Mar 292013
 

Casseroles are one of my favorite busy night meals.  I can put all of the ingredients together ahead of time and then just put it in the oven to cook when I need to start making dinner.  I don’t need to stand over the stove stirring any pots.  I don’t have to worry about whether or not I cooked it for 27 minutes or 32 minutes.  I can add a few more vegetables or a bit more starch to make it stretch just a bit further.  I can generally substitute ingredients based on what I have in the pantry or what is on sale at the grocery store this week.

Everyone in my home loves Mexican food.  Some Mexican dishes are more labor intensive than others.  So, when I’m having a super hectic day, I turn to this Mexicali Casserole recipe.

Mexicali Casserole Recipe Continue reading »

Jan 142013
 

I love quick and easy recipes that also make great gifts and these chocolate covered pretzels fit that bill!  Packaged in an easy DIY Valentine’s Day Treat Bag with stickers, they make a cute gift for Valentine’s Day.  They’re also really easy for kids to help make.  Bubbles helped me make a batch yesterday and she had a great time mixing, sprinkling, and dipping.

Easy Chocolate Covered Pretzels for Valentine's Day

If you have a child in elementary school these might make a nice Valentine for their friends. Just add their names for a personalized Valentine’s treat.  Even junior high- and high school-aged kids like to give valentines and these could work for them too.  Personally, I wouldn’t mind receiving a bag of these either. Continue reading »

Aug 172012
 

Are you a home cook living in Kentucky?

I have loved to cook for my entire life.  I “opened” my first restaurant out of my mother’s kitchen when I was 7 or 8 years old, offering scrambled eggs, toast, bacon, and juice for 25 cents a plate.  My mom laughed – until the neighbors would swing by and ask me for my breakfast special (prices quickly rose at my mother’s request; we did have to cover our expenses, of course!).

Limited Edition Hunt's Delicious Dinners Cravebox - Kentucky Home Cooks

I still love to cook now, but I don’t have nearly as much time to get creative in the kitchen as I did back then. Work, family, errands, household tasks, reading “My Little Word Book” to my daughter for the 19th time that day – there just ins’t as much free time on my calendar as there were in my younger days.  That’s why I can’t wait to receive my limited edition Hunt’s® Delicious Dinners Cravebox!

This Cravebox will feature a new Dinner Sauce from Hunt’s that has the garden-fresh taste of Hunt’s California-grown tomatoes, combined with ethnic-inspired seasonings and ingredients.  They cost just $10 (to cover the cost of shipping and handling) and contain a collection of products that will help you create a tasty, easy meal for your family.  The icing on the cake?  Ten random boxes will contain a $100 VISA gift card and one random box will contain a grand prize worth $250!

These boxes are limited to residents of Kentucky and are sure to go quickly.  If you’re interested in getting in on this offer, head over to the Cravebox Hunt’s Delicious Dinners page and register!  Boxes are expected to ship on or around September 1st.

This is a sponsored post by me on behalf of SheSpeaks and Cravebox.  All opinions are, as always, 100% that of myself and my family.

Feb 222012
 

Easy Recipes For Kids

This week Tasty Tuesday is being dedicated to the younger set.  We’re cooking with kids!

Cooking With Kids: Easy Recipes for Kids

Growing up, I baked with my Grandmother in her kitchen nearly every Saturday morning.  We made bread for my entire extended family, and Gram would whip up big batches of baked beans and potato salad.  Those memories are very vivid – and cherished – and they were nurtured from a very young age.

I would love for Baby C. to share my love of creativity in the kitchen.  I also want to create special memories for her and have been looking for ways to start doing that even now.  Baby C. loves to shake things and it’s an instruction she understands.  Asking “Can you shake your Pooh toy for me?  Can you shake Clifford?” while we’re driving in the car keeps her entertained for a bit if she’s getting fidgety.

When I was tossing red potatoes with oil and spices the other night, it kind of struck me – she could definitely do that part for me!  If I put the items in a small bowl with a lid she’d be able to shake away.  Since she loves sweet potatoes, I decided she and I would use those instead for her “lesson”.

Roasted Sweet Potato Shapes

1 medium sweet potato
2T olive oil

First I peeled and washed the sweet potato (I did this over the garbage can with her highchair pulled up next to it so she could watch).  Next I sliced the potato into rounds, about 1/4 inch thick.  After that I cut some of them into basic shapes (triangle, square, etc.), showing and explaining each shape to her.  I have a fairly decent-sized collection of cookie cutters so I grabbed a few of the little ones – like stars, hearts, teddy bears, and gingerbread men – and cut shapes out of a few of the rounds.

Cooking With Kids: Easy Recipes for Kids

Now the part that has some action for the kiddos: I put all the shapes into a small bowl and added 2T of olive oil.   I snapped the lid on tight and gave it a quick demonstration shake, then handed the bowl to Baby C.  She had such a fun time shaking the bowl.  She kept grinning as if to say “Are you sure I should be doing this?”  When the excitement wore off and she started trying to peel the lid off, I spread the shapes out on a baking sheet and roasted them for 30 minutes at 350.

Since she had such a good time with the activity, and because she loves eating them, it’s definitely something we’ll be doing again soon!  Maybe next time we’ll doctor them up a little and sprinkle on a small bit of cinnamon or nutmeg.

Do you have a favorite easy recipe for kids?  I’d love to hear about your own experiences cooking in the kitchen with your kiddos!

Feb 072012
 
My husband’s aunt makes a great Hot Artichoke Dip that she serves at Thanksgiving, Christmas and other special occasions.  It’s one of my favorite snacks and I’d been craving it lately.  So I got the recipe from her and made it on Sunday for us to snack on while we watched the football game.  (I would have shared it with you on Sunday, but I couldn’t find the USB cord for my camera.)
Here’s the recipe for you; you can put it together quickly, and then just throw it in the oven an hour before you’d like to serve it.