Easy Baked Buffalo Wings

A recipe so easy, my 11-year-old daughter made this all by herself. Granted, it was made easier by having the hot sauce mix ready to go. We used a Cookie’s buffalo sauce mix from the store, which basically means the butter/oil and hot sauce was already mixed for us. You can usually find these mixes at the store, along side the Tabasco sauce (as in the “real” hot sauces) or with the marinades. Sometimes these sections are together, depending on how your local store is set up.

I loved how easy this was for her, and how only minimal supervision was required. Mostly I was there ONLY to remind her to wash her hands after touching the sauce or raw chicken. You know how kids are.😉

The first step was dumping both wings and sauce in a bow, tossing them gently. If you have kids wanting to help, make sure they toss it gently enough so that it only covers the chicken wings and not the counter! See how my daughter coated her chicken without any help:

chicken wings and hot sauce

Next, grease a pan with butter or cooking spray. Put the wings in the pan in a single layer and bake at 400*. Just to make sure she had the wings completely coated, I gave her a basting brush to get the spots she didn’t completely toss.

Hot wings in oven

After 20-25 minutes, the wings will need to be flipped and re-coated with the sauce. Bake for another 25 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. The wings will loose some of the bright spicy color, but instead will be baked into the chicken. Serve your wings with ranch or blue cheese, depending on your family’s preference. Personally, I like blue cheese with my wings, but the kids prefer ranch dressing. DELICIOUS!

Easy baked hot wings


That’s it! Again, this recipe was so easy, that my daughter had NO help from me at all prepping. She even took all the pictures herself so that I could create this fabulous blog post. Is she a Foodie in training? She might be! Regardless, I’m a proud mama for her success at making a spicy treat for her family.😉

Fun and Easy Recipes for Kids

Fun Recipes for Kids
You don’t need special recipes to have fun with kids in the kitchen. Over the years we’ve hunted and searched for kid-friendly recipes or ideas they can do themselves. What we’ve found is adults ALWAYS need to help somewhere, so don’t limit yourself to just recipes for kids.

There are a few fun and easy recipes we’ve done over the years that the kids just LOVED. These recipes are ones that don’t have an age limit, nor require them to be a certain age. We also like simple recipes that don’t require a whole lot of ingredients, so that it makes it that much easier for the kids.

The kids, now ages 13 and 10, don’t need a lot of help from me in the kitchen any more. Yet we have the picture to remind us of younger days, where it didn’t take much to get proud smiles and giggles out of my babies. We also still have the recipes we all loved to make, which I plan to share with all of you🙂

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Printable Meal Planner and Grocery List

After taking a look at our monthly spending, I was horrified to see how much we spend on groceries. It’s so easy when you own a business directly next to a grocery store in a super small town, but those quick and little purchases add up FAST. Great for convenience, horrible on the checking account.

The solution we came up with was a menu plan and grocery list combined. I’m still “old fashioned” and like my pen and paper when it comes to making lists. Sorry, I just don’t care to type out my list on any digital device. Although I did design the template on the computer, and have found it SUPER easy to print out just before I go shopping.

We started with a monthly menu plan, which did work for the most part. The end of the month got a little stretched, though, so we switched to a 10-day plan. This actually covers about 2 weeks worth of meals and snacks for us. It also limits our shopping trips to about twice a month, ultimately saving us from too many in-store impulse buys yet still leaving room for changes in the menu.

Since this has been so successful for us, I thought it only right to share with everyone. Click on the picture below, save to your computer, and print off on a sheet of cardstock or other heavier paper. We fold ours in half, so the grocery list is on one side and the meals on the other. It’s easy to stick in my purse, but then still stash it in the kitchen when we bring our groceries home.

Printable meal plan and grocery list

Printable meal plan and grocery list

Simple Angel Hair Pasta Recipe

Simple Angel Hair PastaSomewhere down the road, pasta became a comfort food in our house. It’s quick, easy, and a delicious treat. Pasta was the first “real food” my kids had when they were itty bitty, because of the texture and taste. Like most moms, I have pictures of my kids absolutely covered head to toe in strings of pasta with bowls on top their heads. Yeah. We love pasta.

Angel hair pasta is one of our absolute favorites, and this recipe really can’t get much simpler. In my college days I was obsessed with Rice-o-Roni boxed meals. Garlic and butter angel hair was the one I bought the most. When I started my family, those boxes weren’t nearly enough to feed everyone, even as a side. It didn’t take me long to figure out a homemade solution that DOES feed everyone with plenty to spare.

This pasta recipe makes use of staples you probably have on hand. It also only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.

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Minecraft Birthday Cake

Chocolate Creeper Cake
My son loves Minecraft. A lot. When given the chance, he will play it all day and night, coming up with all kinds of cool things to share with me. Since he’s home schooled, he even did a few art projects using Minecraft. It is really neat to see him so interested in something creative and that requires a bit of thought.

When I saw this on Pinterest, I knew I had to make it for his birthday. His grandpa had gotten him a T-shirt from Tanga featuring a “creeper”. (For those of you who do not know Minecraft lingo, those are kind of like “bad guys”)

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Oven Pot Roast Ideas

Pot Roast


I absolutely love the smell of a pot roast in the oven. It give your home that comfortable, warm, and inviting smell. Not to mention with an easy pot roast recipe you can make a meal for your family and have left overs for a week in just a few simple steps. Personally, I prefer to use the oven when cooking pot roasts, but you can use a crockpot for any of the ideas you see below. I won’t hold it against you if you decide to use a crockpot!

There’s probably hundreds of different ways to cook a pot roast in the oven. Just like pasta, it’s one of the most versatile foods outs there. While the directions of my oven pot roasts are always the same, the ingredients sometimes change. Below you’ll find two different ingredients I use for cooking a pot roast in the oven. Again, you could use a crockpot, but my instructions are for the oven, so do be sure you plan accordingly if you do not use the oven. There are a few additional recipes on this page that DO use a crockpot, if that is what you prefer.

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Dinner Ideas for Hamburger Meat

Dinner Ideas with Hamburger Meat

Hamburger meat, in any form, is one of the most popular and inexpensive meats out there. There are literally millions of hamburger recipe ideas on the web, many that don’t even require a specific kind of hamburger meat. Although, when it comes time to make dinner, we’re often left scrambling for a recipe idea.

The following hamburger recipe ideas are simple, many containing only a few ingredients. I have purposely left these recipe ideas as basic, so that you may use the list to come up with a specific dinner idea with hamburger meat based on the ideas given. Continue reading

Rolo Cookies

Recipe for Rolo cookies

Rolo Cookies. Nom.

As you might have guessed, I have an obsession with Pinterest. Even just visiting to look up something I pinned previously is dangerous – I end up pinning another 3 or 4 ideas. Yet sometimes I stumble on some fantastic ideas and recipes that we get hooked on, or offer at The Hot Spot.

A few weeks ago I came across a recipe for Rolo Cookies. It was quick, easy, and a perfect treat to sell to our customers at the store. My mom ended up making them again for a game tournament weekend, and they sold out. Yes, they are really that good.   Continue reading

3 Easy Quesedilla Recipes

After discovering the cooked chicken at our small-town grocery store, we’ve been totally addicted to Quesedillas. Our way of making them might not be “authentic”, but they sure are yummy. We leave out a lot of spices and ingredients on purpose, since we have pretty simple taste buds. Although you are more than welcome to add your own ingredients as you see fit.

Our three easy Quesedilla recipes are more “method” than “recipe”. No matter what kitchen gadgets you have (or don’t have), you should be able to make Quesedillas at least one way listed here. Also, you’ll find some extra recipes and ideas that would go fantastic with your Quesedillas.

Main Ingredients

To start, we use the following:

– Tortillas (medium size)
– 2 packages Cooked Chicken
– Shredded Cheese


Method #1 – Griddle

Our favored method of making Quesedillas is on the griddle, but we realize not everyone has one of these fantastic kitchen gadgets. Personally, I don’t know how we got along without it. To make Quesedillas, just preheat your griddle to 350*. I use non-stick cooking spray, usually butter flavor, to make the Quesedillas crispy but not burnt.


Method #2 – Sandwich maker

Same as the first method, but you’ll have to fold in the sides to make it fit. My 9 yr old was able to make Quesedillas in this fashion, although I did have to show her how to fold the tortillas. Just fold in the sides, then fold in from the top. It should be shaped like a sandwich before you stick it in the sandwich maker.  I use the cooking spray for this method as well, but I don’t think it’s completely necessary.


Method #3 – Microwave

Not our favorite way of making Quesedillas, but it works. 1 minute and 30 seconds usually melts the cheese completely. You won’t have a crispy shell if you put it in the microwave. Just warm, melty, gooey cheese.


Additional Ideas

Pico de Gillo (American style)
This recipe I picked up while working at a local taco joint in high school and tastes FANTASTIC with Quesedillas. Mix tomato, onion, lemon juice, garlic, and cilantro (fresh is best, but dried will work) in a Tupperware container. Shake well to coat the tomato and onion. Keeps in the fridge for about a week.

Seasoning Blends
Not long ago we had a Tastefully Simple party at The Hot Spot. I picked up a seasoning mix that included dried tomato, basil, and garlic. We shake a bit of that on our  Quesedillas before cooking and it adds just the right flavor. Other special blends you can find in your local grocery story. Play around! See what you come up with!

S’more Bars – Awesome S’more Recipe

In honor of National S’more Day yesterday, we decided to make S’more bars for The Hot Spot. It was a seriously sweet (yet oh-so-delicious) treat we all enjoyed very much. I do not recommend making this recipe too often because of the high amount of sugar, but it was fun to make regardless. The best part is it was SUPER easy and took maybe 10 minutes to put together before baking.


The original recipe came from Megan’s Cookin’, a page we found on Pinterest (love that site by the way – how did we ever manage without it?).  We made a minor change, and I actually suggest cutting back on the sugar just a bit more. The graham crackers were sweet enough without the loads of sugar and butter.

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