About Toni

Family meals are important. Iʼll show you easy ways to spend less time and money at the grocery store, less time in the kitchen and more time with your family.

Author Archive | Toni

Skip the Frosting Cupcake: A Two-Year Anniversary Celebration

Happy Anniversary, Sweety!

I can’t believe it’s been two years since I wondered what would happen if I stuck a large marshmallow on top of my cupcakes while baking instead of frosting them.  The result- my famous “Skip The Frosting” Cupcakes.

With over a half million pins on Pinterest, I’m celebrating my “little cupcake that could” and the series of siblings it’s given birth to, like my S’mores “Skip The Frosting” Cupcake!  Just click the image for my recipe.

Skip The Frosting Chocolate Smores Cupcakes

Skip The Frosting Chocolate Smores Cupcakes


Then along came my Easter version, with PEEP! “Skip The Frosting” Cupcake:

peep skip the frosting cupcake

Peep! Skip the Frosting Cupcakes


And, a new version of Red Velvet “Skip the Frosting” Cupcake:

Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe Skip The Frosting Marshmallow

Real Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe

And, of course, here’s the cupcake that started it all:

Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe Skip The Frosting Marshmallow

Skip The Frosting Cupcake by Toni Spilsbury, 2011



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Easy Dinner Idea- Spring Penne

Easy Dinner Idea of the Week

Our Easy Dinner Idea of the week is a simple and healthy pasta dish with fresh asparagus, mushrooms and sundried tomatoes.  If you’re scrambling for a last-minute dinner solution, this is the recipe for you.

Easy Dinner Idea Recipe

Spring Penne Recipe


Check out our past Easy Dinner Ideas of the Week:

easy dinner idea recipes

Greek Pita Pockets with Meditteranean Potatoes


easy family dinner idea recipe

Sauteed Steak with Spinach, Tomatoes & Avocado


easy dinner recipe

Berry-Good Pork Tenderloin with Herb Roasted Potaotes



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Katsu Sauce Recipe

Of course you can purchase prepared Katsu Sauce to make Chicken Katsu, but to be honest, I haven’t found one that doesn’t contain high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oil.  Therefore, I make my own.  It’s super simple using ingredients you most likely have on hand.

Katsu Sauce Recipe

Katsu Sauce Recipe


  • ketchup- 1 cup
  • Worcestershire sauce- 3 tablespoons
  • dry mustard powder- 3 teaspoons
  • ground ginger- 1 teaspoon
  • garlic powder- 1 teaspoon
  • ground black pepper- 2 teaspoons


  1. Mix all ingredients together
  2. Check out our simple Chicken Katsu Recipe


Check out our simple Chicken Katsu Recipe here:

Chicken Katsu Recipe

Chicken Katsu Recipe

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Lemon Braised Chicken

Lemon-Braised Chicken

Lemon-Braised Chicken


  • whole chicken- 5lbs
  • lemons- 2
  • cinnamon sticks- 2
  • fresh rosemary sprigs- 4
  • poultry seasoning (like Lawry’s perfect blend), or a combination of salt, pepper, paprika and thyme
  • butter- 2 tbspns (to sauté chicken)
  • milk- 2 cups


  1. Remove and discard neck from chicken then rinse and pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Season chicken generously with poultry seasoning.
  3. Melt butter over medium-high heat in Dutch oven or large skillet that can be transferred to oven.
  4. Saute chicken in butter breast side up first for 20 minutes until brown, then turn over with breast side down
  5. Add milk, zest from both lemons, juice from one lemon, cinnamon sticks and rosemary.
  6. Heat oven to 325⁰.
  7. Cover chicken with oven-safe lid or aluminum foil and transfer to oven to cook for 45 minutes.
  8. Remove lid and cook for an additional 30 minutes or until internal thermometer reaches 160⁰.
  9. Serve chicken carved with sauce from pan spooned over the top.

Reincarnate The Leftover

Don’t throw out leftover roasted chicken!  Instead, reincarnate it into something fabulous like Lemon-Basil Chicken Bake:

Lemon Basil Chicken Bake Recipe


Meal Planning For Busy Families

Weekly Meal Plan

The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System


Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 7-1/4-Quart Round French Oven, Cherry Red

I had been wanting the Le Creuset cookware set for some time but had always let the price deter me from purchasing.  Then I realized that buying these beautiful pots was well worth the investment.  Made in France, each pot is cast iron and enamel coated, so no worrying about chemicals leaking into your food.

I love the way my food cooks in them, especially my French Oven.  The cast iron heats up and keeps a steady temperature to cook the food and is perfect for stews and braising.

Le Creuset Dutch Oven

Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 7-1/4-Quart Round French Oven, Cherry Red, on sale $299.95



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