Master List of Simple Snack Ideas

Who is ready to download the Master List of Simple Snack Ideas?!

Hopefully you already grabbed the Master Lists of Simple Lunch and Breakfast Ideas. I’m covering my fridge with these lists to make our transition from summer break to a school schedule a little bit easier. If you haven’t already, be sure to get your lunch and breakfast lists here!

Watch also for our upcoming Master Lists of food and recipes and ideas to make to fill a lunchbox. (Subscribe here so you don’t miss them!)

Today’s list:

The Master List of Simple Snack Ideas

Keep Snacks Simple

Your Real Food Master Simple Snack Ideas List

You can download this entire list here. But I’ll share it all on this post for reference also. I also recommend that you pin it so you can find it quickly as needed!

First choice at our house is always a fruit or a veggie, so I’ll begin this list sharing those ideas!

strawberry

Fruits and veggies that can be pulled from the fridge and served immediately with little to no prep (beyond washing):

  • Baby carrots (I like the petite carrots – they are sweeter and easier to eat!)
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Mini sweet peppers
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Unsweetened Applesauce (homemade is awesome, but even my teenage boys enjoy the special treat of an Applesauce Squeeze Pouch)
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Clementines
  • Raisins
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Dried Apple Rings
  • Dried Bananas
  • Dried Berries

watermelon

Fruits and veggies that take a few minutes of prep but are still super simple:

  • Sliced apples
  • Sliced peaches or nectarines
  • Plums
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Sliced sweet peppers
  • Raw broccoli “trees”
  • Cut cantaloupe
  • Watermelon wedges
  • Sliced pears
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Mango chunks
  • Fruit Salad

Dips that taste great with Fruits and Veggies

Simple Snacks Foods that are great to eat with Peanut Butter

This Homemade Peanut Butter is amazing and healthy! We have this on hand at all times.

  • Eat it straight…on a spoon. :)
  • Sliced Apples with peanut butter
  • Celery with peanut butter
  • Bread with peanut butter and honey
  • Bread with peanut butter and jelly
  • Toast with peanut butter and sliced apples
  • Tortillas with peanut butter and honey
  • Tortillas with peanut butter and jelly

orange

Simple Meat and Cheese Snacks

  • Leftover chicken or roast beef
  • Sliced cheese, any variety
  • Cheese sticks
  • Laughing Cow Spreadable Cheese (we just discovered these and our boys are LOVING this treat)
  • Lunchmeat
  • Summer Sausage
  • Beef Jerky
  • Quesadillas (with just cheese, or with meat also)
  • Tortilla Roll-Up with meat and cheese
  • Chicken Salad on crackers, lettuce, or a tortilla
  • Tuna Salad on crackers, lettuce, or a tortilla

Nutty Snacks (and Seeds too!)

  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Any combination of all of the above, with dried fruit and maybe a chocolate chip or two tossed in!

Simple Snack Recipes that are Quick to Make and Fun to Eat!

(By the way, the majority of this list shares snack ideas that are naturally gluten free!)

Would you like to make this Master List of Simple Snack Ideas even simpler?

Sign up here to receive the entire Master List of Simple Snacks in a free downloadable document! Then you can keep it handy on your computer or print it and put it on your fridge as a super handy reference!

Master List of 100 Simple Snack Ideas

Grab a free download of the Master Simple Snack Ideas List!

Watch for one more Master List coming this month, filled with real food lunch box ideas!

What would you add to the list? What are your favorite simple snacks to feed your family?

P.S. What about a simple dinner list? We’ve already got that covered with our Weekly Simple Meals Plans!

Master List of Simple Breakfast Ideas

Who is ready to download the Master List of Simple Breakfast Ideas?!

Hopefully you already grabbed the Master List of Simple Lunch Ideas. I’m covering my fridge with these lists to make our transition from summer break to a school schedule a little bit easier. If you haven’t already, be sure to get your lunch list here!

breakfast_cookies

Watch also for our upcoming Master Lists of food and recipes and ideas to make snacks and to fill a lunchbox. (Subscribe here so you don’t miss them!)

Today’s list:

The Master List of Simple Breakfast Ideas

Keep Breakfast Simple

Note: If possible I try to always serve a protein of some sort for breakfast. I also always serve fruit. I’ll begin this Master Breakfast List with the protein and fruit lists that I typically serve with everything else on the list!

Your Real Food Master Simple Breakfast List

You can download this entire list here. But I’ll share it all on this post for reference also. I also recommend that you pin it so you can find it quickly as needed!

strawberry

Protein to Go With Breakfast

ham and egg cups1

Fruit that is Great With Breakfast

Any fruit is great! Our favorites for breakfast are:

  • Apples
  • Applesauce
  • Oranges
  • Clementines
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honey Dew Melon
  • Grapes

Stir and Pour Bread Varieties

This Stir and Pour Bread recipe is a game changer to make it super simple to have Homemade Bread on hand to use for a quick breakfast!

stir and pour bread loaf 5

Breakfast You Can Make the Night Before

orange

Make Ahead Breakfast Cereal

dark_chocolate_almond_granola

Breakfast in a Mug or Glass

Quick Breakfasts From Freezer to Oven

Freezer Breakfast Cookies5

Big List of Muffin Recipes

Breakfast You Can Make in Your Waffle Iron

Great Waffle Iron Hacks

Quick Mix Breakfast Ideas

If you have Quick Mix on hand, you can quickly make:

Would you like to make this Master List of Simple Breakfast Ideas even simpler?

Sign up here to receive the entire Master List of Simple Breakfast Ideas in a free downloadable document! Then you can keep it handy on your computer or print it and put it on your fridge as a super handy reference!

Master List of 60 Simple Breakfast Ideas

Grab a free download of the Master Simple Breakfast List!

Watch for more Master Lists coming this month, filled with real food and simple snacks and lunch box ideas!

What would you add to the list? What are your favorite simple breakfast foods to feed your family?

P.S. What about a simple dinner list? We’ve already got that covered with our Weekly Simple Meals Plans!

Master List of Simple Lunch Ideas

For everyone who is home with a family to feed during lunchtime every day, this List of Simple Lunch Ideas is for you! These lunches are all made with simple, real foods. (Coming soon: A list of great simple, real food lunches to pack and take to work and school.)

Keep Lunch Simple

As a brand new school year approaches and I am praying away the scheduling craze that is trying to creep in along with the turning of the calendar pages, I’ve decided to put together Master Lists of food and recipes and ideas to make lunches, breakfasts, snacks, and lunchbox options as simple as possible each day. Today’s list:

The Master List of Simple Lunch Ideas

But Laura! You home school and work from home so you’re home all day. Why is it difficult to get food on the table?

{And Laura falls on the floor laughing and crying and kicking the chairs in her path while throwing couch pillows.}

Dear friends. Homeschooling only means that our books and software live in the house and our school is operated out of the home instead of a classroom. We are on the run a significant amount of time between music lessons, college classes, field trips, service opportunities, athletic events, church activities, library runs, and the like.

For our family, homeschooling and working from home has offered us the coolest, most wonderful, and fabulously flexible opportunity and we are extremely grateful for the relationships we have with our kids and with the community because of it. But it also lends itself to extremely full days with little down time. So in the name of sanity…

This mama needs a Master Simple Lunch List.

And a Master Breakfast List. And a Master Snack List. Watch for those lists, coming very soon. (Subscribe here so you don’t miss them!)

Where’s the list of Simple Dinners? This is already taken care of with our Simple Meals plans. I follow those, so our evening meals hit the table very quickly. I am so, so thankful for this!

Why not eat sandwiches every day for lunch?

The short answer is that it would cost my family too much money. The other short answer is that we prefer more variety of nutrients and less carb-heavy meals.

No matter what though, I recommend that we always, always…

Eat a fruit and a veggie with each lunch.

This is easier than you think. I’ll tell you how! I think it’s time for the list, don’t you? (To make this much easier, you can download this entire, beautiful Master Simple Lunch List here.)

Your Real Food Master Simple Lunch List

You can download this entire list here. But I’ll share it all on this post for reference also. I also recommend that you pin it so you can find it quickly as needed!

watermelon

We’ll begin with fruits and veggies because instead of thinking of them second, let’s start thinking of them first!

Fruits and veggies that can be pulled from the fridge and served immediately with little to no prep (beyond washing):

  • Baby carrots (I like the petite carrots – they are sweeter and easier to eat!)
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Mini sweet peppers
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Unsweetened Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Clementines
  • Fresh Spinach or Mixed Greens

Fruits and veggies that take a few minutes of prep but are still super simple:

  • Sliced apples
  • Sliced peaches or nectarines
  • Steamed peas (frozen peas cook very quickly!)
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Sliced sweet peppers
  • Raw broccoli “trees”
  • Cut cantaloupe
  • Watermelon wedges
  • Sliced pears
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Steamed green beans (frozen green beans take just a few minutes, but can cook themselves while you get the remainder of lunch ready)

If you have Homemade Ranch Dip or Hummus on hand, these can be thrown onto the table quickly to help get the veggies down!

orange

Simple Lunches that can be made ahead of time and warmed up quickly:

Simple Lunches that can be thrown together with little prep time:

strawberry

Simple Lunches that are flexible and can be eaten in more than one way:

Would you like to make this Master List of Simple Lunches even simpler?

Sign up here to receive the entire Master List of Simple Lunches in a free downloadable document! Then you can keep it handy on your computer or print it and put it on your fridge as a super handy reference!

Master List of 40 Simple Lunch Ideas

Grab a free download of the Master Simple Lunch List!

Watch for more Master Lists coming this month, filled with real food and simple snacks, breakfasts, and lunch box ideas!

What would you add to the list? What are your favorite simple lunches to feed your family?

21 No-Bake Snacks for Summer

Frozen Yogurt Cups

Why is it that when a girl has had a variety of guests moving in and out of her house for three weeks straight and needs to get three of her sons packed and ready to head to camp for a week…

Her washing machine breaks?

It waited until the exact moment we used our last clean towel and needed to put clean sheets on the bed for our oldest son who was coming home from traveling (with a full suitcase of dirty camp clothes). No big deal.

I actually had to laugh when it happened because this was the fourth break-down in a series of doozies. “Of course my washing machine just broke,” I said to my dirty sheets as I pulled them back out of the washer. “The timing couldn’t be better; I can’t wait to tell Matt.”

Ahhh, Matt. At the time of my broken washing machine discovery, that guy was on our roof trying to find the source of a major leak issue. And the day before he’d been on the roof of one of our rental houses doing the exact same thing.

We still haven’t made a decision about buying a new-to-us vehicle since our van died a few weeks ago. And did I mention my grill won’t stay lit? Eh…who needs grilled steak or my very favorite grilled chicken? Who even does?

One might say, “The Coppingers sure are having a rough summer,” but I’m here to say that I’m actually having a great summer! When I look at the big picture of my life I see what’s actually true:

  • No fewer than four families offered to loan us a car until we get our van situation figured out. Four families! We took one family up on their offer because they had a car they weren’t even using right now. God provides.
  • Matt was able to stop the roofing work he was doing in order to spend a few hours fixing our washing machine. It was ready to go again just before the boys needed to wash laundry and pack. God provides. 
  • We haven’t had rain since the leaky roof discovery, and while we always welcome rain for the farms and gardens, we are thankful that Matt was able to fix the leak situations before the next downpour. God provides.
  • I miss the grill but until we can figure that issue out, I’ve got two crock pots, a stove-top, and have recently come up with a passel of Waffle Iron Recipes that help me avoid heating up the house with an oven. All together now…God provides.

Inconvenience isn’t the same as heart-ache. Broken things are just broken things. So who even cares that my coffee pot stopped working? Oh yeah, by the way, my coffee pot also stopped working. Now that one did threaten to push me over the edge into a pit of despair. I don’t even need transportation or clean clothes, but I do need coffee. I kid, I kid. Also, Mr. Coffee himself sent me a new one at no charge so does God provide? Oh yes I think He does.

21 No-Bake Snacks

And with that, I shall share with you 20 No-Bake Snack and Treat Recipes. We all need these whether we have a grill, a working vehicle, or a washing machine. Avoid turning on the oven and fill your fridge and freezer with these. They are low in sugar and super refreshing and tasty!

How’s your summer going? Are all things in working order at your house?

How to make fun and easy Muffin Waffles!

This kitchen hack is going to make your day. This is your busy morning, picky people, grab it and go breakfast or snack hack. Allow me to introduce you to Muffin Waffles!

waffle muffin 1

Is it a waffle. Nope, it’s a muffin. Ain’t that somethin?

Indeed. I think my waffle iron is going to find a permanent place on my counter-top beside my coffee pot what with the frequency I’ve been using it lately.

First I tried these Waffle Omelets. Then I made Egg and Cheese Hashbrown Waffles. Now we’re using the waffle iron to make Muffins? Yep! Someday soon we might actually use it make regular ol’ waffles too. Won’t that be a treat?

Why make muffins in a waffle iron? To avoid heating up the oven on a hot day! Also, you can make each Muffin Waffle special and to each person’s preferences.

To make Muffin Waffles, you can use any muffin recipe that is your favorite. Allow me to start you off with a huge list of our favorites

Want an even better idea? Mix up a batch of the Basic Muffin Batter I am about to share with you. Then as you make individual Muffin Waffles for your family members or guests, sprinkle in their choice of berries, chocolate chips, or other add-ins!

Basic Muffin Batter

5.0 from 1 reviews
Basic Muffin Batter
 
Author:
Serves: 18
Ingredients
  • 3 cups whole grain flour (I use freshly ground soft white wheat)
  • ⅓-1/2 cup sucanat or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil or butter
  • Your favorite add-ins like chopped berries or chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Mix together dry ingredients
  2. Whisk in eggs, milk, and oil until barely combined.
  3. For Muffins: Scoop mixture into 18-24 prepared muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
  4. For Muffin Waffles: Scoop ⅓ cup of batter into a hot waffle iron. Sprinkle on the add-in of choice. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Spread butter on the hot Muffin Waffle and serve!

Make Fun Muffin Waffles

There are more waffle iron ideas where this came from, so prepare yourself for the fun. I’d love to hear your suggestions for good add-ins to the Basic Muffin Batter!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pray, Trust, Coffee, Repeat.

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The Simple Meals Our Family Has Been Eating This Week, Part 2

I’m assuming you downloaded your FREE Simple Meals Planning Packet this week? It is free, after all. Go get yours!

I posted earlier this week about how I’ve been using this week’s Simple Meals menu to easily get food on the table for my family. As it turns out, I used half the plan last week and am finishing it up this week. (Perks of being the one who creates the menu plans – I got to start using it ahead of time!) If you missed it, check out this post which shares pictures of the first few meals in the plan.

Here we go with Days 5 and 6 of following the Simple Meals plan!

Day 5: Crock Pot NightSimple Overnight Melt-in-Your-Mouth Beef Roast

To kick-start a new week, on Sunday night, right before I headed to bed, I put together the Simple Overnight Melt-in-Your-Mouth Beef Roast. For the record, if you forget to start that recipe at night before bed (because at the end of the day, some of us who shall remain nameless might be too tired to remember to execute good plans like this), you can always start it early in the morning to have it ready in the evening in time for dinner.

I was very proud of myself for remembering to start the roast on Sunday night, and woke up the next morning to the delicious smell of our lunch. I turned the crock pot to “keep warm” setting and at lunch time I stir-fried some veggies to go with our meal. (We have been having our main meals at lunchtime lately because it’s working better with our busy evening activities schedule.)

sm feb6

I got this fun note from Susan last week about the Simple Overnight Melt-in-Your-Mouth Beef Roast recipe and wanted to share!

Thank you so much for sharing this common recipe. I mean, who hasn’t already made a roast in the crockpot before? But your tips were amazing. And I didn’t know I could put it in the crock without first browning it in a pan (this always felt like so much trouble, and would discourage me from making this dish when I was in a hurry). And Frozen!  Are you kidding me? Well – I did it – just like you suggested. Cooked on low for 12 hours, and it was the best tasting, most tender roast beef I’ve ever made. Oh, and I cooked carrots in the bottom, and their flavor was wonderful. Thank you again.

Fun, huh? Thanks, Susan. This is what Simple Meals is all about!

Day 6: No Trouble NightSimple Pizza Chicken Bake

The final meal on this week’s Simple Meals menu was Simple Pizza Chicken Bake. I could go on and on about how easy this recipe is to make and how very delicious it is to eat. I served it with green beans and tossed salad, so as always, this went on the table very quickly.

sm feb 7

Hopefully you enjoyed the free Simple Meals Planning Packet!

I’d love all of you to take advantage of the Simple Meals Subscription offer! Just think. A complete menu plan and grocery list will land in your inbox every single week, along with a bunch of bonus tips and recipes. Your small investment (which we promise to make very, very worth it) will save you so much time, energy, and money every week! You won’t have to think about what to cook. Bliss. And the meal suggestions are incredibly simple, yet detailed to make everything easy for you.

Don’t forget there’s a $10 off coupon waiting for you here, plus over $60 worth of freebies that are yours after your purchase. That means you get more in freebies than the cost of your entire yearly subscription. Score!

Simple Meals is a ridiculously good offer. (We made it super affordable for all! Less than $1 per week!) Can’t wait to have you join us!

Join Simple Meals Here.

The Simple Meals Our Family Has Been Eating This Week, Part 1

Ready to see how our family has been using Simple Meals this week to eat well and save time?

I’m pretty sure that when you look at these pictures of our meals, you’ll say, “Hm. That’s it?” and the answer is, “Yep. Pretty much.” (That’s why it’s called simple.)

So first things first, did you download your FREE Simple Meals Planning Packet this week? I’m throwing them out to everyone, just this once. Go get yours and use it to put great, real food meals on the table while enjoying more family time!

I cheated just a little bit and started using this menu plan last week. That has made it a little easier to pictures to share with you this week. So once I had the entire packet completed and ready to send to our Simple Meals subscribers, I printed off the Simple Meal Plan page.

smfaeb3

I looked at the menu options, I looked at my calendar, and I started to figure out which meal would be best for each day of the week. I know the picture of the document is a little hard to see, so let me type out the headings on the plan. This is what every Simple Meals plan includes, and it is my favorite feature!!

  • No Thaw Night
  • Crock Pot Night
  • Make-Ahead Night
  • No Trouble Night
  • Build it Yourself Night
  • Savor it Night

See why I love this? I can look ahead at my week and see the days I will likely be very limited on time. I’ll select those days for the “No Thaw” or “No Trouble” option. We only had one day we were planning to be home all day, so I chose that day for our “Savor it” meal.

Two Things:

  1. I needed to keep the meal plan flexible, so I only penciled in a day of the week for each meal so I could switch it out if I needed to.
  2. I made most of these meals at lunchtime instead of in the evening. We had a busier-than-normal week, and all of our evenings were spent away from home. Therefore, I made our main meals at lunchtime; then at dinner time we warmed up leftovers or threw together something fast before running out the door (and usually ate more late at night when we got home, because we eat all the live-long day.)

Here’s what I’ve captured on camera so far. I’ll share about the other two meals later this week!

Day 1: Make-Ahead Night: Taco Rice Dinner

I doubled this recipe, and while I hadn’t had time to make it ahead, I did make it in the morning while we were eating breakfast. That way all I had to do at meal time was rewarm it. As you can see, I cut up a cantaloupe and threw out our containers of spinach and mixed greens, along with a jar of Homemade Ranch Dressing. Boom. The meal is served.

P.S. I followed the advice in the Simple Meals Bonus Tips section which suggested that while I cooked the ground beef for this meal I should also cook the ground beef for Simple Skillet Taco Pasta. That worked great, and I transferred that cooked meat to the fridge for our “Savor It” day.

simple meals feb1

Day 2: No Thaw Night: Last Minute Lentil Chili

The following day, we had plans to help our disabled friend move across town to a different apartment. Plus we had basketball games that evening. Knowing we would be gone most of the day, I made a pot of Last Minute Lentil Chili in the morning before we left. I was SO glad I did! We weren’t able to stop for a lunch break until almost 2:00 and we didn’t have much time to eat. We ran home for a quick bite, inviting our new friends we’d met who were also helping with the move. I warmed up the chili and yesterday’s Taco Rice Dinner leftovers (since we had extras to feed). We quickly opened a can of chilled pineapple and a can of olives and called it a meal. It wasn’t fancy, but we were too hungry to care. :)

simple meals feb 2

Day 3: Savor It Night: Simple Skillet Taco Pasta

How fun that I ended up making this the day Asa, our college son, showed up at the house needing to pick up a few things! He hadn’t eaten yet, so he got to sit down with us and “savor” the meal. Of course, we got to savor time with him, a win-win.

This meal was very easy to put together because I’d already cooked the meat earlier in the week when I’d made the Taco Rice Dinner. I steamed some green beans, then washed and capped some strawberries. Simple and delicious!

P.S. Had I known Asa was going to come for lunch, I would have doubled this. ;) As it turned out, I just skipped it and ate something else so there would be plenty for the fam. I don’t eat much pasta anyway. :)

simple meals feb3

Day 4: Build it Yourself Night: Chef Salads

This is the day we were getting our house ready to host a bunch of teenage boys over the weekend for our annual church youth rally. I didn’t have time to cook, but I did want to get some good nourishment in all of us as I knew we’d be eating a lot of compromise food over the weekend. It was the perfect day for everyone to build their own chef salads!

Thankfully, I already had some bacon bits made and cheese shredded. I got out the mixed greens and spinach, sliced some red pepper, washed tomatoes, and got out the Ranch Dressing (then made more since I saw we were almost out!). I washed and capped some strawberries and called everyone in to build a salad for lunch. Easy, delicious, nourishing, simple!

simple meals feb4

 

Stay tuned for how I used the rest of the Simple Meals plan. Be sure to get your FREE plan here!

Did you download yours? How’s it been going as you put it to use?

Easy Low Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake Whip

Who even cares about a cheesecake crust? I’ve always been in it for the cheesecake filling anyway. Therefore, I have been making Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling and eating it with a spoon right out of a bowl.

For breakfast.

pumpkin-cheesecake-in-a-bowl

The way I see it, I’m eating a vegetable for breakfast, so I’m getting nourishment. I’m also eating good fat, so I stay full for longer than five minutes.

What else? Well, there’s hardly any sugar in this, so I feel no guilt that way, nor do I experience a mid-morning sugar crash. I should add to all of the above that this Pumpkin Cheesecake Whip tastes like spoonfuls of holiday happiness.

So between the vegetable thing, the good fats, the low sugar content, and the fact that this tastes wonderful – I think our holiday season will continue to get better by the bowlful.

Also, it only takes five minutes to make. This is what every Christmas recipe should be like.

Easy Low Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake WhipYum

Easy Low Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake Whip
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2 8-ounce packages softened cream cheese
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups pureed pumpkin
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons real maple syrup plus liquid stevia to taste (I used 2 droppers full of stevia)
Instructions
  1. Blend all pumpkin cheesecake filling ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Chill in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.

easy-low-sugar-pumpkin-cheesecake-whip

Now let’s just say you’re a “gotta have a cheesecake crust” sort of a person. This is no problem. I have a crust recipe that is also low in sugar and incredibly delicious. You’ll find this recipe here.

no-bake-pumpkin-cheesecake

Or say you want a cheesecake crust, but you also want your cheesecakes to be cute and little and ready to serve to individuals. This is also no problem. I have Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups for you. You’ll find that recipe here.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

Now, it doesn’t take too much reading to realize that these are all the same recipe, just tweaked slightly to make them crustless, regular crust, or individual cup-sized crusts. We aim to please, and also we are suggesting that you eat cheesecake for breakfast, so now’s who’s your best friend?

No need to answer that. I mean, go ahead, though, if you want to.

 

Simple Last Minute Lentil Chili

Raise your hand if you’re busy this week. (Unless, of course, your hands are in the middle of de-boning a turkey. You can just give me a nod.)

Our oldest son is home from college right now, so we are a family of six again. So what if he’s been “away,” living in his college dorm only 8 blocks from home? We don’t see him much and we miss him. Having him home for longer than five minutes has been a joy.

I would say that we’re taking life easy while we prepare for Thanksgiving, but would you believe our son #2 has two huge projects due for his online college history class on Thanksgiving day? What? And yes, he would have had them done ahead of time except that it wasn’t possible because of all the other projects he had due before these.

I’m telling you, these online classes my kids take are threatening to kill us all with a long slow death. (The on-campus classes are much more managable.) Well, anyway.

We’re hosting Thanksgiving this year for 15-20 people from town. Then we’ll head to Kansas to celebrate “Thanksmas” with my side of the family. I baked the turkeys over the weekend. The green bean casserole is in the freezer. Slowly but surely I’m pulling the meal together so that come Thursday, I can actually enjoy the day instead of cooking and cleaning for hours!

In the meantime, the six of us still need to eat regular meals. (They didn’t like the idea of fasting in preparation for Thanksgiving. Whatever.)

Meals like this Simple Last Minute Lentil Chili are amazing for weeks like this! Thaw no meat. Soak no beans. Just go to the stove and put this soup together.

Truth: I didn’t think I would like chili that didn’t have meat in it.

I am such a meat loving girl! We are a meat loving family.

But in fact: My family didn’t even notice this didn’t have meat in it until I told them an hour after they ate it. “Really?” they said, “It tasted like it did!”

Score.

lentil-chili

Simple Last Minute Lentil ChiliYum

Simple Lentil Chili
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 3 Tablespoons minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tsp. chili powder
  • 16 ounces dry lentils
  • 32 ounces tomato sauce
  • 32 ounces vegetable or chicken broth*
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat and stir olive oil with minced onion, garlic, and red pepper.
  2. Add chili powder, lentils, tomato sauce, and broth.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil, then turn heat down to simmer for about 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  5. Serve with cheese and/or sour cream if desired.

last-minute-lentil-chili

Let this chili recipe save you some evening this week while you’re busy preparing to host or travel!

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Do you have big plans for Thanksgiving?

Simple Chicken Cheeseballs With a Kick (naturally gluten free)

I experimented with these Chicken Cheeseballs on a whim. It was a simple recipe and I figured chicken and cheese – sure, they’ll probably be pretty good. Pretty good? I should say so! I turned right around (did the hokey-pokey) and made these again three days later. These cheesy little meatballs are incredible!

simple-chicken-cheeseballs1

The first night I pulled a batch of these out of the oven, one by one my men came into the kitchen, took a look at the meatballs, and popped one into his mouth. I think each one, in turn, said the same thing, “Whoa. What are these? These are amazing! You can make these again!” (Don’t mind if I do.) I wouldn’t say my family is very picky, and yet, when every single person in the family likes a recipe, this is a huge score.

simple-chicken-cheeseballs2

You might be wondering, like I did, “What holds these meatballs together? Don’t we need flour or bread crumbs or a bisquik type baking mix to make this recipe work? Nope. They stay together just fine even though they are made with only ground meat, cheese, and a few spices. They take only a few minutes to mix up and scoop into a pan. You can make the side dishes for your meal while they bake. AND, if you have time, you can make a double or triple batch to freeze so that all you have to do at mealtime is grab out the amount you need and bake them!

I used a scoop like this one to make these meatballs. Whoa, does that little kitchen gadget come in handy!

Simple Chicken Cheeseballs with a Kick

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Chicken Cheeseballs With a Kick
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar or Colby jack cheese
  • 1½ teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons hot sauce (I use Cholula)
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.
  2. Scoop mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until balls are nice and brown.
  4. Pour off excess grease that has accumulated before serving.

simple-chicken-cheeseballs

Use ground sausage or ground beef if you prefer in this recipe. You can use these Chicken Cheeseballs on a holiday snack buffet table, serve them for breakfast, or serve them as a main dish at dinner – they are perfectly versatile. I’m looking forward to keeping these in my freezer for quick, simple meals in the future!

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