Creamy Cheesy Veggie Puffs & a giveaway!

My youngest daughter and I made these for lunch one day.  They’re quick to make and a scrumptious way to eat veggies.

They’re out of this world.  No really, they are.  See the martian below.

Isn’t it cute?  And surprisingly tasty for an extraterrestrial.

I will be making these again sometime.  The cheese along with the biscuit dough reminded me of a warm version of veggie pizza.  Only puff shaped.

The short cut ingredient in this recipe is Birds Eye Steamfresh veggies.  They cook in their own bag in the microwave.  No chopping or extra dish washing required.  This makes it perfect for cooking with kids.

(Keep reading for the giveaway info!)

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

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Weekly Menu + Grocery List Year 3 Week 49

This week’s menu has some of my favorite recipes.  Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas and Brown Sugar Chicken and Sweet Potatoes are two recipes we love.  It’s hard to go wrong with a slow cooker, especially when the food is delish!

Chicago Style Pizza Pot Pie is a treat.  And it reminds me of an outing in Chicago with a friend, when we got to go to the restaurant that makes real pizza pot pies.  Amazing and worth the trip.

And Frito Candy!  Such a hit every time I make it.  The recipe comes from Cookie Madness, I just doubled it so it would last longer than 5 minutes in this crowd of sweet lovers.

Easy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas, tortillas and fixings, chips & salsa

Brown Sugar Chicken and Sweet Potatoes in the Slow Cooker, favorite green veggie

South of the Border Skillet, salad

Chicago Style Pizza Pot Pie, salad

Bowtie Pasta with Feta and Lemon Pepper Chicken

All Veggie Vegetable Soup, Cheddar Muffins

Frito Candy

To print, click here:  menu year 3 week 49

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Make Ahead Pineapple Muffin Recipe

This pineapple muffin recipe will have you jumping out of bed!

I love the smell and taste of a warm muffin right out of the oven.  But the last thing I want to do in the morning is cook anything that requires too much effort.

By planning the night before, I’ve found I can have freshly baked muffins with minimal effort.

How to make muffins ahead:

  • Start by combining all the dry ingredients {flour, baking powder, sugar, salt} in a large bowl. Leave out on the counter.
  • In a measuring cup, measure the milk, then add the eggs and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate.
  • In the morning, start by preheating the oven.
  • Stir together the dry and wet ingredients. Mix in the remaining ingredients and get ready to bake.

Muffin ingredients prepared the night before baking.

This is the recipe I follow to make Pineapple Muffins that can be prepped the night before.

Make Ahead Pineapple Muffin Recipe

Serves: 12

Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup drained, crushed pineapple
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Prep a muffin tin with muffin liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  3. In a 2 cup measuring cup, measure out the milk. Add the eggs and vanilla and lightly beat. This can be refrigerated and added to the dry ingredients right before baking.
  4. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture.
  5. Add pineapple and coconut and stir to combine.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. Fill ¾ full.
  7. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Andrea has been married to Peter for 20 years, and together they have two teenage daughters. Struggling with the reality that soon her girls will be on her own, she is leaving them vlogs at 101 Life Lessons. You can also find her at The Greenbacks Gal where she finds organic deals, green steals and cooks real food meals.

 

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Cheater Chinese Chicken

I have been craving Chinese food, specifically General Tso’s or Sesame Chicken. You know the ones….deep fried then coated in a thick sauce. Unfortunately, my waistline nor family history of heart disease allow me to eat deep fried foods whenever I want! Boo! So, I was on a mission to make a healthier Chinese meal at home. HOWEVER, my craving for Chinese food happened during a very busy week. My kids had tons of projects and homework, my husband was working late, my 4 y/o was tired and cranky…any of this sound familiar?!

With all this going on, I had to get dinner on the table, like…STAT. No time to fuss over a lot of steps, mixing of a bunch of ingredients, etc. Thank goodness I have a few little tricks up my sleeve. First, as we’ve said here before, a great time-saver is to keep cooked chicken in the freezer. I buy bulk packages of chicken breasts from Sam’s Club, then freeze individual portions. Some I freeze raw, some I freeze in marinade, and some I will go ahead and cook (I will either boil or cook in the slow cooker) then freeze. On this particular evening, I had boiled chicken already prepared (a lot of times I will take chicken out of the freezer in the morning, with no idea what I am actually going to do with it!).  The second little trick I have is to keep a couple of prepared sauces in the pantry.  I would love to make everything my family eats from scratch, but sometimes, it just doesn’t happen around here.  My kids love Sweet Baby Ray’s bbq sauce, so I try to keep that on hand, and recently, I found this at Target…

Perfect for curing my I-need-Chinese-Food-Now-Craving!  I also picked up a head of Chinese cabbage and green onions.  I may not have had a recipe, but I had a plan!

This is one hastily put together dinner that came out deliciously! The best part, there is no real recipe, so it is completely adaptable to whatever your family likes.

Cheater Chinese Chicken
Ingredients
  • boneless, skinless chicken breast (I'm sure thighs would work well too) - cooked and cut into bite-size chunks
  • onion - chopped
  • broccoli (any veggies you have on hand!)
  • garlic - minced (to taste - I used one clove)
  • Chinese cabbage (Napa or your preference)
  • Sauce (I used the above pictured, but you could use your fave)
  • Olive Oil
  • toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • green onions (for serving)
Instructions
  1. Place a little olive oil in your skillet. Heat on medium heat.
  2. Add onion to pan and saute until translucent.
  3. Add garlic & broccoli. Give it a good stir.
  4. Add cooked chicken and sauce. Bring to a simmer.
  5. When sauce begins to thicken, add Chinese cabbage - go ahead and fill the pan, b/c the cabbage will wilt and reduce in size (a lot!)
  6. Carefully mix cabbage into the sauce/chicken/veggies and your done! It only takes a few minutes for the cabbage to begin to wilt, and I like mine to still have a little crunch to it.
  7. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and green onions if desired.
  8. Serve over brown rice (or white, or fried, or noodles....)

A delicious dinner, and no one will know that it was so quick and easy to prepare!

 When not writing for Eat at HomeKim can be found blogging about her crazy kids and kitchen adventures over at Mo’Betta!

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Chicken Philly Sandwiches in the Slow Cooker

 

This is one of those “throw it all in the crockpot” recipes that I love.  I made it on a busy day last week or the week before.

Actually, I’m not sure exactly when I made it.  Soccer season is in high gear right now, and schedules are a bit like moving targets.  We’ve packed more lunch meat sandwiches to be eaten on the field than I care to admit.

I don’t even have an ingredient photo for this.  I could have sworn that I snapped one, but I can’t find it on my camera.  The ingredients are all common though, with the possible exception of marinated artichoke hearts.

I was a little afraid my kids would balk at the artichokes, but they didn’t.  After it all cooked and we put it on sandwiches under melted cheese, they didn’t notice the ‘chokes.

Notice the big air pocket holes in the buns?  I cheaped out in the bread section.  Instead of buying hoagie rolls, I saved $1 and bought these strange rolls.  Every one of them had a giant hole in it.  They tasted good, but it made for strange looking sandwiches.

[Read more…]

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Weekly Menu + Grocery List Year 3 Week 48

This week seems to have a theme of honey, but I promise that all the recipes taste very different from each other.

As always, you get 6 dinners and 1 dessert.  (Funny that there’s no honey in the dessert.)  Serving suggestions are included in bold on the recipes and in curly brackets {} on the grocery list.

Tomato Basil Chicken Soup, garlic bread, salad

Honey Lemon Pepper Salmon, baked sweet potatoes, favorite green veggie

Honey Hoisin Chicken, rice, favorite green veggie

Honey Dijon Pork Chops and Apples in the Slow Cooker, spinach salad, Cheddar Chive Biscuits

Chipped Beef Gravy over Cornbread, fresh fruit

BBQ Chicken with Southwestern Cornbread Stuffing, favorite veggie

Tuxedo Bars

To print, click here:  menu year 3 week 48

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How to Cut a Head of Cauliflower in 1 Minute

I am not a perfectionist.

Not by a long shot.  I like to keep things quick and simple, and that includes dinner prep.  To that end, I don’t believe you need to spend a lot of time chopping veggies.

As long as you give up any ideas of having perfect, uniform pieces you can chop a head of cauliflower (or broccoli) in just 1 minute.  It cooks just fine and works great for weeknight suppers.

This post has more photos than most of my posts and I apologize for the weird, blue color going on in the pics.  [Read more…]

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Weekend Links

So many amazing recipes were shared on Ingredient Spotlight: Oats this week – 72 recipes, as of this writing.

Those Caramel Apple Nut Bars from Hoosier Homemade look fabulous.  And the short cut they offer is that you only have to peel and chop one apple.

Homemade Cereal Bars from Once a Month Mom would be a hit around here.

Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets from Frugal Family Times could speed up breakfast time.

No Bake Energy Bites from The Better Baker will be perfect for my kid who needs to drink more fluids (these will make him thirsty) and gain a bit of weight.

Nutella Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches from Flavors by Four – no other words needed.

 

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5 Minute Lunch – BLT Salad

Some days at home you just need a quick lunch. My favorite one to make is a BLT salad. And the secret is in the dressing. My grandma taught me to make this dressing. Not only is it easy but it’s also delicious. This salad is a weekly go-to because I typically have these leftovers in the fridge by the end of the week. It’s just enough for one. Or you could double or triple to make for more people.

Here’s what you need:  [Read more…]

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Healthy Packed Lunches

I have a reputation.  I’m a picnic packer.

I pack our dinners and/or lunches for soccer games.  The other parents on the team have noticed that we often have food on the field.

There are a few reasons for this.  First, I don’t like to eat late meals.  And soccer games are almost always around meal times.  (If you’ve ever been around me in person, you know I eat all the time.)

Second, I’m cheap.  I don’t like paying money for fast food that often isn’t very good.  A lot of the time, after eating a fast food meal I think that a peanut butter sandwich would have been better.  (Not to let you think I’m a food snob – I love a hamburger and fries from a certain famous American icon every once in a while!)

Since we homeschool, we don’t have to pack lunches very often for school days, but soccer season meals tests our creativity in packing food.  This season, we’ve packed a lot of sandwiches.  And I’ve noticed that there’s one thing that keeps the sandwich meal from being too boring to face.

The secret is fresh fruits and veggies.  A ripe nectarine, grapes or carrots with Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing bump up the taste and healthiness of a packed meal.

Childhood Nutrition Day was earlier this week and the makers of Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® dressings & dips are partnering to host the second year of Lunch Break for Kids.  Lunch Break for Kids is a national fundraiser highlighting ways for parents and kids to partner with chefs and schools to focus on healthy eating.  You can find out more at lunchbreakforkids.com and find out if they have any events planned in your area.

How does this meal packing business qualify as a short cut?  Even though it does take a couple minutes to throw a sandwich in a baggie and toss in some fresh fruit and veggies, I would venture to guess that it saves time in the long run.  When the game is over, you’re on the way home to get kids settled for the night instead of still trying to find dinner and eat it.  Not to mention that you easily saved $20 or more by avoiding the fast food place with a carload of hungry kids.

What are your kids favorite things to have packed in their lunches?

The Hidden Valley® Original Ranch®, dressings & dips has provided me with free product to help with my review, but anything I receive from Hidden Valley does not affect my thoughts on its company or their product.

Disclosure: I’ve been provided product for sampling and a stipend for my time, but all opinions are my own.

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