What I actually make for dinner

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Sometimes going onto Pinterest for dinner ideas can be super overwhelming.   ” People make dinners that look like that?”  Yes. Food bloggers can make food look pretty,  but usually, there is a nice camera and wonderful, natural light involved.  Not all our dinners look like the ones on Pinterest- at least mine don’t

This spring, I have started getting involved in Instagram. ( <<<–follow me!)  I started posting some photos of pretty food.  Then soon, I started posting what my family eats for dinner every night.   I have been having a super fun time with it!  – And I don’t just post the pretty ones.  I post the frozen pizzas, the leftovers the nights we eat out.

I have a real family.  Things come up.  We can get swamped.  Plus, I don’t have unlimited access to fancy ingredients.  My family lives on a budget.  – like normal people do.

I am going to post all the dinners I have made my family for the last month or so.  I forgot to post twice this past month- plus one photo that I posted on Instagram was deleted on accident.   I still plan on posting nightly dinners, so check them out! 

Here are some things that you may notice about dinners I make my family. 

1).  I serve lots of sweet potatoes-  That is because both of my kids love them!  If I know they like something healthy- I will make it for them!

2.) I serve a serving of fruit with dinner- Even though my two boys usually try or eat their vegetables- I like to include fruit too.

3.) I try to make meat stretch into a second meal- I love round two recipes!  There are so many things you can do with leftover meat!  When I take the time to make a chicken or a roast, I like to at least make it last through two dinners and a lunch.

4.) You might notice a lot of Polenta- Polenta takes 5 minutes to make!  It is so comfortable and light!  Plus, it is cheap!  One cup of cornmeal makes enough polenta for my family to eat during a meal.

5). You will see some store-bought dinner items- Um yeah, even though I blog about making healthy food, it doesn’t happen 100% of the time!  Part of the reason why I love doing these Instagram posts is that I like to “keep it real.”   So yeah, Healthy food bloggers sometimes eat frozen pizza or even pre-made frozen lasagna. 🙂

Here are my dinners for the last month or so.   Next time I post my dinners, I plan on making the photos clearer- I wasn’t planning on making this a blog post when I started.


  1. Leftover Pot roast with roasted asparagus over polenta
  2. Ham-Gouda and honey-mustard Panini’s plus some creamy asparagus soup <–click the link for the recipe! 
  3. Chicken Cordon Bleu Quinoa Casserole <– click the link for the recipe!
  4. Slow cooker turkey breast sandwiches

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5. Homemade Protein-Packed Pad Thai <– click for recipe!  – This was a Saturday night dinner.

6. Smoked Pork, sauteed brussels sprouts and Greek Yogurt ranch mashed potatoes<– click for recipe. 

7. BBQ Hawaiian pita pizzas using leftover pork and Steamed broccoli

8. Hamburgers and Tater-tots

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9. Cornflake crusted chicken, and broccoli cheese sauce over rice

10. Frozen Pizza from Aldi

11.  Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps <– click for recipe 

12.  Grilled Chicken Sandwiches, with tomatoes and avocado.  side salad and fruit

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13. Store-bought meatballs from the deli department at Sam’s Club over polenta, with red sauce and goat cheese creamed spinach <– click here for the recipe! 

14. Frozen Lasagna from Costco and salad

15. A Rotisserie chicken from Fareway, chopped salad and mashed potatoes

16.  BBQ chicken and chicken Caesar salad flatbread( using leftover chicken), roasted asparagus and pineapple

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17.  Slow cooker pot roast, sweet potato mash, and roasted broccoli

18.  Shepherds pie- using leftover pot roast, sweet potato mash, and frozen veggies

19.  Chicken Feta Sausage and spinach tossed with pasta and a lemon cream sauce

20.  Pioneer Women’s Sloppy Joes, <– click for recipe. tater-tots, grapes, and salad.

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21.  Grilled chicken sandwiches with pineapple

22.  Pretzel crusted chicken nuggets, frozen peas, and fruit

23.  Bacon-Avocado Caesar Salad Sandwich <— click for recipe! 

24. Mango-Ginger beef and broccoli <—click for recipe! 

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26.  Italian dressing marinated chicken, sweet potato mash, goat cheese creamed spinach<— click for recipe. And clementines.

27. Quick taco night using a rotisserie chicken from Fareway

28.  Chicken Avocado and cheese open-faced toasty sandwiches- using leftover rotisserie chicken

29.  A night out at Los Aztecas as we were traveling through Dubuque, Iowa

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30.  Make your pizza night at my parents’ house- plus a beautiful salad- made by my mom

31.  Mother’s Day Dinner! There was lots of food.  This is my plate!

32. Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken<— click for recipe! and sweet potato mash

33.  Chicken Caesar Salad- using leftover chicken and Sneaky Mom Cauliflower Mac and Cheese<—click here for the recipe

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34. – Pretzel and Beer Bratwurst <—click for recipe!

35.  Homemade Cheeseburger Mac- using leftover cauliflower puree as the cheese

36.  Meatball, kale, and goat cheese Naan Pizzas- using the last of Sam’s club meatballs I had stashed in the freezer.

37.  Slow Cooker Hungarian Goulash with Hidden Kale over polenta and topped with goat cheese.

Well!  I hope you liked my dinners for the last month ( a little over a month).  Hopefully, I will be back in another month or so to share with you again!   In the meantime, check my nightly dinners out on My Instagram Page. 

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  1. So much variety!,

  2. I LOVE this post! So real and so true! I think I also found some great recipes~

  3. What an interesting food diary. I actually ate cheesy chips last night. the things food bloggers do on a night off.

  4. What a fun post! I spend all day trying to get my food photos “just so” and I rarely even think about dinner until it’s time to eat… not a good plan!

  5. Haha this is great! We do try to look like we have nothing but perfectly plated meals and it so doesn’t happen every day!

  6. Great idea for a post. I’m sure all food bloggers can relate. This reminds me of last Friday – I made myself a pot of Kraft Mac & Cheese and just ate it straight out of the pot. So fancy. Haha.

  7. All your meals look delicious. I love the fact that you are honest about takeaways and meals out and that you make good meals from left-overs. Now that there are only two of us, we have the motto ‘cook once eat twice’ which makes taking the time to make a roast or a slow-cook casserole worth whle I love that there might be something tasty in the freezer to have again in a week or so. Well done you.


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