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Easy Thanksgiving Side Dish ~ Buttery Carrots

If you’re looking for a delicious side dish to serve with your Thanksgiving meal, look no further! These super simple, very delicious carrots will enhance any meal, and your kids will eat them!

Easy Thanksgiving Side Dish ~ Buttery Carrots

blankTo prepare, simply julienne 5 large carrots. Melt 3-4 TBS butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add carrots and saute for 15-20 minutes. I prefer a slightly crunchy carrot, so I tend to under cook mine. {I have been accused of being a little weird, though.} You cook them as long as you’d like. Season with salt and pepper and serve!

Buttery Carrots

Buttery Carrots


  • 5 large carrots, peeled and julienned {I tend to keep mine pretty fat, but skinnier carrots cook quicker}
  • 3-4 TBS butter
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Melt butter in skillet over medium to medium high heat.
  2. Add carrots.
  3. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until desired softness is reached.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1661Total Fat: 40gCarbohydrates: 307gProtein: 26g

Linking up: Healthy 2day Wednesday; Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways; KidsareGrown;

French Sailor’s Mussels with Fettuccine

A couple weeks ago we headed out to HyVee and they were sampling mussels. I figured my kids wouldn’t like them, but Ben especially wanted to try them. Goes to show I shouldn’t make my own conclusions about what my kids will and will not like! The sample smelled really good, so we headed over to try out the mussels!

blankblankblankExcept for Cora, they all said they liked them. And I was super surprised! The chef assured my that mussels are easy to prepare and since they were on sale for $3.99 / lb, I bought two and a half pounds. We’re not huge sea food eaters at our house, so I also got a box of fettuccine. I thought mussels by themselves wouldn’t go over very well, but the recipe the chef made also included a really nice wine/cream sauce which I thought would be wonderful over pasta. So that was my plan.

Well, it wasn’t that hard to prepare, but if you’ve never made mussels before, there are a few steps you need to know about {which the chef neglected to tell me…} 🙂 The chef used the recipe here, and I adapted it slightly to fit my family.

blankThe first thing you need to do if you intend to make mussels, is place them in fresh water. Then you have to scrub and de-beard them.

blankThat little hairy thing sticking out of the mussel is the beard. To remove it, simply give it a twisting yank and it comes right off.

blankYou also want to discard any mussels that are open, cracked, or broken, like this one. I think I found 6-8 in my 2 1/2 lbs that needed to be discarded. Once your mussels are clean and debearded, it’s time to get busy cooking. The recipe goes really quickly, so make sure to prepare everything ahead of time.

blankMelt butter in a large pan over medium heat and saute chopped onion and garlic. Add half the finely chopped herbs, and season with black pepper.

blankAdd white wine to the butter and herbs,then add the mussels and turn up the heat to high. Cover and let the mussels steam for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan every minute or so to coat the mussels in the liquid.

blankRemove the pan from the heat, add the cream and the remaining finely chopped herbs. Mix well and enjoy! I served mine with fettuccine, salad, and a wonderful crusty bread.

If you’d like to make this, here’s the recipe.

French Sailor's Mussels with Fettuccine

French Sailor's Mussels with Fettuccine


  • 2 1/4 lb fresh mussels
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine {I used one cup to make more sauce}
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • fresh herbs {the original recipe calls for parsley, oregano, and tarragon}, finely chopped BUT I only used tarragon because that's all I had.
  • 4 TBSP half & half {I used a bit more because I wanted more sauce}


  1. Place mussels in water, scrub, and de-beard. Make sure to discard any mussels that aren't tightly closed.
  2. Saute onion and garlic in melted butter over medium heat. Add chopped herbs and season with black pepper.
  3. Add white wine to the butter and herbs. Add the mussels, cover and steam for 5 minutes, shaking the pan every minute to make sure all mussels are coated with the liquid.
  4. Remove pan from heat and add the cream, remaining herbs, and season with salt.
  5. ENJOY!

blankThe verdict? The same kids who thought the mussels were wonderful at the store, didn’t like them any longer at home. Typical, eh? But my husband and I really enjoyed this recipe. The combination of butter, garlic, cream and wine makes everything divine in my humble opinion! I could have used fewer mussels, though. One and a half pounds would have been plenty for us.

Have you ever tried mussels? What did you think?

Linking up: Eat, Make, Grow Thursday;



Homemade Toaster Waffles & Grain Mill Wagon Challenge {plus 6 more breakfasts to make ahead of time}

I recently joined forces with the Grain Mill Wagon Challenge to help people experience freshly milled flours! I make all my own breads and use 95% freshly milled flour in my recipes. I’ve been grinding my own flour since 2005 and love it! I thought this Challenge would be a fabulous way to share wonderful recipes with you, my fabulous readers!


Since I’m gearing up for Back2School, the first recipe I’m sharing with the Grain Mill Wagon Challenge is for Homemade Toaster Waffles. I quadruple this recipe so we can eat some on cooking day and also freezer quite a few. When we’re ready to eat them after they’ve been frozen, I just pop them in the toaster and we enjoy!

If you’re looking for more breakfast recipes that can be frozen ahead of time for easy mornings, here are some of my favs!

Eggy Breakfast Muffins – these unique muffins combine flour, meat, cheese, and veg. They are delightful and a favorite of my 8 year old.

Homemade Monkey Bread -this is a fun treat. Normal people buy frozen bread dough at the store and make this recipe with pre-packaged bread. I’m not normal, though, and make my own. 😉

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread – this is another fabulous recipe and is my father-in-law’s favorite. I also quadruple this recipe so I have extras to freeze.

Mix & Match Muffin Packets – I learned this trick from LifeAsMom! Instead of just making one batch of muffins, I whip up 4 or 5 extra packets of the dried ingredients. When we want hot, fresh muffins, I take a packet out of my freezer, add oil, mix-ins, and milk, and we enjoy!

Buttermilk Pancakes – Another easy recipe to double and then freeze. These also heat up very nicely in the toaster.

Scone Packets – This is very similar to the muffin packets, except it’s scones! We love scones at my house and having the dry ingredients already mixed together saves me time on busy mornings.

Don’t forget to find the recipe for Toaster Waffles at the Grain Mill Challenge. Do you have a favorite breakfast recipe that can be made ahead of time and frozen? Please leave a link in the comments, if so! I’m always on the prowl for new ideas!


Easy Lemon Chicken for the Crockpot

Moms Meet & Kiwi Magazine recently sent me a copy of their new cookbook, Allergy-Friendly Food for Families to review. I’m always on the lookout for fun, delicious new recipes so even though we are lucky enough not to have any food allergies, I was happy to take a look through their new cookbook.


Moms Meet & Kiwi Magazine recently sent me a copy of their new cookbook, Allergy-Friendly Food for Families to review. I’m always on the lookout for fun, delicious new recipes so even though we are lucky enough not to have any food allergies, I was happy to take a look through their new cookbook. And I found a lot of recipes I’d love to try, but their recipe for easy lemon chicken really sounded quite delightful. So, I gave it a whirl – but first, I turned it into a crockpot recipe and the chicken literally fell off the bone after my beloved crockpot slaved all day to make me effortless dinner! YUM!!blankHere’s the original recipe and my adaptions:

Easy Lemon Chicken for the Crockpot

Recipe Type: Main Dish
Author: Allergy Free Food for Families
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Serves: 4
Easy, one pot meal with a quick prep and few, simple ingredients!
  • 2 TBS oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh lemon thyme or regular thyme
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs (and or legs) ~ I used about 3 lbs of leg quarters
  • 1 pound new potatoes or baby Dutch yellow potatoes, halved ~ I used 1.5 pounds new tri-colored potatoes (purple, yellow, white)
  • 1 – 12 ounce baby baby carrots ~ I used 1 lb regular carrots, sliced to about the size of baby carrots
  • 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine the oil, garlic, thyme in a small bowl.
  3. Place the chicken on one side of 9×13 baking dish. Place the potatoes, carrots, lemons on the other side.
  4. Drizzle the oil mixture over the chicken and veggies and toss well to coat.
  5. Turn chicken skin side up. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
  6. Roast, uncovered, for 45-50 minutes, until the chicken’s internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, stirring the veggies and lemon wedges once or twice. Remove the veggies and lemon wedges if they are tender and golden-brown before the chicken is fully cooked.
  7. {Or, you can cook in a crockpot on low, 6-8 hours.}
  8. To serve, allow the lemon wedges to cool slightly, then squeeze them over the chicken and veggies.
 Allergy-Friendly Food for Families includes 120 gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, and soy-free recipes. Not all of the recipes are -free from everything – but the book is nicely organized by colored tabs on each page so it’s very easy to find what you’re looking for. For instance, the French Toast Kebabs have a gluten free option and are dairy, nut, and egg free. The book also has tips for fun ways to involve kids in the kitchen and gorgeous pictures I loved looking at. One of my favorite pages is called: “recycle your food! five ideas for leftovers!” Reducing food waste is one of my passions so I was thrilled to see these ideas for using up leftovers instead of throwing them in the trash.