How To Make Peanut Brittle – Video

I posted a yummy peanut brittle recipe a few days ago. It’s an easy recipe, but it’s a bit like making biscuits. You’ve got to do things right to make it turn out the way you want it to.  This morning I came across a great instructional video by the “Food Network’s” Alton Brown. I love watching his cooking show and his scientific approach to cooking and baking. Take a look and see if this will help you make the yummy peanut brittle for the family. I started oiling my pan after seeing this and it’s helping a lot in preventing sticking. And let me tell you … using the cast iron pan to prevent hot spots is just plain brilliant. I’ll be using that trick for quite a few different dishes.




Sweet and Spicy Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs are on sale at my local grocery store this week. In the past I’ve cooked them with just a little oil and seasoning salt, but I was looking for something a little different this week. I came across this video and thought I’d share.

And here’s the recipe. With a dish like this I recommend experimenting with the seasonings, in particular the peppers. If you know you’re not a big fan of spicy food, cut those amounts in half and adjust from there.

To keep things frugal, use whatever mustard and vinegar you have on hand and give this a try when you can find chicken thighs on sale.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Thighs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 4-6
  • 8-10 chicken thighs
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground dry chipotle
  • cayenne to taste
  • 1 onion sliced into rings
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • vegetable oil for the pan and top of chicken
  1. Cut two slits in the top of each thigh. Combine all other ingredients except onion and vegetable oil to make a marinate. Marinate the chicken overnight.
  2. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and scatter the onion rings on it. Add the marinated chicken on top and cook for 35 to 40 minutes. Save the pan drippings and if desired, reduce them and spoon it over the chicken.


Since my daughter doesn’t like anything too spicy, I plan on cutting down on the cayenne pepper and skipping the chipotle. I’m going to serve this with cooked rice and cucumber slices.

Cream Cheese Dump Cake – Video Recipe

Yes, I’m a little dump cake obsessed right now. A reader asked if I could post a video on how to make my pineapple cherry dump cake. I didn’t think to film it the other day (just took pictures) and am  a bit camera shy, but I did find a great video for you here.

There are a couple of things I really like about this. Adding cream cheese to the basic recipe is such a great idea and it will make it even richer and creamier. I also like the fact that she cut the recipe in half and is making it in a pie dish instead of a big 9×13 cake pan. Perfect for a small family like ours (even though the big batch of cake didn’t last very long).

Here’s the recipe for easy reference

Cream Cheese Dump Cake

  • non-stick spray
  • 1 1/2 cup of cherry pie filling
  • Cream cheese (maybe a cup)
  • 1 1/2 cup of pineapple chunks (drained)
  • 1/2 a bag of white or yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans
  • 1/2 stick of butter

Spray the pie dish with non-stick spray.
Spread the pie filling in the bottom. Cut the cream cheese into small chunks and spread them out over the pie filling. Top it with the pineapple chunks.
Pour the dry cakemix over everything and spread it out evenly. Pour the chopped nuts on top.
Cut the butter into slices (or pads) and lay them on top of the cake mix.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until the top is brown and bubbly. Serve hot out of the oven with ice creme.

For more delicious dump cake recipes, get a copy of my latest Kindle book. Inside you’ll find plenty of recipes your family will love including:

Apple Dump Cake
Rich Pumpkin Dump Cake
Peach Dump Cake
Basic Dump Cake
Easy Dump Cake
Chocolate Cherry Dump Cake
Cherry Chocolate Coconut Dump Cake
Cherry Coconut Dump Cake
Chocolate Duncan Hines Dump Cake
German Chocolate Dump Cake
Chocolate Caramel Dump Cake
Apple Caramel Dump Cake
Apple Pecan Dump Cake
Spiced Apple Dump Cake
Blueberry Dump Cake

What a perfect way to make a simple dessert every one will love.  Get “Dump Cake Recipes – Desserts So Easy Even Kids Can Make Them” today.

How To Make Scrambled Eggs – Cooking Video

I came across this cooking video this morning. It has some great tips on how to make a perfect plate of scrambled eggs. I used to make these dusty little chunks of egg that needed to be covered in ketchup to be edible. Thankfully I’ve gotten better at this and make some decent scrambled eggs now.

They are great for breakfast, on a sandwich for lunch or served with some pan-fried potatoes and a salad for dinner. Yum! Frugal, nutritious and delicious … that’s what I love about scrambled eggs. How about you.

Dani uses coconut oil to cook her eggs in, but I prefer a little bit of vegetable oil or a dab of butter. Use whatever works best for you and a good pan definitely helps to keep your eggs from sticking as well. If you haven’t tried adding water to your eggs, give it a try next time. I used to use milk, but prefer them with water now.

The video gets a little silly toward the end, but overall it’s a great tutorial on making perfectly cooked scrambled eggs.

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?

How To Assemble Wrap Sandwiches – Video

In our house, back to school time means getting lots of lunches, snacks, and quick dinners together with the least amount of work, time, and trouble. Sometimes an assembly line process for making meals works best, especially if our calendar is really scheduled like crazy.

We’ve been turning to wrap sandwiches more and more as we are finding they really make meals-on-the-go easy. You can click on and read some of my ideas and recipes for wraps in this post: Wrap It Up – Simple Sandwiches For Busy Families

There is a little trick to putting wraps together, but once you get the hang of it, they are so simple to make. I thought rather than try to describe it here, I would post an instructional video. And what better place to learn how to make a lot of wraps for kids than in a school lunchroom? Take a look at this video. It contains some very interesting shortcuts and ideas for making delicious and nutritious easy to assemble wrap sandwiches for kids.

Of course, you probably won’t be making 24 wrap sandwiches at a time, but the idea of an assembly line will probably come in handy sometimes. I must say, I also enjoyed watching the actual wrapping of the tortilla. It is nice to see it done properly, especially if you are new to the whole wrap sandwich thing.

One last note; if you want to avoid the salad dressing or mayonnaise, try hummus or mustard or other creamy food item (peanut butter?) that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Or you can eliminate the creamy ingredient entirely. Just experiment with a variety of ingredients and you’ll find out fast what your kids like.

Have you tried making wrap sandwiches yet? Does this assembly line style work for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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

How To Carve A Turkey – Video Of Easiest Way To Deconstruct The Bird

When it comes to actually carving (or deconstructing) a turkey, there are many schools of thought.  I happen to like the method that Alton Brown from the Food Network uses.  It’s simple and gives you a nice display of meat instead of a pile that looks like scraps.  Click on and take a look:

What did you think? He sure makes it look easy!

The Hillbilly Housewife Thanksgiving PlannerThe Hillbilly Housewife Thanksgiving Planner

Don’t run around like a chicken (or should that be turkey?) with its head cut off on Thanksgiving morning. The Hillbilly Housewife’s Thanksgiving Planner will help you plan ahead and stay on top of things so you can actually enjoy Thanksgiving with your family & friends.

If you take a quick minute to read the first chapter you’ll realize how easy your Thanksgiving celebration will be. There are plenty of tips and ideas to make sure this year’s feast doesn’t stretch your budget to the breaking point, too.

There are also 2 bonuses tucked inside: A printable planner & checklist and all of the recipes in a printable pdf file.

How To Butterfly A Whole Chicken – Video

A wonderfully easy and frugal meal that I often recommend for feeding a hungry family is cooking a whole chicken. With a few hearty sides, like baked potatoes and a vegetable or salad, a 3 to 4 pound chicken should feed a family of four.

To make roasting a chicken even easier (and faster) I often use a technique in which I “butterfly” the chicken. This is nothing more than flattening the chicken out to make it lay out in the roasting pan. It then roasts more evenly and in less time, and is easier to cut up and serve. Watch this video and the next time you’re struggling with something simple for dinner, give this method a try:
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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…]

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…]