Easy Weeknight Dinners

Easy Weeknight Dinners

It’s back-to-school time around the Hill Hangout, and we are getting back into the busy fall routine. Soccer has started, as well as dance and church activities, which doesn’t leave us a whole lot of time to cook elaborate meals during the week. If you’re like me, you can benefit from some new recipes for easy weeknight dinners. I polled my favorite food blogger friends who graciously shared their most popular quick and easy meals with me so that I can pass them on to you.

First up is Chicken Fajita Casserole from my friend Stacey at Southern Bite. If you keep cooked, shredded chicken in the freezer (LIKE I’VE BEEN TELLIN’ Y’ALL!), then you can have this mouth-watering meal on the table in 30 minutes.

Easy Weeknight Diners

My friend Cris at Recipes That Crock brings our first slow cooker recipe – her Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Soup. Simple ingredients you will love!

Easy Weeknight Meals from TheHillHangout.com

One of our family favorites is my Greek Chicken Pot. Throw it all in a bag in the morning, and bake it when you come home in the evening. Super simple and quite healthy!

Easy Weeknight Meals from TheHillHangout.com

Another of our family favorites (as in, we have it at least once a week!) is Spicy Drip Beef. You can eat it on a bun as a sandwich, or as an entree with whatever starch and veggies your family loves. We love it cooked in the oven, but you can also use your slow cooker on low for eight hours.

Easy Weeknight Meals from TheHillHangout.com

Paula at Call Me PMc has a fantastic Cheesy Chicken Pasta that only requires, drum roll please… ONE POT! Goodness, I do love a one pot meal. Don’t you?

Easy Weeknight Dinners from TheHillHangout.com

Mmmmm! Leah at Beyer Beware has a fabulous Crock Pot Sloppy Joe recipe. I think the sloppy joe is the unsung hero of the sandwich kingdom.

Easy Weeknight Meals from TheHillHangout.com

Stephanie at Plain Chicken is known for her “Cracked Out” recipes, and for good reason. People LOVE them. Here’s her Cracked Out Chicken Tater Tot Casserole.

Easy Weeknight Dinners

Donya at A Southern Soul is one of the sweetest food bloggers I know, and you’ll love her Pasta Carbonara!

Easy Weeknight Dinners

If you’re a seafood lover like we are, you know that a weeknight seafood dinner is hard to come by. My Crawfish Stew is a super simple dump and cook recipe that our entire family devours.

Easy Weeknight Meals from TheHillHangout.com

Why go out for BBQ when you can have it ready when you walk in the door? Melissa at Served Up With Love shows us how with her Crock Pot Pork BBQ!

Easy Weeknight Meals from TheHillHangout.com

Another favorite from Served Up With Love is Melissa’s Pizza Casserole. This one is definitely going on my menu soon!

Easy Weeknight Meals from TheHillHangout.com

Spice up your weeknight meal with Tamale Pie from Brandy at Aunt Bee’s Recipes. Doesn’t this look heavenly?

Easy Weeknight Recipes from TheHillHangout.com

One of my favorite dinners is oven roasted chicken with veggies, and this one from Donya at A Southern Soul looks right up our alley!

Easy Weeknight Dinners from TheHillHangout.com

Have y’all ever used an Instant Pot? I have heard a lot about them, but have never bought one. I might change that since seeing this Cheesy Chili Mac from Mary at Chattavore!

Easy Weeknight Meals from TheHillHangout.com

Yum! Take a look at Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken Teriyaki from Christy at Southern Plate!

Easy Weeknight Meals from TheHillHangout.com

I hope your fall is off to a good start. I know it’s a busy time of the year for us all. It’s definitely the time of year I lean hard into Jesus and ask Him to order our days. My time with Him is more important to me during the busy seasons than ever if I’m going to keep in step with Him!

Happy cooking, friends!

Groupon Goods

This is a sponsored post. All opinions, as always, are completely my own.

I had such a great response to the Groupon Coupons post last week that I wanted to pop back in and let you know about Groupon Goods. Last week when we talked about Groupon Coupons, I told you that before you head out the door (or get online) to shop, you print off the coupon to take with you. With Groupon Goods, you get to take advantage of the deals WITHOUT LEAVING HOME! Y’all, this thing is so simple.

I checked out the deals on Groupon Goods, and right now they have almost 25,000 items that have ben deeply discounted. They have everything from groceries, toys, and electronics to jewelry, sports equipment, and pet supplies. They even have a designer collection with designer fragrances, sunglasses, and apparel. Just to give you an idea, here are a few of the amazing deals I came across on Groupon Goods:

I’m off to order a bunch of birthday gifts that I’ve been needing to check off my list. What’s the best Groupon Goods deal you’ve gotten lately?

Groupon Coupons

This is a sponsored post. As always, opinions are mine.

So maybe I’m late the party (what else is new, huh?), but have you heard about Groupon Coupons? I’m not talking about the regular Groupon deals we’ve known about for ages. I’m talking about coupons on the Groupon site for ALL KINDS of retailers.

So this thing is super simple. When you get ready to shop, either online or in store, just check Groupon Coupons to see what kind of deals are available. All you have to do is log onto Groupon, look for the Coupon tab (or go here), and choose the coupon codes you want.

I checked it out and found Groupon Coupons for so many of my favorite stores:

  • Old Navy (Currently 10% off Kids and Baby Items)
  • J. Crew Factory Store (Currently 40% off everything)
  • Amazon.com
  • Sephora (Quite a few different deals)
  • Under Armour
  • Bed, Bath and Beyond (20% off one item in store)
  • Cost Plus World Market
  • Barnes and Noble (20% off one item online)
  • Forever 21
  • Staples
  • Urban Outfitters
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Walgreen’s
  • Nordstrom

Groupon has been a great way to save money on restaurants, entertainment, and events for years. With the advent of Groupon Coupons, we can now save money in new ways!

Have you used Groupon Coupons? I’d love to know about the bargains you found. Leave a comment and let us know!

2016 Parade of Homes

2016 Parade of Homes Ad

One of my favorite weekends of the year is coming up! The Birmingham 2016 Parade of Homes opens today and runs through this weekend and next, and it is always a fun weekend of design inspiration and beautiful interiors. If you’ve been needing to make a few updates to your home or are in the market to build, you can see some terrific ideas at the 2016 Parade of Homes.

2016 Parade of Homes

I was invited by B-Metro Magazine to take you on a tour of one of the Parade homes. As I toured the Highland Lakes home by Murphy Home Builders, I noticed that there are several design features that aren’t slowing down anytime soon. People still demand an open floor plan, and rightly so. An open plan is family friendly and visually appealing.

2016 Parade of Homes

Kitchen are still the heartbeat of the home, and homeowners want to see great appliances, countertops, and fixtures.

2016 Parade of Homes

2016 Parade of Homes

Comfortable living spaces with lots of natural light are also a must!

2016 Parade of Homes

Outdoor living spaces provide extra square footage of gathering space. This great area has room for lounging in front of the outdoor fireplace, as well as a full-size dining table.

2016 Parade of Homes

But while most new homes today have all of these features, it’s the details that really set a home apart. This home has terrific details that make it stand out from the rest. Why have a plain tray ceiling when you can add barn wood!

2016 Parade of Homes

And don’t forget to switch out boring interior doors for something more, like these five panel beauties.

2016 Parade of Homes

Laundry will be so much more fun for this homeowner in this beautiful laundry room. Additional details like wainscotting make a huge difference in how luxurious a room feels.

2016 Parade of Home

Murphy Home Builders called in Shannon Appling at Urban Market to add fabulous interiors. She did not disappoint, and these furnishings add to the charm and comfort of this lovely home.

2016 Parade of Homes

2016 Parade of Homes

2016 Parade of Homes

If you like what you see at the Murphy Home in Highland Lakes, you can check out the following for more home design candy:

  • Byrom Building at The Preserve in Hoover
  • Embassy Homes at Nottingham in Calera and Black Creek Station in Fultondale
  • Harris Doyle Homes at Trussville Springs in Trussville, Keeneland Valley in Pelham, and Fieldstown Crossing in Gardendale
  • Donovan Builders at Grey Oaks in Chelsea
  • Thoroughbred Homes at Ballantrae in Pelham
  • Taylor Burton Company in the Ross Bridge area
  • Newcastle Homes at Hillsboro in Helena and Carrington Lakes in Trussville
  • Lifescape Builders at Liberty Park in Vestavia

If you’re the uber-organized type (like me!!) you can plan out your Parade route here. The Parade will be open 10:00-6:00 on both weekends, April 22-24 and April 29-May 1.

*This is a sponsored post for which I received compensation. As always, all opinions are entirely my own.

Creamed Kale

Creamed Kale from TheHillHangout.com

When I first started hearing all of the interwebs about kale, I was more than a little hesitant. I hate greens. In fact, the first time I tried kale as a salad, it was a definite no go. However, kale has been labeled a superfood that will do everything from fight asthma, cancer, and auto-immune diseases to promote world peace and harmony among nations. Okay, maybe that last part is taking it a bit far. But the benefits of kale are so touted that I decided to try again. We love creamed spinach (especially with a hot, juicy steak), so I thought I might be able to make a thing of creamed kale. It did not disappoint. This stuff is terrific, and we can’t wait to have it again.

While anything with whole cream in it might not be labeled “healthy,” my creamed kale recipe is about as healthy as a creamed vegetable can be. Listen, we are trying our best to take care of the temple God has given us. Baby steps. Try the kale. Hope you love it as much as we do.

16 oz bag of frozen chopped kale
4 Tablespoons of butter
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to taste (I use about 1/2 teaspoon of each)
A dash of cayenne pepper
A dash of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of Stevia
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese

Melt the butter in skillet over medium heat. Add the frozen kale, Stevia, and spices.

Creamed Kale from TheHillHangout.com

Let saute until kale is heated through and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5-10 minutes. Add the cream and Parmesan and stir to mix thoroughly. Leave cooking for about 1-2 minutes to let cream thicken. Serve immediately.

Creamed Kale from TheHillHangout.com

Creamed Kale
Think you don't like kale? Think again! This delicious dish is loaded with vitamins and minerals, but the taste is what will keep you coming back for more.
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 16 oz bag of frozen chopped kale
  2. 4 Tablespoons of butter
  3. Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to taste (I use about 1/2 teaspoon of each)
  4. A dash of cayenne pepper
  5. A dash of ground nutmeg
  6. 1/4 teaspoon of Stevia
  7. 1/3 cup heavy cream
  8. 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in skillet over medium heat. Add the frozen kale, Stevia, and spices. Let saute until kale is heated through and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5-10 minutes. Add the cream and Parmesan and stir to mix thoroughly. Leave cooking for about 1-2 minutes to let cream thicken. Serve immediately.
The Hill Hangout http://thehillhangout.com/

A Prayer for Our Government

On this Super Tuesday, a prayer from the Lutheran Book of Prayer:

“Lord God, as I pray for all who are in authority, I thank you especially for the form of government given us in our beloved country. Give me the grace with my fellow citizens to value the officers and the magistrates of our government as those sent by You. Instill in me that honor and respect that is due them. Lord, endow them with wisdom for their several duties, with a spirit of sacrifice for the common welfare, with mercy and justice, with uprightness and kindliness. Correct the evils of selfishness, greed, a vain desire for honor, or abuse of power among us as well as in other governments of the world. Grant that the true purposes of government will prevail, safeguarding peace and prosperity, so that we may live soberly and uprightly in Your sight and have opportunity to tell of You and Your kingdom. These petitions I direct to You because in Jesus I know You as my Father and Lord. Amen.”

Cookie Butter Cobbler

**This post was sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market. Opinions, as always, are completely my own.

Cookie Butter Cobbler

Have you been introduced to cookie butter yet? This decadent treat has gained a huge fanbase in recent years, and many of us are wondering how we ever made it without it. It came to the US from Europe, and it has been enjoyed there for many years. My chickadees love cookie butter on pretzels, toast, and bagels. When Sprouts Farmers Market asked me to create a recipe for them using cookie butter, I knew my family would be all over it. Thus, Cookie Butter Cobbler was born.

Label

Cookie Butter Cobbler isn’t a super sweet dessert. If you want a really, really sweet desert, please feel free to add an extra half cup of sugar. If you’re a fan of nuts, Cookie Butter Cobbler would be delicious with a cup of chopped pecans or walnuts. We topped ours with real whipped cream, but a big scoop of vanilla ice cream would also be a great way to go. As with all of my recipes, please feel free to make it your own.

To make Cookie Butter Cobbler, you’ll need:

1 jar Sprouts Cookie Butter
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar

With a hand mixer or stand mixer, mix together all ingredients except whipping cream and powdered sugar. Mix until a soft dough is formed. Press dough into an iron skillet that has been sprayed with baking spray. Bake on 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Whip together the whipping cream and powdered sugar with a stand or hand mixer until it is thick. Spoon a dollop over the top of the baked cobbler. Serve immediately.

Cookie Butter Cobbler from TheHillHangout.com

Cookie Butter Cobbler
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 jar Sprouts Cookie Butter
  2. 2 cups all purpose flour
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1 stick butter, softened
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1 tablespoon vanilla
  8. 1 cup granulated sugar
  9. 1 cup whipping cream
  10. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. With a hand mixer or stand mixer, mix together all ingredients except whipping cream and powdered sugar. Mix until a soft dough is formed. Press dough into an iron skillet that has been sprayed with baking spray. Bake on 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
  2. Whip together the whipping cream and powdered sugar with a stand or hand mixer until it is thick. Spoon a dollop over the top of the baked cobbler. Serve immediately.
The Hill Hangout http://thehillhangout.com/

Cookie Butter Cobbler from TheHillHangout.com

Layered Mexican Dip

This post for Mexican Layered Dip was sponsored by Sprouts Farmer’s Market. As with all sponsored posts, all opinions are my own.

Layered Mexican Dip

Some of the best parts of any big ballgame are the food and friendship. Even for those of us who might not get into sports, the big game is still a terrific time to invite over a few friends or neighbors. And, of course, it never hurts to have plenty of good food to share. Layered Mexican Dip is a favorite of ours to serve while watching a big game with friends because it requires very little cooking and is always a crowd-pleaser.

Layered Mexican Dip

The only cooking you’ll need to do for Layered Mexican Dip is to brown the hamburger meat and add the taco seasoning. Once that is done, you just simply have to layer the ingredients in a dish. So simple!

The good thing about Layered Mexican Dip is that you can substitute ingredients as you like, and you will still have a terrific dip. Not a fan of guacamole? Leave it out! Don’t want it too spicy? Drop the jalapeños. There are still lots of other layers to provide a full flavor.

To make Layered Mexican Dip you will need:

1 can of refried beans – I used canned refried pinto beans from Sprouts, but you can use refried black beans if you prefer
1/4 cup sliced jalapeños
1 lb. ground beef, browned
1 package taco seasoning – I made my own using this recipe.
1 jar salsa – I made my own using this recipe.
1 8 oz container of guacamole
1 8 oz container of sour cream
1 8 oz block of your favorite cheese, grated – I used colby jack, but cheddar or pepper jack would also be delicious.
1 4 oz can of sliced black olives
1/2 bunch green onion, sliced greens only
Salt

Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning according to package directions. In a 9″x13″ casserole dish, spread a layer of refried beans. Sprinkle the layer with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add a layer of jalapeños, making it as thick or thin as you like. Next add the layer of taco meat. After that, add the layer of salsa. After the salsa, carefully add the layer of guacamole. This will be a little difficult to spread, but should be easier if you let it sit out for a few minutes before spreading. Next add the layer of sour cream. Top that with a layer of shredded cheese. Finish it off with a sprinkle of olives and green onions. Refrigerate if you aren’t serving immediately. Serve with tortilla chips.

Now for a few tips that make this dip delicious and easy to make. While you can make your own guacamole if you are so inclined, we LOVE the hatch chile guacamole from the Sprouts produce department. They make it in the store, and we and use it whenever we can.

Layered Mexican Dip

If you want to try making your own taco seasoning, but don’t want to invest in a bunch of spices, check out the bulk seasoning aisle in Sprouts. You can buy just the amount you need, which keeps you from spending a lot on spices you won’t ever use again. It really is one of my favorite areas of the store.

Layered Mexican Dip

Since this dip is thick, you need a solid chip that won’t break with every scoop. The Sprouts extra thick tortilla chips are the bomb. No chip breakage with these!

Layered Mexican Dip

Y’all invite your neighbors over and get to know them better over a dish of Layered Mexican Dip!

Layered Mexican Dip
A delicious Tex-Mex dip that is terrific for parties, tailgating, or a simple dinner at home. It's always a crowd-pleaser!
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 can of refried beans - I used canned refried pinto beans from Sprouts, but you can use retired black beans if you prefer
  2. 1/4 cup sliced jalapeños
  3. 1 lb. ground beef, browned
  4. 1 package taco seasoning - I made my own using this recipe.
  5. 1 jar salsa - I made my own using this recipe.
  6. 1 8 oz container of guacamole
  7. 1 8 oz container of sour cream
  8. 1 8 oz block of your favorite cheese, grated - I used colby jack, but cheddar or pepper jack would also be delicious.
  9. 1 4 oz can of sliced black olives
  10. 1/2 bunch green onion, sliced greens only
  11. Salt
Instructions
  1. Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning according to package directions. In a 9"x13" casserole dish, spread a layer of refried beans. Sprinkle the layer with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add a layer of jalapeños, making it as thick or thin as you like. Next add the layer of taco meat. After that, add the layer of salsa. After the salsa, carefully add the layer of guacamole. This will be a little difficult to spread, but should be easier if you let it sit out for a few minutes before spreading. Next add the layer of sour cream. Top that with a layer of shredded cheese. Finish it off with a sprinkle of olives and green onions. Refrigerate if you aren't serving immediately. Serve with tortilla chips.
The Hill Hangout http://thehillhangout.com/

Layered Mexican Dip from TheHillHangout.com

Top 2015 Recipes from The Hill Hangout

Top 2015 Recipes

Can you believe 2015 has come to a close and 2016 is here?!? I hope you and yours are off to a terrific start. The beginning of a new year is a great time to reflect on the victories and challenges of the previous tear. The Hill Hangout has a transition year in 2015, as I took on a full-time job outside of the blog world. As a result, you have seen far fewer posts from me this year. That’s something I’d like to work on in 2016. However, you remained faithful and 2015 was a year full of good food, good travel, and good spiritual growth for us. And you, dear readers, must have been cooking, traveling, and growing right along with us because you viewed some of our posts over and over again. In fact, here’s a little glimpse into the top 2015 recipes from The Hill Hangout…

#10. Creole Seasoning

Top 2015 Recipes from The Hill Hangout

#9. Cheesy Smoked Sausage Dip

Top 2015 Recipes from The Hill Hangout

#8. Cornbread Dressing

Top 2015 Recipes from The Hill Hangout

#7. Perfect Pound Cake

Top 2015 Recipes from The Hill Hangout

#6. Chicken and Dumplings

Top 2015 Recipes from The Hill Hangout

#5. Peanut Butter Pie

Top 2015 Recipes from The Hill Hangout

#4. Fiesta Corn Dip

Top 2015 Recipes from The Hill Hangout

#3. Greek Seasoning

Top 2015 Recipes from The Hill Hangout

#2. Loaded Cornbread

Top 2015 Recipes from The Hill Hangout

#1. Creamy Sriracha Dipping Sauce

Top 2015 Recipes from The Hill Hangout

Hope your 2016 brings you more and more of the things you love!

Prayer for the New Year

Prayer for the New Year from THeHillHangout.com

One of my favorite prayer resources is The Lutheran Book Of Prayer (affiliate link). Though I am not Lutheran, I have prayed many prayers from this little book. It has prayers for specific days of the week, holidays, life events like the birth of a baby or a new home, as well as prayers for specific people like pastors, children, spouse, or world leaders. As 2016 is just beginning, it is timely to share with you their prayer for a new year.

It is on account of Your mercy alone, O Lord, that I am not consumed, because Your compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Abide with me, O God, throughout the coming year. Be my guide in all my perplexities, my strength in my weakness, my ever-ready help in all my troubles.

Forgive me all my sins. O Sabaoth Lord, look down from heaven and in grace behold and visit Your holy Church, which You have chosen for Your own. Preserve for us Your saving Word and Sacraments, that Your vine may send out its boughs from sea to sea and its branches to the uttermost parts of the earth.

Look graciously upon our nation and all the nations of the world, and bless them with peace. Grant to all that are in authority wisdom and courage to rule in such a way that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty.

To You, almighty Creator and gracious God, I commit this nation, my church, my family and loved ones, and myself. Abide with me. With Your grace and mercy preserve me whole—soul and body—blameless to the coming of my Lord Jesus Christ.

I pray 2016 brings you much joy, peace, and love, my dear readers.