Welcome To The Circus

Guys, today is the 1-year anniversary of the publication of my cookbook The Supersize Family’s Guide to the Kitchen. Let me tell ya, it’s been a ride. It’s only been a year since the book came out, but I spent three years writing it, so it’s been a four-year journey so far. Plus this fall, my second cookbook Potluck Perfect will be published.

In honor of the one-year anniversary, I thought it would be fun to rewrite my “About Me” page. I haven’t updated it since I originally posted it a year ago. It was a Q & A session, so I left the old questions and added a few new ones.

As the title of this post said…. Welcome to the circus.

ABOUT COURTNEY LYNN

I tried writing several versions of a biography to post on here… but I hated them. One had too many jokes, one seemed too braggy, and one seemed like the life story of a nun. So instead of an “about me,” I wrote a bare-bones bio, and then had a few people come up with questions for a question-and-answer page. This was way more fun, and you can see a little of my real personality.

THE BARE-BONES BIO

My name is Courtney Lynn. I’m 27 years old, but feel like an old soul. I’m part Paula Deen, part Scarlett O’Hara, and part Joey Gladstone.

Cooking and writing are my main hobbies, which turned into a job. I also love reading, fishing, and antique-hunting.

I wrote a cookbook called The Supersize Family’s Guide to the Kitchen because I felt that the world and the families in it needed recipes that serve more people than the average recipe. The book is available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and most of the major online bookstores. My second cookbook, Potluck Perfect, will be published September 2018. I also wrote a free e-cookbook called The Frugal Family’s Guide to the Kitchen, and my second free e-book will also be available this fall.

I also write this blog, Supersize Family Kitchens. It’s mostly a food blog with recipes from my books and also never-before-seen recipes. I also write posts on crafts, decorating, and family life.

I sell books and other merchandise at author events, book signings, and craft shows throughout the year. I typically post on this blog when I know I’ll have a booth somewhere.

I live in southern Missouri, where we have four seasons: winter, winter, still winter, and holy-cow-I’m-dying-lets-fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk.

I’m glad you stopped by. Thanks for reading and happy cooking!

 

THE BIG Q & A

  • Why did you write a cookbook?

I guess here is where I start at the beginning. For the first 20-ish years of life, I could not cook. Not grilled cheese. Not toast. Not Jello, or hot dogs, or nachos. Somewhere in my early twenties, I picked up a magazine and saw a recipe for Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars. No eggs, no raw meat, and only had to bake for 12 minutes. I could do that, and I did. Those bars made me feel like a rockstar. I found my brother Judson frantically scraping the crumbs off of the table like a madman. From there, I made Oatmeal cookies, and then peanut butter cookies. At that point, I realized I Can Do This. I then discovered casseroles, and I really took off.

The only problem was, I usually cooked for 8-10 people, and most of the recipes I found in magazines and cookbooks made about 4-6 servings. #failure. With this in mind, I started collecting big-batch recipes for my own personal use. And I went through my mom’s recipe box and found quite a few forgotten recipes that I could double. I hunted for big potluck-style cookbooks, but I found the well to be practically dry. After I had 30 or so recipes, I had a crazy thought… “Maybe someday when I have a few hundred recipes I’ll write my own cookbook.” And eventually I did. I did hours and hours and oodles and oodles of research about writing, formatting, publishing vs self-publishing, and on and on and on.  I considered the traditional route, but I ultimately decided that since I was doing this project for fun, I wanted to handle every aspect myself, even though I knew it would take a ton of work. I chose CreateSpace as my self-publishing platform and I let my control-freak brain go wild. I enlisted my sister Chelsea—a photographer—to take the food pictures for the cover. Chelsea and my sister Halle provided tons of props for the photos as well.

A rare photo of me cooking in the 90’s. I was trying to help my grandma can beets, but I dropped 85% of them in the floor and they stained her white linoleum. And that, my friends, is why I didn’t cook until I was in my twenties.

  • Before you were a cookbook author, what did you do?

This may take a while. I’ve reinvented myself more times than Taylor Swift. Let me see… Throughout the years I’ve set myself on the career path of being an accountant, a hairstylist, a wedding planner, a florist, a novelist, a barrel-racer, a songwriter, an Olympic track star, and a model. And these are just the ones I can think of at the moment. In that same order, these were my reasons for stopping: I don’t want to be cooped up in a desk, I don’t like making small talk, I don’t like dealing with cranky families, I don’t really know anything about flowers, I ran out of steam halfway through every novel, I lost interest in horses, I wrote 250+ songs before I got burned out, I had a serious foot injury, and I was in one fashion show and hated it.

(Side note: The only thing I’ve done consistently since I was a kid was write. I’ve constantly been writing poetry, songs, short stories, novels, and a short film. I didn’t have the patience and dedication when I was a teen to finish those novels, but I do now. Someday I’m going to write that novel that’s playing in my head, maybe several. I love all aspects of writing. More than anything else in my life, I’ve been a writer.)

Finally at 19 I enrolled in college to have something to do while I figured out what my next step was. Ha ha ha.  I lasted for 3 years before I finally quietly dropped out in the middle of the summer semester. My parents didn’t find out until November. That was a fun conversation. I said then (and I was right) “Whatever I’m supposed to do with my life, I don’t need to go to college to do it.” I’m not against college, but I was going for the wrong reasons. I had no particular aspirations, no major. After that, I bummed around for about a year before I took up cooking, and the rest is history.

  • Why did you start a blog?

This blog is a companion to my books, but it also stands alone as a food blog. I post recipes here from my cookbooks, and also unpublished recipes, excerpts from upcoming cookbooks, and other fun stuff like DIY projects. And also I like to make web friends. At some point or another I’ll probably have PMS and post a long tearful review of a Nicholas Sparks movie, or a random commercial.

  • More cookbooks in the future?

Yes. Potluck Perfect will be released September 2018, and I have half a dozen more cookbooks thought out.

  • What are your big dreams?

I’d like to own a restaurant and mercantile, supplied by a farm, ranch, and garden. I think I’d also like to host my own cooking webseries. I also do a pretty good stand-up comedy routine, and I want to do something big with that. And also I’d like to be time-warped into the 1950’s.

  • Married with children?

No and no. I’m 27, and where I come from, I’m considered a terminal old maid. Like, an actual spinster. I can’t say that I agree. I’m pretty sure I won’t get married till I’m at least 35, though. I actually like being an independent woman. I have family and friends that keep me busy, and I don’t mind being the third wheel as long as food is involved.

  • Favorite movies and TV shows?

This is hard to answer because I love TV. My three favorite shows are Heartland, Baa Baa Black Sheep, and 7th Heaven. My other favorites are Coach, Magnum PI, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Maverick, The Big Valley, The Wild Wild West (Robert Conrad! Oh my word!), and M*A*S*H (the first three seasons only-when Trapper left he took my heart).

About movies, my first thoughts go to The Maze Runner series because I recently watched them for the first time. If you so much as mention The Death Cure, Newt, the Flare, Immunes, or the thing that happened that we don’t talk about, I will burst into uncontrollable tears and sob into your shoulder.

Okay, enough fangirling. I really do watch a lot of movies because I’m a little bit of a movie buff. I love old movies (The Sound of Music, Gone With The Wind, It’s A Wonderful Life, How to Marry A Millionaire), romance (Sweet Home Alabama, The Longest Ride, Runaway Bride, Safe Haven, Fireproof), action/military (Battleship, Red Dawn, The Guardian, The Bourne Series, The Expendables), superhero (Spiderman [the Tobey Macguire versions] all of the Avengers movies [is it bad that Loki and Bucky are my favorite superheros?] and westerns (Silverado, Rio Bravo, The Sons of Katie Elder.) 

  • Favorite Supersize Family recipe?

Chicken Stuffing Casserole. I need to get the recipe on here.

  • What would you pick for your last meal?

Cheesecake, with a side of cheesecake, served on a bed of cheesecake, with cheesecake for dessert. Hey, if I’m going to die, I’m not counting calories.

  • Dream home?

A beach house on a private island, a cabin on a lonely mountain, a farmhouse in the middle of a thousand acres, or a houseboat on a private lake. I’m not picky.

  • Who is your celebrity crush?

My celebrity crushes are mostly TV cowboys from the 1950’s and 60’s. Which means now they’re all either getting up in years or have already passed away. Bummer for me. Robert Conrad is my absolute favorite (there are no words!!!!!!). I also like Jack Kelly, James Garner, and Clint Walker. (I have a thing for broad-shouldered manly men with hairy chests.) As far as modern men my own age, it’s Scott Eastwood. Or Tom Hiddleston. Or Sebastian Stan. (I had the great idea that Scott, Tom, and Sebastian should make a movie together just so I can admire all of those cheekbones at once. Movie companies, are you listening?)

  • What do you do when you’re not cooking?

Thinking about cooking or looking for new recipes. Reading, fishing, and antique-hunting are my favorite non-food related activities. I also do a pretty good stand-up comedy act, and maybe someday I’ll do something big with that.

This is an actual photo of me in my native habitat.

  • What is something that you would like to see happen in your lifetime

Me: Do I have to be serious, or can I be funny?

Be serious.

Me: okay, then. *thinking hard* In my lifetime, I would… like to see a film made… which accurately depicts… Tom Hiddleston in really tight jeans.

*laughter* Me: I tried to be serious, I really did! But actually, I AM serious!

 

So there you have it. That’s me. Of course as with every person, there’s far more to me than meets the eye. In person I’m painfully shy and quiet if I don’t know you well, so if we ever meet and I sort of whisper “Hi” and don’t make immediate eye contact, please don’t be offended. In a few minutes I’ll be making jokes, talking too loud, and asking you what you ate for lunch. You’ll be lucky if I don’t ask for the recipe.

Nice to meet you. Keep calm and fry something.

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Monterey Chicken Sandwiches

Today I’m guest posting today at my friend Candice’s blog Natural Country Health, with a new recipe for you today from my upcoming cookbook Potluck Perfect! (Candice, this was SO FUN! Thanks for inviting me!) Candice was right here yesterday with her amazing DIY Body Scrubs, go check it out!

The recipe is Monterey Chicken Sandwiches–basically pulled barbequed chicken, mixed with crumbled bacon, and then topped with cheese, tomatoes, and green onions, and served on toasted buns.

It’s super-easy and delicious, plus it’s a great recipe for the Memorial Day get-togethers.

Don’t forget to grab the pin below!

CLICK HERE TO GET THE RECIPE

PIN HERE!!!

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DIY Body Scrubs

So I realized a couple of weeks ago that this week is an important anniversary. On May 25th, it will be exactly one year since my cookbook The Supersize Family’s Guide to the Kitchen was published! So to celebrate, this week I’m doing a ton of fun stuff!

To start with, today I have a super fun guest post by my friend Candice from Natural Country Health! She’s a wife, mom, and health enthusiast, and today she’s schooling us in DIY Body Scrubs. Seriously, this lady knows her stuff! Her blog is chock-full of great things like DIY Cosmetics, Homemade Hand Sanitizer, and The Health Benefits of Honey. Candice, thanks so much for inviting me to this party! 

Don’t forget to grab the pin at the bottom of the page.

And later this week, I’ll be guest posting on her blog Natural Country Health with a recipe from my upcoming cookbook Potluck Perfect! What is it the recipe? Stay tuned!

DIY BODY SCRUBS

Hey, my name is Candice, and I am a health enthusiast. I enjoy learning and sharing natural products and simple healthy DIY recipes. You can find more about me on my blog Natural Country Health.

Thanks Courtney for letting me guest post on your blog today! I have known Courtney Lynn for a few years and I am a huge fan of her cookbook “The Supersize Family’s Guide to the Kitchen.” I married into a large family and the recipes are perfect for when we all get together!

I am so excited to be writing about body scrubs today. They are so much fun to make and use and the results are just phenomenal, silky smooth skin every time. If you like this post don’t forget to check out my others at naturalcountryhealth.com and sign up for my newsletter to know when new content is coming out.

Thanks so much.

Homemade DIY Body Scrubs

Body scrubs are amazing.

They have the power to take dry rough skin, and turn it into soft satiny bliss.

When I first discovered body scrubs it was actually a sugar scrub, and I thought it was completely weird to rub sugar paste all over my skin. But after I broke down and tried it, the results I got were incredible. And that began my journey to find more scrubs for different types of skin, or for different levels of skin care.

After filling our head with magazine articles, different beauty products, and countless advertisements assaulting us because we don’t have silky smooth skin. We tend to over compensate for that velvety softness by purchasing too many products. Our bathrooms are probably brimming with unused or tried once didn’t like bottles, tubs, and jars of lotions, scrubs, or gels that didn’t do our skin justice.

Well, you can offer your skin this much desired tone and texture with a body scrub made at home. And you probably already have most of the basic ingredients like sea salt, essential oils, and ground nuts used in them.

Scrubs help remove skin that’s dry scaly and flaky. Usually the result of overexposure to dry air, heat or cold, also dehydration or simple neglect. In these cases, built up cellular debris has clogged pores and blocked the flow of sebum. A body scrub can help reverse this process encouraging blood to flow, giving moisturizers the chance to reach underlying layers and supporting the skin’s task of toxin removal.

What makes up a good body scrub?

Exfoliators

There are a number of natural substances which can serve as exfoliating agents in body scrubs. Sea salt, whether fine or coarse, helps remove toxins, supply minerals to tissue and stimulate circulation.

 It also aids in tightening and toning slack skin. A sea salt scrub battles the dimpled look of cellulite that often appears on the thighs and bottom by helping to break up fat and water deposits.

For removal of scaly, tough, dry skin, ground almonds prove both thorough and gentle, and provide more moisture. Wheat or oat bran is an excellent, non abrasive and non irritating exfoliator for sensitive skin.

Carrier Oils

Carrier oils provide moisture and softness.

Grapeseed, hazelnut, and soybean oils, used in many body scrubs, penetrate the skin easily. They supply essential fatty acids to the skin helping to increase elasticity and give it a soft sheen. 

Essential Oils

Essential oils provide fragrance and healing.

Grapefruit essential oil gently stimulates and refreshes and adds a light deodorizing effect. Juniper oil is especially useful for combating water retention as well as stress and fatigue. The essential oil of lavender can help heal painful fissures and minor inflammation.

Green Tea

The caffeine contained in green tea helps to tighten and tone the skin.

And the tea is also quite beneficial for oily skin, because the tannic acid works to remove excess oil.

How To Apply Scrubs

Spread a generous amount of the body scrub onto damp skin. Thoroughly massage the scrub into the skin with firm circular motions, start at the feet and work your way up to the shoulders, massaging each area for just a few seconds. Rinse off with plenty of warm water and always follow with an application of moisturizer. 

Recipes

Sea Salt Scrub

1 cup fine sea salt
1/2 cup grape seed, hazelnut, or soybean oil
10 drops grapefruit essential oil
10 drops juniper essential oil

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir thoroughly. Spread the mixture onto damp skin and massage in. Concentrate on the tough rough thickened areas of the body, such as the feet. Rinse with warm water and apply a moisturizer immediately.

You can also us this scrub to alleviate a dry, flaky, scalp and dull hair. Often the result of long term use of permanents and colorings. It rids your scalp of dry skin and sebum buildup. Leading to shinier, healthier hair. 
Gently massage 1-2 tablespoons of the scrub onto the entire scalp tor 5 minutes then shampoo and condition like normal.

Because the scrub can be harsh on the skin use only 1-2 times a month.

 

Almond and Bran Scrub
1/2 cup very finely ground almonds
1/2 cup coarse wheat bran
1 cup hot green tea
10 lavender essential oil

Mix the almonds and bran. Add the tea and stir until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Cool just to body temperature. Add the lavender oil, thoroughly blending the mixture. Gently massage onto damp skin. Rinse with warm water and apply a moisturizer immediately.
Use the scrub no more than once a week.

 

Seed Scrubs
1 cup finely ground flax seed or sunflower seed
1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk

Combine the seeds and the cream/milk in a small bowl and stir thoroughly. Gently massage onto damp skin. Rinse with warm water and apply a moisturizer immediately. This scrub is gentle enough it can be used daily, even on sensitive skin. Its especially useful in the winter when the dry air tends to starve our skin for moisture.

 

Quick Scrub

Mix used coffee grounds that are still warm with a dash of carrier oil to make a quick scrub that is good for cellulite prone spots and thick and callused areas.

Brush Impurities Away

Scrubs should usually only be used once each week, although a few gentle ones can be used more often.

However, if you have rashes, acne, sunburned skin or spider veins, avoid scrubs as they might worsen your condition. Instead use a soft body brush.

In fact, daily dry brushing before showering is useful for almost everyone. It helps eliminate scaly skin from knees, feet and elbows. In the shower massage these areas again with a natural bristle brush or loofah.

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Who Wants A Free E-Cookbook?

The Frugal Family’s Guide to the Kitchen got a facelift!

And isn’t it pretty? I’m in love with it!

So you guys know that when you subscribe my e-mail list, you get a free e-cookbook in your inbox. It’s The Frugal Family’s Guide to the Kitchen, a special collection of money saving recipes that will feed a crowd without breaking the bank.

This is the same e-cookbook, just a little updated. Basically I lightly revised the contents. The recipes are the same–I mostly rearranged a couple things, updated the links and contact information, and gave it a new front and back cover. 

 Are you convinced yet? If you’re ready to download, CLICK HERE to subscribe to the e-mail list.  You’ll immediately get the e-cookbook, plus recipes, DIY projects, and all manner of cool things every. single. week.

If you’re already a subscriber, you had a copy waiting in your inbox this morning, so no need to sign up again.

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Free Recipe Card Printable, From My Kitchen To Yours

Need something to brighten your Thursday? Check out this cute printable I made, just for my readers! No registration or subscription required. I just felt like being nice. 🙂  I also included the pin at the bottom of this page, so you can save to your printables and craft boards for future reference.

The printable looks like this, but this one is too small to print.

It prints on a standard-size piece of paper or cardstock, and includes four recipe cards to a sheet.

Print out as many as you want, but please use for your own personal use only. Feel free to print on your computer or your local print shop or wherever you want. If your friends want matching recipe cards, please send them the link to this post so they can download their own. (I appreciate your consideration.)

DOWNLOAD HERE.

Have fun and have a great weekend, everybody!

Also, in case you didn’t know, you can get my free e-cookbook “The Frugal Family’s Guide to the Kitchen” just by joining our e-mail list HERE. Some of the recipes are from my cookbook “The Supersize Family’s Guide to the Kitchen” but most are exclusive, unpublished recipes! You’ll get new recipes, DIY projects, and sneak peeks from my cookbooks straight to your inbox every week.

PIN HERE!

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Family-Friendly Vacation and Day Trips in The Ozarks

I can’t believe we’re halfway through May. Time goes by faster than it once did, huh? 

So around the beginning of the year I was thinking about a few things that I wanted to do that I’ve never done before. Places to go, things to accomplish, projects to finish, etc.

I have actually done quite a few of the things on my list. I wrote another cookbook (Potluck Perfect, to be released in September!). I designed and launched my first signature t-shirt, Keep Calm and Fry Something. And I survived a website crash, a move to a new hosting company, and then I redesigned my blog, which was a months-long process that literally gave me wrinkles on my forehead. I did my first book signing for Guide to the Kitchen, and I’ll be attending craft shows and author events throughout the summer and fall, plus I’ve managed to keep my day job. (It’s also important to note that I survive on Pepsi and do not sleep well.)

The hard work is done-ish, so now I want to have some fun. I came up with a list of fun places and events throughout Missouri and Arkansas that I want to see this year. And they’re all family-friendly! I have three siblings ages 13 and under so they’re definitely going to be included.

I’m sharing my list here in hopes that my readers and friends can find a fun reason to visit our beautiful Ozarks. If you’ve never been here, I highly recommend it this time of year because the warm weather is finally here after the longest winter I can remember, and the forests are green and the flowers are all pretty colors.

If any of you have already been here and have visited these places before, comment with suggestions for how to make the trip more fun! Also if you have any other ideas for events in Missouri and Arkansas that I might not have heard of, comment below.

I’m posting the pin at the bottom of the page as well, feel free to pin it to your travel and adventure boards.

Family-Friendly Vacations and
Day Trips in The Ozarks

Silver Dollar City–Branson, Missouri

I’m hoping this is the year that I actually make it to Silver Dollar City. How many years have I lived in Missouri and never been there? My entire life. Ok, the time is now. Buckle your seatbelts. 

Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium–Springfield, Missouri

Wonders of Wildlife is a fully immersive conservation and wildlife museum covering 350,000 square feet of exhibits that contain 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles, and birds from around the world. 

This is the second incarnation of Wonders Of Wildlife. The first opened in 2001, but closed after 6 years. It spent the next ten years undergoing a renovation and expansion, and finally reopened September of 2017.

I actually went there in 2003 (I think) and it was the coolest thing ever. I haven’t been there since it reopened last fall, but it’s supposed to be a million times better now. I mean, check this out. It has wildlife galleries that showcase the wildest places on earth, plus a world-class aquarium adventure that has 1.5 million gallons of freshwater and saltwater habitats.

Bo’s Hollow–Salem, Missouri

I’ve never been here either, but I’ve seen pictures, and Bo’s Hollow is literally the cutest thing in the world. It’s a replica of a 1930’s village, complete with a general store, a working windmill, a covered bridge, and a ride in a Model A. The tour also includes a picnic with a packed lunch, how cool is that?

Saint Louis Zoo–Saint Louis, Missouri

This is bucket list material! The zoo in Saint Louis was recently voted Best Zoo and America’s Top Free Attraction– yep, you read that right, general admission is free. And they have polar bears, my favorite! Seriously, the website is insane… even if you’re not interested in going to the zoo, check out the website for tons of animal facts and pictures.

Saint Louis Cardinals–Saint Louis, Missouri

And while I’m in Saint Louis, I’m going to a baseball game. I. Love. Baseball. It’s the only sport I really go nuts for, and I’m a die hard Cardinals fan. No one was more excited than me when they won the World Series a few years ago, so a Cards game is definitely on my list for this year.

Crater of Diamonds State Park–Murfreesboro, Arkansas

Here is another bucket list item–it’s called the Crater of Diamonds State Park, and it’s literally a diamond park. Basically you get to dig in the dirt in a 37 ½-acre plowed field, and if you find a diamond, you get to keep it. Check out this page to see some of their famous finds, which include a 3.03 carat diamond that was later cut to size and certified the most perfect diamond ever certified by the  American Gem Society and is valued at 1 million dollars. Prices are $10 for ages 13 and up, $6 for 6-12, and free for age 5 and under.

Johnny Cash’s Boyhood Home–Dyess, Arkansas

Guys, when I’m comes to Johnny Cash, I’m dead serious. He was a legend, a hero, and about a million other things, but right now I’m going to focus on his boyhood home in Arkansas, which has been turned into a museum. The complete tour includes the  Dyess Colony Visitors Center, The Dyess Colony Administration Building, and the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home. The house is furnished as it appeared when the Cash family lived there. You might have seen it in the beautiful and epic film Walk the Line.

And a bonus…

American Idol Live Tour–Saint Louis and Kansas City

I guess I need to plan a long weekend in Saint Louis, because I just found out that the American Idol top 7 will be touring across the US, and making stops in Kansas City and Saint Louis in August! I don’t think I would take the kids to this one, though–this is just for a grown-up’s night out!

I’ve been obsessed with American Idol this season, and I’m so thrilled that Caleb Lee Hutchison has made the top 3 and will be on the tour. He’s been getting my votes, and I can’t wait to see where his career takes him. (I also voted for Jonny Brenns who was my early pick, but unfortunately he didn’t crack the top 10. He’s going to do great things though.)

Whew! Okay, I’m off to pack my bags and fill up the tank with gas. Where are you heading this summer? I can’t wait to find out!

 

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars + Pictures From The Book Signing!

These soft yet sturdy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are one of my favorites.  They’re super-easy because they start with a cake mix! Just combine the cake mix with 2 eggs, a stick of butter, and a handful of chocolate chips, and what do you get? Cookie bars! (Please excuse the terrible picture. It was taken a few months ago on my old ancient phone that I literally had for years before I finally upgraded. Someday I’ll get a new pretty picture.)

You can also customize the recipe by using a different flavor of cake mix, and a different kind of chips. Maybe a dark chocolate cake mix with mint chips at Christmas? Sounds good to me! (I hope I can remember this recipe by Christmas. haha.)

Don’t forget to grab the pin at the bottom of the page!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Makes 12-15 bars
From Supersize Family Kitchens

½ cup butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 box (15¼ ounces) white cake mix
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together butter and eggs. Stir in cake mix until combined, then mix in chocolate chips. Press into a greased 13 x 9 pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and tests done.

Plus here is a picture from the book signing last weekend at Authors’ Day at the Shannon County Museum. The event was part of the Eminence Sesquicentennial. 

 

Did you hear the good news? You can get my free e-cookbook “The Frugal Family’s Guide to the Kitchen” just by joining our e-mail list HERE. Some of the recipes are from my cookbook “The Supersize Family’s Guide to the Kitchen” but most are exclusive, unpublished recipes! You’ll get new recipes, DIY projects, and sneak peeks from my cookbooks straight to your inbox every week.

PIN HERE!

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First Look at Cookbook Number 2, Plus a Book Signing!

Alright, guys, who wants the first look at my upcoming cookbook?

Dum dum da dum!

Introducing… Potluck Perfect!

Release date September first, 2018.

Will be available at Amazon, my new online store, most online bookstores worldwide, and in stores across southern Missouri.

Right now I’m taking pre-orders HERE at my new online store (only  $10 and free shipping!) and also in person at the craft and vendor shows I’ll be attending through the spring and summer. (The online store only has one product at the moment, but I’ll eventually get all of my products in there: The Supersize Family’s Guide to the Kitchen, the Keep Calm and Fry Something T-Shirt, and the other goodies I’m working on this year.)

Potluck Perfect has 100 recipes that…

  1. Make a large batch (at least ten servings).
  2. Are inexpensive to make.
  3. Uses easy-t0-find ingredients.
  4. Taste delicious!
  5. Are perfect for the family dinner, or the potluck, or the church social, or the 4-H bake sale.

I love my first cookbook Guide to the Kitchen… but I have to say that Potluck Perfect is even better!!!!

Also, I have to give a shout-out to my sister Chelsea, who is the photographer extraordinaire behind the beautiful cover photos of both Potluck Perfect and Guide to the Kitchen.

Now for the book signing! I’ll be taking part in the Missouri Authors’ Day at the Shannon County Museum in Eminence, Missouri on Saturday, May 5th from 10 AM to 4 PM. I’ll be signing Guide to the Kitchen so bring your copy if you have one, but if you don’t I’ll have copies for sale for $10. Also I’ll be doing preorders for Potluck Perfect— $10 and free shipping.

The Missouri Authors’ Day is part of the Eminence Sesquicentennial, so come spend the day with us and help celebrate Eminence’s 150th birthday. There will be tons of events going on through the entire weekend. You can find a complete schedule of events here.

 

Oh, did you hear the good news? You can get my free e-cookbook “The Frugal Family’s Guide to the Kitchen” just by joining our e-mail list HERE. Some of the recipes are from my cookbook “The Supersize Family’s Guide to the Kitchen” but most are exclusive, unpublished recipes! You’ll get new recipes, DIY projects, and sneak peeks from my cookbooks straight to your inbox every week.

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Kitchen Sink Candy

I have a fun candy recipe for you today: Kitchen Sink Candy. They pretty much contain everything but the kitchen sink. My sister Chelsea took a recipe for healthy candy that was sort of… well, icky and bland–and she mixed and matched until she came up with this yummy recipe. What I think is awesome about this candy is that it’s so changeable—you can swap out almost every ingredient for something else, and have something entirely new.

This recipe uses 1 cup of honey. Any honey will do, but I’m partial to Bekemeier’s honey. It’s raw, unfiltered, and unheated–basically it’s perfect, natural state. Many people don’t know this, but heating and filtering the honey removes most of the good stuff–vitamins and minerals and such. It also has a better flavor.

Bekemeiers makes other cool stuff, too–molasses and apple butter are popular–and is a Missouri-based company. Their products are available at many stores. A quick google search will tell you where in your local area.

Don’t forget to grab the pin at the bottom of the page!

Kitchen Sink Candy
Makes 6 dozen candies
From Supersize Family Kitchens

4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 jar (16 ounces) peanut butter
1 cup honey
1 cup raisins (or dried cherries, dried cranberries, or dates)
1 cup miniature chocolate chips (or white chocolate chips)
1 cup crushed walnuts (or crushed almonds or sunflowers seeds)

In a large mixing bowl with a lid, thoroughly combine all ingredients. Cover with the lid and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Roll into 1-inch balls on a waxed-paper covered surface. Let set up for about 30 minutes before transferring to a gallon-size resealable bag. Store in the fridge.

Did you hear the good news? You can get my free e-cookbook “The Frugal Family’s Guide to the Kitchen” just by joining our e-mail list HERE. Some of the recipes are from my cookbook “The Supersize Family’s Guide to the Kitchen” but most are exclusive, unpublished recipes! You’ll get new recipes, DIY projects, and sneak peeks from my cookbooks straight to your inbox every week.

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The Great Casserole Roundup For The Busy Gal

Whew, it’s been a busy couple of weeks! I just released my first t-shirt design, plus I’m working like a madwoman trying to finish my new cookbook, and also I’m gearing up for a few author events this summer and fall. (Which honestly scares me to death because I’m extremely introverted and awkward.) 

So what’s a hungry girl to do when she’s got like eleven minutes to get supper on the table? CASSEROLES, BABY.

I guess it’s no secret that I’m a casserole fan. (My first cookbook has an entire chapter devoted to them). Well, today I’m posting a roundup of my favorite casseroles, so if you’re having a crazy busy week as well, try one of my little life-savers.

Side note: I know I keep talking about cookbook number 2, but I haven’t really given away too many actual details. Look for a post in a few weeks with a name, cover, release date and everything. I’ve rarely been this excited in my life! 

THE GREAT CASSEROLE ROUNDUP FOR THE BUSY GAL

Farmer Casserole

 

Burger and Chips Casserole

 

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

 

Garden Casserole

 

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

 

Chicken Club Casserole

 

Chili Dog Casserole

 

Hashbrown Casserole

Mushroom Rice Bake

Did you hear the good news? You can get my free e-cookbook “The Frugal Family’s Guide to the Kitchen” just by joining our e-mail list HERE. Some of the recipes are from my cookbook “The Supersize Family’s Guide to the Kitchen” but most are exclusive, unpublished recipes! You’ll get new recipes, DIY projects, and sneak peeks from my cookbooks straight to your inbox every week.
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