All posts by Melissa Griffiths

Healthy Homemade Frozen Chicken Nuggets from America’s Test Kitchen

Some people get excited about new movie releases or album debuts, but what gets this girl is new America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks, and boy do they have a new cookbook! I’ve been a longtime fan of America’s Test Kitchen. My husband got me two of their books back in 2010 for Mother’s Day and I’ve been hooked ever since; I’ve been adding to my ATK (America’s Test Kitchen) collection for years and I have to tell you about their newest book that just came out yesterday! And because I like you, you can win a copy for yourself. Keep reading!

I thought ATK did a great job explaining their new book, The Make Ahead Cook. Here’s what they have to say about it.

During the extensive testing for The Make Ahead Cook, we developed 8 different strategies that provide solutions for the time-pressed cook who appreciates the ease of make-ahead meals, but demands great taste. Each chapter focuses on a different path in make-ahead cooking, taking into account a variety of needs, budgets, and lifestyles, adding up to what is essentially eight cookbooks in one. With one chapter dedicated to “Shopping Smart: One Grocery Bag Makes Three Dinners,” you’ll have the power to plan 8 different menus of 3 dishes each from 1 single grocery bag. Another genius chapter is our “The Sunday Cook: Big Roasts Plus Creative Second Meals” which makes use of one big roast for 3 pre-planned meals—think two roast chickens on Sunday transforming into chicken bread salad or penne with roasted chicken the next night. Whichever route, this book is here to help busy cooks along the way.

These are all of the chapters:
Make-Ahead 101
Prep Ahead: Ready-to-Cook Meals
Reheat and Eat: Make-Ahead Stews and Braises
Bake and Serve: Oven Ready Casseroles
From Fridge to Table: Ready-to-Serve Entrees
Shop Smart: One Grocery Bag Makes Three Dinners
The Sunday Cooke: Big Roasts Plus Creative Second Meals
Come Home to Dinner: Easy Slow-Cooker Favorites
Stock the Freezer: Big Batch Summers

You guys! I’m in love! ATK is so great about using real ingredients very smartly. You aren’t going to find a can of “cream-o-anything” here, which I love. Every recipe takes up two whole pages. Each one has a large paragraph before the recipe about why it works, what they tried and didn’t work, and why they eventually went with the method they did. I think this is why I love their books so much; I get an education every time I open them and I really love that.

I found myself spending a lot of time in the “Stock the Freezer” section and I’ve picked a homemade frozen chicken nuggets recipe from the book to share with you today!

Healthy Homemade Frozen Chicken Nuggets from America's Test Kitchen
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Quick and Easy Ranch Chicken Bake

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Hey friends! Life is so crazy right now. We are literally a day or two away from opening the hardware store that we've been working on for almost 2 years. We are waiting for the building inspector to come one last time and issue our occupancy permit. While we are knee-deep in the final stages of cleaning and general business I have my friend Emily here to share a great recipe for Ranch Chicken Bake (no ranch packet included! Yay!). By the end of the week I should have a post on the hardware store for you as well as Continue Reading →


19 Beautiful Basil Recipes

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When you think of certain smells they conjure up memories of places and people from the past. As I carefully break off stems of basil from the plant with my fingers, that smell my friends, comes with all kinds of memories. I think of a certain apartment where I grew basil in a pot on the back porch and made bruschetta every day for a week. I think of my upstairs neighbor and how much I miss her (Hi Sarah!). And I think of Henry. He was just about Paul's age that year, around 10 months, and it was at Continue Reading →


Ingredient Spotlight: Summer Squashes (or skwarsh if you are my grandma)

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I'm hanging on to the last days of summer and enjoying the garden in all of it's productive glory! Months worth of work are certainly worth it this time of year in terms of a garden. I thought it would be fun to highlight one of my very favorite summer ingredients - summer squash! And maybe you are cute like my Grandma Jane in Indiana and say "skwarsh". No matter how you say it, it's delicious. Here's a little more info on the ever popular and ever producing vegetable. Summer Squash Basics: Summer squash is the blanket term usually used to describe Continue Reading →


All kinds of lunch box inspiration!

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Today isn't just lunch box inspiration, it's also a giveaway of some really fun lunch box gear and products to get you excited for the coming school year! Keep reading, it's a long post :) I'm always looking for fun new ways to pack a lunch and I thought I'd share some inspiration with you today. I don't make crazy intricate lunches often, but once in a while I get overly motivated or Macey needs a little sunshine in her lunch box and I'll go wild with creativity. Things like this are fun when you want them to be fun, but Continue Reading →


It’s time to Back-to-School Shop till you drop (with a 25% off coupon!)

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This is my last post for Lands' End and I just have to say this whole thing has been so much fun for my kids and I. It's not every day that that some food loving hobby farmer (and her future little farmers) in the middle of no where get to be included in such fanciness. Thank you so much for enjoying the journey with me. Here's what's in it for you. I hope that I've given you some knowledge about what Lands' End in has to offer us mommas of school aged kids (great quality clothes that are a built Continue Reading →


The County Fair in all of it’s glory!

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The county fair was this past weekend I'm so excited to show you a little peak at all the fun! Come see small town America in all of it's glory! This was our family's first year really participating in the fair and it was so much fun! My Aunt Sally is on the fair board and so she asked me to help set up a "country store" where people who brought exhibits could bring extra items to sell. It was the first year doing it and it was so successful. Lots of people brought things to sell and lots of things Continue Reading →


My kids are CHILD MODELS! You should come see :)

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Sometimes my mother heart is just leaping out of my chest with excitement over the things my kids are doing. You know what I mean! Watching the ball soar on that amazing home run hit, the first time they sing a solo at church, or their tiny little voices at the school play. So rewarding. Well today is one of those days. I never wanted to have my kids be child models, but who doesn't want their kids to be child models. #braggingrightsforyears Ok, ok, so they aren't really child models but don't they look like it? I've just been dying Continue Reading →


Rich Peanut Butter Brownies

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Happy Friday to you! Our county fair is this weekend and I've volunteered to be there lots and lots helping out with a country store. It should be a lot of fun, and if you'd like little sneak peaks of the action, tag along on instagram! I post there lots. I'm super excited to see how all of the things I entered into the fair were judged today too. I'm hoping for a few blue ribbons! I thought I'd celebrate my fun weekend with you by posting this delicious peanut butter brownie recipe. It's rich and chocolaty with just the right amount Continue Reading →


That One Time I went Back to School Shopping in my Robe

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When we moved to the middle of no where a little over a year ago I knew that I would be sacrificing a few things in exchange for so many positive things. I left behind health food stores, museums, parks, and libraries. I gained land to grow a garden, a community like no other to raise my kids in, and a slower way of life that I am grateful for. I've found lots of hikes, sand dunes, and our little town pool to fill our recreational need. The bookmobile (a mobile library of sorts) stops by twice a month to fill Continue Reading →