Welcoming 2016

Happy New Year!  I absolutely love this time of year, for me it has always been about fresh starts and new beginnings.  I don’t usually do “New Years Resolutions” because I generally set myself up for failure.  But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a time to start fresh and a time for thinking ahead to what we can accomplish in the new year.

This year we are looking forward to many things, particularly finding a place to call our “home”.  And we have certainly started off the year full force ahead!  We visited 8 homes today.  Talk about exhausting!  In the meantime we have major budgeting goals and will be starting to put into place the debt snowball method.  We haven’t checked out Dave Ramsey’s book yet, but if you are interested in learning more about the Debt Snowball Method I would recommend checking out his book: The Total Money Makeover.

In addition having relocated Simply Living to this location, and finally purchasing our own domain, is a big New Year step!  Out with the old and in with the new!  I’m excited for the potential that this new location has to offer us and I’m excited that you are all along for the journey!

And now, here is how we ended 2015…

Homemade Donuts!
Homemade Donuts!

That’s right…we made homemade donuts!  It’s been years since we’ve done a NYE party, and tend to prefer staying in and enjoying each other’s company instead.  So this year we decided on games and appetizers, and then to try a new recipe for dessert.  Gotta check off another month, if you’re wondering what I’m talking about, check out my Ravioli post where I talk about my birthday wish.

The best part is how easy this recipe was.  You would never be able to tell based on how amazing they tasted.  We only needed to purchase one ingredient, we already had the rest in the kitchen, and it took less than 20 minutes from start to finish.

Ingredients needed:

  • Pillsbury Homestyle Biscuits
  • Melted Butter (about 1 cup)
  • Cinnamon and Sugar mixed together, use judgement, we mixed until light brown.
  • Oil for frying (We used vegetable Oil)

That’s it…told you it was easy!

Step 1:

Cut the donut hole out with a cookie cutter.  We didn’t have a circle, so we used a star, and it was straight up adorable.

Star donut holes, because, why not?!
Star donut holes, because, why not?!

Step 2:

Warm oil in pan on medium high.  Add biscuits and brown on each side.  The middle still seems gooey, but I promise that will make them soft and delightful.

Brown biscuits in warm oil
Brown biscuits in warm oil

Step 3:

Dry and cool fried biscuits on a plate with a paper towel.  We fried 4 at a time, so we cooled 4 while we fried the other 4.

Cool on a plate with a paper towel. This will also absorb excess oil
Cool on a plate with a paper towel. This will also absorb excess oil

Step 4:

Once all biscuits are cooled, dip one side into melted butter.  Drip off excess butter and dip into cinnamon sugar.  Repeat on other side.

Donuts and Donut holes dipped in butter and cinnamon sugar.
Donuts and Donut holes dipped in butter and cinnamon sugar.

Step 5:

Enjoy!  OH wow they were SO good!  So good that I need to emphasize with all caps!  They were unbelievable warm, but were still soft and yummy the next morning.

Homemade Donuts!
Homemade Donuts!

I would absolutely recommend this recipe.  Not only are they delicious, but they are super easy.  They made the perfect dessert with our sparkling apple cider on NYE, but they would also make a wonderful addition to a breakfast or brunch.  No messy recipes, no deep frying, easy peasy and YUM!

What are your plans for the New Year?

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The Resourceful Mama
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Easy Grab and Go Breakfast – Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

This week we did a great job sticking to our weekly meal plan!  Again, I shopped our pantry and freezer before coming up with our “menu” for the week, and then I ended up only spending $50 on groceries for the rest of the week.  That is less than half of what I would normally spend just going to the store without a plan in place, so that was a huge bonus!  I thought I would share some of the recipes that were a big hit this week.
The first one is for Banana Chocolate Chip muffins.  This is a great grab and go breakfast or perfect for a sweet snack when you’re waiting in-between meals.  It is easy to make, and is a perfect way to use over ripe bananas instead of throwing them out and wasting food.  I like to add flax seed to mine for extra fiber and a heartier breakfast, but that is totally optional (as are the chocolate chips!)
I also used the stand mixer, but I have made this recipe a number of times and usually just use elbow grease and a spoon, so again, totally optional!  I’m not usually a huge baker, because you have to follow recipes pretty exactly.  When I cook I like to throw things together and cross my fingers they will turn out ok, but there is nothing wrong with switching it up!  This also had the added benefit of making busy mornings quick.  Rather than skipping breakfast all together there was an easy option to eat on the go.
Here is the recipe I like to follow:
1.  Pre-heat oven to 350º
2.  Spray muffin tin, or line with cupcake liners
3.  In a large bowl combine 2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt
4.  In a separate bowl, or the stand mixer, cream together 1 stick of butter and 3/4 cup of brown sugar

IMG_7786
Creaming butter and brown sugar is so much easier with a mixer!  But not necessary to still make delicious muffins

5.  With mixer on low, add in 2 beaten eggs and 3-4 ripe bananas, to the butter and sugar mixture.  If you are not using a stand mixer, then beat the eggs and banana together first, and then hand mix into creamed butter and sugar mixture.
6. Slowly combine the flour mixture with the banana mixture until well mixed.  You can either use the stand mixer on low, a hand mixer on low, or just use a wooden spoon and bowl.
7.  Optional – Now is when I add in a handful of flax seed and mix completely.
8.  Take the mixture and fill muffin tins with a generous amount, generally I can make 18-20 muffins.
9.  Optional – I top each muffin with chocolate chips
10.  Bake in the muffin tins for 20 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
11.  Enjoy!

IMG_7789
The finished product, muffins waiting to be enjoyed

Banana Chocolate Chip Ingredient List:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • 3-4 ripe bananas – mashed
  • Optional – flax seed and chocolate chips

Let me know if you give them a try, yum!

Shared with Share the Wealth Sunday