Author Archive: Rachel

  • Real Food Menu Plan for March 27-April 2: Easy and delicious meal ideas that the whole family will love. Posted every Friday at Thriving Home.

    Weekly Menu Plan + Top 5 “Stock Up & Save” Deals

    Sponsored by Hy-Vee (Columbia) This week I’m going easy with recipes like Baked Potato Bar (in the slow cooker!), taco night, and some of our favorite paninis. With 77¢ pasta at Hy-Vee this week, I’m also cooking up some Homemade Chef Boyardee Pasta on Monday night. This is such a sneaky and yummy way to pack …Read More

  • Real Food Menu Plan for March 20-26: Easy and delicious meal ideas that the whole family will love. Posted every Friday at Thriving Home.

    Weekly Menu Plan + Top 5 “Stock Up & Save” Deals

    Sponsored by Hy-Vee (Columbia) This week frozen veggies are only $.99 at our Hy-Vee grocery store, so I’m using those in three different dishes: Hearty Vegetable Soup, On-the-Go Chicken Burritos, and Szechuan Steak Stir-Fry. I’m also using the $.99 Barilla pasta that’s on sale to make a new slow cooker recipe that sounds amazing. Check it …Read More

  • Use up leftovers to create this delicious make-ahead Banana Pecan Baked French Toast.

    Banana Pecan Baked French Toast {Freezer Meal}

    What do you do with a freezer bag full of leftover bread heels in the freezer, overripe bananas, and even some butternut squash puree? (Don’t cast a skeptical eye at the squash…just look at all the ways you can use it to sneak in extra nutrition.) Well, in our house, you make baked french toast! This time …Read More

  • Real Food Menu Plan for March 13-19: Easy and delicious meal ideas that the whole family will love. Posted every Friday at Thriving Home.

    Weekly Menu Plan + Top 5 “Stock Up & Save” Deals

    Sponsored by Hy-Vee (Columbia) Two recipes I’m excited to throw back into our dinner rotation this week are the Chicken Apple Bites and Pizza Stromboli. They take kid favorites and add a little interesting twist. If you haven’t tried the Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef yet, that’s about the easiest and tastiest slow cooker meal I’ve ever …Read More

  • Real Food Menu Plan for March 6-12: Easy and delicious meal ideas that the whole family will love. Posted every Friday at Thriving Home.

    Weekly Menu Plan + Top 5 “Stock Up & Save” Deals

    Sponsored by Hy-Vee (Columbia). Home cooked meals with your family most nights of the week are doable. But, only if you have a menu plan that’s simple, that includes some leftovers (or freezer meals), and that your people will enjoy (at least that’s the motivating part to me!). This week’s easy, crowd-pleasers include Mini Italian Burgers, …Read More

  • 4 Cheese Penne Pasta with whole wheat pasta is a healthier baked pasta that comes together quickly.

    4 Cheese Baked Penne Pasta {Freezer Meal}

    You can never go wrong with a baked pasta in my humble opinion. It feeds a crowd and typically pleases even the pickiest of eaters. Polly makes a phenomenal Hearty Baked Penne Pasta, but I wanted something a little cheaper, a tad lighter, and something I could throw together in minutes. 4 Cheese Baked Penne Pasta was …Read More

  • A foil pack makes for easy cooking and clean up and perfectly grilled or baked Roasted Root Vegetables!

    Roasted Root Vegetables in a Foil Pack

    Want to pretend you’re camping one night, without all the bugs and hassle? A super fun recipe from our cookbook, From Freezer to Table (release date: Sept 12, 2017), is a one-pot chicken meal wonder cooked in a foil packet either over the grill or in the oven. My kids think this is the best way …Read More

  • Weekly Menu Plan + Top 5 “Stock Up & Save” Deals

    Sponsored by Hy-Vee (Columbia). This week I’m trying out Pioneer Woman’s Hamburger Soup recipe, which looks surprisingly healthy with all the veggies included. I think my kids will be most stoked for the Mini Turkey Cheese Burgers (again) and the Oven Omelet with hash browns for our “Brinner” night. What one recipe on the menu do I think …Read More

  • Mini Turkey Cheese Patties or Burgers: A kid-friendly, healthy freezer meal!

    Mini Turkey Cheeseburgers {Freezer Meal}

    It had been an uneventful dinner so far. Everyone…yes, picky eaters and all…munched away on these easy Mini Turkey Cheeseburgers, which I served alongside some Simple Roasted Veggies that night. Uneventful dinner = a RAGING success these days. 🙂 We heard the familiar knock of my dad (aka Daddyman) at the door in the middle of …Read More

  • And the Cookbook Cover Winner Is…

    Two weeks ago, we did something crazy. We let YOU vote and decide which cookbook cover we would end up using. Well, the people have spoken and we have a major announcement. I present to you, the winning cover for our upcoming cookbook….

  • Real Food Menu Plan for February 21-27: Easy and delicious meal ideas that the whole family will love. Posted every Friday at Thriving Home.

    Weekly Menu Plan + Top 5 “Stock and Save” Deals

    Sponsored by Hy-Vee (Columbia) Easy Breakfast Casserole Muffins are showing up on the menu plan this week, because they recently made MSN’s Top 50 Insanely Easy Breakfast Casseroles list. AS. THEY. SHOULD. 🙂 We’ve been making these delicious, on-the-go, savory muffins for years. Another recipe from the menu that that should make it in your regular rotation is our Chicken …Read More

  • Don't let these 3 myths stop you from saving time and money, eating healthier, and having delicious meals on the table regularly! Here are the top 3 freezer cooking myths debunked!

    Top 3 Myths About Freezer Cooking Debunked!

    As self-proclaimed “freezer cooking evangelists”, we’re on a mission to convert friends, family, and readers to the freezer cooking lifestyle. That’s because we’ve been convinced over our 15+ combined years of experience with this type of make-ahead meal prep that it really does save time and money, helps us eat healthier, and reduces stress at …Read More

  • Real Food Menu Plan for February 14-20: Easy and delicious meal ideas that the whole family will love. Posted every Friday at Thriving Home.

    Weekly Menu Plan + Top 5 “Stock Up & Save” Deals

    Sponsored by Hy-Vee (Columbia) This week we’re teaming up with some of our favorite blogger friends and sites to create a mouth-watering menu full of a variety of wholesome meals. Plus, we’ve got you set for Valentine’s Day night. Don’t even think about fighting the crowds (or spending way too much) on eating out when you can …Read More

  • Real Food Menu Plan for February 7-13: Easy and delicious meal ideas that the whole family will love. Posted every Friday at Thriving Home.

    Weekly Menu Plan + Top 5 “Stock Up & Save” Deals

    Sponsored by Hy-Vee (Columbia) THIS JUST IN! Our same family-friendly, weekly menu plan with mostly “real food” recipes is still coming your way every Friday. As you probably know, menu planning in and of itself cuts down on food waste, time, and spending and helps your family eat a well-rounded diet. But, starting today, we’re going the …Read More

  • Healthy Dog Treats is the perfect gift for furry friends and their owners on Valentine's Day or any day!

    Healthy Homemade Dog Treats: A Gift for Furry Friends

    My mom “stole” my 8-year-old daughter one snowy day recently and baked up a surprise for their doggie, Gracie, and some other pooch friends. What a fun project to do with kids for a Valentine’s Day surprise for the furry pets and their owners in your life. Hey, and it’s even made with all “real food” ingredients. Sweet! …Read More

  • Real Food Menu Plan for January 31-February 6: Easy and delicious meal ideas that the whole family will love. Posted every Friday at Thriving Home.

    “Real Food Meets Reality” Menu Plan: January 30-February 5

    This week’s menu is packed with fast meals. From a 10 Minute Frittata to Whole Grain Pizza Bread to Honey Garlic Shrimp, you’ll have a variety of healthy and delicious dinners on the table in no time for your crew. As always, don’t forget to double and freeze the meals marked Freezer-Friendly (FF) to use another …Read More

  • The Banana Boat: The perfect after school snack!

    Banana Boat: The Perfect After School Snack

    It began many, many years ago. About 35 in fact. My mom used to make these for me as a kid, sans the chocolate chips. She was a better mom than me, I guess. But, here I am three decades later making The Banana Boat (with some little sailors or aka chocolate chips) for my …Read More

  • Real Food Menu Plan for January 23-29: Easy and delicious meal ideas that the whole family will love. Posted every Friday at Thriving Home.

    “Real Food Meets Reality” Menu Plan: January 23-29

    One of the tricks that helps me make menu planning simpler each week is to think in terms of a theme for most nights. You may notice that we use these categories to add variety to each day of the week and to take some of the guesswork out of the planning: Monday = meatless Tuesday …Read More

  • Imagine a cross between brownies and chocolate chip cookies. With basic ingredients in any pantry and a recipe that's easy enough for kids to make, Chocolate Chip Blondies make the perfect afternoon snack to enjoy and then share with others.

    Chocolate Chip Blondies

    School’s out for a giant ice storm that never hit. So what do you do? Make a treat, of course! My 9-year-old flipped through one of my staple recipe books, The New Best Recipe (Cook’s Illustrated) and landed on Blondies. What are blondies? Well, if a brownie and a chocolate chip cookie made a baby, you …Read More

  • Real Food Menu Plan for January 16-22: Easy and delicious meal ideas that the whole family will love. Posted every Friday at Thriving Home.

    “Real Food Meets Reality” Menu Plan: January 16-22

    Every week we put together a menu plan stocked full of family-friendly, mostly-real food recipes. Extra bonus if you live near a Hy-Vee, because we build the plan around their sales. Regardless of your Hy-Vee proximity, taking the step to menu plan will save you time, money, and headaches. If you try one thing off …Read More