Planning ahead with Cozi, a birthday in the house, and a house update

How are y’all doing?

I’ve started feeling a tad bit better this week… not having constant nausea like I previously had although it still hits and still knocks me down from time to time. I have managed to make all of our ‘normal’ breakfasts for the week… yay! The kids were happy to have French Toast and Pancakes again. I had cheated and bought quite a bit of cereal over the past few weeks… they like cereal but they missed their hot meals.

I had used up all of my freezer meals and was forced to cook this week… dinner was not always on the table at the usual time but it did get made. Sometimes dinner didn’t quite make sense as I was just pulling things out of the cabinets in the order I found them… lol. Continue reading “Planning ahead with Cozi, a birthday in the house, and a house update”

Stuffed Mushrooms with Dipping Sauce

I love mushrooms of every kind and I am always trying to add them to so many dishes because of their amazing health benefits. This is one of my favorite mushroom recipes.

I don’t like that you don’t use all of the mushrooms and a whole pepper but those can be frozen and used later.
Continue reading “Stuffed Mushrooms with Dipping Sauce”

Ultimate Mashed Potatoes

We love Mashed Potatoes but every now and then I make these potatoes which are just a little bit extra special and delicious! I love how leaving the skins on makes these so pretty and it provides a little bit of the unexpected. Continue reading “Ultimate Mashed Potatoes”

Sloppy Joes

What is it about this meal that everyone loves? I think my kids love it because they can make a mess while eating it. I love this recipe because I can sneak veggies in and they never know! This recipe is so much healthier than the kind you find in a can.

Just blend up the frozen veggies or chop them really fine before adding to the meat. I also like to make a couple of batches of this to put in the freezer for an easy mess. Continue reading “Sloppy Joes”

DIY Playdough

I think every kid loves playdough and mine are no exception. I recently pinned a bunch of playdough recipes on one of my boards but as luck would have it I actually found one of my own recipes in my old recipe box… it also happened to be the last recipe in the box.

Don’t worry though because I’ve got recipes stashed everywhere in this little house and I have some packed away in the shed so I’ll get them posted… hopefully faster than it took me to get through the recipe box though!

I have also seen some new recipes that are using essential oils which would smell so good. You could probably use this recipe and omit the Kool-aid pack. You could also color them with some natural dyes if you desired too.

Continue reading “DIY Playdough”

Sourdough Dutch Baby

I adapted our Dutch Puff recipe to use some of the sourdough discard and it was so good. This doesn’t really even need anything on top but my kiddos like it with a dusting of confectioner sugar or a drizzle of honey or syrup! They also like to eat it with applesauce, fresh fruit, or yogurt. Continue reading “Sourdough Dutch Baby”

Homemade Croutons

Forget the days when croutons were just for salad toppings. We love to eat croutons on our salads, our soups, stews, and we have even been known to eat them as a snack every now and then as well.

I know I have a recipe for homemade croutons somewhere around here but I’m not sure where it is but I’ll update this one if there is anything different about the way I made them the other day.  It just happened that my sister sent home some of the Quick & Easy Garlic Bread and it got pretty hard even though we had it in a Ziploc baggie.

Well, I really didn’t want to throw it out because it was really good and then I had an idea. When we did our last Walmart Grocery Pickup they were out of oyster crackers. I had planned to make Loaded Potato Soup that night as Mr. Awesome had requested it but we really like to eat it with oyster crackers. I had some regular saltines but decided to give it a try with some garlic croutons and they were a HIT!

I skipped a couple of the steps as our bread already had the garlic and butter so I simply had to cut it up and bake it for the most delicious croutons ever. I also keep a baggie in the freezer with scrap bread for making croutons and/or bread crumbs. Continue reading “Homemade Croutons”

Sausage Balls

A friend of mine surprised one day by making these… I didn’t know he could cook and these were so good! He gave me the recipe and they are so easy to make!

The kids can pretty much make this recipe by themselves with a little help when it comes to the oven! I’ll try to remember to snap a picture of these the next time we make them.

Continue reading “Sausage Balls”

Baked Spaghetti Squash (3 ways to cook it)

This was something that I’ve been wanting to try but haven’t gotten around to until last weekend. I am so glad that my sister decided to go with this for dinner as I have been very curious and now I know that this dish will be making it to our table again in the future… it’s so easy to do as well!

You can use the cooked squash in almost any pasta dish and I can’t wait to give it a try with Mama’s Secret Spaghetti Sauce or with some Easy Alfredo Sauce, the possibilities are endless. We ate it with some Easy Baked Chicken, Sauteed Squash (we used a combination of other vegetables instead of the squash), and some Quick & Easy Garlic Bread (which I later made croutons with). 

I’m thinking this might also work well in place of the squash in our favorite Cheesy Squash Casserole or maybe even good as Vegetable Casserole. I’ve also read that Spaghetti Squash is good with a little butter and brown sugar… just the way I like my sweet potatoes!

Did I mention that spaghetti squash is a low carb pasta alternative? It also has many great health benefits that you can read about HERE. This fits in well with our Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle changes that we’ve been trying to implement!

Don’t throw out the seeds! Try them in this recipe: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


Baked Spaghetti Squash (3 ways to cook it)

Baked Spaghetti Squash (3 ways to cook it)

Ingredients:

  • Spaghetti Squash
  • olive oil
  • garlic salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

First, you want to wash off your squash and then cut in half. You can cut it in whichever direction you like as it will cook about the same… just make sure it will fit into your cooking dish.

Next, take a large spoon and scrape out the seeds and insides… kids like to help with this part. You can also roast these just like you can pumpkin seeds.

Turn the squash over and use a fork to poke a few holes in the skin.

Now you can lightly rub the olive oil on the inside and sprinkle with seasonings.

Choose a method of cooking below:

I have only tried the baking method so far so I can’t really testify to the other two methods… yet.

Oven:

Preheat the oven to 375.

Place your prepared squash in a baking dish or on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 30-45 minutes or until slightly tender. The cooked squash should dent easily when you push your finger into the skin. The skin will also start to darken a bit.

You may find that you need to let it cook slightly longer or a little less. The desired tenderness is completely up to you! 

Let cool slightly and then use a fork to scrape out the ‘noodles’.

Enjoy with your favorite sauce or dish!

Microwave:

Don’t oil or season your squash.

Place the prepared squash, fleshy-side down, in a microwave-safe dish. You may only be able to cook 1/2 of the squash at a time depending on the size of your microwave.

Add about 1/2 inch of water to the dish.

Microwave on high for 10-20 minutes, checking every 3-5 minutes for tenderness. The cooked squash should dent easily when you push your finger into the skin. The skin will also start to darken a bit.

Let cool slightly and then use a fork to scrape out the ‘noodles’.

Season to taste and enjoy with your favorite sauce or dish!

Crockpot:

Hang on to your britches because this is probably the most simple way to cook Spaghetti Squash…

You just need to clean your squash and poke some holes in the skin… don’t cut it in half or anything!

Just put the whole squash your crockpot and cover with a lid. NO WATER NEEDED although I think a little broth may add a bit of flavor.

Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours, just until tender. The cooked squash should dent easily when you push your finger into the skin. The skin will also start to darken a bit.

Let cool slightly and slice in half. Scoop out the seeds and then use a fork to scrape out the ‘noodles’.

Season to taste and enjoy with your favorite sauce or dish!


kids learn to cook


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. If you happen to click through a link and make a purchase we may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. This means that we can keep bringing you great recipes, ideas, and tips for FREE! Click HERE for a full disclaimer.

 –Thank you!

Single-Serve Hot Cocoa

Craving something sweet and warm on a cold day? Try this single-serve version of The Best Hot Cocoa and you can be sipping on a warm cup of delicious hot cocoa in just a couple of minutes! Feel free to use non-fat milk and/or try it with almond milk and omit the sugar to sweeten it with your favorite low-calorie sweetener after microwaving! Continue reading “Single-Serve Hot Cocoa”

Santa’s Top 10 Favorite Cookies That Can Be Made Ahead of Time!

santas-top-10-pin.pngI don’t know if Santa will be visiting your house anytime soon but I think he just might stop here for a handful of cookies. My kiddos love the tradition of leaving cookies for Santa although I suspect that it may be because they get to help sample the cookies.

This year I was determined to have a little bit less stress around the holidays but sometimes life seems to just happen around you. Our new house has been one thing after another and I really wasn’t sure just what else might happen before Christmas so I really tried to get things prepped ahead of time.

One thing I did was to make a TON of freezer meals, 35+ Freezer Meals In One Day!, and I also worked on adding printable recipes to all of my existing recipes on the blog as well as to the new recipes I’ve been posting. I’ve also gotten all of my recipes from my recipe box scheduled to post and I will continue to work on some of the others I have scattered around and packed up just as soon as I can.

This is so much easier than trying to keep your screen open in the kitchen… I apologize that I didn’t do this earlier! I also went ahead and made a bunch of Freezer Cookies! (Working on that post too!) 

I’m not completely against using store-bought cookie dough but I feel that homemade is ALWAYS better if you can. With these recipes, you CANI normally like to roll most of my cookie dough into small balls and flash freeze to make it easier to only pull out what I need. You may want to experiment with these recipes or divide them into smaller batches before freezing. Check out this article HERE for more information about freezing different kinds of cookie dough!

Continue reading “Santa’s Top 10 Favorite Cookies That Can Be Made Ahead of Time!”

Rice Krispie Treats

These are so easy to make and I know people have been making them for ages but I found the recipe in my binder and thought I’d share it. These also work well for making different shapes and for using when making fancy cake decorations! There are a million things you can add into these to make them a little extra special so let your imagination go… the kids love helping with these too! Continue reading “Rice Krispie Treats”