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Nobember Frugal Mamas!! - Page 2

post #21 of 38

Magic Cookie Bars (7 layer cookies)

Originally Posted by mom2tig99Nroo03
yum. now i'm hungry, lol

have a recipe for these? never heard of em but they sound delish...

Yep, they are called Magic Cookie Bars and I started making them when I was 10 years old. My whole family always liked when I made them. The recipe originally came from the Eagle condensed milk. There have been variations, but I like the original. Here it is:

Magic Cookie Bars

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch-flavored chips
1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350°, (325° for glass dish). In 13x9-inch baking pan, melt butter in oven.
Sprinkle crumbs over butter; pour Eagle Brand® evenly on top of crumbs. Top with remaining ingredients in order listed; press down firmly with fork.
Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Chill if desired. Cut into bars. Store covered at room temperature.

Notes: Tip: For perfectly cut cookie bars line entire pan (including sides) with a sheet of aluminum foil first. When bars are baked, cool; lift up edges of foil to remove from pan. Cut into individual squares. Lift off of foil.
post #22 of 38

Food Gifts

Here are some of the things I like to make:


5c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 stick butter or margarine
1 can evaporated milk
16 0z Marshmallow Fluff (if you can't get fluff, use the Sam's Choice marshmallow creme at Wal-mart or Kraft makes one)
1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 12-oz. package semisweet-chocolate pieces
1 /2 to 1 c. chopped walnuts (this is optional, and I often leave it out, and either leave it plain or use 1 cup crunchy peanut butter instead. you could even chop up/crush peppermint candy canes and use them instead, or chopped almonds or whatever you like)

Grease a large rectagle glass baking/casserole dish (I think the one I use is about 10 14 or 15 inches) ; set aside. In large saucepan combine first 5 ingredients. Stir over low heat until blended. Heat to a full-rolling boil being careful not to mistake escaping air bubbles for boiling. Boil slowly, stirring constantly, 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and chocolate until chocolate is melted. Add nuts. Turn into greased pan and cool. Makes 5 pounds. (which is a lot! I cut it into rectangle pieces and wrap with red or green plastic wrap)

Also I make MUDDY BUDDIES and put them in containers or tins (I have reused any kind of container with a lid on it by decorating it):

1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 package (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
1/4 cup margarine or butter*
9 cups Chex® cereal (any variety, but I like the rice)

Measure cereal into large bowl; set aside. Microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and margarine in 1-quart microwavable bowl, uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour chocolate mixture over cereal in bowl, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into large plastic food-storage bag; add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. 9 cups snack.
*Do not use spread or tub products.
Important: Because microwaves cook differently, time is approximate.


Range Top Directions: Measure cereal into large bowl; set aside. Heat chocolate chips, peanut butter and margarine in 1-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Continue as directed above.
post #23 of 38
thanx simply!

i am starting a freecycle group
post #24 of 38
Thread Starter 
Simply... yum!! You rock for posting all those. We actually called the 7-layers, David City cookies. I like the magic name better, though! And I couldn't find the recipe, probably b/c DH is an extremely picky eater and can't stand those!
I was just talking to DS about making fudge this year, and remembering that I tried it several years ago, but it didn't turn out right. I'll try your recipe!

ALSO... - I need ideas for gifts that your kids are making for other family members (kids, grownups, grandparents, etc.)
Our extended family is having a big gettogether as an early Christmas right after Thanksgiving. So each family chooses one child and gets a gift for only them. Which I'm really into, b/c in the past it has been so dumb to have to buy gifts for so many kids that we don't even keep in touch with and I don't know their interests at all! Anyhoo- we're doing the playdough shoebox gift (like in Mothering mag this month) and that way DS can do most of it (or at least help!). But we need ideas for Dad, and something he could make for little brother. I just honestly have no ideas right now. Also, still have a grandma we haven't decided on gift for yet.
post #25 of 38

Gifts to make~

I do lots of art type stuff! I am always looking for projects to do with the kids and homeschool groups.
I have been receiving this magazine, I signed up for it free somewhere. There are some cute craft ideas in it and I found the website which shows the crafts.

Lots of ideas!!!

My 6 year old made these for his relative and one for me too. Except for one change.
The magnets were really expensive, even at walmart, but I saw some gold colored pin backs at walmart where the jewelry making supplies are, they were around $1.20 for a package of 40 of them, way cheaper than magnets, so we made indian corn pins, sooooo cute! Also, I used the glue gun, it held better than tacky glue.

Here are lots of ideas.

I also make angels out of fabric once in a while as gifts, but they are kind of time-consuming. Very special though and each is unique. I do not have the instructions typed out anywhere, but if anyone in interested, I could try to make some directions... Not a kid's craft, more for a mom.

I will post some more when I have a little more time.

post #26 of 38
Great ideas ladies!! I can't wait to get started on those recipes Simply! they sound so yummy, maybe I'll have to make them for thanksgiviving too!! I'm glad I started reading this thread, as we spent way too much money last year and have no extra $ this year, not to mention that I know I will impress my dad w/ these recipes BTW, you guys got anymore?
post #27 of 38
Hi guys! Great thread!

Here are some of the gifts I'm making GPs and GGPs this year:
  • calendar with pictures of grandkids (could be kids' illustrations for older ones)
  • stationary decorated with gk's pictures
  • travel mug with gk's pictures
  • CD of photos and short movies of gks

Anyone notice a pattern? :LOL

I agree about the teenagers and the yummy treats! One thing that might be neat is to put them in unique holder...for instance, for a teenage girl you might put the treats in an inexpensive makeup bag or shower caddy (maybe even one you got as a free gift.) For a teenage boy, you might put it in an inexpensive baseball cap or tied in a cute pair of boxer shorts.

As far as yummy treats, I like to make chocolate covered pretzels. They're easy, and after you dip the the kids can add the sprinkles.

Also, here's a family holiday favorite. They're yummy and easy which make them a favorite recipe:

Holiday Wreath Cookies:

stick of butter
30 large or 3c. mini marshmallows

Stir in:
1/2 t. almond extract
1/2 t. vanilla
green food coloring
3 1/2 c. cornflakes

Drop spoonfuls onto wax paper and sprinkle on a few red hots for the wreath berries.

For DH, one year I gave him "Honey Don't Bars"
I designed a "wrapper" to go around his favorite candy bars. He could use the labels to get out of a yucky task and could enjoy the chocolate instead. He loved it and even kept the bars in the freezer so he could spread out the pay off. Next time, I would definitely put an expiration date!!

Hmmm...that's all I can think of for now. I'm really enjoying reading all your ideas! :
post #28 of 38
Originally Posted by leomom
For DH, one year I gave him "Honey Don't Bars"
I designed a "wrapper" to go around his favorite candy bars. He could use the labels to get out of a yucky task and could enjoy the chocolate instead. He loved it and even kept the bars in the freezer so he could spread out the pay off. Next time, I would definitely put an expiration date!!

Love the idea... Perfect for my chocoholic dh!!!!

post #29 of 38
I just printed all teh recipies!! Yum they sound great!!
post #30 of 38
Thread Starter 
Hey y'all! Just wanted to let everyone here know, that on the TAO forum, there's a great thread going on right now called, "The $0 Holiday Challenge". Lots of great homemade gift ideas for the holidays
post #31 of 38


what is the tao forum?
post #32 of 38
Thread Starter 
Talking Amongst Ourselves
post #33 of 38
Right after Rowan was born, we went to one of those paint-you-own ceramics stores and made a bunch of coffee mugs with his footprints on them. We wrote "Rowan, 10 weeks old" on the bottom of each and gave them to everyone (related everyones). It was a big hit! The mugs themselves were about $8 each, and we went on a "2 for 1" day (2 people paint for the price of 1), so it actually worked out pretty cheap per person. We made so many that we ended up spending about $80, because we wanted some for ourselves, too, but it was still a decent deal. (We didn't use handprints because he was still so little he kept them in fists all the time). One of us would hold him and hold his bare foot out, the other would paint his foot and press a mug to it.
post #34 of 38
Thread Starter 
Does any one else here feel like a frugal forum would be helpful? I was thinking this because there's so many different facets to frugality, it would be easier to just start a new thread in a Frugal Mamas forum. I think more people would check it out too!

Anyhow, we're knee deep in frugal Christmas activities. Gifts for my DH's family may prove to be not so frugal, but we'll see.

I got my Diva Cup and (of course) it came a day after I could have used it! So I just got a chance to use it, and on the first day we were traveling in airports, so I was close to freaking out if it leaked or something! But it works fine, I'm totally sold DH was even fascinated by it, and wondered why I didn't get one sooner!
post #35 of 38
Ahhh, thanks to my uer-long cycle, i have not yet had a chance to try my diva cup.
I am really slipping on the frugal christmas stuff. Ah well, i have bought my family very practical gifts, like shirts, so i hope they will like them (and I got a good deal, but bought more than I should have)
post #36 of 38
Originally Posted by cyrusmama
this year we are doing family pictures with dh, ds, and me. Frame them up and that will be all the grandparents, and mom, dad and mil-fil presents.
SNAP! That's exactly what we're doing (btw - very nice 5x7 wood frames at BIGLOTS in a 3 pack for $5).

Hello, I think I've read through this board before but can't remember if I've ever posted. There's some great ideas though!

My in-laws do one name in a hat thing for the grown-ups and another for the kids. It's still a little more than I'd prefer to spend, $25 for each adult and $10 for a child ($60!!!), but alot cheaper than one thing for everyone.

Why we can't just get together and enjoy each other's company is beyond me, although last year instead of buying gifts we put the money towards an enormous Chinese feast! Also in the past we've used the money for a service project.

To me the holidays are for the kids so if you're still at grade school you get a small something (dollar stores are wonderful places) and if you're a grown-up you get good conversation! :

OK, I'm off my soapbox now!
post #37 of 38
I had never heard of a Diva Cup before but went and checked out their website - very interesting. Thanks for the heads up!
post #38 of 38
Hi Frugal Mamas! I'd like to join. Do we have a December thread?

My find of the year: I begin my field practicum in social work in 3 weeks so I am in desparate need of a few blazers to go with trousers. I stopped by my local GoodWill yesterday and found 2 brand new blazers (Talbots and New York & Co) for $4 each. A little more spendy than I'd like, but they are gorgeous and new. But then! I see they have an orange and a red tag respectively and the sale colors are orange and red! I got the brown blazer for a dollar and the plum-colored one for $2. Not too shabby.

DH and I are working on being frugal in other ways as well. I just re-read TCTG and found even more info to use... including looking into getting a very small chest freezer for our 400 sq. ft. apartment. I figure if we switch some stuff around we'll have room. I know that it will save us a mint.

I'm looking forward to the frugal chat, and until then I'll be checking the archives for more tips! --- Selu
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