Make dinner easy – Weekly Meal Plans Sale!

Almost 3000 people participated in the latest Eat at Home Challenge!  Everyone who participated had a chance to try out my favorite solution for family dinner – Eat at Home Weekly Meal Plans.  I’ve heard so many good things from folks who used the plans.

I love being able to print the grocery list and hit the store, with no more planning needed.  I stick the menu on the fridge and consult it each day, knowing I’ve got everything I need to make all of those meals.


To celebrate completing the Eat at Home Challenge, I’m running a sale on the 12 month membership for Eat at Home Weekly Meal Plans.  You can get a whole year of membership for just $50, which is only $4.16/month.  Click here for the sale code.

The sale ends Tuesday so don’t wait.

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Bear Creek Country Kitchen Soup for on the go

Bear Creek lunch

Three days a week my daughter packs her lunch for school.  She’s fortunate to have use of a microwave and often takes leftovers for lunch, but sometimes her big brothers eat the leftovers for a late night snack.  That leads to many days of sandwiches, which can get old.

When Bear Creak Country Kitchens asked if I would sample their new Hearty Soup Bowls, it was great timing for us.  I knew this would add a welcome variety to the packed lunch situation.

Bear Creak Soups

There are four varieties to choose from.  I especially like the Creamy Chicken with Rice.

Cheddar Broccoli – Thick and creamy broccoli soup with a blend of rich cheeses

Creamy Potato – Rich and creamy potato soup with a delicate blend of herbs and spices

Cheddar Potato – Savory cheese flavor with a blend of spices and rustic potatoes

Creamy Chicken with Rice – Rich and creamy home-style chicken soup with hearty rice

Making the soup is as easy as adding water, stirring and microwaving.  The individual bowls make packing them so easy.  They would be great to keep in the office for days that require working through lunch.  For us, they make a great “grab and go” lunch when there’s no time to pack something else.  Or when an older brother scavenged the leftovers from the night before.


The folks at Bear Creek are going to give one lucky Eat At Home reader a full set of the new Bear Creek Hearty Soup Bowls!  All you have to do is post a photo on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #BearCreekSoups showing us what your busy day looks like.  And don’t forget to tag Eat At Home and @bearcreekfoods.  Good luck!

Bear Creek backpack

Bear Creek Country Kitchens began over 20 years ago with one goal in mind: to create home-style soups that will satisfy every appetite.  Combining high-quality ingredients and a special blend of spices, Bear Creek soups are delicious and easy to prepare.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bear Creek Soups. The opinions and text are all mine.

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More Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Plans – and a Sale!

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Use the code: SEPTEMBER to get the sale price

Introducing the second volume of Slow Cooker Freezer Meals – A Week of Dinners in One Hour!

If you’re looking for a way to simplify dinner on busy days, this is your solution.  By spending about 1 hour of prep time, you can have 6 meals stashed away in the freezer.

Then pull one from the freezer, thaw it a bit in the microwave or sit it in the fridge to thaw, dump it in the crockpot and let it cook.  So easy!

Here’s what you’ll get in each Volume:

  • 12 plans – each with 6 dinners and side dish suggestions
  • Meals that are designed to be assembled and frozen to be cooked later in the slow cooker
  • Side dish suggestions
  • Color-coded grocery lists
  • Assembly instructions and tips
  • Over 85 printable recipes

These are digital products, designed to be printed at home.

These plans are one of the most popular features of Weekly Meal Plan membership.  Members have access to a new Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Plan every month.


Now through Monday, September 21 you can get a great price on these ebooks by using the code:


With that code, you’ll save $4 each on Volumes 1 or 2 and $7 off the bundle of both volumes.

Don’t wait though! The sale only lasts a few days.


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‘Sweet Heat’ Slow Cooker Chex Mix

This recipe from Kim looks amazing! This is the kind of thing my family would devour at the beach!

I love a Chex Mix for several reasons…I can make a huge batch at once, there are tons of different flavor variations, it’s great to have on hand for hungry kids that are constantly in and out of the kitchen, and it’s super easy to throw in a ziploc bag and carry with you on long car trips or to the beach. However, we’ve been experiencing quite the heat wave this week, so turning on my oven, and opening it every so often to stir up a batch of chex mix was not appealing to me.

Crock Pot Chex Mix EAH

Crock-Pot to the rescue!! Yes, the slow cooker comes in handy all year long! I couldn’t quite decide which direction I wanted to go with this mix…did I want sweet? Did I want spicy? I kind of wanted both, so that’s what I did. A sweet and salty combo with just a little bit of heat. You could easily increase the heat on this, but I knew my kids wouldn’t go for it, so I kept it mild. It actually sneaks up on you – the first few bites taste sweet and salty, and then you get a little kick from the cayenne.

Sweet Heat Chex Mix EAH

And yes, those are little Minion cheese crackers. According to my 7 year old, the Minions taste better than the traditional square crackers! As with almost all chex mixes, you can add whatever you like or have on hand.

'Sweet Heat' Slow Cooker Chex Mix
A sweet and salty combination with just a little heat, that comes together easily in your slow cooker.
  • 2 cups of each:
  • Corn Chex cereal
  • Rice Chex cereal
  • Wheat Chex cereal
  • Cheerios cereal
  • Pretzels
  • Cheese Crackers
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 bag Pretzel M&M's (or candy of choice)
  1. Place all of the cereals, pretzels and crackers into slow cooker.
  2. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt butter.
  3. Add brown sugar, Worcestershire, seasoning salt, cinnamon and cayenne to butter. Mix well.
  4. Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture and stir to coat.
  5. Cover with lid and set slow cooker on low for 2½-3 hours, stirring every 30 mins. (Make sure to stir down to the bottom to make sure it doesn't burn)
  6. NOTE: to prevent condensation from dripping onto cereal, you can place a clean dishcloth between the lid and slowcooker base.
  7. Once done, spread out on wax paper to cool.
  8. Add M&M's and store in air tight container.

Just beware…it’s hard to stay out of!

Kim M. is a contributing writer for Eat at Home, as well as the mom behind the mayhem at Makin’ it Mo’Betta. There you will find kid-friendly recipes, quick and easy meals, and many more desserts!

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Italian Sausage Sub Casserole

I love this recipe that Eat at Home writer, Kim brings us today!

I love Italian sausage, and use it in the place of, or in addition to, ground beef in many recipes. I also really like Italian sausage subs. You can usually substitute it in the place of meatballs on a meatball sub or chicken in a chicken parm sub. I can not tell you how many of these I ate during my first pregnancy! Maybe that’s why my oldest loves sausage. This recipe is basically a sub sandwich in casserole form, and comes together quickly and easily.

Sub Casserole Ingredients EAHI used a cheese bread loaf purchased from my grocery store’s deli, but any good thick bread will work. You can’t have too much cheese in my house! I also used turkey Italian sausage, reduced fat cream cheese and light mayo to cut the calories a little. You can use your favorites. Speaking of favorites, the sauce pictured – Newman’s Own Sockarooni, I highly recommend it!

Sub Casserole Collage EAH

I usually cut this recipe in half, so pictured is an 8 x 8. The recipe below is for a 9 x 13 casserole dish. You could also add peppers and onions, but I have to pass on that to get my kids to eat it. I even have to puree my sauce so there are no chunks! Any one else have super picky eaters?

Italian Sausage Sub Casserole EAH

Italian Sausage Sub Casserole
All the flavors of an Italian Sausage sub sandwich, in casserole form!
  • 1 package Italian Sausage links (4-5 links)
  • 1 (1 pound) loaf Italian bread
  • Olive oil, for coating bread
  • garlic powder, optional
  • 1 (8 ounce) brick Cream Cheese, softened
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 (28 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook Italian sausage links according to package directions. Cut into 1 inch chunks.
  3. While sausage is cooking, slice bread into 1½ inch slices. Spray or brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Broil until lightly toasted on each side.
  4. Place toasted bread in a single layer in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
  5. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, mayo, Italian seasoning and pepper.
  6. Spread cream cheese mixture over bread, and top with ½ the cheese.
  7. Place Italian sausage over cheese.
  8. Pour spaghetti sauce and water over the sausage and top with remaining cheese.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.

I do love a casserole, and this one is a keeper!

Kim M. is a contributing writer for Eat at Home, as well as the mom behind the mayhem at Makin’ it Mo’Betta. There you will find kid-friendly recipes, quick and easy meals, and lots of desserts!

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6 Meals in 10 minutes each – Slow Cooker Freezer Plans SALE!

You want to enjoy summer, so why not keep the cooking easy and your kitchen cool too!  Stop guessing about what’s for dinner and pull out a slow cooker freezer meal instead!  If you can spare 1 hour, you can have a freezer stocked with 6 meals ready to go for your busy summer days.

We’ve even got summer plans so you don’t have to eat soup or stew in July!  Load the slow cooker and spend your day having fun with your family.  Then come home to a great meal that required almost no effort on your part.

We’re having a quick sale this week on this great resource.  Get it for just $7.97!

That’s $4 off the regular price of $11.97.

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These meals are my “busy day emergency stash”.  They keep us out of the drive-thru lane, but require minimal effort to get dinner on the table.

Add to cart

Use the code: SUMMER at checkout


We’ve put together all of the Slow Cooker Freezer Meal plans from the last year into one big printable.  Now you can get dinner organized and ready in just 1 hour for a whole week’s worth of meals.  That’s about 10 minutes per meal!

You get 12 plans, each with:

  • 6 dinners designed to be assembled and frozen to be cooked later in the slow cooker
  • Side dish suggestions
  • Color-coded grocery lists
  • Printable recipes
  • Instructions on assembling all of the meals

slow cooker plans summer sale banner


Use the code: SUMMER at checkout

Add to cart

This is a quick sale and only lasts through Thursday July 2 at midnight Pacific.

All of the members to Weekly Meal Plans get one of these Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Plans each month as part of their membership.  It’s a popular benefit of being a member!

Here’s an example of a few months of menus.  Grocery lists, assembly instructions and printable recipes are included in the ebook.

  1. French Dip Sandwiches, Fries, Carrot + Celery Sticks
  2. Mediterranean Chicken, Pasta, Salad, Garlic Biscuit Bites
  3. Easy Crockpot Beef Fajitas, Corn, Chips + Salsa
  4. Teriyaki Pork Chops with Red Pepper and Pineapple Rice, Peas
  5. Chicken Shwarma Ranch Veggie Salad, Chips
  6. Italian Parmesan Herb Chicken and Potatoes Tomato and Artichoke Heart Salad
  1. Maple Apple Chicken, Roasted Broccoli and Red Pepper, Pretzel Rolls
  2. Slow Cooker BBQ Peach Pulled Pork, Sweet Potato Fries, Carrot and celery sticks
  3. Sweet and Sour Meatballs over Rice, Peas, Egg Rolls
  4. Chicken Tacos, Summer Corn Salad, Chips and Salsa
  5. Easy Pepper Steak, Pasta, Salad
  6. Chicken Philly Sandwiches, Quick Cole Slaw, Fries

Use the code: SUMMER at checkout

Add to cart



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Cherry Chocolate Clusters — 30 Days of Whole Food Summer Slow Cooker Recipes

I’ll admit. This is not entirely  whole food friendly. But I can’t resist the dried fruit and nuts with chocolate!


These chocolate cups look beyond incredible. Chocolate and cherries are one of my favorite combinations. I love the sweetness of chocolate, and the chewy tartness of the cherries together. Add in some of those delicious, toasted almonds and it gives it a wonderful salty crunchiness. It’s pretty much the perfect dessert on the go.


The one benefit of melting these candies in the slow cooker is you don’t have to worry about sitting over it and stirring it constantly. If you are careful to check that it’s staying on a low temperature, it will melt the chocolate gently and perfectly and make scooping up these into their cups easy and and worth it.

Click here to get this recipe and instructions.

30 Days of Whole Food and Garden Fresh Summer Slow Cooker Recipes

Looking for easy, healthy meals you can make in your slow cooker? We’re sharing 30 Summer Slow Cooker Recipes that use Whole Foods and garden fresh produce this month! Click here to find all the recipes in the series.  Would you like a menu of slow cooker meals, along with a color-coded grocery list all done for you?  Find your perfect Eat at Home Weekly Meal Plan here.


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If you’ve ever wanted to improve your food photos (or any photos)

How to Improve your photos

I’ve been blogging for nearly seven years now.  I’m still not a great photographer, but I’ve come a long way.

(Most of this post focuses on food photography, but these basics are applicable to photographing any subject.)

Here’s one of the very first photos I took for the blog.  The recipe is still one of our favorites (I really need to shoot a new photo!).  The original photo probably wouldn’t convince you to try it.



Now here’s a photo that I took more recently.  The recipe is based on the slow cooker version in the photo above, but it looks much more appetizing in this photo:

15 Minute Chicken Fiesta Skillet


I know others can take better photos.  But I try not to compare myself to others.

I want to see growth when I compare myself to myself – old work to new work.

Here are a few things I’ve done to improve my photography over the years:

1.  I learned to use my camera on manual mode.

After attempting to read the manual and learn on my own, I finally took a class to learn to use my Nikon D40 on manual mode.  The teacher got me up to speed quickly.  Much, much quicker than if I’d tried to do it on my own.

2.  I learned about lighting.

Good photographers are always chasing daylight.  In the beginning, I never did that.  I just shot the picture where I happened to be standing, usually at the kitchen counter under artificial light.

tripod photo


(photo above taken with iPhone and edited with PicTapGo)

Now I’ve learned a few tricks:

* I move the food near a window.  I’ve learned which places in my house have the best light.

* I use white foam core boards to bounce light on the subject.

* I use a tripod to keep the camera steady while shooting in lower light.

* I use special photography lights when I have to shoot in the winter.  There’s just no way for me to get enough light in the house during the darkest months of the year.

There are other things I’ve learned over the years, of course, but these are the things that have had the biggest impact on my photography.

I’d like to say that I never take a truly bad photo anymore, but that’s not the case.  I’m still learning.

In fact, I just took advantage of the chance to buy the Ultimate Photography Bundle.  It’s packed with 13 eBooks and 5 eCourses.  That will keep me learning for a long time!

I started with iPhone Only Photography, because that’s the camera I have with me most often.  I’ve already learned a few things that I didn’t know about the iPhone camera, in spite of the fact that I’ve been using an iPhone for years now.

(updated for iOS 8) iPhone Only Photography will teach you the three MOST IMPORTANT lessons to get UHHHMAAZZZZING photos every time with your iPhone: 1. How to take manual control of your iPhone camera. 2. How to create strong composition.  3. How to edit to recreate the feelings you felt when you took the photo.  Also you’ll get specialized teaching and tutorials for portraits, food photography, night shooting, landscapes, concert photography, and panoramas.

(updated for iOS 8) iPhone Only Photography will teach you the three MOST IMPORTANT lessons to get UHHHMAAZZZZING photos every time with your iPhone:
1. How to take manual control of your iPhone camera.
2. How to create strong composition.
3. How to edit to recreate the feelings you felt when you took the photo.
Also you’ll get specialized teaching and tutorials for portraits, food photography, night shooting, landscapes, concert photography, and panoramas.

I’m also looking forward to diving into Eat Pretty Things and Tasty Food Photography, so I can gather tips I can use here on the blog.


Tasty Food Photography February 10 2015

And The Unexpected Everyday eBook looks great for capturing images of my family’s everyday life.

The Photography Master Class: Your Complete Guide to Photography eCourse sounds like it will cover it all, and in a video format too.

This is an amazing deal at just $37.  The bundle is only available for a week, June 22-29.  The Photography Master Class alone is worth $199.

I’m excited to improve not just my food photos, but also photos of my family too.

This post contains affiliate links.


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Weekend Links – Fun things to read and listen to

It’s been forever since I’ve shared a weekend links post with you. The end of the school year is always a little crazy and these posts went on the back burner for a while. Now school is over and we’ve been to the beach for vacation and I’m feeling refreshed!

Here are some things that have caught my attention lately:

Happy Listening


I’m back to taking morning walks.  I always listen to a podcast while I walk and my current favorite is Happier.   It’s a fun listen with lots of interesting info that can be applied to make your life happier.

Fun Reading

I’ve also started reading Gretchen Rubin’s new book, Better than Before.  Her insights into personal tendencies and how those affect our habit making and breaking are really useful.


Modern Mrs. Darcy’s latest Summer Reading Guide came out a few weeks ago.  I’ve got several of her picks on my reading list, but I hit the beach with Love Walked In.  It’s got lots of old movie references, which was fun.    The story was breezy, but still had substance.

Better Photos

Speaking of the beach, I didn’t take one, single photo.  These days, most of my photos (other than food photos) are taken with my phone.  For vacation, I just wanted to put my phone down and not be tempted to check email or Facebook or blog stuff.  It made me wish I had a small point and shoot camera, because I now regret that I have no photos of our time together.

I love this free resource for learning to take great family photos.  It will help you capture everyday moments and special times with your family.  A lot of taking great photos is just being mindful of picking up the camera and learning to really see and notice the moments happening around you.  Guides like this one help us do that.

Good Watching



My youngest daughter and I blew through the first season of When Calls the Heart.  We’re anxiously waiting the second season to be added to Netflix.

510H87W38RLOne of my very favorite movies is on Netflix right now.  Of course, I had to watch it again.  The book is better, but the movie is fantastic too.

Just for Fun

My parents shared this video with me a few weeks ago.  It’s a fun watch and it introduced me to some new music too.  Dustbowl Revival is now a station on my iTunes radio.  Good stuff!

I hope you’re enjoying summer!  What fun reads, watches and listens have you been enjoying?

This post contains affiliate links.

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22 Ways to Expand your Easter Menu


I love Easter. Spring has finally arrived, and it’s a special day I get to celebrate with family–and good food of course! Easter dinner is so special for us, and I love having a table filled with a feast of good food! But sometimes planning an Easter Menu can feel complicated. Or sometimes I just want a fresh twist on the classic Easter Dinner ingredients to change things up a bit.

If you are looking for some ways to change up the usual Easter fare a little, or just need some good ideas to expand and round out your Easter Menu, I’ve got 22 easy recipes that are the perfect addition to any Easter Meal. From some main course ideas, to sides and some desserts, hopefully these recipes will give you some new inspiration as you plan your Easter Meals this year. And because you know I’m all about easy cooking, none of these recipes are super complicated or overly time consuming. But they are all delicious! Plus, if you end up with too much left over ham on Monday, two of the ham dishes are perfect for turning leftovers into some great dinners.   [Read more…]

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