Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins with Matcha and Chia Seeds

My family loves these pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, and recently I thought matcha might be a nice added touch. You can't taste it, but it adds a healthy touch to the muffins.

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1.5 cups canola oil (you can absolutely substitute some of the oil for applesauce)
3 cups flour
2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 T pumpkin pie spice
1 T matcha powder
1 t salt
1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips (mini, regular, or chunks)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put paper liners in a muffin tin. Makes 24 muffins.
  2. Beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil in a large bowl.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, matcha powder and salt and mix well.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Fill muffin liners 3/4 full.
  6. Bake 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a random muffin comes out clean.
*I also snuck in some chia seeds :-)

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Easy and Kid-Friendly Meal Plan Options

Some are Build a Meal, like pick a main, pick a side, pick a veggie. If you're feeling saucy, add in some bread or rolls if your family is into that sort of thing. You might even pick a dessert item from the back if you're in an extremely fancy mood.

  1. Baked spaghetti
  2. BBQ pulled pork in slow cooker
  3. Beef barley soup
  4. Beef stew
  5. Breakfast for dinner (waffles and eggs with bacon)
  6. Broccoli cheese soup (make it easy at home or just buy it at the store Panera-style)
  7. Buffalo chicken and roasted potato casserole
  8. Chicken and noodles
  9. Chicken enchiladas (homemade with red sauce or buy it frozen with white sauce)
  10. Chicken tenders with bread crumbs in the oven
  11. Chicken tortellini
  12. Chicken pot pie (mock/easy)
  13. Chili
  14. Cilantro lime pesto chicken fajitas
  15. Cream cheese chicken chili
  16. Crustless quiche (also called frittata) however you like it pick a meat, pick a veggie or leave veggie out and serve on the side/salad/whatever
  17. Fish stick sandwiches
  18. Frito pie
  19. Grilled cheese and tomato soup
  20. Grilling out during nice weather chicken, burgers, whatever
  21. Ham and Swiss croissants
  22. Hot dogs
  23. Japanese fried rice from trader joe's
  24. Lasagna (homemade or buy it frozen)
  25. Leftovers
  26. Manicotti
  27. Meatloaf
  28. Mexican cornbread casserole
  29. Pasta with meat sauce
  30. Pizza casserole
  31. Pizza night (frozen or delivery)
  32. Potato soup
  33. Quesadillas
  34. Ramen fancy and doctored up
  35. Ravioli lasagna
  36. Sausage Eckrich in oven with sides
  37. Salmon patties
  38. Shepherd's pie
  39. Stir fry
  40. Tacos
  41. Taco soup
  42. Tater tot casserole pick a way (my book shows x ways)
  43. Tuna melts

For fun
energy balls
4-legged dessert
heavenly bars
easy mousse

Shells and cheese
Baked potato
Mashed potatoes (with or without gravy)
Sweet potatoes
Frozen French fries or sweet potato fries
Packaged side dish with powdered sauce

Fruit salad from a can
Fresh fruit salad
Steamed broccoli in a pan or cauliflower or carrots
Frozen bagged veggie you steam in the bag in a microwave
Fresh carrots
Corn on the cob

Friday, December 27, 2019

Taco Soup Recipe #Healthy #KidFriendly #CheapMeals

I like to make this as a new-baby meal (Roxi's was a little late but I did end up finally getting it to her ... or was it a pre-moving meal?). Anyway, she has requested the recipe so here you go!

Taco Soup

2 pounds ground beef, turkey or chopped chicken*
Chopped onion if you wish
1 can Rotel (more if you like spicy!)
4 T taco seasoning mix, or to taste
1 package Ranch dressing dry mix
2 cans undrained corn
3 cans undrained chili beans (or you can use dry pinto beans that you precooked)
3 8-ounce cans tomato sauce (or more to stretch the recipe)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips

1. Brown ground beef and onion and drain.

2. Stir the rest of the ingredients in a large pot or slow cooker. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 15 minutes.

3. Serve with chips and cheese and sour cream and avocado!

*(I like to put my chicken or ground beef in the slow cooker then add all ingredients later)

If you liked this recipe, you'll love my book, The Tater Tot Casserole Cookbook! It's available in print and ebook versions (free if you are a Kindle Unlimited member so you can try it before you buy it in print!).

Monday, December 2, 2019

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza My Way

**I have to give Cook's Illustrated some credit here, but I do mess around with this recipe.

My husband makes the time-intensive, complicated version of this and it ROCKS, but recently it was just me and the girls and Sam for dinner, so I made it quicker. Here’s my version:


3 ¼ cups wheat flour

½ cup yellow cornmeal

1 ½ teaspoons table salt (as opposed to chair salt)

2 teaspoons sugar

2 ¼ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast (one small packet)

1 ¼ cups water, room temperature (lazy me just puts in warm tap water)

3 tablespoons butter, melted (I accidentally put in about a whole stick of butter and it was amazing!)

Olive oil for coating the dough bowl later


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ cup grated onion

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

2 teaspoons or more minced garlic (I love the stuff that comes in the jar!)

1, 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (I was out so I had to use tomatoes from our garden)

¼ teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves (we grow them in a pot; you can get them at the grocery store … don’t skip them, though, because they MAKE this sauce!)

1 tablespoon olive oil

Toppings: whatever you want! Make sure you have mozzarella cheese; otherwise, we like black olives, pepperoni, sausage, hamburger, whatever is around.

Mix flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and yeast in a bowl. Add water and butter and stir some more. Aron’s recipe says to use a stand mixer and go to town for several minutes, but you know I’m not havin’ any of that! I just stir and then knead with my hands, preferably after just changing a poopy diaper (just kidding!). Coat sides of bowl with some olive oil. Then put some oil on the top, flip the dough upside down, spank it and put some oil on the top of the bottom. Kapish? Okay, let’s move on.

Cover the dough bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour, until it doubles in size. While you’re doing that, go ahead and start the sauce.

Heat butter in medium saucepan until melted, then add oregano, onion and a couple shakes of salt. Cook a bit then add garlic and cook a minute, then add the tomatoes and sugar and simmer for like 20 minutes until it reduces and isn’t runny. Make sure you stir it often so you don’t let the sauce stick (Goodfellas, anyone?). When it looks ready, take it off the burner and add the basil and olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.

Aron’s version has you “laminating the dough” and letting it rise again and folding it like an envelope and massaging it with butter and …

Whew. I just wait til it rises, punch it so it knows I’m boss, then split it in half and put it in 2 round pans coated with cooking spray. Here’s the important part, folks, so WAKE UP:

Put the cheese on NEXT. The beauty of this pizza is that the hot sauce goes over the cheese, and the cheese comes out fabulously melty and gooey! Let’s recap:





Cook at 400 degrees for 20-plus minutes. When you take it out of the oven, let it rest a few minutes before you cut it. It’s worked hard and needs a break. While it rests, go put on your big-girl or big-boy pants because you will be filling them out!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Easy Anytime Crustless Quiche Recipe

This is what I call quiche around my house, but it’s much healthier since it has no crust. This no-crust option also makes it cheaper and quicker to make. HOWEVER, if you like to make crust, go for it! If you like to buy the pre-made crusts at the grocery store and use those as the base for your quiche, please do it! This is all about how you and your family love to eat!

You’ll need:
6 eggs
1 ½ cups chopped or diced ham, turkey or chicken (I often just use cheap deli meat) OPTIONAL
1 cup chopped veggie of your choice that your kid will eat (broccoli or asparagus are good choices at my house)
1/2 cup milk
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (throw in some mozzarella or Swiss if you love it)
A dash of garlic salt

1. Preheat oven at 300 degrees.
2. Spray a pie pan (metal, glass or stoneware) with cooking spray.
3. Crack eggs into a bowl and mix them up with a fork until blended.
4. Add garlic salt. Add milk.
5. Add meat, veggie and cheese.
6. Stir ingredients together.
7. Pour egg mixture into pie pan.
8. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes.

Updated November 6, 2019: I made this for dinner last night with broccoli on the side and a cheddar/Monterey jack cheese, heavy cream we had left over and deli ham. This morning my son requested it again, so I used up some Swiss cheese with the ham and used milk.

If you liked this recipe, you'll love my book, The Tater Tot Casserole Cookbook! It's available in print and ebook versions (free if you are a Kindle Unlimited member so you can try it before you buy it in print!).

Monday, November 4, 2019

Roasted Potato and Chicken Casserole

I'm back today with another yummy concoction for you. And you know I've found a way to make it even easier and even faster to make because I don't know about you, but I can't be in the kitchen making meals for hours at this point in my life!

So the thing about this one is I'm going to give you a whole bunch of ingredients but you don't have to go nuts on it. Like I'm going to tell you to cook some bacon and chop up some green onion for the casserole, but I don't normally even mess with this. And you can add a veggie in there somehow, but I just make one on the side or make a salad (fruit or otherwise). You can tailor the amount of hot sauce depending on your family (my husband and teen sons just add more to theirs later so the rest of us can enjoy ours non-scorching). Change up the cheese, whatever you want!

Roasted Potato and Chicken Casserole

What you need:

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 potatoes, unpeeled
1/3 cup canola oil (although recently I used olive oil and it turned out great)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 cup hot sauce, your choice
Cooking spray
1.5 cups cheese of your choice
Cooked bacon if you want it (4-5 strips)
Chopped green onion if you want it (2)

Optional: make up a packet of Ranch dressing mix to pour over the casserole = yum!

What to do:

1. Place the chicken breasts in a slow cooker on low for 6 hours and save the broth.
2. When you're about 45 minutes from ready to eat, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
3. Dice the potatoes into small chunks and place them in a 9x13 baking pan.
4. Pour the oil over the potatoes, add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, chicken broth from slow cooker, and hot sauce and stir.
5. Roast the potatoes in the pan for 10 minutes, then stir. Stir every 10 minutes until they are mostly soft.
6. Tear up the slow cooker chicken with your hands (or chop it if it's hot and you prefer it that way) and place it on top of the potatoes, after you have stirred them again and sprayed them with cooking spray liberally.
7. Place cheese on top of chicken. This is where you'd also put on the chopped green onions and already-cooked bacon if you like it.
8. Bake for 10 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and enjoy, adding more hot sauce if you need it and don't forget the homemade Ranch dressing :-)
10. And if you enjoy a well-rounded meal, grab a bag of salad and there's your veggie!

Toss that chicken in the slow cooker. This time I
sprinkled a packet of dry Italian dressing on it.

Speaking of dry dressing hacks, I whipped up
some Ranch dressing using mayo and milk...

... and everyone at my house loves to top their
casserole with it for extra flavor.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Dill Chicken Broccoli Braid Recipe

This was originally posted over at my blog The Kerrie Show, so you'll have to click here to find it. I promise it'll be worth it!

This is what your mixture will resemble.

Bundle it up like a baby. Yeah, I know it's called a BRAID, but have you ever tried actually braiding one of these bad boys? It's hard, and I'm lazy and easily frustrated with food. Mine would end up across the room ... again.
Wow, do I really not have a final picture of this? I'll have to make it next week and come back to post that! Sorry about that!

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