Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole! Ground beef or turkey in a delicious sloppy joe sauce topped with cheese and tater tots! Kids love this one!

Originally posted March 2014. Photos updated April 2016. 

I know. It’s way too early in the morning to be talking about things like tater tot casseroles.

I’m sorry.

I was sick all weekend – all weekend! – and didn’t have time to get a bunch of yummy things baked and photographed. I made this and it’s delicious and amazing but I couldn’t stop coughing long enough to take pictures. Being sick is the worst.

I threw this Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole together for my kids yesterday and there wasn’t a tater tot left by the end of dinner. They loved it! I won’t lie, I didn’t think it sounded very good but I stole a couple bites and didn’t hate it. I like sloppy joes, I love tater tots – so yeah, I think I’m just embarrassed to say that I liked it.

Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole! Ground beef or turkey in a delicious sloppy joe sauce topped with cheese and tater tots! Kids love this one!

Click for the full recipe

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This article has been compensated by PAM Cooking Spray. All opinions are mine alone. #PAMCookingSpray

Twice Baked Red Potatoes recipe - bacon and cheese filled small potatoes!

One of my favorite things about this time of year is the anticipation of the holidays and holiday meals. I’ve had a forever long list of Thanksgiving menu ideas on my desk since August.

Last year it was kind of up in the air whether my husband would be home in time for Thanksgiving (deployment) and he ended up coming home on Thanksgiving. So it was super simple since the boys and we spent several hours at the welcome home ceremony. This year though? I wanna go all out. Because next year my husband will probably be gone again. So why not?

Twice Baked Red Potatoes recipe - bacon and cheese filled small potatoes!

One of my favorite and most important ingredients in my cooking, especially around the holidays, is PAM Cooking Spray. I use it pretty much every day of my life but because I use my vintage Pyrex dishes (handwash only!) for all holiday meals, I am most definitely spritzing everything with PAM Cooking Spray. PAM Cooking Spray leaves 99% less residue than margarine or bargain-brand sprays so clean up is quick and easy! It just makes life so much easier. Really, who wants to spend time scrubbing dishes after the Thanksgiving meal?

*vs. leading cooking sprays (except olive oil), after spraying on glass bakeware, baking at 400°F for 30 min, cooling, and then washing in standard home dishwasher with detergent and repeating 4 times.

Twice Baked Red Potatoes recipe - bacon and cheese filled small potatoes!

These Twice Baked Red Potatoes are something you could serve for a holiday meal or just with a regular weeknight dinner! My husband and I used to make these when we lived in our very first apartment before we had kids. We’d make baked chicken with a salad and these potatoes and we felt like real adults. Because we bought raw potatoes and cooked them ourselves.

The recipe is super simple. Just bake the potatoes on a PAM Cooking Spray coated pan until their fork tender. Scrape out the insides and mix it with all kinds of cheesy goodness (and bacon!) and then put it back in the potato shells. So easy and so yummy! You can’t go wrong with potatoes with cheese and bacon!

For more information on PAM Cooking Spray, visit www.PAMCookingSpray.com. Follow PAM on Facebook and Pinterest for recipes and cooking tips!

Twice Baked Red Potatoes recipe - bacon and cheese filled small potatoes!

Click for the full recipe

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Corn and Chicken Chowder

Can we talk about how it just keeps snowing here in Colorado?

I didn’t really expect snow because last I’d heard, the weather guy was literally saying “Expect between 2 inches and 32 inches” which, you know, is kind of a broad range. And the jerk’s been known to lie about snow before. Plus the grocery stores were packed because everyone was buying ALL THE BOTTLED WATER and I just wanted to yell, “Quit! You’re jinxing it and it’s never going to snow and you’re going to be stuck with 57 cases of bottled water in your laundry room!” 

Yeah, I’m totally that annoying person that doesn’t talk about certain things or won’t do certain things because I’m afraid of jinxing something. 

My brain. It does funny things. 

But anyway, it snowed a ton (somewhere between 2 and 32 inches – thanks weather guy!) and like I mentioned yesterday, we went sledding and then we went sledding some more and then we threw snowballs at each other. Because who knows when we’ll live in a snowy place again!

I made this Corn and Chicken Chowder to warm up after all the sledding. I don’t really know what inspired me to make soup because my kids seriously have no idea what to do with soup. But I think this one was thick enough and had enough going on because they were all about it. My oldest even said, “I had no idea I liked soup!” 

It’s got corn and chicken and potatoes. And there may even be some bacon in there! 

Yeah, there’s definitely bacon. 

Corn and Chicken Chowder

Click for the full recipe

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Yesterday my kid came home and told me that they’d had a lockdown. It happens more than it probably should (#armylife) and thankfully it’s always nothing.

Really, it’s usually a parent threatening to punch the principal or something. 

And no, it’s never been me.

Yet.

Anyway, I asked what happened and he said, “There was a mountain lion! I saw it’s footprints on the playground on the way home!”

I was all, “Yeah….” and sent him upstairs to do his homework. So I went to my husband and said, “Hey, he said they had a lockdown because of a mountain lion.”

And he said, “Yeah, it’s possible. We see all kinds of things on the ranges.”

“What? Like they just come through the gate? That jerk wouldn’t let me through unless I took my sunglasses off the other day. But they’re letting mountain lions in?”

“Uhhh, a mountain lion could jump the fence. Pretty awesome, huh?”

And now I’m terrified. Of mountain lions. Hanging out in my backyard.

So in honor of the kid that may be telling me the truth or may be just trying to really scare his mother, I made something I knew he’d love.

Burger and Fries Pot Pie!

It’s really simple and my kids all loved it. It’s ground beef with some diced tomatoes and cheese and then it’s all topped with crinkle-cut French fries. How can that be bad? We won’t talk about how many French fries I stole off the top. 

Click for the full recipe

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Today starts 5 days off school for all my children.

Who decided this was a good idea?

Someone should’ve consulted me before such an important decision was made.

On the brightside, I don’t have to go anywhere today. I will change into workout clothes and then right back into pajamas after my workout. And a shower, of course.

Tomorrow, however, is parent/teacher conferences. The reason the kids have 5 days off. Uggghhhh. I’m always so nervous going into those things. You guys already know that I’m prone to crying when I’m aggravated and there’s nothing worse than crying in a meeting with your kid’s teacher.

Because then you’re that parent the rest of the year.

Another good thing about today (and Thursdays in general this time of year) is that we get football! And you should probably make some Sloppy Joe Fries to eat while you watch football. Why have a boring dinner when you can have fries covered in sloppy joe meat and cheese?

I had my doubts about sloppy joe meat on fries but you guys, it was so good. Especially with all the melted cheese on top! I put green onions, cherry tomatoes, and jalapeños on mine but you can leave them plain or pile on whatever toppings you like!

Click for the full recipe

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