S’more No-Bake Bars

S'more no-bake bars is a twist to an old-time family recipe, we call Pollock Fudge. I'm not really sure why it is called that in our family, when most people call them no-bake cookies, but it is what we grew up saying. I decided to switch this recipe up with three flavors that Americans love… chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows.

Chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows make us all think of S'mores. This no-bake recipe delivers the s'more taste in a bar! | www.joyinthehome.com

S'more No-Bake Bars

When my kids caught me in the kitchen experimenting with a new idea for a dessert, they got so excited to see that I was putting two of their favorite desserts into one.

I grew up making the Pollock Fudge, whenever my dad desired it to be made. He always wanted to clean out the pan, because he loved the taste of the warm dessert. It was so disappointing to not get to enjoy that all to myself, after making it, but my dad always made me feel good with his compliments of how good it tasted.

As I approached my Senior year in a private school, I had to take Pollock Fudge for frequent bake sales, and it always sold out first.

So when I had a family of my own, I brought out my sauce pan and introduced them to an old family favorite. It quickly became a go-to recipe if a sweet tooth hit us. Now, I get to enjoy the warm dessert scrapings of the pan while the rest is cooling in the pan. However, when my daughter learned to make it herself, I passed on the joy of cleaning the pan before putting it in the skin.

After she recently made me our Pollock Fudge recipe, I started to get inspired for a twist. I know they would love it!

This is just as easy to make, too!

How to Make S'more No-Bake Bars

In a medium to large saucepan, melt 2 sticks of butter on medium heat. Once it is melted, add 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of Dutch Process Cocoa and Evaporated Cane Sugar. Continue to stir this together until it comes to a boil.

Stop stirring, and boil for 5 minutes.

While the mixture is boiling, butter or spray a 9X13 pan. Get the following ingredients ready (don't add yet):

Once the 5 minutes is up, remove pan from the heat and add the vanilla and Marshmallow Fluff. Stir quickly until it is completely melted. Add the cereal, and stir. Gently fold in the miniature marshmallows, and quickly add to the prepared pan.

Cool completely. Cut and store in air tight container.
S'more No-Bake Bars - We doesn't love the taste of chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows? These quick and easy bars are delicious! | www.joyinthehome.com

These bars are so easy to make, and a hit with the family. You will definitely want a big glass of milk to go with it, because these are very sweet.



Feel free to print this recipe card here: S'more No-Bake Bars Printable Recipe Card

S'more No-Bake Bars Recipe Card - Print the card for your personal cookbook! | www.joyinthehome.com


Christmas Magic Bars

Christmas Magic Bars | www.joyinthehome.com

Magic bars are such an easy dessert to make, but this Christmas we added sprinkles to make them more festive, making them Christmas Magic Bars. We added these to our neighbors baked good plates that we give each year and they just made the plate pop with Christmas color!

This is a recipe that children can do on their own, with some assistance when putting it in and out of the oven.

Christmas Magic Bars

Melt one stick of butter and add it 1 1/2 packages of crushed graham crackers. Press firmly at the bottom of a 9X13 greased pan. Evenly pour sweetened condensed milk over the entire crust, then add the 2 cups of chocolate chips and 1 1/2 cups of coconut. Then sprinkle your choice of Christmas sprinkles to the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool and then cut.

Here is a printable recipe card for Christmas Magic Bars just for you:

Christmas Magic Bars Recipe Card | www.joyinthehome.com


Peppermint Whoopie Pies

Peppermint Whoopie Pies | www.joyinthehome.com

Our family loves whoopie pies and most families do. We decided to make a peppermint flavored one that has proven to be a big hit with our friends. You can add red or green food coloring to the frosting if you want it to be with the Christmas colors, but we choose to keep ours white with the peppermint taste.

Peppermint Whoopie Pies

Whip together: 1 egg, 1 stick of soft butter, 1/3 cup of cocoa, 1 cup of evaporated cane juice, 1 tsp real salt, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp baking soda, and 2 cups of milk. Add 1/2 cup of soft white wheat flour (or baking flour) at a time, until you get a wet cookie dough consistency. I put in about 4 cups or a little more.

I drop my cookie dough on a greased cookie pan using a small scoop. If it doesn't flatten, I have the right amount of flour.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-13 minutes.

Let cool on cookie rack, while making the peppermint frosting. Cream together 1/2 cup of shortening or coconut oil, 1 stick of softened butter, 1 tsp of peppermint extract 4 cups of powered sugar and 2 TBSP of water.

Place a spoonful of frosting between two cookies and enjoy!

You can freeze the cookies without frosting, and then add frosting when they thaw.

Here is a printable recipe card for Peppermint Whoopie Pies your holiday baking:

Peppermint Whoopie Pies Printable Recipe Card | www.joyinthehome.com

Hot Chocolate a La Mode

Everyone loves hot chocolate, but I had a thought recently that was a big hit in our home. Why not have hot chocolate a la mode?

Hot Chocolate a La Mode | www.joyinthehome.com

Although I have never heard of anyone doing this before, it didn't stop me trying it with my own family. We used packaged cocoa, but if you want to try to make your own hot chocolate mix, you can! You may even want to try your hand at making it on the stove!

Once you have your cup 3/4 of the way full of hot chocolate, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or be crazy and just add your favorite), and then throw a few chocolate chips in to celebrate the new way of drinking a favorite warm beverage.

It is going to be a big hit! At least it was in our home, as it got a big approval from my little guy…

Hot Chocolate a La Mode drink | www.joyinthehome.com


Italian Baked Vegetables

Italian Baked Vegetables by www.joyinthehome.com
This is one of my favorite side dishes any time of the year.  I use a variety of vegetables, especially in summer, but this tends to be what I do during winter months.

Here is how I make Italian Baked Vegetables:

Ingredients –

2 cups of potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups of butternut squash, peeled and chopped
2 cups of baby carrots
2 red bell peppers, sliced
1 1/2 TB of Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon of Real Salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions – 

Preheat oven to 425°.

Place all the ingredients in a 9X13 glass pan and mix well until it is well coated. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Print your own recipe card and try Italian Baked Vegetables at home:

Italian Baked Vegetables Recipe Card www.joyinthehome.com

Tips to Save Money Through Meal Planning

Meal planning can save you money in your overall budget and time. For about 30 minutes a week planning your menu, you can save at least two hours of wasted time, fuel and a lot of money for convenient meals that require a lot of extra trips to the store. I implement several things to save money through meal planning that I'm looking forward to sharing with you!

Tips to Save Money Through Meal Planning - Simple steps to saving money and time. | www.joyinthehome.com

Here is how I save money through meal planning:

I feel it in my stress level if I stop meal planning for any length of time, because let’s face it, meals are very important to your family and can’t be over looked. When I get back into meal planning, my life feels more in control, my stress decreases and my family eats healthier because I’m planning for nutritious meals instead of just feeding them quickly.

Here is how I do my meal planning that saves us more money than clipping coupons, and much more time than just going by the seat of my pants every day.

  • Using what is on hand – Prior to starting my meal planning and grocery list, I will scan the freezer, pantry and cupboards to see what I have left from my previous shopping and see if there are any meals that I can put together from what I have on hand. These meals become a priority on my planning.
  • Buy bulk for items we use a lot – We use a lot of pasta, rice, chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, seasonings and other things. I purchase in bulk and plan meals that will utilize the things I always have on hand.
  • Double cooking – I will often make a double batch of something and alter the leftovers to taste like a different meal.  For instance I make a lot of rice dishes in my rice cooker, so when I plan for leftovers in my meal planning, I buy mexican cheese and make tortillas.  Easy, delicious and a great way to save money!
  • Shopping for deals – Looking through ads or coupons, I can often find items that are on special that will help save money through meal planning. One of the items that our family can get a good deal on is spaghetti sauce, salad dressings and cereal.
  • Shop for discounted meat – I always scan the meat department when I shop to see if I can find anything that is on sale. If I’m unable to use it all for the menu planning I have already done, I will put it in the freezer and use it for the first step for the next meal planning to help save money on that week's menus.
  • Plan for unexpected things that lead to convenient meals – As mothers we often had days that overwhelm us and dinner doesn't come into our mind until it feels too late. Planning for these can help save money and time!  Our fall back meals are breakfast for dinner (eggs are one of my husband's favorites), frozen pizza (because it is cheaper than ordering it) and boxed dinners. However, with the Insta Pot, you can throw frozen meat in it, and still have dinner ready in 30 minutes to an hour. That is almost faster than ordering and waiting for the pizza guy!

The next thing to meal planning that helps my family stay within a budget, and gives me more time throughout the day is preparing freezer meals. The Freezer Meals 101 course is a great way to learn how to not only plan and execute freezer meals, but comes with meal plans that are kid friendly and healthy, not to mention incredibly easy to put together.