Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Comforts From Home

I am so proud to be teaming up with Marie Callendar's today to share something close to my heart. Supporting our troops! Being the wife, daughter, granddaughter and sister to servicemembers, I am honored to share this project to give a little something back to the men and women who do so much for us. My husband, Gene, was probably gone from us more than he was home during his time in the military. He sure did look forward to the care packages we would put together for him. He would get so excited just to have something familiar from home. And you know what? That never changes. No matter how advanced in technology we get to keep connected, we always want that little tangible thing that reminds us that home is still there and someone cares. And now, in this small way - you can show you care too.
We all know that home is more than a place. It's hugs and laughter and comfort. It's loving memories and yummy favorites on the dinner table. Life can often take our loved ones far from home and away from all of the comforts and happiness it brings. That's why Marie Callendar's created the Comforts From Home Project—a program dedicated to bringing the heartwarming feelings, flavors, and favorites of home to those who miss it most.

This fall, Marie Callender's will launch the Comforts From Home Project by bringing the comforts of home to those who protect America's homes every day: the brave men and women of the U.S. Military.

Every time you enter a code from a specially marked package of Marie Callender's meals or desserts, Marie Callender's will make a donation to USO2GO, a USO program that brings electronics, sports gear, books, games, and more to troops stationed in remote locations.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Burrito Bake

Well, I gotta say, I was absolutely thrilled with how many of y'all loved the Bisquick Chicken Enchilada Bake! In fact, I got a bunch of emails from folks wondering what other kind of Bisquick-inspired dinners I could share. The main point I heard over and over was - it's gotta be easy and not a lot of ingredients. I hear ya and I get that! I'm your gal for simple, affordable and no-crazy-ingredient meals. It's nice just to be able to throw open your pantry and put something together quickly. So all you gotta do is add some sort of meat to the mix. I got you covered!
So I kept with the Mexican-inspired meal theme and just switched it up a bit. This time, we're doing burritos! This bakes up beautifully and hey, who doesn't love a bunch of ooey gooey melted cheese? Again, this one can be tailored to your family's particular tastes. Throw in anything your family would love. Or set out a bunch of toppings and let your family serve themselves.
I'm a big fan of buffet-style eating. I just put everything on the counter and let everyone go down the line, fixing their own plates, and then we all make our way back to the table. Saves just a bit of time and energy and who couldn't use a bit more of that?! Then I make them all do the dishes. Hee Hee.
I saw a sign once and I'd love to make it for my home, it said: "I love your hugs. I love your kisses. But what I really want is for someone to do the dishes."
So let's dig in!
Ingredients:
1 cup Bisquick
1 can refried beans
1/2 cup water
1 lb ground chuck
1 (8 ounce) jar taco sauce (not Salsa)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Spray an 8x8 (or 9 x9)baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Begin browning and crumbling ground beef in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once fully cooked, drain excess grease.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix Bisquick, water, and refried beans together.
Spread this "crust "mixture into your prepared baking dish.
Combine cooked (and drained) ground beef with taco sauce (I just do this right in the pan so as not to create any more dirty dishes.)
Spread ground beef mix over crust mix.
Sprinkle the top with shredded cheese.
Cover baking dish with aluminum foil.
Bake at 375F degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Cook's Notes: Recipe can easily be doubled. Some suggested toppings are: sour cream, lettuce, diced tomato and olives. It's perfect served with a fresh salad!

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out this Chicken Enchilada Bake!


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Betty Crocker via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.



Friday, October 17, 2014

Weekend Potluck #140

The recipe with the most clicks was...

Chocolate No-Bake Cookie Bars by Cooking with K

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

25 Must-Make Soup, Chili & Stew Recipes

Hi friends! Holly here from Life in the Lofthouse, bringing you lots of our favorite chili, soup and stew recipes, perfect for this time of year! Besides all the yummy Pumpkin recipes, this is the second favorite reason why I love this time of year.
There's just nothing like enjoying a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter's day. :D From Broccoli Cheese to Chicken Corn Chowder, Brandie and I have you covered with the best soups, stews and chili you could ask for!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Weekend Potluck #139

First impressions aren't always everything...

I was stuck in Alabama because my flight had been canceled to Virginia. I was supposed to be back from the Southern Food Bloggers Retreat on Sunday night. Apparently a bird had other plans because it decided to fly itself right into the airplane's engine and take the plane out of circulation. I feel terrible for that poor birdie but thankful that the plane landed safely and everyone was fine. But it left me in a pickle so the airline put me up in the Comfort Inn nearby for the night. 

 I sat outside the airport for about an hour and half waiting on a shuttle ride to the hotel. Finally a man pulls up and says he's there to transport me to the hotel. Let's just say, I did not get a warm fuzzy from this person. And when a woman is traveling by herself, and it's dark outside, and you are alone in a minivan with a man that looks, well, kinda scary, you tend to be on your guard. So I texted a friend and said, if you do not hear from me in the next 10 minutes, call the police. Hey, a gal can never be too careful, right?  I didn't have many options so I hopped in and we took off down the dark road to the hotel. 

I had no idea where I was or where the hotel was located.  My Momma raised me to be a good southern girl and there is so much ingrained in me to be polite, always. So when he began to make small talk, I nodded my head politely and talked back and kept my finger on the button to make a call at any time. On this 10 minute ride, I ended up getting a very good history education of Montgomery, Alabama and he told me all about his Grandmomma that raised chickens and how they used to get the best meat from a nearby butcher. He had me laughing so hard talking about his little ole Grandma who would feed her chickens any scraps she had leftover and he said that made for the best chicken meat. 
We safely got to the hotel and I asked him if the hotel had a shuttle that ran super early in the morning. I had to be at the airport by 4am to catch my flight. He told me that he is the hotel's only driver and he wasn't due to work the next day until 8am but he said he would work something out. The next morning, at 3:30 - AM!, I come straggling out to the lobby, and there he is. My shuttle driver. The guy I thought looked so scary just the evening before. He slept for a few hours in the hotel that night just so he could be there to take me to the airport the next morning. He asked the hotel to put him up for the night so he could be there on time to take me to the airport so early.  Just so he could get me to the airport, to get on that flight that would bring me home. A true southern gentleman. He called me ma'am, he carried my bags and he got me to the airport on time. Needless to say, I made sure he got an appreciative tip from me and a big thank you. 

My first impressions of this man, Michael, could not have been further from the truth. Got your message loud and clear, God. Loud and clear. We never stop learning...but it never hurts to be careful too. 

Now - let's get to this potluck!

The recipe with the most clicks with a link back was...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sparkling Apple Cider Pound Cake

Hello friends! Holly here from Life in the Lofthouse and today I'm sharing a recipe that is simply delicious! It is Sparkling Cider Pound Cake, and let me tell you, it is moist and amazingly good!
Sparkling Apple Cider reminds me of my childhood. My Grandma Jennings used to serve it every Thanksgiving in those fancy champagne glasses. :) I just loved the taste, and I thought I was pretty cool drinking from those fancy cups. Now as an adult, I serve it at every Thanksgiving meal, too. My kids love it!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Weekend Potluck #138

Hey friends! Happy Friday! I am in Alabama this weekend for the Southern Food Blogger Retreat. I'm so excited to sharpen my blogging skills and to learn how to bring y'all even better dishes, prettier photos and just learn how to do all this blogging stuff a little better. 
Oh, and did I mention my kitchen is finally finished? Well, mostly finished. Some minor details still needed to be fixed but it is a working kitchen again - yahoo! I'll be sure to share pictures soon. It's small but mighty! Anyhow, I wouldn't leave without getting Weekend Potluck all set up and ready to dig in! Soups and casseroles and apple desserts - oh my!

The recipe with the most clicks was...

Thursday, October 2, 2014

'On The Menu'

What if you were tasked with creating your favorite restaurant's next menu item? Contestants on TNT's new competition cooking show, On The Menu, will compete to create the next dish to appear on the menu of well-known restaurants. With high anxiety and tough competition, cooks will duke it out with the guidance of Chef Emeril Lagasse, the experienced restaurateur and Ty Pennington, their confidant and sounding board.
Competitors go beyond their home cooking passion and are challenged to create dishes that are not only delicious, but fit the selected restaurants current menu offerings. Viewers at home will get to watch the creation of the winning dish from conception to execution, and then the winning item will be on the menu!

Yep, on the menu - immediately! You will actually be able to go to one of these national restaurants, like Chili's, Denny's, and Outback Steakhouse and be able to taste the dish, the day after the winning recipe is announced on the show. How cool is that?!
These are regular homecooks going head-to-head to create a winning restaurant recipe. Plus, who doesn't love Emeril Lagasse? And it's so nice to see Ty Pennington in this show. He's such a positive cheerleader that I think he'll make this fun and entertaining to watch.

The show premieres this Friday, October 3rd at 8/7c on TNT. I'm going to be out of town so I'm going to make sure I set my DVR to watch it as soon as I get back. I love to watch talented homecooks create amazing dishes! Oh, did I mention that you'll be able to download coupons for the first 3 winning dishes so you can try it at the restaurant? Oh yeah, love me some coupons for dining out!!


Follow along here:
http://www.facebook.com/OnTheMenuTNT
http://www.twitter.com/OnTheMenuTNT
Instagram: @OnTheMenuTNT
http://www.pinterest.com/onthemenutnt
http://www.youtube.com/user/tntweknowdrama

#OnTheMenu

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of TNT. The opinions and text are all mine.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Baked Shepherd's Casserole ~ Sunday Dinner Winner

A few months ago, y'all might remember that I shared a recipe for Crock Pot Rotisserie Chicken and I also shared a little bit about why Sunday Dinners were so important to us as a family.
Photo courtesy of Taste of Home
Along with that recipe, I mentioned that you could enter your own Sunday Dinner recipes into a contest that was being held by Taste of Home and Physician's Mutual Insurance where your recipe could win $1,000! Well y'all definitely entered some pretty amazing recipes and a winner was recently announced!
Photo courtesy of Taste of Home

Friday, September 26, 2014

Weekend Potluck #137

For those of you who are new here, let me tell you all about what happens here on Friday. We have a big ole potluck party. Many of your favorite food bloggers come here to share all those yummy recipes they've been cooking up all week. Think of it as your one-stop shop for all the latest recipes!
Now, what you want to do here is scroll on down. First you'll see the most popular recipe from last week's potluck. This was the recipe that was most clicked on by you! Then you'll see a couple of ones that really caught our eye last week. There are always a bunch so it's hard to highlight just a couple! Then, you'll see one of my personal favorites from last weekend's potluck. This is one that I am most definitely planning on making soon! Then below all that you'll see some little thumbnail pictures of food. Those are the recipes that are being shared *right now*. Just click on any of those pictures and it will take you directly to the recipe! So grab your sweet tea and let's get down to the grub!


The Recipe With the Most Views Was...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chicken Enchilada Bake

The daily hustle. That is what I call most days of the week. Going to work or school, getting the job done, working your way up the ladder, having babies, taking care of your babies, raising a family, making life happen and basically doing it all. That is the daily hustle, and boy, can it be a grind. But it can also be amazingly awesome too.
A favorite quote that I made my mantra years ago was "Don't let life happen to you. Go out there and make your life happen." And that has stuck with me over the years, during good times and bad. It's what keeps me moving forward and making each day as beautiful as it can be despite that daily hustle. And one of the ways I do that is through meals. It's also one of the main reasons why I started this website. I was creating some really fun recipes that are perfect for busy folks. Good, honest, simple food that you and your whole family will love without a whole lot of hustle. I also have some pretty darn good tricks up my sleeve that I learned over the years that I thought were worth sharing. And one of those is Bisquick. Y'all, you can make a whole lot more than just pancakes with Bisquick. It can be a breading for chicken, it can be the base for a casserole and you can even use it to make desserts. It's one of those staples I always keep in my pantry.
So with this recipe, I did just that. I had some canned ingredients in my pantry to make enchiladas (taco seasoning, green chile sauce) and I thought, what can I make with that and this Bisquick? My mind always goes to casserole type meals because it usually means less dishes and easier to make. I picked up a rotisserie chicken on my way home (another great shortcut!), threw in some cream of chicken that I also had in my pantry (to make it creamy) and boom! I got dinner started and in the oven with a quickness. My family absolutely loved it! It wasn't really spicy since I used the mild green chile enchilada sauce and so even my picky eater gobbled it up. You can use the red enchilada sauce if you like or throw in some crushed red pepper flakes if you like more heat. Either way, you will be a supah-star with this meal!