10 Perfect Pumpkin Recipes

10 Perfect Pumpkin Recipes

Now that fall is here it’s time for ALL THINGS PUMPKIN! I don’t know why we tend to only eat pumpkin flavored foods in the fall. It’s so good we could eat them all year round! If you’re looking to add a few new pumpkin foods to your recipe collection, these 10 perfect pumpkin recipes, many made with Pumpkin Puree and Pumpkin Pie Spice should fit right in.


Homemade Pumpkin Crisp – I love apple crisp, but have never had a pumpkin version. This looks delicious!


Homemade Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer – Add a dash of pumpkin spice to your morning coffee with this homemade creamer.


Pumpkin Spice Buttermilk Donuts – To go with that cup of coffee, how about a nice, fresh pumpkin flavored donut?


Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake – Chocolate and pumpkin blend beautifully in this colorful dessert made in a Bundt pan.

Easy Pumpkin Granola Recipe


Easy Pumpkin Granola Recipe – Start your morning with this yummy granola, or sprinkle it on your yogurt or ice cream.

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Choconut Cookie Mix in Jar Recipe – Easy Holiday DIY Gift

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Choconut Cookie Mix in a Jar DIY Gift Idea

When it comes to celebrating the holidays, there are certain things that always spring to mind first. Food, family and friends are usually at or near the top of the list. Gift giving falls right into line as well. What do you do to try to make your gifts for friends and family extra special? Creating something yourself is a great way to show that you care enough to take time for someone. It’s also a way to give a meaningful present without spending a lot of money!

For many years, my mom and her brothers and sisters have had the tradition that each of them makes something handmade for each other at Christmas. I have to say they are quite the talented group with skills ranging from woodworking to jam making to quilting. I’m always amazed to see the things they create each year. Even if you aren’t so artsy-craftsy or a whiz in the kitchen, there are still many things you can create without any advanced skills. And I’m here to help with one of those!

To get started, I headed to Walmart to pick up some baking supplies from Kraft. I found most of what I needed in the baking aisle and Planters nuts in the snack aisle. I also picked up some canning jars to make the packaging of this gift special.

Kraft Baking at Walmart

This Choconut Cookie Mix in Jar recipe makes a yummy cookie mix that you can give as a hostess gift, holiday gift, or basically anything gift! It’s especially nice during the holidays to receive a food gift you don’t have to eat right away, since we’re often overloaded with treats anyway. Come that second week of January, it’s nice to be able to take out this gift and have a nice, hot batch of cookies!

Choconut Cookies in a Jar Ingredients

Choconut Cookie Mix in Jar Recipe

1 4 oz package BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/3 cup BAKER’S Coconut
1/3 cup Planters Pecans
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

Bakers Chocolate Chopped

Planters Roasted pecans

1.  Coarsely chop both the chocolate and the pecans. Set aside.

Choconut Cookie Mix Jar Process

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and sugars.

Choconut Cookie Mix Filling Jar

3.  Using a spoon, place half of the flour mixture in the bottom of a clean quart size canning jar. Tamp down. Layer in the chocolate, followed by the coconut. Tamp down again and add the pecans. Add remaining flour mixture.

Choconut Cookies Tag

4.  Seal jar and decorate with ribbon. You can also print out these handy dandy Choconut Cookies in a Jar Labels to attach to the front of your jar. I just printed them out on label paper, but you could also print on plain paper and glue to the front.

Choconut Cookies in a Jar

#TasteTheSeason #CollectiveBias

Want some more great inspiration? Check out the Cooking Up Good website. They have recipes, sweepstakes, loyalty programs, coupons and more! There is lots to see from dinner ideas to chances to win awesome prizes. Be sure to visit!

Do you like to gift DIY or baked gifts during the holidays? What do you make?

Easy Pumpkin Granola Recipe

Easy Pumpkin Granola Recipe

With fall upon us, it’s time for all things pumpkin! I’m not quite sure why we tend to keep pumpkin flavored foods relegated to the fall. Sure, that is when pumpkin comes into season, but since most of us use canned pumpkin in this day and age, we can really have it ANY time of year. To add to the roster of DELICIOUS pumpkin foods, we have an Easy Pumpkin Granola Recipe.

This Easy Pumpkin Granola Recipe is perfect just as it is for breakfast or for a snack. It’s also great in a yogurt parfait or sprinkled on ice cream. Whip up a batch and put it in Mason jars tied with a pretty ribbon as holiday hostess gifts or as little place setting favors at your Thanksgiving dinner. It’s very versatile!

Easy Pumpkin Granola Recipe Ingredients

Easy Pumpkin Granola Recipe

(Yield 3 cups)

2 1/2 cup Rolled Oats
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
2 tbsp Pumpkin Puree
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Raisins
1/3 cup Pecans
1/4 cup Almonds

Preheat your oven to 350.
Mix together the oats, maple syrup, pumpkin, oil, spice and salt.
Spread mixture out on a non-stick baking surface in a thin layer. (I like to use a cookie sheet with a silicone liner.)
Bake for 15 minutes.
Break up the oats and bake for another 10 minutes.
Cool completely.
Add raisins and nuts and store in air tight container.

Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe

7-Grain Cereal Muffins Recipe

7-Grain Cereal Muffins Recipe

I love whole grain muffins as a grab-and-go breakfast option and this 7-Grain Cereal Muffins Recipe has now moved to the top of the favorites list in our household. It’s not always easy to get my husband to eat things that are healthy. With these muffins made with whole grains and not a lot of fat or sugar, I think we’re on the right track. If you’re not familiar with 7-grain cereal, it is made with whole grain hard red wheat, rye, oats, triticale (wheat), barley, brown rice, oat bran and flaxseed. I personally like the cereal from Bob’s Red Mill.


7-Grain Cereal Muffins Recipe

1 cup 7-Grain cereal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup applesauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup buttermilk (you can easily make your own with vinegar or lemon juice)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmet
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease or line muffin cups with paper liners (16 standard size).  Mix together Cereal, sugar, oil and buttermilk. Let stand for 30 minutes to let cereal absorb the liquid. Add the egg into the cereal mixture. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add cereal mixture to flour mixture and stir just until moistened. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.  Bake 15-18 minutes or until tops are golden.

7-Grain Cereal Muffin Recipe


Fluffy Pumpkin Dip Recipe

Fluffy Pumpkin Dip Recipe

Autumn is in full swing and that means its time to add even more delicious pumpkin recipes to our arsenal. This Fluffy Pumpkin Dip recipe is easy to make with only 4 ingredients. You can use it to dip fruit, graham crackers, pretzels – you name it! To give this dip an extra layer and a bit of crunch, you can top it with our pumpkin granola recipe too. Yum!

Fluffy Pumpkin Dip Recipe Ingredients

Fluffy Pumpkin Dip

15 oz Pumpkin Puree
1 pkg Vanilla Instant Pudding
2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
8 oz Cool Whip thawed

Stir together pumpkin, pudding mix and spice until well blended.
Stir in Cool Whip and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Fluffy Pumpkin Dip Recipe YUM!

Chia Seed Cookie Recipe with Chocolate Chips + Reader Giveaway

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Chia Seed Cookie Recipe with Chocolate Chips

Before I attended the BlogHer conference this summer, my friend Valerie told me that I had to be sure to meet with Garden of Life. I had heard the name before, but wasn’t familiar with this company providing health and nutrition products. Garden of Life was founded with the mission to help empower people to attain extraordinary health.

Garden of Life’s Health Philosophy:

As recognized by the United States Congress, there is a direct correlation between nutrition, exercise and health. Raw, whole food nutrition, from organically grown sources, is more beneficial for health than isolated nutrients. When coupled with exercise, a diet that includes the consumption of raw, live foods, particularly those containing probiotics, enzymes, and products of their fermentation, is the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

I agree with the philosophy of a diet with as many whole foods as possible. While I definitely don’t always live up to that philosophy, I try to incorporate it as much as I can. Garden of Life offers many different products to help support that philosophy. One that I chose to try was their Super Omega 3 Organic Chia Seed.


Chia seed has a mild, nutty flavor and it can be used in recipes or by simply sprinkling it on cereal, in smoothies, on a salad or in a veggie dish. It promotes heart and brain health, helps maintain health cholesterol and blood sugar levels and promotes health digestion. One serving contains 3g of Omega-3 and 1g of Omega-6. Garden of Life Super Omega 3 Organic Chia Seed is Certified Organic, sustainable and Non-GMO.

I used my Garden of Life Super Omega 3 Organic Chia Seed to make some super yummy cookies. They are great for breakfast or as a snack any time of day. If you use dairy-free chocolate chips, this recipe is also vegan.

Chia Seed Cookie Recipe with Chocolate Chips

2 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup applesauce
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix oats, brown sugar, flour, chia seeds, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips in a large bowl. Add applesauce, olive oil and vanilla extract and mix well. Form into golf ball sized balls and place on a piece of parchment paper (I prefer to line it with a silicone liner.) Bake 13-15 minutes. Allow to cool fully before removing from cookie sheets.

Chia Seed Cookies Recipe with Chocolate Chips


Reader Giveaway: Five (5) lucky Thrifty Jinxy readers will each win Garden of Life Super Omega 3 Organic Chia Seeds. To enter, just complete the entry form below by 10/23/14 at 11:59pm ET. Good luck!

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Witch’s Broom Snacks – Fun for Halloween!

Witch’s Broom Snacks

These Witch’s Broom Snacks are a fun non-sweet treat for the Halloween season. They look so adorable, but are very easy to make and only need three ingredients! Put a few in an October lunchbox as a special surprise or serve them with the appetizers at your Halloween party. You can use any flavor of cheese stick, but the cheese stick swirls add a fun multi-color effect to the brooms.

You can eat theWitch’s Broom Snacks “as is” or serve them with dip. This green creamy avocado dip is a great choice. Serve it in a little black cauldron (find them in the party store or dollar store) and it will look like a tub of witch’s brew!

Witch’s Broom Snacks

3 String Cheese Sticks
9 Pretzel Sticks
Fresh Chives

Witch’s Broom Snacks Ingredients

Cut each cheese stick in thirds (about 1 1/2″ each).
Lengthwise, make cuts around the stick to about half way up.
Insert a pretzel stick in the uncut end of the cheese.
Wrap and tie with a chive and cut off excess.

Witch’s Broom Snacks How To


Find lots more Halloween fun and recipes here!

Mac and Cheese Barbecue Chicken Pizza Recipe – Simple Dinners with Budget Recipes

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Mac and Cheese Barbecue Chicken Pizza Dinner Under $20

I like budget recipes any day, but for many people those budget friendly meals become especially important around the 1st and the 15th of the month when times can be tight. The key to planning low budget meals is to combine foods you have on hand with foods you can find at a great sale price (and/or with a coupon) and use your imagination to create something with those ingredients.

I headed to Walmart where they have lots of KRAFT products on rollback right now, including KRAFT Barbecue Sauce, KRAFT Mayo, KRAFT Ranch Dressing, KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing, VELVEETA Cheesy Skillets Dinner Kit, VELVEETA Shells & Cheese Dinners, and VELVEETA Shells & Cheese Dinner Cups.

VELVEETA Shells & Cheese Dinner Recipe

I put my thinking cap on and came up with this Mac and Cheese Barbecue Chicken Pizza Recipe starting with the always yummy VELVEETA Shells & Cheese Dinner. This fun meal can serve a family of 4-5 for under $20 – actually for under $15! The price would have actually been cheaper if I had used leftover cooked chicken and made my own pizza crust, which I will do next time with this easy homemade pizza dough recipe. With those changes, the total price would drop to under $10!

VELVEETA Shells & Cheese Dinner

KRAFT Barbecue Sauce at Walmart

Mac and Cheese Barbecue Chicken Pizza Recipe


1 pre-made pizza crust (or make your own)
2 tsp olive oil
VELVEETA Shells & Cheese Dinner
7-8 oz cooked chicken (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup KRAFT Barbecue Sauce
3/4 cup VELVEETA Shreds, Cheddar
1 green onion (green part only), thinly sliced

Mac and Cheese Barbecue Chicken Pizza Recipe Ingredients


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Prepare VELVEETA Shells & Cheese Dinner according to package directions.
Dice the chicken and mix with KRAFT Barbecue Sauce.
Lightly brush pizza crust with olive oil.
Spread mac and cheese over crust.
Top with chicken, shredded cheese and green onion.
Bake 7-10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and starts to brown.

Mac and Cheese Barbecue Chicken Pizza Recipe KRAFT

Mac and Cheese Barbecue Chicken Pizza Recipe Assembly

My husband went nuts for this pizza! It is on the list of his favorites now and I’ll definitely have to make it again soon. I like that it is so filling and the combination of flavors leaves you feeling satisfied – – all at a budget price!

Mac and Cheese Barbecue Chicken Pizza Whole

So, the next time you’re facing a tight time of the month, or you just don’t want to spend more than you have to on dinner, raid your pantry and your freezer, check for good deals on additional ingredients and then put on your thinking cap!

What are some of your favorite budget meals?

#RollIntoSavings #CollectiveBias

Mac and Cheese Barbecue Chicken Pizza

$.50 Sierra Mist 2-Liter Soda at Dollar General + Great Punch Recipes for Halloween!

sierra mist Dollar General has select 2-liter sodas on sale right now for only $1 each. You can combine that sale with an iBotta rebate for this great deal on Sierra Mist: Buy (1) Sierra Mist, 2 liter — $1.00
Submit for $.50 iBotta Rebate
Final Price: $.50! It’s a good time to grab this type of soda to use for holiday punch recipes! Check out this post for some really great punch recipes that are perfect for Halloween! halloween punch Also, check here for more Dollar General match-ups before you make your shopping trip! You can find more current printable coupons at Coupons.comRed Plum,SmartSource, and SavingStar. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links that help support our site with no additional cost to you. See our complete disclosure policy here.

Easy Homemade Caramel Apple Recipe

Easy Homemade Caramel Apple Recipe

One of my favorite parts of fall is apples and APPLE RECIPES! At the top of my list of snacks is a gooey, delicious caramel apple topped with nuts. I sometimes fall victim to temptation and pick one up at the grocery store and often am a little disappointed at the quality of the apple. If it’s not a fresh, firm, juicy apple it just doesn’t satisfy.

BUT, with this Easy Homemade Caramel Apple Recipe, you can choose your own apples and make sure that you use the best ones. The recipe includes a step for removing the wax from your apples, but if you pick your own or buy straight from a local apple orchard you’ll be able to skip that step.

This recipe uses real cream and is very creamy, which you can kind of tell from the light color of the caramel.

Easy Homemade Caramel Apple Recipe

6 Apples
6 Lollipop Sticks
3/4 cup Chopped Peanuts (optional)
1 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Corn Syrup
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla

Easy Homemade Caramel Apple Recipe Ingredients

Heat water in a pot until hot (but not boiling).
Add 1 tsp of vinegar.
Insert a stick into the stem end of each apple.
Dip apples in water and swirl to melt and remove any wax.
Wipe with towel to dry and remove any remaining wax.
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and set aside.
In a pan, add 3/4 cup cream, corn syrup, butter and sugar.
Cook to 245 (use a candy thermometer or look for firm ball stage).
Remove from heat and carefully stir in the remaining cream and the vanilla. Be careful as it is very hot and it may splatter.
Dip and twirl the apples in the caramel to coat. Let any excess drip off.
You can optionally roll the dipped apple in the chopped nuts.
Place apples on prepared cookie sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes to set caramel.

Easy Homemade Caramel Apple Recipe Sticks

Easy Homemade Caramel Apple Recipe Dipping

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