Saturday, December 13, 2014

Freezer to Crockpot Creamy Chicken and Noodles

It's basketball season at our house which means weeknights are a little more hectic as we try to get our boys to and from all their practices. Weekends are also crazy as we watch 3-4 ball games every Saturday. I am relying on my crockpot a lot to have a meal ready when we make it home, hungry and tired after it all. This freezer to crockpot creamy chicken and noodles is a new favorite.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Kids Craft: Handmade Cards

Every year at the holiday time, we like to do some sort of service project as a family. This year we are making fleece blankets for Project Linus and also making cards to be delivered by our local Meals on Wheels organization. I turned to Pinterest for some inspiration. We took some art project ideas and did them in miniature.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Mexican Garden Goulash in the Slow Cooker

We had just a few garden items left including tomatoes, onions, and green peppers. I created this dish to help use them up before they spoiled. It makes a large batch which is perfect to make dinner prep non-existant another night. Just freeze any leftovers in meal size portions and reheat another night.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Zucchini Brownies

As my five kids grow, I am increasingly responsible for providing treats for large groups. This is a great homemade brownie recipe that is a mix between fudgy and cake-like. I have been on the hunt for the best homemade brownies. I've tried 6 recipes in the last couple of months and this is by far our favorite!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Kids Craft: Fall Leaf Watercolor

Emma and I spent a fun afternoon using watercolors. We each painted one of these. The cool and warm colors are a good contrast and they just look stunning on the wall.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hearty Sausage and Red Lentil Soup

With the temperatures beginning to cool off, the warmth of a good hearty soup fills the need for dinner. Serve with some hot biscuits or homemade bread along with a green salad and you've got a full meal.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pumpkin Cream Pie

You know that if this pie showed up at the next potluck dinner, you would want to serve you up a piece before anything else just to make sure you got one. As you can see, it was devoured at our house almost before I was able to capture a picture of the final piece!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Honey Mustard Ham Roll-ups

Sometimes we are ready around here for a different kind of sandwich. Tortilla roll-ups are a great way to trade things up. There are lots of filling options for tortillas. Here is one of our favorties that mixes together quickly.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Zucchini Beef Stuffed French Bread

We continue to have zucchini growing in our garden. We love the fresh produce, but by this time in the season I have to get creative in how I use it. Here is a new recipe I came up with that we all just love! 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Salsa Making Day

We've been chopping and freezing peppers, onions, and tomatoes all summer getting ready for Salsa Day. This allows me to wait until I have the time to put it all together and also keeps any produce from going to waste since the garden produce is never ready all at the same time.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Garden Green Beans

We are harvesting the last few weeks of garden produce. We always miss the fresh grown-in-the-backyard flavor during the winter months. I thought I'd share one of our favorite ways to prepare garden green beans.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Blackberry Pie Filling

We are growing blackberries. Our patch is now 4 years old and doing very well. Our berries are huge! I have been picking and freezing every few days until I have enough to do something significant with them. It's tricky to save very many each picking though because we have quite a few berry snitchers who just want to eat one more before they are put away FOREVER.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tomatoes Galore!

We just picked all of these today. It's our first big picking. "What shall we do with all of these?" the children ask.

"I have plans," I asure them.

We will be chopping most of them up in the food processor and freezing for later. They will turn into

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Fat-free Smoothie Popsicles

Pour yougurt smoothie into a popsicle mold and freeze. It is that simple! By making your yogurt out of powdered milk you will save lots of money and it will be fat-free. We have been eating these up all summer long!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bacon-wrapped Chicken Skewers

This is the all-time favorite skewer dinner at our house! I'm not claiming it to be the healthiest recipe out there since it does contain bacon, but oh, it is soooo good. We end up having it a few times each summer and sometimes in the winter. It is often requested for birthdays and other special occasions.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Homemade Apricot Fruit Rolls

We've started the harvest season in our neck of the woods. I've been busy these last few weeks picking cherries to make pie filling, picking raspberries to make freezer jam, and picking apricots to make fruit rolls. My kids love to eat the fresh apricots, but they are not big fans of  apricot jam or bottled apricots. They LOVE the fruit rolls though!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dutch Oven Caramel Chocolate Crumb Bars

We've been experimenting with some Dutch oven recipes to get my husband ready to go to Scout Camp for a week. Some of our experiments have flopped and some have become new favorites! These Dutch oven caramel chocolate crumb bars are one of those new favorites. The scouts have already requested them for their next (and every other) campout! My kids love them too.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Coconut Cream Pie the Old-fashioned Way

This is one of our family's favorite pies! It's delicious in the summer since it is chilled, but we will eat it any time of year.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Kid's Craft: Salt Dough Fun

Quick, easy, and no mess - Salt dough is the perfect activity to keep little ones entertained! 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Scrumptious Snickerdoodle Bars

I've grown more and more fond of bar cookies lately. As my kids get older and busier with all of their activities, my time in the kitchen has shrunk. I still bake regular cookies every now and then, but I more often bake a pan of bar cookies

Friday, June 13, 2014

Overnight Chili Cheese Mac

I read a recipe in an old cookbook for an overnight pasta bake. It intrigued me since I had never tried this method. I decided to give it a try with this chili cheese version. I mixed it all together in the morning and then baked it up at dinner time. It left me free

Monday, June 9, 2014

Growing Green Onions

Three days ago, these were only the little white stubs I had left after chopping the "green" parts to use in my meal. My kids and I were all amazed at just how quickly new green tops grew!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Crustless Quiche

When you need a quick dinner in a flash or something a little special for breakfast or brunch, this is the recipe to turn to. It is so versatile since you can choose whatever fillings you sprinkle on. I always sprinkle in a few dehydrated onions and green peppers

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Joys of Ultra Gel, Ultra Sperse, or Instant Clear-jel

Ultra Sperse ,Ultra Gel, Ultra Maxi-gel or Instant Clear-jel - A rose by any other name would smell as sweet right?

I want to sing the praises of this amazing product whatever it is you want to call it. This product is a modified corn starch that thickens products instantly, hot or cold. No cooking is required! Because it is made of corn, it is gluten free.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Sour Cream Apple Pie

I was in charge of the pies for our recent Easter gathering. I come from a very large family which I love, but pies for 40+ was going to mean a lot of rolling out of pie crust. I opted to adapt a

Monday, May 12, 2014

Chicken Salad for a Crowd

I am finding myself feeding a crowd more and more frequently as my family grows. I am the second of nine children so I'm sure my parents felt like they were feeding a crowd everyday! Now that most of my siblings are married and have kids of their own our numbers have grown exponentially. We are blessed to have 6 of the 9 siblings living in this area

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Bubbling Hot Lava Chocolate Fudge Cake

Who can resist a warm chocolate cake that bubbles up with it's own hot fudge sauce? No one at our house! This is a recipe that tastes fabulous, but is very easy to make. Don't we all want a few more recipes like that?

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Strawberry Slaw

This time of year I am ready for salads every night. I just find myself craving fresh ingredients during springtime. We eat a lot of fresh items through the winter too, but there is something about the promise of a new growing season that just gets my taste buds going.

This Strawberry Slaw is an experiment

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Peanut Butter Passion Bars

Today I will share with you another one of our favorite bar cookies. As usual, I made over the recipe to include bean puree to add protein and fiber and reduce the fat. I also made the sweetened condensed milk using my powdered

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Rustic Chicken Pandowdy

This is less of a recipe post and more of a method for doing the crust on a chicken/turkey pot pie. I've done fruit pandowdies often.  They are a fun, old-fashioned way

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Southwest Black Bean Pasta Salad

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner! I love salads - potlucks through the summer are my favorite since there are usually so many salads to choose from. It is no surprise to my family to have a salad of some kind

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Overnight Whole-grain Breakfast Cake

Are you looking for some new breakfast inspiration? Look no further!This overnight breakfast cake has the goodness of whole grain and the addition of plain yogurt and bean puree

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Upcoming Free Class

Instant Freezer Jam & other Simple Canning Recipes

Wednesday April 16th at 10:00 am

Taught by Tammy Price

Berry season is here! Low sugar jams, jellies, and pie fillings couldn't be easier! Ultra Sperse has got to be one of the best kept secrets

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

We've had a couple of chilly days even though the daffodils are blooming and the calendar tells us its Spring. This creamy chicken noodle soup is one of our family's

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Lazy Lasagna Bake

Sometimes we are in the mood for lasagna, but don't want to go to all the work. This dish is a great solution to that dilemma. I never have Ricotta cheese at the house and sometimes

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Blackberry Sour Cream Squares

I taught a powdered milk class the other day and had many ladies request the recipes I had as tasting samples. It was hard for any of them to believe that this delicious, nice-enough-for-company dessert was made using powdered milk

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Herb Glazed Pork Loin

Pork Loin is one of the least expensive ways you can serve a nice meal. When seasoned just right it can be a big hit. This is one of those great recipes - so simple, yet so satisfying! We had my parents over

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Upcoming Free Class

I've got a class coming up tomorrow - I'd love to see you all there! 

Turning Food Storage into Convenient Mixes to Make Rotating Easy
Wednesday, March 12th 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Old-fashioned Raisin Vanilla Cookies

Whenever I make one of these cookie recipes that looks a little homey and old-fashioned, I think back to my brother's wedding luncheon. My sisters and I had worked really hard

Monday, March 3, 2014

Home Strep Test

Did you know that you could buy a strep testing kit over the counter? I just learned that this year after spending a few hundred dollars at the doctors office!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lasagna Soup

The first night I served this soup, my six year old told me he had a new favorite meal! Score one for mom! It really is simple to throw together and can be on the table in about 30 minutes.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Coconut Milk Ice Cream

We have many family members with food allergies so it can be challenging to feed them when they come for a visit. I always like to do my best at being a hostess and allow my sister-in-laws a bit of a break from planning all the meals so they can have a bit of a vacation. They always jump in and help in the preparation of meals when they are here, but they are so thankful that the planning and shopping has been done.

Friday, February 14, 2014

10 Freezer to Crockpot Meals

I've rounded up 10 of my most requested recipes that work to go from the freezer to the crockpot. We pull from my stash in the freezer a few times every week because of our busy family schedule. The studies are in and we all know how important having a family dinner is. These meals allow me the chance to get the kids to all the places they need to be after school and still sit down to a meal together. I hope they help you in your meal planning also. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Spring Fever Solutions

“It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want—oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”

― Mark Twain

I love this quote from Mark Twain. We have definitely been feeling this way around here lately. I turned to the internet for some inspiration of just what we could do with the cold weather keeping us inside for far too many days in a row. Below you will find pictures and links to a few of the ideas we came up with. All the pictures are from others - click on the links to see the sites they came from . They were enough to inspire me so I figured they would inspire you as well. We have done some of these projects already and others will happen soon.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Upcoming Free Classes

I love to teach! It is fun to see others get excited about the new things they are learning. Food 2 Store has a great room set up in the back of their store for learning and they invite me back often. I do not work for them, I teach classes on a volunteer basis only. Be sure to sign up for these free classes - 

Artisan Bread Class

Wednesday, February 12th at 10:00 am

Monday, February 3, 2014

Simple, Delicious Tortellini Soup

On a cold winter day a hot, brothy soup hits the spot for me. We have differing opinions at our house. Most of my family prefers the thick, hearty, creamy chowder type soups. Don't get me wrong I like those too, but some days I want a bowl full of broth with just a little other goodness in there. This is a very simple soup to make and passes as fancy enough for company when paired with some warm homemade bread. I have been known to make a small batch just for me.

Since the groundhog saw his shadow, I'm thinking there will be plenty more soup nights around here. We woke up to snow at our house so winter is still in full force. We are not even supposed to hit 30 for a high this week!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Artisan Bread

I have been playing with this artisan bread recipe for about a year now. I have no idea why it took me this long in my bread making journey to find this simple process. I am convinced that artisan bread is what our pioneer and pilgrim mothers made on a daily basis. It is so simple that there is no need to feel intimidated! It makes any soup or casserole night amazing!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Freezer to Crockpot Mediterranean Chicken

Isn't it the loveliest of all pictures? This is another meal we enjoyed during our kitchen remodel when I was cooking in a crockpot on the bathroom counter and eating on paper plates in the basement. The activity tablecloth is on the table since the other half of the space was being used to paint a school project. Ahh - the joys of remodeling! During that remodel, I learned to love the freezer to crockpot method. It was the only way we survived the remodel with home-cooked food! It has made my life since the remodel so much easier also. I serve a freezer to crockpot meal at least once a week to free up my dinner prep time to be used shuttling kids to and from events.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

My oatmeal breakfast bars have been such a popular recipe that I thought I would share a variation in case, like me, you get ready for a new flavor every now and then. These bars are very similar to the original recipe, but they have the distinct taste of bananas - perfect for breakfast in my opinion! These have less sugar since the bananas add moisture and sweetness. The bananas also work as an egg substitute allowing these to turn out great without any eggs.

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bars work great for a make-ahead quick breakfast option or also go well as an after school snack. I hope your family enjoys them as much as mine!

Friday, January 17, 2014

My Version of Sopitos

Here is the description from a local Mexican restaurant. I did my best to recreate them at home for dinner.

Homemade corn masa shells filled with beans and your choice of shredded beef or chicken. Topped with lettuce, cheese and tomato. Served with rice and beans, sour cream and guacamole.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Whole-grain Homemade Noodles

Homemade noodles mean true comfort food in my book. A store bought wide egg noodle comes close with a thick cream sauce over the top, but I end up feeling a need to make my own noodles a few times a year, especially during the cold winter months.