Tart Cherry Mulled “Wine” (2 Ways!)

Today we’re bringing you our new favorite holiday drink! This tart cherry mulled “wine” was inspired by traditional, oh-so-delicious mulled wine that usually brings red wine and spices together in a warm, comforting drink. We swapped the wine for tart …

Tart Cherry Mulled “Wine” (2 Ways!)

Today we’re bringing you our new favorite holiday drink! This tart cherry mulled “wine” was inspired by traditional, oh-so-delicious mulled wine that usually brings red wine and spices together in a warm, comforting drink. We swapped the wine for tart cherry juice and were blown away by the result (and the health perks)! 

It’s a delicious, non-alcoholic alternative to mulled wine, but you can also add whiskey or rum if you’re after a boozy twist.

Tart Cherry Mulled “Wine” (2 Ways!) from Minimalist Baker →

Glazed Ham Steaks

Glazed ham steaks are a quick and easy dinner idea that only takes a few ingredients and about 15 minutes to prepare.

The post Glazed Ham Steaks appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I don’t know about you, but it feels like Thanksgiving was just yesterday and I’m not ready to make another big dinner yet. So for Christmas, I’m making these super simple ham steaks instead of a full glazed ham. They’re so incredibly quick, I get my ham fix, and I can spend Christmas day relaxing. 😎 These glazed ham steaks are so good and so easy that they’ll probably be making their way into my normal dinner rotation, too.

Two glazed ham steaks on a plate with Brussels sprouts and sweet potato

Shown with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and a baked sweet potato.

What Kind of Ham to Use

I like a thick-cut (½-inch thick) sliced ham steak for this recipe because it gives it more of a main-dish type feel. There are many options for sliced ham or sliced ham quarters in the grocery store (near the refrigerated cured meats) and you can use just about any of them. If you end up with ham that is sliced more thinly, you’ll just cook for a shorter amount of time during the browning step below. And you may need to make more glaze if you’re trying to cover more pieces.

Other Glaze Options

The glaze I used here is a sweet and slightly tangy mix that reduces to a nice sticky glaze. You can’t really taste the Dijon mustard in the end, but if you don’t like Dijon or simply don’t have any on hand, you can also use a sweet-spicy-smoky rub like I used in my Glazed Pork Chops recipe.

How are the Leftovers?

I love, love, loved eating the leftovers of this ham. So much so that I think I might meal prep this on a regular basis! Glazes like this don’t stay clear and glossy after refrigeration, but they still taste great!

What to Serve with Glazed Ham Steaks

I served my glazed ham with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and a baked sweet potato, but it would also go great with classics like Homemade Mac and Cheese, Potato Salad, Three Bean Salad, Roasted Broccoli, or a Broccoli Cheese Casserole.

For something like a mini Christmas Dinner, I’d probably pair it with Potatoes Au Gratin, Balsamic Glazed Carrots, Roasted Brussels, and Apple Walnut Stuffing.

Side view of glazed ham steaks on the plate with sides
Side view of glazed ham steaks on the plate with sides

Glazed Ham Steaks

Glazed ham steaks are a quick and easy dinner idea that only takes a few ingredients and about 15 minutes to prepare.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $5.48 recipe / $1.37 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 4oz. each
Calories 220kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar $0.12
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.18
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce $0.02
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves $0.02
  • 2 8oz. ham steaks $5.00
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.10

Instructions

  • Combine the brown sugar, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, garlic powder, and cloves in a small bowl.
  • Cut the ham steaks in half to create four 4oz. portions.
  • Add the butter to a skillet and heat over medium. When the butter is melted, swirl the skillet to coat the surface. Add the ham steaks and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until browned.
  • Spoon half of the glaze mixture over the ham steaks, flip, then add the second half of the glaze. Cook for 1-2 minutes more on each side, or until the glaze becomes thick and sticky. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 1525mg | Fiber: 1g
Glazed Ham Steaks in the skillet close up

How to Make Glazed Ham Steaks – Step by Step Photos

Ham glaze ingredients in a bowl

Make the glaze first. In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, and ⅛ tsp ground cloves.

ham steak packages

These are the ham steaks I used. You can use any type of ham steak available, but if they are thinner than ½-inch, you’ll need to reduce the cooking time from the estimates I have given.

Ham steaks cut in half

Each of the ham steaks were 8oz., so I cut them in half to create four 4oz. portions. Portion your ham as you see fit.

Browned ham steaks in the skillet

Add 1 Tbsp butter to a large skillet and heat over medium. When the butter is melted, give the skillet a swirl to coat the surface. Add the ham and cook for a few minutes on each side, or until browned.

Glaze being spooned over the ham steaks in the skillet

Spoon half of the glaze mixture over the ham steaks, then flip them over and add the rest.

Finished glazed ham in the skillet

Cook the ham for a minute or two more on each side, or until the glaze has reduced.

Overhead view of glazed ham on a plate with sides

Serve hot with your favorite sides!

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Chocolate Molasses Cookies

Growing up we called these cookies “chocolate gingersnaps” but they’re not like a crunchy gingersnap at all, they’re actually a classic soft and chewy molasses cookie full of warm spices and chunks of melty chocolate. These Chocolate Molasses Cookies are the perfect cozy cookie for cold winter days and they pair perfectly with a hot […]

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Growing up we called these cookies “chocolate gingersnaps” but they’re not like a crunchy gingersnap at all, they’re actually a classic soft and chewy molasses cookie full of warm spices and chunks of melty chocolate. These Chocolate Molasses Cookies are the perfect cozy cookie for cold winter days and they pair perfectly with a hot cup of cocoa or coffee (especially with my gingerbread creamer). And the best part? They freeze beautifully, so you can keep a batch in your freezer and just take one or two out at a time to enjoy with your afternoon cup of tea or coffee. :)

Originally posed 12/11/2011, updated 11/29/2021.

Close up of chocolate molasses cookies on a cooling rack

Why You’ll Love these Molasses Cookies

Molasses creates an incredible chewy texture when added to cookies, as well as a slight sweetness with a rich and earthy flavor. If regular cookies tend to be a bit too sweet for you, I bet you’ll be a fan of these chocolate molasses cookies. Not only is the sweetness not super over the top, but the warm spices and semi-sweet chocolate give the cookie a little kick that helps counteract the sweetness. The flavor combination is absolute heaven!

What Kind of Molasses to Use

I used Grandma’s Original Molasses for these cookies. While you can use blackstrap molasses, keep in mind that it has a much more intense, slightly bitter flavor and the ingredients in these cookies were not formulated using that type of molasses. Will it still be good? Maybe! At the end of the day, that’s going to be a matter of personal preference.

How to Store Chocolate Molasses Cookies

Once the cookies have cooled completely to room temperature, store them in an air-tight container to keep them from going stale. The cookies will keep at room temperature for about a week, or you can freeze them for about three months. I absolutely love keeping these in the freezer so I can take just one or two out at a time. I like to microwave the frozen cookie for a few seconds to make it extra soft and gooey.

Can I Substitute the Fresh Ginger?

While I do think the fresh ginger is what makes these cookies extra special, you can substitute it for more ground dried ginger if needed. If you don’t have fresh ginger on hand, use two teaspoons of dried ginger instead of the 1 ¼ tsp listed in the recipe below.

Chocolate molasses cookies stacked on a cooling rack

 

Chocolate molasses cookies stacked on a cooling rack

Chocolate Molasses Cookies

These unique molasses cookies are sweet, chewy, full of warm spices, and big chunks of melty chocolate inside.
Total Cost $6.50 recipe / $0.27 each
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Refrigerate Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 54 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 136kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour $0.23
  • 1.25 tsp ground ginger $0.12
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder $0.04
  • 1 tsp baking powder $0.02
  • 8 Tbsp butter, room temperature $0.80
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger $0.30
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar $0.24
  • 1/2 cup molasses $1.18
  • 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate $3.49
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar $0.04

Instructions

  • Add the flour, ground ginger, cloves, nutmeg, coocoa powder, and baking powder to a bowl and stir until well combined.
  • To a separate bowl, add the butter, fresh ginger, brown sugar, and molasses. use a mixer to beat these ingredients together until light and creamy.
  • Begin adding the flour mixture into the molasses mixture, ½ cup at a time, beating at low speed, until all of the flour mixture has been incorporated.
  • Roughly chop the chocolate, then stir it into the cookie dough. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic, then refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • When you're ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325ºF. Place the granulated sugar in a small bowl. Divide the cookie dough into four equal-sized pieces, then divide each of the quarters into six small pieces to make 24 total cookies.
  • Roll each piece of cookie dough into a ball, then roll the dough ball in the granulated sugar to coat. Place the shaped cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet, 12 per baking sheet.
  • Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes in the 325ºF oven, or until they're slightly cracked on top. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 56mg | Fiber: 1g

A hand holding a chocolate molasses cookie broken in half

How to Make Chocolate Molasses Cookies – Step By Step Photos

dry ingredients in the bowl

Add 1.5 cups all-purpose flour, 1.25 tsp ground ginger, ¼ tsp ground cloves, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg, 1 Tbsp cocoa powder, and 1 tsp baking powder in a bowl and stir until well combined.

Wet ingredients for cookies in a bowl

Add 8 Tbsp room temperature butter, 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger, ½ cup brown sugar, and ½ cup molasses to a separate bowl.

Whipped whet ingredients in the bowl

Use a mixer to beat the wet ingredients together until they are light and creamy.

Flour added to the cookie dough

Begin mixing in the flour mixture at low speed, adding about ½ cup at a time, until all of it is incorporated.

Chopped choclate

Roughly chop the semi-sweet chocolate. You definitely want it to be fairly chunky.

Chocolate stirring into cookie dough

Stir the chopped chocolate into the cookie dough.

Cookie dough wrapped in plastic

Wrap the cookie dough in plastic, then refrigerate for about an hour to help firm it up. You can refrigerate overnight if needed.

Cookie dough being shaped and rolled in sugar

When you’re ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 325ºF. Place ¼ granulated sugar in a small bowl. Divide the cookie dough into four equal-sized pieces, then divide each quarter into six small pieces (24 total pieces). Roll each piece into a ball, then roll the ball in the granulated sugar to coat. 

molasses cookies on a baking sheet ready to bake

Place twelve of the shaped cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Baked molasses cookies on a baking sheet

Bake the cookies in the preheated 325ºF oven for about 12 minutes, or until the cookies are slightly cracked on top. Repeat with the second 12 cookies.

Chocolate molasses cookies on a plate with the cooling rack and glass of milk in the background

Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool for a few minutes, or serve warm. Allow the cookies to cool completely to room temperature before storing in an air-tight container.

Chocolate Gingersnaps - BudgetBytes.com

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Gingerbread Coffee Creamer

This gingerbread coffee creamer will make your morning cup of joe a little extra cozy. It’s creamy, lightly sweet, and full of warm spices!

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‘Tis the season for all things cozy and this gingerbread coffee creamer will turn your morning cup of joe into one big warm hug! It’s creamy, lightly sweet, and full of rich warm spices. I’m not going to lie, this creamer is so delicious that I’m tempted to just warm it up in a mug by itself and sip on it as an alternative to hot cocoa! Why not, right??

Overhead view of two cups of coffee with creamer being poured into one

Why I Love This Creamer

Aside from its incredibly warm and cozy flavor, I love this gingerbread coffee creamer because it only takes a few minutes to make and it’s totally customizable. Want it sweeter? Just add some brown sugar. Want it creamier? Substitute cream for the half and half. Need a smaller (or larger) batch? No problem. The recipe scales up or down without issue.

What is Half and Half?

I used “half and half” as the base for my creamer. For those outside the U.S., half and half is a 50/50 mix of whole milk and heavy cream. It’s a common add-in for coffee and can be purchased in pretty much every grocery store in the U.S.

You can make this gingerbread coffee creamer using just cream, or make your own “half and half” by combining equal parts whole milk and cream. Sure, you could probably do it with just whole milk too, but it just wouldn’t be nearly as cozy and creamy. :)

How Long Does it Last?

There isn’t an exact expiration date for homemade creamers like this, so I’d just stick to five days in the refrigerator just to be on the safe side. Luckily, you can make this creamer in very small batches if needed and it only takes minutes to make more when you run out, so there’s no need to risk leftovers going to waste.

How to Use Gingerbread Coffee Creamer

I set the serving size for this creamer at ¼ cup, but it’s totally up to you how much creamer you put in a cup of coffee. I can’t lie, while I was going through testing for this recipe I even drank it like a café au lait (half coffee, half milk) and it was incredible.

Serve your gingerbread coffee alongside a Cinnamon Nut Swirl Mug Cake or a Mini Chocolate Pecan Pie.

I also have plans to try using this gingerbread creamer in an ice cream maker. I’ll keep you posted.

gingerbread coffee creamer in a glass milk bottle with coffee cups and cookies in the background
Two mugs of coffee from above, a bottle of creamer on the side

Gingerbread Coffee Creamer

This gingerbread coffee creamer will make your morning cup of joe little extra cozy. It's creamy, sweet, and full of warm spices!
Total Cost $0.73 recipe / $0.18 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 ¼ cup each
Calories 95kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup half and half $0.45
  • 1 Tbsp molasses $0.15
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract $0.07
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon $0.02

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a small saucepot. Heat over medium, stirring often, until the half and half is hot and steaming, but not simmering (about five minutes).
  • Serve hot or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 95kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 27mg | Fiber: 1g
creamer being poured into a cup of coffee

How to Make Gingerbread Coffee Creamer – Step by Step Photos

half and half being poured into a small saucepot

Start by adding one cup of half and half to a small saucepot (or one cup of cream, or any mix of cream and milk that you prefer).

spices being added to half and half in the saucepot

Add 1 Tbsp molasses, ¼ tsp vanilla extract, ¼ tsp ground ginger, ⅛ tsp ground cloves, and ⅛ tsp cinnamon to the half and half.

heated gingerbread creamer in the saucepot

Heat the creamer over medium, stirring often, until the creamer is hot and steaming, but not yet simmering. The spices will clump up while the half and half is still cold, but they’ll begin to mix in as it heats up. Heating the spices in the liquid also helps the flavors bloom and permeate throughout the creamer.

Two mugs of coffee from above, a bottle of creamer on the side

Serve your creamer hot, or refrigerate until ready to use (up to about five days). Enjoy!

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How to Make Thanksgiving Dinner for Two

Make these easy scaled-down recipes for turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and more to make a classic Thanksgiving dinner for two.

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Huge Thanksgiving dinners with tons of family and loved ones are awesome, but not everyone has the option to travel or the family to get together with. If for one reason or another you find yourself alone or celebrating Thanksgiving with just one other person, you can still enjoy a classic Thanksgiving dinner on a smaller scale. I’ve crafted this smaller-sized meal that can be prepared in about two hours, so you can enjoy all those delicious thanksgiving recipes without a huge production. :)

Thanksgiving for two spread as seen from above

What’s Included in This Thanksgiving Dinner for Two

This smaller Thanksgiving dinner menu includes the following scaled-down classic Thanksgiving recipes:

  • Roasted Turkey Breast and Stuffing
  • Candied Sweet Potatoes
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Green Bean “Casserole” (stove top version)
  • Mushroom Herb Gravy

Each recipe makes about 2-4 servings, so you’ll still have a few leftovers, but not as much as if you had cooked regular-sized Thanksgiving dinner (we’re all about reducing food waste here at Budget Bytes).

Three recipes will be prepared in the oven (at the same time and same temperature) and three will be prepared on the stove top while the other recipes are doing their thing in the oven.

In addition to the recipes listed above, here are a couple optional extras you can add, either homemade or store-bought. You can make homemade cranberry sauce or mini pumpkin pies the day before. You might want to prepare a quick Thanksgiving grazing board to snack on earlier in the day, or maybe some cranberry cream cheese dip with crackers. And don’t forget to make a couple of Apple Cider Mimosas!

How Long Does it Take to Prepare?

I was able to make this meal in about two hours. The turkey and stuffing takes approximately 1.5 hours to roast, and I was able to prepare the rest of the sides while they were in the oven. I’m probably a bit faster than the average home cook and very well accustomed to multi-tasking in the kitchen, but I also paused to take all of my photographs in that time, so I think 2-3 hours is reasonable for most people. Beginners may wan to allow for extra time.

NOTE: The most important part of being able to prepare this meal in a decent amount of time is to read through the plan thoroughly before beginning. You need to understand how to execute each recipe and in which order before you begin so you don’t get lost. Making a Thanksgiving dinner, any Thanksgiving dinner, takes coordination and multi-tasking skills.

What You Need

For this entire meal you’ll need the following equipment:

  • 8×8″ casserole dish
  • Large baking sheet (about 16″x13″)
  • Medium saucepot (2.5 qt.)
  • 3 qt. covered sauté pan or pot
  • 10″ skillet
  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Colander
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Whisk
  • Parchment paper

In addition to the equipment listed above, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2.5 lbs. bone-in, skin-on turkey breast
  • ½ lb. Brussels sprouts
  • ¾ lb. sweet potato
  • 1 lb. russet potato
  • 8 oz. mushrooms
  • 12 oz. frozen cut green beans
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 6oz. box stuffing mix
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 ½ Tbsps all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup French fried onions (packaged)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • 11 Tbsp butter
  • 1 ¼ tsp rubbed sage
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 ⅛ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves
  • Salt, pepper, and olive oil
Thanksgiving dinner for two on a plate with a fork

How to Make Thanksgiving for Two – Step by Step Instructions

Okay, let’s get into it! I have the process divided into steps below. Each recipe is its own step so you can skip recipes you don’t like or even scale up recipes that you may want more of. You’ll be cooking most of these simultaneously, but they are listed in order of execution. Keep in mind that the cooking times will overlap. Make sure to read through the instructions thoroughly before beginning. Understanding the process for each recipe and the sequence is critical to executing a Thanksgiving dinner!

NOTE: Before beginning, adjust the racks in your oven so the top rack is slightly above the middle position and the lower rack is just below the middle position (not on the lowest position). The bottom rack only needs enough vertical room for a sheet pan, while the top rack needs enough height for the casserole dish and turkey breast.

1. Turkey and Stuffing

Sliced roasted turkey and stuffing on a plate

This turkey turns out so incredibly juicy and so so much easier than roasting a whole bird. The stuffing absorbs the juices and fat from the turkey as it roasts, making it even more flavorful!

The turkey and stuffing take the longest to cook (about 1.5 hours), so you’ll want to begin this first. The rest of the sides can be prepared while the turkey and stuffing are in the oven.

Sliced roasted turkey and stuffing on a plate

Roasted Turkey Breast with Stuffing

Herb roasted turkey breast and stuffing cook together for one easy and flavorful main dish in this Thanksgiving for two.
Total Cost $13.85 recipe / $4.62 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 3 to 4
Calories 552kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 6oz. box stuffing mix $0.89
  • 1.5 cups water $0.00
  • 4 Tbsp butter, room temperature $0.40
  • 1 tsp dried sage $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried thyme $0.10
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.05
  • 2.5 lb. bone-in, skin on turkey breast $12.21

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Add the box of stuffing mix to a bowl, then pour in 1.5 cups warm water. Stir and let the stuffing sit to absorb the water as you prepare the turkey.
  • Combine the room temperature butter, sage, rosemary, thyme, and salt in a small bowl.
  • Pat the turkey breast dry, then spread the herb butter mixture all over the surface.
  • Transfer the stuffing to the bottom of an 8×8-inch casserole dish and place the turkey breast on top. The turkey should cover nearly all of the stuffing. If there is a lot of stuffing exposed, use foil to cover the stuffing mix to prevent it from browning too much during the hour and a half in the oven.
  • Transfer the turkey and stuffing to the oven (upper rack) and roast for about 1.5 hours, or until the internal temperature of the turkey breast reaches 165ºF.
  • After roasting, let the turkey and stuffing rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. The stuffing under the turkey will have absorbed quite a bit of moisture from the turkey, while the stuffing on the edges will be quite crunchy. Simply stir the stuffing together and let it sit for about five minutes to rehydrate the drier pieces before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 552kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 66g | Fat: 18g | Sodium: 1722mg | Fiber: 1g

Turkey and Stuffing Step by Step Photos

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the contents of one 6oz. box of stuffing mix in a bowl and add 1.5 cups of warm water. Stir to combine, then set it aside to soak as you prepare the turkey.
  2. Combine 4 Tbsp room temperature butter with 1 tsp dried sage, 1 tsp dried rosemary, 1 tsp dried thyme, and ¾ tsp salt. Pat a 2.5 lb. bone-in, skin-on turkey breast dry, then smear the herb butter over the surface (if the turkey breast is wet, the butter won’t stick, so dry it well).
  3. Place the hydrated stuffing mix in the bottom of an 8×8-inch casserole dish and place the turkey breast on top. The turkey should cover most of the stuffing. If there are any large portions of stuffing exposed, you may want to cover the exposed portions with foil to prevent them from browning too much as the dish is in the oven. Do not cover the turkey with foil.
  4. Roast the turkey and stuffing in the preheated 350ºF oven for about 1.5 hours, or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165ºF. Let the turkey rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
  5. The stuffing under the turkey will have absorbed a lot of moisture from the turkey as it roasts while the stuffing on the outer edges will be quite crunchy. Simply stir the stuffing together and let it sit for about five minutes for the moisture levels to equalize.

Once the turkey and stuffing are in the oven, move on to recipe #2, Candied Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

2. Candied Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Candied Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts on a plate

While the turkey and stuffing are roasting, begin the candied sweet potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts. These will cook together on one sheet pan in the oven at the same time as the turkey and stuffing. The sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts take about 40 minutes to cook, so you can prepare them on the sheet pan and then wait to put them into the oven until the turkey has about 40 minutes to go.

These candied sweet potatoes were so delicious it was all I could do to keep from eating them ALL myself. :o

Candied Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts on a plate

Candied Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Candied sweet potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts cook together on one sheet pan for a 2-in-1 easy Thanksgiving side dish.
Total Cost $3.19 recipe / $1.60 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 356kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Candied Sweet Potatoes

  • 3/4 lb. sweet potato $0.75
  • 1.5 Tbsp butter $0.15
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.04
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  • 1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts $2.00
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/8 tsp each salt and pepper $0.03

Instructions

  • Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into ½-inch thick rounds. Place the sliced sweet potatoes in a bowl.
  • Melt the butter and then stir in the cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Pour the sweet butter over the sliced sweet potatoes and stir to combine.
  • Cut off any dry ends from the Brussels sprouts, then slice them in half. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then toss to coat.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper then lay the butter-coated sweet potatoes out over half of the baking sheet. Try to get as much of the butter mixture out of the bowl onto the sweet potatoes as possible. Spread the Brussels sprouts over the other half of the baking sheet.
  • Transfer the baking sheet to the oven, placing it on the rack below the turkey. Roast the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until browned and tender, flipping once halfway through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 490mg | Fiber: 10g

Candied Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts Step by Step Photos

  1. Peel and slice one ¾ lb. sweet potato into ½-inch thick rounds. Melt 1.5 Tbsp butter, then stir in 1 Tbsp brown sugar, ¼ tsp cinnamon, ⅛ tsp ground cloves, and ⅛ tsp salt. Pour the butter mixture over the sweet potatoes and stir until they’re coated.
  2. Cut off the dry stem end of ½ lb. Brussels sprouts, then slice them in half. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and ⅛ tsp each of salt and pepper, then toss to coat. Place the Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined sweet pan. Make sure to get as much of that butter mixture from the bowl onto the sweet potatoes.
  3. The vegetables only take about 40 minutes to roast, so you may want to leave them prepped on the sheet pan until the last 40 minutes or so of the turkey’s baking time so they’re not done too early. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven (lower rack) and roast the vegetables for about 40 minutes, or until browned and tender, flipping them once halfway through.

Once the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts are on the sheet pan and prepared to go into the oven, you can move on to preparing the next recipe, mashed potatoes. When the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts are in the oven you can prepare the last two recipes, green bean “casserole” and mushroom herb gravy.

3. Mashed Potatoes

mashed potatoes in a bowl with melted butter on top

You can prepare the mashed potatoes while you’re waiting to put the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts in the oven. They’re pretty quick to prepare, then they can sit on the stovetop with a lid on to stay warm while you finish the rest of the side dishes.

This recipe is also pretty flexible, so if there are other ingredients that you like to add to your mashed potatoes, like sour cream, cheese, or herbs, feel free to stir them in at the end!

Small-Batch Mashed Potatoes

This smaller batch of mashed potatoes is perfect for a Thanksgiving for Two or any quick weeknight dinner when you don't want leftovers.
Total Cost $1.25 recipe / $0.42 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3 ¾ cup each
Calories 133kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

  • Medium Saucepot

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. russet potato $0.99
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided $0.02
  • 1/4 cup milk $0.11
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.20
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp pepper $0.01

Instructions

  • Peel the potato then dice into ½-inch cubes. Rinse the diced potatoes with cool water in a colander to remove excess starch.
  • Place the cubed potatoes in a medium pot and cover with one inch of water. Add ½ tsp salt. Place a lid on top and bring the water up to a boil over high heat. Boil the potatoes for 8-10 minutes, or until very tender.
  • Drain the potatoes in a colander and then give them another brief rinse.
  • Add the butter, milk, garlic powder, and pepper to the pot used to boil the potatoes. Heat over low until the milk is hot and the butter is melted. Return the drained potatoes to the pot and mash. Taste the mashed potatoes and add salt, if needed (I added ¼ tsp).
  • Place a lid on the pot then move it to a back burner (not turned on) to stay warm while you prepare the rest of the sides.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 598mg | Fiber: 2g

Small Batch Mashed Potatoes Step by Step Photos

  1. Peel and dice a one pound russet potato into ½-inch pieces. Rinse the pieces briefly in a colander to remove excess starch. Place the cubed potato in a medium pot and cover with water. Add 1/2 tsp salt to the water. Place a lid on top and bring the water up to a boil over high heat. Boil the potatoes for 8-10 minutes, or until very tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander and give them another brief rinse.
  2. Add 2 Tbsp butter, ¼ cup milk, and ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ⅛ tsp pepper to the pot used to boil the potatoes. Heat the milk and butter mixture over low until the milk is hot and butter is mostly melted. Add the drained potatoes back to the pot.
  3. Mash the potatoes until mostly smooth. Taste and add salt if needed (I added ¼ tsp). Place a lid on the pot and move the pot full of potatoes to an unused burner (heat turned off) to stay warm until the rest of the meal is finished.

4. Green Bean “Casserole”

A bowl of creamy green beans with fried onion topping

Once your potatoes are mashed and are resting on the back of the stove, begin the green bean “casserole”. This is essentially a quick stovetop version of the classic baked casserole. Tender green beans coated in a creamy mushroom sauce and topped with French fried onions. You can bake this in the oven after assembly if you prefer, but I was aiming for speed and simplicity with this recipe, so I skipped the baking step.

A bowl of creamy green beans with fried onion topping

Stove Top Green Bean “Casserole”

A quick stove top version of the classic baked green bean casserole. Tender green beans with a creamy mushroom sauce and French fried onions.
Total Cost $2.99 recipe / $1.00 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3 ¾ cup each
Calories 242kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

  • 3 qt. Covered Sauté Pan

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. frozen cut green beans $1.00
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.20
  • 4 oz. mushrooms $0.75
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.02
  • 1 cup milk $0.44
  • 1 cup vegetable broth $0.13
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.03
  • 1/2 cup Fried Onions* $0.32

Instructions

  • Add the frozen green beans to a pot and cover with water. Place a lid on the pot, then bring the water up to a boil over high heat. Boil the green beans for about 5 minutes, or until tender, then drain in a colander.
  • While the green beans are boiling, slice the mushrooms and mince the garlic.
  • Add the mushrooms, garlic, and butter to the pot used to boil the green beans. Sauté over medium heat. Once the mushrooms have released all their water and all of it has evaporated off the bottom of the pot, add the flour and continue to stir and cook for about one minute more.
  • Whisk in the milk, vegetable broth, salt, and pepper. Make sure to whisk until all of the flour has dissolved off the bottom of the pot. Allow the milk mixture to return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it reaches a boil, it will thicken into a sauce.
  • Return the drained green beans to the pot with the sauce and stir to combine. Turn the heat down to its lowest setting and allow the green beans to remain heating over low, stirring occasionally, as you make the final recipe (mushroom herb gravy). The sauce will continue to thicken as it heats over low.
  • When you're ready to serve the green beans, transfer them to a bowl and top with the fried onions.

Notes

*This is a store bought product, like French’s Crispy Fried Onions

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 695mg | Fiber: 4g

Stove Top Green Bean Casserole Step by Step Photos

  1. Add 12oz. frozen green beans to a pot and cover with water. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat on to high, and bring the water up to a boil. Boil the green beans until tender (about 5 minutes). Drain the green beans in a colander.
  2. While the beans are boiling, slice 4oz. mushrooms and mince one clove of garlic. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and 2 Tbsp butter to the pot that was used to boil the beans (after draining them). Sauté over medium heat until the mushrooms have released all of their water and it has completely evaporated off the bottom of the pot.
  3. Once there is no more water pooling on the bottom of the pot, add 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour and continue to stir and cook over medium heat for about a minute more.
  4. Whisk in one cup milk, one cup vegetable broth, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Make sure to keep whisking until all of the flour has dissolved off the bottom of the pot.
  5. Allow the liquid to return to a boil, stirring occasionally, at which point it will thicken to a sauce.
  6. Stir the drained green beans back into the sauce. Turn the heat down to low and let the green beans heat over low, stirring occasionally, as you make the final recipe (mushroom herb gravy). When ready to serve, top with ½ cup fried onions.

5. Mushroom Herb Gravy

mushroom herb gravy in a bowl with a spoon

This mushroom herb gravy only takes a few minutes to make, so it’s best to make it last just before you serve your Thanksgiving dinner. Gravies tend to gel up even more as they cool, so if you find your gravy becoming too thick after it begins to cool, simply stir in a tablespoon or two of warm water to loosen it back up.

mushroom herb gravy in a bowl with a spoon

Mushroom Herb Gravy

This small batch of mushroom herb gravy takes minutes to prepare and is full of delicious savory flavor!
Total Cost $1.23 recipe / $0.41 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 3 ½ cup each
Calories 78kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

  • 10" skillet

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. mushrooms $0.75
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 1.5 Tbsp butter $0.15
  • 1.5 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.02
  • 1 cup vegetable broth $0.13
  • 1/4 tsp rubbed sage $0.03
  • 1/8 tsp dried thyme (or one sprig fresh) $0.03
  • 1/8 tsp pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Slice the mushrooms and mince the garlic. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and butter to a small skillet and sauté over medium heat until the mushrooms have released all of their water and the water has completely evaporated off the bottom of the skillet.
  • When there is no more water pooling on the bottom of the skillet, add the flour and continue to stir and cook for about one minute more.
  • Add the vegetable broth and whisk well until all of the flour has dissolved off the bottom of the skillet. Also add the sage, thyme, and pepper. Allow the broth to come up to a simmer, stirring occasionally, at which point it will thicken to a gravy.
  • Taste the gravy and add salt if needed. Serve immediately.

Notes

If the gravy becomes too thick as it cools down, simply whisk a tablespoon of water into the gravy until smooth to loosen it up.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 78kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 365mg | Fiber: 1g

Mushroom Herb Gravy Step by Step Photos

  1. The gravy starts out the same as the green bean casserole. Slice 4oz. mushrooms and mince one clove of garlic. Sauté the mushrooms and garlic in 1.5 Tbsp butter over medium heat until the mushrooms have released all their moisture and it has evaporated off the bottom of the skillet. Once no more water is left on the bottom of the skillet, add 1.5 Tbsp flour and continue to stir and cook for about a minute more.
  2. Whisk in 1 cup vegetable broth. Make sure to keep whisking until all of the flour has dissolved off the bottom of the skillet. Also add ¼ tsp rubbed sage, ⅛ tsp dried thyme, and ⅛ tsp pepper.
  3. Allow the broth to come up to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Once it begins to simmer it will thicken into a gravy. Taste and add salt if needed. Serve immediately.
Thanksgiving dinner for two all the dishes spread out in display

And there you have it! By the time you’re finished making the gravy, the rest of the dishes should be done and waiting to be served. This meal should provide two people with generous helpings, plus a little leftover for the next day. ;) If you make this meal make sure to take a photo and tag us on social media! I want to see your masterpiece!

Thanksgiving for two plated with a fork and bowl of gravy on the side

The post How to Make Thanksgiving Dinner for Two appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Biscoff Pumpkin Pie

I am normally not a huge pumpkin pie person, unless it is our Salted Caramel Pumpkin Pie. That one is the BEST! I always savor every bite. Well, there is a new pumpkin pie in town that has stole my heart…this Biscoff Pumpkin Pie. You HAVE to try …

I am normally not a huge pumpkin pie person, unless it is our Salted Caramel Pumpkin Pie. That one is the BEST! I always savor every bite. Well, there is a new pumpkin pie in town that has stole my heart…this Biscoff Pumpkin Pie. You HAVE to try it. It is creamy, dreamy, and divine!…

The post Biscoff Pumpkin Pie appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Pumpkin Waffles

Our boys love waffles so we make them every week, sometimes twice a week. They never miss a “Waffle Wednesday.”  Our classic Belgian Waffles are our favorite, but during the fall months we love making Pumpkin Waffles. They are such a t…

Our boys love waffles so we make them every week, sometimes twice a week. They never miss a “Waffle Wednesday.”  Our classic Belgian Waffles are our favorite, but during the fall months we love making Pumpkin Waffles. They are such a treat! This is the BEST pumpkin waffle recipe. The waffles are made with pumpkin…

The post Pumpkin Waffles appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

This post is sponsored by Kroger. Apple butter reminds me of my childhood. My dad would make it every fall to go with his homemade bread. I decided to continue the tradition and make Homemade Apple Butter for our family. I asked my dad for his recipe a…

This post is sponsored by Kroger. Apple butter reminds me of my childhood. My dad would make it every fall to go with his homemade bread. I decided to continue the tradition and make Homemade Apple Butter for our family. I asked my dad for his recipe and he said he never measured anything, ha!…

The post Slow Cooker Apple Butter appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Easy Apple Crisp

This Easy Apple Crisp is a simple dessert that is warm, cozy, and sweet. It’s the perfect dessert for chilly fall evenings.

The post Easy Apple Crisp appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Apple crisp is probably my favorite fall dessert because it’s just so ridiculously simple and I love the way the uncomplicated design keeps fresh fall apples at the forefront of the dessert. It’s warm, comforting, sweet, and utterly divine with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream on top. So if you’re looking for a warm and cozy dessert for these fall evenings, you’re going to love this Easy Apple Crisp.

Overhead view of a bowl of apple crisp with ice cream

What is Apple Crisp?

Apple crisp is as simple as simple gets, when it comes to dessert. It’s just apples seasoned with a warm mix of spices, topped with a sweet and crunchy oat topping, and baked until the apples are gloriously tender. It’s kind of like apple pie for people who don’t feel like fiddling with pie crust. And it’s absolutely perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream!

What Kind of Apples are Best for Apple Crisp

I prefer a sweet and juicy apple for apple crisp, like Gala or Fuji, but you can make almost any type of apple work. If you have an apple that is more tart, like a Granny Smith or Braeburn, you may want to add more sugar to the apple seasoning mixture. But the most important thing to look for when you’re choosing apples is to make sure your apples are juicy. Apples that are not fresh and juicy will make an apple crisp that is a little more on the dry side rather than deliciously saucy. Here’s a really cool chart showing apples according to their level of sweetness!

Can I Reduce the Sugar?

Sugar plays a very important role in both the filling and the topping of this apple crisp. In the filling the sugar helps draw out the juices from the apples, creating that nice saucy consistency. In the crumble topping, sugar helps crystalize the crumble and make everything crunchy. So, if you do choose to reduce the sugar, keep in mind that it will not only affect the sweetness of the dish, but also the texture.

How to Store Leftover Apple Crisp

Wait until your apple crisp cools to reduce condensation, then cover with plastic and refrigerate. Apple crisp will stay good in the refrigerator for about four days. The crumble topping will continue to absorb moisture from the apples as it refrigerates, so it won’t stay crispy, but it is still amazingly delicious all the same!

close up of apple crisp being scooped out of the baking dish
Apple crisp in a bowl topped with vanilla ice cream

Easy Apple Crisp

This Easy Apple Crisp is a simple dessert that is warm, cozy, and sweet. It's the perfect dessert for chilly fall evenings.
Total Cost $2.48 recipe / $0.41 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 282kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Spiced Apples

  • 2 lbs. apples $1.33
  • 3 Tbsp sugar $0.04
  • 1 tsp cinnamon $0.05
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.01
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves $0.01
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract $0.14

Oat Topping

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour $0.03
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats $0.06
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar $0.32
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature $0.44
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon $0.02

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Core and slice the apples into ¼-½ inch wide slices (peel, if desired). Place the sliced apples in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves to season the apples. Sprinkle the mixture over the sliced apples and drizzle the vanilla extract over top. Stir the apples until they're evenly coated in spices.
  • Next, make the oat topping. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Cut the butter into chunks and then use your hands to work it into the oat mixture until it is crumbly and appears sort of damp.
  • Sprinkle the crumbly oat mixture over the seasoned apples. Transfer to the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Serve hot with ice cream or whipped cream on top!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 123mg | Fiber: 5g
Overhead view of apple crisp in the baking dish with two scoops of ice cream

How to Make Apple Crisp – Step by Step Photos

Sliced apples on a cutting board

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Clean and slice 2 lbs. of apples (about six medium apples) into ¼-½ inch wide slices. You can peel them if you prefer, but I like the color and texture that the peels bring to the dessert. Place the sliced apples in a large bowl

apple seasoning in a small bowl

Prepare the seasoning for the apples by combining 3 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground ginger, and ⅛ tsp ground cloves. The sugar helps draw the juices out of the apples and then the flour thickens it into a nice saucy consistency.

Seasoning being sprinkled over the apples

Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the sliced apples along with 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Stir until the apples are evenly coated in flour, sugar, and spices.

Seasoned apples in the baking dish

Place the seasoned apples in a 2-quart baking dish.

ingredients for oat topping

Next, create the crumbly oat topping. Stir together ¼ cup all-purpose flour, ⅓ cup rolled oats, ½ cup brown sugar, ⅛ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp cinnamon in a bowl.

chunks of butter added to topping

Cut ¼ cup (4 Tbsp) butter into chunks and add it to the oat mixture. Use your hands to work the butter into the other ingredients.

finished crumbly oat topping

When the butter is fully mixed in, it should look kind of chunky and damp, like the photo above.

unbaked oat topping on the seasoned apples

Sprinkle the oat topping over the seasoned apples.

Baked apple crisp in the dish

Bake the crisp for 45 minutes, or until the topping is deep golden brown.

close up of apple crisp being scooped out of the baking dish

Enjoy hot, topped with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream!

apple crisp in a bowl topped with ice cream

The post Easy Apple Crisp appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Pumpkin Scones

I love a GOOD scone. Strawberry, blueberry, chocolate chip, and peach scones are a few of my favorites, they are all so delicious. But during the fall months, I am all about Pumpkin Scones. The pumpkin scones are soft, moist, and spiced with the perfec…

I love a GOOD scone. Strawberry, blueberry, chocolate chip, and peach scones are a few of my favorites, they are all so delicious. But during the fall months, I am all about Pumpkin Scones. The pumpkin scones are soft, moist, and spiced with the perfect mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. The scones also…

The post Pumpkin Scones appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.