Friday, August 29, 2014

Weekend Potluck #133

Well, my kitchen is slowly getting there.  Now, I need to make a deal with y'all first before I go any further. Promise me that if I ever mention renovating anything in my house again, that you'll smack me. Ok, smacking might be hard to do over the computer, but I will expect some strongly worded emails from y'all reminding me of this hectic kitchen experience. 
(kitchen after everything was tore out - photo from my Instagram)

We expected small things to pop up but it has been one delay after another. It's been two months...that's all I'm gonna say. Well, I might say just a little more to give ya a better picture along with pictures. Because I'm detailed like that.  And I need sympathy. 
 I was supposed to get my countertops in this week. But the company is behind on orders so it may be another week or two. Who knows? Right now plywood is functioning as my countertop. 
I finally got my sink and faucet in. The faucet was a bear to install and then we found out the sink was installed too high. I love this farmhouse sink y'all, but she has been a diva right from the beginning! And now my hardwood floors are buckling and need repairs. 
(pay no attention to Lulu, the curious kitty that apparently loves to photobomb any & all photos)

Taking deep breaths and praying it will be done soon. I just keep telling myself how blessed we are to be able to renovate the kitchen. I figure if I just keep telling myself to be thankful, then everything will fall into place. Right? Right? Just shake your heads up and down for me (hee hee.)
Alright, now let's get to this good food that I am just itching to make!

The recipe with the most clicks was ~

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

25 Must-Make Freezer-Safe Recipes

Around this time of year, I get quite a few requests for Back to School meal ideas. Everyone's schedule gets more hectic around this time of year. For some folks, it just never stops! So, a couple of weeks ago, we put together a bunch of recipes that are perfect for the Crock Pot and are family-friendly. Today, I'm sharing a bunch of recipes that are freezer friendly. All of these recipes can be made in advance (or doubled) and easily go in the freezer. Then all you have to do is take it out and either heat it up or cook it!
One of the best time-saving tricks is to have a meal planning day (if possible) once a week. Then get your groceries and take a couple of hours to get as much made as possible for the week. Make it a family affair! Even if they don't like to cook, they can still help clean up, do dishes and get everything properly packed. Then pop it all in the refrigerator, so all you have to do during the week is take it out of the freezer and pop it in the oven, in the crock pot or on the stove top. This is especially good for teenagers who are old enough to be responsible in the kitchen. You can write the cooking instructions on the freezer bags or aluminum foil using a marker. Then they can get dinner started for the family. This was how I learned to get more comfortable in the kitchen as a kid and it really helped my Mom out when she worked later in the evenings. I just know you are going to love these recipes! Included are some from my favorite food bloggers!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Weekend Potluck #132

The recipe with the most clicks that linked back was...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Spicy Chicken Bowtie Pasta Bake

Hello Country Cook Fans! I am so happy to be with ya'll today, sharing a tasty recipe from my kitchen! For those of you who don't know, I'm Krista and I'm the everyday mom in Everyday Mom's Meals. I blog family friendly, easy, yummy, recipes that will bring your loved ones around the table to make memories! 

Today I've got a delicious baked pasta supper that will make your taste buds sit up and take notice! With just a little hint of heat , but not so much you're going to cry while eating it! We love baked pasta dishes, and even though this one starts out stove top, it ends up in one dish in the oven, and can be eaten out of all night long. With our family's busy schedule (and I know yours is too) meals need to be able to be enjoyed over a few hours when we can't all sit down together. 

This is also a great one to keep in mind when chicken goes on sale at the grocery store! In our area, 99% of the time, boneless chicken breasts come three to a pack, which doesn't feed a crowd well. But if you take those same three pieces, cut them up, and add a bunch of other yummy things like pasta and veggies, you've now stretched a buck too! 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mini Pie Bites

Hello there! This is Cris from GOODEness Gracious where we are cooking up all kinds of GOODe things with a side of life and Recipes That Crock where we are dedicated to all things slow cooking-- all year 'round! Brandie is such a great friend, so when she asked me to guest post because the Cook is without her kitchen, I immediately told her yes. Ya see I can totally relate to being without a kitchen after I went without my kitchen unexpectedly a few years ago for an eternity! Okay it was just from a week before Thanksgiving all the way until a week after Christmas but it felt like forever and it had surprise after surprise before we finally had to have a full kitchen remodel. So when Brandie asked about a guest post, I instantly started thinking through the things I could share with you today and I think I have just the thing: Mini Pie Bites! Mini-Pie-Bites-copy 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Weekend Potluck #131

I had a really hard time choosing which recipes to feature this week at Weekend Potluck. Oh my gracious! I was clearly craving sweets and bacon! Ha! I guess you can never go wrong with those!
I love that we're seeing a bit of fall foods being added to the potluck. It's always nice to see those apple and spice recipes again. But we've also had some amazing peach recipes being shared. And as it is peach season in much of the country, it is great timing. I hope y'all will find something you absolutely love in this week's potluck!

The recipe with the most clicks was...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Spiced Wacky Cake

Well y'all, I thought I would have my kitchen back together by now. Turns out, this kitchen is just not ready to hatch yet. Yay for kitchen renovations! Oh, then a water pipe that leads from my house to the city water line decided to bust. Ya know, just to add the sprinkles on top of this yummy kitchen renovation cupcake. Anyhow, I'm doing my best to be Polly Positive here. It ain't easy but you gotta laugh about it all or you would cry, right? In the meantime (until I have running water again and a sink and an oven), I'm so thankful that some of my favorite food bloggers have volunteered to share some recipes with y'all until I can get back to cooking in my kitchen again. Now, I just need them to make all this yummy stuff and deliver it to me {hee, hee.} 

Mary from Sweet Little Bluebird is a regular at our Weekend Potluck, so many of y'all know her already. Mary has single-handedly brought back Depression-era cakes and made them a household name again. Also called Crazy Cakes, they were popular during a time when fresh staples like eggs, milk or butter were hard to come by. They are still relevant these days when so many folks are diagnosed with egg or dairy allergies and sensitivities. This is the perfect cake to make. Plus, it tastes so good, you don't even miss the eggs or milk. 
These cakes are the most popular recipes on Mary's blog. With over 2 million pageviews, you can bet these have been a huge hit with young and old alike! Today, Mary is sharing her Spiced Cake version (to get us all in a fall frame of mind!) Just like the original Chocolate Crazy Cake, this wonderful cake has no eggs, milk or butter - you don't even need a bowl! Moist and delicious! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Back to School Crock Pot Recipes

Hiya, friends! Holly here again from Life in the Lofthouse, bringing you a ton of delicious, and most importantly EASY, Crock Pot Meals! School is starting again soon for the kiddos (mine start today!) and I will be leaning on easy peasy Crock Pot meals for sure. 
Getting adjusted to a new schedule, homework and after-school activities keep us hoppin', so I love that I can rely on my good ole Crock Pot to cook dinner for us :)  Below is a list of some of Brandie and my favorite recipes!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Weekend Potluck #130

Happy Friday, friends! Hope this day kicks off an amazing weekend for you. I've taken some time off this week to put my toes in the sand and hang out in the sun and unplug some. You just gotta do that sometimes and it's taken me a long time to learn when to actually step away (when possible). It's not easy to leave your worries behind. But sometimes when you make up your mind to take a break, your body somehow learns to follow eventually.  I'm pretty sure I'm solar-powered. It's amazing how having your face in the sun everyday can lighten your mood and take the load off your shoulders for a while. I had almost forgotten how good that felt. And I'd almost forgotten how enjoyable it was just to watch my son being a kid and being playful with him. 
It's easy to get so caught up in providing for our families that we often become too exhausted to actually participate in the fun things. As an older Momma, I have mostly learned to let go of the bathing suit anxieties. I just put it on and get out there. It's more important to me that my son and I have these experiences together than for him to grow up just remembering his Mom always sitting on the sidelines. I've also kept the cooking down to a bare minimum. I love to cook (obviously) but when you're taking a break, that also means not spending hours in the kitchen to cook labor intensive food for every single meal. It means packing simple lunches of sandwiches and chips or eating out at fun little Mom & Pop places along the way or grilling up some burgers.  It's been a needed reminder that it's more about the time together than it is about the actual meal. So now that I got my mind and heart where it needs to be, let's get to some good grub and our potluck. Lots of great dishes here that I can't wait to make (as soon as I have an oven again.) Note: I'm also remodeling my kitchen which also explains why I needed to take a break for a while. 
Also, just a final reminder for those of you who are food bloggers. The Southern Food Blogger Retreat is almost full. This will be the best blogger conference you have ever attended! AND, it's not just for southerners!  You are going to learn so much in this intimate atmosphere that is all about encouraging each other. No big conferences. No getting lost in the crowd. Just hands-on learning and growing your relationships with others who do exactly what you do! So make sure to register now before it's too late! I'm going and I sure would love to see you there. 

The recipe with the most clicks was...

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Banana Bread Crumb Cake

I'm not really sure what it is about crumb cake that I love so much. Wait, yes I do - it's the crumb. It really is the best part. The more crumb, the better. This particular crumb cake has double the crumb but it is added in a way that makes this cake so incredibly moist yet it tastes like a mixture between bread and cake.  It got a HUGE thumbs up in my house.
You could even add some chopped walnuts to this if you want to amp up the banana bread flavor. Take this to your next get-together and I promise you'll come home with an empty dish!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Weekend Potluck #129

Welcome to another Friday and another Weekend Potluck. What have y'all been up to this week? For those of you who might follow me on Instagram, you know I've had a lot of renovations happening at my house. One of those renovations includes my kitchen. I can't wait to get in there and cook again! I just keep telling myself it will all be worth it. And I'm just thankful I am able to make those updates to my little ole kitchen.
Also, just a reminder for those of you who are food bloggers. The Southern Food Blogger Retreat is almost full. This will be the best blogger conference you have ever attended! AND, it's not just for southerners! So make sure to register now before it's too late! I'm going and I sure would love to see YOU there! Seriously, DON'T miss out on this, you will love it!

The recipe with the most clicks was...