I bought a giant tub of multi-purpose cake mix for my daughters first birthday last year. I made about three dozen frosted cupcakes for the party. But after that, I put it in the top of my pantry and forgot about it.
It’s getting close to the use by date and I feel that I need to use it up. The giant tub makes about 12 full sized cakes or about a 144 cupcakes. I should get another three cakes or three dozen cupcakes from it.
There are so many simple ways to improve a box cake mix. From adding extra eggs, swapping oil for butter or adding chocolate chips, it is so easy to take a plain cake mix from blah to wow. Keep reading to find out how I made nut-free hummingbird muffins from this box cake mix.
Today I decided to make hummingbird muffins. Unbeknownst to me, they normally contain nuts. Which I didn’t have. And if I’m totally honest I made the muffins first, then looked up what goes in hummingbird cake! So I have decided to call this recipe nut-free hummingbird muffins. For me, the main thing that makes it hummingbird flavour is the pineapple and the banana. Both of which are incredibly present.
Preheat oven as per box instructions.
Add the bananas and pineapple to a stand mixer and mix until broken up.
Add the contents of the cake mix to the stand mixer and continue to follow cooking instructions on the box.
For muffins/cupcakes bake for 12-15 minutes.
The importance of meal planning is touted on almost every money-saving blog and is a priority for many stay-at-home parents. But I generally meal plan because I like to know what to expect. You see I am horrible with surprises and not that good when it comes to a change of plans. But I think I’ve come up with the easiest meal plan.
I only meal plan our dinners and I try my best to be flexible about it. Events pop up out of nowhere and there are nights when nobody wants to cook. Most of the items are stored in the freezer, so are put in the fridge the night before or the day of. If it doesn’t get eaten on the day its planned for, it moves to the next night.
Many will suggest you make your meal plan before going shopping. You can use the catalogues and the current specials to get great deals and work out what you are going to eat for the week.
I don’t do this. I shop pretty solely at Aldi and they don’t often discount their regular stock. So I just go shopping and buy what I think we might like to eat. I always have sausages, beef mince and chicken breast on hand.
Once I am home with the shopping, I divide it up into meal servings. The sausages I buy come in a pack of 24. Out of the 24 sausages, I get 5 meals: four meals of five sausages (two each for the adults and one for little miss), and one meal of four sausages. I prefer to store everything in freezer bags. I also don’t bother labelling it, nothing is usually in my freezer for longer than three months.
Your fridge and freezer are now packed to the brim just waiting to be emptied again. Make a list of all the items you have that you can make main meals out of. Then, next to the item, I list the quantity I have. So with the example of sausages from earlier, I have five serves. U ually when I do this, I end up with about 3 weeks of dinners!
Now that you know what you have and how much of it you have, start allocating meals to days of the week. I try to mix it up so that we don’t have the same type of meat every night in a row. I also take into account what sort of activities we are doing during the day. Monday is usually something simple, as we are both at work. Wednesday tends to be the most extravagant because it’s grocery shopping day. So that means I can pick up anything that we need to keep fresh like salads or cold meats.
The last step, which isn’t really a step, is to eat your way through the easiest meal plan! Hopefully, you won’t need to buy any meat for the duration.
I also like to have tins of baked beans or spaghetti on hand, as well as a tin or two of soup. They are great to have on hand for quick easy meals, plus they remind me of my childhood.
I have been toying with the idea of a certain type of meal on a specific night of the week. Like Monday is chicken night, Tuesday is sausage night etc. But I’m not sure I’m ready to live my life like that, although it would make it the easiest meal plan.
Here are a few staples that I like to keep on hand in the freezer and what I like to make with them.
Mince – spaghetti bolognese, lasagne, meatloaf, meatballs, chilli con carn.
Chicken breast- satay chicken, Thai curry chicken, orange chicken, crumbed chicken, BBQ chicken, shredded chicken.
sausages – sausage rolls, devilled sausages, BBQ sausages.
There isn’t a lot by way of fun activities to do during the winter, so I decided to create a winter bucket list. This list is a reminder that there is no reason to feel that you’re stuck inside with nothing to do during winter.
While it’s tempting to rug up under a blanket on the couch during winter, there are so many great things happening at public events. But if you don’t feel like braving the weather, this winter bucket list is sure to have some ideas for you.
All of the items on this list are suitable for all ages. Most of them also make for great family outings or activities. The activities don’t require much equipment. And best of all, most of them cost next to nothing! You could make a day of it, and combine a few together. A day of board games in your pajamas, or taking homemade cookeis to the drive in.
So sign up to my email list to download the printable, stick it to your fridge, then cross off the activities as you complete them!
What would you add to your winter bucket list?