Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Pizza Burgers

How about an old classic simple recipe today?
This one is so easy it's almost embarrassing.

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Last week I was all about simple, easy dinners.  It was just the kids and I and to be honest when dinner time rolled around I just wanted to click my heels together three times and wish it were bedtime.

But then came bath, and stories and pleads to not go to bed yet....but it's all good.  They are only young once, right?

These pizza burgers are an OLD family staple.  I remember my mom making them often.  I have no idea where the recipe came from {although, I'm sure upon reading this, she'll tell me}.  They are simple, easy and quite frankly kind of embarrassing to even share.

But people love 'em!

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I usually make a whole sleeve of these darn things, meaning one whole package of English muffins as the base, giving me 12 pizza burgers.  We never eat all of them in one sitting, yet eat them for lunch the next day and even sometimes dinner again the next night.  They heat up great in a toaster oven or even on low heat in the oven for a few minutes.

If you are wanting a super quick and fail-proof dinner for your family then you are in the right place! Make these soon, you won't be disappointed.

And don't balk at the ingredients.

I'm a busy mom.

Pizza Burgers

1 sleeve English muffins, split
1 lb. ground beef
1 c. pizza sauce {I use my homemade sauce}
4 oz. Velveeta or American cheese
mozzarella cheese for topping

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2.  In a skillet cook the ground beef until no longer pink and drain.
3.  Add the pizza sauce and cheese to the ground beef, stir and allow to melt.
4.  Top the halved English muffins with the meat mixture and bake for 10 minutes.  Top with mozzarella cheese and bake another 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

Do you have a family recipe that is so simple and easy you sometimes just take it for granted, until some one says THIS IS SO GOOD?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Zucchini Pizza Boats

Here is a quick dish that sneaks some vegetables into those hungry mouths you're feeding!

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I am the FIRST to admit that if I was granted three wishes, one of them would most certainly be that I'd never have to eat vegetables again.

Here's the back story.

Today, at the YOUNG age of 34, I've learned to like eat most of them.  I know they are good for me, so I shove them down my throat.  Heck, I've even incorporated salad night into our family dinners once a week.  Being a food blogger it would be frowned upon if I never had a recipe with green in it. So here is the obligatory veggie recipe.

BUT.  They're good.  Even I like them.  Maybe the trick is that I made them taste like pizza. Whatever.  Details are for overachievers.  

Do you know what I like more than vegetables?

Pretty much everything.

But in all honesty, my kids!  I took a timeout {we'll get back to the zucchini boats in a moment} and traveled with my daughter's class to the apple orchard yesterday.  I took advantage of my mom being in town, had her watch the wee one, rode in a bumpy school bus and had a great time.

We watched a cat kill a mouse, stepped in muddy paths in BRAND NEW TENNIS SHOES, got attacked by bees and ate a lot of apples.  Overall a splendid time.

After we got home Grandma went and got pumpkins and even stuck their initials in them with whole cloves {great craft idea!}.  My house smelled like pumpkin pie for most of the afternoon and the kiddos loved them.

And people, please note I am not fond of Halloween.  I loathe trying to find costumes for my kids, I cringe at trick-o-treating, I could give darn about carving pumpkins. It's just not my thing.  So this above photo will probably be the extent of my Halloween enthusiasm.  Haters don't email me, you all have things you hate too.

Enough about what I hate...

Back to these boats.

With only 4 ingredients it is a very budget friendly meal and you can probably get your kids excited about it as "pizza" is in the name.  I say probably because my oldest is starting to get fooled by all my gimics'.  He's on to me.  But heck, give it a try with your kids.

These really taste pretty close to pizza.  Just close your eyes and imagine crust.  Close your eyes. Eating this is definitely a calorie saver.  Remember that!

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Zucchini Pizza Boats

3 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
2 c. pizza sauce
2 c. mozzarella cheese
pepperoni slices
garlic powder

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Wash the zucchini and cut in half lengthwise.  Using a spoon, scoop out some of the "pulp" in the center of the zucchini to make a well for the toppings.
3.  Sprinkle the zucchinis with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Bake for 20 minutes, uncovered in a greased 9x13 baking dish.
4.  Remove from the oven.  Spoon in pizza sauce and top with cheese and pepperoni.
5.  Bake another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted, serving warm.

Now, if you want to get all Betty Crocker with these, saved that scooped out zucchini, drain it and use it in these Harvest Muffins.  Freaking fabulous!  That is what I did and they were awesome.  I need to make another batch soon.

Monday, September 28, 2015

$800 Cash Fall Giveaway!

I've teamed up with some fabulous bloggers to give away, what else, but CASH!  
Update your wardrobe, buy the kid's winter gear, plan a weekend getaway!  
Have fun with this!  Good luck!


Our favorite season FALL has finally arrived and we're celebrating with some of our friends by giving away $800 in PayPal Cash!!! Enter to win the $800 Fall Cash Giveaway

$800 Fall Cash Giveaway!
September 28, 2015  at 12 a.m. EST to October 5, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST Open Worldwide Prize: 1 winner will receive $800 PayPal cash. Eligibility and Rules: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. This giveaway is open to individuals over the age of the majority in their home country. The winner will be chosen randomly through the Rafflecopter form. It is the sole responsibility of the winner to adhere to all laws in their respective country, which includes payments to any governing tax body. Winner Selection: The winner of the giveaway will be selected in a random drawing through Rafflecopter from among all eligible entries received throughout the promotion period. The random drawing will be conducted within 48 hours of the closing of the giveaway by Pretty My Party or its designated representatives, whose decisions are final. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. Winner will be notified by email by Potential winner must accept the prizes by email as directed by Pretty My Party within 48 hours of notification. Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. The potential prize winner may be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability, and a Publicity Release (collectively “the Prize Claim Documents”). Privacy: All entrants acknowledge that if they are chosen as a winner, some of their personally identifying information may be disclosed to third parties at least as required by law, including, without limitation, on a winner’s list. All personal information submitted as part of the giveaway may be shared by and between the promotion entities, and each of the promotion entities will use such information in accordance with their respective independent online privacy policies. See Pretty My Party’s full privacy policy here. Rafflecopter Disclaimer: This promotion is powered by Rafflecopter. Metric Feat LLC (“Rafflecopter”) does not sponsor, administer or endorse this promotion. By entering this giveaway, participants agree to Rafflecopter’s Privacy Policy. Social Media Disclaimer: Entrants should understand that they are providing their information to the sponsors of the giveaway and not to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or Google+. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with any of these social media sites. Disclaimer: This giveaway is blog sponsored and is in no way associated with PayPal. If there are any questions, please email
The more entries you complete on the Rafflecopter form, the higher your chances are of winning. If you don’t have time to fill out all of the entries you may come back and complete any entries that you may have missed. 

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fiesta Party Dip

Talk about the perfect party dip.  Your friends will be licking the bowl clean.
fiesta party dip (

It was just the kids and I this week {and it's the same for next week}.  We did pretty good.  Most days were filled with school, playing outside, early dinners and even earlier bedtimes.  This mama wants some peace!
Now I am not a perfect mom and I do not have perfect children.  Many days I'm running around here picking up messes and negotiating with a four year old {which is senseless by the way}.  I would love to tell you they work out their own arguments, but frankly I'm just happy when my oldest doesn't want to eat his sister for lunch.
So when I made this dip to take to our friend's house to watch football and we had a scant leftover the next day, I feed it to my kid's for snack.  They had had a good day.
If you know me, that is NOT normal.  I normally force feed them carrots, snack mix, apple slices or string cheese.  Imagine their faces when I brought out the dip!  They peppered me with four thousand questions {and in my head I was thinking....just eat it before I change my mind!}

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This stuff is addicting.
There wasn't a mouth at our gathering that didn't like it.  And trust me, you need to eat it with Fritos.  You know the corn chip.  The iconic chip scooper.  For whatever reason it is perfect with this dip and makes you eat about 25 scoopfuls.
Which isn't good.
But at the same time, oh so good....
It's filled with creamy sour cream, corn, tomatoes, cheese, peppers and more.  Better yet, I'd even put money on your 5 year old making it correctly.  Truly a dump, stir and chill dip.
And it tastes fabulous the next day for a snack.
Fiesta Party Dip
16 oz. sour cream
1 10 oz. can Rotel, drained
1 12 oz. can Mexicorn
2 c. Mexican shredded cheese
1 pkg. ranch seasoning mix
Fritos for dipping
1.  In a bowl combine all ingredients.  Chill for at least one hour before serving.
2.  Serve with Frito corn chips.

fiesta party dip (

Hey guess what guys?

I'm headed to Kansas City in a few weeks to attend the Chopped Con Food Blogger Conference.  To say I'm excited is an understatement!  The speakers {many of them food bloggers} are some girls I know and many I am just super stoked to hear speak.

Many people don't realize that being a food blogger is a JOB, and although just part-time for me, I take it seriously and I'm always looking for ways to expand and get better.  Just like any other job - you take part in continuing education.

These conferences are my continuing education.  I hope to come back filled with ideas and have a revamped energy.  Be sure to follow me for some behind-the-scenes sneak peaks!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Harvest Muffins

These bite-sized mini muffins are perfect for snacks on-the-go and kid's lunches!

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I've been letting our oldest look at the school lunch menu every night to determine if he wants to eat it the next day or pack his lunch.  It is quite the BIG DEAL.  I guess lunch is already a hot topic in Kindergarten.

Because let's face it.  His favorite subjects so far are gym, recess and lunch.

We got him this pretty nifty Bento lunch box for his birthday and I love it!  It keeps things cold, non-leaking and fun.  We got him this lunch bag.  This travel cup.  And these containers.  I really, really, strongly recommend these items.  I've {and the munchkin} have had a great experience with them.

So when it finally got shipped from Amazon {and by finally, I mean we checked the mailbox daily upon someone's request} I needed to figure out what to pack in the darn thing.  I'm not one of those moms that will send a sandwich, Hostess cupcake and a bag of Doritos.  Maybe on a very special day like a field trip, but not on a normal basis.

Check out my Instagram feed and you see some examples.

Typical items will be a half sandwich, applesauce, cottage cheese, carrots, celery, raisins, almonds, granola bars, cheese, crackers, fruit and the like.  Sometimes even leftovers.  And guess what?  Now, these muffins!

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These bite-sized beauties are perfect for lunches.  And they are healthy.  But you would never know it.  I filled mine with shredded apple, zucchini and carrot.  And folded in some raisins for good measure.

The only problem was getting my kids to STOP eating them.  Being bite-sized they thought they could grab three every time they walked through the kitchen.  That, I had to put a stop too.  And now that I think about it I should have made a double batch right from the start.

It's on my list for tomorrow {along with a batch of these pumpkin cinnamon rolls for my girls at MOPS}.

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Hey, even if you don't have kids.....please make these.  Anyone likes them!  Perfect for on-the-go breakfasts {can easily be frozen} or a homemade gift for a neighbor.  Plus, I do live in Iowa and it is harvest season {you know, when we pick the corns and beans} so they are perfect to bring along in the combine.

Lost ya yet?  A combine is the vehicle used to pick this produce.


Harvest Fingers

1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs
1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 apple, grated {juice included}
1 large carrot, grated
1 zucchini, grated {drained}
1/2 c. raisins

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease mini muffin tins {makes 32}.
2.  In a bowl combine the eggs, coconut oil, grates fruit and veggies.
3.  Sift together the dry ingredients and mix together.  Fold in the raisins.
4.  Fill the muffin tins 3/4 of the way full.
5.  Bake for 16 minutes.

Like other foods in muffin form?

These have been pretty popular on the blog as well.

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Crock Pot Chicken & Noodles

This slow cooker dish could be made by a child - it is that simple.  And delicious!

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We left the windows open in our house last night and this morning upon waking it feels a bit like a freezer....but I love it.

In fact, the thought crossed my mind to make this dish again, twice in a couple of weeks, just because of the chill in the air.  We always crave something warm and comforting when Fall is approaching.  At least I do.

I have never, ever made homemade chicken and noodles before.  I've been given recipes. Even from friends who aren't huge cooks.

"It's so easy!"

"Just have a lot of counter space to lay out the noodles!"

We'll frankly it all sounds a bit intimidating.  Maybe if I didn't have three kids under feet, as I know it'd be a circus freak show.  I'd need to be home ALONE.  And well, that doesn't happen all too often.

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So in my head, I thought, why not try making it in the crock pot?  I could simmer the chicken all day, giving it that home cooked taste and then just throw in the noodles shortly before eating, as they could cook in the broth.

In my head it all sounded perfect.

And guess what?  My head was right!  It worked.  And it was glorious.

Now let me point out.  It is truly a carb on carb meal.  I felt like I needed to keep it traditional and serve it over mashed potatoes {or homemade biscuits} so that is what I did. But honestly, I would have been fine just eating it as is.  That is how we ate the leftovers, right out of a bowl and served over nothing.

But it was comforting and warm and perfect.

Crock Pot Chicken & Noodles

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 15 oz. cans cream of chicken soup
1 large box chicken broth {4 cups}
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. pepper
1 t. salt
1 24 oz. pkg. Amish egg noodles

1.  In a large crock pot place the chicken, soup, broth and seasonings.  Cook on LOW for 6 hours.
2.  Using two forks shred the chicken in the crock pot and allow to sit in the broth.
3.  Add in the noodles, stir and cover again, cooking for another hour or so or until noodles are done.
4.  Serve warm over mashed potatoes, biscuits or by itself.

What is your comforting meal of choice?  
Just when the weather starts to turn?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

How to Incorporate Salad Night Once a Week

It's super easy to fall in a dinner rut.  
Make this one change and it takes care of one day each week!

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I'm not sure if it was the hot August and early September we've had or if I've just gotten lazy {probably more of the truth}, but once a week I have totally changed up our dinner routine.

But let me start with this.

For as long as I can remember, I've never really been a salad girl.  I remember going to Applebee's in high school {we thought this was fine dining} and one of my best friends would always, always order their grilled chicken salad with the hot mustard bacon dressing. And she would go on and on and on about it.

In my head, I was always like...."It's a freaking salad!  My burger tops your salad hands down". Regardless I don't ever remember ordering a salad for my meal growing up.  Side salad?  Sure.  But, a dinner dish always followed.

But then, slowly, very slowly, as I grew up I started eating more salads.  I learned they didn't have to be just lettuce and dressing, but that heck, you could top them with WHATEVER you wanted.  The salad police don't exist.  There isn't anyone over my shoulder telling me what to do.

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Thankfully, we started our kids early when it came to salads.  We always put lettuce on their plates with a bit of dressing.  They are expected to eat it and finish it {we're a bit mean like that - I know not everyone agrees}.

So now at the ages of 6 and 4 {16 month old still gets a pass, although I will throw lettuce on her tray and she plays with it}, they are all about salads.  Thank god, they aren't going to turn out like me.  It took me almost 30 years to fall in love with the darn things.

Now, like I said earlier, I got a little lazy this summer.  It was hot.  Come 4 p.m. the kids would turn into monsters and the last thing I wanted to do was turn on the oven and slave over the store.  One random weekday night I served a salad bar for dinner.

When I announced this they all looked at me odd and I knew in their heads they were thinking, "what else are we having?"

But what they didn't know was that I made the salad bar FUN.  I grabbed every vegetable, protein and dressing I could find and gave them CHOICES.  It wasn't the typical mom-throws-lettuce-on-your-plate type of salad.

I chopped up cucumbers and tomatoes and carrots and hard boiled eggs and cheese and even made our favorite homemade thousand island dressing.  I grilled up chicken earlier in the day and seasoned it with this barbecue seasoning and put it all in colorful little bowls and made a salad bar.

And you know what?

They thought it was flipping Christmas Eve.

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After we did this once, I thought why am I not doing this once a week? 

1.  It allows me the chance to use up a handful of produce on the brink of death in my fridge.

2.  It gives me peace of mind knowing my family is eating pretty darn healthy for ONE night.

3.  It's easy.

I'm usually prepping most of our fresh produce on Sunday for the week {if you follow me on Instagram, you already know this!}, so I'm not spending a ton of time getting this salad together.  It really is just a matter of throwing all the sides in pretty bowls for my kids to get excited about.

Presentation is key!  Kids love when they get to pick and choose what goes in their salad.  My general rule is they have to pick four toppers.  So that leaves a couple items they can bypass. Trust me you'll be surprised how they'll come around when it comes to their veggies when you make it fun for them.

Then the key is to REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT.

Keep serving the salad bar once a week so they get used to it.  And let's be honest {so the husband gets used to it}.  And who doesn't love having one meal already planned each week?  I sure do.

So, what do you think?  Can you make this change in your house?

Let me know your thoughts, concerns and the like, I'd love to hear them!