Author Archive: Rachel

  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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,

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • Real Food Menu Plan for January 9-15: Easy and delicious meal ideas that the whole family will love. Posted every Friday at Thriving Home.

    “Real Food Meets Reality” Menu Plan: January 9-15

    The New Year means a renewed commitment to eating healthier for many of us. This week I’m sneaking in loads of veggies and fruit into our menu plan with the likes of Cancer Fighting Soup, Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal (like apple pie for breakfast!), and Slow Cooker Whole Chicken and

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  • One Small Change to Save Money and Waste {Plus a Mighty Deal for You!}

    Sponsored by MightyNest Small changes around the house can really start to add up when it comes to living healthier, saving money, and preserving our environment this year. But, sometimes it’s hard to know where to even start, right? One small but very doable change we’re both working toward is ditching the paper

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  • Real Food Menu Plan for Dec. 26-Jan 1: Easy and delicious meal ideas that the whole family will love. Posted every Friday at Thriving Home.

    “Real Food Meets Reality” Menu Plan: December 26-January 1

    I hope you’re enjoying the holiday break. For my post-Christmas plan, I’m focusing on some warm, cozy family favorites to keep the everyone happy over break. One surprisingly simple yet delicious meal is the Turkey, Pesto, and Swiss Paninis. Give those a try if you haven’t yet. P.S. Did you know you

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  • Jesus' Birthday Cake

    A Birthday Party for Jesus on Christmas Night

    When the gift opening frenzy is over, all toys have been played with, and everyone has sufficiently stuffed themselves on Christmas dinner..there’s still one more Christmas tradition my children can’t wait for each year: our birthday party for Jesus on Christmas night. I love that our celebration ends with setting our

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  • “Will you and Daddy ever get divorced?”

    “Will you and Daddy ever get divorced?” My 6-year-old’s anxious question pierced my heart. It wasn’t the first time one of my children had asked this of me. I remember asking my parents that same question around his age. How do I want to respond his question? What does my child

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  • Real Food Menu Plan for Dec. 12-18: Easy and delicious meal ideas that the whole family will love. Posted every Friday at Thriving Home.

    “Real Food Meets Reality” Menu Plan: December 12-18

    Meatballs are a win every time in our house, so this week I’m doubling the recipe and creating two meals out of them. Do my kids need to know they are loaded with sneaky spinach and other vegetables? Nope. Then, I’m looking forward to trying out a new recipe from

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  • Real Food Menu Plan for Dec. 5-11: Easy and delicious meal ideas that the whole family will love. Posted every Friday at Thriving Home.

    “Real Food Meets Reality” Menu Plan: December 5-11

    Happy December! In the midst of pre-holiday chaos, a menu plan can help keep your sanity and keep your family eating well through the holidays. This week I’m going easy on Monday and Tuesday with some 15 minute meals. Then, later in the week, I’m making a super simple, comforting recipe

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  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal (For a Crowd)

    We are baked oatmeal fanatics around here, as you may know. Both my kids and Polly’s kids eat the stuff by bushels. I find myself making the Brownie Baked Oatmeal repeatedly, while Polly probably makes the original Baked Oatmeal with Fruit recipe the most. But, all the baked oatmeal recipes

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