Category: Food

02
Mar

It’s that time of year where I seem to be needing to bake and take a casserole with me everywhere I go.

My GO TO casserole that I’ve been making for over 20 years is  this Garden Chicken Casserole, from a cookbook called Gifts That Taste Good.  It’s super cheesy, made with wild rice and veggies and oh so tasty!! Super easy to make, I always double the recipe and freeze one for later.  Everyone loves it and you will too.

Click HERE for the recipe. I use real mushrooms and cheddar cheese (not American)

Bon Appetit!

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Recipe Box Set | Meal Planning Notepad

Happy Friday everyone! Today I’m going to let you in on a little secret weapon I’ve been using for over a year.

If you’re like me and have a crazy busy schedule with work, kids, life… then you’re in for a treat.  When it comes to nightly dinner time, who has the energy to come up with something to cook? Often times you’ll find yourself going to the grocery store way too many times, spending too much money or eventually find your family eats out a bit too much. When did dinner time become so stressful?

Over a year ago I too was in this same dinner time boat and finally got fed up and TOOK CONTROL! I decided that I needed a plan and a good plan. It is my job and contribution to my family to cook ( you all know I am a bit of a Foodie anyway) not just defrost Stouffer’s, but to offer tasty meals that are healthy and easy to make. Easy being the key because at the end of the day, energy levels are low.

Here are a few steps that I take and tools that I use when making my family’s
Weekly Meal Plan…

1 Hour, 1 Day a Week – Allow yourself at least 1 hour of uninterrupted time a week to put your weekly menu together. This is the first step in taking the stress out of meal time. I personally use Sunday mornings, before anyone is up. Grab my coffee and I’m ready to get to work.

Get Inspired - Since you have to cook, might as well make it something you really want to eat, right? Gather up all of your favorite magazines, recipes and blogs and take a look at what you feel like eating that week. I have a monthly subscription to Taste of Home
and Clean Eating Magazines. I find these recipes super easy for weeknights and family friendly. Also since I live in the South, we have Publix grocery stores. These stores offer their own easy weeknight recipes called Publix Aprons. You can access these delicious and easy dinner recipes all online too.

Apps – Not an appetizer, but how about an App to help get you inspired with weekly dinner menus? Hands down my favorite is E meals . For just $5 a month, they send me an email that has 7 complete dinner recipes that are super easy to make. Many plans to choose from to suit your family needs, we are on the Paleo Plan.  Plus they have a FREE 2 week trial, check it out here E meals. The app allows you to pull up the plan right from your phone or iPad. I like to print the weekly plans out and write down my favorites onto recipe cards.

Favorite Cookbooks - I have too many cookbooks to count, but when it comes to the ones I go to time and time again for healthy and quick dinner ideas I really love Nom Nom Paleo (fun blog too) Against All Grain and The Paleo Kitchen.

Oldies But Goodies - Have a bunch of family favorite recipes creating a huge paper mess in your kitchen? Why not get them all organized nicely in once place? InkSpot Workshop’s NEW Personalized Recipe Box Sets are the perfect addition to your weekly meal planning.

What’s Cooking Recipe Box Set from InkSpot Workshop

Write It Down - Now that you have found some recipes and your tummy is rumbling, it’s time to get everything down on paper. I designed InkSpot Workshop’s NEW Weekly Meal Planning Notepads for myself and now they’re for available for pre-sale (delivering in March) now. These are super handy and have 53 pages, to get you through the year.

What’s Cooking Note Pad | Family Favorites Note Pad

First I look at my family’s schedule and see the type of dinner I should make if any at all. For example, if my son has a football game or practice that lasts late, I should look for a crock pot recipe and dinner will be ready for us all when we walk in the door. If the hubs and I have a date night, dinner will have to be super quick and something I can feed them before we leave or the sitter can handle. It may even be left overs from the night before.

The left side of the Weekly Menu Planner is where I write down “notes” such as practice, date night, etc… as well as the dinners we are going to have each night. I also write down the recipe source and page number for quick reference.

As you write down your menu, be sure to write down the ingredients on the right hand side of the page. Grocery categories are listed for you to make grocery shopping a cinch!

Guess What? You’re ALL DONE! Now you have taken some stress out of your week and won’t have to make any unnecessary trips to the grocery store. You’ll have a tasty, healthy week of dinners planned and all the ingredients right at your fingertips.

I hope you find this helpful! If you have some great dinner time tips, please comment below. Also be sure to subscribe via email (found on the right side of my blog) for my favorite recipes.  Bon Appetit.

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Each Christmas Eve we make my childhood favorite Thumbprint Cookies for Santa. He tells us they’re his absolute favorite :) I always double the recipe and use Seedless Black Raspberry Jam, YUM~Merry Christmas

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Today I am showing you how to make a “not so typical” apple pie and this tradition was handed down to me by my “not so typical” great grandmother Emma Geiger LaGorin, of German descent.  I was lucky enough to have my great grandmother alive and well until I was around 20 years old. I called her “great grandma on the farm” because…well… she lived on a farm of course!

Each visit to grandma on the farm’s house in rural Ohio, would begin with a huge dinner, farmer’s wife style. When we arrived and walked through the back door, instantly you would be welcomed by the smell of her fresh baked Sour Cream Apple Pie cooling in the pantry. I would rush through dinner just to get to this sweet, tangy, creamy pie! Till this day when I bake this pie I’m transported to grandma on the farm’s house.

Thanks for letting me go down memory lane with you today and share a recipe which is very near and dear to my heart. I hope this posting sparks a new tradition in your family for years to enjoy!Gather All Ingredients aka, Mise en place.
A little culinary lingo for you:)

fill your favorite pie pan, lined with your favorite crust, with enough cored, peeled and sliced apples (I prefer Granny Smith’s)
beat together eggs, sugar, salt, lemon juice then sour cream

Pour sour cream mixture over apples and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
Then combine crumble topping, sprinkle over pie and bake at 350 degrees for another 35 minutes or until bubbly and yummy.

your house should be smelling amazing by now

Mmmmmm!

Hungry? Click here to download your pretty recipe cards and share with your friends and family.

These cards will match your TOM Free Printable Thanksgiving Set also from InkSpot Workshop by clicking here

Enjoy,

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Valentine Chocolate Pretzel Bites

(originally published February, 2012 can’t believe how small my now 8 year old looks compared to now)

Next week is the big day! The day for chocolate, hearts and most of all LOVE! This past weekend my 6 year old son and I took some time to make these yummy and super simple Valentine Chocolate Pretzel Bites for his Kindergarten class party. I love snacks that are sweet and salty, don’t you? I promise these will satisfy the strongest of cravings. I thought I’d share the recipe and make it a tutorial, plus offer up some more sweet and savory Valentine’s snacks at the end of this post. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
Mini Pretzels
Heart Shaped Dove Chocolates
Valentine Colored M&Ms

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Grab a little helper and start placing pretzels onto a lined cookie sheet.

While your little helper is lining up the pretzels, unwrap all chocolates.

Center a chocolate onto each pretzel

Both milk and dark chocolate, make a nice contrast.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until chocolate is melted but still retains shape

Press an M&M into each chocolate (not too far)
Place in a safe place (where you can’t eat them:) and allow to cool
on sheet until they are no longer soft. Overnight is best.

If you follow me on Pinterest you’ll see I have been busy collecting all sorts of wonderful sweet and salty Valentine snack ideas. Here are my top 10 recipes and tutorials, handpicked just for you! Also for some behind the scenes snapshots, be sure to check me out on Instagram.

1. Red Velvet Valentine’s Cakes
2. Stained Glass Valentine Cookies
3. Sweetheart Shortbread
4. Valentine’s Day S’mores
5. Popcorn Poppers

6. Roasted Heart Potatoes
7. Healthy Hearts
8. Conversation Heart Toast
9. Marbled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
10. Valentine Jelly Pop

There’s still time for cute Valentine’s Day cards, come shop our Valentine’s section at InkSpot Workshop. FREE SHIPPING on all USA orders over $50, use code FREESHIP50 at checkout.

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