Apple Chicken Sausage and Turkey Hot Dog Sheet Pan Dinner

Ever since the dawn of Pinterest I have wanted to master a sheet pan dinner. It was the greatest idea… mostly because in theory there’d only be one dish to clean afterwards. Alas, I never found a sheet pan recipe that cooked everything right. Or I was just too weirded out by the idea of putting raw chicken next to raw broccoli to give it a try.

Many years have passed, and I’ve gotten pretty good at roasting lots of vegetables on one pan for dinner. So, recently I thought I’d give the sheet pan dinner another shot. I started out with fully cooked cajun andouille sausage, but while I was cutting it up I realized it would be way too spicy for my toddlers’ palettes. Not wanting to make them something completely different for dinner, I grabbed some hot dogs (regular all beef) out of the fridge and cut them up.

It was ok. But, the kids weren’t crazy about it, and I didn’t want to eat all that sausage again the next day for left overs. However, I wasn’t willing to give up on the sheet pan dinner, and I felt like I was onto something with the hot dogs for the kids and a “grown up” sausage for the hubs and myself.

Cue round two, which yielded a dinner that both children (ages 2 and 3) asked for second servings of after they gobbled up their first. And I am already looking forward to having the left overs tomorrow. So here it is:

Apple Chicken Sausage & Turkey Hot Dog Sheet Pan Dinner

Ingredients:

  • Apple Chicken Sausage Links (4 pack)
  • Turkey Hot Dogs (4 pack)
  • Sweet Potatoes (2 small / medium)
  • Broccoli Crowns (2 medium / large)
  • Olive Oil
  • Chili Powder (1-2 tsp)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1 inch wedges. Then toss in olive oil and sprinkle with chili powder. (This is a good spot to let your kids help you! Even my two year old can shake the chili powder on top of the sweet potatoes.) Arrange sweet potatoes on sheet pan in single layer and pop into oven. Set timer for 15 minutes.
  • Cut sausage links and turkey hot dogs into bite size pieces (about 6-7 pieces per link/hot dog). Once cut, remove sheet pan from oven. (Don’t worry, your timer probably hasn’t gone off yet. That’s okay.) Flip sweet potatoes and move them into center of the pan to make room on each side of them to add your sausage/hot dogs. Add sausage and hot dogs on single layer on either side of your sweet potatoes. Pop into oven.
  • Rinse your broccoli and cut into florets.
  • Once the timer goes off (you’re still in that first 15 minute window), remove sheet pan and flip everything. Put into oven for another 15 minutes.
  • At 15 minutes, remove and flip again. This time, add in broccoli. I nestled the broccoli florets in wherever I could find room for them to lay directly on the pan. This way they’ll end up being mixed in evenly throughout the pan, but most likely they’ll be mostly near the sausage and hot dog pieces.
  • Put in oven for 10 minutes.
  • At 10 minutes, remove pan. Flip everything again and serve.

I served this with biscuits and honey. And y’all, it was soooo good. The kids were even gobbling up the broccoli.

This will probably be our new Monday night dinner. It was so good, and it didn’t feel heavy. Plus knowing my kiddos were going to bed with full tummies of good food was a huge plus.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

Until next time,

❤ Lindsay

Matcha Latte Recipe

Any other matcha lovers out there? If you’ve been with me for a while, you know I’m such a matcha fan I even have a green tea muffin recipe that calls for it. For the past couple weeks, I’ve been steadily working on decreasing my daily coffee intake. But, I still have days where I need and want that coffee-pick-me-up. Cue matcha! But how? I make a great muffin with it, but could I make a better-than-a-coffee-shop latte out of it?

I’m happy to report I did!

And it’s easier than you may think.

I like my matcha lattes hot and cold, so here’s how I make it both ways.

HOT Matcha Latte

Ingredients:

  • 1 T hot water
  • 1-1.5 t matcha powder (based on how strong of a matcha flavor you want, I use 1 t)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 pump Monin organic vanilla syrup

Directions:

  • Mix hot water and matcha powder in cup you will drink from
  • Steam almond milk (I microwaved mine for 1.5 min)
  • Use frother if desired to whip almond milk.
  • Pour milk over matcha mixture.
  • Add vanilla syrup.
  • Stir.
  • Enjoy! 

ICED Matcha Latte

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 t matcha powder (but if you want a stronger matcha flavor, use 1.5 t of powder)
  • 1 pump Monin organic vanilla syrup
  • desired amount of ice

Directions:

  • Mix almond milk, matcha powder, and syrup in cup you will drink from with whisk or frother.
  • Once mixed well, use frother to foam up the top of your milk.
  • Add desired amount of ice.
  • Enjoy!

Not sure where to get matcha from? Back in the day it was nearly IMPOSSIBLE to find. Now thanks to Amazon, it’s literally at your finger tips.

The little can I get from Kroger. The packet I get from Amazon.

So, now I make green tea muffins and green tea lattes, and I’m considering working on a cookie recipe. Unless you already have one, then I’d love to see it!

Until next time,

❤ Lindsay

Beth’s Breakfast Casserole

Have you ever been preparing for company and though to yourself, “What am I going to feed these people???” I may have thought this a time or two before. If you follow me on Insta, you know I love breakfast. It is hands down my favorite meal of the day. So, when we have company, especially if they’re staying in our home over the weekend, they can count on me busting out one of my yummy breakfast recipes while they’re with us. 

This one I’m about to share with you is my husband’s favorite, and I can take ZERO credit for it, which is why I call it, Beth’s Breakfast Casserole.

I’ve had many a brunch at Beth‘s house, an invitation I will literally do almost anything for. It was at her house, for brunch, where I tasted my first biscuit and gravy- and it was life changing. And, it was at her house, for brunch, where I enjoyed the first ever sausage, egg, and cheese casserole that I actually liked. (I’m really not much of an egg person. It’s got to be done just right.) Finally, one day, while gobbling this casserole down, I asked her how she made it. And what I’m about to share with you, are the instructions I managed to remember by the time I got home mixed in with a minor modification or two based on how many people I’m feeding and what I’ve got in the fridge.

Ingredients:

1 package of ground breakfast sausage (mild)

6-8 eggs

2 rolls of croissant dough

4 oz low fat cream cheese

1/2 cup cubed or shredded or sliced colby cheese (you can also use cheddar, mexican blend, or pepper jack- which I have done, for David, because he likes spicy things)

Directions:

Brown breakfast sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat. One it’s all cooked through, drain the fat out in a colander and press down on the sausage with a few paper towels to absorb excess fat. Put your 4 oz of cream cheese into a mixing bowl and add your sausage. Mix well with a spoon. 

Spray baking pan (I like to use either my 9×12 le cruset or pyrex pan for this dish because it has a lid) with nonstick spray. Roll 1 of your croissant doughs out and line the bottom of your dish with it. Top with your cream cheese / sausage mixture.

If you want, you can cover your dish and store it at this point in the fridge overnight. I like this because I can do half of the work in the morning and the following steps in the morning. 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Next, scramble your eggs. If I’m making this dish for just my little family of 4, I only use 6 eggs. But, if I’m cooking for more, I use up to 8. Top your cream cheese / sausage mixture with your scrambled eggs.

Sprinkle, arrange your cheese on top of your eggs. I very rarely buy shredded cheese, so I go for cubed (because that’s faster to do than shredding) or sliced cheese with almost all my oven baked recipes. 

Finally, roll out your 2nd roll of croissant dough and layer it on top of the cheese. 

Pop it in the oven for 25-30 minutes. When you can stick a knife into the center of the dish and it comes out hot, you know it’s done. 

We love to enjoy this with fresh fruit, and that’s how I’ve always enjoyed it at Beth‘s house as well!

I hope your family and friends enjoy this as much as we do!

Until next time,

❤ Lindsay

P.S. This post does contain affiliate links, but my opinions are always my own. Thank you for clicking through!

Turkey Cupcakes

Raise your hand if you love routine? Now raise your other hand if your kids love routine? I know from first hand experience that the week of Thanksgiving can be a stressful week for families, and while the reasons are numerous, I think one big factor is the abrupt change in pretty much everyone’s routine. This change can be even more extreme for everyone when kids find themselves outside out of their home (e.g. traveling for the holiday) or have guests hanging out in their home.

Because the truth is kids like routine. They’re going to wake up when they’re used to waking up. They’re going to be ready for snacks when they’re always ready for snacks. Sometimes, as much as we try and want to, we can’t keep them on their routine though. We also can’t assume that everyone else we’re celebrating the holiday with is going to jump right into our kids’ routine.

So, it’s really helpful to have a few go-to activities for your kids to do in those hours when their routine isn’t meshing up with how the days’ schedule is unfolding.

They can be simple, like new coloring pages and crayons or a secret stash of legos (we have such a secret stash that we only bust out when we’re on vacation- usually when we’re staying in a hotel room). I made a couple dozen of these Turkey Cupcakes several years ago before we had kids, and stored the idea away as one I knew I’d like to try again with my kids, whenever we had them, and whenever they were old enough.

My kids are 3 years old and 1 year old, and I knew they were ready to at least attempt decorating these cupcakes. I knew they probably weren’t going to look like something you’d see on Pinterest by the time they were finished, but the entire project, for the most part, would be edible (so I wouldn’t have to worry if they put something in their mouth), easy to clean up, and inexpensive- all I had to buy for it was a box of cake mix and some candy corn. AND, the best part, this is a TWO part activity, so it helps pass the time TWICE. Keep reading and you’ll see what I mean…

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What do you need for this project:

  1. Cake Mix (and whatever the mix calls for … like eggs and oil)
  2. Cupcake pan
  3. Chocolate Icing
  4. Candy corn + assorted candy (we raided their left over halloween candy)

Steps:

  1. Make + bake cupcakes! And LET YOUR KIDS HELP. They may not be ready to crack eggs, but give them the whisk or let them operate the mixer by pulling levers or pushing buttons. They probably can dump the bag of cake mix into the mixing bowl if you cut it open for them and help direct the bag. Even my one year old can place cupcake liners into the cupcake pan, so he and my three year old did that part together. And older kids can, with guidance and oversight of course, ladle batter into the cupcake pan.

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  1. Let cupcakes cool – overnight even! This is what I did. We made the cupcakes in the afternoon, and we decorated them the following morning. See what I mean… TWO PART ACTIVITY.
  2. Decorate cupcakes. This is where you need to put your perfectionist bend to the side. Let them play while they decorate. The purpose of this activity is not to have perfect cupcakes when you’re done. The purpose of this activity is MULTI-purpose: have fun, engage with your kids, spend quality time together, and give them something to do in those windows when they’re feeling the effects of their routine being thrown off.

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Tips for SUCCESS:

  1. Make sure your icing is room temperature and one that easily spreads. I made mine from scratch and wished I’d just picked up a $1 jar of it from the store, because my decadent chocolate, cream cheese icing that I threw together right before we iced the cupcakes didn’t spread so well. And I think it was just too thick and too cold still. ALSO, because I used cream cheese frosting, I had to make room for the cupcakes to stay in the fridge. You’re not going to want to do this when you also have all of the Thanksgiving food in the fridge. So, just use the store-bought stuff that can sit on the counter without worrying about it spoiling.
  2. Change their clothes. We have “eating” clothes which are clothes that are stained-beyond-saving or a little too small that we keep in a bin. When we eat food that I know is going to stain- like red pasta sauce or chocolate ice cream, I have the kids go to the bin and pick out “eating clothes.” They also wear them when we paint or do a messy art project. So, change into clothes like that. Don’t have them decorate cupcakes in the clothes you want to take Thanksgiving pictures in. That’ll just make the whole experience stressful, which is counter-productive.
  3. Use what you have to decorate. The only candy I bought for this project was candy corn. We used skittles, sweet-tarts, and cereal to make eyeballs on our turkeys- all stuff I either pulled from the pantry or our kids’ leftover Halloween candy.

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Do you have a go-to activity for your kids to do when their schedule is thrown off? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Until next time,

❤ Lindsay

P.S. This post does contain affiliate links, but my opinions are always my own. Thanks for clicking through!

The Best Poppy Seed Chicken You Ever Tasted

Once upon a time, I thought I’d come up with the best poppyseed chicken recipe ever. I shared it over at creatingagreatday.com too because it really is quite wonderful. Well, that was a few years ago. Earlier this month it was my husband’s birthday, and since poppyseed chicken is one of his favorite dishes (hence the reason why I had determined myself to discover the best poppy seed chicken recipe ever), that’s what we made him for his birthday dinner. I’ve made a few tweaks to the recipe over the last few years, sometimes out of accident, other times due to lack of inventory (like when you only have 1 yogurt cup, but the recipe calls for 2), and other times due to lack of time (like when a rotisserie chicken gets called in instead of cooking my own chicken at home). As a result of all this accommodating, I’ve found that some of my modifications made for a better (and sometimes worse) dish. And now, the result is what I really believe to be the best poppy seed chicken you have ever tasted.

Ingredients:

FIVE cups shredded rotisserie chicken (TIP: this is basically 1 large rotisserie chicken, and when I say large, I mean Sam’s Club large, so if your grocery store is serving you a rotisserie cornish hen, get yourself two of them)

TWO 5.3oz plain greek yogurt (nonfat) cups

ONE and a HALF 10.5oz cans cream of chicken

ONE tsp celery salt

ONE and a QUARTER tsp garlic powder

TWO tsp worcestershire sauce

FOUR tbsp lemon juice

ONE stick of unsalted butter (8oz)

EIGHT oz of crackers (you want to use Ritz crackers or a cracker like Ritz crackers– see pic  and more on this below)

FOUR tbsp of poppy seeds

Directions:

Mix your shredded chicken, plain greek yogurt, cream of chicken, celery salt, w. sauce, and lemon juice very well in a large mixing bowl.

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This is what 5 cups looks like for those of you like me who don’t like to measure!

Spray your baking pan with non-stick spray. Scoop your chicken mixture into your baking pan and spread it out evenly.

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Melt your stick of butter in a microwave safe dish (I prefer my glass Pyrex measuring cups because they make pouring, that step comes later, hot butter a whole lot easier.)

Crunch up 8 oz (this is two rolls) of crackers inside a gallon ziplock bag.

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I actually prefer this combo over using Ritz crackers. I use 4 oz of each kind.

If you have little ones, this is a great way to get them involved in making dinner. Since I have two little ones, each got their own bag with 4 oz of crackers (one roll’s worth) to crunch up.

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After you’ve crunched them up really well (you don’t want to crunch it to a powder, but you do want to crunch most of it into small pieces that are smaller than a pea, I have a pic below), add 4 T of poppy seeds and shake very well.

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If you have little helpers who are always wanting to help, this is another step to let them in on. And if they pour too many poppy seeds in, don’t sweat it. It may even make it tastier. You’ll have to let me know. : )

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Clever, hungry children will figure out how to open the bag and eat their cracker crumbs while the other child is adding poppy seeds to her’s.

Pour your crunched cracker / poppy seed mixture into a new mixing bowl (not the one that had your chicken in it) and pour your melted butter over the cracker mixture.

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Dinner was homemade. Dessert was not. : )

I prefer to use a wooden spatula to stir and coat every crumble of cracker with the melted butter.

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Once you’ve accomplished that, pour your buttery, poppy seed adorned crackers over the chicken mixture in your baking dish and spread evenly.

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Bake for 45-50 minutes, rotating dish half way through. You’ll know it’s done when you insert a knife into the center, and the knife comes out warm.

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I always serve this with a side of bread and a veggie. Sometimes that veggie is salad, sometimes it’s green beans, but the one thing that is always consistent is when poppy seed chicken is on the table, smiles are around it.

I hope your family enjoys this as much as we do.

Until next time,

❤ Lindsay

P.S. This post does contain affiliate links, but my opinions are always my own. Thank you for clicking through!

“Butter” Zucchini Noodles & Grilled Chicken

Where are my grain-free pasta noodle friends? What are your favorite grain-free pastas? I’m all about some banza pasta, shredded spaghetti squash, and zucchini noodles. Our little crew (well, me and my daughter mostly) have a bunch of food-intolerances, so we are very grateful to alternatives to many standard pantry items. Regular pasta, for example, does not seem to play well with my stomach, and it never has. So when I got my KitchenAid spiralizer attachment for my stand mixer earlier this year, zucchini noodles were on the top of my list to start experimenting with at home.

I’ve served them up several ways since I figured out how best to cook them, but this recent dish is my all-time favorite. And, I feel pretty confident in saying it’s my 18-month old’s favorite rendition as well. (See pics below.) I call this dish, “Butter” Zucchini Noodles & Grilled Chicken.

Ingredients:

1 grilled chicken breast per person (we marinated ours in italian dressing before my husband grilled them)

1 medium zucchini per person

1 tbsp SmartBalance Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or your preferred butter substitute) per person

1/8-1/4 tsp Wildtree Rancher Steak Rub (or your preferred steak rub) per person

Directions:

Get your spiralizer set up, or open your package of pre-spiralized zucchini noodles, you lucky ducks who have those in your grocery stores. : ) If you’re going to spiralize your own, be sure you’re using a firm zucchini. Trust me.

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Once you have spiralized your zucchinis into noodles, put your noodles into a large nonstick pan on medium heat.

While your noodles are warming in the pan, slice your grilled chicken breast into smaller pieces.

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Once you’ve cut your chicken breast, use a pair of tongs to toss your zucchini noodles in the pan, and move them to the side of the pan so you can transfer your chicken into the pan and put the zucchini noodles on top of the chicken. (If your chicken is right off the grill, you won’t need to do this, but if you are re-warming the grilled chicken, keep in mind this step is to re-warm the chicken, not to cook it.)

After 2-3 minutes, toss your chicken and zucchini noodles again in the pan and allow them to warm together for another 2 minutes.

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Remove a serving of noodles and chicken out of the pan and into your bowl or onto your plate. Add one tbsp of butter alternative to the top of your noodles/chicken. Then, sprinkle a few shakes of Wildtree Rancher Steak Rub on top of that.

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Non-sponsored plug for Wildtree coming at ya…. Oh my gosh, we love this company and their products. And this steak rub is THE BEST. If I’m stuffing your stocking this Christmas, spoiler alert, you’ll find this in it. I put it on almost every single vegetable I roast or steam too – it’s not just amazing on meat. Actually, I don’t think we’ve ever even used it on steak!

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Your butter alternative will melt on top of your warm zucchini and chicken, so give it a good little spread with your fork to spread the love around. Then watch with delight as your entire family gobbles this dish down.

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Healthy, grain free, dairy free, guilt free, and it’s my new favorite lunch and dinner go-to. I hope your family enjoys it as much as we do!

Until next time,

❤ Lindsay

 

This post does contain affiliate links, but my opinions are always my own. Thank you for clicking through!

The Easiest Overnight Cinnamon French Toast

Every Saturday morning our little family has what we call “Saturday Fun Breakfast.” Sometimes it’s simple like running out for donuts and other Saturdays it’s a big spread like homemade waffles or a sausage, egg, and cream cheese casserole, but this overnight french toast is my happy middle ground effort, go-to breakfast dish. Hence it’s name. This is the easiest, overnight cinnamon french toast you will ever make. Is it fancy like the one Jo-Jo shares in her Magnolia Table cookbook? No. This one has no fancy crumble on top, nor as many decadent ingredients, but that’s what makes it so easy. It’s just a handful of ingredients, that are all probably in your pantry and fridge already, and about 5 minutes of prep time are all it takes to make this warm, crowd-pleasing, easy breakfast.

Ingredients:

Nonstick spray

1 loaf of your favorite sliced cinnamon bread

2.5 cups milk (you can use any kind of milk you want – you can even go crazy and use half-and-half if you want to make a richer breakfast casserole or almond milk if you want a dairy-free breakfast)

6 eggs

1.5 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Maple syrup / powdered sugar / butter – optional, for toppings!

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Directions:

Grab an oven-safe dish (I prefer to use my 9×13 pyrex with a lid when it’s clean! But if it isn’t, I go for a Le Cruset baking dish) and coat the bottom and sides with a good layer of nonstick spray.

Cut your cinnamon bread into bite-size, 1-inch cubes. (This is not a science, so don’t be too worried about cutting them too big or too small.) I toss the cubes into my sprayed-dish as soon as I’ve cut them and fill the pan up as I cut.

 

 

Add your 6 eggs and vanilla extract into your 2.5 cups milk and whisk it all together.

Pour evenly over your cubed cinnamon bread and use your whisk to press the tops of your bread cubes down into the pan so everything gets wet.

Cover your baking dish and let it sit in the fridge overnight (I recommend 6-8 hours).

In the morning, take your dish out of the fridge and take your lid, or whatever you used to cover your dish with, off.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Put your baking dish in the very center of your oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Grab your oven mitts and rotate your baking dish 180 degrees then bake for another 20-30 minutes.

You will know it’s done when you can insert a sharp knife into the center of your casserole, and the knife comes out clean when you remove it.

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My family enjoys this overnight french toast topped with pure maple syrup and a little butter! On Saturday mornings, I’ll sprinkle a little powdered sugar on the kids’ to add a little extra fun factor.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Until next time,

❤ Lindsay

This post does contain affiliate links, but all opinions shared on the blog are always my own. Thank you for clicking through!