Food

How “Fun Lunches” Simplify Our School Routine

posted by Andrea | 08/30/2018 | 64 comments

When it comes to packing lunches, it’s definitely not my most favorite thing on my list of daily to-do’s, but I certainly don’t despise it the way some of our friends, relatives, and other school families seem to!

In fact, after thinking about lunch packing more this past month, I might know at least one reason I don’t dread or despise packing lunches… I’m sharing my “secret” in today’s post!

Easy Italian Chopped Salad

posted by Andrea | 08/28/2018 | 5 comments

Dave is not a picky eater, but when it comes to salads, he definitely prefers one with a fair amount of meat and cheese to go along with the vegetables… so this hearty Italian Chopped Salad is a win-win for both of us.

It’s also extremely quick and easy to put together, and can be assembled several hours (or even a day) in advance without sacrificing freshness!

16 Of Our Favorite Zucchini Recipes

posted by Andrea | 08/22/2018 | 14 comments

Yup… it’s THAT time of year again — when I’m forever and always on the lookout for new, different, interesting, and yummy ways to use up ALL the zucchini we get from our garden.

If you’re looking for a simple zucchini recipe to work into your menu plan this season, today’s compilation post should offer you a good selection!

A Life of Moderation (home, food, technology, life)

posted by Andrea | 08/20/2018 | 2 comments

As part of my summer blogging break, I’m sharing a week of “compilation posts” where I compile all the information I’ve shared on a specific topic into one post for easy reference.

I have a fun line-up of compilation posts planned for the rest of the week, but I wanted to kick off the week with the topic of moderation — especially considering it’s one of the main simple-living principles that guides the course of my entire life!

Do Your Spaces Serve YOU and YOUR Season Of Life?

posted by Andrea | 08/17/2018 | 6 comments

Over the years, I’ve frequently stressed the importance of “regular maintenance” in order to keep a space organized for the long-term.

However, another super important part of the organizational “puzzle” is to consistently re-evaluate and re-work your spaces so they SERVE YOU WELL. That’s what I’m sharing more about today!

Tasty Grilled Vegetables

posted by Andrea | 08/15/2018 | 4 comments

Earlier this year, I shared a few tips for making yummy roasted vegetables — which are still my go-to side dish for most of our meals.

However, throughout the summer grilling months, GRILLED veggies are another huge hit with our hungry family. I’m sharing our simple “recipe” in today’s post!

Our “Better Than Nothing” Vegetable Garden

posted by Andrea | 08/10/2018 | 13 comments

I almost didn’t plant a vegetable garden this year because I didn’t think it was worth the effort for a “small garden”. However, over the last 2 months, our vegetable garden has gone from drab to fab… and I’m so glad I planted the garden even though it’s not perfect or all that pretty.

If you’ve been putting off a particular project because you’re not sure you can do it perfectly, I hope today’s post will offer a little motivation and encouragement to help you just get started!

Soft and Chewy Oreo Blondies

posted by Andrea | 08/7/2018 | 10 comments

Blondie bars are a fantastic alternative to regular brownies, they are much faster than making cookies, and they are a great substitute for peanut-butter-laden desserts that aren’t allowed in most schools.

In an effort to grow my list of blondie recipes, I combined a few of my favorite bar recipes to come up with these amazingly delicious Oreo Blondies.

Super Simple Refrigerator Dill Pickles

posted by Andrea | 07/31/2018 | 20 comments

This recipe for refrigerator dill pickles doesn’t require any traditional canning equipment, and you can make as large or as small of a batch as you’d like. They are a huge hit with our pickle-loving kiddos, and a great way to use up the insane number of cucumbers we’re picking from our garden.

If you’d like to try making your own dill pickles, I doubt you’ll find an easier recipe to start with!

Cake Balls: A Simple Way to Use Up Leftover Cake!

posted by Andrea | 07/24/2018 | 12 comments

If you’re looking for a super simple, super delicious way to use up any amount of extra cake and frosting, I have the perfect recipe!

These cake balls are SO quick and easy to make — and SO delicious. MUCH better than 5-day old birthday cake!

How I Salvage Produce That’s Past Its Prime

posted by Andrea | 07/18/2018 | 46 comments

I save SO much money buying discounted produce and, thanks to the tips in today’s post, we rarely waste any of it.

Today, I’m sharing a few ways I salvage produce that’s a little past its prime…

A Taste of Home… Our Favorite Ways to Enjoy Cherries

posted by Andrea | 07/11/2018 | 17 comments

Dave and I LOVE fresh cherries! Even though Michigan produces tons of cherries, I almost always buy Washington cherries from the grocery store as most of the Washington cherries sold in our grocery stores are directly from Yakima Valley and surrounding areas (which is where Dave grew up!)

Today, I’m sharing a bunch of mouth-watering cherrie recipes, as well as some cherry fun-facts and tidbits! If you weren’t hungry before reading, you will be after!

Cheesy Chicken Ranch Wraps

posted by Andrea | 07/5/2018 | 14 comments

If you’re looking for a ridiculously simple, make-ahead, no-bake meal (or snack) for hot summer days, these Cheesy Chicken Ranch Wraps are what you want (say that 5 times fast!)

My Thoughts On Cooking With Cast Iron

posted by Andrea | 06/27/2018 | 51 comments

For more than 2 years now, I’ve hated my frying pans. I originally wanted to switch to Green Pans — but after I posted a few questions on Facebook over the holidays, you all persuaded me to try cast iron.

Now, 6 months later, I’m super happy with that decision and am sharing my thoughts (and a bunch of tips) in today’s post!

My Thoughts on “Healthy” Desserts Versus Smaller Portions

posted by Andrea | 06/19/2018 | 47 comments

Over the past 8+ years of sharing recipes and menu plans, I have gotten a large number of comments and questions about the fact that our family enjoys quite a bit of dessert… as well as many requests for “healthier” dessert recipes.

Today, I’m sharing my thoughts on “healthier” desserts, as well as our family’s “all things in moderation” approach to eating (small) sweet treats on daily basis!

Caprese Pasta Salad – Summer In A Bowl!

posted by Andrea | 06/12/2018 | 10 comments

With summer tomato season right around the corner, I thought it was high-time I share one of my favorite SUPER simple pasta salad recipes that is perfect this time of year — when fresh tomatoes and basil are readily available.

It tastes and smells like summer in a bowl and is a fabulous side dish to almost any meat!

Simple Meatless Meals… for people who love meat!

posted by Andrea | 06/6/2018 | 28 comments

Although meat is often the most expensive part of a meal, our family isn’t necessarily the vegetarian type (read: we LOVE meat!)

If you feel the same way, I’d like to share several meatless meals our family enjoys on a regular basis without feeling like we are missing out on our meat! In fact, many of these meals are staples in our weekly meal plans and some of our kids’ favorites!

Easy Homemade Guacamole

posted by Andrea | 05/31/2018 | 14 comments

A couple months ago, I mentioned that we love the single-serving guacamole packs from Costco. However, whenever I’m making food for a crowed (or even just a few guests) I always opt for a big bowl of homemade guacamole… and THIS is always the recipe I use!

It’s so fast and easy, and if you use the simple tips I share, your guacamole SHOULD stay looking fresh for several days!