Double Decker Summer Burgers Double Decker Summer Burgers

Is it getting warm where you are?

This week, we have been having one lovely and glorious heat wave that has pushed us outside to the grill! Since my pots and pans are already en route to NYC, I’m sort of forced outside to use the grill anyways, so this recipe was a lovely coincidence.

Of course the most perfect dinner you can make with a grill is a burger! It never gets old and it tends to taste better the hotter it gets outside.

Over the *almost* 10 years I’ve been married, Gordon and I have been pretty big burger connoisseurs. We never turn one down. Even the super dry burgers my father-in-law makes 🙂

I’m confident everyone in the Brennan Family knows they are “very well done” but him.

Actually, for a time when Brooke was 2 years old, we lived with my in-laws for a few months and thats how we became familiar with the weekly “very well done burgers” my father-in-law made.

One week in August though, my mother-in-law approached me and said “could you grill the burgers tonight and not tell John that I asked you to?” So me, not being one to cause any trouble, grilled them with the excuses “I thought I’d grill them for you” and “I was hungry earlier in the day today”. What a nice daughter-in-law I am, right?

We had juicy burgers that night and all was well with the world.

Italian Sausage & Peppers Pasta Italian Sausage & Peppers Pasta
Creamy Ranch Chicken Casserole Creamy Ranch Chicken Casserole

I’m currently en route to New York City and I wanted to make sure I posted this recipe for you all! I love a good casserole and I always forget how easy they are!! This recipe is a Ranch version of my Swiss Chicken Bake, but instead of using homemade cream of chicken soup, I used the can because I’m trying to get rid of the food in my pantry before our move. I’ll probably have a lot more random recipes coming up soon involving sweetened condensed milk, creamed corn and pinto beans. (Not used together 😉 )

So, I was generous in saying this recipe would take 10 minutes to prep. It’s really more like 7. You’ll wait longer for your oven to preheat than anything else. We ate our casserole with roasted broccoli on the side, but rice or pasta would work as well….I think I’d like the rice more than the pasta, but use what you got!

I also love using chicken tenders because they cook much faster than an actual chicken breast. Be aware that your cooking time will increase if you’re using whole chicken breasts. Chicken cutlets would work well and have the same cooking time as listed below.

Anyways, here are some photos I snapped from making this recipe. Be sure to scroll down to get my printable recipe and make this asap!!

Brown Butter Alfredo Baked Ravioli Brown Butter Alfredo Baked Ravioli

My days are getting all mixed up! Between the move and the box packing and the cleaning and the sick kids (yes, my kids are sick again because the universe likes to play cruel jokes on me) and the waking up 6 times in the night because of the sick kids, I thought I was posting this recipe on Friday because that’s usually when I post new recipes. BUT, here we are on Saturday morning.

Just when I think I have my life together, surprise!! I definitely do not.

Also, yesterday I was so tired/out of it/delirious that I forgot to buy tape to wrap Blake’s birthday presents. It was written on my list and I still forgot. So I sat down to wrap them last night and could not find scotch tape I didn’t buy anywhere. Thankfully, I have two huge rolls of packing tape that worked great 😉

So the gifts got wrapped and he’ll never be able to open them. Score.

Simple Chili Simple Chili
Southwest Crockpot Egg Noodle Casserole Southwest Crockpot Egg Noodle Casserole

I’ve got another cream-cheese-filled dinner for ya today! Remember this Italian Crockpot Recipe? Well, I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from that, so I decided to throw cream cheese into this southwest-inspired chicken dinner! (Except, I’m actually throwing cream cheese into everything, so you had it coming?) Every so often, I can’t stop cooking dinner in my crockpot and these past few weeks have kicked my slow-cooking addiction back into gear!

Not only is this a relatively healthy dinner, but I’ve forgotten how much I love egg noodles! They are light and wonderful and work really well with the creamy sauce. And did I mention that you throw everything into a crockpot, then set it and forget it? Crockpot meals are where it’s AT!

Here’s how to make it:

Easy Homemade Ramen Easy Homemade Ramen

Yesterday evening, Eddie slept 13 1/2 hours…as in he didn’t wake up once!!!!!!!!!!!!! There are not enough exclamation points in the world to convey the joy I feel.

I’m a new woman.

Also: hallelujah!!

Since the moment I found out I was pregnant, I’ve been waiting for this moment. Is that awful? Don’t answer that.

The first 11 1/2 months of his sweet little life were touch and go to say the least. He had a rough time figuring out what sleep actually meant. Anything past a 3 hour stretch was amazing for him. That happened maybe once every two weeks. The bags under my eyes were a little out of control.

But we’ve turned a very obvious corner and the older he gets the better he sleeps. It is glorious.

I know I keep bringing this up, but I thrive on a good nights’ sleep. If I don’t get it, my day that follows is AWFUL. According to my mother, I’ve always loved my sleep since I was a baby. A trait that Eddie and I do not share.

Getting a solid 8-9 hours means I have a teeny tiny bit more energy to use towards: going to the gym, making a better dinner, playing with my kids or watching Netflix without falling asleep.

Gordon used to make fun of me for falling asleep on the couch every night, but now I can stay awake!! (mostly)

Crockpot Italian Chicken Pasta Crockpot Italian Chicken Pasta
Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Alfredo Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Alfredo
Garlic Herb Steak Garlic Herb Steak

Garlic and herbs on a steak is one of my new favorite things….along with my fruit punch spark, caramello bars and dream feedings.

Explanation? Ok!

I have low iron and the iron pills I’m taking are doing, well, nothing, so ALL THE BEEF is coming into my mouth. {See fun video below!}

Also, the Spark is for a little kick in the morning because I am NOT a morning person. Never have been, never will be. Aaaand, my late night blog post writing habit is 7-years strong. You’re welcome.
Caramello bars are for sanity. And I always like to keep my thighs well stocked incase there’s a famine or something.

The dream feedings keep Eddie asleep all the way through the night. He used to wake up between 3 and 4am and scream because that skinny little boy was starving. Now I feed him a bottle around 11 when he’s really groggy and now he sleeps all the way until 6. Sometimes 6:30 if I’m lucky. That’s 12 hours, folks. And it’s glorious.
Probably would be more glorious if I went to bed earlier and got up earlier.

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough and Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks {just like in restaurants!} Fail-Proof Pizza Dough and Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks {just like in restaurants!}
Guilt Free Fried Rice Guilt Free Fried Rice

I have a friend from college. Her name is Jessie and I lived in an apartment right above hers for my last two years of college.

I got married, she got married and now we both have three kids and communicate on Facebook. You blink and suddenly you’re in your 30’s with three kids. Time is a cruel, ya’ll.

ANYWAYS!

Jessie told me about this quick and healthy way that she makes Fried Rice on Facebook last week and I was intrigued. Very intrigued. So, I gave it a whirl with what I had on hand and believe it or not, this was a 10-minute miracle dinner that my entire family gobbled up. Even Eddie {11 months} was screaming and reaching for more! I couldn’t give that boy bites fast enough!! Needless to say it was a hit.

Browned Butter Alfredo Pasta Browned Butter Alfredo Pasta
Garlic and Herb Encrusted Pork Roast with Pregravied Potatoes Garlic and Herb Encrusted Pork Roast with Pregravied Potatoes
One Month of Healthy Dinner Ideas for Kids One Month of Healthy Dinner Ideas for Kids
Healthy Crockpot Enchilada Casserole Healthy Crockpot Enchilada Casserole
Chicken & Bacon Alfredo Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Chicken & Bacon Alfredo Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Super Simple 25-minute Baked Potato Soup Super Simple 25-minute Baked Potato Soup

It’s finally feeling like Fall in Boise and it feels amazing! Fall is my favorite season, methinks. So I am pumpkin-ing all the things, wearing cute boots and sweaters and getting down to business making tons of fresh rolls and soups galore.

I have been working on this Baked Potato Soup recipe for quite some time now. I’ve made this probably 6 or 7 times in the last 4 months before I finally got it to where I like it. Too bland. Too thick. Too thin. Boiled too long. Not enough tang. etc. etc.

Some say I’m too picky {ahem…Gord} but I think it’s what makes my recipes trustworthy. If I post a gross recipe and you make it and agree that it is in fact, gross, then who’s to say you’ll try another one? Odds are you won’t. Heck, I have a hard enough time posting all the RIGHT recipes and still get hate mail.

So, I’m not picky. I’m meticulous. And that’s a good quality to have within the realms of recipe testing.

Bean-Free Turkey Chili Bean-Free Turkey Chili

Have you guys ever heard that a full night’s sleep can be really beneficial in getting your body to shed extra body weight? I’ve heard that and read that SO many times.

That whole idea leads me to believe that nature is cruel. Completely cruel.

Because my baby doesn’t sleep through the night. In fact, he’s getting worse. All while I’m trying to lose the last bit of baby weight.

This HAS to be the reason why Moms can’t lose the baby weight in the first year…because their babies are {literally} sucking the life out of them and not letting them sleep through the night.

So, I’ve had to resort to other…methods…to help me lose these last few pounds because Eddie is obviously anything but helpful. Things like exercise {wait, I’m supposed to have energy for that?} drinking lots of water {but water isn’t diet coke and doesn’t have caffeine in it} and eating healthy {there’s no getting around this}.

So this recipe was one of my last ditch efforts to get rid of the chub.

So far, since consuming this in the last 12 hours, I haven’t lost the weight. BUT! I’m hopeful and I’m working on it. And that’s the best I can do.

45 Minute Spaghetti and Meatballs 45 Minute Spaghetti and Meatballs

I started writing this blog post at 11:30 last night.

Semi-typical for me.

Anyways, when I got up to post it this morning, I read it over again {thankfully} and decided to start from scratch because NOTHING MADE SENSE. My run on sentences were of ridiculous proportions and I jumped from topic to topic like crazy. So, I guess I was a little more tired than I thought. Ha!

I’ll work on going to bed at a decent hour. But until then, lets talk about this recipe, shall we?

I haven’t had good Italian food in a while. I typically try to avoid making pasta for dinner, mainly because when I make it, I eat it ALL.

Well, for some reason last week, I was feeling nostalgic for the Italian ancestors I never had and made up a quick version of the classic Spaghetti and Meatballs.

Pimiento Macaroni and Cheese Pimiento Macaroni and Cheese

Dear Pimientos,

Where have you been all my life?

In the south?

I guess that explains a few things since I grew up in Canada.

But, I have found you and I’m never letting you go.

You are delicious on just about anything. Particularly anything that involves cheese. I am in love with you.

So dear, sweet, dainty jars of pimientos, never leave my pantry. I promise to keep you warm and happy. Or at the very least, turn you into something delicious that *technically* could be considered to be warm and happy. Like this recipe.

I promise you’ll stay on the 3rd shelf, away from small hands that could drop you and palates that would under appreciate you.

You’ll like it here.

Sincerely,

Lauren

PS- I know you’re not used to getting talked to, but I’m a little…passionate when it comes to my food. You’ll get used to it.

Fiesta Lime Chicken Fiesta Lime Chicken

I have a problem. {Don’t we all?}

My mind is filled with useless information.

I have plenty of important and useful information in my head, but when the time comes to use that information, I fall short and can only think of the kitten workout videos, or lyrics to random Christmas tunes {see my last post} or desserts I once tried at some point in my life.
Some call this mommy brain, but I call it plain sad.

Who am I and what have I become?

My to do list is literally two pages long and I am going crazy because I can’t get any of it done. Kids. House. You know the drill.

But, the light at the end of the tunnel is near because my husband is less than two weeks away from graduating with his masters degree. Eleven days to be exact. Did I fail to mention that at the beginning of this post? Let’s blame that mommy brain.

The end is the hardest because he has to spend waaaaay more time glued to the computer writing papers and I have to pick up the slack and get everything done and work into the night. By morning, I’m basically a monster. {And this has been going on for weeks. I’m a real treat to be around.}

Parmesan & Garlic Linguine {Super Easy!} Parmesan & Garlic Linguine {Super Easy!}

Hi Friends!

I finally got around to updating the photos from this post that originally went live August 1st, 2011! Crazy!! Here’s the original post below. 5 years later and I still make this recipe 🙂 So easy and so good! Enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie Soup Chicken Pot Pie Soup

I’m pretty confident in saying my thighs will never shrink.

If you are new to my blog, you may not know that after I had Blake, I was seeing a trainer for a time to get rid of the last few pounds of baby weight and to have someone to be accountable to.

I exercised and worked out pretty hard and was on a strict diet. I was seeing results. Great results, actually.

Hello again, abs. Nice to see you!

After 3 months, we took measurements and guess what? I was smaller everywhere. And by everywhere, I mean everywhere but my legs. Like, there was literally no change. My trainer, bless his heart, said my legs were already pretty muscular so it would be unlikely to see a big change. A semi-nice thing to say, but it made me slightly bitter towards my lower half.