Why We Love and How We Use Fresh Produce

Why We Love and How We Use Fresh Produce

Summer time brings so many opportunities for cook outs and picnics with family and friends, and one thing that makes these events even more special is that we can use fresh ingredients.  When you get ready to make a salad or a homemade fruit pie, do you ever think about where your ingredients come from? [Read more…]

Staying Warm and Finding Time with Marie Callender’s Pot Pie

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PotPiesPlease #CollectiveBias
Marie Callenders Pot Pies

The holidays are a busy time!  I have our usual family schedule to consider, as well as holiday blogging, and Christmas orders to fill in my Etsy shop…BUT at the end of the day, I still have to put dinner on the table, regardless of whatever else is going on.  Marie Callender’s Pot Pies are a great dinner option for my family and me.  Marie Callender’s tastes like homemade, and they have wholesome pot pies, which now come in a Family Size.  And since all we have to do is pop them in the oven and for them to cook, it saves me a TON of time,  allowing me to do other work and spend time with the family! [Read more…]

Salsa Fresca

Today I’m happy to present another Summer Guest Recipe.  Julia from Mini Van Dreams is here with her Salsa Fresca recipe.  With the college football season starting this weekend, it seems rather appropriate to post at this time.  Even if your summer grilling season is over, you can still enjoy this recipe by adding it to your game day menu, or a weeknight Mexican dinner!

My name is Julia, nice to meet you! I am the mom of twins, wife, accountant, scrapbooker, card maker, and self-proclaimed nap sneaker. I blog at Mini Van Dreams where I share easy recipes, craft tutorials, reviews, social good initiatives, and anything else that makes me laugh.


Mini Van Dreams... and dirty dishes.

Before we get started, I want to thank The Hungry Dudes for allowing me to use their photos to replace the ones that were lost when my iPhone met an unfortunate demise in the bathroom at Eldora Speedway.

Today, I am sharing a delicious and easy recipe for salsa fresca, just in time for all the delicious veggies from your garden or the local farmers market! This delicious, fresh salsa is perfect with chips or as a topper for anything – chicken, steak, or fish. It is also delicious as a replacement for salad dressing on your next salad!

Ready to give this easy summer recipe a try? Let’s go! [Read more…]

Allens Vegetables Instagram Contest #31DaysOfVeggies


Do you love Allens vegetables?  I’m a huge fan of their Kentucky style Green Beans!  And I always have Veg-all on hand for my casseroles and soups.  Throughout July, Allen’s is holding a contest where you could win FREE Allens Veggies and $500! [Read more…]

Chicken Stuffing & Vegetable Rice Casserole and #CountryCrockStars Contest

I LOVE casseroles!  With just a few ingredients (and just a dish or two), you have got a complete meal that is quick and easy to make! Right now Country Crock is celebrating casseroles with their Country Crock Stars contest!  For this contest, they want to see YOUR casseroles!

Simply follow this link over to the Country Crock Facebook page.  Then just share a photo of your favorite casserole, and share in 100 words how you demonstrate creativity and resourcefulness in the kitchen.

Twelve finalists will be featured on the Country Crock Facebook page.  Then those 12 finalists will be voted on by and the public, and the top 3 cooks will win $5000 and a trip for two to New York City!

Chicken Stuffing & Vegetable Rice

Besides the fact that casseroles are fast and easy to make, here are a few more reasons I love them!

1.  They are so versatile and really allow for you to get creative!  Just add an extra ingredient, or substitute an ingredient or two, and you’ve got a completely different recipe.

2.  They easily allow for you make a meal that has servings of vegetables, meat, dairy, and a starch.

3.  You can cook them for any size gathering.  If it’s just you and your spouse, you can cut a recipe in half or have left overs for the week.  And if you have a large family or a party to cook for, you can double your recipes.

4.  Casseroles are also great leftover meals and most can easily be stored in the freezer for you to enjoy later.

To show you how easy it is to get creative in the kitchen with casseroles, today I’m sharing a recipe that I just invented for this assignment.  I used my favorite casserole  recipe, which is Chicken Poulet, and I just added a couple of ingredients to it, namely a package of chicken flavored rice and a can of mixed vegetables.  And I used these in place of the bottom layer of my Poulet Recipe (which is usually stuffing mix).  And I also threw in some Cream of Chicken Soup, instead of the usual Cream of Mushroom that goes in my Poulet.  The result was an absolutely fabulous tasting meal, if I do say so myself!

Chicken Stuffing & Vegetable Rice Casserole

Recipe for Chicken Stuffing & Vegetable Rice Casserole

1 5.6 oz package flavored rice (I used Knorr, in the chicken flavor)
2 cups water
1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon Country Crock
1 can mixed vegetables
3 cans chicken, drained
6-8 spoonfuls mayonnaise
1 box stuffing mixed
1 cup chicken broth
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1-2 cups cheddar cheese

Directions: Using 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of Country Crock, make the rice according to directions on the box.
While the rice is cooking, open three 10.5 oz cans of white meat chicken. Drain the broth off the chicken and in to a measuring cup.  Set broth aside.
Pour chicken into a small bowl.  Spoon mayonnaise into chicken and mix with a fork, mashing chucks of chicken into shreds.  The consistency should be like that of a chicken salad.  Set aside.
Once your rice is done, drain the water off your can of mixed vegetables and add vegetables to rice mixture. (You may also use frozen or fresh veggies if you prefer.)  Pour rice & vegetable mixture in to 11×13 casserole dish.  Spread chicken mixture over rice.
Open package of stuffing mix.  Add one cup of chicken broth and a 1/2 cup (or one stick) of Country Crock.  Stir till all bread crumbs are moist.  Pour into casserole dish, over the chicken layer.
Next open two cans of cream of chicken soup, and spread over stuffing layer.  Finally cover with shredded cheddar cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

*Great for a make ahead meal and leftovers set up great in your fridge!*

Stuffing and Rice Casserole

Do you have a favorite casserole?  Tell us in the comments!  Or better yet, submit it to the  Country Crock Stars Contest.


I’m linking up at Tidy Mom and these parties.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tomato, Corn, and Veggie Dip with Del Monte Southwestern Tomato Kick-off Giveaway

Del Monte Sweepstakes

I love watching football, and I’m always looking for new snacks to go along with the game.  If you’re gearing up for Super Bowl Sunday, check out Del Monte’s Pinterest page for great soups, appetizers, and other great recipes.

And for even more fun, enter the Del Monte Southwestern Tomato Kick-off Sweepstakes: [Read more…]

12 Recipes for a Full Thanksgiving Meal

Are you getting ready for Thanksgiving yet?  Are you in charge of making a full meal for family and friends? Or do you just have to make a dish or two for the family potluck?  Today I’m sharing twelve foods that will help you to make a complete Thanksgiving meal.  I’ve got casseroles, side dishes, rolls,  dessert, and of course, the turkey! [Read more…]