Cook Once, Eat Twice: Taco Soup and Queso Dip with Chips

Preparing "cook once, eat twice" meals has been one approach that has really expedited my meal preparations recently. Taco soup and queso dip with chips, which I’ve included on our winter menu, is a pair that my whole family loves! Ingredients For the soup: 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground meat 1 … [Read more...]

How to Choose the Right Furnace Filter

Every time I purchase furnace filters, I stare at the wide variety available and wonder which to purchase. Should I just get the most affordable? Is there really any benefit to the pricy ones that filter micro-allergens and have odor reduction? If you’ve ever wondered the same things, then … [Read more...]

How Pinterest Got My Husband Interested in Menu Planning

In my household, I’ve always done the menu planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. This has worked for us because, as a stay-at-home mom, I have time to do these things. I also have more knowledge of nutrition and a wider variety of cooking skills than my husband. You can imagine my surprise … [Read more...]

Maple-Glazed Sausage Loaf

Several weeks ago I grew curious about how a meatloaf made of sausage would taste. Maple syrup complements many varieties of sausage, so I wanted to integrate it into the meatloaf somehow. The dish that resulted was fabulous! In fact, it was so good that it has found its way onto our winter … [Read more...]

Winter 2016 Menu

Though we’re busy with Christmas festivities, I didn’t forget to plan my family’s winter menu. I won’t explain the whys and hows of my menu planning here because I’ve detailed these elsewhere (you can read all about it here). In short, I plan a new menu containing a month’s worth of meals at … [Read more...]

8 Ways to Decorate Front Windows for Christmas

Though I love decorating for Christmas, I have no motivation to get up on a ladder and hang Christmas lights on the house. My husband lacks this motivation, as well, and we’re uninterested in having any bulky decorations out in our yard. As you might guess, this means that thus far our homes have … [Read more...]

Festive Christmas Cookie Bars

One by one I’m trying the cookies on my Christmas Cookie Bucket List. I tried the Neapolitan Bars last year, but I thought they took too much work for the flavor that resulted. I really like the appearance of a tricolored cookie bar, though, so I’ve made over the recipe so the bars are easy to make … [Read more...]

Soup, Stew, Chowder, Bisque, or Chili?

I generally consider winter to be “soup season.” Subsequently, I’ve been looking over a lot of soup recipes as I plan my winter menu. In addition to soups, I’ve seen recipes for stews, chowders, bisques, and chilies. Many of these recipes look similar, so how can we tell these different … [Read more...]

Where to Find Meal Ideas and Recipes When Menu Planning

Sometimes I draw a blank when I sit down to plan a new menu for my family. I’ll want to try something new, but nothing comes to mind. It seems I’m not the only one who experiences this. Becca emailed me with the following question: “I know you plan your menus with an entire month’s meals. … [Read more...]

DIY Jesse Tree Ornaments

As I noted when I wrote last summer about Christ-focused Advent traditions, the Jesse Tree is one of my favorite parts of Christmas. A Jesse Tree helps families reflect on the people, prophesies, and events that preceded Christ’s birth.  There is one Jesse Tree reading for each day of Advent. … [Read more...]