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”

Candied Sweet Potatoes

I think sweet potatoes are served in many homes around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here is a simple candied sweet potato recipe that we make on occasion. You may also like to try out Favorite Sweet Potato Casserole.

Continue reading “Candied Sweet Potatoes”

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


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Simple Cranberry Relish

I love cranberry sauce of any kind but this one is the bomb! It is so easy to make and it really does taste so much better than the kind in the can that you can find in every store around Thanksgiving.

Continue reading “Simple Cranberry Relish”

Pan Fried Green Beans

Sometimes we get in a rut when we are trying to eat healthier and we find ourselves eating everything steamed or broiled. Sometimes we are afraid to season or use any kind of fat but really all fats are not bad and our body does need them sometimes. This recipe is kind of a variation of my Oven Roasted Green Beans as I forgot to preheat the oven and didn’t want to take the time to do it one day. I think this method would probably work well with some asparagus or Brussel sprouts too. Continue reading “Pan Fried Green Beans”

Super Yummy Caulitaters

When Mr. Awesome made the decision to give up some of his favorite foods I knew I had to get creative with some alternatives to the potato dishes that we eat so frequently. I had tried to make some ‘fake taters’ before without success but this time we finally had a winner.

This version is close to what they have in the Trim Healthy Mama books but may not be entirely on the plan as I have added a few extra ingredients which takes them to a whole nother level! If your crew isn’t entirely sold on the idea of cauliflower taters then try using half potatoes and half cauliflower, to begin with. These are really good on top of Shepherd’s Pie in a Skillet as well! (You can sneak some extra veggies and/or spinach into that recipe as well!) Continue reading “Super Yummy Caulitaters”

Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts

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So with our Little House On The Prairie  Academic Adventures, we’ve been studying about some of the uses of  Maple Syrup. We happened to see some that could be used in Brussels Sprouts.

They turned out quite well and I thought I’d share the recipe with everyone. Continue reading “Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts”

Preventing The Back To HomeSchool Meal Planning Madness

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Hmmm… have you thought about what you’ll be feeding those hungry learners? If your kids were in public school you may not have had to think much about it before. If you plan to homeschool then you will be feeding them at least three meals a day and maybe a few snacks in between.

This can turn into a chaotic juggling act if you aren’t prepared. How do we prevent meal time chaos in our home? By meal planning. I even plan out snacks sometimes so I don’t forget to include them on my grocery list. Check out this link for some Healthy Snacks to Go.

10 snacks your kids can make star (1)

It might seem like a lot of trouble but when you find a system that works for then it is so easy. It will actually save you time and money in the long run. This is also a helpful thing even if you don’t homeschool.

Check out this post for some quick and easy breakfast ideas to help you beat that morning chaos and fill those tummies with a nutritious breakfast to start their day off right. Here is another link for even more ideas: The Healthy Breakfast Book. Continue reading “Preventing The Back To HomeSchool Meal Planning Madness”

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Here is a super-easy way to make Brussels Sprouts. I used some of the Brussels Sprouts I got with my order from Southwestern Produce a couple of weeks ago.

I’ll be trying out some different recipes as I really haven’t made Brussels Sprouts unless it was the microwave bags, a whole lot. These were pretty good though. This recipe can actually be adapted to almost any kind of raw/frozen veggies. Try out our Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts recipe. Continue reading “Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts”

Oven Roasted Green Beans

Well, now that I have all of these frozen green beans in my freezer I can start using them in many different ways. One of the ways we really like to eat them is oven-roasted… the little kids think of them as bean fries.

You can add in the parmesan and breadcrumbs if you like or leave it out if cheese is not your thing. You could also substitute bacon drippings for the olive oil and sprinkle them with some crumbled bacon to take these to another level.

If you buy or pick whole green beans they do make for a prettier presentation but we use a lot of frozen green beans as we get them at a really good price from Southwestern Produce.

Continue reading “Oven Roasted Green Beans”

Ranch Potatoes

My kiddos love these potatoes!

Ranch Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 potatoes, washed, peeled, and cut into wedges
  • ¼ c. vegetable oil
  • 1 packet dry ranch seasoning

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450.

Grease a large baking sheet or pan.

Place potatoes and oil in a gallon-size bag or large container with a tight lid. Seal the bag or cover the container and shake to coat.

Add the seasoning packet and toss again until coated.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until potatoes are brown and crisp. (You may want to stir the potatoes from time to time to keep them from sticking.)

Collections ETC Set of 4 Fiberglass Stovetop Burner Protectors, 10.5-Inch, Black

Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids Food Storage Container, 42-Piece Set, Red

 

 

Cuisinart 15-Piece Stainless Steel Hollow Handle Block Set, C77SS-15PK

French Fries

I had gotten into the habit of buying the bags of frozen fries at the grocery store. Recently someone had reminded me of how much better fresh fries taste and I have to agree that the little bit of extra work is well worth it. Yes, I do still keep a bag or two of the frozen ones on hand but I have been trying to make them from ‘scratch’ as often as I can.

I’m sure many of you know how to make them but this is for those of us who can be a little unsure of things sometimes. This is more common than you may think and I believe a lot of it may have to do with the fact that our younger generations are not being taught these things at home or in school. We had an associate at a large store tell us that she had just helped someone who didn’t know where to find shredded lettuce. The poor girl had been searching the canned food aisle over and over again.

This man here proves that anything can be used as a blessing… even French Fries!

 

Continue reading “French Fries”