Bleh, Monday.

My husband goes back to work today and it’ll be really strange since he’s been on leave for over a month. He had to shave his beloved “leave beard” yesterday in preparation and I swear he almost cried. And then when the baby (who’s not a baby) saw him without the beard, he said, “Hey. Your head looks funny.”

I died. 

Anyway, I hope your whole weekend was fantastic. Broncos lost. I’m dealing with it. We won’t talk about it anymore.

We went to IKEA on Saturday. And btw, IKEA on a Saturday is not really a great idea. But, you know. 

Since it’s in Denver (like a 40 minute drive for us) we’ve been planning this trip for awhile and I had ridiculously long list of things that we needed. I figured, I only go once a year – I might as well make the best of it. Right?

So then my husband (should I start calling him by his name? I can’t decide) spent all Saturday night and most of yesterday building ALL THE THINGS. The little ones got bunk beds and we got a new bed for the big one and a TV stand and several other things that required lots of sweat and curse words from the husband.

It was fun.

The kids had these Hawaiian Sloppy Joes for lunch yesterday and absolutely loved them. The baby (yeah, the one that’s not a baby) kept eating all the meat mixture off his bun and then yelling, “MORE SLOPPY, PLEASE” which made the meal even more entertaining than it usually is. 

But they’re really delicious and I had way more spoonfuls of the meat than I put in My Fitness Pal. Gahhhh, I love sloppy joes. 

So what makes it Hawaiian? Pineapple juice, soy sauce, ginger, aaaaaaand BACON. How can that be bad? My kids tore through the whole pot during lunch. No leftovers. I was impressed. 

Click for the full recipe


My kids love meatballs. I could literally put a bowl of meatballs – no sauce, no pasta, nothing – in front of them and they would tell me it was the best meal they ever had.

I’ve had these Turkey Teriyaki Meatballs bookmarked forever but kept putting it off because I wasn’t sure if they would dig the teriyaki sauce. I finally made these a few weeks ago and my kids gobbled them up. There were zero meatballs left when my husband came home from the gym. Whoops.

They really are delicious and pretty healthy. And I especially love that the recipe only calls for things that I always have in the house! I served them on brown rice and drizzled some of the sauce over the rice but you could just serve them on toothpicks as an appetizer if you wanted.

Three years ago: Salted Butter Break-Ups
Four years ago: Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Five years ago: Parmesan Pull-Aparts

Turkey Teriyaki Meatballs


For the meatballs:
1 1/4 lb. ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean-up) and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Add all of the ingredients for the meatballs to a large bowl and use your hands to combine until evenly distributed – try not to overmix. Using about 2 tablespoons of the mixture (I just eyeballed it), form the meatballs by rolling the mixture into a ball in your hands. Arrange the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.
  3. To make the sauce: Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients in a small pan and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.
  4. When the meatballs have finished cooking, remove them from the oven and brush liberally with the sauce then return to the oven for 5 minutes. Serve with remaining sauce.


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I’m sure I’ve talked about my love of hashbrowns a million times but today I’m going to talk about it some more. I love fried potatoes in pretty much every form but I’m pretty sure I could happily survive on hashbrowns alone for the rest of my life.

About a month ago I posted a recipe using the diced hashbrowns and it became a family favorite almost instantly.

This past weekend I headed to Walmart for an Ore Ida Hash Browns demo. I hung out with the sweet demo lady for about an hour and got to hear all about the Ore Ida Hash Browns and the Cheesy Potato Casserole that she was making. It’s delicious and super simple!

Cheesy Potato Casserole

from Ore Ide


1 (10.5 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup *
2 Cups Sour cream
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground black pepper
2 Cups Shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 Cup Sliced green onions
1 Package (30 oz.) Ore-Ida® Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes
2 Cups Crushed corn flake cereal
1/4 Cup Butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 13x9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together soup, sour cream, salt and pepper. Stir in cheese, onion and hash browns until well mixed. Spoon evenly into baking dish.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together cereal and butter. Sprinkle evenly on top of hash brown mixture.
  4. Bake uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste if desired. Garnish with additional sliced green onion if desired.

After tasting the Cheesy Potato Casserole at the demo, I wanted to make something with the Ore Ida Shredded Hash Browns and I came up with this Hashbrown Taco Casserole.

i know, sounds weird but hear me out. Whenever my BFF from back home and I would make late night runs to our favorite taco drive-thru, I always got a potato taco. I just love them!

So there’s everything that I’d put in a potato taco but without the taco shell! I used the Ore Ida Shredded Hash Browns, ground turkey, beans, olives, cheese. It turned out really good and if you had some taco shells in your pantry, you could definitely make a extra delicious meal by stuffing this into them!

Ore Ida has an awesome Disney’s Frozen Sweepstakes going on right now which you can check out on their site.

Hashbrown Taco Casserole


1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 pound lean ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup taco seasoning
3/4 cup water
1 (14-ounce) can kidney beans
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 cup salsa
3 cups Ore Ida Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes, thawed
2 cups cheddar cheese
sour cream, cilantro, and extra salsa, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 3 quart baking dish with oil. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Once hot, add onion and ground turkey. Cook, breaking apart meat, until turkey is completely cooked through. Drain if necessary and return to pan over medium heat.
  3. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together taco seasoning and water. Add to the turkey mixture and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and allow it to cook down until the meat is coated in the taco seasoning.
  4. Stir in kidney beans, black olives, salsa, and Ore-Ida Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes.
  5. Spoon half of the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese over top. Spoon the remaining mixture into the dish and top with the rest of the cheese.
  6. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until the dish is bubbly and the hash browns are completely cooked.
  7. Serve hot with sour cream, cilantro, and extra salsa on the side.



I’m definitely dreading dinner tomorrow night. My kid gets to wear his costume to school and alllllll afternoon I’ll have to listen to “Is it time yet?!” and then there will be a huge fight at dinner time because he’ll be too busy pretending to be a Power Ranger to eat. I’m hoping a fun dinner like this will ease my pain.

These eyeballs were such a hit with the kids! I mean, of course it’s fun to pretend to eat eyeballs!

The meatballs themselves are as fantastic as they sound. Put pesto in anything and I’ll probably love it. And they couldn’t be easier since the meatballs are baked in the sauce. If you aren’t a fan of turkey, you could use beef or chicken or whatever ground meat you typically buy.

What’s your plan for dinner tomorrow?

One year ago: Southern Comfort Apple Pie
Two years ago: Falafel
Three years ago: Pomegranate Butter Chicken

Turkey Eyeballs (Turkey Pesto Meatballs)


1 pound lean ground turkey
1/4 cup pesto
1/4 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
sliced black olives (about 7 olives)
3 cups marinara sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine turkey, pesto, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt, and black pepper. Use your hands to make sure everything is incorporated evenly.
  3. Using about 1 tablespoon of the mixture per meatball, roll into balls and place on a plate. Press a slice of olive on top of each meatball.
  4. Pour the marinara sauce into a 9 x 9 inch baking pan and top with the meatballs.
  5. Cover with foil and bake until meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Serve over noodles,.


Last week we passed the 2 month mark of my husband’s first deployment. I had been going over and over a post I wanted to write about it.

A post about how I had reached a comfortable spot. A spot where I didn’t worry.

I wanted to tell others who were starting their first deployment that the first week is worse than you can imagine (sorry) and even though you feel like you’ll never pull out of the funk, you will. I wanted to tell them that there will be a day when someone will say “Your life doesn’t stop just because he’s deployed” and you won’t yell “BUT IT DOES!”

I wanted to tell you guys how the day after my husband deployed I was emailing with a friend whose husband had already been gone a few months and she said, “Just remember that 90% of the time they aren’t doing anything and the other 10% they’re doing exactly what they were trained to do” and it helped me more than she’ll ever know.

And then the company my husband is attached lost a soldier on Friday.

I know that there isn’t a situation in the world that is made better by worrying and yet that’s all I’ve done for the past few days. I worry about my husband, about our friends who are also deployed, about the family who’s having to deal with the loss of their soldier, about anything that could possibly be worried about.

Gosh, I hate to be such a downer but I really struggled this past weekend. It’s hard to know that a member of the 1-12 Infantry family is now without her husband and 2 kids without their daddy. But that’s the reality of war and I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to it.

I’m posting these burgers today because my husband would hate them! He would probably refuse to eat them and then whine to his friends about how I tried to poison him with *gasp* peanut butter burgers.

But I loved them! And even my kids enjoyed them! They peanut in the burgers isn’t super obvious so if you wanted to serve them to someone who doesn’t like “weird” food, just leave the sauce off and they probably wouldn’t be able to pick peanut butter out as an ingredient.

Happy post tomorrow, I promise! It involves bar cookies!

One year ago: Sticky Fingers Bars
Two years ago: Pecan Brownies
Four years ago: Homemade Fig Newtons

Thai Turkey Burgers with Peanut Sauce

adapted from Iowa Girl Eats


For the peanut sauce:
3 tablespoons peanut butter (I used chunky)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 - 2 tablespoons water
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (like Sriracha)
1 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
For the burgers:
1 pound ground turkey
½ cup grated carrot
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 green onion, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
hamburger buns
lettuce (or toppings of choice)


    To make peanut sauce:
  1. Combine peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon water, garlic, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, honey, and ground ginger in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth (if you’re using chunk peanut butter, don't process until all the chunks are gone - the peanuts make it better!). If it's not coming together for you, slowly drizzle in the remaining 1 tablespoon of water until it reaches the desired consistency. Set aside about 3 tablespoons of the sauce - you will use the rest in the burgers.
  2. To make the burgers:
  3. Combine remaining peanut sauce with ground turkey, grated carrots, sliced green onion, chopped cilantro, salt and red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Mix until just combined and form into 4 equal patties.
  4. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and spray with non-stick spray. Cook patties for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until browned on the outside and cooked through.
  5. Put the burgers on buns and top with peanut sauce and any other toppings you desire.