Recipes

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  • Double duty as a dessert or a brunch dish: Apple Blackberry Bramble recipe apple blackberry bramble recipe ingredients shot While I worked on this recipe, my children kept asking me, “what is it?” Is this a pie? Are you making cookies? Is this dinner? WHAT IS IT? I never did give them a very good answer, but I did indeed give them a very good treat. This apple blackberry dessert recipe could best be described ...
  • Time for a fallback plan… Black Beans & Rice in a snap Black Beans and Rice Recipe horizontal Joy Makin' MamasEven the best of us have had a day that got away from us and realized that everyone is hungry and there’s nothing in the fridge but a few paltry leftovers that won’t quite make a full dinner for the family and the last of the milk. Oops. Time for some PB&J, or to pull ...
  • We had a Kids’ Cookie Baking Adventure Party, and you can too! Thanks to the review copy I received from Mimi’s Adventures in Baking Chocolate Chip Cookies, we embarked on a Cookie adventure with our friends! Baking is a fantastic way to introduce kids to the kitchen, because they are really interested in the results. (I mean… chocolate chip cookies! Who doesn’t want those?) Mimi’s Adventures in ...
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Smoothie Recipe featuring @NielsenMassey vanilla cookie dough smoothie in a glass Joy Makin' Mamas RecipeSpoiler: Does not contain cookie dough! So when your brain, which frankly doesn’t have to wear jeans and therefore doesn’t care whether they fit or not, will not shut up about wanting cookie dough, try feeding it this instead, and see if you can distract it long enough to make a salad sound like a ...
  • Give a humble onion a star makeover and push it to the center of the plate. Stuffed Onion recipe horizontal Joy Makin' MamasHollowing an onion is not as hard as one might think, and these stuffed onions make what would otherwise be a plain-Jane casserole into a rock star entree that’s fancy enough for company, but easy enough for family dinners.
  • Easy Rice and Lentil Pilaf recipe for your slow cooker or microwave Easy rice and lentil pilaf microwave process shot Joy Makin' MamasThe inspiration for this Rice and Lentil Pilaf Recipe is that I have always loved those rice pilaf mixes that come in a box. The ones with rice and pasta or rice and another grain, that come pre-seasoned. You know the ones! They are easy to make and they go well with lots of foods. ...
  • New slow cooker cookbook takes your crock beyond soups and stews (+ recipes for you to try!) Holy Mole Chili Easy Everyday Slow Cooker Recipes Joy Makin' Mamas ReviewI have featured my bottom of the line, workhorse 4 quart slow cooker in my photos so often that I have occasionally thought maybe I should get a new one just so you guys would have something new to look at. I kept using it even after the original handle broke off- I just picked ...
  • All I want for Christmas is a #HoneyBakedHoliday #Sponsored #HoneyBakedHoliday Half Ham Joy Makin Mamas Since I have my two front teeth already, all I want for Christmas is some HoneyBaked ham. Ok, maybe not ALL. I’d also like about 24 uninterrupted hours to tackle my to do list without anyone under 3 feet tall grabbing my posterior to shout HUG HUG HUG just as I pick up a sharp ...
  • Warm you up Homemade Chili Kit Warm up with a Homemade Chili Kit Free PrintableCreate and give a kit your recipient can turn into delicious, savory chili to warm them any time. Recipe and FREE PRINTABLE recipe cards included.
  • Sweet Potato Chicken Chili Recipe featuring Dei Fratelli sweet potato chicken chili recipe Joy Makin MamasThis sweet potato chili is what I consider “Pretty spicy,” as in, “Serve with cornbread,” but not “don’t touch it with your skin because it’s chemical weapons spicy.” So grab an apron and let’s get our cook on.
  • Honey Praline Bread Pudding Recipe honey praline bread pudding recipe Joy Makin MamasMy little guy declared it “honey cake” (Why? I have no idea, as it’s nothing like cake, but if it makes him happy, it makes me happy.) and kept trying to steal mine. (You’re lucky I got a photo for you, as he’s perfectly capable of inserting his spoon right into my photo shoot!)
  • Sorry, honey, I’m busy exploding dinner. Cranberry Barley Casserole Process Photo Joy Makin MamasIt turns out that I’ve been endangering my family in the kitchen. Don’t worry, though, I’m prepared to distract you from that confession with a recipe for Cranberry Barley Vegetarian Casserole that will go over great at Thanksgiving dinner, or any time.
  • 30 minute “Faux” Mein Recipe lo mein recipe plated joy makin mamasThis easy lo mein recipe is quicker than takeout, can be made with beef, chicken, or tofu, has vegetarian and vegan variations, and my husband said it was better than the restaurant version. The sauce only has four ingredients- five if you count water. Everybody has got time for that!
  • No Bake Sea Salt Brownie Protein Bars sea salt brownie protein bars vegan no bake peanut freeNo bake. Fudgy. Full of good stuff. And… sea salt brownie. These easy protein bars are a perfect on-the-go breakfast or post workout snack!
  • Chocolate Gingersnap Muffins chocolate gingersnap muffins recipeRelax, you aren’t serving cookies for breakfast… it just tastes like you are. The tops of these muffins look and taste just like giant, chocolate gingersnap cookies, but there’s good stuff inside- including whole grains!
  • Grilled Beets Recipe plus July 4th Food & Craft Roundup #Foodelicious grilled beets recipe sliced beets photoAdd a little variety to your grilled side dishes and add a little red color to your patriotic Fourth of July table! Plus a recipe roundup for the 4th!
  • Berry Brownie Smoothie This nutritious smoothie recipe tastes like a decadent dessert and is perfect for moms on the go.
  • Apricot Baked Brie Recipe This sunny and delicious baked brie recipe combines apricot and cranberry flavors. It will brighten your brunch or appetizer offerings any day!
  • Father’s Day Favorite: Ginger Beef Recipe Thrill the steak loving dads in your life with this delicious, easy Ginger Beef recipe for Father’s Day. Bonus: The leftovers are even better!
  • Skillet Coq au Vin (with Vegetarian option!) {Slow cooker notes inside!} I like to serve this as a “company” dish with butter noodles or plain rice, or with a green salad and crusty bread for soaking up the sauce. Because trust me… you’ll want to eat the sauce.
  • The Grill is open! Plus Barbecue sauce recipe grilled asparagusBest vegetables for the grill plus easy barbecue sauce recipe. You’ll be grilling in no time…
  • Caramel Nut Rolls caramel nut rolls recipeThank you JMM Danette Z for this variation on her Basic Dinner Rolls recipe that turns it from yummy, hot, fresh bread to yummy, hot, fresh brunch! This delicious and sticky treat is sure to please for just a fraction more effort than cracking open a can.
  • Apricot Chicken Super Easy Apricot Chicken RecipeHave you ever had one of those really simple recipes that was just… SO GOOD you cannot believe it? This is one of them. Five ingredients, one dish, unbelievably good.
  • Meghan’s Homemade Red Sauce I have many, many fond memories of my mother cooking sauce on the stove when I was a kid. Stirring the sauce turned into something that felt intuitive, although it was obviously learned. If Mom had to go for a walk or step away for a while, “Stir the sauce” was the parting reminder. Making ...
  • Dinner Rolls From Scratch that turn out every time! Dinner Rolls on StoveEverybody loves fresh bread, so sometimes all you need to make dinner super special is some hot, fresh dinner rolls and a little butter. I bet you think they are hard to make, but you couldn’t be more wrong! Thanks to this super easy recipe from JMM Danette, you will be putting out hot, fresh ...
  • Lunchtime SOS! Lunch ideas plus The Best Egg Salad EVER No more lunch rut! Quick, easy, nutritious lunch ideas for busy moms & DadsGood morning, Joy Makin’ Mamas. Let’s have lunch. No, really, I want to talk about lunch! It’s so easy to get into a rut here. I mean, if breakfast is “the most important meal of the day,” and dinner is the meal that brings your family together, that doesn’t leave a lot of time and energy ...
  • Pasta e Fagioli (aka “Pasta Fazool”) with slow cooker variation Pasta E Fagioli Recipe with crock pot variationThis hearty Italian peasant soup is good comfort food, or serve it in your good dishes for a first course at a nice dinner.
  • The World’s Easiest Side Dish World's easiest side dish steamed broccoli and carrots with garlic and gingerI love making this to go alongside any crock pot meal. My husband is a broccoli hater, but he has actually been known to have seconds of this! Without further ado, here is the world’s easiest Fresh Broccoli and Carrot side dish with ginger and garlic.
  • Sour Cream & Herb Dip for your baked potato bar Sour Cream and Herb Dip RecipeThis unbelievably easy recipe will convince you that a fresh dip will beat pre-packaged mixes or jarred dips every time. Plus, a superbowl recipe roundup perfect for a party.
  • Mary-Alice’s No Honey Honey chicken No Honey Honey Chicken RecipeWhen I went away to college and got the rudest dietary shock of my entire life, I used to dream about this chicken at night. It is so, so, SO good and you never get tired of it. I even developed a vegan version of it during my vegetarian/dairy intolerant years, because I couldn’t live ...
  • Free Printable Weekly Menu Plan What's For Dinner Printable Menu PlannerHey, mamas! I am pleased to share with you today a free, printable weekly menu plan designed for you by my friend Nancy at Whimsy Girl Designs. If you’ve resolved to be better about making sure you have a weekly menu plan, then this cute one stuck to your fridge will help make it more ...
  • Crockpot Cranberries (and tips for pleasing a veg*an at Thanksgiving!) Slow Cooker Roast CranberriesHold the phone! This recipe is so easy that it’s actually not too late to add it to your holiday list! And let me give you a little tip if you are expecting vegetarians to dinner this week. Make this and some quinoa, and add a green salad and a dish of toasted almond slivers ...
  • Apples, Peaches, make me smile… Slow Cooker Peach Applesauce RecipeFresh, hot, peach applesauce from the crock pot! Me oh my! This recipe couldn’t be any less trouble, and it’s a delicious side dish or snack. Crock Pot Peach Apple Sauce quick and easy, hot peach apple sauce straight from the crock pot. Try it with a little granola on top! 2.5 lbs apples (about 5 medium) 1 ...
  • Now & Later Beer Chicken Use your favorite beer and cook up dinner tonight and put dinner in the freezer for another night at the same time!
  • Meghan’s Hot Mulled Apple Cider You know what hits the spot on a cold night? A nice, hot mug of spiced cider while you sit by the fire. And this time of year, you can get wonderful, fresh apple cider pretty much anywhere you go- so here is a no fuss way to mull your cider and keep it hot ...
  • Fresh Summer with Relay Foods: Brunch Recipe Roundup Raspbery baked brie Would you like to pin this ridiculously delicious recipe for later reference? Click here. Be sure to also visit our recipe page so you can find the rest of our recipes- they’re indexed by ingredient! I was lucky enough to be selected as a Relay Foods House Party host, which meant they provided a grocery credit ...
  • Cooking with Kids: Turkey Burgers Terrific Turkey BurgersWe love burgers around here, and making them is usually a Dude Time endeavor- which means I get a few minutes to relax while I wait for them to finish. Yay! One way to speed things up and get hungry people fed quicker is to pre-make the burgers and freeze them for a quick dinner ...
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Piccata Crock Pot Chicken PiccataChicken Piccata is one of my husband’s favorite, favorite dishes of all time. When I first made it in the crock pot, I was delighted to find out that my kids love it too. This one is going into our family “keeper” file. Want more great Slow Cooker Recipes? You’ll find them here. Slow Cooker Chicken ...
  • Ginger Snap Icebox Cake With the texture of cheesecake and the flavor of gingersnaps, this rich and easy dessert will blow you away.
  • White Wine Marinara Turkey Meatballs (in the crockpot) Crockpot Turkey Meatballs in White Wine MarinaraWe are on a major winning streak around here. What are we winning? The war against kid food, that’s what. Here’s our latest victory. My five year old doesn’t like sauce. But he consented to dunk his noodles in this, and actually liked the meatball, too. If you’ve never made meatballs, don’t worry, it’s easy. ...
  • Crock Pot Whole Grain Cornbread My family are digging the e-meals crock pot plan we are doing, but sometimes I find the kids in particular need a starchy side in addition to what’s on the menu. Tonight some cornbread sounded perfect, but the outside temps are pushing 90 degrees F. I hate to run the oven when it is hot out- ...
  • Lower Carb Italian Sausage Casserole italian sausage casseroleOR how to salvage your eMeals recipe after a well-known, popular grocery delivery service brings you such badly damaged zucchini that you can’t make grilled stuffed zucchini boats after all. (Yes, we have huge, giant, first world problems. It weighs heavily on us.) This was not Plan A, but it was delicious and we’ll be having ...
  • Easy microwave fudge frosting funny face cupcakesI needed a quick, easy, and food coloring-free frosting recipe for a birthday playdate, and this one really came through! It works up fast in the microwave, and, as a bonus, you dirty exactly one bowl and a set of mixer beaters. (Which my guys wouldn’t lick. Because they are WEIRDOS.) To turn these into ...
  • Chicken Noodle Soup Today I was on the mom side of the “your kid is sick” call from the school for the very first time. It made me remember how the time between when they called your mom and she came to get you was an eternity, no matter how long it actually took. We are fortunate enough ...
  • Apple Chutney Pork Roast: Slowcooker shortcut recipe crock pot apple chutney pork roast recipe Joy Makin MamasIn spite of the name, there isn’t actually any chutney in this recipe. A true chutney takes hours of chopping and simmering to create, but this shortcut recipe for your crock pot is, I think, “close enough.” Chutney contains vinegar and sugar, mostly to preserve the ingedients for storage. This recipe has neither, but it ...
  • Maple Mustard Pork Loin Maple Mustard Pork RoastPork Tenderloin is a very tender, lean cut and I frequently find it on sale, so I’m always on the lookout for a good pork tenderloin recipe! This one depends mainly on ingredients you probably already keep on hand.The big exception is the fresh rosemary. I love fresh rosemary so much that I plant it ...
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki Here is a quick, easy recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki. This can be an easy make-ahead for the freezer. I always skin my chicken and package it in meal-size quantities, so all I do to make this a freezer meal is throw the other ingredients (except the pineapple) in a second freezer bag, label, ...
  • Slow Cooker Mushroom and Fennel Stuffing Family gatherings are a time of feasting and celebration. At least, they are around here. And we get together often. So, for me, a healthy life overhaul has to involve new favorite dishes to replace some of the things I just can’t stop eating. Those foods tend to trigger cravings, and between the cravings and ...
  • Cooking with Kids: Creamsicle Cake Creamsicle Cake BakerAh, dessert. The final touch on any special meal, and one most kids look forward to the most. The only thing my kid likes better than eating dessert is eating a dessert he made himself. This recipe is definitely easy enough for any kid to do with just a little help. There are no raw ...
  • Recipe for a Snow Day If you’re seriously considering starting a family chant of “redrum,” please try a little Pizza Fritta (recipe shown here) first and carry on a Gray Family tradition. The life you save could be your own! (Plus you can make extra dough and have home made pizza for dinner. Everyone wins!)
  • Make Your Own Yogurt Tubes I have been frustrated by the bizarre and unhealthful ingredients in store bought yogurt tubes, but sadly addicted to their convenience for school lunches. So we are experimenting with tubes made of our own healthy and delicious yogurt that pack cold for school lunch or family expeditions.
  • Slow Cooker Wine Chicken Slow Cooker Wine ChickenI depend on my slow cooker pretty heavily these days, because the fact that both of my kids start to get very tired very early in the evening means that trying to fix dinner at dinner time is usually a disaster that rivals the great tragedies of history. The Hindenburg. September 11. Highlander II. Anyway, ...
  • Mulled Wine The winery graciously gave me their recipe (handwritten, on a post-it note, for added charm) which I promptly lost, so I did some research and created this recipe based on what I could remember and on ideas from several other recipes for hot punches.
  • “Tipsy” Meatballs Being a mom is awesome, but there is still nothing much that beats taking a night off! And nobody knows how to have fun better than a bunch of off duty moms- all you need to do is put out some appetizers and an activity and you’ll all have a fine, delicious time! These meatballs ...
  • Mish Mash Roll Pound Smash! A Playdough Playdate There seems to be something universally soothing about play dough. Or, perhaps I should say NEARLY universal. My littlest has yet to get over his bitter disappointment that play dough isn’t something to eat, and I’m told there are children with sensory issues who do not enjoy it at all. For most, though, it seems ...
  • Peasant Soup peasant soup recipe Joy Makin' Mamas The carcass from your Crock Cooked Chicken will turn into this hearty, budget friendly soup in no time at all! The surprise is the parsnip. If you haven’t eaten parsnips before, they’re a bit like carrot and a bit like potato and altogether delicious. Since they are root vegetables, they hold up well to slow simmering. ...
  • Fruitcake Baked Oatmeal At our house we have a tradition of Family Breakfast. This is because my kiddo has always gone to bed so early that any hope of us all sitting down to eat dinner together is nothing short of laughable. (No, seriously… 3:30 is just too early to eat dinner as a family.) So we love, ...
  • “Souped Up” Pasta II One of my favorite time and money savers is to “soup up” jarred pasta sauce! Nothing could be quicker or easier. Usually your time from pantry to table is 15-30 minutes! Here are two of my family’s favorite “souped up” pasta dishes. (Find the other here.) Pasta Marsala Jarred pasta sauce gets a makeover for a ...
  • Over the Top Brownies- Microwave them in just four minutes! Four Minute Perfect Brownie RecipeHave you ever thought that waiting almost an hour for the perfect brownies to come out of the oven is just too darn long? Well, either way, I’ve got your back. You can make these fudgy and delicious in just four minutes in the microwave, or fudgy and delicious with a crispy top in the ...
  • “Drive Thru” Breakfast at Home My kids love, love, love oatmeal for breakfast, and sometimes they wake up so “HUNGER-Y” that there is just no time to waste in getting it on the table. Fixing our favorite oatmeal recipe in the microwave takes ten minutes, but now we can get it on the table in two. I made a double ...
  • No Sugar Added Valentine’s Day Party Low sugar valentine party ideasDoes your kid react to sugar like a werewolf who’s just seen the full moon? Then Valentine’s Day is sure to make you cringe almost as much as Halloween and birthday parties. Why not host an alternative, low sugar celebration for your child and her friends? If you don’t make a big deal out of ...
  • “Souped Up” Pasta I One of my favorite time and money savers is to “soup up” jarred pasta sauce! Nothing could be quicker or easier. Usually your time from pantry to table is 15-30 minutes! You’ll find another quicker than takeout pasta recipe here. Piccolini Rosa A hearty pasta dish with a cream sauce. 1 pound Mini Penne Pasta (mini penne are ...
  • Baked Oatmeal At our house we have a tradition of Family Breakfast. This is because my kiddo has always gone to bed so early that any hope of us all sitting down to eat dinner together is nothing short of laughable. (No, seriously… 3:30 is just too early to eat dinner as a family.) So we love, ...
  • “Still Going” Italian Chicken A whole roast chicken from your crock pot tonight, and soup tomorrow night or for your freezer.Here is a great idea that might save your bacon! This double-decker recipe will end up being two (or more!) meals for your family with half the work and half the cleanup! This recipe works best if you have an oval crock pot. (I love mine so much I’ve been using it without the handle for ...
  • Quick and Easy Lemon Squeezie Playdough lemonQuick, easy, less salt playdough recipe for young kids who will totally eat it no matter what you do.
  • Ian’s First Birthday Cakes It’s time to talk about something very near and dear to my heart. Yes, we are discussing Birthday Cake. I took making Ian’s first cake very seriously… ok, not really. I was excited and went a little overboard, but “serious” isn’t quite in it. Some of your guests at your child’s first birthday party may still ...

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