Recipe For A Simple Life

Simplify your life, one day at a time

Turkey Sugar Cookies

These were really easy and fun to make with the family!

I bought Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough from the store and prepared it per the instructions.  I also cheated and used store bought frosting.  I Kept a bit of the white frosting, just enough to do little dots for the eyes on the cookies.  The rest I added orange food coloring to it.

I used the orange frosting to make the beaks and feet.  Then I put a line of orange frosting across the top where the “feathers” go – candy corn.

My kids thought it was fun to create their own “Turkeys”…

And Hubby had to make one of his own…

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Thanksgiving Veggie Platter

I had fun making this!  Options are endless, just add whatever veggies your family likes in a pattern for the feathers.

For the eyes, I used the ends of string cheese with raisin in the middle.  You could use a bit of frosting or little pieces of bread cut into little circles with dark food coloring dotted in the middle.

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Taco Pizza

My friend, Justine, made this…

Justine’s Taco Pizza
Flour tortillas
meat, browned and taco seasoning added and prepared according to package
Taco toppings of choice (black olives, pico, shredded lettuce, sour cream, etc)
Preheat oven to 400*
Take two tortillas and fill with cheese like a quesadilla. This is the pizza crust. Then spread salsa/sauce on top. Sprinkle meat and cheese and put in the oven (I also added a layer of refried beans and meat on one) When the cheese has melted and tortillas slightly browned they are finished.
Serve with the taco toppings.
I think it’s a great idea to make these using small tortillas and each family member gets their own and made just the way they like it!
You will not regret trying this!!
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3-2-1 Cake

A customer of mine gave me this recipe a few weeks ago.  We tried this – It’s really easy!  It tastes a lot like angel food cake, which I’m not a fan of, but I think my kids are going to love it!  I tried it myself, and will allow the babysitter to make this with my kiddos this weekend.  Best part is, it’s shelf stable.  So once you mix it up, just put it in an airtight container or a Ziploc bag and put back in the cupboard.

You’ll need…

1 box of Angel Food cake mix

1 box of any other flavor of regular cake mix, I chose the confetti kind because my kids like it 🙂


coffee mug

Mix the two cake mixes together.  Put 3 tablespoons of the mix into a microwave safe coffee mug, add 2 tablespoons of water and microwave for 1 minute.  That’s it!

Do you get the name now?  3-2-1 Cake…3 Tbls cake mix, 2 Tbls water, 1 min in the microwave!


Crock Pot Beef & Broccoli

My friend, Katy, posted a picture of her dinner on Facebook.  So, I had to borrow it for here!  Especially since (1) My husband loves Chinese (2) This is a crockpot recipe!





1 lb. boneless beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips

1 cup beef consomme, Katy used beef bouillon

1/2 cup soy sauce, reduced sodium

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp. sesame oil, Katy skipped this as she didn’t have any :o)

3 garlic cloves, minced, Katy replaced this with 1 Tbls Garlic powder 

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

2 Tbsp. water Fresh broccoli florets (as many as desired), Katy used frozen broccoli and it turned out just fine.

Hot cooked rice

Place beef in crock pot. In a small bowl, combine consomme, soy sauce, brown sugar, oil and garlic.  Pour over beef. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. In a cup, stir cornstarch and water until smooth.  Add to crock pot.  Stir well to combine. Blanch broccoli florets and add to the crock pot.  Stir to combine. Cover and cook for an additional 20 minutes on HIGH or until thickened. Serve over hot, cooked rice.


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Seafood Pasta

I can’t find my picture of this pasta, but when I do I’ll upload it! 
7 oz pasta shells
1 1/2 c real mayo
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 small onion diced
diced celery
Mix and add pasta. Add 8 oz frozen peas (thaw first) and 8 oz crab or can substitute shrimp
If doubling recipe – only add 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups sugar
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Homemade Tortillas

My friend, Kallie, made homemade tortillas.  Here’s her recipe…

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup canola or olive oil (I really like coconut oil in this, actually)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup warm water

Mix dry ingredients together. Then add the oil and mix like you would a pie crust. Add the warm water and mix. Dough will be sticky add more flour while kneading until dough feels soft and light and loses its stickiness. Using a handful of dough at a time, roll out on a floured surface. Roll out several then heat dry pan (iron skillet is good) to medium heat before setting tortilla in pan. When it starts getting a lot of air bumps flip to the other side. It will have a few brown spots. Watch them carefully as they cook quickly.

This recipe makes 8 (10 inch) tortillas…or 10 8-inch tortillas

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Try This! Showerhead Cleaner

We have hard water at our house.  I’ve always found that description amusing.  How can water, which is a liquid, be hard?  But, as I was saying, we have hard water at our house and sometimes we get nasty hard water build up on things.  I can across this environmentally friendly and frugal cleaning idea on Pinterest the other day and thought I should give it a try next time I clean the bathroom.  Check it out:

You need:

-1/3 cup baking soda
-1 cup white vinegar
-1 plastic bag
-1 large bag twisty tie

Here’s what to do:

1. Mix baking soda and vinegar in bag over a sink. Caution: Pour vinegar into bag slowly, there is an “explosive” foaming action that kicks in.

2. Place bag over showerhead. Be sure it is submerged in the baking soda/vinegar solution.
3. Secure with twisty tie.
4. Let the showerhead soak in the solution overnight or for at least 2-3 hours.
5. Wipe off showerhead prior to use.

How simple is that?  There are great step by step photos (that’s their photo up above too) on the original poster’s site – Frugally  Let me know if you have any other frugal and friendly cleaning tips.  I’d love to ditch the cleaners under my sink in favor of some more eco and wallet friendly alternatives.

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Homemade French Bread

I was surfing through Pinterest the other night when I should have been sleeping and came across a recipe for homemade french bread on  It looked easy enough, and I enjoyed the author’s sense of humor.  Turns out, it really isn’t all that hard and it makes a great side for pasta or salad.  Check it out –

Recipe: French Bread


1 1/4 cup warm water
1 TB olive oil
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
cornmeal (to sprinkle on cookie sheet)


1 egg
1 TB water


1. In bread machine pan, measure out the first 6 ingredients in the order listed.  Set to dough cycle.  Go take a nap.

2.  Divide dough in half and roll out into two 8×10 rectangles on a lightly floured surface.  Roll up along the long side.  Sprinkle cookie sheet with cornmeal and place loaves on top.  Cover and let rise 20 minutes.

3.  Whisk egg and water and brush onto your loaves.

4.  Bake in 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  Place 5 ice cubes in an oven safe dish on the bottom rack of your oven.  Five minutes into bake time add 5 more ice cubes.  (This crisps up the crust while keeping the inside soft.)

5.  Sprinkle some flour on your face to make it look like you worked way harder than this to impress your family.

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Homemade Pretzels

Homemade Pretzels

My kids love Wetzel’s Pretzels in our local mall.  Sometimes, as a treat, we will split a bag of pretzel bites and share a frozen strawberry lemonade.  But they are, in my humble opinion, a bit spendy.  So, I looked up homemade pretzels on and found a relatively easy recipe that looked like I could handle it.  The first time I made it, it was okay.  The second time was a disaster, and the third time they were really good.  I don’t follow the directions at the end to make them into pretzel shapes, I just make them into pretzel bites.  It’s much easier and they taste just as good.  Although they aren’t as perfect and uniform as the ones in the mall, they sure do taste good.  This recipe makes 2-3 dozen bites, depending on what size you make them.  Don’t forget to add the pretzel recipe to your recipe box while you are at so you can find it easily next time you have a carb craving. ;o)