Spiced Crackers

Spiced crackers have many versions and many names across the cooking blogosphere and home kitchens.  These are probably called “those crackers you make for Christmas gifts” more than any other name in my house.  But, these are good anytime and I didn’t want to ban them other people’s houses just during the holiday season.

These crackers are very easy to make and definitely more frugal than anything loaded with chocolate or nuts.  Packed into small baggies, the crackers make a great filler for a cookie tray that has a small space left and you are out of cookie cooking or candy making steam.

Larger containers of spiced crackers can work as a stand-alone hostess gift.  I have used these crackers for both purposes.

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Caramel Corn

Caramel corn just tastes better when it is homemade.  Why do you think it tastes better at the fair than it does pre-packaged?  Because it is fresh and way closer to homemade!  This recipe makes a large batch and you might want to have a sharing plan before you make it, otherwise it might just get in your belly.

It will be buttery, sweet, crispy and irresistible.  You can add cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, or just about any kind of spice you want.  We have even added peanuts before and it they turned out fine.

Before you go to thinking that it is hard to make, it really isn’t hard.  It is a little time consuming, so you won’t be eating it nearly as quick as you would something out of a box.  It’s worth the wait though, I promise!

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Meatballs

Meatball subs are in the regular rotation during football season at our house.  They can be made with frozen meatballs and jars of marinara sauce, homemade meatballs with marinara sauce, frozen meatballs and homemade sauce, or homemade meatballs with homemade sauce.

I have made them in all of the combinations above and I am not ashamed.  Even if you tell me how great the sandwich was you just ate, I will let you know I used frozen meatballs and which brand of jarred sauce I used, if I did.

The secret to great meatball subs using frozen meatballs is the cooking method.  Slow, slow, slow.  You can cook them on a stovetop, in a crockpot, or in a low temperature oven.  You just need enough sauce to cover the meatballs and a little water.  If I am using a jarred sauce I add about a quarter cup of water to each jar, this normally takes 2 jars when I cook for a party, replace the lid and shake the water in the jar to get out the last of the sauce and pour it in.

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