras” added to it. I really don’t want things like high fructose corn syrup and miscellaneous chemicals and preservatives when it doesn’t need it. There is only thing that peanut butter really needs. That’s peanuts!! Salt is good (I like things salty) and if you like things a little sweeter, you can sweeten your peanut butter naturally with honey.

If you use a lot of peanut butter, your best option when making it for yourself is to buy your peanuts in bulk. You can do that at a natural foods co-op, a warehouse club store (like Costco) or on Amazon.

Easy Homemade Peanut Butter Recipe Process

Easy Homemade Peanut Butter Recipe

INGREDIENTS
Peanuts
Honey (optional)
Salt (optional)

DIRECTIONS
Place in food processor and run for about a minute and scrape down sides if necessary. Then process for another 3-4 minutes or until peanut butter has reached desired consistency.
If using salted peanuts, you do not need to add any extra salt.
You can add honey if you want a little extra sweetness. If so, add about 1 teaspoon per cup of peanuts.
1 cup of peanuts yields a little over 1/2 cup of peanut butter.

Easy Homemade Peanut Butter Recipe from Scratch

 

Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa Recipe

Disclosure AffiliateCopycat Chipotle Barbacoa Recipe

One of my favorite things about eating at Chipotle is the ability to totally customize your meal. Choosing from the various salsas and other toppings lets you make something uniquely yours and delicious. Making your own burritos and bowls at home lets you customize things even more! This Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa Recipe lets you get a head start by tackling the trickiest part of the meal – the meat that Chipotle does so well. Cook up a big crockpot full of these and you’ll be on your way to making your own delicious Mexican meals.

Once you make your Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa Recipe, it’s easy to store half (or more) in freezer containers. That way it is ready to go to make a quick dinner in the future. Just heat it up and assemble your burritos, bowls or tacos.

IMG_3933
 

Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa

 
INGREDIENTS
4 lb Chuck Roast (trimmed of excess fat)
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
3 Bay Leaves
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
4 tsp Minced Garlic
4 tsp Cumin
3 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1 tsp Kosher Salt
4 Chipotle Peppers (from canned Chipotles in Adobo Sauce)
1 tbsp Adobo Sauce (from canned Chipotles in Adobo Sauce)
1 cup Chicken Broth
1/4 cup Lime Juice

Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa Recipe Process

DIRECTIONS
To make the sauce combine vinegar, lime juice, chipotles, adobo sauce, garlic, cumin, oregano, black pepper, salt and cloves in a blender or food processor on high speed until smooth.
Insure all excess fat is trimmed off and cut into 6-8 pieces.
Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat.
Sear all sides of the meat to get a nice crust.
Place meat in slow cooker.
Cover with with sauce.
Pour in broth and add bay leaves.
Cover and cook 5 hours on high (or 8 hours on low).
Remove the bay leaves.
While still in the slow cooker, shred the meat with two forks and turn the heat to low and allow to cook for 1 more hour.

Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa Recipe in the Crockpot

 

Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 lb Chuck Roast (trimmed of excess fat)
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 4 tsp Cumin
  • 3 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 4 Chipotle Peppers (from canned Chipotles in Adobo Sauce)
  • 1 tbsp Adobo Sauce (from canned Chipotles in Adobo Sauce)
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 cup Lime Juice

Instructions

  1. To make the sauce combine vinegar, lime juice, chipotles, adobo sauce, garlic, cumin, oregano, black pepper, salt and cloves in a blender or food processor on high speed until smooth.
  2. Insure all excess fat is trimmed off and cut into 6-8 pieces.
  3. Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Sear all sides of the meat to get a nice crust.
  5. Place meat in slow cooker.
  6. Cover with with sauce.
  7. Pour in broth and add bay leaves.
  8. Cover and cook 5 hours on high (or 8 hours on low).
  9. Remove the bay leaves.
  10. While still in the slow cooker, shred the meat with two forks and turn the heat to low and allow to cook for 1 more hour.
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Italian Skillet Eggs Recipe

cbias disclosure#GetSaucy #CollectiveBiasItalian Skillet Eggs Recipe

Even on busy days, I like to make home-cooked meals. But, the busier the day is, the less time I want to fool around in the kitchen. The fewer ingredients in a recipe, the easier it is to get it prepared and on the table in a hurry. So, that’s one of the reason I am loving this Italian Skillet Eggs recipe. It takes only two – YES TWO – ingredients! And don’t say I’m cheating because I didn’t include salt and pepper in the ingredient count – everyone knows those two are freebies!

Francesco Rinaldi Pasta Sauce

The other reason that I love this recipe is that it is delicious and my husband is nuts about it. It is able to be so delicious with only two ingredients because one of those two ingredients is a jar of Francesco Rinaldi Pasta Sauce, which is made with the finest tomatoes and freshest herbs. Since they take the care of putting so many high quality ingredients in the sauce, it makes my job a lot easier.

There are lots of Francesco Rinaldi flavors available. I chose Sweet and Tasty Tomato for my recipe, but Marinara, Tomato Basil or Tomato, Onion and Garlic would have also been excellent choices. (I did pick up a jar of the Tomato, Onion and Garlic to stock my pantry for a future quick meal.)

Italian Skillet Eggs Recipe Ingredients
 

Italian Skillet Eggs recipe

 
Ingredients:
1 Jar Francesco Rinaldi Pasta Sauce
(I chose Sweet and Tasty Tomato)
4-6 eggs
Salt and Pepper

Italian Skillet Eggs Recipe Process

Italian Skillet Eggs Recipe Skillet

Directions:
Pour the sauce into a large skillet and heat over medium high heat until sauce begins to bubble. Reduce heat to medium. Using the back of a spoon, make a small well in the sauce and crack an egg into it. Repeat with the other eggs. Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper. Cover skillet and let simmer for 8-10 minutes or eggs are cooked through. Serve with thick slices of crusty bread.


Italian Skillet Eggs Recipe Cooking

Oh, and did I mention what a bargain this meal is? Everything – the Francesco Rinaldi Pasta Sauce, eggs AND loaf of bread, was a total of less than $5 at Walmart. Talk about a thrifty meal!!

Francesco Rinaldi Walmart

 

For more recipes and information about Francesco Rinaldi Pasta Sauce follow them on Twitter!

How do YOU get creative with pasta sauce?

 

Italian Skillet Eggs Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 Jar Francesco Rinaldi Pasta Sauce
  • 4-6 eggs
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Pour the sauce into a large skillet and heat over medium high heat until sauce begins to bubble. Reduce heat to medium. Using the back of a spoon, make a small well in the sauce and crack an egg into it. Repeat with the other eggs. Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper. Cover skillet and let simmer for 8-10 minutes or eggs are cooked through. Serve with thick slices of crusty bread.
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Watermelon Agua Fresca Float Recipe

Watermelon Agua Fresca Float Recipe

What fruit says summertime more than any other?? It has to be WATERMELON!! While watermelon is delicious as just a big ol’ slice or cubed in a bowl, it can make yummy treats too – like this Watermelon Agua Fresca Float Recipe. If you prefer it as just a refreshing drink and not a dessert, you can just leave out the ice cream. This is fantastic on a hot summer day!

IMG_8568
 

Watermelon Agua Fresca Float Recipe

 
INGREDIENTS
4 cups cubed Seedless Watermelon
8 fresh Mint Leaves
2 cup Sparkling Water
2 tsp Lime Juice
1 tbsp Agave or Honey
Vanilla Ice Cream

Watermelon Agua Fresca Float Recipe Process

DIRECTIONS
Place watermelon in blender with lime and agave or honey and run until pureed.
Add 1 cup of sparkling water to blender.
Place a several scoops of ice cream in each glass.
Pour watermelon mixture over ice cream to make float.
If it doesn’t foam up, add a splash of sparkling water to create more fizz.

Serve your Watermelon Agua Fresca Float Recipe in Mason Jars or in these “official” ice cream soda glasses:

Ice Cream Soda Glasses

For another fabulous watermelon  treat, try this Watermelon Kiwi Pops Recipe!

Watermelon Kiwi Pops Recipe for Summer

Watermelon Agua Fresca Float Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cubed Seedless Watermelon
  • 8 fresh Mint Leaves
  • 2 cup Sparkling Water
  • 2 tsp Lime Juice
  • 1 tbsp Agave or Honey
  • Vanilla Ice Cream

Instructions

  1. Place watermelon in blender with lime and agave or honey and run until pureed.
  2. Add 1 cup of sparkling water to blender.
  3. Place a several scoops of ice cream in each glass.
  4. Pour watermelon mixture over ice cream to make float.
  5. If it doesn't foam up, add a splash of sparkling water to create more fizz.
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Non-Alcoholic Cocktail Recipes Round-Up

Non Alcoholic Cocktail Recipes

Summer is here and that means its time for relaxing evenings in the backyard and entertaining family and friends with barbecues, cook-outs and picnic get-togethers. When you’re planning a party it’s always good to have some non-alcoholic drink options on the menu. OR you may wish to have a totally alcohol-free party. Whatever the case, this non-alcoholic cocktail recipes round-up will give you lots of ideas for delicious, fruity concoctions to please everyone at your party.

Non-Alcoholic Cocktail Recipes Round-Up

1. Arizona Sunset from Love Bakes Good Cakes

2. Dirty Dr Pepper from Pretty Providence

3. Cranberry Rosemary Refresher from In Sonnet’s Kitchen

4. Sparkling Caramel Apple Cider from Clever Pink Pirate

5. Mint Juleps from The Farm Girl Recipes

6. Fizzy Herbed Pineapple Limeade from The Pig & Quill

7. Ginger Lime Spritzer from Taste and Tell

8. Cranberry Orange Spritzer from Oh My Veggies

9. Fizzy Apple Cider Punch from Just Putzing Around the Kitchen

10. Simple Sparkling Raspberry Mocktail from Poofy Cheeks

11. Apple-Ginger Sparklers from Martha Stewart

12. Pineapple Sparkler from Kleinworth & Co on The 36th AVENUE

13. Pina Colada from Lovelyish

14. Tropical Twister Mocktails from A Helicopoter Mom

15. Skinny Strawberry Lime Punch from Family Fresh Cooking

McFarland USA Tamale Recipe + Reader Giveaway

disclosure samplesMcFarland Team

One of our very favorite movies of the year (probably our TOP favorite), McFarland USA, is now available on Disney Blu-ray Combo Pack, Disney Movies Anywhere and Digital HD. This inspiring adventure is based on a true story of underdogs facing and triumphing over tremendous obstacles – it’s truly heartwarming!

McFARLAND, USA..L to R: Thomas Valles (Carlos Pratts), Jose Cardenas (Johnny Ortiz), Johnny Sameniego (Hector Duran), Damacio Diaz (Jamie Michael Aguero) and Victor Puentes (Sergio Avelar)...Ph: Ron Phillips..©Disney 2015

McFARLAND, USA..L to R: Thomas Valles (Carlos Pratts), Jose Cardenas (Johnny Ortiz), Johnny Sameniego (Hector Duran), Damacio Diaz (Jamie Michael Aguero) and Victor Puentes (Sergio Avelar)…Ph: Ron Phillips..©Disney 2015

The moving story features Kevin Costner (“Dances with Wolves,” “The Untouchables), Morgan Saylor (TV’s “Homeland”) and Diana Maria Riva (“NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Castle”) amongst others in a touching tale displaying the power of family, commitment and work ethic that transforms a cross-county team into champions. Bonus features include McFarland Reflections, deleted scenes, extended scenes and more!

McFarland USA Kostner

My hubby gave this movie the HUGE compliment of calling it his new “Rudy”. By that, he means it is a movie he loves and will stop to watch any time he sees it playing on TV for the next 20+ years, even if he has seen it 100 times. Now that he has the Blu-ray, he can stop and watch it any time he wants!

Community plays a huge role in this film. What better way is there a community to enjoy time together than with food? In honor of that feeling of community and McFarland’s Mexican heritage, we have a delicious tamale recipe to share with you. Just click on the image above to download it.

McFarlandUSABlurayUS

Reader Giveaway: One lucky Thrifty Jinxy reader will win their own copy of McFarland USA on Blu-ray + Digital HD. To enter for a chance to win, just complete the entry form below by 11:59pm ET on 6/27/15. Good luck!

McFarland USA




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