recipe

10 Easy Dinner Recipes

Dinnertime at our house is preceded by the busy after-school rush which means I need easy dinner recipes that the family will love or more realistically some will love and everyone will eat ;)!    There are a few tried and true recipes that I make on repeat at our house because they always get a good reception.  I thought I would share them with you today in case you need a little inspiration as you meal plan and add a few new easy dinner recipes to your line-up!

10 Easy Dinner Recipes

Italian Chicken, Potatoes and Green Beans

This is my go-to for taking a meal to someone.  It’s an easy all-in-one meal to make in a disposable pan.  My kids gobble it up and I love that it can be made ahead.  Find the full recipe here.

Crockpot Pot Roast

My kids love any meat cooked in a crockpot.  This pot roast can be topped with carrots, onions, and potatoes or served shredded on a hoagie roll with a side of au jus. We always love to make this early in the week and enjoy the leftovers.  Find the recipe card in this post.

Breakfast for Dinner

My kids request resurrection rolls all year long.  They are perfect with eggs and breakfast sausage.  Some weeks we do pancakes and bacon.  We also love making a simple quiche and serving it alongside fruit and refrigerated cinnamon rolls.  Check out these simple love-inspired breakfast recipes.

Mexican Casserole

When we got married, they asked Scott what his favorite meal I made was and he said this recipe.   Funny story, it’s actually his mom’s recipe and I never let him live that down!  Our entire family loves Mexican food.  This makes a great warm appetizer too and we serve it with chips, sour cream, and guacamole.  Check out the recipe here.

Easy Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Some nights just call for a sandwich.  Whether that means we are eating on the sidelines of a game or we need to rush out the door.  Chicken salad is perfect to eat with crackers or made into a sandwich.  I love adding pecans and apples in the fall!  Check out the recipe here.

Walking Tacos & Taco Salads

Cook up some ground beef, season it with taco seasoning and I also add in a can of rinsed black beans and canned carrots to extend the meat and add in some good nutrition.  We buy Doritos chips, crunch them up and layer on the ground beef mixture, shredded lettuce, cheese, and other traditional toppings.  If you never have had a walking taco, you need to try it.  My kids ask for them weekly.   They are great for a crowd too!

Pork Tenderloin, Rice & Veggies

Marinated pork tenderloin is so easy and delicious.  In the summer, butterfly cut it and grill it.  In the winter, pop it in the crockpot for the day. Serve it with a side of seasoned rice or quinoa.  If I am in a hurry, I will buy the microwave rice bags and steam up some frozen veggies as well.

Chicken Pot Pie

This delicious and insanely easy recipe is perfect for making ahead and freezing.  It has just 4 ingredients. Serve it up with some bread!  Check out the full recipe here.

Chicken Nugget Parmesean

This is so simple but another fan favorite.  We get the all white meat chicken nuggets and cook them.  Then, we boil some spaghetti and warm up some spaghetti sauce.  I usually add in about a 1/8 cup of sugar to the sauce for a sweeter taste.  I cut up the chicken nuggets and layer on top of the spaghetti and sauce and garnish with parmesan cheese.  We usually serve with garlic breadsticks and a side salad!

Chicken Stuffing Bake

This is another great meal to take to others.  You layer in 4-6 chicken breasts in the bottom of a sprayed 9×13 pan, then layer on 2 cans of cream of chicken soup and then place a box of prepared stuffing mix (I mix mine up in the microwave).  Cook for 30-40 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees or until chicken is cooked through.  You can serve over rice or alongside some vegetables.  This is another great meal you can make ahead or make in the crockpot (just cook on low for 8 hours with chicken on bottom).

 

So, there you have it, 10 simple and easy dinner recipes we make on repeat around here.  Do you have any go-to meals that you make repeatedly?  What does your family always request? Hands down we have to have a Mexican dish of some kind every single week!  It’s the Simple Purposeful Living 10 on the 10th link-up today, so If you blogged your family’s favorite recipes, make sure you link up below.

FYI – Next week, I am also co-hosting a fun fall recipe link-up with friends.  So make sure to blog your favorite soup recipe and link-up next Wednesday, October 17th!

 

 

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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Linking up with Lindsay and Becky – check out their blogs for more fun!

 


6 Simple Summer Desserts

I am always on the hunt for simple and quick desserts to make for an impromptu get together with friends or just to whip up for my own family.  My family loves dessert so we are well-versed in dessert making but sometimes you just need an easy recipe.  So, from chocolate and ice cream to fruit, we have your dessert bases covered with 6 simple dessert recipes sure to please the taste buds.  What are your favorite desserts to make?

6 Simple Dessert Recipes

 

strawberries, whipped cream and biscuit strawberry shortcake recipe

Simple Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

I was intimidated for years at the thought of making shortcake but this recipe is so easy and is my husband’s favorite dessert.  If he gets to pick dessert and strawberries are in season, he always chooses this!  It’s light, sweet and delicious!

ice cream pie recipe Pinterest pin image

Simple Ice Cream Pie Recipe

If you are looking for an alternate way to serve an ice cream sundae, you need to try this ice cream pie.  It’s so simple but can be sliced and served right on to a plate for guests.  You can mix and match any ice cream flavor for endless ice cream pie options!

Simple Smoothie Recipe

Although, smoothies are not usually considered a dessert.  They are a great healthy sweet treat.  They are easy to make ahead and all you need to do is blend them right up and you have a delicious sweet treat that’s healthy too!

 

rhubarb crisp with pecan crumble in a white dish on a wood table

Simple Pecan Rhubarb Crisp Recipe

Crisps are such an easy but delicious dessert and served a la mode, you have a fan favorite on your hands.  This recipe calls for pecans for a nutty twist on a classic.

 

oreo crumbs topped whipped cream pie Pinterest pin

Simple Oreo Pie Recipe

I haven’t met a person that doesn’t love Oreos.  They are so delicious and this pie is a great variation of a french silk pie with a chocolate pudding base with the addition of Oreos!  Not only will the kids love it but the adults will too!

 

What are your favorite simple desserts to whip up for guests or your family?  You can never go wrong with brownies too!  Dessert is a food group around here so we are always looking for more simple recipes to add to the rotation!

 

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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Linking up with Andrea and Becky – check out their blogs for more fun!

 

Simple 6 Layer Magic Bar Recipe

I am always looking for delicious and simple desserts to make for guests or take to a potluck.  It gets bonus points around here if it’s chocolate and you can eat it without any utensils.  My mom used to make these delicious, layered bars as a kid.  They may originate in the midwest potluck circuit.  She called them “hello dolly” bars but they are also called 7 layer bars or magic bars.

I am going to share my mom’s recipe with you today, the one I still use.  It’s so easy and simple, I am making these for the 4th of July at the lake!  I am not sure what the 7th layer would include, my recipe is just 6 ingredients.  This is a perfect recipe for a little chef to help you with!

Simple 6 Layer Magic Bars Recipe

magic bar on white plate Pinterest pin

 

Ingredients

1 stick of butter (melted)

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 package sweetened coconut flakes (7 oz)

1 package butterscotch chips (11 oz)

1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (2/3 box)

 

Directions

spatula with graham cracker crumbs in pan making magic bars

Start by preheating oven to 350 degrees.  Then, grease a 9×13 pan and melt the stick of butter in the microwave.  Measure out 1 1/4 cup graham crackers and mix the butter with the crumbs.  Firmly pat the crumb mixture into the pan to create a crust.

 

It’s time to layer the other ingredients on top of the crust. First, layer on the sweetened coconut flakes and then the mixture of semi-sweet chocolate chips and butterscotch chips.  Finally, evenly pour the sweetened condensed milk over the entire bar pan.

 

magic bars in pan ready to bake

 

Once, you have finished layering on all the ingredients place the pan in a 350-degree oven uncovered for 30 minutes.  The top should be slightly browned.  Let cool before eating, then cut up and serve as a bar-style dessert at your next gathering.  These simple 6 ingredient magic bars are so good and deliciously rich, you will know why they are magic!

 

 

Do you have a favorite bar-type dessert that you love to serve?  Bar-type desserts are a great alternative to cookie and actually, take less time and often are simpler which makes them winners in my book!  What are you baking these days?

Here are a few of my other favorite simple dessert recipes –

Simple Strawberry Shortcake

Simple Rhubarb Pecan Crisp

Simple Ice Cream Pie

Simple Oreo Pie

 

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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Linking up with Heather  and Lindsay – check them out!

Simple Rhubarb Pecan Crisp Recipe

Growing up at the lake, we inherited a huge rhubarb plant when we bought our family cabin.  Every summer passers-by would knock on our door and ask if they could harvest some stalks for their own rhubarb crisp desserts.  My mom was not a fan of rhubarb so she always was happy to share with the strangers.

It wasn’t until my friend made a rhubarb crisp that I realized just how delicious rhubarb was!  Now, any time my mother-in-law or friends have extra, I happily take it and cut it up.  If I don’t have time to bake, I simply store it cut up in the freezer with the date and the measured amount written on the bag!

A friend brought over several stalks of rhubarb the other night so I decided to make a twist on the traditional rhubarb crisp and added pecans!  We are big fans of pecans around here and had some extras leftover in our pantry.  This recipe is the perfect size for 4-6 people and it always tastes best right out of the oven with a dollop of ice cream on top!  Do you love rhubarb desserts as much as we do?

 

rhubarb crisp with pecan crumble in a white dish on a wood table

Rhubarb Pecan Crisp Instructions

What you need –

rhubarb crisp dessert dry ingredients - oats, flour, cinnamon, salt and sugarRhubarb Crisp Filling

4 cups chopped rhubarb (1/4 inch pieces)

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together and place in a greased 8×8 square pan or small round cooking dish.

 

two girls making rhubarb crisp and putting pecan crumble on top

Pecan Crumble Topping

1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup quick oats

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Mix together the crumble topping.  Work with your hands until it is a fine crumble.  Then, top the rhubarb crisp with the crumble topping.

uncooked rhubarb crisp in a white dish on a table

Cooking Instructions

Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees.  Cook the crisp uncovered for 30-35 minutes.  The topping will turn light-brown and the filling will bubble on the sides.  Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Serving Instructions

Serve warm and you can top with whipped cream of a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Serves 4-6 people.

rhubarb pecan crisp recipe

 

Now, I am off to make another batch.  This recipe makes the perfect amount for a post-family dinner dessert.  If you want to make it for a crowd, I suggest doubling or tripling the recipe.  Cut up and freeze your rhubarb and whip this up any time you want a delicious summer treat!  What have you been whipping up lately? I love all the fresh dessert options this time of year.  I also just made this simple strawberry shortcake, it’s another family favorite around here!!!  Now, my stomach is growling!

 

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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Linking up with  Lindsay – check out their blogs for more fun!

Simple Valentine’s Day Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast around here usually includes frozen waffles and a variety of boxed cereal with bed-head.  My family likes to sleep, but who doesn’t, so getting up earlier than necessary for a hot-cooked meal doesn’t usually work for my gang. However, I love to celebrate Valentine’s Day with my whole family so I am all about finding simple ways to do just that, breakfast included.

Today, I am sharing some of our favorite simple and oh so easy Valentine’s Day breakfast ideas sure to make your sweethearts smile :)!
easy Valentine's Day breakfast ideas

Heart Shaped Pink Pancakes

We actually whipped these up over the weekend and I froze an extra batch so on Valentine’s Day morning I can just pop them in the microwave and have a festive treat!  Just add some red food coloring to your batter and then use a cookie cutter to pour the batter into your pan.  When you are ready to flip, you can remove the cookie cutter.

Eggs in the Heart Toast

This is a spin on one of our family’s favorite breakfast dishes, eggs in the hole.  Instead of a round circle hole, I simply used a small heart-shaped cookie cutter.  I toasted the little heart cut-out and serve along with the egg in the heart toast.

Heart-Shaped Breakfast Pizza

Grab a pre-made pizza crust and cut into a heart shape.  Smear on cream cheese for the “sauce” portion and then top with scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage and cheese.  Bake up just like a regular pizza.  You can make ahead and freeze or make the night before and refrigerate until you are ready to bake it!

Heart-Shaped Cinnamon Rolls

Grab a tube of refrigerated cinnamon rolls and unroll them to resemble a heart.  Bake as usual and top with the frosting.  For an extra special touch, you can add a drop of red food coloring for pink frosting!  You might want to grab an extra tube because my kids gobbled these right up!

Remember to keep it simple + fun –

Each of these easy ideas can be whipped up or made ahead and don’t take much time to prep!  Just remember it doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate to make your kids feel special!  How will you celebrate your big and little Valentines this year?  Do you do a fun dinner or kick off the day with a simple but sweet breakfast?

You might also like –

Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.  #tribekoko
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Easy Baked Mexican Dip

 

The Super Bowl is this weekend and it’s always a scramble to figure out what to make because let’s be honest I am all about the halftime show, the commercials, and the food.  I plan on making this easy baked Mexican dip recipe because it’s always a fan favorite and great served with guacamole, salsa, and chips!

 

Ingredients —
1 8 oz Bag of Taco Blend Cheese
1 small bottle of mild taco sauce (Taco Bell is the only brand I can find that has the smaller bottle)
1 can diced green chiles
1 can Traditional refried beans
1 lb. ground beef (I use ground turkey)
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and then brown your ground meat and chop until finely ground.  After its cooked, I like to rinse it to get out the excess grease and then add the taco seasoning packet and add water according to the package specifications.  Then cook through.
While your meat is cooking, you can add the refried beans to the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan.  Spread the refried beans into a thin bottom layer.
Add your seasoned ground meat on top of the refried bean layer and then sprinkle the green chiles over top of the ground beef to make a 3rd layer.  Then, pour the entire bag of shredded cheese on top to make an even 4th layer.
Finally, evenly pour the taco sauce over the top.  The oven should be pre-heated and its ready to cook.  Since everything is cooked through, you really are just warming it all up.  You will cook the dish at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. You know when its done if it’s bubbling on the sides.
Take it out and allow to set for a few minutes.  Then you can dish it on to a plate and serve with taco chips or you can spoon into tortillas with lettuce and toppings if you wish.
This easy baked Mexican dip recipe makes a great casserole for a quick weeknight dinner or a great dip to take with you to a party with your friends.  It can be made ahead and stored in the fridge until you are ready to make it and it makes great leftovers.  You all know we live on leftovers for lunches during the week so I often make this early in the week.  Don’t forget the guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos and salsa for fun sides!
Are you having a Super Bowl party this weekend?  When I invited my neighbors over, I literally said the party goes until after halftime.  They all replied, of course, there’s school the next day ;).  Family party planning at its finest folks.
Until next time, keep on keeping on with an intentional, joyful, faith-filled, intentional life.  #tribekoko
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Simple and Delicious Apple Nachos

It’s fall y’all and that means all things apple!  A few years ago, we went to our favorite local orchard and tried out some apple nachos for the first time.  We fell in love and have been recreating them every fall since.  They are just so good and so easy.  Those two reasons alone should make you want to try them.
You know my kids love to help in the kitchen and this is another easy recipe, they can help get ready for a dessert, an after school snack or a fun treat to take with us to a potluck.  You could even do an apple nachos bar the next time you have friends over.  The great thing is, each person can make it themselves to their liking! 

You will need:

 

Optional Toppings:
  • Chocolate chips (mini are the best)
  • Peanut butter (best if melted in the microwave for about 30 seconds)
  • Peanut butter chips
  • Butterscotch chips
  • Coconut flakes
  • Chopped nuts
  • Marshmallow topping
  • Candy Corn
  • Heath crumbles
  • The options are endless

 

Have your kids help by preparing all the toppings in bowls and placing the apples on the serving platter while you cut.  We prefer to cut our apple slices nice and thin to fully enjoy the toppings.  Then allow your guests or your kids to get creative with their apple nachos.  I promise you, it’s finger licking fall goodness!

Have you ever tried apple nachos before?  You might have the necessary ingredients in your pantry right now.  If not, the next time you grocery shop, you can quickly grab your desired toppings and apples and you will be ready to go for your next dessert, gathering or potluck!

What’s your favorite way to eat apples in the fall?

 

Don’t forget to pin this…
 
 
 
 
 
More Fall Inspiration 
 

Until next time, keep on keeping on with a joyful, faith-filled life.  #tribekoko
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6 Ingredient Corn Bean Salsa

corn bean salsa in bowl

 

There’s always a party you have to go to and you need to bring a dish to share!  I am always looking for an easy, fan-favorite recipe to take along.  This corn bean salsa recipe is always a fan favorite, always.

The recipe came from my friend Emilie.  She is the queen of dips and appetizers.  It is so easy that the kids can help make it and great for anything where you need to take a dish to share.

 

| Ingredients |

Can of diced tomatoes with green chilis
Can of black beans
Can of whole kernel sweet corn
Lime Juice to taste (we used 1/4 cup) – alt. 2 squeeze limes
Bunch of cilantro
2 ripe avocados, diced
| Prep time |
 
Under 15 minutes

| Utensils needed | 

knife
1 – Open the cans of black beans and corn, rinse and drain.  Place in a mixing bowl.
2 – Open can of tomatoes (do not drain), dump into the mixing bowl with beans and corn.
3 – Add lime juice (either 2 fresh squeezed limes) or about 1/4 cup lime juice or to your taste.
4 – add fresh cut cilantro, about 1/3 cup loosely packed.  Dry will work as well.
5 – Add diced up avocado and stir gently until mixed well.  Let sit in fridge or on counter to allow the flavors to meld together for best taste.  Best served within a few hours of making.

 Serve with tortilla chips, as a topping to your favorite Mexican dishes, or as a side-salad for your next BBQ.

 
corn bean salsa recipe pin
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If you are looking for some other ideas for cooking with your kids, here are our other favorites —

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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5 Ingredient Strawberry Shortcake

strawberries, whipped cream and biscuit strawberry shortcake recipe
Strawberry shortcake just screams summer to me!  It’s light, refreshing and a delicious treat to enjoy outside.  It’s my husband’s favorite dessert and for years I didn’t make it because I thought the shortcake was going to be daunting to make.  I seriously kick myself for all the years I missed making this super easy dessert.  This is a crowd favorite for your next block party or BBQ.  The best news is your little sous chefs can easily help you whip this treat up, it doesn’t take long and requires only 5 ingredients. Do I have your interest yet?

Strawberry Shortcake Ingredients 

2 1/3 Cup Bisquick mix
2/3 Cup Milk
1 tub whipped topping
1 clamshell of strawberries
2 T Sugar (If you desire)
**This recipe serves 6-8 people

Strawberry Shortcake Instructions

Prepare the biscuits ahead of time to allow time to cool a bit.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Then, mix together the Bisquick mix and 2/3 cup milk to make the biscuit dough.  Spoon dough onto an un-greased cookie sheet, making between 6-8 biscuits.   Cook for 8-10 minutes until golden brown on top.  Pull out and allow to cool.
 
Next, rinse and chop your strawberries into bite-size pieces and place in a mixing bowl.  Sprinkle with 2 T. sugar and then use a fork to stir and gently press on the strawberries to release some juices and let sit.
When you are ready,  slice the biscuits with a serrated knife and then place 1/2 the biscuit in the bottom of your bowl.  Then, spoon some of the sugared strawberries on top.
Then layer the whipped topping on top.  Place the other half of the biscuit on top and layer with another spoonful of the syrupy strawberries and whipped topping.  It’s best to serve this dessert immediately so it doesn’t get soggy.  Trust me, there won’t be leftovers!

 

 

 
Do you love strawberry shortcake?  What’s your family’s favorite summer dessert?  I hope you and your sous chef enjoy making this delicious dessert for your family and friends soon.  It’s a fan favorite and is so easy to make!

Here are a few more favorite simple recipes to try –

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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6 Ingredient Oreo Pie

 

oreo crumbs topped whipped cream pie Pinterest pin
My kids love to cook, especially my oldest daughter!  I am always looking for new fun, simple recipes to whip up with her.  Recently, we were invited to our friend’s house for dinner and were asked to bring dessert.   Their daughter has a severe peanut allergy so we knew whatever we made needed to be peanut-free so we could all enjoy it.  Everyone LOVES Oreo’s and they happen to be peanut-free, so we made a simple 6 ingredient Oreo pie dessert.

Ingredients:

  1. Oreo Crust
  2. Package of Oreos
  3. Chocolate Jell-O Pudding
  4. Milk to mix with pudding per box directions
  5. Cool Whip (thawed per package directions)

Directions:

STEP 1:  Make the Jell-O instant pudding per box directions for pie**  and place in the fridge for 5 minutes to thicken up.

STEP 2:  Take 2/3 of Oreos out of the container and place in a resealable bag.  Then use a tenderizer to smash the Oreos.  Try not to hit your own finger – ouch, that happened ;).

STEP 3:    Scoop the whipped topping out of the container and into a large mixing bowl.  Then pour most of the crushed Oreos to the whipped topping.  Make sure to reserve a little bit for the top garnish.  Then stir the Oreos and whipped topping together.

STEP 4:  Your pudding should have thickened so you can pull out of the fridge and scoop into your Oreo crust.
STEP 5:  Scoop the Oreo/Whipped topping layer on top of the pudding layer.

STEP 6:  Sprinkle the reserved crushed Oreos on top of the pie for a garnish.

 

STEP 7:  Place in the fridge until ready to eat!  The pie doesn’t cut in neat slices so it will be more of a mousse-type pie, just an FYI!  

 

All that’s left to do is enjoy the fruit of your labor with some friends.  You can add gummy worms or other garnishes to make it your own pie.  Do your kids like to cook?  What have you been whipping up in the kitchen lately?


You might also like these simple recipes —

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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