Weekly Family Menu Plan - featuring 5 weeknight dinner recipes, a weekend breakfast, and a yummy dessert!


Happy Halloween y’all!

Man, we got SO MUCH RAIN yesterday. Hopefully it’s all done so we go trick-or-treating tonight!

This week’s family menu plan looks delicious as always. We have a couple warm and cozy soup recipes, two slow cooker meals, and pasta with squash sauce! My fave! Plus, coffee cake (cake for breakfast! woohoo!) and brownies!

I hope you have a fun Halloween and if you’ve already done your trick-or-treating, I hope you enjoy all the candy you can steal from your kids!

For more weekly family menu plans, check out the archives!

Click for the full recipe


Happy Friday guys!

What do you think about when you think comforts from home? Something yummy? Chocolate cake? Maybe something your mom made growing up? Or maybe a specific recipe that you make every time you’re feeling a little under the weather?

Any kind of casserole made with rice is my go-to comfort item. I hardly ever eat rice, unless I need something comforting. And it has to have a yummy sauce and be covered in melty cheese! I also go for regular (non diet!) soda, on lots of ice, from a fountain. Weird, right?

This fall Marie Callender’s is relaunching their Comforts From Home Project which aims to bring a little home sweet home to our US military serving around the world. To participate, share a photo on Food Network’s Facebook page, HGTV’s Facebook page, or Travel Channel’s Facebook page of what home means to you! Make sure you tag the Marie Callender’s Facebook page and use hashtag #ComfortsfromHome. Scripps Network will donate $1 for each photo received, up to $10,000! Submitted photos may be featured on Kitchen Crashers on DIY Network and HGTV (airing 11/9 and 11/14), Hello/Goodbye on Travel Channel (airing 11/10), and Guy’s Grocery Games on Food Network and Cooking Channel (airing 12/14 and 12/19). Marie’s has also teamed up with the USO to support USO Operation Celebration™, a program that helps our troops celebrate holidays all year long. Super simple to participate in this one too! Each time you enter a code from specially marked meals and desserts, Marie’s will make a donation to the USO in support of USO Operation Celebration™. You can visit Comforts from Home for all the specifics.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Marie Callender’s. The opinions and text are all mine.


One Pot Pizza Pasta - quick and easy dinner recipe! Sausage, pepperoni, and lots of cheese!

Who else feels like life has been insane since school started? Some days I look up and it’s 5 pm and I have no idea how it happened. It’s like, I’ve been busy all day and I haven’t had a single minute to think about dinner and maybe we’ll just have PB&Js and potato chips. But gahhh, the guilt! So I’ve been trying to plan more easy meals. My new favorite thing is one-pan meals.

I know, I’m so behind the times! But the one-pan meals I’d tried in the past just didn’t do it for me. And then I found this Barilla® Pronto™ pasta which is meant for one-pan meals! It cooks in 10 minutes, there’s no draining required, no boiling before adding it to the sauce – you do it all in one pan! So for this One-Pan Pizza Pasta, I cooked the veggies and meats in the pan and then I added some tomato basil pasta sauce and water and then stirred the Barilla® Pronto™ Rotini right in. I let it cook for 10 minutes, stirred in some cheese, and it was ready to serve!

One Pot Pizza Pasta - quick and easy dinner recipe! Sausage, pepperoni, and lots of cheese!

The entire family loved this meal. It’s everything we love about pizza – sausage, pepperoni, sauce, cheese! – in a delicious and easy pasta dish! Serve this with a salad and a loaf of garlic bread and you’ve got a quick and delicious dinner!

One Pot Pizza Pasta - quick and easy dinner recipe! Sausage, pepperoni, and lots of cheese!

One Pot Pizza Pasta - quick and easy dinner recipe! Sausage, pepperoni, and lots of cheese!

Click for the full recipe


If there is one snack that kind of epitomizes childhood, it’s Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish® crackers.  I can’t take any of my kids to the store without them asking for a bag. And typically, they all want a different flavor so we end up with 3 bags. Plus one for me, of course! I love when they are all sitting at the table with a bowl of Goldfish crackers and next thing you know, all the Goldfish crackers have voices and the good Goldfish crackers are all running from the bad Goldfish crackers and there’s a whole story to go along with it. I know you’re not supposed to play with your food but I can’t be mad when my kids are using their imagination to make up fun stories.
My two oldest (8 and 5) are really into using the whole table as their canvas to create pictures, stories, and to spell words. And I love it because my 5 year old will be starting kindergarten in the fall and I totally feel like he is learning how to spell simple words thanks to his older brother and some Goldfish crackers I can’t wait for his teacher to ask how he learned to spell his name and he says “Pizza Goldfish crackers!” 

So what is your favorite Goldfish cracker flavor? My kids all love the classic Cheddar flavor but I’m so into the newer sweet ones like Vanilla Cupcake and S’mores! And yes, I totally love Goldfish crackers as much as my kids! I won’t lie; I have a bag of Cookies and Cream Goldfish grahams hidden on the top shelf of my pantry right now! They are the perfect sweet treat!

Goldfish crackers launched the Little Moments, Big Smiles campaign in February of 2015 at GoldfishSmiles.comVisit the site to view the latest Goldfish tale and enter the promotion. To enter, share a photo and a story for a chance each month to win a case of Goldfish crackers and for an entry to win the Grand Prize, an amazing trip to a US location of the winner’s choice to create more Goldfish tales.  No purchase necessary. Sweepstakes ends 7/31/15. Must be resident of 50 US/DC, 18 & older. Void where prohibited. Limit one entry per email address/ day.

What’s your favorite way to snack on Goldfish crackers? Tell me in the comments to enter for a chance to win a $100 VISA gift card!

Entry Instructions:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. 

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 5/14/15 – 6/11/15.

Be sure to visit the Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish® brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!


We made it to Fort Hood!

And to make it even more exciting, Fort Hood housing called us when we were still 7 hours away and said our house was ready 2 days early! 

Yeah, we ended up going with on post housing. I had just heard such mixed reviews about the surrounding cities and didn’t want to risk it. Plus, the housing is really nice. Especially compared to Fort Carson! 

Flashing back to when we had our old house, we had two days of packing and moving and then the carpet cleaners had to come in and do whatever they do. 

Cleaning the carpets, I assume.

But anyway, that was the end of 2 very long days since we have kids and dogs that needed to be kept out of the way. Plus, Penelope got loose twice and if you know a husky, you know that they won’t come back when you call them no matter how much they love you.

(I found her. Eating someone’s garbage. Both times.)

We decided that being done with our house was a Lobsterworthy Occasion and headed down to Red Lobster.

Have you seen #LobsterWorthy? People are sharing all the everyday moments that they consider worthy of lobster and it’s really cool to scroll through. 


Lobsterfest is currently going on at Red Lobster and I’m sure you know what that means. It’s the one time of year that Red Lobster guests can choose from the largest variety of lobster dishes on the menu. It’s Red Lobster’s best and most celebratory limited time special. 

Special lobster dishes at reasonable prices in a cute seaside atmosphere? I’m there! 

I, of course, started out with the Lobster Punch! It’s available exclusively during Lobsterfest and I couldn’t pass it up. It features features Malibu Red, pineapple juice and mango passion fruit mix, topped with Myers’s Dark Rum.

And for a starter we got the Lobster-Artichoke-and-Seafood Dip which is available all year, not just during Lobsterfest. It was delicious – look at those giant chunks of lobster! 

For dinner, my husband went with the Ultimate Feast! It has a split Maine lobster tail, steamed North American snow crab legs, garlic shrimp scampi and Walt’s Favorite Shrimp. My husband was a happy camper after all that.

I ordered the Ultimate Surf and Turf (the very top photo in this post) which came with a Maine lobster tail baked with crab-and-seafood stuffing, paired with a peppercorn-seasoned grilled sirloin topped with Maine lobster meat in a citrus-hollandaise sauce. It was unbelievably good. 

And yes, I order french fries with literally everything I eat.

Lobsterfest is only going on for a limited time so make sure you check it out at Red Lobster soon! And when you go, use #LobsterWorthy on social media to share your celebration!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.