Fill a Plate this #Thanksgiving w/ No Kid Hungry

no kid hungry pic

As a blog ambassador for No Kid Hungry, it’s imperative that I make you aware of a very important campaign happening RIGHT NOW.  Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is committed to ending childhood hunger in America by connecting kids in need with nutritious food and teaching families how to cook healthy, affordable meals.

Doesn’t every parent want to give their children what they need to be happy, grow and thrive. Can you imagine what it would be like if you couldn’t give them what they needed?

Sadly, that’s the case for 1 in 5 children in our country.

The holidays are a special time for families to be together, and for kids, they can even be magical. Join No Kid Hungry to make sure that every child gets a nutritious holiday meal this season.

Together, let’s help FILL THE PLATE t for hungry kids this Thanksgiving.

You can fill a plate for a hungry child right now – and ensure there is a future where no kid is hungry.

I hope you’ll join me.  For the cost of your Thanksgiving dinner ($49), you can provide up to 490 meals to hungry children this holiday season and throughout the year.

Please consider making a donation here!

Thank you.

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

turkey chili

We are on a slow cooker roll, and a chili bender too.  If you’ve got a good thing going in the kitchen, why stop?

I know it sounds obvious but making simple tweaks to a “kid-approved” recipe will probably create another new dish that will pass the test with your most discerning underage critics.

Last week I made our favorite Slow Cooker Chicken Chili.  It was a hit with everyone, as always.  There was not a drop left in the slow cooker.  This week, I made a Slow Cooker Turkey Chili that’s a riff off the other recipe.  Guess what?  Another HIT.

I love sharing these slow cooker recipes because I know how often many of us struggle to make dinnertime with the kids just a little more exciting.  And, with slow cookers, there’s an entire layer of stress and mess that’s removed from the dinner prep equation.

There’s no enjoyment having cranky, hungry kids especially when arguments ensue over eating the meal that’s being served.  I’m not a short order cook.  There aren’t options at my dinner table so there’s a lot invested in the main dish.

For this chili, I love the flavor of the cream of tomato soup base.  Many turkey chili recipes use regular tomato soup but the little touch in cream adds a subtle sweetness.  I was definitely hesitant using kidney beans as neither kid has ever tried them but I figured there are enough flavors to offset the beans.  Of course, I added in Rotel for some kick- my favorite discovery last year.  Don’t fret; you can improvise with diced tomatoes and diced green chilies if your local market doesn’t carry the can.

Like most slow cooker recipes, just dump your ingredients into the cooker and let it slowly work its magic over the next 7-8 hours.  There’s something to be said for leaving early am and not having to think about dinner when you’re rushing around up until dinner’s witching hour.  I was even lazier and used my slow cooker like a serving piece right on the kitchen table.  I merely ladled the chili into bowls and added a side of some fresh pretzel bread (another favorite with the kids).

This dish is super hearty and tasty with a spicy KICK to every spoonful.  It’s best when eaten in a bowl with a spoon.

We had a bunch of leftovers that I split into two containers: one to freeze for later use and one to eat the next day for lunch (and dinner).

Halloween: Bake it Happen


What are your plans for Halloween?

Did you know that it’s the last weekend of our month-long baking campaign for breast cancer research?

What started three years ago as a way to continue to spread my mother’s culinary legacy among family and friends has grown exponentially beyond our wildest dreams.

From radio interviews to on-air exposure to dozens of writers supporting our efforts, the power of promotion coupled with an authentic fundraiser that simply requires baking sprinkled with some love, has turned Bake it Happen into a huge success.

Seeing pictures submitted of mom’s recipes baked by friends and family to complete strangers from across the country, is emotionally overwhelming.

To my sister and me, as corny as this might sound, baking equals love.  Sharing delicious baked goods is what my mother enjoyed doing.  It brought people together and created so many personal connections that still remain so strong, even years after her death.

So of course, with only one weekend left, it’s our last-ditch effort to get you to join us and BAKE IT HAPPEN.

Last year we helped to raise over $15,ooo for our partner, The Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation, which was in turn granted to one Dr. working tirelessly in the field of breast cancer research.

Let’s beat that monetary goal.

Remember, this campaign is unlike any others.  You don’t have to RUN in a RACE, or CLIMB a MOUNTAIN.

You don’t even have to HOST a BAKE SALE and solicit people for MONEY.

All YOU have to do is BAKE one of Judy’s recipes on our site and SHARE them with your friends.

Then UPLOAD a photo of your goods with #bakeithappen.  That’s IT!

Every time a photo is uploaded, $10 will be DONATED to the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation.

Check out some of our favorite photos and JOIN US, it’s too easy and tasty to pass up.  Your trick or treaters will LOVE these treats:


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One Pan Mexican Quinoa


We all struggle to diversify mealtime. I’m constantly wracking my brain to come up with dishes that will hold the interest of my kids, both of whom have very different palates. After becoming personally invested in what they eat, I’ve learned that sometimes, merely making tweaks to a base dish that’s already been kid-approved will be successful.

Last year was the year of Quinoa in my house.  I fell in love with it and prepared every dish I could to get my kids to fall in love with it too.  From quinoa salads to quinoa casseroles to quinoa bakes to even quinoa soup, there wasn’t a week that went by without this ingredient somewhere on the menu.  Then, when it become overkill, I gave this seed (often called the “ancient grain”) some much-needed shelf time.

This week, as the weather started turning cooler and I was searching for some heartier side dishes, I came across a wonderful recipe from one of my favorite online hubs, Tip Hero.  Most appealing was the recipe’s tag line, “when you need a healthy weeknight supper and you don’t want to dirty more than one pan.”


One pan? Just a few ingredients? Minutes later a healthy dish of Mexican Quinoa?

I was sold.

Lucky for me, I had all of the ingredients in my stocked pantry.

I always find videos extremely helpful and working alongside Tip Hero.  I think I got so excited that I wasn’t focusing enough on the actual ingredient amounts.  I accidentally used a large 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes so I needed to drastically increase the amount of quinoa to offset the liquidity of the dish.  Next time around, I wouldn’t use any chili pepper.  The dish was rendered so spicy, my kids complained their mouths were on fire.

But, this dish will definitely join our vast quinoa recipe repertoire.

Hope you enjoy:




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