Here's a budget meal to keep in mind during those in-between paycheck weeks, when you just need to eek out few more days without running to the grocery store, and when you and the kids are just plain sick of pasta.
"This is a creation that came from my grandmother, who is now 95 yrs old," MamaDiane says. "She was a mother to 10 children ... and did she ever have to learn how to stretch a dollar.
"I have found so many of her tips and recipes have been invaluable to me, as the mother of three little girls! My kids devour these -- and what a perfect, easy lunch to make for them!"
Hot Dogs with Mashed Potatoes:
Prep time: 5 mins.
Cook time: 10 mins.
1 package of hot dogs (beef, organic, uncured -- whatever your flavor!)
2 1/2 to 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
2 cups grated Parmesan or cheddar cheese (or 8 slices)
1. Split the hot dogs lengthwise and place on a cookie sheet.
2. Fill the split with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle grated cheese on top.
3. Bake at 350 degrees until the hot dogs are done and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.
Tip: For younger toddlers, you'll need to cut the dogs into little pieces, since whole hot dogs can be a choking hazard. Ask your doctor if your kids are old enough.
Check back next Thursday for another great recipe. Got a favorite toddler friendly meal or snack of your own to share with other idea-strapped mamas? Let me know about it and I may feature it here.
Past Toddler Meals:
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside