What I Think About My New Instant Pot

I finally did it. After so many of you told me how great the Instant Pot is, after so many insisted that I would love it, after all kinds of hemming and hawing and rebelling about getting one more appliance for my kitchen…I finally got myself an Instant Pot.

Instant Pot

It was Amazon Prime Day. It was a good deal. It was a big pot for my family’s big needs. It was time.

I’m sure you’re all wondering, has my new Instant Pot completely changed my life? Am I a better mom now? Do I sleep better at night because of it? Does it help my house stay in a less cluttered state? Do I get mail to the box in better time? Am I finally wearing matching socks? In other words, does the Instant Pot help make my world go round?!

The answer to all of the above is “no.” But I do make mean batches of hard boiled eggs in record time, so I think we can all give a cheer and feel that this was definitely a worthwhile purchase.

eggs

I’ve truly had fun with my new toy, which isn’t taking up any extra room on my counter because it has actually taken the place of my coffee pot if you can believe it! (I realized after I started drinking this healthy coffee that I no longer need a coffee-maker taking up space on a daily basis. Away went the coffee pot. In its place went the Instant Pot. A pot for a pot. It just seemed logical.)

At the very moment our Instant Pot arrived on our porch, I was making Tuna Salad. Matt decided he definitely wanted boiled eggs in his tuna since we now had an Instant Pot in which to make them quickly. I read the “how to boil eggs” instructions while he got it set up, and while I’m pretty sure we didn’t do everything right, nothing blew up, our eggs hard boiled like they were supposed to, and Matt got eggs in his tuna the way he wanted. Good story, huh?

Not long after the arrival of the pot and the making of the eggs, we headed back out to church camp for a week. So our Instant Pot sat forlorn and lonely on our counter-top all week. Since coming back from camp, I’ve been playing with it as I’ve had time. Here’s what I’ve tried, though please don’t get excited because my stories might bore you to sleep…

For instance, one night we had company and my stove was full of other big pots cooking other food. So I tried steaming our broccoli and carrots in the Instant Pot. The recommended seven minutes was way too long and our broccoli came out dead and mushy and completely unappetizing. Perhaps it’s not a good idea to try a new appliance when you’re serving food to company?

instant pot2

See, look. My full stove, which is what led me to steam veggies in my Instant Pot. Fascinating.

A few days later I put a whole chicken into my Instant Pot, dumped on some BBQ Sauce, and turned it on. That was ridiculously simple and we ate chicken for lunch 35 minutes later. I served it with okra. It was very good. The end.

instant pot3

instant pot4

The part of the story you don’t want to hear is that I asked Matt to please take the leftover meat off the bones, but I didn’t communicate clearly about saving the bones so I could try making broth in my new Instant Pot. Learning to make broth in my new pot will have to be a lesson for another day.

instant pot beef

Perhaps my favorite of anything I’ve tried so far is cooking frozen ground beef! As soon as I perfect this method, I will for sure share the details. I think this will be a HUGE time saver!

Sooo, while none of this Instant Pot news was super exciting to read about at this point, you can be sure that as we settle into a new school year with lots of teenage mouths to feed, we will be absolutely making the most of our new Instant Pot! And when I figure out all the great food we can make with it, I’ll share all the fabulous details!

I’d love to hear from you if you have an Instant Pot. What are your favorite time-saving recipes to make?

How To Make Your Own Popcorn Flavor Shakers (7 Varieties!)

Two Christmases ago, we surprised our boys with this Vintage Popcorn Machine. It’s been super fun for family movie nights – but especially fun to use when we invite friends over.

popcorn machine

I’ve had it on my to-do list since then to make fun flavor shakers to go with our popcorn. (Not that coconut oil and sea salt aren’t amazing in and of themselves.)

Finally, I got the shakers made for my kids to enjoy a year later – in time for Christmas this year. Then it took another three months to type this out to share with you. Time flies when you’re eating popcorn.

So if anyone understands that it might take you until 2019 to make these, it will be me. But if you happen to find a few minutes before then, do try to whip these up. It doesn’t take long, I promise. (Neither does washing windows, but do I ever get around to that? No. Let’s stop talking about that and eat some popcorn, want to?)

popcorn-shaker-collection2

The beauty of these Popcorn Flavor Shakers is that they taste just as good, if not better than, the commercial ones you can buy at the store. But of course, when we make our own we will save money and include only healthy ingredients.

You may find it helpful to blend these ingredients together to make a fine powder for easier sprinkling.

7 Popcorn Flavor Shaker Recipes

Taco

2 Tablespoon dried minced onion
1 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Ranch

2 Tablespoons dried minced onions
3 teaspoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

(These ingredients are the same as my Ranch Dressing Mix, so if you have that on hand, simply blend it and pour it into a shaker.)

Barbecue

3 teaspoons smoky paprika
1 teaspoon sucanat or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Hot Chocolate

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons sucanat or brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Salted Caramel

3 Tablespoons sucanat or brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Cinnamon Sugar

3 Tablespoons sucanat or brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Pizza

1½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoon oregano
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper

make-your-own-popcorn-flavor-shakers

Want a printable that includes the shaker labels and easy recipe reference? Join our free newsletter list (we have a lot of fun together!) and I’ll send it to you!

popcorn-shakers2

If you’re already on my Heavenly Homemaker’s Newsletter List, I sent you an email yesterday with these goodies attached. :)

Simple Parmesan Broiled Fish (10-minutes from start to finish!)

I was going to call this Simple Cheesy Fish Dish – you know – because it rhymed and was cute. But then I was like, “What a weird and not-very-appetizing name. Let’s change it to Simple Parmesan Broiled Fish. People will want to make it if it has a better name.”

broiled-parmesan-fish

I sure hope you all appreciate all the thought and trouble I go to in preparing these recipes and laboring to come up with their names. There is no end to all the decisions I have to make around here.

But in actual news, and what you really need to know about this recipe is how easy it is. You broil the fish. While it is broiling, you mix up a few ingredients to spread over the top. You spread it on. You broil it all a little longer. In ten minutes the fish is completely done and ready to serve.

Ten minutes. Maybe I should have called this Ten-Minute Fish Dish. But seriously, though.

Simple Parmesan Broiled FishYum

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Parmesan Broiled Fish
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds fish, any kind (cod, tilapia, halibut, flounder, salmon)
  • ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise (I use Hain Safflower mayo)
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons dried minced onion
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Splash of hot sauce (we like Cholula)
Instructions
  1. Lay fish pieces in a buttered 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Broil for 8-10 minutes in the oven.
  3. In the meantime, mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Removed broiled fish from the oven and spread on the cheese mixture.
  5. Broil for an additional 2 minutes.

simple-parmesan-broiled-fish

This fish has incredible flavor! We have also found that the sauce tastes great with the steamed veggies we eat with this meal. There’s just something about cheese and butter and mayo all together that makes a great sauce. So if the sauce from your fish runs over your plate into your veggies – be grateful. The entire meal will taste better this way!

Other Simple Recipes I’ve Shared Recently:

It’s recipes like this that makes Simple Meals such a life saver for families. We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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Simple Bacon Ranch Chicken

You probably saw the title “Simple Bacon Ranch Chicken” and thought to yourself, “Well, with ingredients like that, you can’t go wrong.” Right? Is that what you were thinking?

simple-bacon-ranch-chicken-1

Indeed. With ingredients like bacon, ranch, and chicken you know it’ll be a great combination of flavors. And did I mention you top it all with cheese? Mmmhmm!

Now let me get you even more excited by letting you know that these four ingredients can be put together in a dish with about 5 minutes of effort. You know that’s my favorite way to cook right now. The simpler the better – healthy whole foods with plenty of time to enjoy family time.

The last time I made this chicken dish, I let it bake while I steamed some green beans, stir-fried some asparagus, and cut up a cantaloupe. Clean up was minimal. The combination of flavors was wonderful.

TIP: If needed, put this together quickly in the morning, cover, and put it in the fridge. In the evening, slide it into the oven for an effortless meal!

Simple Bacon Ranch ChickenYum

Simple Bacon Ranch Chicken
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 4-6 chicken boneless breasts or thighs
  • ½ pound bacon
  • ½ cup ranch dressing*
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Colby jack cheese
Instructions
  1. Lay chicken pieces in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Spread ranch dressing over the chicken.
  3. Lay strips of uncooked bacon over the ranch-covered chicken.
  4. Sprinkle cheese over the top.
  5. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 25-45 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

*Find my Ranch Dressing recipe here.

simple-bacon-ranch-chicken

Want some more Simple Recipes? Here are others I’ve shared recently:

Those simple recipes are just the beginning. We’re taking it all to the next level so that not only are our recipes easy and nourishing – you don’t even have to think about what to prepare or purchase! Jump in with all the others who have joined…

Simple Meals

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Here’s what Chelsea said about Simple Meals: I signed up for this and I’m very excited about it. It takes me about 4 hours each time I menu plan and make my list but for .81 per week, you do it for me. It’s a small price to pay for my busy family to eat well thought out, whole foods. I compared prices and recipes to other services before signing up and this was the best fit by far. Thank you!!

That is exactly what I was going for when the idea of Simple Meals came to be!

Check out Simple Meals, take advantage of the lovely coupon savings, then promote it yourself so you can earn some great referral money!

How I’m Feeding My Family Next Week (Yep. It’ll be another busy one.)

Today I thought I’d share a little fun family news, show you a picture of my groceries (you know you love looking at my butter), and share how I’m going to try and keep myself from being overwhelmed as I get meals on the table during a busy week.

First, some family news.

Soccer season ends next week!! I love soccer like crazy, but it also does make me crazy, so I’m always relieved when the season comes to an end. I mostly feel this way because Matt is assistant coach for the York College women’s team and he’s been on the road a lot. I look forward to him being home more.

puma-blues

Just as soccer season ends, basketball season begins. This doesn’t add much busyness to my life yet as Justus is driving now and can get Elias and himself to and from practices. My biggest job right now is to make sure they’ve had dinner in time to digest before they leave for practice (and provide a big snack when they get home, obviously).

Here’s a fun picture from YC Homecoming last weekend:

asa-concert-choir

Malachi tried out for our downtown Christmas theater production and got a part!! He is beyond excited and we’re all pretty excited for him. If you’re familiar with The Christmas Story movie, then you can picture Malachi as Flick. And if you’re familiar with Malachi, you know that role fits him perfectly! His practices are every weeknight from now until the shows are live in December.

Matt and I are leading a marriage retreat next weekend out of town, something we are looking forward to very much.

Justus and Elias are heading to a youth rally this weekend, and then to a big concert on Monday. Therefore, they are working double time on school work to get ahead so they can take a couple days off.

Malachi has decided to dress up like his biggest brother Asa for trick-or-treating. (Is that sweet, or is that sweet?) This plan only works if the two of them dress exactly alike for the evening and Asa is the one taking him from door to door. We’re working on coordinating their “costumes” which will likely be some form of athletic wear. I’ll take pictures to share after the big night! We’re blessed that York College opens up the women’s dorm and apartments for all the kids in the community to trick-or-treat. So, since almost everyone on campus knows Asa, and Malachi looks a lot like Asa (and gets called “Little Asa” by several on Asa’s college soccer team) – this should be a lot of fun!

That catches you up on our lives just a little bit. I’d love for you to leave a comment to share about yours!

Let’s talk food

I had plans to take a picture of my most recent trip to Fresh Thyme Market (the store I always visit when I have appointments in Lincoln because it’s my favorite!). When I got home this time, we threw all the groceries in the fridge and headed out to college soccer games. So the next day I cheated. I grabbed out a few items that I’d bought and took a quick picture. This is obviously not everything I bought (because this amount will only last us about a day and a half). But it gives you an idea of some of the fruits and veggies we’ll be eating with our meals next week. And sure enough, there’s a pound of butter.

simple-meals-groceries

How I’m Feeding My Family Next Week

This leads me to sharing about how I plan to get everyone fed and out the door to all of our events next week. The Simple Meals program we just rolled out this week? It’s definitely for all of you. But this mama is also relying heavily on all it provides. So I guess I should say, “thank you.” Preparing this each week for you is going to be a huge help to my family and me!

Today I thought I’d show you how I’m using Simple Meals to keep my kitchen life running smoothly.

Every menu plan comes with a page that looks like this:

simple-meals-options

With this in mind, I’ll look at the calendar to see everything going on so I can plug in the best meals for the best nights.

Here’s a sketch of our calendar for next week:

Sunday – Malachi soccer game in the afternoon, then Bible study at the Mission in the evening; Justus, Elias, and Malachi to youth group

Monday – Justus and Elias at concert; Asa takes Malachi trick-or-treating at the college dorms – eat dinner after

Tuesday –  Matt out of town for YC soccer; Bball practice begins for Justus and Elias – leave at 6:30; Malachi play practice 6:30 – eat by 5:30

Wednesday – (Busiest day this week) Laura appointment in Lincoln; Justus full morning with piano and college class; Bible class 6:30, then rush Malachi to play practice right after – eat by 5:30…crock pot night?

Thursday – Bball practice for Justus and Elias – leave at 6:30; Malachi play practice 6:30 – eat by 5:30

Friday – Matt and I leave for marriage retreat, boys make dinner on their own

Saturday – Matt and I arrive home from marriage retreat, boys make dinner to be eaten when we get home

After getting a good feel for all that fills next week…

I printed off the Simple Meals plan for next week and jotted down notes for the nights I plan to use each meal idea:

simple-meals-planning-breakdown2

Well, that was fun!

Want to print off this same menu plan to work with? You’ll find it here. I love how it makes prepping for healthy meals so much easier!

Check out Simple Meals program here. (And really go nuts spreading the word about it so you can earn $10 per referral!)

 

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Do you have a busy week coming up? How are you working to prepare?

Simple Skillet Taco Pasta

Today I have for you: comfort food in a cast iron skillet. It’s simple, it’s quick, it’s delicious. It’s Simple Skillet Taco Pasta.

skillet-taco-pasta

First, a word about Cast Iron Skillets. I highly recommend that we all have one (or two). Mine takes the place of what used to be Teflon in my kitchen. Cast iron is crazy healthier to cook with and when oiled or buttered well, it is delightfully non-stick. I use mine at least twice every day – for eggs, for meat, for dishes like this Skillet Taco Pasta. (This one is the Cast Iron Skillet I recommend.)

So back to this new, simple recipe. (More Simple Recipes here.)

How nice is it that this entire dish can be made in one big skillet? Obviously, you will get out salad makings and steam a vegetable to go with this. Obviously. But that will be easy and take a look at how easy this main dish recipe is:

Simple Skillet Taco PastaYum

4.5 from 2 reviews
Simple Skillet Taco Pasta
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 pound hamburger meat
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 16-ounces salsa
  • 1½ cups water
  • 8-ounces whole grain pasta, any shape (gluten free works great too!)
  • 8-ounces shredded cheddar or Colby jack cheese
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, brown hamburger meat until no longer pink.
  2. Drain excess grease if necessary.
  3. Season meat with salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder.
  4. Stir in salsa, water, and pasta. Bring to a boil.
  5. Turn down heat to simmer, cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  6. Turn off heat, sprinkle cheese over the mixture in the skillet, and put the lid on for 2 minutes to melt the cheese.

simple-skillet-taco-pasta

This recipe has been a huge hit with my family. Leftovers (if there are any) taste even better because of all the yummy flavors settling in to the pasta and meat.

This meal is practically effortless. Clean-up is a piece of cake (though not literally, bummer for that). And if you need this dish to be gluten free, simply use your favorite GF pasta.

Tell me how much you love cast iron. Do you use it often at your house? Need a Cast Iron Skillet?

This post contains affiliate links.

It’s here! Check out our amazing Simple Meals program!

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49 Favorite Breakfast Freezer Foods

Bunches and bunches of our favorite breakfast freezer foods…coming up!

49 Breakfast Freezer Foods

First, some of my favorite breakfast tips (that my family supports 100%):

Biscuits and Gravy Made EasyYum

You know how Biscuits and Gravy is one of those breakfasts you save for special occasions because it takes quite a bit of effort to prepare? What if you could follow these Freezer Biscuit instructions and have Turkey Sausage made ahead of time so you can quickly put together Sausage Gravy while your effortless biscuits are in the oven? Then you can have Biscuits and Gravy on the table within just a few minutes without breaking a sweat. My family loves it when I do this! (More details here.)

Biscuits and Gravy

Breakfast Casserole Made Easy

And Breakfast Casserole. That sounds intense right? Except that it’s not intense when you use this recipe and make it ahead of time.

cinnamon_muffins_with_casserole

Cinnamon Rolls Made Easy

How about Cinnamon Rolls? Well now those are for special occasions. Yes, because of the sugar. But not because of the work. Try these No-Knead Cinnamon Rolls that you can make ahead of time and freeze!

cinnamon_rolls

Muffins Made Easy

We’re all in love with the fact that we can mix up muffin batter and freeze it in muffin cups for easy fresh muffin baking! If you haven’t tried this yet, get all the details here. You will LOVE IT!

Freeze Your Muffin Batter 3

And now, from oatmeal cups to muffins to burritos, here are 49 great, real food recipes that can be made ahead of time and frozen.

49 Favorite Breakfast Freezer Foods

Time Saving Tip: These Ham and Egg Breakfast Bowls are tasty and wonderful, but they only save time if you make a bunch ahead and freeze them to warm up later. If you haven’t made them ahead and want ham and eggs for breakfast, I’d skip the cute bowl making step and just quickly scramble ham, eggs, and cheese together. :)

Easy Ham and Egg Breakfast Bowls

Did you see the 24 Favorite Main Dish Freezer Meals I shared last week?

Coming up during the next few days, I’ve got some great new freezer breakfast food tips!

Make Your Own “Jiffy” Cornbread Mix (the Healthier Way)

You get to learn to make cornbread mix! Your day is now complete.

Homemade Cornbread Mix

It’s borderline ridiculous how little time I have to spend on meal prep now. #life with teenagers #workingfromhome Or maybe it’s how little time I want to spend on meal prep. This, from a girl who loves to cook.

The thing is – I love food and I love feeding people. But I also love efficiency and simplicity. I’ve learned to make a hearty main dish, then throw out the simplest fruit and veggie side dishes possible. It’s all nourishing and filling and it takes very little work. I love this so much.

So when it comes to “bread as a side dish,” I very rarely have time or spend time or choose to make it a priority. After all, there are many more nourishing side dishes to choose from (tossed salad anyone?).

Sometimes though, we all just need a good cornbread muffin. Like with chili or soup or well, with chili or soup. To me, that’s when cornbread muffins are the best. I haven’t made cornbread in over a year – not because it’s hard to make – but because it’s just one more thing to do and I don’t have time for one more thing. (I’m almost pitiful. Almost.)

Last week, two things happened:

  1. I ran across this recipe for homemade Jiffy mix.
  2. We shared a meal with some friends in which delicious soup and cornbread was served.

I decided that if I had cornbread mix on hand, it would save me a few minutes of meal prep and simplify my life. Instead of talking myself out of mixing up a batch of cornbread because of the extreme difficulty of getting out and measuring flour and baking powder (the struggle is real) I could just dump the pre-measured ingredients into a bowl and stir in the liquids.

I adapted the recipe (included whole grains and cut out some sugar), multiplied the recipe to make it more efficient, stirred ingredients into a big bowl, and had six jars of muffin mix in less than 10 minutes.

Cornbread Mix

Funny how this simple task of making a mix ahead of time is so helpful. It doesn’t take much, you know?

Cornbread Mix in Jars

Will you save money making this cornbread mix yourself? I don’t know. How much is a box of Jiffy these days? They used to be 33¢ but I haven’t looked at them in several years. I didn’t do the math on this mix (because if I don’t have time to make cornbread I probably don’t have time to break down the cost of cornmeal). But I’m almost sure it only takes a few cents to make this – and I used 100% whole grain flour and organic cornmeal.

Homemade Cornbread MixYum

Homemade "Jiffy" Cornbread Mix (the Healthier Way)
 
Author:
Serves: 6 mixes
Ingredients
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups cornmeal
  • ¼ cup sucanat or sugar
  • ¼ cup baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Mix ingredients well in a large bowl.
  2. Scoop about 1⅓ cups of mix into six pint-sized jars.
  3. Store in the freezer until ready to use.
  4. To make cornbread: Empty contents of jar into a bowl. Add 1 egg, ½ cup milk, and 2 Tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil. Spread batter into an 8x8 inch baking pan or scoop into 6-7 prepared muffin cups. Bake in a 400° oven for 15-20 minutes.

Homemade Cornbread Mix in Jars

Easy as that, you have cornbread.

Are you like me? Do you find that mixing up bread to go with a meal is just a little too much effort (pitiful)? What do you like to serve with cornbread?

Strawberry Cream Muffin Recipe (And My Best Muffin-Making Tip)

strawberry_muffins_2

You might remember when I posted this recipe three years ago. Now that it is strawberry season again and I am a tiny bit strawberry focused (or sure, we can call it obsessed if you prefer) – I decided to re-post this for you now.

This Strawberry Cream Muffin is so delicious, you’ll feel like you’re eating dessert for breakfast or snack. Take note that the sour cream in these muffins makes all the difference in how moist and delicious these are. Can you use milk or coconut milk (to make them dairy free) instead? Yes. But they will likely turn out just a little bit dry. Just eat them fresh out of the oven and you’re golden.

Strawberry Cream MuffinsYum

Strawberry Cream Muffins
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups whole wheat flour (I prefer freshly ground soft white wheat in these)
  • ½ cup sucanat or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen strawberries
Instructions
  1. Stir together flour, sucanat, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Add oil, egg, and sour cream, mixing well.
  3. Fold in strawberries.
  4. Scoop batter into 12 well greased or paper-lined muffin cups.
  5. Bake in a 375° oven for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Strawberry Cream Muffin Recipe

Now my best tip of all: Mix up the batter and freeze it to make your muffin baking/dish washing life easier! Then all you have to do is grab your frozen muffin batter cups out of the freezer, put them into muffin cups the night before you want to bake the muffins, then stumble into the kitchen in the morning and put them into the oven!

The Easiest Way to Make Muffins

I’m loving these Silicone Muffin Cups, by the way. I’ve been using them for a few months now and they make freezing muffin batter so easy! Plus I love that I’m saving money on paper liners. Read more details about this simple time and money saving process here.

Have you tried freezing muffin batter? How about silicone cups? Can’t wait to hear how you like the Strawberry Cream Muffins!

P.S. We have not one but two weddings we are heavily involved in this weekend! Starting yesterday, we have been/are running from party to shower to rehearsal to set up to other rehearsal to wedding to getting hair fixed to wedding. If you didn’t follow all of that, don’t worry. I have it all scheduled down the the minute on my calendar. All that to say, you have no idea how happy I was when I found some frozen muffin batter cups in my freezer on Wednesday. I tossed them at my kids to make for their breakfast Saturday. Perfect!

29 Fun Treat Recipes for Valentine’s Day – With NO Red Food Dye

Low Sugar Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait 1

Traditionally we think of red or pink food dye squirted into white frosting to make festive Valentine’s Day cookies and cupcakes. Want to put some fun Valentine meals and treats on the table this year – but want to keep the food real and avoid food coloring?

It is a true fact that food exists that is red without any help from outside sources. There’s also this lovely thing we like to call chocolate. It’s not red, but it certainly says, “I love you,” don’t you think?

Here are 29 great recipes for you that can be turned into Valentine’s Day goodies for your family. You might be able to tell that I am desperately hoping for fresh strawberries to be in season and on sale THIS WEEK.

29 Fun Treat Recipes for Valentine's Day with NO Red Food Dye

Red and Pink Treats (No Food Dye!)

Don’t forget obvious foods that are red – like tomatoes, sweet peppers, strawberries, grapes, cherries, raspberries, and oranges. Ha. Just seeing if you were paying attention.

Chocolate Treats

Do you have foods you traditionally make and serve on Valentine’s Day?