Peanut Butter and Banana Wrap or Sandwich

This couldn’t be much simpler, but the combination of crunchy peanut butter, banana and honey is a favorite around here. You can serve this for breakfast or stick it in the lunch box. It also makes a great snack any time of the day. Try it on different types of breads and different wraps.

Since the bananas are mixed with a bit of lemon juice, they don’t brown, making this a perfect portable meal or snack.

Crunchy Peanut Butter and Banana Wrap or Sandwich
  • 2 medium bananas, sliced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tortillas or 4 slices of bread
  • ⅓ cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp honey
  1. Place the banana slices in a bowl and add the lemon juice. Gentle toss until the banana slices are well coated with the juice.
  2. Spread one side of each tortilla or slice of bread with the crunchy peanut butter and layer with the banana slices.
  3. Drizzle with the honey and roll/ top with the other slice of bread.


Small sandwiches with peanut butter and banana

Traditional Reuben Sandwiches

My family loves, loves, loves Reuben sandwiches. And, the truth is, when we order them at a restaurant, we are usually disappointed. This is the recipe that we make now instead of ordering out. Hot off the skillet with the cheese all melted… there’s no reason to get them anywhere else!

Reuben Sandwich Recipe
  • 12 oz thinly sliced corned beef
  • butter, softened to spread
  • 8 slices pumpernickel bread, or dark rye
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1½ cups good sauerkraut, drained
  • ¼ cup traditional Thousand Island dressing
  1. Lay 4 slices of bread out on a working surface. Divide the ingredients evenly between the 4 slices; first the cheese, then the dressing, then corned beef, and finally the sauerkraut, then top with the 4 remaining slices of bread.
  2. Put a large skillet on burner set to medium heat. Butter top piece of bread, then place butter side down in skillet. When bottom bread slice is browned, butter the top slice and flip the sandwich over, cooking until bread is browned and cheese has melted. It may help to put a lid on the skillet for some of the cooking time to give the sandwich time to get hotter.
  3. Cut and serve warm with a side of more Thousand Island dressing if you wish for dipping.


Reuben sandwich with fries on a plate


On St. Patrick's Day Everyone Can Be IrishOn St. Patrick’s Day Everyone Can Be Irish

St. Patrick’s Day gives us all an excuse to have some fun and eat delicious comfort foods.

Just thinking about corned beef, cabbage & soda bread give me goose bumps.  Those classic Irish dishes are among some of my favorite but it’s fun when you can find new recipes that make your tummy happy.

Since St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner I thought it would be nice to put together some recipes and crafts and create a kindle ebook to celebrate.

You’ll find delicious Irish food along with a bunch of crafts that your family will enjoy creating together.

And remember, with all Kindle ebooks, you don’t need a Kindle to download them. Amazon makes it easy to put right on your computer, laptop, or other e-reader or device. And the price is right, too!

Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips – Video Recipe

So you’ve bought a big bag of Kale and now what? You’ve added it to your favorite smoothie and enjoyed it as  a yummy avocado and kale salad, but there’s still half a bag or more leftover. Whatcha gonna do? Make kale chips of course. I shared my favorite recipe with you a few days ago. It was a simple version seasoned with just a little salt.

I’m about to bake up another batch of these yummy chips and did a little research into different seasonings. I came across this video on making salt and vinegar kale chips. I love this particular flavor combination in my regular chips so I had to give it a try. My kale bites are sitting on the counter right now. They’ve been drizzled in vinegar and I’m waiting for it to dry (as per the recipe below) before I move on to the next step in the recipe. Yes, it takes a little more time, but I’m sure it will be well worth it.

What’s your favorite seasoning or flavor combination for kale chips?

Kale Chips – Healthy Delicious And Frugal Snack

I never thought I would want to try making Kale Chips.  It just seemed like such an odd recipe.  But, not only did I try them, I liked them, and now I am hooked on them!

A while back, I started seeing recipes start popping up all over the place for Kale Chips.  Since I cook kale quite often in soups, stews, or even just sauteed in a skillet as a side dish, I finally thought, “Why not?”  So, I gave Kale Chips a try and now they are one of our favorite snacks;  and not just me, but my husband and daughter have grown quite fond of them, as well.

The nutritional value is tremendous, which makes this recipe appealing right from the start.  But, add in how cheap kale is and I just can’t see a reason NOT to make this snack.

And the best news is they taste great!  With just a bit of natural tartness, they don’t need much more flavoring.  I just sprinkle on a bit of kosher salt after they come out of the oven.  Of course, a light sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese is nice, too.

I hope you’ll give this recipe a try.  It took me a while to convince myself that the recipe would work and that it would taste good.  Now I make Kale Chips several times a week and they never last long enough even to cool off!  Enjoy!

Kale Chips
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe will surprise and delight you. It may take you a few times to get the 'chips' just the right size so they crisp up nicely, but make a couple batches, tweak the size, timing, and oven temperature, and you'll soon get them to come out delicious and crispy every time.
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 4
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • optional: other seasonings such as grated Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, or herbs
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees* and get out a large baking sheet. (*Oven temperatures vary. Be sure to watch your first batch carefully, and then adjust temperature according to your oven.)
  2. Wash the kale.
  3. Cut the leafy part of the kale off of the stems; discard the stems.
  4. Cut the kale into pieces about the size of a quarter. Try to keep all the pieces as close to the same size as possible.
  5. This part is very important - thoroughly dry the kale. Use a salad spinner if you have one. If not, dry with paper towels or with the 'swinging towel' method where you bundle the kale inside a clean towel and swing the towel around in big circles.
  6. Place the dry kale in a big bowl, drizzle on the olive oil, and mix with your hands until the kale is coated. Don't use too much olive oil or the kale will get soggy instead of crispy.
  7. Dump the kale onto the baking sheet and spread out into as much of a single layer as possible.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Then, using tongs, pick the kale up and flip it around and over as much as possible.
  9. Slide back into oven and cook an additional 10 minutes, or until the kale starts to get dark in color and begins to crisp.
  10. Again using tongs, toss the kale around once more. They should be crispy enough to remove from the oven, but if not, you can let them bake for another 5 minutes, more or less.
  11. Remove the baking pan and toss them around again. The kale chips will actually get crispier once they are removed from the oven and you toss them around.
  12. Salt lightly, taste, and add more seasoning if desired.
  13. Serve as snacks or toppings for soups, stews, or casseroles. You can also mix in with quinoa, rice, or pasta dishes.

Once you get the process down, you’ll be making Kale Chips more and more often, and finding lots of ways to use them.  But, like I said, they rarely last long enough to make it to another dish in our house.  Truth be told, they rarely make it off the baking sheet!

Give these nutritious snacks a try and be sure to come back and comment below with your thoughts.

Wrap It Up – Simple Sandwiches For Busy Families

One of the greatest ‘inventions’ in the world of kid-friendly meals is the wrap sandwich. This summer, I discovered how perfect wraps are for our family.

As many of you know, we have been living between two houses. Hours on the road and working on the house meant many of our meals had to be ‘grab and go’ style. Again and again, I turned to simple wrap sandwiches.

Now that it’s back to school time, I once again realized just how often we need to grab dinner fast. With our daughter getting older, there are many more after-school activities to attend. This means either eating quickly before the event or having something simple when we get home. Either way, the wrap sandwich seems to fit the bill.Burrito BLT Wraps

I like wraps because they are versatile, easy to make, and easy to take. I can make up a batch of ‘made to order’ wraps using small tortillas, or do a big assembly line using larger tortillas and cut them up to share.

I can also choose between a variety of tortillas including spinach, sun dried tomato, whole wheat, and even low carb. I can grill them, warm them, or serve them cold.

The wrap sandwich has become almost indispensable in our house. If you’re busy, I’m sure you’ll find wraps a great way to feed your family on-the-go, too.

Here are a few recipes I thought I’d share just to get you started if you haven’t already put wrap sandwiches to work for you.


Sweet Creamy Peach Wrap

  • 2 small ripe peaches or other stone-fruit, peeled and sliced thin
  • 4 Tbsp Ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp peach preserve
  • 2 small tortillas

Put the sliced fruit and ricotta cheese in a bowl and toss together until combined well.
Lay out the tortillas and spread peach preserves evenly on each one, just in a thin layer a little away from the edge.
Spoon the peach and ricotta cheese mixture evenly over the tortilla.
Start folding up about 1/3 of the way, tuck both sides, and roll up all the way.
Keep cold until ready to serve.
This makes 2 fruit wraps.

California Banana Snack Wrap

  • 2 small tortillas (choose whole wheat for best flavor)
  • 4 Tbsp whipped cream cheese (the stuff in the tub)
  • 2 Small bananas, sliced nice and thin
  • 4 Tbsp golden raisins (can use regular raisins, but golden are pretty)
  • 4 Tbsp slivered almonds
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

Lay the tortillas out on a work surface and spread cream cheese evenly on each, keeping a little way away from the edge.
Arrange the banana slices in the center of each, dividing evenly, then the raisins, then the almonds. Sprinkle the cinnamon over.
Fold up the edge nearest you about 1/3 of the way, tuck in both sides, then continue rolling to form the wrap.
Keep cool or cold until serving.
Makes 2 small fruit wraps.

Easy Cheesy Breakfast Wrap

  • 1 large whole wheat tortilla
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 2 slices bacon, diced, fried and drained
  • 1 Tbsp favorite salsa
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese

In a large dry skillet over medium-high heat, quickly toast the tortilla on both sides. This will only take about 30 seconds on each side, so watch closely. Remove to a work surface or plate.
Spread the scrambled eggs into center of the tortilla, sprinkle on the bacon bits, then spoon the salsa over evenly, and top with the Cheddar cheese.
Start rolling the tortilla away from you, tuck in both sides, and continue rolling to form a sealed wrap.
May be served at room temperature.

Classic Club Wrap

  • 1 Tbsp room temperature cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 medium size tortilla
  • 2 slices bacon, fried crisp, then crumbled
  • 2 to 3 pieces thin sliced turkey breast meat
  • 4 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup mixed salad greens

Mix together in a bowl the softened cream cheese and mayonnaise until well blended.
Spread this mixture evenly on the tortilla close to, but not touching the edge.
Arrange the remaining ingredients in the center of the tortilla; first the bacon, then the turkey, then the tomatoes, and finally the salad greens.
Roll up into a wrap – take edge closest to you, fold forward, fold in both right an left edges, then continue rolling up your wrap. Seal and refrigerate until needed.
This will make one large wrap or can be cut in half to serve 2 smaller lunch size wraps.

Dressed Greens Fish Wrap

  • 1 cup cooked fish, flaked or cut up bite sized
  • 1 cup finely shredded cabbage
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 small Roma Tomato, diced
  • 2 green onions, chopped (including green tops)
  • 3 Tbsp tangy salad dressing (like Italian) or vinaigrette (your choice)
  • 1 large spinach tortilla

In a bowl, toss together the lettuce, cucumber, tomato, onions, and salad dressing.
Warm the tortilla quickly in a large dry skillet, flipping once; remove to a plate.
With a tongs or slotted spoon, arrange the salad ingredients in the center of the tortilla.
Top with the cooked fish.
Start forming wrap by folding the edge nearest you over a bit, then tuck in both the right and left sides, then continue rolling.
Serve immediately or refrigerate to serve later.

These are just a few examples. We have found you can wrap up just about anything. What have you tried turning into a wrap sandwich? I’d love to hear your ideas.

p.s.  If you have having trouble getting the hang of wrapping up your tortilla, you’ll find a video in this post to help:

I Highly Recommend Back 2 School Survival Guide

Chock full of tips, ideas, and suggestions that help families get organized and prepared for back to school covering everything (and much more) from establishing routines, packing lunches, completing homework, and purchasing school supplies to dealing with bullies, volunteering in the classroom, maintaining multiple schedules, and teaching responsibility.

Plus you’ll get:

  • Student Planner
  • Master Family Planner
  • Sample/Customizable Routines
  • School Information Sheet
  • Schedule Adjustment Worksheet
  • Countdown Maze
  • My Favorites Worksheet
  • Grocery Planner
  • Family Fun Worksheet
  • School Goals Worksheet
  • Classmate Contact Sheet
  • Important Dates At-A-Glance

It’s a great guide and ebook and I’m in love with the cute and helpful printables. Take a look at

Leftover Hot Dog Bun Bread Sticks

During the summer we always have extra hot dog buns after BBQing and I often end up tossing them.
One day we cut the buns apart and buttered them. Then we topped with garlic and cheese and baked in the oven at 375 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes.
They turned out great! They make a good snack and taste great dipped in ranch or pizza sauce.

Frugal Bologna Sandwich Spread

I made this spread when my boys were small…we all still love it.

1 to 1 1/2 lb. bologna(store brand on sale is fine)ground in blender.
3/4 c. pickle relish (home canned if you have it)
3 Tblsp. minced onion
1 Tblsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 to 1 c. mayo-type salad dressing (to your taste)

Mix all, put in containers and store in fridge.
Serve on plain or toasted bread with lettuce.

Black Friday Shopping Day Ham Sandwiches

  • 1 1/2 cup leftover ham, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp pickle relish
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp grated onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • kaiser rolls or other sturdy bread

In a food processor, put the ham and pulse until finely minced.
Put in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients; taste and season as desired.
Spread mixture on bread, bun, or crackers for a quick lunch or dinner on a busy shopping day after the holidays.


1 Cup Mayo
1 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Cup Shredded Lettuce
3 Roma or 1 Large Tomato
1 Pound Bacon
Salt and Pepper to taste
*1 cup shredded cheese (optional)

Chop tomato. Fry bacon, drain, then crumble. Mix all together. Chill for 1hour to let flavors blend. Serve with crackers of vegetables.

Baked Bean Sandwiches

I believe this may fall under “frugal tips”. My mother was a little girl during the depression and remembers her dad making homemade baked beans (quite a treat)! Her fondest memory was what they did when there weren’t enough baked beans left to go around. They made open face baked beans sandwiches.

Place slices of bread on baking sheet
Spread each slice with baked beans
Cut a slice of bacon in half and criss cross on top of beans.
Place under broiler till bacon becomes crisp

Of course the number of sandwiches depends on how many bbeans you have.

(Even without the bacon, makes a good treat)

Homemade Cracker Recipes

Saltines are a staple at our house that are served with all sorts of soups and stews. They are also perfect in all sorts of casserole recipes and my favorite – meatloaf.

Here’s a quick and easy homemade cracker recipe that tastes just like saltines. Often it ends up being cheaper to buy them at the store, but it’s fun to make them every once in a while. The taste is great and you can control the amount of salt (if any) you put on them.

Basic Saltines:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 large egg

You will also need a large mixing bowl and and a fine sieve to make your crackers.

Sift flour, salt and baking powder and place into a large mixing bowl.

Cut cold butter into small chunks and “cut” into the flour until it reaches a grainy consistency.

Add milk and egg and knead until it becomes a stiff dough. Roll the dough out really thin. You can cut the dough into squares or you can also cut circles.

Prick little holes in the crackers with a fork and bake them in a 400 degree preheated oven for about 10 minutes.

*Tip: If you would like to make round crackers and don’t have any cookie cutters, just use the rim of a small glass or cup. Dip the rim into a little flour first and then you can cut your crackers.

If you like salted crackers, sprinkle the uncooked crackers with a little bit of coarse salt.

This next recipe is a bit more of a “special occasion” cracker. I make these as an appetizer when we have company over.

Parmesan Herb Crackers:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 ozs grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

Place butter into the bowl of your electric mixer and mix it until it becomes creamy.

Grate fresh Parmesan cheese (it’s okay if you need to buy already grated Parmesan from the market). Add cheese, flour, salt and thyme to the butter and mix until it form a ball of dough.

Place a long piece of plastic wrap on your work surface and place the dough ball in the center of one end. Form the dough into a log and roll it up in the plastic.Place the log into the freezer for 30 min.(this makes it easier to slice.)

Remove from the freezer after thirty minutes and cut the log into ¼ inch thick slices. Place the slices on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 20 minutes.

No More Frozen French Fries – Video

Yes, you can rid those pre-packaged French Fries in your freezer for once and for all! There is a secret to making good homemade fries, and this video shares that secret with you. It's all about soaking the potatoes and getting them super cold before frying. If you don't have a deep fryer, don't fret. Use a large, deep cast iron pan filled with high-temperature cooking oil. It works just fine. If you've been frustrated trying to make your own homemade fries, I hope you'll give this recipe a try. [Read more…]

Almost Hummus

  • 7/8 cup dried pinto beans (soaked overnight) discard soaking water
  • 2  1/2 to 3 cups cooking water

Cook beans in water 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours or until tender.

  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups of the cooked pinto beans
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • dash of salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

In a food processor, process garlic, & cooked pinto beans until smooth. Add peanut butter, lemon juice, cumin, water salt & cayenne pepper. Process until smooth. Serve as an appetizer on mini-pita breads, or crackers.
Yields approx 2 cups.

Creamy Tahini Hummus

  • 2 cans (16 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp celery leaves
  • 1/2 Tbsp sweet onion, minced
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice (or lemon)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
  • dash black pepper
  • dash red pepper flakes (optional)

In food processor, put all ingredients.  Turn on and let process until smooth, stopping several times to scrape the sides.  Taste and add more salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes if desired.

Consistency of this hummus will be fairly smooth, thanks to the tahini (which is just a ground sesame seed paste).  However, tahini does have a slight bitter flavor, so don’t overdo it.  If you’re concerned, start with less and add more until the flavor and texture is right.  You can also omit the tahini; add about 2 Tablespoons more olive oil if you do. You can also add a Tablespoon of roasted sweet peppers.  This recipe is just your ‘jumping off’ point, so be creative.

Even though tahini is expensive, making this hummus at home saves a lot of money compared to the store bought variety.

No-More-Expensive Microwave Popcorn – Video

Our family loves popcorn for snacking anytime day or night.  What I don’t like is the salt and additives that I see in the store-bought microwave popcorn.  Yes, they are convenient, but how much easier can you get than throwing popcorn in a bag and throwing it in the microwave?  Check out this video for the simplest, cheapest, and healthiest microwave popcorn you can get. [Read more…]