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Friday, March 18, 2016

Our Favorite Recipes!

Growing up I always wanted to marry a man who would be home at dinner time and I always wanted to be the type of wife who had dinner ready on the table for him and our children. While the reality doesn't quite fit the fantasy (it's more like Daddy walks in the door and helps manage the children while I rush around finishing up dinner and we eat it on Disney placemats while reminding one kid to eat over her plate 1,000 times, another to sit up and stop lounging, all while the third says "mama mama mama" over and over b/c all she really wants to eat is applesauce...) I still take pride in cooking for my family and hearing my husband say how much he enjoys the meal makes my heart so happy :)

At this phase of life recipes are about one thing for me: EASE. I need stuff that's easy to cook, quick to cook and that we will all, for the most part, actually enjoy eating. When I got pregnant with my third child I became obsessed with my crock pot and started doubling up on ingredients. I'd put half the ingredients in the crock pot for dinner that night then the other half I'd combine and freeze so when my baby was born we'd have easy meals already prepared and ready to go. It was a GREAT system! Since having that third baby I just haven't ever had the time to sit down and blog all those recipes but my Pinterest board is a great place to find them all as well as pretty much every other recipe I've made in the past couple of years :) You can follow me on Pinterest here!

Today I'm linking up with Kelly from Kelly's Korner to share some of our favorite family recipes. I will go ahead and warn you: I'm TERRIBLE at "food photography" (that's a thing right?!). I promise you that ALL of my recipes ARE tastier than they appear in these photos :)

I actually have a "sister blog" that has several of my go-to recipes on it! I am posting the pics here of some of my favorites along with the direct link to that recipe on the sister-blog (link is title of each recipe)! Enjoy! I'd love to hear if you try any of them and what you think!

Crock Pot Favs:

I've added a good bit of variety to my crock-pot cooking abilities thanks to Pinterest but these are our tried and true favorites :)


Cheese can do no wrong in our house!



Pesto is one of my favorite ingredients!
I serve this with mashed potatoes and corn...YUM!



Not super healthy, but one the kids sure don't complain about!



I am obsessed with spinach and artichoke dip...while this isn't technically a dinner meal I could legit eat it for dinner every single night :) I had a fav spinach and artichoke recipe but I think this one is now my go-to! I made it for a birthday party last year and it was a HIT!


Non-Crock Pot Favs:



This is a recipe I got from Zach's mom when we first got married because it was a favorite of his growing up. It's one of our son's favorites too!



This one came from my sister-in-law, Casey. It's a favorite in their house and is now a favorite in ours too!



I made these back in college and they are now our son's #1 favorite meal. A quick, easy meal to throw together on a busy night!



This is another kid-favorite. ALL of my kids LOVE these and it's one I like to make when Zach is traveling for business because it's not quite hearty enough for him as a full meal but it's plenty for the kids and I!


Other Non-Dinner Favorites:


These I first started making when I hosted baby showers but now I make them for the kids regularly. They freeze SUPER WELL and are awesome to heat up in the microwave for an easy breakfast, or to stick in a lunch box for lunch! 



Zach and I legit love this spread on everything. I started out using it for bread at parties and now we put it in our tacos, on chicken, basically it's a cheat day staple in our home!



No food reminds me of my childhood quite like these cookies too. Plus with peanut butter and oatmeal as ingredients they are totally healthy, right? :)


Our typical weekly routine is for me to cook 3-5 nights a week. Usually it's closer to three. I can usually make a dinner spread out over two nights so we will do a couple nights of left overs. On the weekends Zach usually cooks which I LOVE (and so does he!). We are big on "spending smart" so we eat most of our meals at home. Not only does it save money but it allows for quality family time together which Zach and I both value!

Now that we have three kids I've been looking more into saving money on food with a larger family and I have found that a lot of families with multiple children designate a night for breakfast for dinner  as it's cheaper than typical "dinner" foods, that they take advantage of kids eat free nights and eat out during those times, and that they designate one night a week as a "pizza night" and pick up pizza as there are so many deals to make it cheap! I'm always looking for tips and suggestions and especially love finding new recipes for my family to enjoy! I can't wait to read what others are sharing!!!


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