Bacon-Wrapped Ranch Chicken Strips


Litehouse invited me to try their salad dressings at home and share with you what I made: Bacon-wrapped ranch chicken strips. They were definitely family-pleasers here in the Cataldo house…  

Sweet Island Ham & Pineapple Snackers


I partnered with Buddig as a Deli Mom and create snacks with deli meats that aren’t sandwiches! This time, I took a reader’s suggestion to incorporate the sweet flavor of Hawaiian rolls with another Buddig lunchmeat treat…  

Ham, Apple, & Cheese Roll-Ups


Can you believe August is right around the corner? I hope you’ve been enjoying your summer as much as we have. We’ve spent many so many days outdoors — we’ve been packing lots of coolers for lunches on the go…  

What’s for lunch? “No more sandwiches!”


July is right around the corner, and instead of packing lunchboxes or perusing the school’s hot lunch menu, their lunch routine has transitioned into raiding the fridge and saying “What’s for lunch? PLUS: A giveaway for you!  

Stack it up with RITZwiches and Signature toppings

ultimate butter ritz

Our family loves cheese-and-cracker nights — we’ll set up a little buffet with different kinds of crackers, cheeses, spreadable salami, salsa, veggies – you name it! snacktime is usually paired with family game night…  

Be Snacksational: Pineapple-Coconut Glazed Sugar Cookies


Here’s an easy-to-make after-school snack that will get you in a “Snacksational” mood! My children love frosted cookies, so I created a tasty, frosted fiber-filled treat that gets some of its sweetness from yogurt…

Recipe: Ridiculously Easy 5-Minute Tortilla Soup

tortilla soup

This “Ridiculously Easy 5-Minute Tortilla Soup” is one of my favorite slow-cooker recipes to make! Aside from opening cans and dumping them into your slow cooker, you can have this simmering in a pot in less than five minutes…  

In praise of old favorites: Crystal Lake Pizza Hut

Crystal Lake Pizza Hut

Ask me about my favorite restaurants in the far northwest ‘burbs where we live, and after raving about a great local sushi bar, a fantastic authentic Mexican place, and a wonderful place to grab brunch, I’d also throw the Crystal Lake Pizza Hut into my list. Really. The Pizza Hut location in Crystal Lake, Illinois […]

Review: Granite City Food & Brewery

Ahi tuna

“Granite City” is the nickname of St. Cloud, Minnesota, and it’s also the name of a new restaurant in Schaumburg, Illinois! Granite City Food & Brewery is a restaurant and microbrewery that features cooked-to-order American style food.  

What’s for dinner? Heart Attack Casserole

Heart Attack Casserole

Earlier this month, I wrote about labeling leftovers in the fridge and freezer, and one of my readers poked fun at a dish labeled “Heart Attack Casserole” in one of my photos. Here’s the story behind that dish… and the recipe. A couple months ago, one of my friends posted a photo on Facebook of […]

How to improve a clearanced chicken dinner in one easy step

Bacon wrapped chicken

I stopped into Jewel to check prices on a few things, and I took a walk through the meat department. I often have great luck finding clearanced cuts of meat there, so I always look! Today, I spotted these stuffed half chickens for $4.74 and $4.46, Buy One Get One Free! A whole stuffed chicken […]

What’s on your big game menu today? I’m making candied bacon!

Candied Bacon

We’re less than two hours from the Super Bowl kickoff, and as a snowstorm rages outside, our family’s been hanging out at home (in pajamas!) all day and preparing game-day snacks. My husband’s deep-frying mozzarella sticks, pierogies, and he’s also experimenting with frying other foods from our fridge (don’t knock dill pickles until you’ve tried […]

Goodbye to summer

Goodbye to Summer

Last year, we vacationed in Key West, Florida. Each night, the island celebrates the sunset with a tropical-drink toast and a pause to marvel at the beautiful colors of the sunset. My kids loved the idea of toasting the sunset, and as the last day of 2014’s summer approached, they wanted to recreate a little […]

Review: InnovAsian Cuisine’s Lemon Grass Kitchen

Chinese food

InnovAsian Cuisine’s Lemon Grass Kitchen is a new line of restaurant-quality frozen Thai and Vietnamese meals!. We enjoy many varieties of Asian foods, so we were looking forward to trying Lemon Grass Kitchen.

Recipe: Campfire Dutch Oven Apple Dump Cake

Campfire dump cake

Dutch ovens are great for making “Dump Cakes,” meaning, you dump everything into the oven, close it up, and let it bake. My boys made their own Dump Cake during our weekend campout — so simple and so delicious…