Dec 112013

I love making casseroles all year long, particularly for their time-saving benefits.  They generally don’t take too many ingredients, and usually they’re ones I already have on hand.  The prep time is minimal for most recipes, and then you just put it in the oven to bake while you go take care of other tasks.

Having a few go-to casserole recipes can help simplify your holidays and keep stress at bay.  Guests drop in unexpectedly?  No problem!  They also are great gifts, too.  Trust me – there isn’t one person on your list that wouldn’t love the gift of a home-cooked meal that they didn’t have to make for themselves.

Sausage Breakfast #Casserole #Recipe

My Sausage Breakfast Casserole recipe is a mash-up of a number of different ones that I’ve tried with tweaks that make it a family-favorite.  We occasionally eat it for dinner, I make it for weekend brunch, and it gets served in the morning on Christmas while everyone recuperates from opening gifts. Continue reading »

Dec 062013

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of PAM Cooking Spray.

I’ve always found it interesting that depending on where you are in the country, you’ll find different favorite foods.  Especially around the holidays, traditional dishes and desserts begin being baked and served

Growing up in Maine, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners both came with a crazy amount of desserts, especially considering the number of people that were there to consume them.  We had cheesecake, fudge, brownies, and more pies than we knew what to do with: pumpkin, chocolate, butterscotch, apple, pecan, even mince meat.  There was no shortage of tasty treats.

Kentucky Derby Pie Recipe (without Bourbon) #PAMSmartTips

When I moved to Kentucky I found that some of those favorites were favorites here, as well.  But I also found a new addition to the pie line up that I had never even heard of: a pie to celebrate the Kentucky Derby race (a.k.a. The Pie Which Must Not Be Named, as I received a request to remove the “official” name of this pie from my post).  It’s kind of like a pecan pie with chocolate chips, with a bit of a gooey filling. Continue reading »

Nov 242013

I received a complimentary subscription to eMeals in order to try meal planning.  All thoughts and words are my own.

There are days around here that if you ask “What would you like for dinner?” all you get in return is a lot of blank stares.  Everyone looks at each other, and eventually someone will say, “I don’t care, what do you want?” which kicks off a chain reaction of “I don’t care, either.  What do you want?”.  It can be funny, except on days when you’re hungry and you really just want someone to tell you what to cook.

I’d try my best to do a little meal planning on Sundays.  I would try and come up with a list of meals we hadn’t eaten recently and slot them throughout the week.  If I had time, which wasn’t as often as I’d like, I’d even break out the local sales flyers to see what was on sale and make a couple of meal choices around that.  Like the rest of you, though, meal planning isn’t my only weekly (or daily or hourly, for that matter) task and it didn’t always work out quite the way I hoped.

eMeals Weekly Meal Planning

Then I read a review of eMeals and thought, “Wow, that sounds like something I need.”  Because eMeals does the meal planning for you.  They even craft the meals around your local weekly sales to help save you money! Continue reading »

Nov 232013

Thank you to Hamilton Beach for providing us with smoothie blenders to make our smoothie recipes.  All words and opinions are my own.

Smoothies are something I’ve enjoyed for a long time, especially back when I lived in Florida.  They’re tasty and refreshing, and can be quite healthy.  When I was in college, we’d often stop for one on the way back from the beach.

It wasn’t until recently, though, that I started seeing a lot of homemade smoothie recipes.  I was interested in giving them a try, but I lacked the proper equipment.  We had a small blender, but it wasn’t really up to the challenge of crushing ice.

Hamilton Beach Smoothie Smart Blender for Perfect Smoothie Recipes

Continue reading »

Nov 162013

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Alpha-Bits and the Mom It Forward Blogger Network.  All words, opinions, and the Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cereal Bar recipe are my own.

Bubbles has been a pretty typical toddler in her favorite food choices.  Ask her want she wants for lunch or dinner and you’ll almost always hear mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, or pizza.  Occasionally she’d eat something else, but those three options were in frequent rotation.

Recently, though, I started to figure out that she could be enticed into trying new foods in a couple of different ways.  One, if Daddy is eating it, she’ll at least try a bite.  Sometimes that bite – like in the case of peanut butter & jelly – turns into something that she’ll request on her own.  Other times, a bite is all she wants and Daddy gets to finish his own meal.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cereal Bars Recipe Using #AlphaBits

Another way that I’ve been able to add new favorites to her diet is through foods that incorporate her interests.  Animal-shaped crackers are now regular inclusions on my shopping list.  And letter-shaped pasta in tomato sauce has become a favorite of hers.  She loves looking for specific letters in each spoonful, especially the ones that spell her name. Continue reading »