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Paleo Brownies

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I've made these brownies quite a bit, especially since my oldest has started eating grain and dairy free.  They are quick to throw together and are even enjoyed by my non-Paleo eaters.  Here's the recipe (slightly modified from this recipe ): Paleo Brownies 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted 3 eggs, room temperature 3/4 cup cocoa powder 3/4 almond butter (we use no sugar added) 2/3 cup honey 3/8 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 1/4 mini enjoy life chocolate chips, optional Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease a 7 by 10 inch pan with coconut oil.   Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in food processor and mix until well-blended.  Spread into prepared pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips if desired. Bake 28 to 30 minutes or until center is almost set.  Let cool, and store in the fridge until devoured!  Enjoy!

Our Favorite Cinnamon Rolls

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I have made these cinnamon rolls more times than I can count!  I have combined a couple of recipes and modified them slightly, so I decided to post my techniques all in one place.  The recipe I use for the rolls is actually from a raspberry sweet roll recipe that I found on Pinterest.  I have actually made the entire recipe, and it is really good.  The recipe for the frosting is from a post for 30 minute cinnamon knots .  However, I double the recipe because we like a little bit of cinnamon roll with our frosting!  I highly recommned making the cinnamon knot recipe with kids--it's quick, easy, and fun.  (It is also messy, so make these before you plan to mop your kitchen floor! Also, plan for the process to take longer than 30 minutes!  ☺)  Here's my recipe! Our Favorite Cinnamon Rolls (adapted from this recipe ) 2 cups whole milk (2% works, too) 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon salt 4 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast  7  cups all-purpose flour 2 eggs, lightly beaten Filling

Bacon-wrapped Chicken

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I believe that, for most recipes, "bacon makes it better"!  So, when I saw a recipe for bacon-wrapped chicken, I knew I had to try it. Since my discovery of the recipe, I have made this dish often.  It is always a hit at potlucks.  Just place in the crockpot on the keep warm setting.  To serve as an appetizer, you can cut the chicken into three strips and put a toothpick into each piece.   Here is the recipe (adapted from this recipe ) Bacon-wrapped Chicken 2.5 pounds chicken breasts (about 4 ounces each chicken breast.  I use a box of Schwan's chicken breasts) 20 thin slices bacon (thick does not work as well to wrap around the chicken strips) 1/4 cup honey 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 Tablespoon brown mustard Fresh ground black pepper Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Cut each piece of chicken lenghtwise into two strips.  Wrap each piece of chicken with a  strip of bacon.  (Tip: I do this with the chicken still partially frozen.  It's easier to cut an

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

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  I'll be honest, some of my kids will only eat boxed macaroni and cheese.  However, one day we were out  and decided to make homemade in the instant pot.  I adapted my recipe slightly from this one  so that it would make a bigger batch! Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese (adapted from this recipe ) 1 sixteen ounce box rotini pasta Approximately 6 cups water 4 1/2 tablespoons butter 1 twelve ounce can evaporated milk 3 cups shredded Colby and Monterrey Jack cheese (or your favorite shredded cheese) salt, to taste Place pasta in instant pot crock (I used my eight quart one) and cover with water.  Secure lid on instant pot and pressure cook for 3 minutes.  Release pressure and drain pasta.  Set instant pot to saute, add butter to the crock, and stir until it is melted.  I then press the cancel button and put the instant pot on the "Keep Warm" setting.  Then add milk and shredded cheese and stir.  Taste and add salt if needed.  If the sauce is too thick, add a little whole milk

Taco Casserole

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This is a family favorite recipe that I remember my mother-in-law making when Matt brought me home to visit one time.  It's easy, cheesy, and delicious, so I thought I'd better add it to the blog!  Here's the recipe: Taco Casserole 1 pound hamburger, browned and drained 1 small can refried beans 1 small can cream of chicken soup 1 cup cubed Velveeta cheese 3/4 cup salsa 2 cups shredded cheese (we like the Colby/Monterrey Jack blend) Doritos nacho cheese chips Grease a 9 by 13 inch pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except Doritos well.  Crush some Doritos, and put them in the bottom of the pan.  Spread taco mixture over the chips and add more crushed Doritos on top.  Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through.  Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, or other taco toppings as desired! Note: this recipe also freezes well.  Just thaw overnight in the fridge and bake as directed.

Sausage Balls

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The first time I ever had these was when I spent Thanksgiving with my then-fiance's family.  Matt's mom had made a batch that were in the crock pot available while we were waiting for lunch.  I think I ate at least six!   So for Thanksgiving yesterday I decided to make some.  These sausage balls keep well in the refrigerator for several days.  You can also freeze them.  Enjoy! Sausage Balls 2 cups Bisquick 2 cups shredded cheese 1 pound sausage, cooked and crumbled 1/2 cup water In a large bowl, mix all ingredients with a spoon.  If the dough is not sticking together, add up to a tablespoon of water.  Scoop onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  I use a medium-sized cookie scoop.  Bake at 375 degrees for 18 minutes or until browned.  Serve immediately or place in lightly-sprayed crockpot on low/keep warm.  

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Layer Cake

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This year, our school did not have an official eighth grade promotion celebration due to COVID-19 restrictions.  However, I wanted to have a small celebration with close family at our house to celebrate my oldest son's eighth grade promotion.  I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, and he requested a chocolate chip cookie dough cake.  My sister-in-law had made one for my nephew's birthday a while back, and it was a hit!  I made the recipe that my sister-in-law used with a few tweaks.  Since some of my other children have already asked me to make it again, I wanted to get everything down in my blog for future reference. The original recipe can be found here , and it uses a boxed cake mix.  I have no problem with that, but I decided to use my friend's homemade chocolate cake recipe.  I think it produces a little denser cake that holds up better to that thick cookie dough layer.  I also used the option to bake two 9 inch round cakes instead of 6 inch rounds.  That var