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Potato, Mushroom & Sausage Bake Recipe

mom it forward It’s takes a drastic weather change to come up with new meal ideas. The cool weather that crept up on us the past couple of weeks brought on thoughts of layered casseroles, hearty soups, warm breads and sinful desserts. This latest meal, Potato, Mushroom and Sausage Bake hit the spot on a particular windy and rainy day.Potato, Mushroom & Sausage Bake Recipe #BringHillshireHome #ad

Shopping for ingredients is always fun but going out to the store in the rain isn’t what I wanted to do. I scoured my fridge and pantry for those just right items to warm up our bellies.Potato, Mushroom & Sausage Bake Recipe #BringHillshireHome #ad

Potato, Mushroom & Sausage Bake Recipe #BringHillshireHome #ad

Sausage of all kinds is one of our favorite meats. We grill it, saute it, crumble it on pizza and even roast it over the campfire. It made sense to create a meal surrounding it. Jimmy Dean Sausage is a staple in our house so with a roll of their Premium Pork Regular Sausage (Sage Sausage would be great too) and basic ingredients I made a meal that the family loved.

Potato, Mushroom & Sausage Bake


  • Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage Roll
  • 3 lbs potatoes, cut into 2″ cubes
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 lb baby Portobello mushrooms
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 water
  • 1 cup finely chopped granny smith apple
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder as needed


In a large stock pot over medium heat cook & crumble Jimmy Dean sausage.
Remove & drain sausage and set aside. Wipe pan of excess liquid or fat. In same pan saute celery, onions, mushrooms and thyme till just tender.
Remove veggies and set aside.
In same pot, add potatoes, salt, pepper, garlic powder & water, cover pot and cook for 10 minutes over low heat.
Add red wine vinegar to deglaze pan and scrape up bits cooked onto pan. Stir in sausage, veggies and apple.
Transfer to large casserole dish and bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes at 350°.
Top should be golden brown and crisp.
Serve with steamed veggies of choice for a balanced dinner with the family.

****Don’t leave out the apple. It provides a touch of sweet and tart that goes perfectly with the saltiness of the sausage.Potato, Mushroom & Sausage Bake Recipe #BringHillshireHome #ad

Potato, Mushroom & Sausage Bake Recipe #BringHillshireHome #ad 

This served our family of 5 with some leftover. I had the best lunch the next day. This is a great make ahead meal. Do all the steps except baking. Bring to a potluck dinner, new family in the neighborhood or double the recipe to have another meal on hand for those busy holiday shopping days. In fact we keep cooked sausage in our fridge most of the time. It’s a simple way to create a healthy but quick pasta dish or bulk up an omelette for breakfast and of course as our favorite pizza topping.

Shop for Jimmy Dean Sausage at Safeway and don’t forget to grab this coupon and other valuable Hillshire Brands coupons from the Just For U center. Save money on your favorite brands such as Hillshire Farm, Ball Park and State Fair.Jimmy Dean Coupon #BringHillshireHome #ad


Here are some MORE Hillshire Brand meals to give you some inspiration for tasty, wholesome and delicious meals.

Smoked Sausage with Peppers
Fried Rice
Kielbasa with Apples and Potatoes
Sausage Sliders with Broccoli Slaw
Easy Sausage Jambalaya
Chicago Style HotDogs
Mummy Dogs
Corn and Sausage Chowder

What kind of hearty meals do you prepare for your family in the cooler seasons?

Sweet & Spicy Garlic Chili Chicken #recipe

It was a hot and humid day and I had no desire to man the grill to cook dinner. The house was cool because the air was cranked down to 70 degrees so the kitchen felt very good to cook a meal. I’d been craving Chinese food for days but instead of ordering I created. Our favorite General Tso’s Chicken inspired this Sweet & Spicy Garlic Chili Chicken.
Sweet and Spicy Garlic Chili Chicken #recipe

I had 8 small chicken breasts from Five Star Home Foods to use and I wanted something that was different from our normal meals.  I also knew I had to make lots of adjustments to the heat level for different members of the family. Rob loves lots of spice and heat. Sabreena and I can deal with some heat but Shaun and Shae have more tame palates. The sauce on the side provides the kick that Rob likes. Doing a separate sauce lets each person add just as much as they want.


Sweet & Spicy Garlic Chili Chicken


  • 2-3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1 tsp Sesame oil
  • 2 TBLS Soy Sauce
  • 3 TBLS Chili Garlic sauce (Huy Fong Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce is my go to)
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • scallions
  • jalapenos
  • cooking oil for frying

 Spicy Chili Sauce

  • 1/3 cup chili garlic sauce
  • 2 TBLS honey (or more)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce


In a large bowl thoroughly mix together the chicken, sesame oil, soy sauce, chili sauce, garlic, black pepper, vinegar and ginger and set aside for at least 2 hours.

In a small bowl mix together the chili garlic sauce, honey and soy sauce. Set aside so the flavors come together. *Add more or less honey to adjust the heat level to your preference.

To cook the chicken bring 2 inches of canola or peanut oil to a medium high temperature, 350 degrees. Drain the marinated chicken and coat pieces in cornstarch, shaking off to remove excess.

Fry the chicken pieces and carrots  in small batches till just cooked, turning to brown on all sides then set aside while remaining chicken cooks. I kept mine on a plate in the oven at low heat.

Serve over rice with chopped scallions and thinly sliced jalapenos and spicy chili sauce on top or as a dipping sauce on the side.

Sweet and Spicy Garlic Chili Chicken #recipe

Sweet and Spicy Garlic Chili Chicken #recipe
I’ve been wanting to make this again. I actually crave it, think about it.

As with any recipe adjust seasonings to your preference. Recipes (except for baking) should never be the final say on a dish. Use it as a guide to create something you and your family will love and want to make again and again.

For the best recipes start with quality ingredients. Using Five Star Home Foods for the past 3 months has inspired many new recipes.

Shepherds Pie Dinner with Manwich Thick & Chunky

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Manwich for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Family meal time is important. It’s often the only time in a day that we all come together to reconnect after busy days at work and school. Coming together around the table lets us talk about not just our days but about family matters, events coming up and of course to share laughs. Making sure we have hearty, healthy and delicious meals encourages more time gathered around the table. One of my latest meal creations came from the help of Manwich with this Turkey Manwich Shepherds Pie.

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I’ll be honest the idea of a Manwich sloppy joe sandwich is not my favorite. Strictly due to the mess involved I avoid making them and serving them. What I do enjoy is the slight bbq tangy flavor that comes from the sauce so I knew I had to recreate a family favorite with a Manwich twist. I turned to Manwich because I trust them to provide easy weeknight meals without artificial flavors or preservatives.

Over the last 2 weeks the temperatures dropped, it’s definitely not summer any more. The cooler nights invite more comforting meals and to my family there isn’t much more comforting and belly filling than shepards pie. My regular recipe is very simple but I knew I could kick it up TONS with the addition of Manwich Thick and Chunky. The texture was just right for this recipe.
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Manwich Shepards Pie #Recipe @socialspark #ad #manwich

Manwich Shepards Pie #Recipe @socialspark #ad #manwich

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Manwich Shepards Pie


  • 3lbs homemade mashed potatoes
  • 1 1/3 lb ground lean turkey or beef
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • Manwich Thick and Chunky
  • shredded cheese optional


Start with a creamy delicious homemade mashed potato base. Mine consists of 3lbs of Yukon Gold potatoes, 3 tbls butter, 3 tbls sour cream, 3 tbls cream cheese and warm milk.

In a large skillet over medium heat cook down your onions and ground meat, season with salt, pepper & oregano. Add frozen corn and Manwich Thick and Chunky and stir to combine.

Preheat your oven for 350°.

In a large casserole dish spread your prepared mashed potatoes and top with the meat mixture. Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top for extra flavor.

Bake in a 350° for 30-40 minutes until the dish is hot and bubbly. Serve alongside steamed broccoli or your own favorite veggie.Manwich Shepards Pie #Recipe @socialspark #ad #manwich

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The meal was well received. I already knew the kids loved sloppy joe sandwiches but I didn’t expect such rave reviews. I really liked this dish too and will be adding it into our winter meal rotation. I’ve even going to check out the other Manwich recipes because I already know it’s good for so many other things.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Italian Meatloaf Muffins #recipe

Everything tastes better in the form of a muffin. Muffins are cute, a great portion size and appealing to all ages. That’s why I love making meals in muffin form like these Italian Meatloaf Muffins.

Italian Meatloaf Muffins #recipe #dinner

It’s Thursday, that means Shaun has basketball clinic from 3:15-5:15 then Lacrosse practice from 6:00-7″30. By the time we get home and he gets the stink showered off of him it’s bedtime. These days call for dinner in the car. If you know me you know I don’t do fast food for dinner. Maybe it’s guilt from too many years of drive-thru dinners or just knowing I shouldn’t be so lazy and just make a good dinner.

Meatloaf muffins are easy to make, quick to cook and can be eaten on the go. I made these right before I picked Shaun up from practice so they were still warm but I’ve made them in the morning, packed them up and had them in stored for trouble-free meals later.

Start with your favorite meatloaf recipe but I’ll share mine. My kids actually really love it. It’s something they actually cheer for when I tell them it’s for dinner.

1 1/2lbs ground meat of choice. I prefer traditional meatloaf mix and loathe all ground turkey.
1 1/2 cups of finely shredded/chopped veggies of choice. This time I used carrots, garlic, red & orange peppers & onions. sautéing before adding to meat adds great flavor
1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1tsp freshly cracked pepper
1tsp kosher salt
1 egg
*1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley or 1TBLS dried
*2TBLS chopped fresh oregano or 2tsp dried

Using your hands mix the all ingredients but don’t overmix. You should still see the ground meat texture.
Fill 12 muffin cups with the meatloaf mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes till cooked through.
Top with shredded mozzarella and a side of marinara or favorite pasta sauce.
Italian Meatloaf Muffins #recipe #dinner

Italian Meatloaf Muffins #recipe #dinner
Italian Meatloaf Muffins #recipe #dinner

*There are many variations of meatloaf you can make just by switching the ingredients that go into your ground meat & veggie mixture
Mexican-add cumin and garlic, top with salsa and shredded cheddar
Greek-add oregano and mint, top with crumbled feta and cucumber yogurt sauce
BBQ-add chopped chipotle peppers and top with favorite bbq sauce

Breakfast for Dinner #KidsintheKitchen

I’ve been getting better with meal planning which in turns makes for efficient shopping trips. But you know there all always hiccups in the schedule and time when the best thought out plans fall through. When this happens we rely on old faithful, breakfast for dinner. My kids hear this and they go nuts. They love breakfast food so when they can have it two times in one day I’m the greatest mother in the world.

kids in the kitchen, meme. #kidsinthekitchen

Since they love it so much I like to get them involved in getting dinner on the table. It doesn’t have to be difficult or dangerous. Mixing, measuring or setting the table all counts as helping in the kitchen.

Shae helping with eggs.

kids in the kitchen, weekly series, #kidsinthekitchen

sticky wet eggy fingers
kids in the kitchen, #kidsinthekitchen,
dinner is served
breakfast for dinner, #kidsinthekitchen, kid in the kitchen series

Do you have a story to share about your kids favorite food or a recipe they’ve created because you were out of milk that one day? I would love for you to join me and my co-hosts, Paula at Frosted Fingers and Sara at Sensibly Sara, each week linking up a post, new or old, that feature the theme Kids in the Kitchen. It doesn’t matter what you are doing as long as you are doing it together and enjoying it and learning something.

  • preparing healthy snacks
  • having a tea party
  • counting skills with m&ms
  • pouring from measuring cups
  • discovering a local restaurant that your kids love
  • creating new family friendly recipes

Don’t have a blog, then share a photo you uploaded to Facebook or Twitter.  Share whatever you have, we want to see it.

Linky Rules

1.  Link up only your kid friendly recipes, stories, pictures or cooking lessons here.(No Etsy stores or giveaways please).

2.  Link directly to a specific post, update or tweet not your homepage.

3. Please add a Kids in the Kitchen button or link on your site or blog post or share through social media so readers know you are participating.

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4.  Click through and comment, pin, like, tweet or share with other participants.  We love to share inspiration and ideas with each other, don’t link and run.

5. Follow the hosts of this feature,Paula at Frosted FingersSara at Sensibly Sara and me, Melinda at LookWhatMomFound…and Dad too

I can’t wait to see all of the fun food themed ideas, excursions and photos you have to share.

I Disclose

What’s For Dinner? – I Need You Help!

These are words that I ask every single night and Melinda is great with giving me an answer but lately nothing sounds good.  In our house we eat a lot of chicken, ground turkey, pasta and occasionally pork.  Over time there are only so many things you can make from these items.  Melinda had told me numerous times to come up with ideas if I don’t like the ones she has and I have tried but I come up empty. 

So that is the reason for this post.  I need your help.  If you have a recipe or idea on what we could have for dinner using the meats above let me know.  What the heck if you have a great recipe that doesn’t use the meats above let me know.  We are open to trying new things.  I want to thank you in advance for your help and I can’t wait to see what you have for me/us.

Your table can look like the Chef’s Table

With a new home came new stuff to fill it. New furniture, new accessories and new art were all part of the move. Oneida came through with new dinnerware to fill the cabinets.

Chef’s Table is a new collection introduced by Oneida to be tough for everyday use but with an elegant look and design.

The shapes of Chef’s Table have been designed to be chip resistant and tough enough for every family’s active lifestyle. Each dinner and salad plate has a special “restaurant rolled edge” to protect it from chipping. We also designed a special “finger-touch grip” on the underside of each plate, so you can pick it up even when your hands are wet.

  • Porcelain
  • 3 Year No Chip Warranty on Place Setting Items
  • Restaurant Rolled Edge, Finger Touch Grip
  • Dishwasher and Microwave Safe

I’m in love with the bright white color and hard square design. When I opened the first box of bowls I knew I was going to be happy. The shape of the bowls is unique, round up top and square on the bottom.

The mugs are actually a useful size too; no more space-hogging teacup size mugs.  The salad plates are large enough for small lunches or to serve the kids dinner. Unfortunately we had some bad experiences with broken/chipped dishes, design mix-up, slow delivery and unhurried communication. The final outcome though has been wonderful; a cupboard full of new, crisp white and durable dinnerware that I’m proud to show off. It makes even the simplest most boring meals exciting to look at.

Oneida is a top retailer of a variety of kitchen goods. I noticed our flatware was Oneida the other night while eating dinner. Its operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Australia market stainless, silverplated, and sterling silverware / flatware products, china dinnerware, and crystal and glassware items. Oneida is the #1 Brand in silverware / flatware with the top 5 designs in the entire industry.

This is a sponsored post but the opinions and descriptions presented belong solely to LookWhatMomFound…and Dad too! Your experiences and reactions may differ from ours.

I Work For Tips

I understand the importance of tipping. I use to be a server and would do it again because when I was a server I made great tips because I gave great service. The problem I have with going out these days is servers feel that they deserve a tip regardless of the service they give and to me that is just wrong.

Last night Melinda, the kids and I went to a Chinese buffet down the street from my in-laws. Now as most of you know you serve yourself at buffets and they have servers to clear your dishes and to get your drinks. This is a very important job and needs to be done and I am all for tipping as long as the dirty dishes are cleared and drinks are filled. In my opinion not a lot to ask. I typically would tip 20% on a full service restaurant where my meal is brought to me like a Red Robin sort of place but usually for a buffet I tip between 10% and 15%. Tonight our bill was $35.96 and I left $4.04 for the tip. I am not great at math but that is about 11% which I thought was decent for a buffet but not our server. When she came back for the check while we were still sitting (which I think is rude) she walked over to another server and showed her the check. My first thought was I was being extremely cheap but the more I thought about it I felt it was fine so I am not sure what the problem was. Maybe I am way off base here but 11% tip for a buffet seems fine to me. I was really taken back by our server’s reaction and if I had some cash on me I probably would have tipped her more. I thought about what happened at dinner for a good hour afterwards and even asked my father in-law what he tips at buffets and he said 10-15%.

What do you tip at a buffet? Was I being cheap?