Blog

food on a cutting board with a note pad with a recipe

Late Night Meal Planning

Have you heard the saying “New Year, New Me”? Once the calendar shifted to January, my personal email was flooded with ways to create new fitness and eating habits, new wardrobe suggestions, tips on how to become a better parent, and the list went on and on. The start of a new year tends to get people thinking about New Year’s resolutions and setting goals for themselves. I have never been one to set a New Year’s resolution but having a 5-month-old and a 4-year-old at home, I have decided this is a great year to set some intentionality for my late-night habit!

Bowl of Winter Black Bean Soup

A Staple in My Freezer

Growing up, my mom was always quick to make my sisters and me soup when we were feeling under the weather. A big bowl of soup has always provided me a bit of comfort during times when I have needed it the most. As an adult with my own children, I find myself doing the same thing when my preschooler isn’t feeling well. Recently my entire family came down with a bad cold. Luckily, I had chicken noodle soup in my freezer. In a matter of a few minutes, we were able to have a delicious, comforting meal!

pancakes

Flipping for Pancakes!

Pancakes, or as my preschooler used to call them ‘pam-papes’, are a fan favorite at our house. Below are the top 5 reasons why I am always on board when pancakes are requested for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

various lentils and beans

Give Plant-Based Protein a Try!

A few years ago, I made the decision to make 2-3 meatless dinners a week. After our daughter turned one, I was hopeful that making this change would be a great way to introduce her to new foods. While searching for meatless recipes, I came to realize there were several benefits from eating plant-based protein a few times a week! Our grocery bills are lower and the health benefits that come with swapping out protein sources is a bonus.

young child cooking

Sharing Spend Smart. Eat Smart. – With a Fellow Mama!

Christine kicked off our newest blog series in June by interviewing her mom, Betsy. It was fun to read about her mom’s food memories and her favorite recipes!

raspberries, blueberries. and blackberries

Have a Berry Sweet Summer!

I grew up in Delaware and have fond memories of visiting a blueberry farm every summer with my family. We always left the farm with full bellies and big buckets of plump berries to take home. Our summers consisted of everything blueberry- blueberry pancakes, blueberry jam, and lots of blueberry milkshakes. My family’s love for berries has been passed down to our almost four-year-old daughter, Brynn, who on most days would prefer berries over ice cream as a sweet treat!

Frozen Vegetables

Canned and Frozen Produce Over Fresh? Give it a Try!

Last month Jody wrote a blog highlighting tips to help us save money at the grocery store. Recently I have found that some of the fresh produce I used to buy on a regular basis has started to increase my family’s grocery bill. To lower my grocery bill but still get the same nutritional benefits, I have found that swapping in canned and frozen produce options has worked out well for many recipes that my family enjoys. Below are a few tips for purchasing these options.

Baked Fish and Chips

Get Hooked on Fish!

Fish has always been a large part of my diet. Growing up on the coast, my family had access to a variety of seafood. My love for seafood has not changed even though I now call Iowa home. On my weekly meal plans I typically add 1-2 meals that include fish as our main protein. Our daughter has been eating a variety of fish dishes since she started trying foods, so I keep fish on hand for easy meals I know my family enjoys.

Budget Groceries

Tracking My Family’s Food Expenses

Budgeting can be challenging, and it can take time before you find a system that works best for you. My husband handles finances as part of his job so at home I handle most of our day-to-day expenses to give him a break. After some trial and error, I have finally found a system that seems to work for us.

Time for a Breakfast Recipe Round-up!

My husband and three-year old LOVE breakfast. As soon as they wake up, they head straight to the kitchen. During the work week, we don’t have as many opportunities to sit down as a family with a large breakfast, so we tend to opt for quicker options on those days. On the weekends I favor making recipes that require a few more ingredients and take additional time to prepare, especially if we are entertaining guests.

Turkey Vegetable Quiche

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

As a new mom to a 14-month-old, getting into a new routine when it came to meal time was hard! I work part-time for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and am a full-time wife and mom. I need quick, healthy meals and snacks to prepare and Spend Smart. Eat Smart. has been a lifesaver in my home!

A Walk a Day Could Keep the Doctor Away

As Jody mentioned in her earlier blogs this month, February is focused around heart health. I like to focus on the habits I can do every day that help keep my heart healthy. Eating well and staying active are at the top of the list for me.