It's in the Bag, Gluten Free & The WoW Diet

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Blog!

The Bag Lady Has Changed Her Name
to the
Queen of Common Cents
My latest book, Queen of Common Cents: 1001 tips & Facts for Saving Time and Money will be released in January!
I invite you to visit my new blog at and learn about daily shopping finds, household tips, vacation savings, recipes and more importantly, how to be thrifty!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wishing you all a fond farewell!

We would like to thank all of our readers for their love and support over the past couple of years. You have made It's in the Bag a best seller! All good things must come to and end, especially when exciting adventures present themselves. Therefore, it is with mixed emotions that we are ending the Bag Meal Blog. Thank you again for your support. We invite everyone to visit Michelle's website to keep in touch, ask questions and get updates on Michelle's forth coming publications.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

White Fudge

Apparently, I'm still stuck in Christmas mode. If you had this fudge, you would be too.

Normally, I'm not a white chocolate kind of girl, but this? This is A-MAZ-ING. In fact, last year I sacrificed my arm to a boiling pot of this fudge and it was worth it. I wear that scar like a sugary badge of honor. It is also a tradition. When December rolls around I actually have friends that ask, "Has The Bag Lady made any white fudge yet?" It's better than chocolate fudge. It's a heavenly dance of silky ecstasy across your tongue. It's smooth. It's creamy. It's delicious. It's entirely impossible to adequately describe. It must be EXPERIENCED! So, give it try... or track me down in December when there is a whole container at my desk.

White fudge
3 feet wax paper
Resealable bag: 1 cup sugar
3/4 cup canned butter
2/3 cup evap milk
1 -12 oz pkg white chocolate chips
1 7 oz jar marshmallow creme

Unfold wax paper and place on counter. In a large pot over medium heat bring to boil sugar, butter, and milk. Boil for 4 minutes or until candy thermometer reaches 230 degrees. Remove from heat and stir in marshmallow creme and white chocolate chips. Working quickly drop fudge by 1 teaspoon dollops onto waxed paper*. When cool remove and store in air tight container.

*Do NOT get lazy and pour it in a pan. Dolloping is a key aspect of this recipe. Not only does the fudge taste better in disc form, many of my Christmas memories revolve around The Bag Lady and I madly dolloping before the pot of fudge cooled. My dollops were always fat and ugly. Hers were always dainty with a delectably delicious curl. I always ate hers first. :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cake Mix Cobbler

You've probably made cake with a cake mix. You may have even tried cake box cookies. But have you ever had cake mix cobbler? Today is your lucky day. It's quick and easy and bag meal friendly (as all of our postings usually are.) Best of all, you only use 3 ingredients.

Fruit cobbler
1 can fruit pie filling
1 yellow cake mix
1/2 cup canned butter, melted + 1 tbl. for buttering pan

Butter 9 x 9 pan. Spoon in fruit pie filling. Top with dry cake mix. Drizzle melted butter evenly over top of cake mix. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

If you're making this for kicks and giggles, remember to save your canned butter for a real emergency and substitute fresh. Since July is National Ice Cream Month, go ahead and top it with a scoop of nice vanilla bean.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Christmas in June

Hello folks!

Ok, it's a little early for Christmas, and I'm definitely still working on my summer tan, but it's NEVER too early to be prepared. AND you'll never be sorry if you're prepared for DESSERT!! So here it is:

Now, you've probably heard some horrible things about fruitcake. Perhaps you're one of those families that re-gifts the same fruitcake every year, because no one wants it. Well, it's time to give fruitcake another chance! This is actually one of The Bag Lady's favorite dessert recipes. You can mix up the fruit and experiment to find your favorite combination, so give it a try. I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised. Now then, I'm off to go find a new swim suit. :)

Bag Meal Fruitcake

Wax paper to line bottom of 9 x13 pan
1 quart fruit, puree including the juice. I used apricots
1 -16 oz. container fruit cake mix

Resealable bag:
4 teas soda
2 cup sugar
4 cup flour
1 teas salt
4 teaspoon cinnamon

Resealable bag:
2/3 cup raisins
Resealable bag:
2/3 cup nuts*

Pantry: 1 cup oil

Directions: Grease and flour and line bottom of pan with wax paper. Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 and bake until center is done i.e. toothpick comes out clean. Approximately 45 minutes.

*Don't chop nuts before using. They won't last as long.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

No-Bake Bag Meal Cookies!

Ok, who doesn't love no-bake cookies? Come on, admit it. I know I do. I think its because they are full of oats, so I feel healthy when I eat them. No-bakes are even popular in China. When I was getting ready for my trip I was told to make sure I brought cocoa powder. Cocoa powder? What for? For no-bake cookies of course! They don't do milk in China, so we had to use a powdered version when we made our experiment. They were pretty good, but using American peanut butter you'll be sure to have tastier results. When you no longer use a spoon, but can roll up your cookies and place them on wax paper with chopsticks, you will have reached the pinnacle of skill!

No-Bake Bag Meal Cookies

Wax paper
Resealable bag: 2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, 3 tablespoons powdered milk
Resealable bag: 3 cups quick oats
1/2 cup canned butter
1/2 cup water
Pantry:1 cup peanut butter
Directions: In a medium pot bring to boil sugar, cocoa, powdered milk, butter, and water, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add peanut butter stirring until smooth. Add oats. drop by spoonfuls on to waxed paper.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chameleon Wacky Cake

Hello, hello!

Today we have a special treat for you. Guest bagger Christy P. Is pleased to share her recipe for Wacky Cake. I added the Chameleon part, because with minor adjustments this cake easily transforms into chocolate, lemon, or chocolate espresso. This time, you can have you cake and eat it too!

Chameleon Wacky Cake
Courtesy of Christy P.

"I didn't make up the name, I promise. This Depression-era cake takes advantage of ingredients that were readily available at the time. I suspect it is enjoying a new era of fame because it is also vegan. That means it is ok for people with dairy and egg sensitivities, too. That's why I bring it to potluck affairs.

After one recent affair, I was asked for the recipe. Nothing special about it, except that it is easy to make, always a hit, friendly to all but the gluten-intolerant, and tasty to boot.


* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

* 2/3 cup white sugar

* 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

* 1 teaspoon baking soda

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* 1 tablespoon white vinegar

* 5 tablespoons vegetable oil

* 1 cup water


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl with a whisk.

3. Add liquids and mix. (I used 1 cup of cold brewed coffee with an additional scoop of instant coffee powder last time - I couldn't taste the coffee, so if I did that again I would use more instant coffee powder or use espresso powder which has a stronger taste.) I do not think that this needs frosting. I have dusted with powdered sugar for a special effect.

My other tip for maximum efficiency and reduced chance of cross-contamination -- measure the soda, then salt, and last the cocoa of the dry ingredients (so that you don't contaminate your salt or soda with cocoa powder). Then measure wet ingredients with the measuring spoons - oil, then vanilla, then vinegar.

To make a lemon cake, you take advantage of the acidity of lemon juice and use it in place of the vinegar. Leave out the cocoa powder, and instead use the zest of 1-2 lemons. I tend to use the zest of more lemons than I use the juice, so the extra juice goes into salad dressing or hummus, or frozen in an ice cube tray for later use. Otherwise it’s the same!"

Give this cake a go, I'm sure that after you try it you'll be a "box of fluffy ducks!" (That's Kiwi talk for, "I'm on top of the world!" After all, what is happier that a box full of happy, fluffy, quacking ducklings? (I must warn you that this phrase it a bit outdated, but with our combined efforts, we can bring it back in to fashion.)