The Kindle edition of Mix-n-Match Recipes is FREE this week!

Mix-n-Match Recipes by Deborah Taylor-Hough

Hurry!  Get your FREE copy now! :)

To celebrate Back-to-School and to give you a little help getting dinner on the table during this busy season of the year, the Kindle edition of Mix-n-Match Recipes by Deborah Taylor-Hough is FREE*!

Don’t wait!  Order your copy here.

*Offer good from September 14th to midnight on Friday, September 18th, 2015.

If you don’t own a Kindle, you can download a free Kindle app at Amazon to use to read Kindle books on your personal computer, tablet, or smart phone.

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The Simple Times eNewsletter is BACK!

After being on haitus for nearly a year, Simple Times is back … and better than ever!  Now in an easy-to-read online magazine format with more great content and weekly updates.

Get the latest news from all around the web on saving money, living simply, homemaking, parenting, education, cooking, and more!

To see an issue of Simple Times, click HERE

You’ll find a subscription form on the page … be sure to enter your email address so you won’t miss any future issues!

The Simple Times Newsletter is dedicated to the pursuit of simple living.  The purpose of Simple Times is to provide inspiration, encouragement, motivation and practical help for those who (for whatever reasons) are choosing to simplify their lives.

This free publication — which began in 1995 — will appeal to people from a wide array of backgrounds and lifestyles: working parents, single folks, stay-at-home moms (and dads, too!), homeschooling families, voluntary simplicity adherents, “involuntary” simplicity (due to corporate lay-offs, stagnant wages, etc.), or anyone else who would like their life to be less busy, less cluttered, less complicated, or less expensive.

Whether your personal definition of simple living focuses on saving money for your regular family expenses (food, clothing, utilities, etc.); saving time and energy through easier housekeeping and cooking techniques; or moving to the country to homestead your own little piece of heaven, Simple Times should prove to be fun and helpful.

Regular topics will include:

  • Frugality
  • Simplified housekeeping
  • Decluttering tips
  • Enriching (and inexpensive!) educational ideas for children
  • Using leftovers
  • Freezer meals (recipes, tips, questions and answers)
  • Inexpensive, creative and simple recipes
  • Food prep and storage
  • Shopping tips
  • Craft projects (for kids and adults)
  • Interviews
  • Recommended resources
  • Book reviews
  • and lots more!

To sign up, just visit the Simple Times page and enter your preferred email address into the subscription box.  Easy peasy!

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Joan’s Cottage Cheese Pineapple Lime Salad Mold

by Deborah Taylor-Hough

This Sunday is Easter, and in honor of my mom, I’m sharing her special holiday recipe.  Mom’s holiday salad mold lives on in the family, and my dad still prepares it every year for our family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.  If there’s not at least a small scoop of this on my plate, it just doesn’t quite feel like a holiday meal.  It’s been in the family for at least 50 years.  A real blast from the past.  :-)

This recipe’s official name is “Pacific Lime Mold.”  Why Pacific?  Maybe because there was pineapple added to it?  It was created around the time period when Hawaii became a state, so maybe it was a nod to the islands?  I remember that I just called it “Mom’s Jello Thing.”  Other people in the family called it Joan’s Jello.

I suspect a lot of families had something similar appear on their family dinner tables back in the heyday of Jello recipes and aspics.  I sometimes think our moms and grandmoms all used the very same recipe booklets from the major food manufacturers.  Everyone seemed to make the same perennial goodies —  things like Green Bean Casserole with Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup, for example.

So without further ado, here’s the recipe for Mom’s jello thing.

Joan’s Cottage Cheese Pineapple Lime Salad Mold


  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 small package lime flavored Jello
  • 1  9-oz can crushed pineapple (reserving juice)
  • 1 cup creamy cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (or salad dressing)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve jello in boiling water, and stir in juice from pineapple.
  2. Chill in refrigerator until slightly thickened.
  3. Remove from refrigerator and beat until frothy.
  4. Fold in remaining ingredients.
  5. Pour into serving bowl or festive gelatin mold.
  6. Chill until set.
  7. Serve cold.


Deborah Taylor-Hough is the mother of three grown and nearly grown kids still at home, a full-time college student, a displaced homemaker trying to make ends meet on a limited budget, and the author of several older (but still in print) books including the popular Frozen Assets cookbook series.  You can visit Debi online at:

Browse My Books:

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Filed under cooking, dinner, Easter, entertaining, family, food, holidays, homemaking, meal planning, party food, recipe, recipes, salad

Debi’s Confetti Salad

Gluten-free.  Meat-free.  Cheese-free.  I even made ours sugar-free.  Sounds like there’s nothing in it but air, doesn’t it?  Nothing but yummy deliciousness, that is!

Debi’s Confetti Salad

  • 3 cups cooked rice, cooled (your choice of white, basmati or brown)
  • 1 can (16-oz) red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can (16-oz) black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can (16-oz) corn (drained)
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 small or half a large green or red pepper (finely diced)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (if available)


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (or your choice of sweetener)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander (optional)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Place first set of ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients.  Pour over salad in large bowl.  Toss to coat.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

This goes together really fast once the rice is made.  And if you have leftover rice from a previous meal, so much the better (and faster!).  This is an easy dish to play around with … add a can of garbanzos … chop up a cucumber … use different beans … add a little freshly squeezed lime juice.  Maybe some diced avocado!  Yum … I’m getting hungry again.

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Other Posts of Interest:

Browse My Books:

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Filed under budget, budget meals, cooking, family, food, frugal living, frugality, gluten-free, recipe, recipes, salad, simple living, Vegetarian

Debi’s Evolving Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Personally, I find a lunch consisting of a warm grilled cheese sandwich and a hot bowl of tomato soup to be one of the all-time great comfort foods that exists.  Brings back warm, fuzzy memories of both my mom and my grandma. Continue reading

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Filed under brunch, brunch recipes, budget meals, cheese, family, food, frugal living, frugality, kitchen ideas, lunch, recipe, recipes, sandwiches, saving money, simple living

A Secret to a Relaxed Holiday Dinner

Can you imagine a relaxed Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner without needing to actually cook a turkey on the big day? You’d be able to enjoy the festivities as much as your friends and family!

Believe it or not, it’s possible to roast your turkey ahead of time and store the cooked meat in the freezer to reheat and serve on the big day. If this sounds a bit too much like eating leftovers, let me assure you that by following these simple freezing and reheating instructions, you’ll have moist, delicious turkey — and not one of your guests will suspect you didn’t spend the entire holiday slaving away in the kitchen keeping watch over a hot oven. Continue reading

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Filed under cooking, dinner, family, freezer cooking, holidays, homemaking, meal planning, Thanksgiving

Got Budget Woes? Simple Grocery Savings Ideas

by Deborah Taylor-Hough

Groceries are one of the few flexible items in a family budget, but it can sometimes be challenging to find creative ways to save on regular family food costs. The following are some simple tips for reducing your grocery expenses. If you’re an old pro at frugal living, some of these may be old hat, but I’m amazed at how many people still find these types of tips helpful.

  1. Plan ahead. Whether you’re cooking your meals ahead of time to store in the freezer, or just planning your menu and shopping lists in advance, it helps to know what you’re going to eat, and when. With fewer last minute food-related decisions, this also helps keep your family away from developing a first-name relationship with the pizza delivery guy! (And your own home cooking is probably a lot healthier than the pizza guy’s wares, anyway.) Continue reading

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Filed under budget, family, food, frugal, frugal living, frugality, homemaking, saving money, simple living

Debi’s Favorite Easter Recipe: Make-Ahead Chicken Packets

by Deborah Taylor-Hough

It was truly a sad day in our house when three of the four of us could no longer eat this particular meal. This recipe had become my go-to meal for Easter brunch — they’re actually quite elegant looking and they taste heavenly.

But sadly, now I’m the only person in our immediate family who can eat this anymore. I think I might make up a batch of them just for myself, however. It’s also a great way to use up leftover roasted chicken. :-)

Serve this with steamed asparagus and a fresh tossed salad. Yum! Continue reading

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Filed under brunch, brunch recipes, budget meals, chicken, cooking, dinner, entertaining, family, food, freezer, freezer cooking, freezer meals, homemaking, kitchen ideas, leftovers, make-ahead, meal planning, meals, OAMC, once a month cooking, party food, recipe, recipes, simple living

Mix-and-Match Skillet Meals

by Deborah Taylor-Hough

The following recipe is one I prepare regularly to use up leftovers or clear out the cupboards. I keep a copy of this taped to the inside of my pantry door at all times.

This recipe is adapted from my book, Mix-n-Match Recipes (now out-of-print). I’m always amazed at the meals I can create from these simple, basic formulas. I also save money by choosing ingredients I have on hand. Sometimes I even surprise myself with a delicious nearly-gourmet combination or two!

Also an excellent way to use up leftover turkey or ham from your holiday dinners.  :-) Continue reading

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Filed under budget, budget meals, casseroles, cooking, dinner, food, frugality, ground beef, ham, hamburger, kitchen ideas, leftovers, lunch, meal planning, pasta

Debi’s Baked Ziti

by Deborah Taylor-Hough

This is one of those recipes my family can never get enough. I remember my youngest daughter when she was about three, holding out her plate with a huge smile and asking in a sweet little voice, “More yummy noodles, Mommy?” Always a pleasure when the kiddos enjoy an easy meal the grown-up folks love, too. Continue reading

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Filed under budget, budget meals, casseroles, cooking, dinner, family, food, freezer, freezer cooking, freezer meals, frugal, frugal living, frugality, ground beef, homemaking, kitchen ideas, make-ahead, meals, OAMC, once a month cooking, pasta, recipe, recipes, saving money