Grain-Free Stuffed Bell Peppers

If you’re trying to eat more grain-free, no/low-carb foods, these are for you!  And even if you aren’t looking for low-carb options, these are so good you’re going to want to make them anyway.

This is the first recipe I’ve created outside of cookbook work in forever!  It feels really good to have a new recipe to share with you here on the blog.

But can we just pause for a moment and realize that I’ve obviously spent a lot more time working on the creating of recipes than the photographing of them?  I’ve never been great at photos, but I’m way out of practice.  Many apologies for the fuzzy ingredient photo!

Being out of practice with the camera isn’t the only issue I’ve had after a summer of recipe testing.  Testing ten and twelve recipes a week – sometimes four dessert recipes in a day – I was feeling like I’d consumed All. The. Food.

I ended up signing up for a fitness program that involves exercise and new eating habits.  I’m going to wait to tell you much about it until I get through the first six weeks so I can give an honest opinion, but so far it’s been good.  I was even able to put on a pair of jeans that were too tight to wear all last winter.

Part of the program involves some low-carb days and that was the inspiration for this recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need to make Grain-Free Stuffed Bell Peppers:   [Read more…]


3 Things that Work in the Kitchen This Week – August 21

Are you watching the eclipse today?  We’re actually not too far from the path, so I’ll be watching from home.

1. A new recipe coming to the blog soon! – Grain Free Stuffed Peppers

It’s been forever since I’ve posted a new recipe to the blog, but I’ve got one coming for you soon.  We loved these stuffed peppers and I think you’ll love them too.  If you’ve been watching your carbs, you’ll be happy to know that these are very low-carb.  They are also very delicious!

That pepper looks a little lonely on the plate.  I should have added some salad or something next to it.  I’m woefully out of practice with food photos, and I’ve never been great at them anyway.  But I do believe I’m decent at creating recipes, so there you go.  Taste over looks 😉

2. George Foreman grill for quick protein

I’ve been trying to eat more salads, but I need some protein in there too so our old George Foreman grill has been coming in handy.  It only takes a couple of minutes to thaw frozen chicken tenders in the microwave and they cook in just 5 minutes on the grill.  I usually splash a little white wine vinegar on them before cooking, along with salt and pepper.  Sometimes I add garlic powder or onion powder.  It’s like instant marinade.

3.  Strawberry Chicken Salad with Grilled Chicken

And there’s evidence of a really great salad I had for lunch on Friday.  Spinach, chicken, strawberries, parmesan, and pecans all drizzled with Newman’s Own Honey Apple Cider Dressing.  So good!

What’s working in your kitchen this week?


Our Surprise Trip and How We Ate Our Way Through the City!

Instead of the usual “3 Things that Work in the Kitchen” post, I thought I’d share about the surprise trips that my oldest daughter and I planned for each other.  This turned out to be one of the funnest things we’ve ever done!


Earlier this summer I decided that after taking our son to college, it would be fun to go on a trip with just our youngest.  I wanted to kick off our “3 Musketeers Years” (when there will be just the three of us at home) with something fun.

There’s a website called Pack Up & Go that will plan a surprise three day trip for you.  Intriguing, but it was a little bit expensive.  I told our oldest daughter about the site and she decided that we should plan trips for each other – I’d plan a trip for Meredith and her husband and she’d plan one for Jim, Mia and me.

Their Trip to Pittsburgh

After checking the map for cities within driving distance of Lexington, KY that Meredith and Stephen haven’t been to, I settled on Pittsburgh as their destination.  I’ve never been to Pittsburgh either and had no idea what it offered, but that is a cool city!

I booked an Air BnB for them (their preferred way to stay and within their budget) and then set to work on an itinerary.  With the help of the blog Discover the Burgh, I was able to easily plan a great trip for them.  I gave them a list of restaurants and activities to choose from.

I made a folder of info for them that was not to be opened until they were in the car ready to leave.  So fun!

And they had a blast!

It was fun to plan a trip for someone else and I loved getting texts from them throughout the weekend about what they were doing.

Our trip to Memphis!

For our trip, Meredith had several envelopes to be opened at specific times.  The first one just told us which direction and which highway to get on.  We had one envelope that included a CD of an electronic mash up of weatherman vocals.  If you don’t know what that is – neither did we, but it was hilarious!  Our son has a friend who is studying to be a meteorologist and is currently a student at WKU in Bowling Green, KY. They used some clips of him saying “Bowling Green” to let us know that was the direction we needed to go.

At Bowling Green we opened another envelope that told us of a lunch stop in Nashville – Hattie B’s Hot Chicken.

The chicken was great, but the Pimento Mac & Cheese was awesome!  Such a fun stop.

After lunch we were instructed to go to the Parthenon in Nashville, where we’d open the next clue.  Lucky for us, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams had a food truck there.  I’ve wanted to try this ice cream for years and I finally got my chance!

I had Brambleberry Crisp ice cream and Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet.  Both were so amazing!  I didn’t even think to take a photo, because I as so absorbed in how delicious and intense the flavors were.

After ice cream we opened the envelope revealing our destination – Memphis!

To keep this post from being ridiculously long, I’ll use our meals to walk you through what we did.  We basically ate our way through Memphis.  I have no regrets!

We hit up Beale Street and the Rum Boogie Cafe for dinner.  We went early before things got crazy – and it did look like it would turn into a real party atmosphere later that night, which is not our kind of scene.

At the Rum Boogie Cafe we had Fried Green Tomato and Bacon Po’ Boys, gumbo and red beans and rice.

The next morning we started with breakfast at Brother’s Junipers – delicious!  Then we headed to Graceland.

What we didn’t realize until we hit Memphis is that we were there at the start of Elvis Week.  Elvis died 40 years ago and many, many people were coming into town.  Graceland was busy!

Later that evening we went to Central BBQ.  Oh. My. Goodness! That was the best bbq I’ve ever eaten.  And this is how serious they take their bbq:

The line was out the door.  An armed security guard – yes, he carried a gun – let each party in the door just a few people at a time.  But wow! That bbq was worth guarding!

The three of us shared ribs – half wet, half dry rub, a plate of bbq nachos and four sides.  It was all so, so good!

After dinner we went to the Pyramid that houses the Bass Pro Shop.  We’re not outdoorsy, but that place is so cool!  We rode the glass elevator to the top, stepped out on the lookout and took in gorgeous views of the city and Mississippi River.

Our last morning started with breakfast at Blue Plate Cafe.

Then we walked through the historic house district and headed to the Peabody Hotel to see the famous Peabody ducks.

We had such a great trip!  If you have someone in your life that you could swap trip planning with, I highly recommend doing it.

We never would have planned a trip to Memphis for ourselves, and Meredith said the same thing about Pittsburgh.  But it was so fun to explore a new place for a few days, to experience the surprise of it and to not have to do any planning for your own trip.


3 Things that Work in the Kitchen – Giveaway – $150 Walmart card!

1.  Giveaway! A week’s worth of groceries!

Today on Facebook Live I’m giving away a $150 Walmart card.  That’s about a week’s worth of groceries, depending on your family size and what all you’re buying. If you’re only buying items from the Eat at Home Meal Plans, you’ll get two or three (or more) weeks out of $150.

How to win:

Click over to the Eat at Home Facebook page and look for the live video for today.  I’ll be going live about 10am Eastern, but you can also catch the replay.  Share the video and you’re entered to win.  Winners will be announced on the Facebook page.

You can also still enter to win an Instant Pot by sharing this video where Beth and I made 6 Freezer Meals in 1 Hour.  

And enter to win a set of Cuisinart knives by sharing this video where we made an easy sheet pan dinner.

I have to say that this screen shot is everything!  Embarrassing, hilarious and unfortunate!

Beth and I got a huge laugh thinking of possible headlines to go with that photo:

“Two moms busted for trying to save the dinner hour”

“You’ll never believe what’s in that bag!”

Save on Eat at Home Meal Plans

Eat at Home Meal Plans are on sale right now, so this is a great time to become a member. Get your dinners under control before school starts, so you can spend time with your family instead of figuring out how to feed them.  Use the code EAT25 to save 25%.  Today is the last day of the sale!

Click here for more info

2. New knives that I’m loving!

This is the set of knives I’m giving away (entry info is above).  I needed some better knives for myself, but I didn’t want to spend a fortune.  This set came up in the Amazon search and has over 3000 reviews of 4 1/2 stars.  They are sharp and nice to use.  I love the colors too.  It’s easy to grab the right knife since each one has it’s own color.

3. I finished recipe testing for the cookbook!!!

I am so glad to be done with the recipe testing portion of the cookbook!  I feel like we have eaten ALL. THE. FOOD. this summer.  There were weeks when I made a dozen recipes, 3-4 or more in a day.

So much food!

I will say that I’m very excited about the recipes in the book.  I’ve already gone back to make quite a few of them, just because we loved them so much the first time.

I’m hoping to have the creative energy to start sharing recipes on the blog again soon too.  That has taken a back seat to the cookbook the last few months, but I have some great ideas for recipes for the blog that I’ve been rolling around in my mind.

What’s cooking in your kitchen this week?

This post contains affiliate links.

3 Things That Work in the Kitchen – Plus Summer Reading

1. Fantastic salad (and a great, new dressing)!

The other day I made a big salad for dinner that had spring green mix, tomatoes, red bell peppers, cucumbers, bacon, hard-boiled eggs and avocado slices.  That might be considered a Cobb salad, but what’s in a name, really?  It was great no matter what you call it!

I happened to see Newman’s Own Honey Apple Cider dressing in the grocery the other day and bought a bottle.  I highly recommend that dressing!  It’s very good, light tasting and not too sweet.

2.  Hard boiled eggs in the pressure cooker

While prepping the big salad, I decided to try using a pressure cooker for the hard boiled eggs.  I used my Cuisinart and set the cook time for 5 minutes, then let them have another 5 minutes of natural pressure release.  Once finished, I rinsed them under cold water to stop the cooking process.

The pressure cooker worked great.  I hear people way that the eggs are easier to peel when cooked this way.  I’m not sure they were any easier or any harder to peel.  Mostly, it seemed about like cooking them on the stove.  The only difference was that on the stove, I time the for 10 minutes from the time they start to boil.  But sometimes I get distracted and miss when they start boiling.  The pressure cooker solved that problem.

3. Grocery shopping – all the ways to do it

I have bought more groceries in the last few weeks, as I’m working to finish recipe testing for the cookbook.  Last week alone I ordered groceries from Walmart, tried Instacart twice and did a big trip through Walmart myself.

Here’s what I’ve learned: ordering groceries is a modern day blessing!  I love the convenience of not having to go into the store.  It’s such a time-saver!

Walmart and Kroger both have online ordering with store pickup in our area.  I’ve used both and like both.  Instacart delivers right to your house and offers same day service, often within the hour.  I do like that, but Instacart is more expensive.

Do you use an online ordering service for groceries?

Coming this week…

I’ve got some great things planned for you this week and into next!  It all starts tomorrow with a Facebook Live where we’ll make 6 dinners in 1 hour to get your freezer ready for back-to-school.  There will be giveways involved, so you won’t want to miss it!  Look for me on the Facebook page around 10am Eastern or you can catch the replay.

What I’ve been reading

The Precious One by Marisa De Los Santos – I love all of her books for the way she portrays family and relationships.  Her characters are also interesting and like-able.

The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel – Apparently this is also a TV series, although I’d never heard of it before.  If you like history, the space race and reading about women you will like this book.  I found it really interesting to read the things these women went through and the experiences they had.  This was also an interesting read after seeing the movie Hidden Figures.  If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend that as well.



3 Things That Work in the Kitchen – It’s feast or famine around here!

1.  Recipe Testing – the feast/famine part

I’m working hard to get all the recipes for my cookbook done by mid-August.  That means that I’ve been testing about 12 or more recipes a week.  Some days we have a LOT of food!

If it’s a day I’m not testing though, we may have little to nothing.

Or we might have three or four main dishes and no sides.  Then once I hit the side dish chapter, we had meals that were all side dishes and no mains.

Now we’re in the dessert chapter, so it could be sugar overload soon!

2. NYC Trip

I took a break from recipe testing last week.  We went to NYC with our two youngest kids and a few other families.  We had a fantastic time!  Highlights include:

Seeing Hello Dolly! on Broadway

Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge at night

Visiting the September 11 Memorial and Museum

And a lot more – I think we saw everything in New York, at least it felt that way from all the walking.  We had such great time!

3. Sale on Healthy Kickstart Plans – only through July 20

Last year I created a new meal plan that many of you have asked for – low carb, lots of lean meats and vegetables, low sugar, but still family friendly.  I called it Healthy Kickstart and launched it in December.  

Healthy Kickstart was only available for a couple of weeks.  It’s been closed since January 10th.  Until now! 

I’ve decided to offer the Healthy Kickstart Meal Plans again for a short amount of time.  These meal plans will only be available until July 20.  

Why Healthy Kickstart

I heard from many of you that you’re looking for meal plans that could be Whole30 friendly or paleo friendly.  Some of you wanted to reset your eating, some want to eat like this on a regular basis.  

The four weeks of meal plans included in Healthy Kickstart have the easy recipes you love from Eat at Home, but they’re among the healthiest we offer.

With Healthy Kickstart plans you’ll save several hours a week in planning, plus save money by not eating out and working from a plan.  

Once again, this is only offered for a short time.  I’m not sure if I’ll ever offer these plans again in this format.  As a bonus, if you choose to purchase Healthy Kickstart plans now, you’ll also receive an option of adding the 12 Month Meal Plan membership for a great price too.

Healthy Kickstart Meal Plans are available now through July 20 for just $14.  Click here to find out more and purchase.

3 Things That Work in the Kitchen – June 26

1. So much recipe testing!

I’m determined to get the recipe testing portion of the cookbook done by the time school starts. That means doing lots of recipe testing.  This week I tested eleven recipes.  Ten main dishes and one dessert.  Plus I did a Facebook Live video showing how to make Peach BBQ Pork Sandwiches.

We had food coming out of our ears around here!  I gave dinner to our neighbors across the street three nights and shared some of the rest with other friends.

Favorites from this week included Autumn Chicken Skillet and a quinoa salad that’s packable for meals on the go.  My youngest said that is her favorite thing I’ve ever made.  She even ate it for breakfast one day.

2.  VBS snack planning

Our church is doing VBS this week and I’m doing the snacks.  We have a lot of kids come from the neighborhood and they don’t always get enough to eat, so I try to make the snacks fairly healthy and filling.

This year we’ll be having:

Snack mix with yogurt cups

Apples, cheese and crackers

Watermelon, cheese and turkey rolls, pretzels

Popsicles and granola bars

3.  Cherry Cobbler

We went to Ohio to see Jim’s family last Sunday and I took this Cherry Cobbler.  It’s not always easy to find tart cherries, unless you know someone with a tree, but I’ve been able to find them in Meijer freezer section recently.

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

3 Things That Work in the Kitchen – Plus the book everyone was reading at the beach

1.  Beach food!

We’ve been home from the beach for a week now, but I wanted to tell you a little about the food we had.  Fifteen of us rented a house on the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama.  To keep costs down and to keep things simple, we always eat at the house instead of going out.

My mom is a fantastic cook and super organized.  She started cooking and freezing food in February – waffles, banana bread, lots of cookies, stuffed shells, bbq, chicken tetrazini….  There was so much food and it was all delicious!

She and dad packed it on dry ice in a giant cooler.  My sister and daughter talked me into doing a Facebook Live video of us unpacking it all.  You can watch it here.

One question people always ask is why would anyone do that?  Why cook and freeze all those meal?  We’ve been doing this for years (I should say that Mom has been doing it for years, the rest of us just eat) and it has saved so much money and time.

This year we were close enough to restaurants to go out if we’d wanted to, but restaurants for 15 people X 7 days = $$$$$$$

The last time we went to the beach we stayed very far away from anything and it wouldn’t have been convenient to go out to eat, unless we wanted to drive 30 minutes each way to do it.

And when we’re in Disney World, we try to eat dinner and breakfast at the house and eat lunch in the parks.

Saving that money is part of what makes the vacations affordable for us.

2. New sealing rings for the Instant Pot

The only draw back to the Instant Pot or any pressure cooker is that the rings can gather smells.  I’ve figured out how to reduce the smell, but I can’t get rid of it all the way.  To reduce it, I use 3 tabs of denture cleaner, like efferdent.  Weird, but it’s the only thing that helps.

Finally though, I ordered a set of new rings from Amazon (affiliate link).  They were around $10, but Amazon pricing changes quickly.  There are three in different colors, so I’ve designated one for main dish type meals, one for sweet things like apple sauce and one for neutral foods like oatmeal and rice.

3.  Dishwasher installed and it works!

We’re loving having a dishwasher again after 11 months of hand-washing.  This one is very quiet, which I’m happy about.

The most popular book in our group at the beach:

Several of us took books to the beach, but one book made the rounds.  Isaac decided to read all of Andy Andrews’ books this summer and he brought The Noticer with him to the beach.  He finished it. Our oldest daughter read it. My mom read it (she never reads!), and my niece read it and gave the copy to my sister to read.  My parents ordered copies for my dad to read and to give to their church library.

If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it.  The Noticer, The Noticer Returns, The Traveler’s Gift and The Little Things are all fantastic.

What works in the kitchen this week for you?  And what have you been reading lately?

This post contains affiliate links.


Eat at Home Habit #7 – Pantry and Freezer Challenge!

It’s the final post in our series on 7 Habits for Eating at Home.

If you are just joining us and would like to catch up on the other topics we’ve covered including topics planning meals around your calendar, quick and simple grocery shopping tips, stocking your freezer, the 15-minute meal, tools and tips for mastering time-saving cooking methods and a collection of dinner conversation starters. Today we have the perfect way to wrap up our series on healthy eating habits with a pantry and freezer challenge.

Habit #7 – Pantry and Freezer Challenge

One habit that needs to be in the rotation for all of us is the occasional pantry and freezer challenge.  We are blessed to live in a country where food is abundant and getting it in hand is easier than it ever has been before. We have the ability to buy and store all kinds of food to keep on hand whenever we want it. We can even have it delivered to our door in some instances!

But the other side of that coin is it’s easy to keep buying things we don’t need while letting ingredients we already have languish and spoil in the pantry and freezer. Of course, wasted food is not only sad but it’s not really great for the budget either. So I like to be intentional about taking a week or two every so often to go through what I have and make a plan for using it up in my meals. This means I waste much less food than before and still put great meals on the table for my family!

Here are a few tips for taking a week (or more) and using up the food that’s been hiding in your kitchen and turning it into delicious and satisfying meals for your family.

  • Go on a search and rescue mission in your pantry and freezer.  You need to know exactly what you’ve got in there.  Examine expiration dates, pitching what’s already past its prime.  Make a list of what you find.
  • Search recipes for meals that use the foods you find.  Don’t be afraid to substitute ingredients and get creative in your cooking.
  • Grab a calendar and plot out your meals. You might surprise yourself and be able to plan several weeks or a whole month!
  • Commit.  Stay out of the stores as much as possible and keep to your plan.  One way to commit is to designate a way to spend or save the money you’re not spending on groceries.  If you budget a regular amount of money for the grocery, during your pantry and freezer challenge you won’t be spending that.  That means you can put that money aside for something needed or fun!

I think this pantry and freezer challenge is the perfect way to end our 7 Habits of Eating at Home series.  I’d love it if you took a moment and told me what you’re making from your pantry and freezer this week!

Here are a few more things that might be helpful in your pantry and freezer challenge this week


Next week we’re starting a new series on Summer Slow Cooking and Pressure Cooking. Let’s keep the kitchen cool together!

Read all the posts in the 7 Successful Habits for Eating at Home

  1. Plan Meals around your calendar and lifestyle
  2. Simplify Grocery Shopping to save time and money
  3. Stock up your freezer with easy meals and shortcuts
  4. Plan 15-minute meals for busy days
  5. Master time-saving tools in the kitchen–before you are in a time crunch!
  6. Create intentional conversation and connection with your families at the dinner table + FREE PRINTABLE!
  7. THIS POST: Use up what you already have by shopping from your pantry and freezer when you plan your menu at least a few times a year!

Eat at Home Habit #6 – 21 Dinner Conversation Starters & FREE Printable!

We’re nearing the end of our series on 7 Habits for Eating at Home.  Today’s habit is most important. ?You may be asking why this one is so much more important than all the time-saving tips we’ve been sharing. That’s because dinner may be about the food, but family dinner is very much about the conversation and connections made with each other around the dinner table at mealtime.

Habit #6 – Intentional Dinner Conversation

Eat at Home’s mission is to encourage families to cook and eat at home together so they can leverage dinnertime to build a strong family.

Building a strong family is what making family dinner a priority is all about.  When we spend time together around the table, it strengthens our relationships to each other as we share food and good conversation.  It’s a chance to slow down a minute, look each other in the eye, talk together and really listen to each other. And it’s a great time to check in with our spouse and kids and see how things are really going for them.

A lot of the conversation around the table happens naturally, but sometimes it’s really nice to have a jumping off point to get the conversations started. Having some predetermined conversation starters can be a great way to talk about things that don’t normally come up in conversation but that help us get to know our families better. Sometimes it’s a great way to share favorite memories, learn new things, and share a lot of laughs.

We created a list of 21 fun conversation starters you can use at dinner tonight. Don’t forget to download the free, printable version of the list too!

Dinner  Conversation Starters

  1. Tell about one of your favorite teachers.
  2. If you could be real-life friends with a fictional character, who would you chose?
  3. Which do you think is more important – music or visual art?
  4. Would you ever want to be famous? Why or why not?
  5. What’s one subject they don’t teach in school that you wish they would.
  6. Name a place in your hometown that you’d like to visit, but never have. Make plans to go!
  7. If you had out-of-town guests coming to visit, what would you take them to see in your town?
  8. If you could instantly be good at one thing, what would it be?
  9. What’s your most important possession?
  10. What is your favorite part of the day?
  11. How much time do you think people should spend on the internet each day? How much time do you spend online each day?
  12. What’s your favorite thing to do online?
  13. Do you think it’s good to be bored sometimes?
  14. What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re bored?
  15. If it was possible to book a flight into outer space, would you go?
  16. What’s one daring thing you’d like to try? It doesn’t have to be something that’s daring for everyone, just daring for you.
  17. What’s one of your favorite smells?
  18. If you could bump into a famous person during the day tomorrow, who would you choose?
  19. Would you ever consider living in a historic time period (if time travel were possible)? Which one and why?
  20. Do you think it’s better to binge watch a tv show or have to wait on new episodes to be released?
  21. Do you like starting things more or finishing them?

Download the FREE printable version of this dinnertime conversation list here. 

This post contains affiliate links. Your clicks and purchases help support this site at no extra cost to yourself! 

If you’d rather have something that’s already made up, TableTopics makes tons of fun options to get conversations going. They have everything from conversation starters for couples to conversation starters for family reunions or girls night out! This one is especially for family dinners though, and looks like lots of fun! I love how they are all contained in sturdy little boxes too.

Healthy Habits for Eating at Home

If you are just joining us and would like to catch up on the other topics we’ve covered including topics planning meals around your calendar, quick and simple grocery shopping tips, stocking your freezer, the 15-minute meal and a collection of tools and tips for mastering time-saving cooking methods.