Easy BBQ Sloppy Joes (30-minute meal)

Weeknight dinners don’t get any better than this 30 minute meal that uses just five ingredients to make a delicious main dish everyone in the family will happily devour.Weeknight dinners don't get any better than this 30 minute meal that uses just five ingredients to make a delicious main dish everyone in the family will happily devour.

Does anyone else ever feel like cooking for toddlers is like playing roulette? Even if your child liked something yesterday, there’s no guarantee he will like it today. Sometimes I know when I make dinner that there is a good chance my kids won’t love it. That’s okay. I want to expand their horizons. But, there’s nothing worse at the end of the day than having my kids turn up their noses at a meal that I’ve worked hard to make and legitimately thought they would like.

Continue reading

Easter egg surprise popcorn balls

Although it’s a simple recipe, there is more to these Easter egg-shaped popcorn balls than meets the eye. Kids will be thrilled with the surprise awaiting them inside this fun Easter dessert!
Although it's a simple recipe, there is more to these Easter egg-shaped popcorn balls than meets the eye. Kids will be thrilled with the surprise awaiting them inside this fun Easter dessert!

Have you ever had a kinder egg? They were clearly created by someone who understands the appeal that cheap trinkets have for children. Basically, it’s a chocolate egg with a plastic toy inside. At least it’s pretty good European chocolate rather than the super waxy cheap American stuff that shall remain nameless. Continue reading

Easy tips for reducing sugar in your family’s diet

You don’t have to sacrifice your favorite dessert to cut down on sugar intake. Try these seven easy-to-swallow ideas for reducing sugar in your family’s diet without throwing out the ice cream.

You don't have to sacrifice your favorite dessert to cut down on sugar intake. Try these seven easy-to-swallow ideas for reducing sugar in your family's diet without throwing out the ice cream.Note: This post includes affiliate links. See my disclosure to learn more.

Let me start by saying two things:

  1. I’m not one to jump on every healthy eating bandwagon that rolls into town. I am not a dietitian, doctor, or other health professional. I’m just a mom trying to feed her family good food.
  2. Our family will probably certainly never be a sugar-free one. My husband has a strong love of ice cream, and I enjoy a good dessert as much as the next person.

Continue reading

Mini Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

These mini toffee chocolate chip cookies are the perfect bite-size treat–crispy edges, chewy middle, and a perfect recipe for freezing ahead of time to use whenever the need for chocolate strikes. These mini toffee chocolate chip cookies are the perfect bite-size treat--crispy edges, chewy middle, and a perfect recipe for freezing ahead of time to use whenever the need for chocolate strikes.

A few weeks ago I left all my boys at home while I flew to my parents’ house in California for the weekend. It was a great little getaway to see siblings, parents, and old high school friends. I had way too much fun…and stayed up way past my bedtime. Ugh, there is a reason I don’t stay up past midnight anymore.

Continue reading

Strawberry Nutella Heart-shaped Hand Pies

Need an easy Valentine’s dessert that is sure to wow your sweetheart (and make your kids smile)? These strawberry Nutella heart-shaped hand pies come together quickly and taste decadent. Enjoy!Need an easy Valentine's dessert that is sure to wow your sweetheart (and make your kids smile)? These strawberry Nutella heart-shaped hand pies come together quickly and taste decadent. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links to the products mentioned, which means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you choose to purchase through my link. See my disclosure for more info.

It’s February, people. We survived the bitter cold of January. The boys and I even got outside for some pruning and soccer playing this afternoon! That’s HUGE for us since it’s been months since we’ve been able to play outside. There is hope for spring! In the meantime, I’m taking advantage of the still-brisk weather by baking. This week: Valentine’s treats! Continue reading

Kid-sized food: Healthy banana chocolate chip muffins

Want a healthy and delicious snack for the whole family to enjoy? Make a big batch of these easy banana chocolate chip muffins, pop the extras in the freezer, and you’ll be ready when your little hungry hippos come nosing around.

Want a healthy and delicious snack for the whole family to enjoy? Make a big batch of these easy banana chocolate chip muffins, pop the extras in the freezer, and you'll be ready when your little hungry hippos come nosing around.This morning when I woke up, it was ONE degree outside. ONE! I can’t even say, “It’s freezing cold today!” because that doesn’t even begin to capture the depth of the cold. “Freezing” is an understatement. Does anyone else think that it should NOT be allowed to get that cold?

Little Man keeps asking me when it’s going to be summer again, and I hate having to tell him that we’ve still got several months of snow before we can break out the shorts and flip flops again.  Continue reading

Traditional German Stollen (Christmas bread)

This light, sweet bread dotted with candied fruit and nuts is a tasty Christmas tradition from Germany that our family has enjoyed for years, and I’m sure yours will, too! 
This light, sweet bread dotted with candied fruit and nuts is a tasty Christmas tradition from Germany that our family has enjoyed for years, and I'm sure yours will, too!

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links to the products mentioned. As always, feel free to shop around for the best deal! See my disclosure for more info.

It’s less than a week until Christmas. Almost all my shopping is done, and I’m excited to set aside all the “have to”s in favor of doing a little more holiday baking just for fun. Hooray for good food.

In our family, Christmas was filled with traditions from our German ancestry. I remember watching the blades slowly spin on our traditional German pyramid nativity, lighting a candle each Sunday evening on our advent wreath, and  opening one gift on Christmas Eve after acting out the nativity story. Continue reading

Christmas simmer pot neighbor gift (with free printable tags)

Do you exchange gifts with your neighbors at Christmas? Rather than a traditional cookie plate, try giving the gift of a yummy smelling house. A Christmas simmer pot kit is a simple to make, inexpensive, and useful gift that anyone can enjoy.

Do you exchange gifts with your neighbors at Christmas? Rather than a traditional cookie plate, try giving the gift of a yummy smelling house. A Christmas simmer pot kit is a simple to make, inexpensive, and useful gift that anyone can enjoy. What do you give for neighbor gifts? Or do you give them at all? The ideas for simple, made-in-bulk gifts abound on Pinterest, and it seems like many families have a favorite to give. I know that every year I am going to get homemade marshmallows from one neighbor, and English toffee from another.

I love all the treats (seriously, do not stop bringing me toffee, Lacey), but there are A LOT of them this time of year, so I’ve done something a little different the past few years for our neighbors. I give the scent of Christmas. Continue reading

Five-minute easy fudge recipe

Need a quick treat to take to a Christmas party, or a last-minute gift for a neighbor? Make this easy fudge recipe in five minutes. You can dress it up by adding mix-ins, or keep it simple with only two ingredients. No one will know how easy it was to make!

Need a quick treat to take to a Christmas party, or a last-minute gift for a neighbor? Make this easy fudge recipe in five minutes. You can dress it up by adding mix-ins, or keep it simple with only two ingredients. No one will know how easy it was to make!

Thanksgiving is over, and the Christmas carols are on. It’s officially Christmas around here!

Okay, it actually doesn’t really feel like Christmas to me right now because I’m writing this from a condo in Hawaii listening to the waves lapping against the shore (I know, I’m super spoiled). Still, I know that when I go home to snowy Utah in 3 days, I’m going to get into full celebrate-the-season mode.

Continue reading

The Best Kitchen Tools Under $20

Every chef (or busy mom who throws food on the table on a semi-regular basis) needs the right kitchen tools for the job. Take a peek at this gift guide of my favorite cooking essentials; they will save you time and energy, and will make cooking more fun.Every chef (or busy mom who throws food on the table on a semi-regular basis) needs the right kitchen tools for the job. Take a peek at this gift guide of my favorite cooking essentials; they will save you time and energy, and will make cooking more fun.Disclaimer: This post is completely unsponsored. I’m just sharing things that I love. However, I have included affiliate links to the products mentioned. As always, feel free to shop around for the best deals. See my full disclosure here.

I love to cook. As I’ve mentioned before, I come from a family that regularly texts each other pictures of the family recipes we are making for holidays. I usually get things like spatulas and garlic presses in my Easter basket, and kneading bread is one of my favorite ways to get out any agression.

What can I say? I love to eat good food, and I love the process of bringing it into being. I’ve collected a pretty good arsenal of cooking tools over the years, and today I thought I’d share with you some of my favorites.

Continue reading