This Weeks Book Review – Remember God

I am so excited to tell you about this weeks book review! The first time I had ever heard of Annie Downs, was sometime after I started attending Crosspoint Church, here in Nashville. We had begun attending the Bellevue campus, and for the first time in a while, I felt like we might have actually found a church home. We had struggled for several years to find a place, and even without a lead pastor, Crosspoint felt like a place I could feel good about attending.

It had been a long time since I felt that way!

One Sunday, during our season without a pastor, Annie was preaching and I wondered how I hadn’t heard of her before!? (Also, I was pretty thrilled that there was a woman preaching at my church!!) She had this great message and so of course, I had to check out her books and podcast! What I found is that her books and messages really speak to me. There are things that Annie has in her professional life that I want for myself, and there are things that I have in my personal life that she writes about wanting in her life.

So, when I saw on her Instagram story that she had a new book available for pre-order, Remember God, I was excited to go and get it! But what I was super excited about was the free audio version that came with it. If you have read any of my book reviews, you know I love audio books. I feel guilty if I sit down to read a book, but if I can listen to a book and fold laundry? Perfect!

Yesterday was the first day I had off in a while, so it was a great day to listen to an audio book while I cleaned the house. What I didn’t know is that I would be done with the book in a day, I would tear up while cleaning the bathroom sink, and again while I folded the laundry.

By the end of this book I felt UNDONE, in a good way!

I love how in this book, Annie gets really honest about disappointment, and how it relates to our relationship with God. I am in a season right now, that I am asking God a lot of questions. Why am I where I am? Why am I not where I thought I would be? What have I done wrong? Am I being punished? Do you even care? Do I matter to you? These are not easy questions, and they don’t always feel safe to ask God. But if God is who he says he is, doesn’t he know all of this before we even ask?

To listen to a book, written by someone who seems to really have her spiritual life together, and hear that she struggles with the same things that I do: It was so comforting. It was emotional, and it spoke to me in ways that I didn’t even know that I needed to be spoken to.

Remember God is a book that you need to read!

I don’t want to spoil the book for you, but what I know now, is that God is always kind. Even and especially when it really doesn’t feel like it.

You can preorder on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Audio, or Target.

It’s a Meal Plan Monday Do – Over

If you saw my Facebook live earlier, you know that in spite of my best efforts, my meal plan did not go according to plan! Monday the Chili was burned, and I was especially sad about that. I really was excited to have chili for dinner, and then instead we had Taco Bell.

Tuesday we had Tacos and Wednesday we had the Pasta Fagioli.  So, we kind of got back on track, but by Thursday we had two sick kids and wound up eating Wing Stop. On Friday, I managed to get breakfast for dinner made before Kate and I went with friends to a Preds game. I guess the week wasn’t that big of a fail! But none of my new recipes got posted!

This week, we are having a do – over, and I will have my chili recipe up for you later with pictures!

 

Here is my meal plan for this week:

Monday – Chili

Tuesday – Pizza

Wednesday – Bacon Sprinkled Chicken Thighs and Loaded Baked Potatoes  (Chicken recipe coming soon)

Thursday – Sour Kraut and Sausage, Roast Cauliflower , and Green Bean Casserole

Friday – Leftovers

By the way… don’t you just love the pictures that Facebook freezes on for these live previews?

Happy Meal Planning!

If you make any of my meals from this week, would you snap a picture and post to with the hashtag #leslieslittlecorner ? 

 

Knot Genie Detangling Brush

Easy, Delicious Chili

This Chili recipe is so easy, I almost didn’t post it. But isn’t that the whole point of my recipes? To be quick and easy? My recipe is basically my version of my mom’s chili that she has been making for years. It is basically a dump recipe, meaning you dump in the cans and call it a day.

 

Today, I decided to prevent the burnt Chili fiasco of last week, that we would go with the Slow Cooker method. Yes, even a food blogger burns stuff. It happens to the best of us! I decided that myCrock Pot Express would be the best way to cook it, because of the sauté option. In a traditional crock pot, I would have to brown the meat in another pan, but with this one, I can brown it in the cooker. This keeps the dishwashing to a minimum. I think we can all agree that less dishes = happier mamas!

Here is my recipe:

Easy, Delicious Chili
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Easy, Delicious Chili

Ingredients

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 4 cans Hot Chili Beans
  • 2 cans Black Beans
  • 2 cans Dice Tomatoes or 1 can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 package Chili Seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper
  • (I also use a garlic or 23 spice for seasoning the meat)

Instructions

  1. Brown the ground beef. Add a little Salt, Pepper, and 23 Spice Mix.
  2. Add all the beans.
  3. Add all the tomatoes or sauce.
  4. Pour in the spice packet.
  5. Stir Well.
  6. Heat on medium/low if cooking on stove top.
  7. If making in a crock pot cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  8. If making in the Instant Pot press the chili button and start.
https://leslieslittlecorner.com/easy-delicious-chili/

This recipe is very versatile! Add some chopped matchstick carrots or chopped bell peppers. If you like spice add some chopped jalapeños. I also make rice or macaroni noodles to mix it with. If you don’t like that many beans, cut the beans and add more meat. You could even substitute ground turkey for the ground beef.

Don’t forget to take a picture and post it with the hashtag #leslieslittlecorner.

Happy Cooking!

Looking for more easy, kid friendly meals? Check out my Recipe Index!

This Weeks Pantry Meal Plan – See what I came up with!

This weeks meal plan is based on items that I had in my pantry and freezer. We are on a tight budget this week, so I needed to make sure that I was using what we had on hand to keep the grocery bill down! I found some really good deals on ground beef last week, so I have about 9 lbs in my freezer. I also have chicken thighs in the freezer, bacon, tortillas and eggs in my fridge. Then in the pantry, I had pinto beans, white beans, and cornmeal.

 

So… this is what I came up with:

Monday: Chili Mac – This is a simple chili recipe mixed with macaroni noodles.

Tuesday : Soft Tacos with my small group bringing the other ingredients. (I make Pinto’s, and homemade pico)

Wednesday: Bacon Sprinkled Chicken Thighs with Roast Cauliflower and Green Beans

Thursday : Couples Small Group/ Pasta Fagioli with Cornbread

Friday : Breakfast for dinner – Scrambled Eggs, Pancakes, and Bacon

 

This week, I am going to be adding 3 recipes to the blog! Chili Mac, Bacon Sprinkled Chicken Thighs, and Pasta Fagioli.

Would you rather have an Instant Pot Chicken or Baked?? Chicken Thighs are a lot more forgiving in the oven than chicken breast, so they will be delicious either way.

Speaking of recipes… I did a poll and asked if you would like to have a shopping list for my meal plan Monday’s. I got a great positive response to that, so I am going to start looking into seeing how I can make that happen!

So, be on the lookout for those new recipes and happy cooking!

 

Instant Pot “Baked” Spaghetti

I finally broke down and bought a Crock Pot Express this summer and I have really come to LOVE it. When I first started reading up on how exactly you could make baked spaghetti in an Instant Pot, I was a little thrown by all the water that they called for ! Most of the recipes had some fancy DIY recipe, which was fine, but all I had was a jar of spaghetti sauce. So, you can see how I was freaking out a little to pour all of that water into the mix. I was afraid it was going to be watery and have no flavor!

After a little hesitation, I decided I was just going to do it, and if it was bad we could just order pizza! But, guess what? We didn’t wind up having to order pizza that night! My “Baked” Spaghetti was a success and it was done in no time.

For those of you who are asking: Okay, but honestly is it really worth it to have ANOTHER gadget in my kitchen? I already have a crock pot…. Well here is MY answer to that. Have you ever bought a roast and wound up throwing it out because your week got jacked up and you never had time to stick it in the crock pot? Well, with the Instant Pot, that would never have happened because you could have made it in there in less than an hour. And yes, the meat is just as tender!

Yes, it is definitely worth it!

 

Now, on to the recipe! For the Baked Spaghetti, first you will brown your ground beef in the Instant Pot/Crock Pot Express using the saute option.

 

Then, you will pour all the other ingredients and spices in and stir them well. Close and fasten the lid. Press the Chili Button, set the time to 5 minutes, and press Start!

*Quick tip: Make sure the pressure release is closed!*

Instant Pot “Baked” Spaghetti
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Yield: 6+

Instant Pot “Baked” Spaghetti

Ingredients

  • 1 jar Spaghetti Sauce (any kind)
  • 1 box Ziti noodles
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Seasoning
  • Onion Powder
  • 1 pkg Italian Blend Cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Put the ground beef into the pressure cooker. Press the Saute' button, start, and brown the meat.
  2. Use a little salt, pepper, garlic seasoning, and onion powder to season the ground beef. (Just a couple of shakes will do)
  3. Pour Bottle of Sauce into the pot.
  4. Pour Box of Noodles into the pot
  5. Pour 2 - 2 1/2 cups of water into the pot.
  6. (I measure the 2 cups of water and pour into the spaghetti sauce jar to get all the sauce out)
  7. Stir ingredients until mixed, making sure that the pasta is covered with water/sauce.
  8. Close and lock the lid. Make sure the pressure valve is closed.
  9. Press the chili button, adjust the time to 5 minutes. Press Start.
  10. When the cook time has finished, use a long spoon to open the pressure valve for a quick release.
  11. When all steam has stopped coming out, it is safe to open the cooker.
  12. When serving the spaghetti you can sprinkle a little cheese on, if desired.
https://leslieslittlecorner.com/instant-pot-baked-spaghetti/

 

I would LOVE your feedback if you try this recipe!

 

 

 

 

 

*This post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure policy for details!

This Weeks Recipes and Meal Plan!

I was so excited to get such a great response to Meal Plan Monday being back last week! Something that I wanted to say about my recipes is that they are very versatile and it is very easy to swap out healthier ingredients.

Take my Stuffed Bell Pepper recipe for instance: I use rice and ground beef. If you don’t eat rice, you can substitute Quinoa or Riced Cauliflower. If you don’t eat meat you can use both of those ingredients. The riced cauliflower picks up the spices and it is still delicious. If you ever have any questions about making a recipe of mine gluten free, meat free or dairy free, message me and I can send you some easy, affordable suggestions!

Now, on to this weeks meal plan!

Monday – Sauteed Shrimp, Goat Cheese Salad, and Garlic Pasta

Tuesday – Turkey Meatballs, Green Beans, Smashed Potatoes

Wednesday – Polish Sausage and Cabbage  (I skip the onions and peppers, but carrots are great with it)

Thursday -Instant Pot Baked Ziti  – This is the recipe of the week and will be up Wednesday! Hint: For grocery shopping purposes get ziti, ground beef, and your favorite spaghetti sauce!

Friday -Leftovers

If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet or a Crock Pot Express , watch Amazon and Kohl's for deals. I got my Crock Pot Express for $13 after Kohl's Cash a few months ago! I absolutely LOVE it!

One last thing, if you are really busy or hate grocery shopping: I would highly reccommend trying out Shipt! When you use my link you can get a two week free trial. You order your groceries through an app, a shopper goes and shops for you and you get groceries delivered right to your door!

This Weeks Meal Plan with Recipes!

After a little hiatus, my meal planning posts are back. This fall every Monday will be Meal Plan Monday, and I will be sharing my meal plans for that week, and recipes if available. I am really excited to get back to my meal plan and recipe posts! 

 

This week I found some good deals at Sprouts on ground beef and chicken thighs. I also got corn on the cob 6/ $1, Grape tomatoes .99 per carton, and bell peppers were 4/$5. 

Monday – Stuffed Bell Peppers

Tuesday – Small Group – ordering pizza in

Wednesday – Grilled BBQ Chicken Thighs, Corn on the Cob

Thursday – Tortilla Soup

Friday –  Taco Cups with Refried Beans  (I have been using my Crock Pot Express to make the refried beans – it works the same just cooks the beans a lot faster!)

When I plan my meals, I try to work around ingredients that we already have on hand. This helps to keep the grocery bill down a little. I already have dried pinto beans, rice, chicken broth etc in the pantry. I have some chicken breast in the freezer from a while back that I will use for the tortilla soup. And as always, I look for the meat sales or markdowns and then freeze those for later. 

Don’t forget, when you sign up for my email newsletter right now, you get a copy of my Meal Planner for free! 

 

What are you planning this week? Are you inspired to try any of these recipes?