15 Minute Italian Nachos

15 Minute Italian Nachos

 

We love all kinds of nachos.  These Italian Nachos are one of our favorites!

Italian sausage, tomatoes, red pepper, black olives, banana peppers and creamy Alfredo sauce come together in each crunchy bite.  They’re impossible to resist.

And it only takes 15 minutes to put them together.  That includes the time spent browning out the sausage.  You can’t beat that.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

 

File this one under “The wonders never cease”.  I did not think my family would ever like brussels sprouts.  I didn’t even think I would ever like them.

But when we tried them as part of a sheet pan dinner, we loved them.  I decided to give them a try as a simple side dish.

Success!

These are so easy and good and a nice change from the broccoli we eat so much.

I think the reason that we like brussels sprouts now, but hated them other times we tried them, is that I’ve been buying them fresh vs frozen.

Fresh brussels sprouts have only recently been available in stores around here.  And by recent, it could have been in the past few years.  But I don’t think they were available in regular grocery stores fresh even 10 years ago.  At least not on a regular basis.  I think they’re one of those veggies like kale that’s developed a market share where previously no one bought or ate them.

Of course, I could be wrong.  Maybe I’ve just been ignoring them.

Either way, we’ve discovered them and I think we’re hooked.

Here’s how to roast them.   [Read more…]

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Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup from scratch

 

I’ve been wanting to make Black Bean Soup forever.  I knew I wanted to make it in the slow cooker too.

So I went on a recipe search and found this Cuban Black Bean Soup from the Kitchn.  The recipe was a great excuse to use the ham bone I’d frozen from Christmas.

My recipe search also yielded Pioneer Woman’s Black Bean Soup.  Hers doesn’t use a ham bone.  And it has no vinegar, like the other recipe does.  But she did add some cumin and chili powder.

And neither recipe was for the slow cooker.  Black beans cooked on top of the stove become creamy and smooth.  In the slow cooker, this texture has to be forced a bit by pureeing some of the soup in a blender.

I ended up combining the two recipes I found, with my own thoughts on making it work for the slow cooker.  The result was wonderful.  It was even better the next day.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

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3 Things That Work in the Kitchen This Week – January 26

3 Things that work in the kitchen

 

1. I used the ham bone from Christmas to make soup.

I’m ashamed to admit that sometimes I freeze a ham bone, but never get it back out to use it.  But this time, I didn’t let it languish in the freezer.

I made Black Bean Soup in the Slow Cooker and it turned out great!  The recipe is coming for you this week.  And no worries if you don’t have a ham bone.  I’ll have options for you!

2.  Made Blackberry Crisp (and ate it for breakfast)

Mia talked me into buying a container of fresh blackberries at Costco.  I swapped out the blueberries in this crisp recipe and made Blackberry Crisp.  I love this recipe because it doesn’t have much sugar. I feel pretty healthy when I eat it.  Despite the scoop of ice cream that tops it.

And it’s great for breakfast!  No ice cream though, although I was tempted.

3.  We had roasted brussels sprouts. And liked them.

I never thought I liked brussels sprouts.  And I really never thought the kids would like them.  But this week I roasted some for a side dish.

And we all loved them!

I’ll tell you more about this, along with the recipe/method.

Bonus #4 – Pineapple in smoothies – new verdict.

Finally, I gave pineapple in green smoothies a bad rap last week.  I tried it again, after many of you said you thought it was great.  You’re right!  I’m not sure where the strange texture was coming from the first few times I tried it, but this week it tasted wonderful.  And no funky texture.

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

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Buffalo Chicken Loaded Baked Potatoes – Perfect for Super Bowl

ALDI Buffalo Chicken Loaded Baked Potatoes

Super Bowl is coming!  And with it, the most important part – the food, of course.

I’m not a huge football fan, but I do love food.  When ALDI asked me to create a recipe that would be perfect for Super Bowl parties, Buffalo Chicken popped into my mind.

I love using the slow cooker, and that works great for cooking the chicken and keeping it hot during the party.  Grab a second slow cooker for the baked potatoes, if you’ve got one handy.

ALDI Buffalo Chicken slow cooker

Using small sized potatoes keeps this dish appetizer sized.  That’s great for parties, because you’ll still have plenty of room to try all the other foods being served.

But this recipe also makes a great weeknight dinner.  Use large, baking potatoes. Serve it with a big green salad and roasted broccoli.  It’s a great twist on a plain Tuesday night.

Here’s what you’ll need to make Buffalo Chicken Loaded Baked Potatoes.  All of the ingredients can be found at ALDI, so you know you’ll get them for a good price too.   [Read more…]

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Reading Digital Books, a 28 Day Challenge and More

Reading digital books and a book recommendation

A while back I shared that I thought one reason I hadn’t been finishing books recently is that I’d been reading on my phone.  My theory was that reading on the phone, or even Kindle, made it too easy to ditch the books.

It’s been a while since I started any books on my phone.  I used to buy books fairly regularly.  Kindle books, that is.  But for the last several months I haven’t been doing that.  In fact, it’s been so long that I forgot why I stopped.

But looking back, I remember thinking I would give more paper and ink books a try instead of relying on my phone and kindle to read.

The trouble is, I ended up quitting on the paper books just as easily as on the Kindle.  And I forget about the very few I did buy.

Obviously, I have a quitting problem.  Or at least a quitting habit that I need to come to terms with.  I do think that I read more when I read on my phone.  It’s handy.  It’s convenient.  And even if I don’t finish a book, I definitely start more when I give myself the option of reading digitally.

This week I bought Lisa Terkeurst’s book, The Best Yes.  I’ve heard so many good things about this book, but I was skeptical.  I thought it would be a lot of the same things you hear everywhere.

I’m only a few chapters in, but this one is really good!  It’s thought provoking in a way that has already caused me to take action.

I’ve been so scattered and distracted lately. My schedule has gotten completely out of control and I’ve let some bad habits creep into how I manage my time.  I’m not sure where the rest of the book is going, but the third chapter was worth the purchase price for me.

Rediscover Me – a 28 Day Challenge

rediscover-me-header

You may remember me sharing the fashion challenges that Alison has done before.  This time, she’s pulled together a 28 week journey to help women rediscover themselves.  Sometimes in the midst of mothering and working and all the other things that pull at us, we forget to take care of ourselves.

This program won’t be for everyone. In Alison’s words:

This challenge might be for you if:

  • You’re ready to regain your confidence and a sense of who you really are.

  • You’re stuck in a rut and not sure how to get out of it.

  • You’re wanting to rediscover a sense of your identity outside of your typical roles of mom and wife.

  • You’re an empty nester ready to reinvent yourself.  You may have a vague sense of what’s next but aren’t really sure.

  • Most importantly, you’re ready to dig deep and DO THE WORK.  This course is called a challenge for a reason.  It’s intensive and life changing.  I only want women who are 100% committed to it.

I’ve signed up and here’s why – It’s not so much that I feel stuck in a rut, but I do sometimes feel stuck in the gray of winter.  Sometimes just a little change is enough to perk me up.

And I’ve done all of Alison’s fashion challenges.  The programs she puts together have been top notch.  And the community that she builds around those programs are also amazing.  I expect the same to be true of her Rediscover Me challenge.

The challenge starts on Feb. 1 and the registration closes on Jan. 30.

Freezer Cooking – Virtually and in your own kitchen

I’m in the process of planning a Virtual Freezer Cooking Day event on the Eat at Home Facebook page.  Right now I’m planning on Feb. 21.  More details to come!

And in case you’re in the mood to get a head start on stocking your freezer, the 12 Slow Cooker Meal Plans ebook is on sale through the end of January.  All the details about the book and the sale can be found here.

200 lp12 slow cooker freezer meal plans

 

I’ve also got another video that I’ll be uploading next week.  This time I show how to assemble the meals for the February Slow Cooker Weekly Meal Plans freezer week.  That video will go up sometime next week.

This post contains affiliate links.

 

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Cheesy Smoked Sausage Chowder

Cheesy Smoked Sausage Chowder

 

If you like a hearty, hot soup for dinner in the winter, this one’s for you.

It’s thick and cheesy.  Full of smoked sausage, potatoes, carrots, celery and onions.

I adapted the recipe from Cheesy Hamburger Soup.  I used smoked sausage instead of hamburger.  And shredded cheddar instead of Velveeta.

Serve this soup with crusty bread and a big, green salad.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:   [Read more…]

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22 Slow Cooker Recipes That Can Handle Cooking All Day

22 Slow Cooker Recipes that can cook all day

A lot of times when we think of using the slow cooker, it’s because we’re leaving the house early and won’t be back until dinner. Slow cookers are great for those days, but not all recipes will work.

You need to use a recipe that can take the heat for that long and still hold up. Soups, stews, large pieces of meat (especially if it has a bone) all do well.

Another tip is to make sure you’re using a slow cooker size that’s right for the amount of food.  It should be about 3/4 full or more if you want to cook it all day.  Less than that, and the slow cooker will cook too hot, leading to overcooked food.

Here’s a list of recipes that you’ll have success with.

african pulled beef sandwich done

African Pulled Beef Sandwiches

beef stew done

All Day Beef Stew

bbq chicken sandwiches in slow cooker done

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

beef and bean topped potatoes done

Beef and Bean Topped Baked Potatoes

beef shwarma in the slow cooker

Beef Shwarma

Calico Bean Soup with Smoked Sausage (aka Mixed Bean Soup)

chicken enchilada soup in slow cooker done

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Chicken Fiesta with Black Beans

Honey Mustard Chicken

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Curry Soup

Thai Chicken Curry Soup

Easy Shredded Taco Beef

Garlic Chicken with More Garlic

pumpkin black bean chicken chili

Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

Pulled Pork

BBQ Peach Pulled Pork

slow cooker beans for the freezer done

Beans for the Freezer

Chicken Cock-a-leekie Soup

Chicken Cock-a-Leekie Soup

Chicken Minestrone in the Slow Cooker

Chicken Minestrone Soup

Chicken Vegetable Soup

Ham and Bean Soup in the Slow Cooker

Ham and Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Smoked Sausage and Sauerkraut Soup

Sauerkraut and Smoked Sausage Soup

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

 

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3 Things That Work in the Kitchen This Week – January 19

3 Things that work in the kitchen

 

1.  Virtual Freezer Cooking Party idea

Freezer cooking always works to make meal time simple.  Last weekend I made 6 more slow cooker freezer meals from the upcoming February meal plans.

This week, we ate two of those meals.   And it reminded me of a Facebook event we did a few years ago.

Virtual Freezer Cooking Party will take place on a Saturday in February. More details to follow, but for now here are a few facts:

  • The party will take place on the Eat at Home Facebook page.
  • We’ll each choose our own recipes to prep and freeze.  I’ll give lots of ideas for recipes in a post and in Facebook statuses as we get closer to party time.  But choose whatever recipes you like and work for you.
  • We’ll check in on Facebook, sharing how it’s going, asking questions, sharing recipes.

The date will be announced soon, but I’m thinking toward the end of the month.

2.  Adding items to the Traditional List

I shopped with the Traditional List this week.  While I was printing the list, my son asked for a meal of bbq chicken legs and Corn Casserole.  It was really easy to add these ingredients to the list.

That meal tasted like a little bit of summer!  I put the chicken legs in the oven with bbq sauce.  The Corn Casserole also went in the oven.  It was too late to use the slow cooker after I got back with the groceries.  And we had sweet potato fries to round it all out.  Yum!

3.  Pineapple in our green smoothies – not sure that works for me.

I’ve been making green smoothies every morning, since I got a Vitamix for Christmas.   I had a pineapple that I sliced and froze in small bags.  But when I add those to the smoothies, it seems that it gives it a weird, thick texture.

I like the flavor of the pineapple, but the texture weirds me out.  I think it’s the pineapple that causes that.  Have you tried pineapple in your smoothies?  Do you notice a different texture to it?

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

 

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The Best Ever Roasted Butternut Squash or Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Butternut Squash or Sweet Potatoes

 

Every time I make this easy side dish I think I’m going to take photos to share here.

And almost every time, I forget.  Or I’m in a hurry.  Or it’s completely dark outside and I don’t want to set up my photography lights.

Finally, I managed to snap a photo.  It’s not great, but it does give me a reason to share this recipe with you.

Really it’s just method more than recipe though.  It’s an easier version of Butternut Squash Skillet, which I love.

But instead of starting it in the skillet, along with onion and garlic, I just toss the cubed squash with olive oil, several shakes of cinnamon, ginger,thyme, salt and pepper.

Then it gets poured onto a baking sheet and popped in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

The flavor is fantastic!  And it works equally well with sweet potatoes too.

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