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From Scratch Cheese Potatoes / Hashbrown Casserole / Whatever you want to call it

This concoction of frozen hashbrowns, a creamy cheesy mixture and a corn flake topping is called many things. I grew up calling it Hashbrown Casserole. Rob grew up calling it Cheese (or Cheesy) Potato Casserole. I've also seen it called Funeral Potatoes. Honestly, it should just be called Pot-Luck Potatoes because I bet nearly every pot luck in the Midwest/Central corridor of the country has at least once Pyrex with this dish on the food table. 
And who can blame us? It's cheese, potatoes, and a crunchy topping! Both sides of our family incorporates this dish in to many functions throughout the year. It's not Easter without this on the menu. Both sides of the family make them nearly the same way as well - frozen hashbrowns, cream of chicken/mushroom soup, sour cream, cheese, LOTS of butter, and the cornflake topping. 
Several years ago I was "assigned" to bring them to Easter brunch. Rob was complaining about being sick of them since we have them so often, so I …
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Triple Layer Chocolate Pudding Pie

I'm certain I've said it before, but I'm not a huge chocolate fan. But I've always had a soft spot for chocolate pudding. One day, when I was looking through recipes to make for Thanksgiving, knowing others were bringing the traditional pies, Tyler saw a French Silk pie that he wanted me to make. I didn't want to deal with the raw eggs, so I decided to keep looking, but still making a chocolate pie. He'd never know the difference anyway, right?

When looking for new recipes to try, especially for the kids, I base my search on appearances. I'll check Pinterest, but more often than not I do a Google Image search. Which led me to this pie. When I opened and saw it was a Kraft recipe using pudding I knew it'd be simple and delicious. Simple enough that Tyler pretty much made this on his own for Thanksgiving (at 6.5 years old).

He was ob.ses.sed. Every time I needed to make a dessert after then he asked for this pie. The time never came to make it, until his …

Build a (Binkie) Bear - how we finally got rid of the binkie!

Sometimes I feel like I’ve got this parenting thing down. Other times I would look at my 3.5 year old little girl with the binkie in her mouth and wonder how could I have let this go on so long? But, with Gwyneth, I feel like we’re first time parents again, and this was new territory for us. The difference between her and Tyler is night and day! Ty gave up his pacifier at seven months old!
Now, Gwyneth. Girlfriend was an addict! My plan all along was to get her off the binkie by two, but the thing is, we used every single excuse we could come up with to not have to deal with the aftermath of getting rid of the beloved binkie. In a wedding. Moving twice in five months. New day care. Cross-country flight. Transitioning to a big girl bed….
Finally, we were out of excuses, and honestly just over it. That binkie ruled her life.  We tried a few tricks, and nothing worked. Cutting the nub, our Elf on the Shelf and later the Easter Bunny taking it back, donating to babies without binkies. N…

Let today be the start of something new

When I recently started blogging again, one of the things that got me going was the idea that while primarily a food blog, this was not going to be ONLY a food blog any longer. Ultimately the main reason I stopped blogging for so long was that I just did not want to take the extra time to put together a meal to photograph. Once dinner was done, it was time to eat. I had a toddler and a newborn to get fed and ready for bed, a kitchen that needed to be cleaned in order to take photographs, and by the time it’s all set and done – a bottle of wine to open and a couch just calling my name.
And while food is a big part of our lives – we gotta eat, right?! – it’s not the only part of my life. When I started blogging again I decided I wanted to write the occasional post about something else in my life. Whether that’s parenting, health, home d├ęcor/projects, books, or even fashion. Believe me, I am NOT an expert on any of this. Like many, I try my best to be a good parent, I want to be health…

No Bake S'mores Cheesecake Cups

Hi S'mores, have you met cheesecake? I think you'd be perfect together!

I'm not always a matchmaker, but when I see two things as glorious as S'mores and cheesecake, I just know it's going to be a match made in heaven.

And that's exactly what this is. I love a good graham cracker crust. Add some marshmallow cheesecake and hello! Toast (or char if you're like me!) a marshmallow. Add some chocolate here and there. Baby you got a stew going.

Note: I'm not really going to provide measurements for how much each layer should be - that really depends on how big  your vessel is and how many you plan on making. Lots of shot glasses? Smaller amounts. You will kind of just need to eyeball it. However, if you have extras just put them in a bowl and eat an extra one for yourself while no one is looking!

No Bake S'mores Cheesecake cups
Ingredients:
For the crust
4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs

For the chocolate ganache
4 ounces milk…

No Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni

Hamburger Helper. We all know it. We've likely all had it. And I'm sure I'm not the only one that has given in to time and convenience to buy it and actually make it. I mean, it's cheap, easy, quick, and at the end of the day, not one of the worst things I've ever eaten.

That said, it's not one of the worst things I've ever had. That doesn't mean it's awesome. But, Rob and the kids love it. And I like it in theory - pasta. cheese. one pot. I like all of those things! But why do I feel so guilty making it?! Oh, because it's a sodium bomb that is chock full of preservatives and artificial ingredients, that's why.

I'm not going to get all sanctimommy and judge anyone that cooks for budget and convenience, I still do it a lot! But if I can try to incorporate healthier versions of some of my family's favorite "middle aisle" foods I'm going to try. Especially if it's been a trying few weeks with the kids just not wanting…

Slow Cooker Ribs

Is anyone else crushing on the fact that it is FINALLY spring?! I normally don't mind winter, but come on - this is not Westeros and winter can (and should) come and go here.

I've really been anxious for spring this year because we are getting a patio poured in our backyard this week. Since it's been a hot minute since I've posted (you know, three years I think) I should catch you up that we moved about two years ago to a new build, and therefore our yard has been a bit lackluster. Last fall we built the kids a playground, and now we will finally have a patio where we can hang out while they play, like respectable adults versus sitting in lawn chairs on the grass.

With the new patio comes more grilling, which I'm coming around too, but ribs are just something I've never been able to successfully grill. Rob wants a smoker, and maybe now that we have a patio we can get one, but I really don't see the need to reinvent the wheel here - I've always had trem…