Quick Easy Meatloaf Recipe

One of those classic comfort foods my mom used to make us was meatloaf.  She would always serve it with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans.  This Quick Easy Meatloaf Recipe reminds me of my mom’s, but is so much simpler to make.  I literally throw everything together in under 5 minutes, toss in the oven and my family raves over it.  If you are looking for a tasty and inexpensive entree to make, this is definitely the meal for you.

Quick Easy Meatloaf Recipe



1 Pound Lean Ground Beef

1 Tablespoon Minced Dried Onion

2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder

1 Teaspoon Oregano

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Paprika

1 Teaspoon Black Pepper

1/4 Cup Tomato Paste

1/4 Cup Barbecue Sauce



  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • In large bowl mix together all ingredients except tomato past and barbecue sauce.
  • Form into loaf and place in center of casserole dish (I prefer this method over loaf pans so grease drains off easier)
  • Mix together tomato paste and barbecue sauce
  • Cover meatloaf with tomato/barbecue mix
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes

Easy Meatloaf Recipe

This classic quick easy meatloaf recipe is a perfect weeknight meal.  It is so easy to assemble, and you don’t need any special ingredients.  It goes great with mashed, roasted or baked potatoes and your preferred veggie.  And if you make a double batch, you cna easily have leftovers the next day for lunch, or slice a piece and put on toasted bread with some melted cheese for a fun meatloaf sandwich!


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5 Great Restaurants In San Diego

5 Great Restaurants in San DiegoHeading to San Diego for vacation? You are thrilled to be in this beautiful Southern California city full of culture, music, museums, kids activities and of course the best food around.  Only a few hours from the Happiest Place on Earth, San Diego is a popular vacation destination and is known for it’s incredible cuisine.  Here are 5 Great Restaurants in San Diego to fit into any budget.  Don’t forget to take a few minutes out of your activities to soak up some local culture and flavor at one of these great venues.

5 Great Restaurants in San Diego

CORVETTE DINER:  Old school diner atmosphere with great music and great food this is perfect for a fun and fanciful date night, evening out with the kids or to hang with old friends.  Although their location has changed over the last 15 years the quality has not.  Food prices typical of a classic diner atmosphere with most appetizers under $8 and most entrees under $13 you can easily feed a crowd on a budget.  Check out their Garbage Plate piled high with samplings of the hottest appetizers on the menu.  Great food at reasonable prices this is an atmosphere infused joint you will go home excited to reminisce about for years to come.  Corvette Diner hours of operation and location can be found at their website here.

RUBIO’S:  This original home of the Fish Taco is based in San Diego and a must visit for anyone who loves fresh, clean and delicious Tacos.  Their Fish Taco is the original and dare I say, the best in many opinions, but their entire menu is full of great taco, enchilada and nacho varieties.  Home of a multiple variety salsa bar and some of the best rice you will try it is an inexpensive lunch or light meal that includes kid friendly items at great prices.

THE PRADO AT BALBOA PARK: Located in Historic Balboa Park this restaurant is an excellent choice for finer dining and the classic date night meal.  With prices typical of a steakhouse you will find quality appetizers, entrees and desserts that are sure to please the food critique in your party.  Calamari, Steak and Blue Crab are specialties that deserve mention for those with a hearty appetite for rich cuisine.  If you want the ambiance but lack the budget check out their lower priced lunch menu with just as great quality.  Dinner reservations are recommended.  Hours or operation and further information can be found here.

NICOLOSI’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT:  If you enjoy great traditional Italian fare this is definitely the place for you to go.  Romantic ambiance perfect for a candlelit dinner with the one you love their Chicken Penne Pasta is incredible.  A full range of classic Italian dishes available makes this menu one of the best in the area.  Although it is a family friendly restaurant it is definitely traditionally a “date night” location so it may be more suitable to take the kids for a great lunch there and leave the evening meal for just the happy couple dining out. For locations and hours of operation check their website here.

GIANT PIZZA KING:  Every vacation in Southern California needs to include great pizza.  Giant Pizza King has traditional pizza with every choice of topping you can imagine.  Mushrooms, Pepperoni and Black Olive are always popular but their basic cheese pizza is unlike any other you will experience.  Reasonable prices, family friendly atmosphere and incredible quality you will go home wishing you had a location down the street to pick up pizza for your game night events.  Multiple locations across the San Diego County Region can be found here.

San Diego is a great area for quality authentic foods of all kinds.  Southern California is rich in ethnic cuisine that thrives on the generations of families continuing to make their livings providing the food their grandmothers brought to the table.  Don’t miss out on these 5 Great Restaurants In San Diego on your next trip to the area.





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Crockpot Fajita Chicken

There is nothing tastier on a weekend than having a big plate of fajita’s for dinner.  Our family loves anything Mexican or Tex-mex inspired, but some dishes take more time than I would like to spend.  Traditional fajita’s are grilled and tend to take a bit of time over the stove.  Instead of that method, check out this awesome Crockpot Fajita Chicken recipe that leaves you with tender juicy chicken, great tender vegetables and the rich flavors you’ll love!  While it doesn’t give the char marks a grill would, all the other flavors are there making this a favorite easy weekend meals.  Just simply toss ingredients into your Crockpot or Slow Cooker, and grab tortillas and a few fresh veggies to top them!

Crockpot Fajita Chicken



1 Pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, Sliced

1 Bell Pepper Sliced Thin (We use 1/2 green & 1/2 red usually)

1 Small Onion Sliced Thin

1 Clove Garlic, Minced

1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

1/4 Teaspoon Chili Powder

1 Teaspoon Salt



  • Add all ingredients to Crockpot
  • Mix together making sure seasonings coat all meat and veggies
  • Add in 1/4-1/2 Cup Water
  • Cook on medium to high heat setting for 3-4 hours
  • Serve with favorite tortilla and toppings.

Crockpot Chicken Fajita Prep

The best thing about this is how easy it is to double or triple the batch of Crockpot Fajita Chicken and bag up to freezer for future quick and easy freezer meals.  If you prepare in advance, all you have to do is grab from the freezer and defrost in the microwave!  You can even toss the fajita mix into your Crockpot frozen and let it reheat on low while you work!  Don’t forget to add a dollop of sour cream, a bit of lettuce, salsa or guacamole to your fajita’s to enhance the flavors!

Don’t miss out on all of our Easy Meals, Crockpot Meals and Freezer Meal friendly Recipes!

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Carrot Strawberries [Fun Kids’ Treat]

I love treats that are both easy to make and have an adorable final result- these carrot strawberries fit the bill! While they look like a fancy store bought goody they are simple enough that the kids can help put them together.  They would make a fun Spring treat for child’s class (or teacher), a yummy addition to brunch, or for no reason at all.

carrot strawberry final




1 lb Strawberries

8 oz Orange Candy Melting Chips

Orange Sparkling Sugar (optional)

carrot strawberry ingredients




Gently fluff stems upward on strawberries.

Place strawberries in freezer for 10-15 minutes.

Melt chocolate by microwaving for 30 seconds, stirring and repeating until melted and smooth.

Get a piece of wax or parchment paper large enough to hold all strawberries.

Use a spoon to spread chocolate near the stem around the top.

carrot dip

Holding by the stem either dip or spoon chocolate over the berry.

Optionally you can sprinkle with sparkling sugar.

Place on paper.

By chilling in the freezer, the chocolate will set up immediately.

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Quick and Easy Fudge Recipe with only 2 Ingredients

Everyone loves fudge. The gooey confection is one that is sought after as a special homemade candy treat that everyone will clamor to grab when it appears on the table. This Quick & Easy Fudge Recipe with only 2 ingredients takes away all of the fear of making fudge. For years, I watched my mom stand over the stove with a candy thermometer slaving over how to make perfectly smooth and soft fudge. Now I present this easy recipe that has her fooled into thinking I too have slaved for hours in my kitchen.



1 12oz Jar Peanut Butter (smooth or crunchy)

1 16oz Jar Chocolate Frosting


  • Put ingredients together in microwave safe bowl

  • Microwave on high for 45 seconds

  • Stir well

  • Microwave for additional 45 seconds

  • Stir making sure well combined

  • Pour into pre-lined pan (we use 8×8 pan)

  • Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

  • Remove from refrigerator and cut into squares.

Quck & Easy Fudge Recipe

This simple two ingredient fudge is perfect for creating this luscious chocolate peanut butter flavor everyone will love. It is definitely the preferred version in our family, but if you like something different here are some other great combinations you can try.

Crunchy peanut butter with white frosting

Peanut Butter and cream cheese frosting

Peanut Butter and caramel icing

If you or your family have peanut allergies, there is one other great alternative to this method.

Icing flavor of choice with 12 ounces of baking chocolate, or chocolate chips.

White icing with butterscotch chips

Strawberry icing with white chocolate chips

Orange icing with white chocolate chips

Chocolate icing with chocolate chips

Chocolate icing with mint chocolate chips

The combinations are endless when you are making quick and easy fudge recipe. When using chocolate chips or baking chips, you only need to make sure that the chips are melted well when mixing together. These are great fun treats to whip up with your kids!

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Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes

Crock pot mashed potatoes are an easy way to put a creamy and delicious side on the dinner table. Bring these as your contribution to a pot luck, pair them with your main dish for Sunday Supper, or any quick week night main dish.  Slow cooking creates a smooth and tasty mashed potato recipe while you work on the rest of dinner and other things. This may be your new favorite “go-to” side dish! 🙂

Crockpot Mashed Potatoes

Let me tell you how to put them together!

Ingredients for Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes:

5 lbs of potatoes

1 cup water

8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
Directions for Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes:
Wash and peel potatoes and cut up into 1 to 2 inch pieces.
crock pot mashed potatoes dice
Place pieces of potatoes in crock pot with 1 cup water.
Cook on high for 4 hours or until potatoes are soft.
Use a potato masher to mash up the potatoes and add in the cream cheese and optional garlic powder.
Cook for an additional 1 to 2 hours on low until mixture is warm.
Mash again or remove from crockpot and whip with an electric hand mixer until smooth.
Top with butter, gravy, or sour cream.
crockpot mashed potatoes done
There you have it! Delicious mash potatoes, made in your slow cooker! Check out our other tasty recipes here: Recipes
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Crockpot Meatball Soup Recipe

Everyone loves a warm hearty bowl of soup on cool winter nights, but the some folks complain that they just don’t feel satisfying without some meat in them. This Crockpot Meatball Soup Recipe is a great choice for those who love the flavors of pasta and meatballs but want a soup option. Full of tasty flavors and super easy to make, it is a great one to throw together and let cook while you are busy around the house. This is quickly going to become a favorite of the kids and adults in your home.

Crockpot Meatball Soup Recipe



1 bag frozen meatballs (small bag with 24-26 meatballs)

1 bag frozen tortellini (we use cheese but can substitute preferred flavor)

4 cups chicken broth

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 bell pepper, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

2 teaspoons garlic

Crockpot Meatball Soup Recipe


  • Pour all ingredients except tortellini into Crockpot
  • Cook on low heat for 3 hours.
  • Pour tortellini into mixture and stir, may add additional broth if you want thinner.
  • Cook for additional 1 hour.

Crockpot Meatball Soup Recipe

This simple Crockpot meatball soup recipe is perfect served with your favorite crusty garlic toast or other favorite bread. It is simple to throw together, label and freeze for a quick and easy meal that can be reheated in the microwave. You can even put all ingredients except pasta together and freeze to simply put into Crockpot and cook at a later date. Play with flavors of pastas, add in things like chopped carrots, celery or other veggies if you want something that is a bit heartier. This will appeal to you kids who love pasta and meatballs, but still be a sophisticated taste that everyone in your family will enjoy.

Don’t forget to check out all of our favorie budget friendly easy to prepare family recipes.

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Copycat Chili’s Queso Dip

 Copycat Chili's Queso Dip


Copycat Chili’s Queso Dip

Want an easy to make queso dip? Here’s a tasty Copycat Chili’s Queso Dip for you! If you are looking for a delicious appetizer to serve before dinner, to hungry football fans, or at the next potluck then this delicious Copycat Chili’s Queso Dip recipe will disappear right out of the bowl and you will be adored by many… or well it will at least get you invited to every event thereafter.  The dip is easily altered to suit mild or spicy taste buds by omitting cayenne or adding a touch more to the recipe. Check out this easy Copycat Chili’s Queso Dip! Yum!

INGREDIENTS for Copycat Chili’s Queso Dip:

16 oz Velveeta

3/4 cup Milk

1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional, if you don’t like it spicy)

15 oz Wolf Chili (No Beans)

2 tsp Chili Powder

2 tsp Lime Juice

1/2 tsp Cumin

chili con queso ingredients



Cut the Velveeta into cubes.

Heat all ingredients in pan over medium heat stirring frequently, until completely melted.

copycat chili con queso mix

Serve with tortilla chips. Yum!



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Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough! Who doesn’t love a sweet and delicious spoonful of cookie dough? I l know personally I can never wait until they have baked and cooled enough to touch so I always scoop out a spoon (or two) before putting them on the tray. But eating raw cookie dough is kind of like a baked goods Russian Roulette, as we know raw eggs aren’t safe to eat! So check out this delicious recipe! This Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough recipe uses no eggs and the flour is “cooked” so you don’t have that raw flour taste either.  You can hide this in the back of the fridge to eat in the closet when the kids are otherwise occupied, or be nice and share it with them. 🙂


Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough



1/2 cup Brown Sugar

2/3 cup Flour

1/4 cup Chocolate Chips

4 tbsp softened Butter

2 tbsp Milk

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Vanilla

edible cookie dough ingredients





Heat flour in microwave for 2 minutes (internal temp 160).

Mix together brown sugar, butter, vanilla and salt until well mixed.

edible cookie dough mix


Add in milk and gradually add flour until desired dough consistency is reached.

Stir in chocolate chips.


Refrigerate for up to a week in an airtight container.

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Homemade Nutella

If you have not already been caught up in the Nutella craze, this is a great time to try it out. This tasty homemade version is probably a little healthier than the store bought option, substituting coconut oil for palm oil.  Plus, we think you’ll love our homemade nutella in these Homemade Nutella Pop Tarts!

While I always have to keep a batch off Homemade Nutella for myself, I love to include a jar or two in a basket of fresh apples, hot cocoa ingredients, or with other handmade goodies as a sweet Christmas gift.  This recipe is also delicious in homemade poptarts, slathered on toast, on pancakes or waffles, and mixed into ice cream- really, the chocolate possibilities are endless.  🙂 Add a pretty bow and homemade tag, and your gift recipient will be impressed with your culinary skills (even though it is pretty darn simple to make). Grab your spatula, high powered blender, and let’s set to creating this amazing DIY version of a supermarket favorite – Nutella! Go ahead and grab a spoon too, because you are going to want to sample this. Experiment with extracts other than vanilla to give your Nutella a unique taste. YUMMY!

If you love this Homemade Nutella, be sure to check out our 12 Days of Homemade Christmas Gifts 2015 series and our 12 Days of Handmade Christmas Gifts 2014 series, where you’ll find other great inexpensive DIY Homemade Gifts!


Homemade Nutella

Homemade Nutella


1 cup hazelnuts

semi sweet chocolate

2 T. coconut oil

3 T. unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup powdered sugar

3/4  tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. salt

 homemade nutella ingredients


Preheat oven to 350°

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

Spread hazelnuts on prepared baking sheet.

Roast for 10 minutes.

Transfer hazelnuts to food processor or blender, puree until smooth-approximately 5 minutes. If you are using a standard blender you may find that you need to scrape down the sides often to incorporate all the hazelnuts.

Add in cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and salt until well mixed.

Drizzle in melted coconut oil and blend until just combined.

homemade nutella collage

Transfer to an airtight container like a small mason jar.

Mixture will keep in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

When gifting add a piece of twine or ribbon, and a simple handmade tag with contents written on it.

homemade nutella spread


This Homemade Nutella is perfect in our Homemade Nutella Pop Tarts recipe! See it here: Homemade Nutella Pop Tarts

Be sure to check out our 12 Days of Homemade Christmas Gifts 2015 series and our 12 Days of Handmade Christmas Gifts 2014 series, where you’ll find other great inexpensive DIY Homemade Gifts!


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