Tips and Tools

Why We Still Love Our Blue Apron Meal Deliveries

posted by Andrea | 03/8/2018 | 8 comments

I recently realized that Dave and I have been ordering occasional Blue Apron meal deliveries for almost 4 years now (we started it when Simon was a newborn, and he just turned 4 over the weekend!)

Since I get so many questions about our Blue Apron meals, I thought I’d answer some of those in today’s post — especially why we are still LOVING our Blue Apron meals!

How We Do Hot Breakfasts on School Mornings

posted by Andrea | 01/31/2018 | 33 comments

Recently, I’ve had several readers ask if we’re still doing a hot breakfast every morning — and if so, what we eat and how we make it work with an earlier school schedule.

So now that we’re already a few weeks into 2nd semester, I figure it’s time I share the 2 main reasons we’ve managed to enjoy a hot breakfast, even on school mornings!

I Made My Pancakes Healthier… and No One Noticed!

posted by Andrea | 01/16/2018 | 42 comments

5 years ago, I shared my recipe for our family’s most favorite pancakes… and since then, I’ve made this recipe hundreds and hundreds of times.

My original recipe isn’t necessarily “unhealthy”; however, last year, I decided to try “healthifying” my pancake recipe just a little tiny bit… hoping no one would notice (and they didn’t)! I’m sharing the 3 little tweaks I made in today’s post!!

Another Healthier Habit: Low-Waste Lunches

posted by Andrea | 01/4/2018 | 25 comments

For the past several years, I’ve been diligently working to SLOWLY incorporate several healthier habits into my family’s daily life… and this year, I’ve decided that my “healthier habit” will not only be more nutritious for my family but also “healthier” for the environment.

I’m doing my best to pack low-waste lunches, and I’m sharing lots of great ideas and products in today’s post!

Simple Egg Substitutions… For Baking

posted by Andrea | 11/28/2017 | 23 comments

Have you ever been in the middle of baking and realized you were short on eggs?

If so, today’s post can help you out — I’m sharing 5 different super simple egg substitutes that should work wonderfully for your baking needs!

My Favorite Make-Ahead Foods

posted by Andrea | 08/16/2017 | 11 comments

Since many of you have asked for my favorite make-ahead meal ideas, I thought it would be a perfect time to share — especially considering the busy back-to-school season is HERE!

I know make-ahead meals aren’t for everyone, but for someone like me, with multiple young children and a tight schedule to keep, make-ahead meals are one of the MAIN ways I am able to simplify each day! 

My 2-Minute Tip for Gourmet-Looking Cookies

posted by Andrea | 07/6/2017 | 25 comments

As many of you know, I’m not normally one for “gourmet” cooking or baking. That said, I’ve always had somewhat of a weakness for gourmet cookies (like the ones at Panera Bread).

So today, I’m sharing how I make gourmet-looking cookies at home with just a couple extra minutes!

6 Things I Dislike About Various Pots and Pans

posted by Andrea | 04/19/2017 | 27 comments

Over the last 10+ years, I have used many different pots and pans, and I think I’ve finally figured out what I want/need from my pans, as well as a handful of features I really dislike.

For those of you who share my enthusiasm for random product reviews (good and bad), I thought it might be helpful if I shared a few things I dislike about various pots and pans. I’d love it if you shared more in the comments!

The Gift of (Allergy Friendly) Food

posted by Andrea | 03/29/2017 | 53 comments

I’ve always been a huge fan of food gifts — both giving and receiving! However, over the past few years, I’ve had so many situations where the family I want to give a food gift to has food sensitivities or food allergies.

Because of this, I came up with 2 or 3 simple go-to meals I could make when people have some of the more common food sensitivities. I’m sharing the recipes today — and I’d love a few more ideas to add to my list!

4 Tips to Grocery Shop Less

posted by Andrea | 03/8/2017 | 29 comments

Last month, I shared a few of the ways I’m able to save a considerable amount of time shopping for groceries — one of which is the fact that I usually only go to the grocery store every 10-12 days (sometimes I can even stretch it out to 2 full weeks).

Several of you asked for any tips I use to stretch the time between grocery runs… and today, I’m sharing 4 tips I hope will help many of you!

My Insanely Simple Tip for Better Baked Goods

posted by Andrea | 03/2/2017 | 18 comments

I am definitely not an expert baker, but I’ve done enough baking that I DO have a few little tricks up my sleeve… and about a month ago, I realized that I have never shared one of my simplest tips for better baked goods here on my blog.

This tip requires no skill, no special ingredients, no monetary cost, and really no extra effort on your part…

5 Ways We Simplify Mealtime with Young Children

posted by Andrea | 02/17/2017 | 17 comments

Mealtimes are some of the craziest, busiest, loudest, messiest times for our family — and they happen 3-5 time a day (if you include snacks).

However, there are a few things we do that seem to significantly simplify our crazy mealtimes… I’m sharing 5 of them today!

Freezing, Defrosting, and Refreezing Meat (Safely)

posted by Andrea | 02/7/2017 | 11 comments

Over the past several years, I’ve shared much of my freezer-cooking journey here on my blog… and every time I do, I get countless questions about how to safely freeze (and refreeze) meat.

While I don’t claim to be an expert, I have done some research, and today I’m sharing MY answers to these “how to freeze meat” questions!

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 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 | 32 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!