My number 1 goal for the summer was to go to the aquarium. I’ve been putting it off because it’s in Denver and Denver feels so far away. When in reality, it’s only 40 minutes. And after surviving the Epic Summer Roadtrip of 2014, I decided that a 40 minute drive was doable.

So we did the aquarium yesterday and it was awesome.

While we were standing in line to buy tickets, I noticed that the lady in front of me had a Trader Joe’s tote bag and I did the loudest internal scream. TRADER JOE’S! I’ve never even seen one!

Obviously we went there after the aquarium.

You guys, I was so underwhelmed when we got there. It’s like the size of a Walgreens.

But I quickly learned that they jam so much goodness into that little Walgreens-sized building. I bought so much meat and so many coconut products. And that pretty much sums up my diet.

That really has nothing to do with these chicken thighs but I wanted to share because I’m super excited that A) I went to Trader Joe’s! And B) I now realize that it’s only 40 minutes away and it’s totally worth it to make the drive once a month or so.

These chicken thighs are my current favorite protein. I’ve gotten into a ground turkey rut the past few months – that’s pretty much all I’ve been putting on my salads – and I was desperate to switch things up. So I started cooking these thighs once a week and then using the meat on my salads or just as a quick snack or meal. I use the Newman’s Own Lite Honey Mustard every day of my life and these are SO GOOD with it. And they’re super simple: just a quick brown on the stove and then baked for 20 minutes!

Seriously easy and seriously good.

Click for the full recipe


It has been awhile since I’ve done a yeast recipe but yesterday just called for one. Despite the weather people saying we were just going to get a few flurries, it snowed pretty steadily for a couple hours. And that kind of weather requires a cheesy, comforting meal with a fresh-out-of-the-oven yeast roll.

And y’all, I have to say that I’m kind of ready to be done with snow. I love it, I look forward to it, but this year has been so weird! Normally it melts within a day for us but half our backyard is currently a big slab of ice! Plus the snow means I’m without a car since my husband still hasn’t replaced the broken windshield wipers on his car that I complained about 10 months ago. In his mind, there’s no point since he’ll just be deploying soon anyway.

Men have weird brains.

But that has nothing to do with these fabulous Honey Yeast Rolls. I really love when yeast breads have honey in them and I really, really love when they are brushed with honey butter after coming out of the oven. These guys are so soft and fluffy and basically my idea of the perfect dinner roll. My husband has already claimed the leftovers to make sandwiches.

One year ago: Iced Oatmeal Cookies
Two years ago: Thai Chicken Quesadillas

Honey Yeast Rolls
adapted from Handle the Heat
  • 1 packet 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup whole milk scalded and cooled to lukewarm
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For the honey butter:
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, stir the yeast, water, milk, honey, 2 tablespoons of the butter, egg, and salt until well combined. Gradually add the flour and knead on medium-low speed until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Continue to knead the dough on medium-low speed for another 5 minutes, or until the dough is soft and smooth. If it seems too sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  2. Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  3. Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Cut the dough into 2-inch squares. Transfer the squares to a baking sheet and cover. Let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the rolls for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. To make the honey butter, whisk together the melted butter and honey. Brush on rolls as soon as they come out of the oven.


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We had a chicken nugget at my house last night! Saturdays are usually football day in my house – well, let’s be real Thursday – Monday are all usually football days in my house but Saturday is the most important. But anyway, both of our teams were off so instead of watching all the games like we usually, we decided to have a movie day. Since no movie day is complete without fun food, I ran out to Walmart for the new Tyson chicken nuggets – Spicy and Cheesy! – and whipped up some sauces for dipping.

The new nuggets are so flavorful that they really don’t even need dipping sauces but it’s always fun to dip nuggets, right?

The Cheesy nuggets are so delicious and as the name says, they are super cheesy! They have little cheese pockets throughout the nugget – the kind that oozes out during baking and turns extra yummy. I won’t lie, I cooked up the few nuggets we had left after the kids were in bed so I wouldn’t have to share.

The Spicy ones were also fantastic. My husband has been obsessed with the Tyson Buffalo Chicken Strips for months now so I knew these would be something he loved. And he did. They are spicy but not so spicy that the kids and I can’t handle them.

I served them with my favorite smiley face fries because… well, you never need an excuse for smiley face fries!

This was such a fun and easy dinner! The kids loved having two different nuggets to choose from and 3 sauces.

And speaking of sauces, I used a couple of my favorite fast food chicken nugget sauces as inspiration. The first is hot mustard which is pretty much just like it sounds: a spicy mustard. It is SO good and perfect on chicken nuggets!

The second one is Honey Roasted BBQ which might be my all time favorite sauce for chicken nuggets. It’s a sweet barbecue sauce and it was awesome with the Tyson Cheesy Chicken Nuggets! It is a little more involved but it is so worth it!

If you are like me and always on the hunt for quick dinner ideas that satisfies everyone in your family, make sure you check out the Tyson Spicy and Cheesy Chicken Nuggets! Walmart will be having a demo of the Cheesy nuggets on November 15 so if you want to try them before you buy, make sure you head to your local Walmart next week!

You can also follow Tyson on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with all their products.



So you know how I keep telling you guys that I suck at cooking dinner these days? Well I’m trying something new. I’m letting the boys each pick out a recipe every week so that they harass me until I eventually cook. I know, novel idea, cooking what my family wants and all. Anyway.

I sat both kids down in front of my Pinterest boards over the weekend and my 2 year old picked out these meatballs. (He also picked out the crinkle fries and corn on the cob. Smart kid.) Honey and chipotle is one of my favorite combinations and I knew it would be a hit with the boys as well. I did worry a little about the heat but I ended up using only 1 1/2 chipotle peppers just to be safe.

They loved the meatballs, of course. Even the baby dug them! This was a quick and easy and definitely something I’ll be making again. My husband is going to love them because they’re pretty similar to his beloved Honey Chipotle Chicken Crispers.

One year ago: S’mores Treat
Two years ago:  Bruschetta

Honey Chipotle Turkey Meatballs
  • 1 ½ pound ground turkey
  • ½ yellow onion diced small
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2-4 tablespoons chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the turkey, onion, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Use your hands to make sure it’s uniformly mixed but be careful not to overmix. Form into 16 golf ball-sized meatballs.
  3. Put a large ovenproof skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once it is shimmering, add the meatballs. Cook until they are browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Move the skillet to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and pour the sauce over the meatballs. Bake for another 5 minutes (swirling the pan at the halfway point), or until the sauce has reduced to glaze the meatballs and the meatballs are cooked through. Make sure not to overcook!

6067225371 895e95e9e7 Secret Recipe Club   Honey Sesame Pork Loin

It’s time again for another Secret Recipe Club post! This time my assignment was Jane Deere. Jennifer, the blogger behind Jane Deere, is actually trained in the culinary arts so it was really fun to go digging through her blog. She’s very talented and loves to experiment in the kitchen. I wasn’t even done reading the first page before I had pinned 3 of her recipes – I definitely found my blog soul mate in Jennifer.

I ended up making her Honey Sesame Pork Loin because I love anything coated in sesame seeds. It was such a great choice! The pork loin is first marinated in a soy sauce mixture and then it’s coated in a honey mixture before being rolled in sesame seeds. It only had to cook for about 30 minutes before it was perfectly cooked and ready to be served. So easy, so quick, and so impressive!

6067217593 d49920c5c2 Secret Recipe Club   Honey Sesame Pork Loin


Secret Recipe Club – Honey Sesame Pork Loin
  • 1 to 1 ½ pounds pork tenderloin
  • ½ cup less sodium soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar firmly packed
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • Reserved Marinade
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  1. Combine soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a large plastic bag. Add tenderloin. Marinate all day or at least 2 hours in refrigerator.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Combine honey, hoisin sauce, and brown sugar in a shallow bowl. Remove tenderloin from marinade and reserve marinade; pat meat dry with a paper towel. Roll tenderloin in honey mixture, and then roll in sesame seeds. Place in a shallow pan and roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until temperature registers 160 degrees on a meat thermometer. Tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
  4. Pour off marinade into a small sauce pot with hoisin sauce, honey, and apple juice, and place over medium-high heat and reduce, stirring constantly. Reduce until sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Set aside for serving.
  5. After meat has rested 10 minutes, slice and place on platter. Drizzle with reduced glaze.