Olive Garden copycat Zuppa Toscano recipe

I love soup, especially when it’s cold and grey. And, of all the soups I’ve ever tried, my favorite is the Zuppa Toscano from Olive Garden. I’ve been working on perfecting my Olive Garden copycat Zuppa Toscano for over a year now and I love the result. It’s even better than the actual restaurant recipe, … Read more

The perfect bread machine white bread {and how to keep it fresh}

Affiliate linksThe best bread machine white bread and how to keep it freshI’ve gotta brag for a moment: I haven’t bought bread in over 5 months. If you know me, you know that I’m simply not a baker. I can cook, but baking is just too technical for someone like me that has problems following directions. So, the fact that I’m baking all of our bread is a really big accomplishment. And, the fact that the kids like it is a small miracle. Bread in a bread boxMy intro to baking started as a quest to find a decent sandwich bread that I could make in the bread machine, and I just wasn’t finding anything awesome and the kids were very disappointed with the results. I wanted our weekly loaf to be soft enough that it would make a good sandwich loaf, but also dense enough so that it didn’t just fall apart when you spread peanut butter on it or sliced it thin.

So, using the handwritten notes of my grandmother scribbled in the margins of the bread machine cookbook she gave me, I decided to modify the recipe we liked the best using a little trial and error and a lot of help from grandma. Thanks, grandma!Homemade Bread upright up closeAdmittedly, there was quite a bit of error, but it was actually kind of fun trying out different ingredients and measurements. While doing this process I was really glad I was using the bread maker, as it took me out as a variable and made it easy to pinpoint ingredient and measurement changes because the process was so uniform.

When we finally hit on the perfect recipe, we were high-fiving in the kitchen as we enjoyed our now-famous loaf fresh out of the bread machine. The kids have now memorized the recipe and can basically do every step of the process, they just wait for me to plug it in and set it on the correct bread setting and loaf size.

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The best snow ice cream recipe

Kids with snow ice creamOn our last snow day, we experimented a bit to find the best snow ice cream recipe anywhere. With only a few ingredients and almost no time to mix up, it's a perfect snow day activity for kids. Snow ice cream baby
Here's what you need:

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The 12 best ways to enjoy food on a stick

Does anything say "summer" more than eating food on sticks? Think about it: the family camp out, the backyard BBQ, the playdate cool-down, they all have one thing in common… food enjoyed right off the skewer or stick! Thank you to Kraft this sponsored post to share these awesome food on a stick recipes I can't wait to try.

FACT: Food tastes better on a stick. No, we can’t explain it. But like love or um, magnets, sometimes the best things can’t be explained with logic. On that note, allow me to introduce the 12 best “stick with it!” foods to eat this summer.

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Oatmeal banana bread with oatmeal cereal recipe

This is a sponsored recipe post for The Women Bloggers, LLC which is led by the Kendal King Group and #SoapboxInfluence to share the goodness of Nestle Gerber® Cereal. All opinions are 100% my own. #CookingwithGerberOatmeal and banana bread with oatmeal cerealEvery parent wants to serve the most nutritious foods possible to their families, but if you’re like me and have a picky eater, you know this can be a huge struggle. I have dreams of my healthy recipes being gobbled up, but more often than not, they just don’t get eaten. That just means I have to get sneaky and hide the good stuff in what might otherwise be considered snack foods.

This quick and easy oatmeal banana bread recipe with a super-secret ingredient is my new favorite quick-grab breakfast for our busy mornings. We rarely have time for a sit-down meal in the mornings, but I hate the idea of them grabbing junk and starting their day off on the wrong foot. This nutritious banana bread is perfect because you can easily grab a slice or a muffin on your way out of the house or you can pair it with fruit and yogurt for a balanced breakfast.Gerber ingredients

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Summer baking trend: frosting-free cakes for all your summer events


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Two-ingredient no-churn ice cream without an ice cream machine {perfect for leftover candy mix-ins}

Two ingredient no churn ice cream without an ice cream machine
Do you have a ton of leftover holiday candy lying around that you don’t know what to do with? We literally JUST threw away our old Easter, Valentine’s Day and Halloween candy and now we have a huge bag full of Easter candy to get rid of. Easter CandyWhat’s a girl to do? She finds a way to use it in other recipes, of course.

Specifically, she uses it in two-ingredient no-machine ice cream. The ice cream is delicious all on its own, but when you add candy to it, it becomes absolute perfection. And, then she throws the rest of the candy away, because no one needs that much candy. Homemade Ice Cream with candy

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Game day party recipe: RITZ® Crackers sliders with Coca-Cola pulled pork and coleslaw

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BowlTimeSnacks #CollectiveBias Game Day Fuel 3Around here, football isn’t just a sport. From late summer until the last game is played, Seattle becomes a different place as we all unite for our team. Anyone wearing team colors is greeted with a cheer and usually a discussion on how the season is going. This is especially true for game day when we all come together to celebrate, so it’s best to plan for a crowd if you are home watching the game.

This past weekend was my turn hosting and I knew I wanted to do something a little different. I was looking for something you could eat throughout the day instead of a formal meal, and ideally it would be as hands-off as possible so I could get a chance to watch the game, too.

I headed to the store to see what inspiration struck and within minutes I hit on the perfect game time menu: RITZ® Crackers sliders with Coca-Cola pulled pork and homemade coleslaw. It looks delicious, right? Ritz pulled pork sliders

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Easy entertaining with Hickory Farms

Sponsored postAs the member of a big family, we have lots of gatherings each holiday season, and that means we bring food to most of them. Because we know it’s always a hit, we usually do up a cheese and sausage plate from Hickory Farms. Hickory Farms cheese and sausage plateIt’s easy to bring, even with our busy schedules, and it doesn’t require me taking over the kitchen to prepare once we arrive at our destination. But, the best part about this tradition is that it works well both before the meal and after when family and friends are hanging out and snacking.

Hickory Farms has been America’s most famous holiday food gift brand for over 60 years, and it’s perfect for gifting as well as serving at gatherings for family and friends. Hickory Farms helps you enjoy all the little moments by allowing you to cut, serve, and relax while entertaining.

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OREO owl cupcakes were the hit of our Woodland-themed party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GiftDeliciously #CollectiveBias OREOwl cupcakesDo you love holiday baking as much as I do? With so many events, birthday parties, and more this time of year, I look forward to working side-by-side with my favorite little bakers and I plan all year for recipes I want to try. It just so happens that my birthday falls at the perfect time to kick off holiday baking season, so every year we use it as a great excuse to get creative in the kitchen while bonding with the kids.

This year, the kids and I created a fun recipe we like to call OREOwl cupcakes using some of our favorite brands, like OREO. Since we adore owls, this recipe was a huge hit for the kiddos, and it went over really well at my birthday gathering once guests showed up. RITZ crackers party

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