April 20, 2018

April 16, 2018

Chicken Tinga {Secret Recipe Club Reunion}

Tacos - who can ask for more than tacos?! Everyone loves tacos, right? Chicken and onions cooked in a spicy fresh tomato sauce make for an extra yummy taco! This post is part of the Secret Recipe Club Reunion! Man I have really missed this event! I always looked forward to getting my blog assignment every month. I have so much fun perusing other people's food blogs and picking recipes to try! This time was no exception. I was given Shockingly Delicious as my blog assignment and really enjoyed looking through Dorothy's extensive collection of recipes. Before I decided on the Chicken Tinga, I was also thinking of making her Mac n' Cheese Impossible Pie, Cherry Chipotle Meatloaf Cupcakes, or her Scotch Tea Cookies (I'm still going to make these sometime soon). We were not at all disappointed in these tacos - they were delicious! I had never even heard of Chicken Tinga before finding it on Dorothy's blog. I love trying out dishes that are completely new to me. These tacos were easy to make and very flavorful with a kick from the chipotle. We topped ours with sour cream, crisp shredded lettuce, cheddar cheese, and avocado. This dish will serve about four people. The only changes I made to this recipe was the addition of some salt and slightly more chicken.

April 13, 2018

April 6, 2018

April 5, 2018

Whole wheat kale applesauce toddler muffins

Kale, applesauce, and whole wheat flour are blender together in these green-hued muffins perfect for getting toddlers (or others) to eat some greens. Please don't let the kale scare you if you are not a fan. It's barely detectable (and I'm not a huge kale fan either)! I'm now considering myself the unofficial muffins queen because my muffin creations apparently know no bounds these days. I love finding new ways to get my toddlers to eat some vegetables and some whole grains in a way that they actually enjoy! They love muffins so as long as that continues, so will the recipes. Don't forget I (and others) share lots of terrific baby/toddler recipes and ideas at my Facebook group Baby & Toddler Food Recipe Share - so come join us!

These muffins are a twist on a favorite of ours: Banana Spinach Oat Blender Muffins. I bought a giant bag of kale that I've been using in our morning smoothies (follow me on Instagram where I post our morning smoothies almost daily in my stories). But, I just knew when I grabbed it that I'd be finding a way to get it into a muffin as well. My kids like them for a snack or I will give them one along with scrambled eggs or plain yogurt for breakfast. This recipe will make one dozen muffins.

March 31, 2018

April Recipe Round-Up

Welcome to the April Recipe Round-Up! I don't know about you, but here in western New York, we are ready for spring! This month's round-up brings you yummy recipes perfect for the spring season; from breakfast to dinner to dessert. Please check out what we are sharing with you this month. Plus, be sure to scroll all the way down to enter another terrific giveaway!


March 30, 2018

March 27, 2018

Carrot banana bread

Banana bread is made even tastier and prettier with tons of little flecks of sweet orange carrots in this moist and delicious loaf! As readers of this blog know, I love playing around with and creating "new" quick bread and muffin recipes. I like it even more now because my kids love them so much, so I'm always looking for ways to sneak in those veggies and reduce the sugar to make them at least somewhat healthy. This bread is simply a modification of my Chocolate Chip Zucchini Banana Muffins which are also a big hit in our house. Once you have a good quick bread recipe down, you can always play with it to create new flavors. Carrots instead of zucchini, walnuts instead of chocolate chips, baked in a loaf pan instead of a muffin pan - Bingo! As readers know I really want to raise adventerous eaters and kids who will at least try and not fear food. My twins are only 20 months old and while they ate pretty much everything when I was making baby food, toddlerhood is a different story. We try, but inevitably there are protests and food throwing and tears at times. We always offer everything we eat and encourage them to try things. I rarely make them an alternative "kid" food, but I always make sure to offer something I know they love - like fruit, cheese, or yogurt, along with a unfamiliar foods so they don't feel overwhelmed. It's a learning process for all of us to say the least! And while I love to sneak extra vegetables into things like breads, muffins, and pancakes, I also want them to be exposed to vegetables in their whole form. We also have this Eating the Alphabet book which gets them excited to learn fruits and vegetables of all kinds! But, I don't think I'll be stopping the extra vegetable "sneaking" anytime soon. This recipe will make one loaf of quick bread.

March 23, 2018

March 21, 2018

Baked carrot cake oatmeal

All the flavors of carrot cake put into a hearty and delicious baked oatmeal breakfast. This recipe is my contribution to this month's Fantastical Food Fight hosted by Sarah at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes. March's theme is: Carrot Cake! I am a huge carrot cake fan. I have sometimes requested my mom to make it for my birthday and we even had it for our wedding cake. I knew I wanted to do something a little different than making a traditional carrot cake for this event (though now I really would like a carrot cake). Over the past year I've been making baked oatmeal more frequently because my kids really enjoy it (I've made peanut butter, pumpkin, and zucchini bread versions for them). Plus, lately I've been putting vegetables into basically everything, so I thought our oatmeal breakfast would be a perfect place to showcase all the flavors of a carrot cake (even a cream cheese topping). We usually eat our baked oatmeal scooped into a bowl with a little milk, or cut into squares as best as possible (as it can be crumbly). For this version, I like it with just a big dollop of the cream cheese topping!

March 16, 2018

March 13, 2018


Spätzle are a soft egg noodle found in German, Austrian, Hungarian, and other cuisines. When we make Spätzle it is usually as a side to German dishes like German meatloaf, Schnitzel, sausages with sauerkraut, Rouladen, etc. If you follow me over on Instagram and were checking out my stories recently, you saw that I was was having fun making these over the weekend. As I've mentioned here before, one of my favorite cookbooks is the classic The German Cookbook. The base Spätzle recipe comes from that book. I have a Spätzle maker that used to belong to my husband's grandparents, but they are not necessary for making Spätzle (although they are fun and help to make more all at once). You can serve them right out of the boiling water, or you can transfer them to a skillet and toss them with some melted butter and parsley, as I did here. They are terrific to serve with dishes that have a gravy and sauce as well. This recipe will feed about 4-6 people as a side dish.

March 9, 2018

March 8, 2018

Sheet pan kielbasa, cabbage, & potato dinner

This easy meal filled with smoky sausage, sweet carrots, cabbage, and potatoes and drizzled with a maple, mustard, and apple cider vinegar sauce is a simple and filling weeknight dish! I've been making this dinner since I first got inspiration over at the amazing Budget Bytes about a year ago. I've changed it over time and also scaled it up a bit to feed our hungry family of four and it remains one of my favorite simple and budget-friendly dinners. I'm trying to post more frugal recipes on my blog lately as being a frugal mama is where I am these days. Since we are getting close to St. Patrick's Day, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots tend to be on sale and even more budget-friendly than usual, so this is a great time of the year to try out this meal. It's also very adaptable - you can easily add more or less of the vegetables that you wish. You can use red or russet potatoes instead or yellow. I use turkey kielbasa (a great Aldi find!), but you can use your favorite kind. This meal will feed about four people depending on age and hunger level.

March 2, 2018

February 28, 2018

March Recipe Round-up

Welcome to the March Recipe Round-Up! This month is all about family favorite recipes from our bloggers. We have added three new bloggers to our group, as well as increased the number of recipes our bloggers are linking up, to give you even more recipes each month. We also have another fabulous giveaway this month! Scroll to the bottom to enter to win an Air Fryer (!), after you check out the family favorite recipes we have for you!

February 26, 2018

Grandma's Pittsburgh chipped ham sandwiches

Chipped (or "chip chopped") ham sandwiches are something my grandmother used to make when I was a kid. These sandwiches come from the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. My grandmother grew up in a small borough outside of Pittsburgh called Turtle Creek and this is a recipe she brought with her from her childhood. My grandma was not a fan of cooking and I rarely remember her cooking any food for me except for these sandwiches on rare occasions (and tuna sandwiches if that counts haha. My grandfather made a mean breakfast). Before she passed away a couple of years ago I asked her a few times for her recipe for chipped ham. I thought that she had used pop (soda) in them, but she swore she didn't. Chili sauce and properly cut ham (see below) were the keys to a chipped ham sandwich she said. I also read a few recipes online and they seemed to vary a lot... some had some barbecue sauce, some ketchup, some chili sauce, some sweet pickle relish, some even had cheese... So, I went with the bare bones of what she told me to recreate what I remember eating as a kid. My finished product matched up well. I would say that I probably liked these a lot more as a kid than I do as an adult, but for nostalgia purposes, they were great. They are also an easy, kid-friendly, and budget-friendly meal. Serve with sweet pickles on the side or on top along with a side like sweet potato fries, potato salad, or macaroni salad of your choice. This recipe will make about six sandwiches.

February 23, 2018

February 21, 2018

Baked sweet potato fries with creamy maple mustard dipping sauce

Sweet potatoes baked in olive oil and then dipped in a cool and creamy sauce with hints of spicy mustard and real maple syrup make a delicious side dish! We love fries around this place - I make baked white potato fries a lot, but sweet potato fries are also popular in our house and I like that my kids usually will eat sweet potatoes this way. We've been having a long few weeks of illnesses in our house. It's been kind of a rough winter with sicknesses. Now that everyone is starting to feel more normal and eating again, I'm getting back into making (and eating) more food. I made sloppy joe's for dinner (with a bunch of vegetables in with the meat - finely chopped onion, red bell pepper, celery, grated carrot, and garlic) and these sweet potato fries were the perfect accompaniment to our sandwiches. My twins really enjoyed the sauce a little too much. We had to cut them off because they would have eaten it with a spoon if we let them!

This recipe will make a side dish for about four people. Serve along with any meal you'd normally have fries - burgers, sloppy joe's, pulled pork, and lots more! The dipping sauce is optional, but highly encouraged.

February 16, 2018

February 12, 2018

Red wine & cherry dark chocolate chip brownies {#FoodBloggerLove}

#FoodBloggerLove is an event where a bunch of food bloggers get together and share the love for another fellow food blogger. This year I was assigned Fix Me a Little Lunch written by Ali, "a writer, recipe creator, cook. Oregon explorer, PNW fan." I had so much fun looking through her tasty blog and all her recipes. I was especially loving her cocktails section and have several marked to try including this blood orange whiskey sour (yum!) and roasted persimmon old fashioned (I mean, seriously, so yummy). I knew I wanted to make a recipe from her blog that would be perfect for sharing around Valentine's Day, so when I saw her Wine-y Dark Chocolate Brownies (yes, more alcohol, I realize this haha), I found the winner! These brownies are perfect for sharing with a crowd, or keep them to share with your Valentine along with the rest of the bottle of wine. They are delicious -- moist and chocolaty with all the dark chocolate chips inside and then have a slight tart and tangy flavor from the cherries. The red wine taste is subtle, but you can detect it when they are fully cool. A delicious flavor combination!

I encourage you to go visit and follow Ali on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more great ideas! Also, check out the link-up below for many more #FoodBloggerLove posts and recipes.

February 9, 2018

February 6, 2018

Chocolate beet mini muffins

Earthy red beets and sweet chocolate come together in these tasty mini muffins making them a perfect Valentine's Day treat! Yes, I am well aware that I'm posting yet another muffin recipe. I can't help it! I promise I'll take a break for a little while after this one. My main dishes haven't been too interesting lately. And kitchen time has been difficult. But, whipping up muffins is something I can do relatively quickly, or even when I wake up in the morning before the kiddos wake up. I guess mom-life has really overtaken me lately, and that's OK by me. But, back to these muffins. They are full of chocolaty goodness, but also full of some beet puree. It seems like an odd combination at first, but they really pair nicely together. I came up with the idea for these muffins when thinking about this chocolate beetroot cake and I had extra beets from making this beet hummus. The muffins were a win - my twins devoured them (and the adults enjoyed them as well). I like making mini muffins sometimes, especially for chocolate ones as they are more of a special treat and perfectly sized for little ones. This recipe will make 24 mini muffins.

February 2, 2018

January 30, 2018

Blueberry oatmeal muffins

Blueberries and oatmeal are two current favorites in this house along with muffins, so putting them all together was a necessity. I think I need to change the name of my blog to something like 'muffin queen' because I feel like I'm posting muffins all the time lately. I can't help it - my kiddos are so in love with muffins, so it gives me an excuse to keep trying out new ones for them. We have blueberries in the freezer from picking over the summer, so these were perfect for using some of them up. Our twins just turned 18 months old this week! I can't believe it sometimes. They are getting to be such fun and adventurous little people! There's never a dull moment around here with them. If you aren't already following me on Instagram, you can head over and check out some of the fun stuff we do (along with lots of food and recipe posts, of course). This recipe will make one dozen muffins. They are perfect for a snack or for a breakfast with some scrambled eggs or a bowl of yogurt.

Also, don't forget to enter the Instant Pot giveaway!

January 27, 2018

February Recipe Round-up {Valentine's Day and an Awesome Giveaway!}


Welcome to the February Recipe Round-Up! This month is all about Valentine's Day recipes, from the sweet to the savory. Our group of bloggers has some super special recipes they are sharing this month! Plus we have another awesome GIVEAWAY for our readers...scroll to the bottom of this post to enter to win an Instant Pot!

January 22, 2018

Spinach pancakes

Fresh baby spinach makes these buttermilk pancakes a lovely green color! When one of your toddlers is starting to get picky about her vegetables, you start to get more creative about how to get her to eat them. Enter, spinach pancakes! Please don't let the name frighten you at all - they are tasty and you really can't taste the spinach very much at all. All four of us ate them happily topped with a little plain Green yogurt, banana slices, and some real maple syrup. These pancakes have just a touch of sugar, so they aren't overly sweet, which to me makes them perfect for syrup, in my opinion.

This recipe will make about 12 pancakes. We like them anytime, but they'd be especially fun for holidays like St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, or Christmas. Give them a try and see what your family thinks of these fun green pancakes.

January 17, 2018

Oatmeal molasses bread

Bread baking is something that I've been wanting to do more often and become more proficient at doing well. I was working on sourdoughs until I killed my starter (must get a new one going soon), but yeasted breads and I have never really been friends. I mean, I want to do it, but I find it intimidating and a little daunting because of the amount of time it takes. Not active time really, but planning out to give enough time for kneading, rising, baking, cooling.... it can be an all day affair! So as soon as I saw that January's Fantastical Food Fight theme was oatmeal, I knew I was going to challenge myself to make a good loaf of oatmeal bread. I used this recipe as my guide, but my first loaf did not come out super (And also was dropped on the floor.... ahhhh, life with two toddlers). So, the below recipe is my slightly modified version. This loaf came out much better, but it's still not perfect. I need to keep working on it and improving my bread shaping and baking skills. This bread is slightly sweet from the molasses. It's delicious as is, but really delicious with some butter and jam. My twins love this bread. I mean they were yelling and reaching for it over the baby gate the entire time I was trying to take photos. I think it would make a mean peanut butter and jelly sandwich and is perfect for toasting up the next day for breakfast. The below recipe will make one loaf.

January 12, 2018

January 11, 2018

Beet hummus with feta

I'm on a bit of a hummus kick lately. I recently posted this roasted butternut squash hummus and that was super delicious, but apparently did not fully squash (pun intended) my hummus craving. This time I decided to try hummus made with beets. A friend had shared a beet hummus video with me about a year ago I've been meaning to try it and now I'm wondering why I waited so long. It's delicious and also, that color! I mean, it's so so pretty! I don't know how anyone could look at it and resist giving it at least a little try, even if they aren't huge beet fans. I didn't use a ton of beets in my recipe so it wasn't overly "beety" in flavor, but rather had that slight earthiness that beets impart. My husband and I have been eating it like the photos here and my mom and I enjoyed it on some corn tortilla chips. The kids have been eating it spread on crackers with a side of sliced grape tomatoes and pears. Everyone has been eating it and liking it! It's delicious for a light lunch or snack or an appetizer/side dish to a larger meal.

January 8, 2018

One bowl cranberry banana bread muffins

Tart cranberries in a banana bread muffin made with maple syrup and a bit of whole wheat flour. Does this make the muffin "healthy"? I don't know.... maybe just healthier than some. But, my kids adore muffins and they are a great way to get them to eat more fruits and vegetables. I'm continually trying out ways to make them a little less sweet and a little more nutritious. You can see I have lots of other muffin recipes on this site including whole wheat squash & cranberry muffins. Also, in case you missed it, my kids also love cranberries and I bought up a few extra bags that were marked down to only 45 cents at Walmart and froze them. So needless to say I'm looking for ways to use cranberries in my cooking a lot lately. I was going to make this recipe into a loaf, but muffins just cook so much quicker which is important to me these days. This recipe will make 12 muffins, but you can bake it in a loaf pan instead for about 50-60 minutes.