Buffalo Turkey Meatballs

Like any good midwestern girl, I have two main condiments that I will put on any and every dish: hot sauce, and ranch. No matter what it is I’m making, those two sauces will always come in clutch to amp up the flavor. With these Buffalo Turkey Meatballs, it offers so much punch that you can pair it with super simple sides and in about 30 minutes you have made an easy and delicious weeknight dinner! Follow below for step by step ingredients, or scroll to the bottom for a recipe card (yay, something new!) Let me know if you love the card option and I can start adding that to new posts!

First gather all of your ingredients for your meatballs. I like to use almond flour for my meatballs because I feel like it gives the meatball a smoother texture than I get with breadcrumbs or panko.

Once your meat mixture is combined, scoop out your meatballs. I prefer to use my cookie scoop for this so I can get a consistent size throughout. Once your meatballs are all formed, brown them in a hot skillet. Turn them often so they brown on all sides. They may not be cooked all the way through, so I put mine into a 350° oven while I prepare the sauce.

For the sauce, I keep it simple. Just hot sauce, butter, salt and pepper. Wipe out your skillet and add the sauce ingredients. Reduce the heat and let the butter melt and the sauce come together. It won’t take long, but keep stirring it to keep it from burning. If it’s getting too hot too fast, turn it down even more.

Add your cooked meatballs to the skillet. Stir them often to coat them on all sides with the hot sauce mixture.

And there you have it! I served these with jasmine rice and a side salad, and they were a huge hit! My husband and I had leftover meatballs for 2 days with this, and I could have easily eaten them another week without complaint. Serving them on skewers immediately made my kids excited for dinner-because everything tastes better on a stick. There’s a parenting hack for you!

Creamy Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup

Growing up I hated loathed tomato soup. Of course, I’m talking about the good ‘ol canned stuff. Bright red and flavorless, nothing about it ever interested me. No one was more surprised than me when I had a craving for tomato soup and grilled cheese. Not just any soup would do, I craved something delicious and creamy. Something healthy I could feel good about serving my family that is also tasty enough for them to WANT to eat it. So, I took to the kitchen to try my hand at something that I never thought I would like, and ended up making one of the best tasting lunches I’ve ever made. Creamy, flavorful, and hearty enough to keep my family full. This soup will have you coming back for more!

Here’s what you’ll need:
*2 shallots
*5 garlic cloves (you can use more, this is all I had on hand)
*12 tomatoes
*1/4 C olive oil, divided
*1 Tbsp fresh parsley
*1 tsp fresh thyme
*1 1/2 tsp dried basil
*1/2 C cream
*1 tsp salt
*1/2 tsp pepper

Halve your tomatoes and put them in a large bowl. Drizzle them with some oil and give them a good mix with your hands to evenly coat them. Place the tomatoes face down on a baking sheet that’s been lined with parchment and sprinkle some salt on top. For the roasted garlic, peel the cloves and place them in some tin foil. Drizzle some oil on them and wrap them up. Place the baking sheets in a 4oo° oven for 45 minutes.

Peel and slice your shallots. In a dutch oven, heat your oil over medium high. Add your shallots and cook them until tender. Dump your roasted tomatoes, garlic, and spices into the dutch oven and give it a good stir. Make sure to get all those juices that cooked out of your tomatoes in the oven, that is extra flavor and you want every bit of that to get into your soup!

Now use your immersion blender and blend your soup until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can always put the soup mixture in blender and blend until smooth. Or if you want to avoid splattering yourself and your kitchen with tomato juices….not that I know from experience or anything…cough cough.

Add your cream and stir it well. Now you can serve it up or keep it on low while you make some grilled cheese sandwiches to pair with it. This is optional, of course, but I’m not about to turn down carbs covered in melted cheese.

And there you have it. The tomato soup recipe that turned a life-long tomato soup hater into a believer. It is so good you will lick your bowl clean.

Proof. It’s just that good.

Carne Asada Tacos

The end of 2019 was a hectic one for our family. We packed up and moved across the country from California to North Carolina. Coupled with traveling to Indiana to spend Christmas with our families, celebrating our sons 9th birthday, moving into our new house, starting the kids in a new school, and just learning our way around a new military base….whew, it’s been a lot! Now that we are settling back into a routine, I have really found myself in the kitchen a lot more. Which means great meals for my family, and great new recipes for you all!

This recipe idea is not revolutionary, by any means. I mean, tacos are a dinner staple in our house and we have them at least twice a month. They are the perfect meal! Delicious, easy to prep, customizable. You really can’t go wrong. So what makes this recipe so blog worthy? MARINATED.CARNE.ASADA.

Yes. It’s all in the marinade! It’s easy to just brown up some beef or turkey and make that your taco base, but using flank steak and marinating it for just a few hours really knocks this one out of the park. Don’t believe me? After dinner last night my husband did all the dishes AND I got a backrub before bed. Coincidence? Or the magic of Carne Asada? I think you know the answer!

First, gather your ingredients to marinate your steaks.
*2 flank steaks
*1 lemon
*1/4 C olive oil
*3 cloves garlic
*1Tbsp cilantro, chopped
*1 tsp cumin
*1 tsp chili powder
*1/2 tsp salt
*1/4 tsp pepper

Chop your garlic and cilantro and mix it into your spice mixture.

Squeeze in your lemon juice. Next add your olive oil and give it a good stir. The smells….*sigh* so good!

I cut my steaks in half so they would better fit my skillet, and then I placed all 4 pieces into a large Ziploc bag.

Pour your marinade over your steaks and seal the bag. Give it a good mix and rub that mixture into every nook and cranny of your steaks. At this point, place the bag in your fridge and let it marinade for about 4 hours. You can probably get away with a little less time, but I’d be sure at least give it a good 30 minutes to really help seal those flavors in.

Time to cook! Place your skillet over medium high heat and oil the bottom. These steaks are nice and thin, so they take no time at all to cook up. Just keep it in long enough to get a nice brown crust on each side, maybe 1-2 minutes a side.

Remove the steaks from the pan and let them rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes. This helps keep those juices in so you don’t lose that flavor when you slice it up. Trust me, it’s worth the wait. Use this time to make my chunky guacamole and fresh pico de gallo, you won’t be disappointed!

Fresh Pico de Gallo

  • 1 1/2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp cilantro, diced
  • pinch of salt and pepper
    Add all of your diced ingredients to a small bowl. Sprinkle in your salt and pepper, and squeeze your lemon juice over the top. Stir gently to combine. That’s it! So simple and so fresh. Put this on EVERYTHING!

Chunky Guacamole

  • 1-2 avocados, diced
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 tsp cilantro, diced
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 roma tomato, diced
    Halve your avocado, remove the pit (carefully), then dice. Add all your diced ingredients to a small bowl. Sprinkle in your spices and squeeze you lemon over the top. Give it a gentle stir, just enough to combine and coat every bit of the avocado, but leave the chunks. Or don’t. But you should!

Corn tortillas, flour tortillas-it’s amazing on either one. We like to do spring mix, my Fresh Pico de Gallo, sour cream, shredded cheese, and black olives, with a side of chips and Chunky Guacamole. Serve these up however you like your tacos! It’s so easy to customize, just lay everything out and let your family go to town. Flavortown, as Guy Fieri would say. Boom.

Loaded Potato Soup

This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you purchase from our link we may make a small commission on your purchase (at no cost to you!). Please read our full disclosure here.

Tis the season! I’m not talking about turkey or candy canes…I’m talking school germs and sick kids. Both our kids have taken turns spreading germs to one another over the last 2 weeks, and I swear I’ve only had 2 days with BOTH of them in school at the same time. With all of the coughing, fevers, and yuckiness I have been trying to make more hearty comfort meals to keep everyone feeling warm from the inside out. Now, I love a good brothy soup. Something I can eat and then drink up the warm broth out of my nearly empty bowl. My husband however, he wants something more stick-to-your-ribs and thick. That’s where this Loaded Potato Soup comes in. It’s thick and cheesy with chunks of potato and bacon in each bite, and it just warms your soul when you eat it. It is great for picky husbands and sick kids alike!

Before I start my mise en place, I make the bacon. I used to loathe making bacon-yes, it is delicious but cleaning the grease mess off my stove top every time made me crazy. I use one of these broiler pans and it is a game changer! No more greasy mess, and crispy perfect bacon every time. Put the bacon in the oven cold and then set to 400°. After 15-20 minutes you have perfect bacon!­

Now that you have your bacon started, you can work on getting everything else in place. You will need:
*1 carrot, grated
*3C cubed potatoes
*1/2C chopped onion
*1/2 tsp celery seed
*salt and pepper to taste
*1 container chicken broth
*3C milk
*3 Tbsp flour
*8 oz cheese (shredded or Velveeta, both have worked for me!)
*1 package crispy bacon, chopped and divided
*optional-sour cream, chives for garnish

Add your chicken broth to a large stock pot.

Add your potatoes, onion, carrot, and spices to the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender.

Once your potatoes are fork tender, add your 3 Tbsp of flour to your 3 C milk. Wisk until combined.

Carefully add your milk and flour mixture to your pot.

Stir to combine and bring your soup back to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes to thicken. Be sure to stir the bottom of the pot often so the milk doesn’t stick or clump. Add in your shredded cheese and stir until melted. You should really notice your soup has thickened up!

Chop your crispy bacon. Stir half into the soup now and reserve the other half for garnish. Try to keep your husband from eating it all off of the cutting board. I put that in because it is a necessary step around here.

You can serve this as is (which is how my husband likes it) or you can garnish with some sour cream and chives (how I like it) and it tastes like a creamy baked potato. Pair it with my 6 Ingredient Sandwich Bread and it is DIVINE! Honestly though, you can’t disappoint with this one no matter how you serve it!

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cups (and a bonus recipe!)

Today has been a doozy! Never ending phone calls and things to do….and it isn’t due to slow down until bedtime. I knew I was going to need a pick-me-up to pull me through the rest of the day, and there’s no cure quite like chocolate and peanut butter.

I found these adorable pumpkin ice cube molds at the Dollar Tree today and my first thought was…peanut butter cups! Luckily I knew I already had most of the ingredients stocked in my pantry. Here’s what I used:
*pumpkin molds
*1/2 C confectioners sugar
*1/2 C creamy peanut butter
*half a bag of chocolate chips
*1 Tbsp coconut oil

In a microwave safe bowl (or measuring cup) add your half a bag of chocolate chips and your coconut oil. Microwave them in 15 second intervals, stirring them every time until melted. I think I did this 4 times before it was smooth, so about a minute.

Make sure your molds are clean and dry, and then you can start pouring in your chocolate. I used a spoon to add a bit to the bottom of the mold and then spread it around with a (brand new) paint brush. Once both molds are covered, put them in the fridge for about 15 minutes to set the chocolate. Set aside the extra chocolate mixture, you will need it later.

While you’re waiting for your chocolate to set, start on your peanut butter filling. You can mix this by hand, but I prefer my stand mixer so I can make sure I get a good, even mix. Start with your 1/2 C peanut butter.

Then add your 1/2 C confectioners sugar. With your paddle attachment, mix your ingredients until smooth.

By now, your chocolate should be nice and solid. Take your peanut butter mixture and add about 1/2 tsp to the middle of each mold. Use the back of your spoon or your finger to gently push the peanut butter mixture down.

Take your remaining melted chocolate and carefully spoon it over the top of your peanut butter mixture. I added enough to make the chocolate even with the top of my mold.

When both molds are full, place them back into the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Try to distract yourself….these next 30 minutes can feel like a lifetime when you know you have peanut-buttery-chocolate-covered-goodness waiting for you!

When your chocolate is nice and set, it’s time to pop them out of the molds! My pumpkin molds, although incredibly adorable, made it difficult to get out some of the molds. Some of my pumpkins got a little cracked on the way out, but they still taste absolutely incredible. Just pop these into a sealed container and store them into the fridge. I honestly can’t tell you how long they will last in the fridge, because mine never last longer than the weekend. So if you have more self control than I do, let me know how long these keep will ya?

BONUS RECIPE TIME! I had about 1/4 C of my peanut butter mixture left over (next time I’ll use bigger molds!) and I knew there was no way I was going to let this go to waste! I peeked in my fridge/pantry to see what I had that I could make with this…honey, greek yogurt, peanut butter mixture….sounds like the perfect ingredients for a fruit dip!

Just whisk together the 1/4C peanut butter mixture, 1C greek yogurt, and 1Tbsp honey until smooth.

Cut up an apple, and enjoy! This became my impromptu lunch while I was waiting for my peanut butter cups to harden, and it was so delish and easy that I had to share it with you all!

Seriously….so good. And you get two recipes in one with minimal effort! Lucky you!

Sammy Lawrence Axe Tutorial (Bendy and the Ink Machine)

This post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.

If you’ve been following along with our Bendy and the Ink Machine costume series, you have seen my tutorial on our Sammy Lawrence costume. A major game prop that Sammy uses is his axe. Now, my son has learned that I LIVE for making props (last year I learned how to use EVA foam to make props and it was a game changer!) so he knew this axe was going to be part of the deal. I knew it would be an easy build and take very few materials, so I told him I could absolutely build it. Here’s list of materials I used:
*EVA foam
*Plasti Dip
*Air dry modeling clay
*Craft paint
*Hot glue gun
*Mod Podge
*Cardboard
*Utility knife (and extra blades)
*Belt sander

First things first, make a template out of the cardboard. You can easily find an image with an online search and free hand your design from there. I wanted it to be more 3 dimensional, so make sure to also make templates of the top, middle, and lower squares.

Once you have all your template pieces cut out, trace it onto your EVA foam boards. Be sure you flip your template over to make the back side. Tip- if you notice that your blade is pulling at the foam and not making nice, straight cuts, change your blade! A dull blade will pull at the foam and ruin your cuts, so changing your blade often will make sure you keep making those nice straight lines.

Once you have all of your pieces cut, use your hot glue gun to piece all the layers together. Be sure you layer them with the smooth sides out! As long as you flipped your templates for the second set of foam pieces you should be good. After you get everything glued together, sand down your edges. I prefer to use my belt sander for this, because this piece has a lot of long straight lines it works great and is so much faster than using a Dremel.

Even after a good sanding, you will still be able to see all the seams along the edge of the axe. A tip I picked up last year was to use air dry modeling clay to fill in those seams. It can be finicky to work with, so I keep a small bowl of water handy so I can moisten my hands as I work. This helps make the clay a little more pliable and easier to smooth down. After you let it dry overnight, use some sand paper to hand sand down the clay and make your edges really smooth. I failed to remember this step, so mine has that nice homemade look to it. Lucky for me, a mom made Halloween costume is allowed to look…homemade. Once you are happy with how it looks, spray it with a few layers of Plasti Dip, allowing it to fully dry between coats. This will help weather proof your axe, and since I opted for the black Plasti Dip, it cut my paint time in half.

After the Plasti Dip is dried, you can start painting all the yellow and details. This I just free handed off of images I had seen of the axe. When your paint is dry on all sides, cover your axe with a layer of Mod Podge. This will help protect your paint and add a nice sheen to your finished product. That’s it! SO easy, and it will really step up your costume game. Plus, my son keeps all of his props to play with through the year, so they serve double duty.

Meet the Murphys

Welcome! I’m Amanda, a stay at home mom to 2 kids and housewife to the boy I grew up with. With over a decade of marriage under our belts (and nearly twice that in time together), we’ve had our fair share of adventures and life lessons!

Our son, Finn, is anything but ordinary. He has always been our quirky, hilarious boy and kept us on our toes from day 1. He is the smartest person I know and will tell you how it is, which I admire and know will be a blessing for him in adulthood (so long as I can hold on for the ride!)

Emerson is the kind of girl who loves a good pair of heels, but also isn’t afraid to play in the dirt. Her laugh is contagious and her sass is unmatched, and anyone who gets to know her finds it hard to not fall completely in love with her.

This man right here has spent the better half of our lives by my side. We have gone from teenagers, to adults, to spouses and parents, and I know we have a few more milestones to hit together before it’s all over! We love him fiercely and will follow him wherever this crazy journey sends us.

I am so glad you are here to follow along with our adventures and exploring everything from family favorite recipes, DIY’s and all that comes with surviving military life and motherhood!

XO
Amanda