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Creamy Sausage & Artichoke Pasta

Creamy sausage & artichoke pasta makes an easy after-practice dinner. A one-skillet meal the whole family will devour.

Creamy sausage & artichoke pasta makes an easy weeknight dinner. A one-skillet meal the whole family will devour.

Creamy sausage & artichoke pasta makes an easy after-practice dinner. A one-skillet meal the whole family will devour.

We spent the weekend visiting friends who live in the mountains.  They live in the highest incorporated municipality in the US, which means that winter has started up there.  The two hour drive up was gorgeous seeing all of the snow capped mountains.  On Sunday when we went to leave, part of the interstate was closed because of accidents and ice on the road.  We were fortunate enough for it to open up for 45 minutes, and we were able to get home without a long detour.  As gorgeous as the drive was, I am so NOT ready for winter.  Only 2 hours away at our house it is supposed to get up to near 80 this week, so I think we have awhile before it gets too cold, but this weekend was a reminder it is just around the corner.

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Gnocchi Shrimp Scampi & Giveaway

Gnocchi Shrimp Scampi - dinner is ready in less than 15 minutes, and tastes like it came from a restaurant.

Gnocchi Shrimp Scampi - dinner is ready in less than 15 minutes, and tastes like it came from a restaurant.

Let’s talk about dinner as a family today.  I have said it so many times on here, but I think it is so important to kids and families.  I know that people are busy, and kids are involved in so many different activities lately, and dinner seems to be one of the first things to go.  Grabbing take out, everyone eating at different times, using the drive thru, and who knows how many other things to try to get everyone fed and where the need to be.   I have a child involved in activities, my husband and I both work, I completely understand.  But I remember sitting down with my family as a kid, and that was when we all shared and learned so much about what was going on.  As a parent, I want to know what is happening in my kids life, and I want him to always be able to talk to me.

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Peanut Chicken with Rice

Peanut Chicken with Rice - quick and easy dinner for any night of the week

Peanut Chicken with Rice - quick and easy dinner for any night of the week

This week is supposed to finally start cooling down here in Colorado.  Most of September was in the mid to upper 80′s around here.  We did have a few days where it got pretty chilly, but the last couple weeks we have had to turn our air conditioner back on.  I have to admit, I am ready for the cooler weather.  I want to make soup and fresh bread, and not have to sweat while I am eating it :)  And somehow is just feels a little wrong to be breaking out the pumpkin when it is 80 degrees.  I do not know how you warm weather year round people do it!  I love my seasons.

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Pasta Milano (Copycat Macaroni Grill)

Pasta Milano - a copycat of a Macaroni Grill favorite

Pasta Milano - a copycat of a Macaroni Grill favorite

Have any of your kids ever done Lego Robotics?  Can we just talk for a second about how crazy it is!  My son’s school has always had quite a few teams in the past.  This year they did not get a teacher willing to take on all the work (I honestly don’t blame them).  My son had been looking forward to it for forever, and so had one of his good friends.  So we got talking, and after a few meetings we started a team with our son’s friends.  We have eight 4th grade boys on our team.  Fortunately, we have been able to meet at the school and use their supplies, or it wouldn’t have happened.  But holy cow, is it a lot of work!  My husband is the techy guy, so he is helping the kids with the technical and building side of things.  We are meeting 3 times a week, and there is so much more involved than just building a robot.  This will be an amazing experience for the kids, but I am a little over whelmed with how much we have to accomplish in just 2 months.

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Greek Meatball Sandwiches

Greek Meatball Sandwiches - quick, easy, and so much flavor

 

Greek Meatball Sandwiches - quick, easy, and tons of flavor

I think I might finally be recovered from our hike this last weekend.  On Sunday we got up at 5:30 am and hiked about 11 miles to the top of 2 mountains; Flattop Mountain and Hallet Peak.  We climbed over 3,000 feet to almost 13,000 feet above sea level.  It was a steep hike up, and I didn’t eat enough, so by the end I was not feeling great.  Elevation, hard work, and not enough food = Erin feeling like she is ready to lose her lunch while trying to scramble up the last 500 feet of elevation.  My husband and I actually did this hike 8 years ago, and wanted to do it again with our 9 year old.  We finally did it this summer, and he did awesome!  Getting to the top of a mountain, and looking out over everything is just breath taking.  You seriously feel like you are on top of the world!  There are easier hikes to get to the top of mountains, but it is something I think everyone needs to see in their lifetime.

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Taco Meatball Skewers

Taco Meatball Skewers - great quick dinner or fun appetizer for game day!

Taco Meatball Skewers - great quick dinner or fun appetizer for game day!

Football season is in full swing!  Are you a fan?  I enjoy watching a couple games, but only if I care about the teams.  If it isn’t the Badgers or the Vikings, I don’t really care. Tomorrow we are actually going to the Colorado State game.  My 9 year old is super excited, and I think it will be fun.  There is something about actually being at a game. Hopefully the weather is good!  It has been a chilly couple of days in Colorado.  It is supposed to be back up into the 70′s and 80′s by next week.  Which is good, because I am not ready for 50 degree weather.  Although I am looking forward to lots of soup and fresh bread this fall!

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Green Chile Pork

Green Chile Pork {Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts}

Green Chile Pork - hatch chile peppers in a chile verde sauce

Our weekend started off a little wet. My son’s school had their fall festival on Friday evening.  It was chilly and rainy during most of it. The kids had a great time on the inflatables, the obstacle courses, the climbing wall, and everything else.  But, after 2 hours I decided it was enough, and it was time to head out.  We got home, and it took me a cup of tea, and a couple hours to actually warm up.  A sure sign I am not ready for winter!  Saturday night we headed to watch the girls Badger volleyball team play CSU.  It is not often that Wisconsin sports travel to Colorado, so we went to cheer them on.  It was a super close game, but the Badgers won!  A good weekend for our sports teams.

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Bacon, Corn & Avocado Pasta

Bacon, Corn & Avocado Pasta - fresh corn and tomatoes with crispy bacon and avocado are perfect together!

Bacon, Corn & Avocado Pasta - fresh corn and tomatoes with crispy bacon and avocado are perfect together!

We are in the last few days of August.  Hard to believe how fast the summer flew by.  This weekend my husband and I celebrate 13 years of marriage.  We actually have a friend who is going to watch our 9 year old so we can go out!  Not sure what we are doing yet, but I am excited for a night out, it seems like it has been FOREVER!  This weekend we also have friends from Iowa that will be in town.  It has been over a year since we have seen them, so I am super excited for their visit.  Hopefully the weather stays nice, so we can enjoy lots of time outside.

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Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet

Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet - a dinner the whole family will love, ready in just 20 minutes

Cheeseburgery Macaroni Skillet - 20 minutes, one pan, and dinner is done!

The second week of school and I am already tired of packing my sons lunch.  This is not a good sign.  He has seen my Instagram feed with all the pictures of fun and creative lunches that kids are getting.  And now, he wants that.  For the last year, he wanted the same thing in his lunch every, single, day.  This year, not only does he want to change it up (which is perfectly fine with me), he wants it to be fun and different most days.  I was at the store the other day and saw one of those divided tupperwear containers on sale, so I picked it up.  Now it is time to figure out what to put in it.  I am just not that creative early in the morning!

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30+ Back to School Dinner Ideas

Back To School Dinner Ideas

Back to School Collage

If your kids haven’t started school yet, they are very soon.  One thing that all parents have in common, no matter what their job, background, area of the country etc; is struggling to come up with quick and easy dinner ideas the whole family will love.  I strongly believe in having dinner together as a family, most nights of the week.  I know people have crazy schedules and are running all over the place, but dinner doesn’t have to be hard.  It also, doesn’t have to be take out or fast food.  You can have a homemade meal on the table in just a matter of minutes.  Here is a round up of a few of my favorites to get you started this school year!

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