Simplify Dinner with Gobble

Thanks so much to BrandCycle for connecting me with Gobble and letting me try their service for free!

Before I had kids, I would cook dinner every night. With each child, those night got fewer and farther between. I feel like I'm constantly on the hunt for simplified dinners for my family, so when I was asked to try Gobble, I jumped at the chance.

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If you haven't heard of Gobble, it is a meal subscription box for the busy home cook. You select meals each week that are made in just one pan. They're 3-step recipes that you can get on the table in less than 15 minutes. Seriously.

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Everything comes in a box, even the meat. Large frozen packs are included to keep everything nice and cool during shipping.

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The three meals I chose were Thai Basil Chicken with Brown Jasmine Rice, Balsamic Glazed Flat Iron Steak with Oven Roasted Zucchini Fries, and Grilled Flank Steak and Fajita Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing. Each serving size is between 500-700 calories. Not bad for a quick home-cooked meal.

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The seasoning packet for the flank steak was delicious and not too spicy for my kids' picky palates. I hadn't grilled yet this season and was reminded of how nice it is to not heat up my whole house to cook one steak!

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My kids only wanted to eat the steak (big surprise), but I made them eat the salad too and they didn't complain one bit. The cojita cheese added a great freshness to an already bright, summer salad.

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A couple days later I made the balsamic steak. I was curious about the zucchini fries, since they were breaded with a garlic-seasoned coating. I sort of forgot they were in the oven, but they didn't burn and still turned out amazing.

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The balsamic glaze was delicious. Based on my previous experience with balsamic vinegar, I was nervous it would overpower all the other flavors, but it didn't compete at all. It actually complemented the zucchini fries beautifully. All in all, it was a great dish.

I am a serious Gobble convert! The meals were healthy, quick to prepare, and tasted amazing. Gobble wants YOU to try their service too and have offered my readers $50 off the first week of meals! Just visit Gobble.com and enter code SECRET50 to receive your discount. You'll have to let me know which meals you choose!

Back to School is Cool Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SnackAndGo #CollectiveBias

School is back in session and my kids are in a new school. I didn't want to throw them a party before school started since they didn't know anyone yet. Now that they've gotten into the groove and made friends with some of their classmates, I thought I'd throw a School is Cool party for them to celebrate the new year!

This may be the easiest party I've thrown yet. For real. The reason? Making my version of awesome desserts kid-friendly by using Go-Paks!, Snack Pack Pudding, and Reddi-wip!

I knew I didn't want to spend a lot of time (or money) on the food since my kids are willing to eat almost anything. So I decided to create recipes that were delicious and FUN! I took some of my favorite desserts and simplified them using Go-Packs! and Snack Pack Pudding with some Reddi-wip thrown in for good measure.

I put my recipes on my IKEA chalkboard that served my "back to school" theme but also reminded me of a food truck. Perfect for food you can eat on the go! 

In case you can't read my fantastic handwriting (lol), these are the recipes I came up with.

BANANA CREAM PIE
NABISCO Go-Packs! TEDDY GRAHAMS Honey Graham Snacks
Vanilla Snack Pack Pudding
banana slices
Reddi-wip

S'MORES
NABISCO Go-Packs! TEDDY GRAHAMS Honey Graham Snacks
Chocoate Snack Pack Pudding
mini marshmallows

MISSISSIPPI MUD
NABISCO Go-Packs! Mini OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Chocoate Snack Pack Pudding
mini marshmallows
chocolate syrup

CHOCOLATE CHIP SUNDAE
NABISCO Go-Packs! CHIPS AHOY! Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocoate/Vanilla Mix Snack Pack Pudding
Reddi-wip
chocolate syrup

BLONDIES
NABISCO Go-Packs! Mini OREO Golden Sandwich Cookies
Butterscotch Snack Pack Pudding
caramel syrup

PEANUT BUTTER BARS
NABISCO Go-Packs! NUTTER BUTTER Bites Sandwich Cookies
Chocoate Snack Pack Pudding
Reddi-wip

The best part for me was I didn't need any additional bowls or plates. Everything fits into the Go-Pak! After choosing their recipe, the kids could squeeze in the pudding and top with the remaining ingredients. Just grab a spoon and go! Because what kid wants to sit still at a party to eat?

Just make sure you have black cups at the ready for water. Just write the kids' names with a white marker and they'll always know which cup is theirs.

I found these amazing marquis letters from Scrapbook Steals and knew they'd be perfect for the party. I didn't want everything to be black and white so I inserted some paper from My Mind's Eye that coordinates with the photo backdrop I made (pictures to come!). The party fans on the wall are My Mind's Eye too. They have the best party supplies!

I love how everything turned out. The food fit so well on this desk I made for my daughter. The plans are from Ana White and I couldn't wait to showcase my first big build at this school-themed party!

Want to try your hand at your own simple dessert recipes using Go-Paks! from Walmart? You can typically find them in a large container by the registers. And they're only $1, so stock up!

Costa Vida Copycat Raspberry Chipotle Nachos

This recipe stemmed from a happy accident at the grocery store. I was picking up Sweet Baby Ray's and accidentally grabbed a bottle of their Raspberry Chipotle Barbecue Sauce. I couldn't use it with what I was making, but does it ever work for this Costa Vida copycat recipe!

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The whole family will absolutely LOVE these nachos. They're a real big hit and super simple. A great alternative to Mac & Cheese or PB & J on those days where you don’t really want to cook.

Costa Vida Raspberry Chipotle Nachos

This recipe will feed my family of SIX!

SUPPLIES
cookie sheet
sauté pan
spatula
colander or strainer
tin foil

INGREDIENTS
Fast Recipe — 2 chicken breasts
Fastest Recipe — 1 can of chicken
Sweet Baby Ray's Raspberry Chipotle Barbeque Sauce
Carne Asada seasoning — this you can find at most specialty markets (I buy mine from California by the case)
1 can black beans
shredded cheese to taste (I like a lot!)
1 bag tortilla chips
1 bag salad mix
salsa
sour cream

If you are using chicken breast, slice it into strips before putting it in the pan. If you are a planner, you can marinade the chicken breast in some lime juice and Carne seasoning.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put the chicken in the pan and cook it/heat it up and sprinkle the Carne Asada over the chicken.

While that is heating, put the tin foil on the cookie sheet. Pour the whole bag of chips on the cookie sheet. Put on the cheese all over the chips and place into the oven for 5 minutes. 

While that is melting a bit, rinse your beans. Rinsing your beans will reduce the amount of gas they produce. :) Pull out the cookie sheet, put on the chicken and beans, and place it back in the oven. It is also optional to add a little more cheese. Something very important I learned from my mother: there is never, never enough cheese!

Then back in the oven it goes until the cheese is all melty, ooey gooey goodness!

Last, you drizzle the Sweet Baby Ray's Raspberry Chipotle Barbecue Sauce all over the top. Dish it up or eat family style right off the sheet! My kids like to add lettuce, salsa, and sour cream. Favorite salsa for mom (me) is Herdez; it's more on the fresh salsa side of the scale.

Hope you enjoy this simple and fast recipe. What's your favorite nacho topping?