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Tater Tot Casserole

When you are feeding a lot of kids this Tater Tot Casserole is the perfect easy recipe. Kids love tater tots. If they haven't had them before just say they resemble french fries and they will love them. Keep a bag of tater tots in your freezer and you will be able to make this any time because chances are you have the rest of the ingredients already in your pantry or refrigerator because they are common ingredients. This is a mild tasting casserole. My kids loved it, especially when ...

Strawberry Lemonade Muffins

I love strawberry season! Do you love it as much as I do? I can find one pound of strawberries for 1.25! This is the time to make Strawberry Lemonade Muffins or Balsamic Strawberry Napoleons, Strawberry Rocky Road, Chocolate Filled Strawberries, Cream Filled Strawberries, Strawberry Rosemary Scones or many other delicious strawberry recipes. Now is also a great time to freeze strawberries for a refreshing Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie. This delicious strawberry lemonade muffin recipe is ...

Eggplant Tomato Stack

Today's Eggplant Tomato Stack recipe is fun to make at harvest time if you have a garden. If not, this is great whenever your find the ingredients in the store. We are still working on our gardening skills. We get a lot of green tomatoes but they have a hard time turning to red. This recipe can be used with the traditional beef steak or roma tomatoes but heirloom tomatoes work well and even cherry tomatoes can be used. The eggplant and the tomatoes are cut into 1/2 inch thick slices. As you ...

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese with Veggie Mobile

I like to empower my kids. I like to teach them to become self-sufficient. One way I do this is through cooking. I love teaching my kids how to make a simple meal. My 12 year old knows how to make Kraft Macaroni and Cheese all by herself. My 7 year old had a desire to make it for everyone. Instead of being in the kitchen myself showing her the way I thought I could empower my 12 year old to teach her sister. The best way to solidify your knowledge of something is to teach it to someone ...

Toasted Sesame Balsamic Asparagus

Asparagus is one of those last minute side dishes that I love because they are easy recipes. Usually you trim the ends splash a little oil and a few extras on top and bake for 6 minutes. That is about how long it takes for all my little chefs to wash their hands and get to the table. By the time they are sitting down the asparagus is ready to enjoy hot. This Toasted Sesame Balsamic Asparagus is just that. Roasting results in crisp, tender stalks with a nutty, earthy flavor. Toasted Sesame ...

Valentine Jello Hearts

Valentine Jello Hearts is a kid friendly dessert. If your family is anything like mine Valentine's Day dinner is special. We either have their favorite easy recipes or try some new recipes. There are so many great red and pink desserts and heart shaped treats. We always have heart pancakes for breakfast because hearts must be abundant on this special day. Valentine Jello Hearts This Valentine's Day recipe is simple enough kids will have fun assisting and showing off their creation. Now ...

Seasoned Potato Wedges

Seasoned potato wedges are baked in the oven until crispy. This is a simple, cheap side dish or appetizer that can be served with sour cream or your favorite dipping sauces. When we talk about easy recipes this is definitely one! It is easy in the prep work but you do need to allow some time for cooking. The potatoes are washed and cut in 8 wedges. Place them in a zip top bag with some seasonings then lay them flat on a baking sheet for 20 minutes. Flip the wedges over and bake for another ...

Honey Mustard Vegetables

These honey mustard vegetables are an easy recipe and quick to put together. It is a great last minute side dish because it uses common ingredients found in your pantry. The only thing you might need to buy is a bag of your favorite frozen vegetables. I always like to keep a bag or two in my freezer so that I can whip this up fast if I do not have any fresh vegetables from my garden or store. This also is a great starter recipe for kids. Steam the bag of vegetables until done. While the ...

Microwave Sweet Potato

This microwave sweet potato recipe is one of my parents and kids favorite side dish at the moment. One sweet potato can be shared with two people. It is one of those good food recipes that is fast to prepare with great results. Do you forget about the sides like me? I tend to plan the main dish and then figure out the sides just before serving. Sometimes this works better then others. But, because I am a last minute side dish person I like to have certain staples in my pantry and ...

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts are created in the oven until they are carmelized. This easy recipe makes the perfect side dish. Cut each sprout in half and cut out the choke which is the bottom inner part,see the "v" cut in the picture. Add the halved sprouts to a bowl with the remaining ingredients to season them before placing them on a lined baking sheet. Make sure each half is placed cut side down to achieve maximum carmelization. When the sprouts are brown and crisp they are done and ready to ...

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole is a favorite Sunday side dish. It is an easy recipe to put together with bacon, cheese, green onions, potatoes and more. I love baked potatoes all loaded up but I have discovered they are not kid friendly. Whenever we have them my kids need help making their own so it is a lot of work. This Loaded Baked Potato Casserole has all the toppings mixed in before placing it on the dinner table. Everyone can serve themselves and eat right away. Just a few tips: ...

Lemon Pepper Green Beans and Potatoes

Lemon Pepper Green Beans and Potatoes are surprisingly easy to put together. I love this easy recipe because I steam the beans and the potatoes separately in the microwave at the same time I'm making the sauce. Then all I need to do is toss it all together gently and it is ready to serve. My mom showed me these really neat Steam Cooking Bags. So many side dishes can be cooked in them. It is easy to scale for however many you are serving. We reuse the steam bags a few times to get more use out ...

Candied Pecans

Whenever I make these Candied Pecans we cannot stop eating them. They have a light sugary coating that goes well in a salad on a pie or with candied yams for Thanksgiving. This is an easy recipe to put together. It does take a little time to bake and stir every 15 minutes so the nuts do not burn, but it gives you time to sip some hot chocolate. Package these delicious candied pecans up and deliver them as thank you gifts or neighbor gifts. Your friends will be asking you for the recipe...

Roasted Balsamic Vegetables

Side dishes are often times over looked, especially at my house. This is an easy recipe but you need to plan ahead to let the vegetables marinade for the best flavor. The balsamic vinegar and the caramelization from roasting adds a sweetness to the vegetables. It is easy to switch out these vegetables for those in season at different times of the year. Just a few tips: Lining the baking pan with foil helps with an easy clean up. Try cooking this in a grill basket. Go ahead and ...

Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

If you need to have a quick meal when you get home or want to free up oven space for your Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter meal, cooking potatoes in the crock pot is a great solution. I love using potatoes because they are cheap and can compliment almost any meal. When I think of easy recipes including potatoes I immediately think of crock pot baked potatoes. The potatoes can be prepared in the morning and will be ready for lunch or dinner depending on your setting. Crock Pot Baked ...

Easy Creamed Corn

Easy Creamed Corn is a favorite side dish. This easy recipe can be made along with the rest of the meal or make it in the morning and throw it in the crock pot to warm and thicken. Bring this to a large gathering to impress your friends. Just a few tips: If you want to use frozen corn put it in a colander and run some hot water over it for a minute to thaw. If you use fresh corn cobs make sure you run the back of the knife over the cut area of the cob to extract the corn juice. It ...

How To Keep Asparagus Fresh

You bring asparagus home from the grocery store but now what? How do you keep it fresh until it is time to cook it? If you wait too long the ends will dry out. You will then need to cut off more of the stem before cooking resulting in less to eat. My favorite recipe is Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan. Supplies Needed: Container Water Plastic bag How to Keep Asparagus Fresh Keep the rubber band around the bunch of asparagus to keep it more manageable. Chop 1 inch off the ...

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan

Some good friends of ours first introduced us to grilled asparagus a few years ago. It was strange and new and my kids didn't know what to expect, but they/we all loved it. Since then we have discovered we especially love the thin tender asparagus spears. Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan is an easy recipe that can be made just before serving. The baking temperature is not a misprint. Crank that oven up and roast them at 550 degrees F. The spears come out pipping hot. Using a microplane ...

Homemade Raspberry Syrup

Raspberries hold a special place in my heart. When I was little the raspberries grew on the side of our house. I would jump over the side of the front porch to pick. Each time I went out I would come back with a huge bowl! When my kids go to Grandma and Grandpa's house they like to have their snack outside in the garden. The main thing they eat are raspberries - which Grandma calls "candy" because they are so sweet. This year at my house we have an abundance of raspberries. I have been freezing ...

Watermelon Spears – How To Cut A Watermelon

We recently spent a few fun days at a family reunion. At one of the meals we had watermelon as I'm sure many people do at a large gathering. When I saw my kids eating it I thought, what a smart idea! Why didn't I think of this way to cut a watermelon? You know I love easy recipes so of course I would love this easy watermelon preparation and delivery. Before we cut the watermelon we need to pick the best watermelon. When you walk into the grocery store or farmers market you will find ...

Grilled Potatoes and Mushrooms in Foil

Grilled potato recipes are some of our summertime easy recipes. Potatoes are cheap and versatile which makes great side dish. Grilled Sweet Potatoes in Foil, Dill Grilled Potatoes in Foil, and Herbed Sweet Potatoes are some of our favorites. Some of us like mushrooms, while others are not so fond of them. We occasionally cook with them and this is one of those occasional recipes. Ingredients: 4 potatoes, sliced 5 small mushrooms, sliced 1/4 yellow onion, diced 1 ...

Avocado Butter

In the summer we grill a lot of chicken, steak and fish. This Avocado Compound Butter is an easy recipe that can be made in advance. When you pull your meat off the grill place a slab of butter on top and watch it melt. We had a bunch of avocados that were all ripe at the same time. I needed to find something to do with them all so they would not be wasted.  We could only have homemade guacamole two days in a row. I created a compound butter that we put on top of Grilled Lime Chicken. ...

Dill Grilled Potatoes in Foil

We are loving the weather and the opportunity to grill. My Little Chefs enjoy helping with easy recipes like these Dill Grilled Potatoes in Foil. The preparation is easy and the clean up is even easier.   I love cooking with potatoes because they are cheap and versatile. Peeling potatoes is an easy task my Little Chefs are able to do. I have so many helpers I have had to buy more potato peelers! I also love cooking in foil packets. Usually packet meals are easy to prepare because ...

Homemade Guacamole

Summer cooking to me means easy recipes. I always ask myself, "What can I make that is fast and will not heat my house." We like to get chips from a local restaurant then dip them in salsa, pico de gallo or some creamy homemade guacamole. These chips come in a large bucket so that means a few days worth of meals. We reheat them a little at a time in the oven on a cookie sheet until they get nice and oily, then add a dash of salt. One thing my kids love to eat is nachos for dinner ...