I love cooking at home! It lets me know exactly what my family is eating and I can make pretty much anything that you see in a store or restaurant. Copycat Sauces & Seasonings allow you to surprise your family with a treat that is actually a fraction of the cost of dining out!
We rounded up a few of our favorites for you that are sure to treat your taste buds.
12 Copycat Sauces & Seasonings
- Copycat Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix ~Simplee Thrifty
- Red Robin Seasoning ~Love to be in the Kitchen
- Copycat Homemade A1 Steak Sauce Recipe ~Thrifty DIY Diva
- Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sauce ~Just 2 Sisters
- Make Seasoning Salt Lawrys Copycat Recipe ~Thrifty Jinxy
- Copycat La Bou Dill Dressing Recipe ~Mommy Enterprises
- Chicken Fettuccine Copycat Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce ~Adventures in Coupons
- Copycat Raising Canes Chicken Fingers Dipping Sauce ~Thrifty DIY Diva
- Penne Alla Vodka Sauce ~Skinny Kitchen
- Café Rio Style Creamy Tomatillo Salad Dressing ~Kalyn’s Kitchen
- Copycat Olive Garden Spaghetti Sauce Recipe ~Thrifty DIY Diva
- Copycat Spicy Garlic Chicken Wing Sauce ~Around My Family Table
What are your favorite copycat recipes? Please share!
Decadent. Sweet. Chocolaty. All of that is in this incredible Chocolate Pecan Turtle Cupcake Recipe that will have you slated to bring this to EVERY friendly get together that you are ever invited to in the future. It also helps with portion control as one is perfect, if with a tall glass of milk or complimenting a cup of coffee.
2 C flour
1 ½ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
1 ½ stick unsalted butter, room temp
2 C sugar
¾ C Ghirardelli cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla
1 C Salted Caramel Mocha Creamer
½ C oil
4 eggs, room temp
1 C soft unsalted butter
3 + C powder sugar
1 cup of cocoa
4 TBSP heavy whipping cream
Hot Fudge topping
Chocolate Pecan turtle candy
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with paper liners. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt stirring together. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy in a large bowl. Mix in the oil. Stir to blend in. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition, then add in the vanilla. Alternating add the flour mixture with the creamer; beating well.
Fill the lined cupcake tins 3/4 full and then bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in cupcake tin for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cream the butter, cocoa and powder sugar until it looks light and creamy.
Add more powder sugar if the frosting is not thick: add 1/4 cup at a time
Once frosting is made then to decorate you need to scoop the frosting into a pastry bag with a large tip.
Twist the open end of the pastry bag to push the frosting to the tip.
Start by frosting on the outside edge of the cupcake working to the center of the cupcake.
Drizzle the chocolate and caramel sauce on the cupcake
Garnish with 1/2 of a Chocolate pecan turtle candy and then rip into it like a monkey on a cupcake!
Have you ever gone to your favorite theme park destination with the kids, but wondered How To Save Money On Snacks In Amusement Parks? We have all been there and wondered how to find the extra money to give everyone what they want and need to eat without breaking the bank. With so many theme parks asking you to not bring food inside, it can be a real struggle to keep your expenses down. Here are some tips we have gathered through the years that really help to keep costs down while giving us the food we need while in the park.
How To Save Money On Snacks In Amusement Parks
Pack your own snacks when allowable. Some places actually allow you to bring in a cooler and snacks. Check the attraction website in advance to see if there are days they allow this and plan to visit on those days. This is usually a special weekend each month.
Pack a cooler and leave in your car. Even if they don’t allow coolers in the park, you can easily pack and leave in your car. Almost every amusement park will allow you to leave and enter again on the same day with a hand stamp. Plan to go out to your car a few times during the day for a snack or meal break. While you may not be able to eat in the park easily, you can still save money by bringing you favorite items with you.
Buy a meal and split up for snacks. This is one of our favorite ways to save money on snacks in amusement parks. Many options for meals in the concessions stands are only marginally more than the snacks themselves. Buying a sandwich, wrap and chips may cost around $10, but you can easily cut that sandwich into 4-5 portions to serve as a snack for each family member to have. Instead of spending $5 each on popcorn, nachos, funnel cakes or ice cream – you can spend a fraction of the price by truly making snacks a small amount of food in between meals that is satisfying and tasty.
Buy the dining plan offered by the park. Many parks offer a discounted dining plan. Depending on your needs and how long you will be in the park, this can be a great choice. If you are planning to stay all day long, a discounted menu plan can provide you and your family with full meals for up to 50% off regular prices. Before you buy ala carte, ask the guest relations person if there is a discounted dining plan to save you money.
These ways to save money on snacks in amusement parks will help you be able to give your kids more fun times together riding rides. It is easy for a family of four to spend up to $200 just on food in one day in a thee park. These tips can stretch that budget farther, and help you to afford an extra day or two in the park instead.
If you’ve planted a summer garden, you may be wondering how to preserve your harvest so that you can enjoy your harvest all year long. You can freeze your harvest, dehydrate them or can them. If you’re new to canning foods, you may be unsure about which supplies you will really and truly need and which ones are extra. These 8 must have supplies for canning your own food are where you will want to start.
Pressure canner – When canning foods, there are two types of canners that you will need. The first is a pressure canner. As you begin looking for canning recipes, you will find that most canning recipes require pressure canning. You can pick up a Presto 22qt canner for around $85.00 or you can go with a more expensive brand for $200+. When buying your canner though, make sure that you don’t opt for a smaller one. Those are pressure cookers and are not safe for home canning.
Water bath canner – The other type of canner that you’ll need is a water bath canner (also called a boiling water canner). This type of canner is basically just a big pot with a lid and canning rack inside. You can buy a complete water bath canning set for around $20.00. If you’re looking to can fruits or make jams and jellies, you’ll need to have this type.
Mason jars – You can’t can your foods without Mason jars! You can buy them in a variety of sizes from 4oz on up. To decide how many you will need, figure out what you will be canning and how much. Most people opt for pint and quart jars as their primary and use 4oz jelly jars as well. You can buy wide mouth jars or regular mouth jars. Both will can the exact same way
Lids and rings – Along with Mason jars, you will need lids and rings as well. Make sure that you buy the ones that are correct for the jars that you have. Wide mouth lids won’t fit on regular sized jars and vice versa.
Plastic tool for removing air bubbles – When you fill your jars, they will fill with air bubbles. These bubbles can cause your food to not seal correctly or to become contaminated so that they are no longer edible. Using a metal tool to remove these air bubbles isn’t recommended. Instead, pick up a plastic tool made specifically for doing this task. They’re fairly cheap to buy and will save you a lot of heartbreak.
Canning funnel – Filling your canning jars, especially with liquids, can be hard to do without spoiling. A canning funnel will make things much easier for you. Again, make sure that you have one on hand for the correct sized jar mouths or buy a combination funnel that will work for both.
Lid lifter – Your lids and rings need to be sterilized before they are used. To keep both you from getting burned and to keep them sterilized, you’ll need a lid lifter. This tool is incredibly simple, just a plastic stick with a magnet on the end, but you will need to have it on hand.
Jar lifter – When your jars come out of the canner, they will be extremely hot. You will need a way to get them out of the canner and a regular pot holder will not work. For this, you’ll need a jar lifter. They’re only a few dollars but will save you burned hands and possibly dropped jars.
If you don’t want to purchase the smaller tools individually, you can usually purchase an entire canning set that includes them all. Getting them this way is a more cost effective way of building up your canning supplies. Do you have any other must have canning supplies?
Waste not, want not is a common phrase we all grew up hearing and trying to live by. It is definitely possible to get the most out of your groceries when you follow some simple tips. Here are just a few of the many ways to get more bang for your buck.
Be prepared. It’s super important to have a supply of freezer bags, plastic containers, and ample space in your freezer. It takes no time at all to get those leftovers and extra meals ready to go for another time.
Freeze leftovers. Now that you are stocked up on supplies, prep the leftovers into individual servings for next day or next week’s lunches.
But local and fresh. Whenever possible, buy your produce locally at the supermarket or a farmer’s market only one to three days before using. They are fresher, last longer, and taste better.
Buy in bulk. When your favorite pantry items go on sale stock up and save. If you have the room, double up and go back for that extra savings. Careful with dairy and deli items since they won’t last as long as canned and boxed goods.
Stay organized. Speaking of your fridge and pantry, keep it organized so you always have a good idea of what you have on hand. This makes your shopping list easier to make and to stick to.
Don’t overbuy. Whatever you do, don’t go shopping on an empty stomach. Make that list, get coupons ready, and stick to it as best as you can. Try to stay away from the end aisles of the store too. They are packed with promotions that usually aren’t needed.
Save it. When making homemade soups and stews, make sure you are saving and freezing any leftover stock. Using ice cube trays is a great and easy way to freeze it and have available for future recipes. This is especially helpful when boiling chicken or beef. Save that wonderful stock.
Share. If you are making a big Sunday dinner and have too many leftovers, share with friends and neighbors because you never know when the doorbell will ring with dinner for you.
DisneyLand Food Bucket List
Are you a first timer or a returning visitor to Disneyland and hoping to do all the things you want like a bucket list? There are so many things to do at Disneyland it’s no wonder people come back more than once or get passes for several days in a row! If you are planning a trip to Disneyland and you are wanting to know what foods at the park are must-tries, here is a Disneyland food bucket list to make sure you get all the best treats in while you are there.
Disneyland Food Bucket List
Dole Whip– This one is one of the most famous treats on Pinterest from Disneyland. It is soft-serve ice cream with tartness and is sold at The Enchanted Tiki Room in Adventureland.
Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Sandwich– This is a cookie topped with peanut butter and covered in chocolate. Think of it as a better than Reese’s peanut butter cup. It is sold at Pooh’s Corner at Critter Land.
Mint Julep– This is a classic drink that is also available as a free sample! It is lemony-lime with a hint of mint. So refreshing! It can be found at the Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square.
Mickey Beignets– These are a crispy donuts shaped like Mickey (ears and all!) and covered in powdered sugar. These are also sold at The Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square.
Barbecue Chicken Stuffed Baked Potato– This is a potato with a meal stuffed in it that you won’t want to miss. It is a sweet BBQ sauce, chicken, coleslaw and sour cream. It is served at Harbour Galley in Critter Country.
Elote– This is chili lime corn on the cob that is a must try! It is sold at The Boardwalk and is a perfect food for on the go.
Lobster Nachos– This may sound very strange, but it is actually incredible. It is lobster, black beans, pico de gallo, and cheeses on top of tortilla chips. Lobster Nachos are served at The Cove in Paradise Pier.
Fried Biscuits– These are a cheese lover’s dream. They are filled with cheese and a kick of jalapeno and are served at the Carthay Circle Restaurant.
Turkey Legs– These are huge and the perfect thing to get if you are feeding small children as they are definitely big enough to share. You can find them at a cart that tends to move around, but is often located near The Golden Horseshoe Saloon.
Fire Cracker Duck Wings– If you like sriracha, you are in for a treat with these. They have The famous sauce as well as a slight sweetness from lime. These can be found at The Carthay Circle Restaurant as well.
Toys, sippy cups, more toys, food, another toy…
These are things I normally pick up off of the floor when we are out with the babies. Because they hit the floor outside of our home they get put into a wet bag and are dragged home to be washed.
I’ve found a solution! Lil’ Sidekick has official stopped the drop for my babies. Here is Jon, making good use of his Lil’ Sidekick to keep his weirdly shaped favorite alligator toy in his car seat at the grocery store.
The Lil’ Sidekicks were sent to us to use and review about a month ago, and we have only left the house without them once since. They save so much work, and so many tears.
Right out of the gate I was extremely excited to see that one feature of the Lil’ Sidekicks is that you can throw them right into the dishwasher. As I’ve said in the past, one of the biggest surprises of parenthood for me is just how sticky babies are. By default anything within reach of the babies becomes sticky within moments. I carefully select the things that come into my home. One criteria is how easily I can remove the sticky that comes with our life.
I tossed them into the dishwasher before we used them the first time (and have several times since), making sure to create a big loop so that nothing would get caught in the sprayer. Here you can see them in among the many, many bottles we wash everyday.
One of the most common items to go flying when we are out and about is sippy cups. After washing the Lil’ Sidekicks I decided to give them a go as we went out to dinner. High chairs are still very new to us, so the babies have some trouble keeping track of sitting, playing, eating and holding on to things.
Our current favorite sippy cups have oddly shaped handles that have made it hard to use any sort of tether on. They were not a problem to the extremely adjustable Lil’ Sidekicks.
We attached the star end to the high chair and the other end to the cup. The length of the Lil’ Sidekick was PERFECT. Annabelle was able to use her cup no problem, but when she dropped it, it didn’t go near the floor. She happily chewed away on the cup and strap for quite a while.
I couldn’t get a photo of Jon (he didn’t stop moving) but he preferred chewing on the Lil’ Sidekick to doing just about anything else. He was far more interested in the strap than the cup, or what was going on around him. He’s cutting two teeth and has been sticking his Lil’ Sidekick into his mouth at every opportunity.
One of the best things about the Lil’ Sidekick is how well it stays connected. Here you can see the pull through piece. You attached items by sliding this piece through the many holes on the strap. This makes is completely adjustable.
It also makes it almost impossible for baby to pull the item out, unlike Velcro and snap products. Of course moms always worry about safety, the Lil’ Sidekick has two break points that will help prevent any sort of safety issue.
Lil’ Sidekick is available in 4 fun colors and was invented by a mom named Amy who was determined to stop the drop! They can be purchased directly from their website for a bargain $10.95!
Disclaimer: We were sent the Lil’ Sidekicks in exchange for our review. All thoughts are entirely our own.
The thought of packing lunches this new school year may have you seeing dollar signs. But the good news is, you can still pack your child a fun and healthy lunch while staying within your grocery budget. Take a peek below at 7 ways to save on back to school lunches, so you can pack your child a lunch that is tasty as well as thrifty.
1. Use cloth instead of paper.
Instead of sending paper and disposable plastic products in your child’s lunch, send cloth and reusable products instead. In the long run, being able to reuse these items instead of replacing them each time is sure to save you some cash.
2. Skip the single servings.
Buy in bulk instead of buying single serve items. You will have to package the items into single servings yourself but will in the end get more food for your dollar. This is great for doing with yogurt, cereal, and even canned fruit and applesauce.
3. Pack a thermos.
A thermos is great for keeping soup and leftover stews warm. A soup or stew makes a hardy lunch and typically costs just pennies a serving as well. A thermos can even keep hot dogs and pasta warm.
4. Think about meatless options.
Meat can end up driving up the cost of your lunch. Think of high protein yet meatless options that cost less. Tuna salad wraps, bean salad, fruit and peanut butter and pretzels all make wonderful, meatless choices.
5. Skip the convenience.
Lunch products that come with silverware, their own condiments, or fancy packaging may make life easier, but you are really paying for the convenience of them. Instead of buying a premade salad or store made fruit skewers, try making your own from fresh produce.
6. Make your own beverages.
Invest in a quality thermos or water bottle that you can send drink mixes in. Powder drink mixes cost a few cents per serving and in the end will save you money over sending pricey juice boxes.
7. Let your child help you plan.
Do you know what your child is eating each day? If you are continuing to pack a food they won’t eat, the end is wasted money…and food! Have your child help plan their lunches, that way you know what you pack will be enjoyed and won’t go to waste.
When you give these 7 tips a try, you can save money on school lunches while still packing a meal that is tasty and healthy. Consider these tips this school year and save.
Being able to set up a backyard orchard is always a lot of fun, and gives the entire family the chance to enjoy fresh fruit during the summer and fall. Growing fruit trees in your backyard is all about choosing the right trees for your backyard habitat and hardiness zone. Whether you plant just one tree, or an assortment of trees, choosing the trees is a small decision that makes a huge difference to how well the trees do, how much time you need to spend caring for them and how much fruit you will be able to harvest.
Use these tips to help you choose fruit trees that are suitable for growing in your backyard.
Understand the Soil:
However you decide to plant your fruit trees in the backyard, whether directly into the soil or in a garden bed, it is important that you know the soil. Trees are super resilient, and great at adapting to the soil they are planted in, but in order for fruit trees to bear fruit, they need to be able to find nutrient rich soil. Well drained, not packed soil that has a balanced pH level is best for fruit. Fertilizer can be added to amend the soil depending on the type of fruit trees you plant.
Sun and Space:
The next step to choosing fruit trees for the backyard is to check out the space you have available and the amount of sun those spaces receive. Fruit trees need plenty of sun, its the only way they can get enough energy to be able to grow their fruit. Make sure that you are not planting the trees in the shade or canopy of another tree. Space is another factor that is going to play into the health and growth of your tree choice. While there may be enough clear space on the ground for a tree to be planted, look up and determine how many feet on each side of a planting spot would a canopy have free space to grow.
Choosing a Tree:
Choosing the type of fruit tree comes down to two factors, what your yard can support and what type of fruit you want to grow. Whatever you grow, you will have an abundance of, so make sure it is a type of fruit that you love and can eat or process a lot of. Apple, pear and peach trees produce larger fruit that the average family should be able to harvest and use with ease. Cherry trees produce a huge number of smaller fruits that take a lot more time to collect and might need to be shared. A lemon, limes, grapefruit or orange tree produces a decent amount of fruit, but with fruit like lemons or limes, you might also need to share because there are only so many lemons that the family can use.
Whatever tree you decide on, make sure that the soil, sun and space are there for the type that you decide on. Look for trees that are young and have not been out of the soil for too long. Fruit trees that have healthy leaves and roots that are loose and not tightly coiled. Trees that already look like they are struggling to survive might not survive through the first season, or take one to two growing seasons to regain their health.