Thrifty Tip: If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Posted on March 13th, 2015 by Discount Debbie

oat flour chocolate chip with text

Lately, I have been on a mission to make a healthy, tasty oat flour chocolate chip cookie. In my first attempt, the cookie tasted amazing. The only problem was that all the cookies melted into one big cookie. Again, not the worst thing in the world. The whole family loved the cookie(s). But, I didn’t want to bake one cookie; I wanted many cookies! So, I tried again. I tried a no bake recipe that I later transformed into a chocolate peanut butter oatmeal baked cookie. That was good but still not what I had in mind.

Then, last night, I tried again. I found another recipe. I modified the original to suit our tastes. So, here’s what I did.


1 3/4 cups oat flour
1/2-3/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
chocolate chips (as much as you like)


1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Mix all the wet ingredients in a large bowl.

3. Then, mix all the dry ingredients in a smaller bowl.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until well blended. Then, fold in the chocolate chips.

5. Put the bowl into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

6. Then, scoop onto the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Remove and enjoy! They tasted amazing with my coffee this morning!

Now, I have to say that these cookies are a great improvement from the others. They are good and generally hold together (although they are crumbly). I don’t think that my quest is over. However, I’m happy with what we have today.

Does anyone else get on kicks like this? I am determined to find or create a recipe that tastes great, not just good, and holds together nicely. Trust me, when I find or make it, you will hear about it! 😉

From Good To Great: Fixing A “Pretty Good” Recipe

Posted on March 13th, 2015 by Discount Debbie

cookies final with text

You may have heard of the best selling business/leadership book called Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap… And Others Don’t. I only mention the title of the book because it’s what came to mind when a recipe I made (and considered quite good) was transformed because my husband didn’t think it was “great.”

This is the recipe I just tried yesterday. It’s a yummy, healthy no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bar recipe. Here’s what happened. Rather than put it in the refrigerator, I left it out and it didn’t harden. And, while I was out running errands, our children dug in. I came back only to find that they had grabbed spoons and begun eating right out of the pan. (I wish I had taken a picture of that!) It was clear that they liked the non-bar bars, but my husband wasn’t a fan. He said he’d prefer baked cookies.

no bake

So, I took the remaining gooey bars, added a teaspoon of baking soda and a cup of white flour to form a batter.

cookie batter

Then, I spooned cookies onto a cookie sheet. I did this part quickly, as you can see (because I was fixing lunch at the same time. You know how it is, right?) By the way, another reason to do it quickly is to limit the amount of batter you “taste” while you are getting all that batter onto the baking sheet! 😉

cookies raw

I baked them at 350 for about 10-12 minutes and ta-da…Here they are! I transformed our “good” no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bars into “great” chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies. I feel just as good about the children (and the hubby) eating them. And, by the way, now they are all eating them! 😉

cookies final

Have you ever transformed one of your good recipes into a “great” one?


Healthy No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Posted on March 11th, 2015 by Discount Debbie

no bake with text 2

Every so often, I go on a particular baked good kick. I become obsessed with ways to make healthy muffins and begin to scour the internet and play with my own recipes in the attempt to create a healthy, tasty muffin for my family. Then, I usually move on to a healthy cookie kick, during which I scour the internet again (as though I’d never done it before) for healthy cookie recipes. This pattern usually continues throughout the year. So, I’m currently on a healthy cookie recipe kick. And, since we have about 25 pounds of organic rolled oats in our pantry right now (thanks to joining a co-op and getting an amazing deal on oats), I’m looking for recipes with oats!

So, I found one similar to one I have made in the past. But, the picture looked irresistible. I HAD to try it. (Heads up, the Pinterest picture looks nothing like mine!) Anyway, I gave it a try with some modifications of my own. We don’t like to use sugar. So, I generally substitute honey or maple syrup for sugar in most recipes. I also prefer to use coconut oil whenever possible. In this case, I used half coconut oil and half butter.

Here are the ingredients:

3 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup honey or maple syrup

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup butter

pinch of salt


1. Line an 8 or 9 inch square pan with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, mix the oats, chocolate chips, peanut butter, and vanilla extract.

3. In a small saucepan, combine honey, milk, butter, coconut oil, and salt. Bring to a full boil and keep boiling for 2 minutes.

4. Pour the hot mixture over the oat mixture and stir to make sure it is well blended. Then, pour the entire mixture into the lined pan.

5. Let cool for 30 minutes before cutting into squares and storing in the refrigerator.

My bars look fine, as you’ll see. However, the original recipe looked like it was an oat bar with chocolate chips mixed in. Pouring the hot mixture over the oats and the chocolate melts the chocolate so that you have chocolate oats, not oats with chocolate sprinkled in… Next time, I’ll make it the same way minus the chocolate. I think that once I blend the hot and dry ingredients, I’ll sprinkle chocolate chips into the mixture (in case you are curious) 😉

In any case, they are delicious and pretty healthy too!

no bake

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Posted on March 10th, 2015 by Discount Debbie

cookie with text

I don’t know one mother who doesn’t think about how to get her children to eat healthy or healthier foods. Whether it’s sneaking healthy foods into their favorites or trying to make healthy foods tastier, it seems to be every mother’s mission to get those kiddos to eat something nutritious. I, too, share that mission.

One of the ways I do that is by finding healthier ways to make baked goods. I have used coconut flour, almond flour, and combinations of those with organic white flour in order to get them to eat healthier baked goods. And, while we have made variations of oatmeal cookies, I found a recipe using oat flour at just the right time. Since we recently joined a co-op and I got a great deal on organic rolled oats, I have 25 pounds of oats to do something with. 😉

So, in case you’re on a similar mission and would like your children eat healthier cookies, you may want to try this recipe.


1 cup oat flour (I just put a cup of oatmeal in my food processor for this part)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sugar or honey*
1/2 cup coconut oil
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Mix all wet ingredients in a large bowl and dry ingredients in a smaller bowl.

3. If you haven’t bought oat flour, just put about a cup of oatmeal into a food processor until finely ground.

oatmeal oatmeal 2

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet until thoroughly blended.

5. Fold in the chocolate chips.

6. Use a spoon to drop cookies onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

one cookie cookie final

*I used honey (even though the original recipe called for sugar). As a result, when I baked the cookies (plural), they melted into one big cookie! So, if you decide to use honey, add some extra oat flour! 🙂 In the end, as you can see, the “cookie” was a big hit!

How do you make baked goods healthier for your kiddos?


Yummy Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Posted on February 24th, 2015 by Discount Debbie

brussel sprouts with text 2

Did you know that Brussels sprouts are of the most nutrient rich foods you can eat? They are full of anti-oxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K as well as fiber, manganese, potassium, choline, and B vitamins. Why aren’t we all eating this incredibly good for you food? Well, some surveys show that Americans simply don’t like the smell of the Brussels sprouts. My answer to that dilemma is always simply finding the right recipe. If you can cook something to make it taste good, people will eat it (and probably not care about how it smelled while it was cooking).

So, I’ve got an easy recipe for a great for you, a yummy side dish! The recipe is based on a recipe from a restaurant called Tin Roof Bistro in California. Here’s my version of that recipe (because I only used what I had and I didn’t have everything listed on their recipe).


1 lb. Brussels sprouts
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat over to 350º
2. Remove the ends and any rough outer leaves from Brussels sprouts and cut them in half lengthwise.

brussel sprouts 2

3. Put them in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

brussel sprouts 1

4. Toss Brussels sprouts in oil and then lay out on sheet pan. Roast for 20-25 minutes until caramelized.

5. When Brussels sprouts are roasted and caramelized, heat up small saute’ pan. Melt butter and add garlic. Cook for several minutes until garlic turns golden. Add lemon juice, parsley, and salt and pepper. Toss sprouts in sauce until they are thoroughly coated.

brussel sprouts 3

6. Then, the most important part: eat and enjoy… because, you know, it is possible to enjoy food that is good for you!

How do you like to eat your Brussels Sprouts?


Yummy and Healthy Coconut Flour Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted on January 13th, 2015 by Discount Debbie

cookies take 2

I’m always looking for ways to get my family to eat healthier on a very tight budget. One of our staples around the house is some sort of healthy baked good. We go through seasons of muffins that give way to seasons of cookies around here. We have been in a cookie season of late and I’ve wanted to change things up. At the end of the year last year, as a way to cut costs, I started using organic white flour for our baked goods. It’s better than non-organic white flour but not as good as coconut flour.

I had a difficult time finding a recipe that worked for us. So, I came up with my own. We use organic ingredients, including raw honey and raw milk to ensure that it’s a good-for-you treat 🙂

Here are the very simple ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
pinch sea salt

1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 organic peanut butter
2/3 cup raw honey
2 eggs
1/4 cup raw milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

dark chocolate chips, as desired


1. Preheat the over at 350.

2. Heat a small pan on low and add the coconut oil, peanut butter, and honey (be sure to put the honey in last so that it doesn’t burn). Remove from heat as soon as most of it is melted. Mix together and let cool.

melt peanut butter
cookie ingredients

3. Meanwhile, combine coconut flour, rolled oats, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

dry ingred

4. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract to the cooled off peanut butter mixture in the pan. Then, mix in to the dry ingredients.

mix all ingredients

5. Let that sit for at least 5 minutes before adding the yummy chocolate goodness…I mean, the chocolate chips 😉

add chocolate chips

6. Use a tablespoon to drop balls of cookies onto a parchment lined cookie sheet about one inch apart. (Sometimes I place them closer than an inch apart because I don’t want to use a second cookie sheet, as you can see here.)

cookie dough

7. Bake for 10-13 minutes until lightly golden.

cookies final

8. Enjoy!

cookies final. plate

Easy Peasy Homemade Pizza

Posted on January 12th, 2015 by Discount Debbie

pizza photo final

Our children love to eat out. And Mommy and Daddy love the idea of eating out. But we don’t particularly love eating out for a couple of reasons. First, it’s hard not to think about what you could be doing with the money spent. Second, even if we allot a certain amount of money to eating out on occasion, it’s rare to find a place with food we can feel good about eating. So, most of the time, we eat in and are glad we do.

One of our family favorites is pizza. And we’ve discovered that we can make it as good, if not better, using ingredients we feel good about for a lot less than we would pay for one we’d order from a restaurant. This week, my daughter asked me if we could make pizza several times. Then, when I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner one night, I thought we’d go with her suggestion. I didn’t have any shredded cheese, pepperoni, or pre-made dough. But, I did have a block of organic mozzarella cheese, organic white flour, yeast, and some chicken sausage. It was enough to make it happen.

For the crust, I used:

3 cups organic white flour
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
3-5 Tbsp. oil (I used avocado oil just because it’s what I have right now.)
1 package of yeast

For the toppings, I used what I happened to have on hand:

1 jar of organic spaghetti sauce
1 block of organic mozzarella cheese
3 all-natural chicken sausage links


1. Prepare yeast according to package instructions.

2. Combine flour, salt, and garlic powder and mix.

3. Once the yeast is ready, add oil and water so that the total liquid mixture is about 1 1/4 cup.

4. Add yeast mixture to the flour and form a ball. Knead for at least five minutes. Then, either let the ball sit in a bowl covered by a clean kitchen towel for about 30 minutes, if you are preparing one large pizza. If you are dividing the dough to make more than one, form additional balls for each crust.

5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough. (My handsome, handy husband rolled out the dough for us!)

T rolling dough

6. Use a fork to poke holes in the crust.

round dough

7. Add your toppings. Use what you have. I didn’t have pepperoni and didn’t want to thaw out ground beef. So, I just used the sausage we had in the refrigerator.

sausage cooking cooked sausage

8. Bake pizza at 425 for about 20 minutes or until crust looks golden and cheese is bubbling.

sausage onion pizza almost ready cheese pizza almost ready

9. Enjoy! We did! 🙂

sausage pizza final cheese pizza final

What fast food do you replicate at home for less?

Healthy, Kid-Friendly and Cheap Potato Recipe

Posted on January 9th, 2015 by Discount Debbie

potato with text

I’m always looking for healthy, kid-friendly recipes. But seems that one of my new year’s resolutions every year is to find more varied recipes for our family, especially for more kid friendly foods. Since I just got a good deal on some organic potatoes, I wanted to make something (besides the same ol’ baked French fries) with the potatoes. I found a recipe that was close enough to ensure that they’d like them but different enough to be, well, different. It’s a flavorful version of fries that is sure to please palates of all ages at your dinner table.

I had to adapt a recipe I found because of the ingredients I happen to have on hand. So, here’s what I did:

4 medium potatoes (I used Yukon Gold, but any potato will work)

1-2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

¾ tsp salt

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp paprika

1/8 tsp pepper

2-3 tbsp avocado oil (use the oil of your choice)


1. Pre-heat oven to 400° F

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Prepare your potatoes. I didn’t peel ours. But some children prefer them peeled.

potato 1

4. Cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes

potato 2

5. Mix your seasoning in a small bowl.

potato ingred 2

6. Toss cubed potatoes with the seasoning.

7. Spread in single layer on baking sheet.

potatoes in pan

8. Roast in oven for 35 – 40 minutes or until potatoes are crispy on outside but soft inside.

My husband and I had to work very hard not to eat them all as soon as they were out of the oven.  My children ate them with ketchup but I guarantee you won’t. They are a delicious version of fries. Close enough to be familiar but different enough to feel like a treat.


What variation of kids favorites foods do you make?


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