Cheesy Potato Cassarole

I am sharing the easiest, most delicious, not so healthy side dish you’ll ever eat! My mom taught me how to make this long ago. Growing up it’s a dish we ate every Thanksgiving and I would look forward to eating it every year!

With the 4th of July coming up, I figured it would be a perfect time to share this recipe with y’all! It’s such a great side dish for BBQ’s and gatherings with family and friends.

Ingredients:

  1. One bag of Ore-ida shredded hash brown potatoes
  2. 8oz bag of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  3. 8oz sour cream
  4. One stick of butter
  5. 2 cans Campbell’s cream of chicken soup
  6. Lays Classic potato chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Melt stick of butter
  3. In a large mixing bowl add in the shredded hash browns, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, cheese and melted butter.
  4. Mix until well blended
  5. Place contents from mixing bowl into engrossed 13×9 baking dish
  6. Crush up lays potato chips
  7. Put a thin layer of crushed chips on top of casserole
  8. Bake at 350 uncovered for approximately 45 minutes

If you end up making and loving this recipe, please share on Instagram and tag me @kimbercraven! Enjoy!

I’ll be sharing more recipe favorites in the near future, stay tuned!

The Little Moments

The little moments are what makes motherhood life’s greatest adventure. Every. single. day. may seem so damn repetitive. Waking up putting your greasy hair in a bun, changing diapers, making breakfast, cleaning up the mess, vacuuming crumbs, play time, lunch, nap, cleaning, playtime, bath time, bedtime, picking up toys, middle of the night wake-ups..its a never ending cycle of motherly duties. In the bigger picture these long, exhausting, roller coaster of emotion, repetitive days are the days we will be yearning for years down the road. We will wish we had a little hand to hold while walking into Target or little feet and legs to slip into the cart.

I know, you hear it all the time.

“They grow so fast” or “You’re going to miss these days”. I’m know you probably get sick of hearing it from random people, family members or reading it in blogs but, its SO true. Before kids the days and years seemed to have lasted forever. Now a year goes by with the blink of an eye.

An older lady at Sam’s club was admiring my boys telling me how adorable they were. She then said “They grow up and its incredibly fun with grandkids but theres nothing like having YOUR little one crawl up onto your lap and snuggle”. Hearing something like that truly makes you want to slow down. It made my Sam’s Club trip more enjoyable.

Life can get hard. Life can get exhausting. Life can get challenging. Life can get stressful. Life can get trying.

You pray for a full nights sleep when your baby wakes through the night at 9 months old. You pray for silence at 6pm while cooking dinner when everyone is tired and hungry. You pray for your toddler to behave when he’s learning to keep his hands to himself.

Just remember in these little stressful “I don’t think I can do this anymore” moments, it won’t last forever. Take a deep breath. Remember the good through the hard. Soak those babies in, snuggle those babies, play hard with those babies because you’ll never get this day back, tomorrow they’ll be a little bigger and a little older. And one day, you’ll remember that day at Sam’s Club wishing you could relive that day one more time.

The Best Easy Banana Bread

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2/3 cup sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup canola oil

2 large eggs

1/3 cup milk

2-3 large ripe bananas

Optional:

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

Ingredients for crumble topping:

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp flour

2 tbsp softened butter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare a 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray
  3. In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon (Mix in optional oats and walnuts here)
  4. In a large bowl mash bananas.
  5. In the same large bowl with the mashed bananas mix in eggs, milk and canola oil.
  6. Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until combined.
  7. For the crumble topping use a small bowl and fork to mash butter and add in flour and brown sugar (mash together with fork)
  8. Pour banana bread mixture into prepared baking dish
  9. Use your fingers to sprinkle crumble on top
  10. Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  11. Enjoy!

Raising Littles Without a Village

They say raising A child takes a village.

To all of you raising littles without a village, I salute you.

I understand your struggles.

I understand the exhaustion.

I understand that your patience can be stretched thin…reaaaaaaal thin.

I understand how easy it is to completely lose. your. shit.

7 days a week 365 days a year you are with your kids without the option of casually swinging by your sisters house to drop the kids off so you can have an hour alone, completely stress free. Or calling your mom up because your husband is out of town and you desperately need help.

I’ve made plenty of friends who have offered to watch the kids. But calling a friend who has their own children and families to worry about makes me feel as if I’d be putting them out (even if I wasn’t). Family is different. Family is 100% guilt free. “Hey Ma…can I swing the kids by while I grocery shop”? I wish….

Date nights.

A date night to you and your husband is rushing to get the kids to bed by 7 on a Friday night so you can turn on a movie and maybe just maybe make it all the way through without one of you falling asleep.

If you do plan to go out and end up finding a babysitter…someone you trust with your precious little angels….a $50 date night quickly turns into a $75+ date night.

On the weekends my husband and I try to let each other get a break in. We take turns taking care of the kiddos. He usually goes fishing before the sun comes up on a Saturday. On Sunday, I usually go to the gym with my girlfriend (whom I’m not sure I’d survive without). Then I’ll usually grab a coffee and run errands.

During my time alone, I have a lot of time to think. It makes me want to call up my mom or sister to come have lunch with me or walk around a mall together. The loneliness sets in. Sometimes I don’t even like to have alone time because of the sense of emptiness it brings.

My husband goes out of town for work once in a while. Everything falls on me. This is when my anxiety rises. I become extremely stressed. Changing Diapers. Breakfast. Play time. Lunch. Naps. Cleaning. Snacks. Laundry. Dishes. Wiping more asses. More play time. Dinnertime. Baths. Bedtime. Middle of the night wakings. Sometimes I am not even sure how I survive 4 days without him, alone.

And you know…It’s not only about needing the help, wanting a break, or being desperate for a date night. Its about my children growing up surrounded by unconditional love. Having people around them who would do anything for them at the drop of a hat. Spending the night at grandma and grandpas with their cousins making special memories that will last a lifetime.

But recently I’ve learned as a parent you can’t dwell on negativity or that will reflect onto your children. You have to rise above and you have to find a way to create your own village.

I am so thankful to have met a group of women I can lean on at any given moment. Some of these women I wouldn’t survive without. This group of women encourage me, they make me be a better version of myself. They make me a better mother. They love my children like their own. And I couldn’t ask for more.

One Pot Vegetable Soup


I just have to start this off by saying I’ve never been a huge fan of vegetable soup but a recent cold left me unable to taste or smell anything! The only thing that sounded good was S O U P! So I gathered up everything I had to make a delicious bowl of comfort food. After looking up recipe after recipe and not liking the looks of a single one…I created my own!

This recipe is a must when you are sick or even just a cold winter day. The broth is so good and incredibly satisfying. We like to make it with a loaf of garlic french bread. There was so much leftover, we were able to eat it for two days and still had more to freeze for later!

It’s one of the easiest soups to make and you only dirty ONE pot! Its also toddler approved!

Ingredients:

4 cups beef broth or stock (I used stock)

5 cups water

1 Tbsp olive oil

1-2lbs lean ground beef

1 small-medium onion diced

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic salt

1 6oz can tomato paste

1 can petit diced tomatos

1 bag of mixed vegetables

3 cups kale

2 diced potatoes

1 packet Lipton soup & dip mix

Instructions:

  1. Add olive oil to large soup pot. Once heated, add onions and cook just until tender then add the ground beef. Season with garlic salt and pepper and cook until no longer pink
  2. Add in tomato paste and mix in with the ground beef
  3. Add the Beef broth and water
  4. Add potatoes, bag of mixed vegetables, kale, petit diced tomatoes & stir
  5. Stir in onion soup mix & salt then simmer with lid on for approx. 30-45 minutes
  6. Serve with garlic french bread and enjoy!

The joy in this recipe is you can always add noodles for the kiddos, or change it up a bit with whatever vegetables you and your family love!

Enjoy!!!

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