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Cheesy Skillet Chili Mac


Cheesy Skillet Chili Mac - Two comfort foods come together in a one skillet dinner the whole family will love. Plus it is ready in only 20 minutes!

Cheesy Skillet Chili Mac – Two comfort foods come together in a one skillet dinner the whole family will love.  Plus it is ready in only 20 minutes!

Cheesy Skillet Chili Mac - Two comfort foods come together in a one skillet dinner the whole family will love.  Plus it is ready in only 20 minutes!

I can’t believe we have less than a week left in New Zealand.  I thought six weeks was going to seem like forever, but there is just so much to see and do, I want more time!  My son’s birthday is on Saturday when we fly home.  He is so excited, because he gets his birthday for 2 days.  We have almost a full day in Auckland, and then get on a plane and cross the International Date Line.  So he gets a 2nd day, granted most of it is on a plane or in airports.  But still, by the time we land in Denver it will be dinner time on the 2nd day of his birthday.  So confusing!!

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Pizza Pasta Skillet


Pizza Pasta Skillets {Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts}

Pizza Pasta Skillet – turn pizza night into a 20 minute, super easy pasta dinner that everyone will go crazy for. 

Pizza Pasta Skillet - time to turn pizza night up a notch!  Dinner is ready in just 20 minutes in only one pan!

Pizza night is a regular occurrence in most families.  It seems that most of the time though, pizza night involves picking up the phone and having it delivered.  As easy as that is, pizza pasta skillet is ready even faster.  Seriously, start to finish is 20 minutes!  Unless you live next door to the pizza place, you aren’t getting delivery that fast.  And I don’t know about your pizza, but whenever I get delivery; it is never hot and fresh when it arrives.

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Lemon Garlic Shrimp


Lemon Garlic Shrimp - Super quick and easy dinner of shrimp sauteed in butter and garlic and then finished with lemon juice.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp – Super quick and easy dinner of shrimp sauteed in butter and garlic and then finished with lemon juice.  

Lemon Garlic Shrimp - Super quick and easy dinner of shrimp sauteed in butter and garlic and then finished with lemon juice.

I can not believe it is almost April.  This year is just flying by!  My son turns 10 next month, and I am just not sure I am ready for that.  Double digits is such a big deal.  Thankfully he still likes hanging out with us.  Don’t get me wrong, I can’t give him a hug in public or hold his hand.  But, he is happy to go out to lunch with me, or have me play basketball with him in the driveway.  I am sure that soon enough, both of those things will be frowned upon as well. But for now, I guess I will be happy with what I can get.

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Creamy Pasta with Ricotta, Mint and Garlic Sauce


Creamy Pasta with Ricotta, Mint and Garlic Sauce - a quick and easy creamy pasta dish, with garlic, mint and walnuts that is perfect any night of the week.

Creamy Pasta with Ricotta, Mint and Garlic Sauce – a quick and easy creamy pasta dish, with garlic, mint and walnuts that is perfect any night of the week.  

Creamy Pasta with Ricotta, Mint and Garlic Sauce - a quick and easy creamy pasta dish, with garlic, mint and walnuts that is perfect any night of the week.

You guys are in for another treat today!  Kate from Diethood is taking over for today.  She is absolutely amazing, and one of the sweetest people I have ever “met”.  Kate and I entered the blogging world around the same time, and have been supporting each other since.  This summer Kate and I will both be in Chicago and actually get to meet in person for the first time.  I am super excited for that!  So grab some paper towel, so you can wipe the drool off your key board, and check out this amazing pasta!

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Coconut Curry Meatballs


Coconut Curry Meatballs - Tender meatballs in a super flavorful coconut curry sauce. Great over rice or quinoa! And they happen to be Paleo!

Coconut Curry Meatballs – Tender meatballs in a super flavorful coconut curry sauce.  Great over rice or quinoa!  And they happen to be Paleo!

Coconut Curry Meatballs - Tender meatballs in a super flavorful coconut curry sauce.  Great over rice or quinoa!  And they happen to be Paleo!

I mentioned awhile ago that my husband and I were going to try to go no added sugar for a few weeks.  Let me tell you, that is HARD!!  We really only went all-in for 7 days.  Our goal was to see if we felt different, to become more aware of what we were eating, and kind of just reset.  After a week, I didn’t feel any different. I didn’t go through any of the withdrawal symptoms people mentioned.  I didn’t have more energy, sleep better, or any of the other positives I had read about either. So after the first week, I decided to keep added sugar to bare minimum for a couple more weeks, and just be more conscious of what I ate.  I have to say, this seemed like a better way to live.

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Chicken with Mustard-Tarragon Sauce


Chicken with Tarragon –Mustard Sauce is a creamy, tangy sauce that comes together in minutes. Turn plain old chicken into something special even on a busy weeknight. My kitchen has kind of turned into a disaster zone lately. It all started when our freezer started leaking water (inside the freezer), and coating the whole thing in ice. To replace it meant having to remodel a portion of our kitchen. The fridge that came with the house was a custom, built-in fridge. FYI – those are extra wide! You can’t just replace them with a normal size fridge, because you end up with a 6 inch gap between the fridge and the cabinet next to it. Not to mention the giant gap above it, because they are also extra tall. So yeah, fun times at my house! Considering the disaster zone that is my kitchen right now, I have to figure out how to cook dinner without an oven and in a small usable space. This chicken with tarragon-mustard sauce is perfect. Everything is made in just one pan, and ready in less than 20 minutes. I used chicken tenders because that is what I had on hand, but cutlets would be done even faster. The tarragon-mustard sauce is creamy and just a little tangy from the mustard. The tarragon gives a hint of licorice flavor, but definitely not over powering. Everyone at my house pretty much licked their plates clean, they loved the sauce so much. You could even serve over egg noodles to soak up all that goodness. I served mine with a giant salad but pan charred asparagus or cheesy garlic pull apart bread would be really good as well. My husband thought the leftovers were great the next day for lunch too. Definitely a great quick and easy weeknight meal that turns ordinary chicken into something special.

Chicken with Mustard-Tarragon Sauce is a creamy, tangy sauce that comes together in minutes. Turn plain old chicken into something special even on a busy weeknight.

Chicken with Tarragon –Mustard Sauce is a creamy, tangy sauce that comes together in minutes.  Turn plain old chicken into something special even on a busy weeknight.  My kitchen has kind of turned into a disaster zone lately.  It all started when our freezer started leaking water (inside the freezer), and coating the whole thing in ice. To replace it meant having to remodel a portion of our kitchen.  The fridge that came with the house was a custom, built-in fridge.  FYI – those are extra wide!  You can’t just replace them with a normal size fridge, because you end up with a 6 inch gap between the fridge and the cabinet next to it.  Not to mention the giant gap above it, because they are also extra tall.  So yeah, fun times at my house!   Considering the disaster zone that is my kitchen right now, I have to figure out how to cook dinner without an oven and in a small usable space.  This chicken with tarragon-mustard sauce is perfect.   Everything is made in just one pan, and ready in less than 20 minutes.  I used chicken tenders because that is what I had on hand, but cutlets would be done even faster.  The tarragon-mustard sauce is creamy and just a little tangy from the mustard.  The tarragon gives a hint of licorice flavor, but definitely not over powering.   Everyone at my house pretty much licked their plates clean, they loved the sauce so much.  You could even serve over egg noodles to soak up all that goodness.  I served mine with a giant salad but pan charred asparagus or cheesy garlic pull apart bread would be really good as well.  My husband thought the leftovers were great the next day for lunch too.  Definitely a great quick and easy weeknight meal that turns ordinary chicken into something special.

My kitchen has kind of turned into a disaster zone lately. It all started when our freezer started leaking water (inside the freezer), and coating the whole thing in ice. To replace it meant having to remodel a portion of our kitchen. The fridge that came with the house was a custom, built-in fridge. FYI – those are extra wide! You can’t just replace them with a normal size fridge, because you end up with a 6 inch gap between the fridge and the cabinet next to it. Not to mention the giant gap above it, because they are also extra tall. So yeah, fun times at my house!

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Coconut Crusted Chicken Tenders


Coconut Crusted Chicken Tenders - super crispy chicken tenders that are coated in shredded coconut!

Coconut Crusted Chicken Tenders – super crispy chicken tenders that are coated in shredded coconut!  Perfect for a quick dinner for the whole family!

Coconut Crusted Chicken Tenders - super crispy chicken tenders that are coated in shredded coconut!

My parents get here today!  This is the first time since we moved here, over 3 years ago, that they are driving.  And there is a good reason for it.  They are staying for the next 2 months.  My husband’s company has a sabbatical program.  So next week, the 3 of us are leaving for New Zealand for six weeks.  My parents are going to stay at our house while we are gone.  They have been talking about moving out there for the last couple of years, and this is the test to see if they really want to.  They are going to scope out neighborhoods, and really see what it would be like to live here.  We are more than happy to have them stay at our house, and not be empty while we are gone.

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Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos


Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos - Pork that has been cooked in the crock pot in citrus and spices, and then used for tacos. So easy, and so much flavor!

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos – Pork that has been cooked in the crock pot in citrus and spices, and then used for tacos.  So easy, and so much flavor!

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos - Pork that has been cooked in the crock pot in citrus and spices, and then used for tacos.  So easy, and so much flavor!

I know a lot of you are parents out there, so I want to see what you think about something.  My son did Jump Rope for Heart at school.  Great cause, raising money for the American Heart Association.  I was getting the forms and money all ready to send to school, and my 9 year old tells me he wants to donate some of his money.  I tell him that is great, and ask how much he was thinking.  He tells me he wants to give $25.  Keep in mind, I think the kid has saved up for about a year and has $100, so this is a giant chunk of his money.  I try to tell him that is too much, and he needs to save more of his money.  I want to teach my son about giving to others and good causes, but I also have to teach him about being able to have the money to buy things you need for yourself.  After a very lengthy discussion we settled on $10 (note 2 days prior he donated $5 to a coin drive for the homeless).  Thoughts?

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Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi


Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi - Turn the classic spinach and artichoke dip into a creamy and comforting pasta dinner, that is quick and easy any night of the week!

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi – Turn the classic spinach and artichoke dip into a creamy and comforting pasta dinner, that is quick and easy any night of the week!

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi - Turn the classic spinach and artichoke dip into a creamy and comforting pasta dinner, that is quick and easy any night of the week!

The holidays are over, 2015 has started, and the Super Bowl is over.  It seems like things should start slowing down a little. But it isn’t, life is just as busy as ever.  School, work, sports, practices, homework and more seem to keep us busy every day of the week.  The homework.  My son is in 4th grade.  He has a reasonable amount of homework each night, certain days he has a ton, other days not as much.  But what is it about kids and homework?  He can not seem to remember that yesterday he only had 5 minutes worth of work, and got to play pretty much all night.  So the fact that he has 45 minutes tonight isn’t that bad.  And if he would spend less time complaining about it, he would be done already!

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Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta


Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta - turn the famous bang bang shrimp appetizer into a main dish with this creamy pasta.

Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta – turn the famous bang bang shrimp appetizer into a main dish with this creamy pasta.

Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta - turn the famous bang bang shrimp appetizer into a main dish with this creamy pasta.

I hope that you had a great Valentine’s Day weekend!  We had a nice and relaxing weekend after my husband being gone last week.  We almost never exchange gifts, or I should say I almost never get my husband a gift.  I try to think of something, but he isn’t much into sentimental time things, so it isn’t always worth the effort.  Well, this year I came up with something.  It wasn’t anything special, but it was a book he mentioned a few months ago.  I actually remembered, and got it for him!  Not romantic in any way, shape or form.  But he was excited, so that was enough for me!  Now his birthday on Friday, so I have to think of even more things for him!  This is so not what I am good at :(

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