Food

Why I Have ZERO Meals In My Freezer!

posted by Andrea | 01/12/2017 | 26 comments

Freezer cooking has been a crucial part of my efforts to simplify my life for over 10 years now. I have saved myself countless hours in the kitchen, thousands of dollars at the grocery store, and bucket loads of stress due to planning ahead and having ready-made meals in the freezer ALL THE TIME.

However, aside from some leftover soup, we currently have ZERO full meals in our deep freezer right now! Today, I’m sharing why…

Kids In The Kitchen: Pretzel Candy Bites

posted by Andrea | 12/21/2016 | 11 comments

If you’re looking for an extremely simple, super delicious treat to bring to a holiday party, or just something fun to do with your children or grandchildren over Christmas break, I don’t think you can go wrong with these yummy pretzel candy bites!

The gooey caramel + crunchy pretzel + sweet chocolate + salty pretzel is one of the best combos I’ve had in a bite-sized snack in a long time!

A Simple Twist on the Classic Cheesburger

posted by Andrea | 12/12/2016 | 6 comments

One food our entire family devours without a single complaint is cheeseburgers — even better when they are accompanied by Culver’s fries or our favorite baked herbed potato wedges!

Today I’m sharing one very simple tweak that adds lots of flavor and a sort-of grownup gourmet taste to our homemade burgers!

Easy Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes

posted by Andrea | 11/29/2016 | 9 comments

These EASY Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes are pretty much the perfect dessert for any meal, any time of day, all year long (at least in my cheesecake-loving opinion!)

They are also a simple, make-ahead dessert that travels well and will be a welcome addition to all your holiday parties!

50+ Thanksgiving Leftover Ideas

posted by Andrea | 11/23/2016 | 6 comments

While I’m not trying to rush my most favorite holiday away, I also know that by tomorrow evening, some of you might be stranded in your kitchen with piles and piles of delicious Thanksgiving leftovers — and no desire to spend hours in the kitchen dealing with them all.

Today, I’m sharing a bunch of simple recipes and ideas I use to repurpose our Thanksgiving leftovers!

The “Secret” to No-Boil Lasagna Noodles

posted by Andrea | 11/16/2016 | 31 comments

After tweaking my favorite lasagna recipe a few different times, I landed on a very simple “secret” that easily cuts 15 minutes (and lots of frustration) off my lasagna prep time!

If you hate boiling lasagna noodles, you’ll want to read today’s post 🙂

My Free Grocery List Printable

posted by Andrea | 11/11/2016 | 15 comments

Over the past 12+ years of grocery shopping “on my own”, I estimate that I’ve been to the grocery store at least 6000 times!! Thankfully, I have a grocery list cheat-sheet that allows me to quickly and easily make my grocery list based on my store’s layout and saves me oodles of time at the store each week!

Today, I’m sharing that grocery list with anyone who wants it — totally editable and printable!

Why I Don’t Do Massive Freezer Cooking Days

posted by Andrea | 11/9/2016 | 30 comments

This time of year, everyone is eager to fill their freezers with delicious meals and yummy baked goods… and because of that, I get at least one email or message every single day asking for tips, advice, blog post links, or information about planning and executing a massive freezer cooking day.

Today, I’m sharing why I do NOT do massive freezer cooking days — as well as what I do to keep my freezer stocked with as little time and effort as possible.

Why I Don’t Can Applesauce Until Winter

posted by Andrea | 11/3/2016 | 16 comments

Although I normally don’t encourage procrastination, when it comes to canning applesauce, I almost always push it off until winter when I’m cooped up inside and don’t have nearly as many to-do’s on my list.

If you want to can applesauce but just don’t know when you’ll fit it into your busy Fall schedule, push it off a couple months and try canning it in the winter!

How to Quickly Soften Butter (without melting it)

posted by Andrea | 10/26/2016 | 29 comments

Have you ever grabbed a slice of homemade bread, only to realize you had no softened butter? Or what about when you’re in the middle of baking your favorite cookies and you realize you need “softened, but not melted, butter”?

Today I’m sharing a super simple quick tip (sent to me from a reader a few months ago) that will give you perfectly softened butter in just minutes!

Amazing Steak Rub

posted by Andrea | 10/19/2016 | 9 comments

After trying a bunch of different spice combinations in attempts to find a delicious steak rub, I landed on the recipe I’m sharing in today’s post.

The very first time I used this “amazing steak rub” on our steaks, I knew this would be my go-to dry rub for steaks and other meats!

Protein Packed, Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

posted by Andrea | 10/12/2016 | 16 comments

If you’re looking for a really delicious, super easy, one-bowl muffin recipe that is also very high protein, very filling, and a fantastic way to use up overripe bananas… this recipe should work for you!

My family LOVES these double-chocolate banana muffins… I love that they are easy to make and full of protein to keep my kiddos full longer!

A Simple Secret for Super Scrambled Eggs

posted by Andrea | 10/5/2016 | 31 comments

We love scrambled eggs for almost any meal in our house — and I have a simple “secret” to make super delicious scrambled eggs with extra protein, extra calcium, and extra vitamins!

If you like scrambled eggs, you’ll definitely want to read this post!

Taco Casserole {Kids in the Kitchen}

posted by Andrea | 09/28/2016 | 14 comments

Taco casserole is one of my favorite quick-meal options for busy weeknights, and the kids love that they can help.

Since I usually have taco meat ready to go in the freezer, I can easily have this entire meal ready for the oven in less than 10 minutes — which means I can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes!

My Meal Plan (5 years and 3 kids later)

posted by Andrea | 09/23/2016 | 26 comments

Way back in September of 2011, I shared the brand new way of meal planning I had been using for only a few weeks at that time.

Now, 5 years and 3 children later, I’m sharing how one small modification has allowed this same basic meal planning method to continually work so well for us!

Homemade Butter {Kids In The Kitchen}

posted by Andrea | 09/14/2016 | 17 comments

After reading through most of the Little House on the Prairie books and the Kirsten American Girl books, Nora has been begging me to try making our own butter — “just like Laura and Kirsten did with their moms”.

So a couple weeks ago we made our own butter — and even I was shocked at how simple the whole process was. Plus, it was REALLY fun for the kids!

My Favorite Canning and Preserving Recipes

posted by Andrea | 08/31/2016 | 13 comments

Over the years, as I shared some of my canning journey here on my blog, I have been continuously asked for my “favorite” canning and preserving recipes.

So in an effort to compile all my favorites in one convenient location (both for myself and for you) I thought it might be nice to link to them all in one post… just in time for peak canning season here in West Michigan!

Make-Ahead Belgian Waffle Mix

posted by Andrea | 08/24/2016 | 22 comments

Over the past 5-6 years, I have thought about sharing my extremely simple Belgian waffle recipe countless times; but for whatever reason, I always decided to share a different recipe… until today!

If you’re looking for a super simple, make-ahead breakfast recipe, give this one a try!

One Quick Tip That Helps Us Eat More Veggies

posted by Andrea | 08/17/2016 | 19 comments

Several weeks ago, I shared a post about how we reduce, and even eliminate, wasted produce.

Today, I’m sharing another very quick and simple tip that helps us not only reduce wasted produce, but also eat A LOT more veggies!

My TOP TIP to Simplify The School Year

posted by Andrea | 08/11/2016 | 27 comments

As I child, I LOVED the start of another school year! As a teacher’s wife with 3 young children at home, I can’t say I have that same love and happy anticipation for another school year to begin!

However, I’m working ahead now to simplify the start of our school year… and I’m sharing my top tip today!