Stuffed Chicken Cheesy Keto Lasagna Bake

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

Our family has been following a keto diet on and off for over a year now. My hubby has had the most success with it (because he has higher willpower than me, on most days…) and has lost around 40 pounds!

The thing I love the most about this way of eating is that you're never hungry – like ever! And, you get to eat all of this amazing food like these stuffed chicken breasts! While this recipe is focused on a lasagna bake, you can really mix it up to your taste bud's content!

One of my favorite sites for all things Keto and yummy recipes (including low-carb recipes) is my friend Jennifer's site, Low Carb Inspirations! She has so many delicious recipes and great information for starting this way of eating. In fact, it was her hubby that really inspired my hubby to start on this meal plan. Be sure to check it out!

Stuffed Chicken Cheesy Keto Lasagna Bake Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup, Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (divided)
  • ¾ cup, Ricotta Cheese
  • ½ cup, Marinara Sauce (we like the Rao's brand)
  • 1 TBS, Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp, Dried Basil
  • ½ tsp, Dried Parsley
  • ¼ tsp, Garlic Powder
  • ¼ tsp, Salt
  • Salt and Pepper (for sprinkling)
  • Fresh Parsley  Garnish (optional)

Stuffed Chicken Cheesy Keto Lasagna Bake Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine ½ cup of the mozzarella cheese, the ricotta cheese, basil, parsley and salt. Stir until incorporated and set aside.
  3. Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board. Use a large, flat spatula to press down on the top of the chicken breast and use your other hand to insert a knife into the thickest side of the chicken. Cut a pocket, being careful not to cut all the way through the other side and stopping before you get to the end of the chicken (creating a pocket, not a flap).
  4. Season the chicken breasts with garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
  5. Divide the mixture to stuff half into each chicken pocket.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an oven-safe skillet on medium-high heat. After the skillet is heated through, add the chicken breasts – top side down. Allow to cook for 5 minutes without touching. Turn off the heat and flip the chicken breasts over.
  7. Spoon on a layer of marinara sauce, followed by remaining shredded mozzarella cheese.
  8. Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes until chicken has cooked through. If not using an oven-safe pan, simply transfer the chicken breasts to an oven-safe dish and bake. If your chicken breasts are quite large – they will need the full 15 minutes.

Once you're finished baking, sprinkle on fresh parsley if desired and allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before serving. The great thing about this recipe is that is truly doesn't take much time to make – 10 minutes to prep and about 20 total minutes to cook!

Also, this recipe calls for 2 chicken breasts and depending on the size, it may serve 2 or up to 4 people. We tend to get larger chicken breasts (yes, even the organic free range birds can have large breasts) so usually 2 will feed our family of 4 with two adults and two hungry kids (our third hungry kid is eating in the college cafeteria :D).

Find MORE Recipes HERE

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Stuffed Chicken Cheesy Keto Lasagna Bake

The thing I love the most about this way of eating is that you're never hungry – like ever! And, you get to eat all of this amazing food like these stuffed chicken breasts! While this recipe is focused on a lasagna bake, you can really mix it up to your taste bud's content.

  • Author: Savings Lifestyle: Andrea
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup, Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (divided)
  • ¾ cup, Ricotta Cheese
  • ½ cup, Marinara Sauce (we like the Rao's brand)
  • 1 TBS, Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp, Dried Basil
  • ½ tsp, Dried Parsley
  • ¼ tsp, Garlic Powder
  • ¼ tsp, Salt
  • Salt and Pepper (for sprinkling)
  • Fresh Parsley  Garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine ½ cup of the mozzarella cheese, the ricotta cheese, basil, parsley and salt. Stir until incorporated and set aside.
  3. Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board. Use a large, flat spatula to press down on the top of the chicken breast and use your other hand to insert a knife into the thickest side of the chicken. Cut a pocket, being careful not to cut all the way through the other side and stopping before you get to the end of the chicken (creating a pocket, not a flap).
  4. Season the chicken breasts with garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
  5. Divide the mixture to stuff half into each chicken pocket.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an oven-safe skillet on medium-high heat. After the skillet is heated through, add the chicken breasts – top side down. Allow to cook for 5 minutes without touching. Turn off the heat and flip the chicken breasts over.
  7. Spoon on a layer of marinara sauce, followed by remaining shredded mozzarella cheese.
  8. Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes until chicken has cooked through. If not using an oven-safe pan, simply transfer the chicken breasts to an oven-safe dish and bake. If your chicken breasts are quite large – they will need the full 15 minutes.

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Money Saving Challenges – Easy Ways to Save Money!

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

The beginning of a new year is a great time to jump in on a money saving challenge. With the fresh start, you can gain a positive outlook that helps your mind and your bank account.

Where do you begin with a challenge that saves you money? There are a few different kinds you can participate in, and we will discuss some of the most popular below!

52-Week Savings Challenge

With this kind of money saving challenge, you commit to saving a certain amount of money each week. You can place the weekly deposit in a bank account or keep it in a piggy bank at home.

You can choose to add in the same amount of money each week or scale it as the year goes. This is a great idea because most of our budgets will be hit hard by the recent holiday season. Though most people only contribute a small amount each week, by the end of 2019, you’ll have a nice little savings built up!

Interested in getting started with a 52-week savings challenge? You can download helpful charts all over the internet, like the 52-Week Saving Plan here , which helps you save over $1300 in a single year!

Cash Only Challenge

Your challenges don’t have to be all about saving money for a rainy day. They can also work to help control your spending so your budget isn’t destroyed and you aren’t living paycheck to paycheck.

With this kind of challenge, you vow to carry cash for expenses throughout the entire year. Cut up your credit cards at the beginning so you won’t be tempted to use them.

Bills can still be paid online or by check, but everything else (groceries, clothing, gas, etc) should be bought with cash. The idea is that you determine how much cash each category needs…and you don’t go over. Nor do you pull from another category’s budget.

To get started with a cash only system, you may want to consider learning more about Dave Ramsey’s envelope method. It’s a great way to curb your spending and use cash for the purchases you need to make.

No Spend Month

Another fun way to challenge yourself to save more money in 2019 is a no-spend month. Just as the name implies, you commit to spending no extra money in a given month. Of course, you will still want to pay your normal expenses, and maybe even set aside a little money for the unexpected.

However, this is the month to see just how well you can eliminate temptation and keep your money in your wallet. Forego last-minute coffee runs or pedicures with the girls when you are trying to complete a no-spend month.

These money saving challenges are a great way to boost your efforts to get out of debt, start an emergency fund, or pay for a fun vacation or new car. Just stay dedicated to the challenge you choose and you’ll see the rewards in your wallet soon!

Monthly Budgeting Ideas

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Monthly Budget Ideas: Template and Strategies to Stay on Track

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

Within the past few months, I've had a conversation with multiple people about budgeting. I don't think I'm an expert by any means, but we've been through a big debt payoff, a job loss, and other financial circumstances, and have managed by having a monthly budget in place.

Budgeting Spreadsheet - Monthly Expenses

Keep it Simple (KISS)

The advice I give to everyone starts with simplicity. Keep all your bills on a spreadsheet or in a notebook. List the name, due date and amount; you can add other information if you need it. Pay attention to the due dates so you never miss a payment and incur late fees.

I will be honest and say that I've paid more than my fair share of late fees. Not because we had insufficient funds, but because I was busy with so many other things. Consider adding items to a calendar so this doesn't happen to you.

Free Budget Worksheet

Create a Bill Paying Process

Pay all your monthly bills that have a fixed amount like your rent or mortgage first and then go in and pay your other monthly bills. Fixed bills are usually the most expensive and are always due on the same day every month. We have the fixed bills set to auto-pay which is super convenient if your online bill pay/bank offers this.

Pay your other monthly bills by the due date and in the order of importance. For instance, pay the electric bill before paying the cable bill. If something should go wrong, you at least have heat and lights. And if you're in debt payoff mode, just cancel the cable all together. There are lots of ways  you can watch TV for free.

6-simple-ways-to-save-money

6 Simple Ways to Save Money

Arrange any Overdue Payments

If for some reason you cannot pay a bill when it is due, don’t throw it aside and pretend it’s not there. Call the company and make arrangements to get it paid as soon as you can. The last thing you need is to have a bill turned over to collections, especially if you can make payment arrangements.

Create a Filing System

File your receipts as you go. Make files for all your categories like medical, donations and the like. After you pay the bill, put the receipts into the appropriate file folder. This only takes a few minutes and saves quite a bit of time come tax time.

While you are paying bills, it is a good time to sort receipts for items you may have purchased that month. File receipts alphabetically so you have instant access to them incase you need to use a warranty or return an item to the store.

Setting up your filing system and your account log whether it is on your computer or hard copy, takes time so definitely download the budgeting spreadsheet above to help in that department. Start now to get those files ready so you can make paying your next round of bills a little easier.

What budgeting tips do you have?

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Blanket Ladder DIY

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

Blanket Ladders, Shiplap, Gallery Walls, Oh My!

Hi, my name is Andrea, and I am obsessed with shiplap like the millions of others in the world now thanks to Chip and Joanna Gaines!

There, now that *that* out of the way I feel like this DIY will give you some insight into why I wanted this farmhouse blanket ladder DIY for the blog!

I am *that* woman who had her husband make a shiplap wall in their home. Well, it actually wasn't an *entire* wall like some of *those* people. {ahem} The shiplap is hanging on the walls on the side of our fireplace. And you know what?

These walls were clearly BEGGING for a Blanket Ladder!

If walls could talk, anyway. Or fireplaces. They would both surely say that. They wanted a rustic blanket ladder. And, by golly, who am I to let my walls down.

Enough of my hysteria with shiplap and blanket ladders, let's get right down to this DIY so you can make this one yourself. Or, ahem, have your hubby help make one, or five.

You know, just like a shiplap wall you can never have too many blanket ladders in the house. And, to be honest, when they are this simple to make why wouldn't you?! (or him…) :D

Blanket Ladder DIY Supplies

  • 2 Common Boards, 1 x 3 x 8 Size
  • 1.5” Wood Screws
  • Gorilla Glue (or any Wood Glue)
  • Screw Gun
  • Stain and Polyurethane Mix (your own color preference)
  • Paint Brush
  • Rag
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • T-Square
  • Orbital Sander and Sandpaper
  • Saw Horses

Always use safety precautions when using electric tools. Or, tell your hubby to be safe and have him look at you where his eyes are saying “Leave me be so I can finish this project and get to work on your next project.” Alrightythen. 

DIY Blanket Ladder How To

  1. Purchase the 2 common boards, making sure to get the 1 x 3 x 8 size. If your hardware store will make cuts for you (our Home Depot does this for a small fee), ask them to cut the boards into the following sizes:
    — 4 boards at 17 inches (the rungs)
    — 2 boards at 5 feet (the sides)
  2. Set up the saw horses outside. Sand all sides of the boards using an orbital sander. You can use a sanding brick if you don't have an electronic sander but it will just take a little longer.
  3. Remove the dust with a rag or tack cloth. This is important to make sure there is no debris on any of the wood as you assemble and prep for staining.
  4. Now it's time to measure and mark the position for each ladder rung.
  5. The first ladder rung (17-inch board) will be placed 3 inches from the top of the 5-foot boards. Measure and mark each 5-foot board accordingly.
  6. The spacing in between each rung will be 12-inches. So, from that top rung, measure 12-inches below  (or 15-inches from the top of the 5-foot board) and mark the placement for the second rung. Do this again for the third and fourth rung. Be sure to keep 12-inches between each rung (17-inch board).
  7. Apply a small amount of Gorilla glue on the sides of the rungs (17-inch boards) and place in between the ladder sides. You want the rung boards to be angled so that the opposite corners are flush with the opposite side of the 5-foot blanket ladder sides.Look closely at the pictures and you will see what I mean for this position. They will look diagonal on the side boards. This position will give you more leverage for when you're drilling in the screws to keep the rungs secure.
  8. Carefully use a drill and 2 screws on each side to screw the rung boards onto the ladder sides.
  9. Repeat the steps until all rung boards are attached with screws and glue.
  10. Wipe off any excess glue.
  11. Mix your stain and use a brush to apply it evenly to the ladder, one board at a time. Wipe each side of the board with a rag after you brush on the stain and move to the the next board.
  12. Touch up the ends of the boards with stain, wipe and let dry overnight.

The biggest tip I can give you for this DIY is to have the hardware cut the board sizes. If you don't need to get a saw to cut yourself, it is worth the small fee the hardware store charges for this cutting.

It really is a quick process! Which is why this DIY lends itself to making multiple blanket ladders at once. You may as well make 5 since you already have the glue and drill out. :D

When I searched for a Blanket Ladder DIY for myself as we started to make these, there were lots of posts but they all were missing a piece or two in the process. Here are a few additional questions that you may find helpful as you tackle this mini project.

How to keep blanket ladder from sliding?

These non-slip pads are great to keep furniture from sliding around. They have the rubber grip on the bottom. You can cut them to size and easily stick to the bottom of the blanket ladder so it will stay in place.

Now these won't help *as much* if you overload your blanket ladder with heavy blankets, shelves, etc. Blanket ladders like these can be functional, but we use them primarily as decor with some added function.

How to decorate a blanket ladder?

Add blankets, baskets, wreaths, the sky is the limit! Get creative with your decor. As I mentioned above, just don't load down your blanket ladder since it doesn't have a square base like a shelving unit. It is more challenging to stay in place without a solid foundation with too many heavy items hanging on it.

How to stain a blanket ladder?

We listed this in the steps above. It's easiest to have your ladder completely assembled first (and the glue dried from assembly). The saw horses are great to use for this since you can easily get around all surfaces of the ladder and stain evenly.

How wide is a blanket ladder?

It can be as wide as you like, but our DIY has each rung being 17 inches wide exactly. It's easiest to just have the hardware store cut these for you so it's one less step to worry about when you're assembling.

What angle to cut blanket ladder?

So you're not worrying about stability of the blanket ladder while placed on the floor, you can cut the bottom board at a 10 degree angle. However, this may not be necessary if you add those non-slip pads I mentioned above.

How to secure blanket ladder to wall?

If you want to add the blanket ladder to a wall, make sure you hang with a nail into the stud. Once you add a few blankets, and any baskets or other accessories, it will be heavy. Having the ladder hung into a stud will be the safest thing to ensure it doesn't fall off the wall.

Blanket ladder with wire baskets?

There are some cute baskets you can hang onto the blanket ladder. I saw these coming with the blanket ladders in the store. Since this is a DIY, here are a few good options to consider if you're planning to make your own:

  • This basket has hooks so you can hang the basket onto a rung.
  • This basket is inexpensive and can be nailed into a rung.
  • This basket is also inexpensive and would need to be nailed into a rung to be used as a storage option.

Blanket ladder with storage?

The baskets are great to add to the blanket ladder for additional storage. When I was originally looking for a blanket ladder to purchase many do come pre-made with storage built into each rung on the ladder. However, that wasn't the look I was going for but I'm sure it could be built onto each rung as well. Hmmm….another idea for hubbby!!

Blanket ladder for living room?

Our blanket ladders are in the living or family room, and I feel like they are the perfect size with the 4 rungs. Not too tall, or too short where you can accessorize a bit.

Can't you just buy a blanket ladder from Ikea, Crate and Barrel, Target, Joss and Main, Pottery Barn, Hobby Lobby, {fill in the blank store name}?

First off, are you my husband asking this question?? And, why aren't you getting that honey-do list of mine done instead of commenting on this blog post?! JUST KIDDING!

I live about 15 minutes away from an Ikea where they sell these pre-made and they are *inexpensive* there too (but that is relative). I'm also close enough to visit and purchase from the other stores as well. When I first got the *itch* to get one (or a few), I priced them at those other stores and said, thanks but NO thanks!

This DIY cost around $10, and that's IF you don't have all of the materials already (which we did since I love to repurpose old furniture). So, nope, spending that kind of money just wasn't gonna happen.

My motto is to: save on what you need so you can spend on what you want. This blanket ladder was a want, for sure. However, when I knew that I could save on a DIY, that was an easy way for me to save on what I wanted too!

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Blanket Ladder DIY

  • Author: Savings Lifestyle: Andrea
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 Common Boards, 1 x 3 x 8 Size
  • 1.5” Wood Screws
  • Gorilla Glue (or any Wood Glue)
  • Screw Gun
  • Stain and Polyurethane Mix (your own color preference)
  • Paint Brush
  • Rag
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • T-Square
  • Orbital Sander and Sandpaper
  • Saw Horses

Instructions

  1. Purchase the 2 common boards, making sure to get the 1 x 3 x 8 size. If your hardware store will make cuts for you (our Home Depot does this for a small fee), ask them to cut the boards into the following sizes:
    — 4 boards at 17 inches (the rungs)
    — 2 boards at 5 feet (the sides)
  2. Set up the saw horses outside. Sand all sides of the boards using an orbital sander. You can use a sanding brick if you don't have an electronic sander but it will just take a little longer.
  3. Remove the dust with a rag or tack cloth. This is important to make sure there is no debris on any of the wood as you assemble and prep for staining.
  4. Now it's time to measure and mark the position for each ladder rung.
  5. The first ladder rung (17-inch board) will be placed 3 inches from the top of the 5-foot boards. Measure and mark each 5-foot board accordingly.
  6. The spacing in between each rung will be 12-inches. So, from that top rung, measure 12-inches below  (or 15-inches from the top of the 5-foot board) and mark the placement for the second rung. Do this again for the third and fourth rung. Be sure to keep 12-inches between each rung (17-inch board).
  7. Apply a small amount of Gorilla glue on the sides of the rungs (17-inch boards) and place in between the ladder sides. You want the rung boards to be angled so that the opposite corners are flush with the opposite side of the 5-foot blanket ladder sides.Look closely at the pictures and you will see what I mean for this position. They will look diagonal on the side boards. This position will give you more leverage for when you're drilling in the screws to keep the rungs secure.
  8. Carefully use a drill and 2 screws on each side to screw the rung boards onto the ladder sides.
  9. Repeat the steps until all rung boards are attached with screws and glue.
  10. Wipe off any excess glue.
  11. Mix your stain and use a brush to apply it evenly to the ladder, one board at a time. Wipe each side of the board with a rag after you brush on the stain and move to the the next board.
  12. Touch up the ends of the boards with stain, wipe and let dry overnight.

Disclosure: This post contains a link to an affiliate and support this site. See my Disclaimer Policy for additional information.

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Easy Playdough Recipe – Just 3 Ingredients!

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

This homemade playdough recipe is super easy and safe for kids. If you're looking for a cooked playdough recipe to try, this one is a good recipe to start with.

I can't even count how many containers of playdough I have purchased for our boys throughout the years. Granted, when you're in the thick of “mommin all day errday” you don't want to fuss with making something that you can easily purchase.

However, when you see how easy this playdough recipe is, you will make this one time and time again! The best part is that it's super simple so the kids can help out! It's always nice when they're old enough to participate in the process as well.

This fun snowman theme is great for parties – the kids can make his face themselves as part of the craft. Less work for you and the kids will love it!

Easy Playdough Recipe Ingredients 

  • 1 cup, Flour
  • 1 cup, Water
  • 1 TBS, Cream of Tartar
  • 2 TBS, Vegetable Oil

To make the Snowman-Themed Playdough, you will also need:

How to Make Playdough

  1. Mix together your flour, water, cream of tartar, and vegetable oil in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Scoop the mixture into a sauce pan and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes while stirring constantly until your mixture turns into dough.
  3. Once your dough forms, place it to the side to cool off.

That's it to make a basic cooked playdough recipe! Now to make this cute Snowman playdough, you will also need to follow these steps:

  1. Add your white glitter and knead the dough. This step is also where you would add color if you wanted to make other variations.
  2. Lay a sandwich bag on the table and use a black sharpie to draw two circle eyes and about five circles in the shape of a smile for a mouth.
  3. Use a orange sharpie to draw a triangle carrot shaped nose.

Store your playdough in airtight ziplock baggies. When you flatten the playdough you will have little snowmen!

Get creative and make all sorts of themed playdough depending for each holiday or theme. For Easter, you could make this exact playdough into a bunny rabbit by drawing a nose and eyes. Rudolph could easily be done by adding some brown coloring to the playdough, and adding a red nose with a sharpie.

You could make sports playdough designs! This white dough could easily be made into a soccer ball  just by adding the black lines. I'm also seeing cute baggies of basketball and football playdough now! Let your littles get involved and use their imagination with what they want to make!

We have gotten a few questions about homemade playdough since we have another popular uncooked playdough recipe. Here are a few FAQ's to help you in advance as you try either recipe for your littles!

How do you make homemade playdough without cooking?

This is a common question we get, since some people want an uncooked playdough recipe and some want a cooked cooked version as above (you know, in case the kiddos wanna eat it). The uncooked recipe can be faster to whip up too.

Check out this DIY Playdough recipe, that doesn't involve any cooking and has common ingredients. Try both and let us know which homemade playdough recipe is the best!

How to make a scented playdough recipe?

To create scented playdough, you can easily add in any therapeutic grade essential oils to the mix while cooking. The holiday-themed snowman DIY above would be super festive with this specific kid-safe essential oil blend (it smells like cinnamon and cloves and this is my favorite essential oil brand too).

Our uncooked playdough recipe calls for a different ingredient, which has a scent (and you can choose whatever scent you like). So, either way you can easily add a scent to the playdough.

How do you color playdough?

There are a few options. The one that's most common is by adding food coloring drops. Another more natural option is to use cosmetic Grade Mica Powder to the playdough when you are kneading the dough together.

By adding the coloring slowly at first, this will allow the coloring to get mixed throughout evenly. You will want to add additional food coloring as you go as well so you have you have more control over the final color of the playdough.

How to make playdough without color?

The process we've used in this recipe will do it for you! If you follow our other playdough recipe, just make sure you choose the main ingredient without any color.

What is the best playdough recipe?

Ours, of course! :D There are several ways to make a playdough, and I've given you a few. Honestly, it's truly your preference. Either recipe comes out great!

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Easy Playdough Recipe – Just 3 Ingredients!

This homemade playdough recipe is super easy and safe for kids. When you see how easy this playdough recipe is, you will make this one time and time again!

  • Author: Andrea Deckard
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup, Flour
  • 1 cup, Water
  • 1 TBS, Cream of Tartar
  • 2 TBS, Vegetable Oil

Instructions

  1. Mix together your flour, water, cream of tartar, and vegetable oil in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Scoop the mixture into a sauce pan and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes while stirring constantly until your mixture turns into dough.
  3. Once your dough forms, place it to the side to cool off.

Disclosure: This post contains a link to an affiliate and support this site. See my Disclaimer Policy for additional information.

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Candied Pecans on the Stovetop – Perfectly Caramelized in 4 Easy Steps!

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

The smell of caramelized pecans just make the holidays come alive to me! They are always sold at the malls near me. Since that where we seem to be during holiday shopping, I guess that's why the smell correlates to holidays. And spending money. HA!

You can whip up a delicious batch of these candied pecans in 4 easy steps! The ingredients are items that are already in the pantry and fridge, so you can start right now. Yes, right this minute!

This recipe explains how to make caramelized pecans on the stovetop. However, I include the oven recipe suggestion as well since so many people have asked. Either way, they turn out great!

Candied Pecans Ingredients

  • 4 cups, Pecans
  • 1/2 cup, Brown Sugar
  • 2 TBS, Butter
  • 2 TBS, Water
  • 1/2 tsp, Cinnamon
  • Pinch, Salt

Candied Pecans How To

  1. Add your brown sugar, butter, water, cinnamon and salt to a large sauté pan.
  2. Mix your ingredients over medium-low heat and mix in your pecans.
  3. Cook and toss for 15 minutes.
  4. Pour onto a sheet on parchment paper to cool and enjoy.

It's super fast to prepare a small batch of candied pecans on the stovetop, especially when a craving hits (and you don't want to fight the crowds at the mall). Over the years, I have gotten questions on how we make our candied pecans that I also want to share to help as well!

Why are my candied pecans sticky?

If you have this issue, there could be a few issues. First, make sure you don't have too much brown sugar mixed it. I know, I know, it's so easy just to add without topping off the excess, but this can be the problem.

Secondly, make sure you're tossing the pecans so they cook evenly throughout the pan. The heat will help to caramelize the pecans so they are hardened more and less sticky.

How long are candied pecans good for?

Well, they don't last long around here! However, they would be good to keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

How to store candied pecans? 

I always store them in a mason jar and keep refrigerated.

Do candied pecans need to be refrigerated?

The pecans should be caramelized and hardened, however, if they get in a warm environment they could become sticky. I always stick them in the fridge.

How to make candied pecans in the oven?

Yes, you sure can! Depending on how large of a batch you have this is a great alternative. Bake at 250 for around 1 hour. Toss every 15 minutes so they don't stick together. This also allows the pecans to get evenly caramelized.

Are candied pecans gluten free and vegan?

Yes, these pecans are gluten free! However, they would only be vegan if you used a butter substitute.

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Candied Pecans on the Stovetop – 4 Easy Steps!

This recipe explains how to make caramelized pecans on the stovetop. However, I include the oven recipe suggestion as well since so many people have asked. Either way, they turn out great!

  • Author: Savings Lifestyle: Andrea
Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 cups, Pecans
  • 1/2 cup, Brown Sugar
  • 2 TBS, Butter
  • 2 TBS, Water
  • 1/2 tsp, Cinnamon
  • Pinch, Salt

Instructions

  1. Add your brown sugar, butter, water, cinnamon and salt to a large sauté pan.
  2. Mix your ingredients over medium-low heat and mix in your pecans.
  3. Cook and toss for 15 minutes.
  4. Pour onto a sheet on parchment paper to cool and enjoy.

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Tater Tot Casserole

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

If you're looking for an easy and quick dinner, look no further! This Tater Tot Casserole is super simple to make and can even be done in a crockpot if you're short on time! I have also included the slow cooker instructions below.

There are veggies in the casserole, however, you can easily swap out green beans or any other green vegetable of your family's liking. It's easy to “hide” the veggies into a casserole.

Although, I swear my kids could find a tiny piece of {insert the veggie name} in their dish that they dislike (and wouldn't be able to taste). Yet, they still struggle finding their shoes that are literally smacking them in the face. Ah, the joys of motherhood! :D

Tater Tot Casserole Ingredients

  • 2 10.75 Cans, Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 8 oz, Sour Cream
  • 8 oz, Frozen Peas and Carrots
  • 1 Small Onion (diced)
  • 32 oz package, Frozen Tater Tots
  • 1 lb, Ground Beef
  • 2 Cups, Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Tater Tot Casserole Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Brown the burger and onion and drain off the grease.
  3. Combine all the ingredients except the shredded cheese.
  4. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and evenly spread.
  5. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top.
  6. Cover the baking pan with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes or until heated through.

This would also make for a great dish to make in advance for when you have a bazillion things going on in the evenings! As soon as you come home, pre-heat your oven and throw the dish in to start cooking.

To prepare in the crockpot instead of the oven as noted above, just put all of the ingredients into a greased slow cooker and cook on high for 2-4 hours (depending on your slow cooker). The ground beef is already cooked so you're really just heating up the other ingredients, and melting them all together with the crockpot.

Also, totally random, do you spell it tater or tator? I wonder if that's a regional thing for how one spells the shortened version of potato. I find myself spelling it both ways, actually!

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Tater Tot Casserole

This Tater Tot Casserole is super simple to make and can even be done in a crockpot if you're short on time! I have included the slow cooker instructions below in the post.

  • Author: Savings Lifestyle: Andrea
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Ingredients

  • 2 10.75 Cans, Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 8 oz, Sour Cream
  • 8 oz, Frozen Peas and Carrots
  • 1 Small Onion (diced)
  • 32 oz package, Frozen Tater Tots
  • 1 lb, Ground Beef
  • 2 Cups, Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Brown the burger and onion and drain off the grease.
  3. Combine all the ingredients except the shredded cheese.
  4. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and evenly spread.
  5. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top.
  6. Cover the baking pan with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes or until heated through.

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