Friday, March 21, 2014


Are you starting to think about Easter?  It will be here on April 20, 2014 this year.  We are still on the frugal holiday path so I started planning early this year and taking advantage of sales and coupons.

Even though my kids are now teens, (14, 15 and 19) I still do a gift bag for the ones that will be with us on Easter Sunday.  This year all three will be receiving something for Easter.  I started doing gift bags a couple years back with gift tissue instead of Easter grass as it was less mess and our family tradition is to do two gifts and some candy for Easter so hence the gift bags.  I started in with coupons right away - half price ran a 40% off one item sale the other day so I scored a Daft Punk special edition vinyl for my 15 year old who is obsessed with vinyl.  I also hit the Dollar Tree Store and purchased three reusable bags (like the fabric grocery bag style) that had cute designs and would fit their gifts - I really liked that they could reuse these as tote bags or storage bags.  I also picked up some colorful gift tissue there as well as their candy - I got some great stuff - spring themed lifesavers, warheads sour jelly beans, easter starburst, candy rings, tropical mike and ikes, cookies and creme chocolate bunnies - lots of goodies :)  For my daughter I am planning to get her film for her camera - she has one of those film cameras that Polaroid just released (funny how all the vintage stuff is all the rage now huh?) and also getting her the latest Hunger Games movie on dvd.  My 15 year old I am getting two vinyls for his collection, and my 14 year old I am getting a digivice (another retro now cool item - had to order from Japan!) and a tin of pokemon cards for his collection.  Anyhoo....luckily I have two gifts purchased, all the candy, and recyclable gift bags - I feel ahead of the game!

For our Easter dinner I am planning a festive but simple dinner - easy to make and not expensive on the ingredients.


Dill Dip with Relish Tray
BBQ Lil Smokies Appetizers
Baked Ham
Scalloped Cheese Potatoes
Southern Green Beans
Jiffy Corn Muffins
Lemon Bundt Cake

Dill dip is not expensive to make - I have extra mayo put up in the pantry from couponing and all the spices in my spice rack already.  On my relish tray I am serving celery sticks, carrot sticks, fresh radishes, deviled eggs and black olives.   (Celery and carrots are frugal veggies as are radishes, deviled eggs are of course from the colored eggs and black olives are leftover from couponing at Christmas in the pantry)

Dill Dip

  1. Mix all ingredients.
  2. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

BBQ Lil Smokies I am adding as appetizers as I got them for free while couponing!  This recipe is inexpensive and will use up a package of these that I have in the freezer.  The sauce is made from ingredients I always have on hand.
 BBQ Lil Smokies
  1. Use a 4-quart slow cooker.
  2. Put the sausage into your stoneware insert, and add the ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and barbecue sauce.
  3. Stir to combine.
  4. Cook on low for 4 hours, or on high for 2 hour or until heated through.
  5. Serve with toothpicks right out of the slow cooker

 Baked ham I am making as my grocery store has been giving out "ham perks" which are points you can use to get a free ham for Easter!  This is my family's favorite recipe for baked ham.

Holiday Baked Ham

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Using a paring knife, score the ham, creating a diamond pattern. Insert cloves into the corners of each diamond.
  3. Place the ham on a rack set in a 12 x 15-inch roasting pan. Cover loosely with foil, and bake until ham appears juicy, about 30 minutes.
  4. Place brown sugar and mustard in a medium bowl, and stir to combine.
  5. Gradually add ginger ale to brown sugar mixture until a pourable consistency is achieved; you may not need the whole can.
  6. Remove ham from oven and remove foil. Pour brown sugar mixture over ham. Make sure you coat the sides too.
  7. Cover ham with foil, return to oven, and cook for 1 hour, basting every 20 minutes.
  8. Remove foil for last 20 minutes.
  9. Remove ham from oven.
  10. Arrange pineapple rings and maraschino cherries in a docorative pattern on ham, securing them with toothpicks.
  11. Baste the fruit.
  12. Bake ham until fruit is heated through, 7 to 10 minutes.
  13. Sprinkle ham with coconut garnish, if desired.

Scallop potatoes are easy to make, everyone loves them and the ingredient cost isn't too high so perfect holiday side dish!

Scalloped Potatoes

  1. Heat oven to 400 Degrees. Shred the cheddar and parmesan cheeses.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut into slices. Lay the sliced potatoes into a large baking dish in even rows.
  3. Season the potatoes well with the salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powders to taste. Add the butter by dropping small dallops all around the potaotes, making sure to add butter all around evenly. It may need more butter than listed. Pour the canned milk over the potaotes. Sprinkle the shredded cheeses on top.
  4. Bake for about 40-45 minutes and the potaotes are tender and the cheese is melted.

Southern green beans are easy to make and don't take many ingrediants.  Canned or frozen can be used if the fresh green bean costs seem high.

Southern Green Beans

  1. Put green beans in pot- if canned add juices, if frozen add water enough to see but not cover beans- cook on medium heat.
  2. Fry bacon until cooked but not too crisp- drain on paper towel.
  3. Cut onion in large (thick) slices and break rings apart in to beans.
  4. Crumble or rip bacon apart add to beans.
  5. Add spices to taste.
  6. Let cook for a few hours on low heat.

I got this lemon cake recipe from Barefoot Contessa.  I love her recipes, simple and delicious!  Plus I find Bundt cakes a lot easier to make than layer cakes!

Lemon Cake


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans, lining the bottom with parchment paper, if desired.
  3. Cream, using paddle attachment, butter and 2 C granulated sugar in bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.
  4. With mixer on medium speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.
  5. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl.
  6. In another bowl, combine 1/4 C lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla.
  7. Alternately add flour and buttermilk mixtures to batter, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  8. Divide batter evenly between pans, smoothing the tops.
  9. Bake 45 minutes- 1 hour, until tester comes out clean.
  10. When cakes are done, cool 10 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, combine 1/2 C granulated sugar and 1/2 C lemon juice in small saucepan, cooking over low heat until sugar dissolves.
  12. Remove cakes from pans and set on wire rack over jelly pan (best to set upside down on rack so that syrup is spooned onto the bottom of the cake as it will absorb better than spooning over the top).
  13. Spoon lemon syrup over cakes.
  14. Allow cakes to cool completely.
  15. Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with whisk until smooth.
  16. Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow to drizzle down the sides.

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