Lemon Chicken Quinoa Soup Lemon Chicken Quinoa Soup
Roasted Veggie Hot Dog Hash Roasted Veggie Hot Dog Hash

I’m not sure I’ve told you all that I signed my kids up for sports this Fall! I was pretty excited about it until I realized that Brooke needs to head north for Volleyball and Blake needs to head south for Soccer on the exact same days at the exact same times.

Smart, Lauren, Smart.

As if my life isn’t crazy enough with the start of school and no husband, lets throw another curveball into the mix. *Self-inflicted curve ball, most likely due to lack of sleep. But I digress.

ANYWAYS, on the days where I’m dropping kids off at school and picking them up and then having to rush to volleyball class or soccer practice, there is no way I’m going to have the time or energy to make dinner. That’s just a fact. The Fall is busy! Back to School is busy. Figuring out the new routine after a long summer break can be a little tricky, especially if your psyche is a saboteur.

Asian Lettuce Wraps Asian Lettuce Wraps
Easy Taco Casserole Recipe Easy Taco Casserole Recipe

Happy Tuesday, friends!

I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for a couple days now, but things keep getting in the way!! And by things I mean children. Mine, specifically.

I love them to pieces, but it’s really hard for me to form sentences on a page when they’re all REALLY good at:

Creamy Crockpot Cauliflower Soup Creamy Crockpot Cauliflower Soup

When we lived in Idaho, one of our favorite restaurants was Zupas. (Any Zupas fans out there?) 

My daughter was a little obsessed with their cauliflower soup because it “didn’t have any chunks”. The recipe for cauliflower soup I had been using up to that point is one I inherited from my Mom and it is supposed to be chunky. That’s how it was always made at my house growing up and to be quite honest, I like the chunks. But my Brookie Cookie does not and is very vocal about it.

So one day earlier this week, I tried to appease her and create a non-chunky, extra velvety cauliflower soup (in the crockpot no less!) for this daughter of mine.

You guys, I think I might like this creamy version better. The half & half, bacon and cheese might have something to do with it though. Don’t be alarmed, though! Yes, those are high calorie ingredients, but considering how much soup this makes, when you break it down per serving, its really not terrible. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Alfredo Stuffed Shells Alfredo Stuffed Shells

I know lots of you already have kids back in school and I’m only a teeny bit jealous. Ok, a lot jealous. But, I know come September 7th (my kids first day at their new school….does that seem a little late to you?) we’ll all be in the same boat, struggling to get dinner on the table, trying to feed these starving kids. My kids are in a constant state of starvation. Allegedly. OR so they say.

So, here is a great option to add into your dinner rotation that is filled with lots of protein and veggies galore while is still being so amazingly butterific!! How is that possible you ask? Homemade alfredo sauce. If you’ve never made homemade alfredo sauce before, giiiiirl get on it! It is one of the simplest things to make and is approximately 1400 times better than store bought. I figure the stuffed shell filling is so healthy that I can afford to be a little more generous with my homemade buttery alfredo 😉

Garlic Knot Hot Dogs Garlic Knot Hot Dogs

Well, we are gaining ground this summer. I am taking the reins and finding my way around the city juuuuust fine thanks to google and google maps. Every week, we try to explore one or two parts of NYC that we haven’t visited yet or think would be really fun. (Our bucket list is right here if you’d like to see!) It’s turned out to be a great method for us. Laundry and house cleaning is at the beginning of the week. The nanny comes mid-week and our trips fall closer to the end of the week when we need a little pick me up, just before Daddy comes home for the weekend.

Traveling to new places is really fun, but it wreaks havoc on our dinner routine. Being out and about has its perks but trying to nourish 3 kids and myself and my husband who is here and then not here and then here again while we’re doing it is slightly tricky. So, I’ve had to think of dinner recipes that will store well, travel well and please every palate regardless of when we’re eating. Usually when we’re home (and even when we’re not) my kids are never eating at the same time. I know I’m usually the one eating LAST because my kids need drinks, napkins, seconds, food not touching other food on their plates, more drinks, their shirt put back on (??) and more. Plus, my husband currently works crazy hours in a city three hours away so when he’s home, we know he wants everything homemade….hence the storing well part of these new dinner recipes.

Amazing Chicken Enchiladas Amazing Chicken Enchiladas
Country BBQ Chicken Pizza Country BBQ Chicken Pizza

Get ready to add another recipe to your Pizza Friday repertoire!! Get those fat pants on because I got a good one today.

Remember when I was in the middle of my move and I was driving across the country and I shared a photo of a pizza I ate when I got to Salt Lake? I vowed I would create a copycat and you guys, I did it. (I might even say my version is better. Wayyyyyy better. I’m so….humble.)

Anyways, my husband and I are a little BBQ Chicken Pizza Obsessed. In the past, we have come to realize that we like: rotisserie chicken, bacon and cilantro on our BBQ Chicken pizzas. But this version I had in Utah blew my mind because they added: (1) corn!! (2) red onion!!  and (3) smokey ranch!! It had a lot going on that blew my mind.

So, I recreated this beauty at home last week, smokey ranch, bacon, corn, chicken, red onion and sweet baby ray’s included. I am hopeful that you will be converted to my Country BBQ Chicken Pizza ways.

Crock Pot Italian Chicken Pasta Recipe Crock Pot Italian Chicken Pasta Recipe
Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders

I was going through some photos on one of my memory cards yesterday and I came across a bunch of pictures of recipes I created back in Idaho before we moved! Whaaaat? HOW did I forget I have some extra recipes just waiting to be shared?

If you ask my kids, especially Brooke, they will all tell you their mother is forgetful. It’s no secret. When Daddy isn’t home, Mommy gets to pick up the slack and her plate is overflowing…hence the forgetfulness. Actually, who am I kidding? I was forgetful before he left. I assume its an overworked-youngish-mother-of-three thing?! Anyone else “suffering”?

I’ve heard the term mommy brain several times, but I think there’s something to it. Plus I just googled this news article saying science proves its a real thing! So, I’m self-diagnosing.

By the way, does anyone else go onto Web MD with a cough and come away with the fear of God in your heart? At least once a month I navigate away from their website thinking I have cancer, diabetes and a heart murmur.  So there’s that.

Strawberry Bacon Salad with Greek Yogurt Poppyseed Dressing Strawberry Bacon Salad with Greek Yogurt Poppyseed Dressing

Let’s start our Friday off with a bang, shall we?

Way back in June I went to the DMV to switch my Idaho license for an Oregon one….since I live in Oregon. So, off I went and to my surprise, shock and horror I had to take a written test. The lady at the counter said “don’t worry it’s easy”. Do you see where this is going? YEAH. I failed that sucker. By one lousy question.

The lady at the counter then said “you should of skipped all the questions you didn’t know! You should have used the skip button!”

The Best Steak Marinade The Best Steak Marinade

Soooo, this recipe is based on a recipe I got from my mother-in-law. Well, actually, I remember her making it once or twice and this is me recalling what went into it. I think I added in a few extra items that I thought would add great flavor and mama mia, I was right! Super tender, salty yet slightly sweet meat that got a little smokey from the grill. This was actually the meal I made for Gordon for our belated Father’s Day dinner after he returned from his Army training. That man loves his steak. {I made this for dessert too.}

Anyways, there’s a rhyme and a reason I cut up the ribeye steak into cubes and used every.single.ingredient for this marinade. And guess what, crazy kids? I’m going to break it down for ya right now:

Easy Pork Potstickers Easy Pork Potstickers

Bringing this recipe back to the front of my blog pages for all of your lovely eyeballs to see!! I made these back in September 2014 and are well worth the time to make. Plus, you can make extra to store in your freezer for those nights you need a speedy meal. Hope you all are having a lovely Tuesday!

Garlic Chicken & Kale Spaghetti Garlic Chicken & Kale Spaghetti
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 Recipe Simple Chili Recipe
The Juiciest Turkey Burger Recipe The Juiciest Turkey Burger Recipe
15 Minute Chow Mein 15 Minute Chow Mein
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)