Happy 2018!

Taco Tuesday No More!

It’s been a rough couple of weeks in the kitchen, y’all!

Between evening choir and 4th grade musical performances at the school and a party that we hosted, I haven’t had much inclination to do my usual meal-planning and cooking routine. I’m guessing a lot of you are in the same boat. 

This week isn’t looking much better either and the only meal planning that I’m up for right now is trying to puzzle through what we’ll be eating for Christmas Eve, (typically we do a spread of finger foods, appetizers and cheese-ball type stuff) Christmas morning, (my husband wants to attempt The Pioneer Woman’s infamous cinnamon rolls) and Christmas dinner. What are you serving? I need some inspiration…

I did manage to crank out one successful, healthy Cook Smarts meal for my family last week, amidst all of the Holiday hullaboloo and wanted to share it with you today. 

(Image courtesy of Cook Smarts, because we gobbled ours down too quickly to snap a picture of the finished product)


I made Chicken with Mushroom White Wine Sauce for dinner on a busy school night. It came together rather easily and was healthy and delicious. Here’s what was in it:

Ingredients: Mushrooms, 2 chicken breasts, cream, thyme, white wine, shallots and chicken broth


I’ve spent years avoiding mushrooms, thinking that I didn’t like them. Thanks to Cook Smarts, I’ve learned that I do, in fact, like mushrooms! Cook Smarts is a weekly meal planning subscription program that provides you with menus, grocery lists and prep ideas to make getting a healthy meal on your family’s table easy and cost-effective each week.

From now through December 23, enjoy 15% off of meal plan gift certificates with the code: GIVECOMFORT at Cook Smarts. 

After the Holidays, I can’t wait to dive back into Cook Smarts meal plans. I always crave order (not to mention VEGETABLES) after the Holidays are over and Cook Smarts is the best tool in my arsenal for getting us back on track in the kitchen.

Speaking of food successes lately: For our little party that we had last week, I put together a cheese tray for noshing on when our guests arrived. It turned out pretty cute and was easy peasy to put together. You might want to give it a whirl at your own Holiday get togethers.

4 different types of cheese cubes from the deli, green and red grapes, celery for the tree trunk and rosemary for garnish.


Please share what’s on your Holiday menu this week to give us some inspo and ideas! 

Happy 2018!

Taco Tuesday No More!

…a weekly meal planning post. 


Last week, knowing that I had several Thanksgiving dishes to prepare, I did not have any interest in cooking meals for my family. I was in a rut. Big time. So, when I got the Cook Smarts email, announcing that week’s menu, I wasn’t as excited as I usually am. 

But, I also knew that, regardless of how much Thanksgiving prep I had to do, that pesky family of mine would need to, you know, eat and stuff too, so I picked a couple of Cook Smarts meals to make.

It just so happens that I’m SO happy that I did because they turned out beautifully and tasted so good–when, otherwise, I probably would’ve gotten us something quick and easy (and unhealthy) like fast food. 

I made the Sausage and Shrimp Gumbo with Brown Rice last week. 

gumbo ingredients

We’re lucky because, living where we do, we have a pretty steady supply of venison meat that’s given to us often and we always have a freezer full of really tasty venison sausage, so I used that in this recipe. Also, I had forgotten how much I love okra until this recipe last week. 

gumo pot

The recipe called for a roux–which, I’m not gonna lie–intimidates the pants off of me. But! It was so easy! The smell of gumbo bubbling on the stovetop was heavenly.  

gumbo bowl

The gumbo turned out wonderful! Hearty and perfect for a chilly night. It also tasted so good ahead of a week full of gluttony and sugar. The protein from the shrimp and sausage really packed a punch and even a small bowl stuck with me for a long time. 

Now, here’s some great news for you…

Cook Smarts

From now through December 6, 2016, Cook Smarts is offering a 40% off all meal plan subscriptions AND gift certificates with the code HAPPYCOOKING. What a fabulous Holiday gift for someone who enjoys healthy food–or, for someone who might want to explore healthier options in the New Year! 

I love gifts that don’t take up space in my home, and gifts that offer an “experience” for the recipient are such a fun thing. You could also plan ahead for the New Year and treat yourself (and your family) to stress-free, organized meal plans for next year.. 

You can read more about my experiences with Cook Smarts HERE and HERE


(This post contains affiliate links that help support the maintenance and operation of this website)

Happy 2018!

Taco Tuesday No More!

…a weekly meal planning post.


I used to have a pretty rigid, set meal plan each week. Spaghetti, tacos and pizza made regular, weekly appearances on our menu because I have picky eaters to contend with and those 3 meals are a sure-thing. But, this got really old. I got tired of eating the same things over and over again, so recently I took to the internet for some inspo and found Cook Smarts.

I use Cook Smarts weekly meal plan service to help me serve up creative, healthy meals for my super-picky family. Cook Smarts has taken the guess work out of meal planning and I’m saving money at the grocery store to boot! (You can read more about Cook Smarts HERE)

Last week, a stand-out Cook Smarts recipe was the maple-dijon panko salmon with mashed butternut squash and green peas. 

Ingredients for maple-dijon panko salmon
Ingredients for maple-dijon panko salmon


I’ve prepared salmon in a similar way to this in the past with success, so I was pretty sure that this version would work for us as well, but the big surprise was how yummy the mashed butternut squash was.

My crappy photography doesn't do this dish justice
My crappy photography doesn’t do this dish justice


I’m definitely the squash-lover in our family. My husband tolerates it, but I knew that it being mashed would be a HUGE turnoff for him (because he’s a texture dude through and through). He actually enjoyed it though! Yes, it was the consistency of baby food, but it was packed with flavor and paired wonderfully with the salmon and the peas. This felt like the perfect Fall meal–equal parts comfort food and healthy. 

Stay tuned next week to see what meal plan successes (or failures) we’re having. 


Cook Smarts saves you time, money and food waste while also building your confidence in the kitchen with tons of helpful tips, weekend prep suggestions and video tutorials.

Click HERE to get 3 free meal plans to try, risk free!  


(this post contains affiliate links, which help to offset the cost of running and maintaining this website)