Zucchini Carrot Casserole

Our summer vegetable garden is pretty much an overgrown weed patch. Seriously. It is the weediest it has ever been and the little that was planted got out late. It is so bad that we just got our first zucchini of the year last night. Most people I know have been drowning in zucchini for weeks, so this is embarrassing. Usually by this time of year, the kids are all sick of the many zucchini recipes I try, but now they are really excited! They are requesting zucchini alfredo, zucchini gratin, and zucchini chocolate cake. I am hoping for a good zucchini crop so that we can make all of those, but last night I decided to make zucchini carrot casserole. Easy summer side dish- zucchini carrot casserole

I haven't shared this recipe on the blog before and it isn't something I make an awful lot because I don't usually buy the key ingredient- stove top stuffing mix. Yes, we try to make food from real ingredients most of the time, but sometimes, like when the summer has been a long and challenging one, I just don't care anymore. This casserole is so easy and that is pretty much my game plan these days.

In a baking dish (mine is 9" x 13") mix cooked zucchini and carrots, sour cream, and a can of cream of chicken. I peeled the zucchini before I cooked it 'cause some of us are picky.

I love this easy zucchini carrot casserole recipe!

Sometimes I make the cream of chicken myself, but I just lack the ambition right now. I am dragging myself to the finish line of summer vacation here, people.

Mix it all up. Don't bother dirtying another bowl. It was bad enough I used two pots to cook the vegetables.

This is so rich and creamy! Zucchini Carrot Casserole

Finally, prepare stove top stuffing according to the package directions and spread it on top of the zucchini mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until everything is heated through and the stuffing starts to get a tiny bit crispy on the edges.

Stove top stuffing over a zucchini carrot casserole


If you have lots of zucchini, this is a good recipe to use some up. It would also work well to take along to a potluck or picnic.

Zucchini Carrot Casserole Recipe

Zucchini Carrot Casserole

6 c. cooked zucchini 4 c. cooked carrots 1 pint sour cream 1 can cream of chicken 1 box of chicken stove top stuffing, prepared

Mix zucchini, carrots, sour cream, and cream of chicken in a 9" x 13" baking dish. Top with stuffing. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until casserole is heated and stuffing is lightly browned.

Here are some more zucchini recipes you may like:

Zucchini Gratin


Zucchini Mock Crab Cakes


Zucchini Chocolate Cake



Pizza Sauce Recipe & Summer Pizza Alternatives


I love having my homemade pizza sauce on hand. homemade pizza sauce canning recipe

The weather lately has been HOT! I really don't feel like cooking. Making "pizza" doesn't always mean I have to heat up the oven. Here are some options to keep your kitchen cool:

~toasted cheese sandwiches with mozzarella and a little garlic salt- dip it in the sauce ~pizza quesadillas ~pizza mountain pies over a campfire ~english muffin pizzas ~pizza lunchables ~grilled pizza

Grilled pizza- don't heat up the kitchen in the summer!

Keeping sauce and cheese on hand makes these some of my quicker meal options, too.

Eating the sauce from fresh tomatoes with fresh herbs in the summer is so much better, but I also can it for later use. For our household, I like to can about 20 pints of pizza sauce. I usually make it when the tomato harvest is fading at the end of the season and my batches of sauce are smaller. I do a mixture of pints and half-pints.

Fresh or canned pizza sauce

If you want step by step pics of how I make my pizza sauce (for a small batch) click HERE. Since my photography skills and equipment are a little better I thought I would repost the recipe.

Pizza Sauce

8 oz. tomato sauce 1 tsp .oregano ½ tsp. marjoram ½ tsp. basil ½ tsp. garlic salt 1 Tbsp. sugar (I usually add this when I open the jar to use it instead of before canning)

Combine all ingredients and let sit for a half hour to marry the flavors. Alternatively, make a larger batch of pizza sauce using this ratio, place in clean, hot jars topped with lids and bands, and process in a water bath for 30 minutes.

If you would like to pin it for later...

Homemade pizza sauce recipe for canning

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Painted Bug Rocks

How is your summer vacation going? Ours is going OK. Some days are better than others. Some days we have a lot of fun, but some days I am at my wits end because they are fighting and making messes all of the time. Some days I can't believe how productive I have been around here, but most days the house seems completely trashed. Some days we do fun things and some days they binge watch Netflix or play on electronics.

Social media would have you believe that everyone is having these fabulous summer vacations filled with educational trips and activities, siblings playing nicely together, and never any screen time. I call bologna on that. I have worked in the schools enough to know that most kids are just as bratty as mine. When I was a kid, hanging out at my grandparents' pool and watching excessive television was enough. My IQ didn't suffer. Kids need time to unwind, too. It feels like there is so much pressure on parents these days to make everything Pinterest-perfect. (If you are able to do that, rock on, but if your summer vacation looks a little different that what you see on Instagram, that is OK, too!) Yes, there are a select few who will judge you, but admitting the imperfections can be absolutely freeing on both sides.We are only showing our highlight reels. I posted fabulous vacation pictures last week, but no one got to see all of the work that went into packing/unpacking, the fighting in the car when we got lost, the sunburns, the plans that didn't work out, the car problems, etc. I am sure that everyone has some behind-the-scenes stuff, so I just want to keep it real.

On good days, the girls and I do a lot of craft projects. This one was really simple, but the girls enjoyed it! We grabbed a bag of rocks from the Dollar Tree (I didn't feel like searching for smooth rocks in nature) and painted them to look like ladybugs and bumblebees. The girls and I each painted a few of them. They aren't perfect (some of the ladybugs are sideways!) but they are a genuine kids craft. :)

Dollar store rocks are perfect for kids to paint!

Let kids paint simple bee rocks for a fairy garden.

Easy kids craft- ladybug rocks!

Ladybug and bumblebee painted rocks for an outdoor tic tac toe game

We made both ladybugs and bumblebees so that they could play tic tac toe on the stepping stones outside of the playhouse. When they aren't being used to play, then can hide in the flowerbeds.

Let kids paint cute, little bug rocks to decorate the flower garden!

Ladybugs and bumblebees painted on rocks- great summer kids craft!

Painted rocks to brighten up the flowerbeds!

In all fairness, these rocks took a few days to make and I had my teenage stop and buy more yellow paint on the way to an auto parts store. Not everything went smoothly, but they are still cute.

If you want to pin it for later...

Summer Kids Craft- paint rocks to make ladybugs and bumblebees, then use them to play tic tac toe!

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Wow! Look at this toy doghouse makeover!


Fun Washi Tape Ideas for Kids!

Summertime Pinterest Recipes ~ Tested and Approved

I have been really enjoying trying out new recipes with the bountiful summer harvest! The past few weeks, I have discovered some REALLY good ones!
Zucchini ricotta galette- oh, that just sounds fancy! It looks as pretty as its name, doesn't it? The crust is flaky and wonderful, with just a hint of tartness. The filling and zucchini/summer squash are OK, but the crust is what really makes this dish.
I pinned this roasted veggie mix idea a few years ago. Well, there weren't really any specific directions for it, so I just put it what we had- summer squash, zucchini, carrots, red potatoes, green beans, cherry tomatoes, onion, and a sweet potato. I tossed everything with olive oil and sprinkled with both fresh and dried oregano, garlic salt, and pepper. I roasted it at 350 until the potatoes were done. This picture was the before. The after was just as beautiful and colorful. It was sooooo good!!! The sweet potato was literally fought over. Next time I will add more. The cherry tomatoes and green beans were not as good because their cooking time is shorter.
I am a HUGE fan of crock pot recipes! They are just as awesome in the summertime because I don't have to heat up my kitchen with the oven. I made THESE smashed red potatoes twice now and they are AWESOME!!! I also tried crock pot green beans with bacon, but I skipped the soy sauce and garlic so it was pretty bland. I am not a big soy sauce fan, but I think garlic salt would have been good. 
I also have been trying some grilled recipes. That is another way to keep the heat out of the kitchen. I made grilled pizza the other night (dough recipe HERE). Well, I had a hard time working the dough out into circles with no counter available, so they shapes were awful. My son thought one looked like the shape of America. Also, the grill ran out of gas about halfway through, so I had to take them inside to broil and melt the cheese. They tasted great, though! My son and I made my homemade pizza sauce fresh from his tomatoes. We used fresh herbs, too. Really, there is nothing like it!
Salads are my new "thing" as well! I used to be a very picky eater (no green veggies) but now I am all grown up and stuff so I like them. ;) It does help to have things like bacon to coerce me a bit. Plus, they are also good for light summer meals on hot days. THIS spinach salad with warm bacon dressing was super yummy!
My absolute FAVORITE new recipe is The Pioneer Woman's Chicken Taco Salad. Now, I didn't use the avacado or cilantro, but my family has proclaimed it to be the best salad ever. No picture, though. :( Just imagine it looking exactly like hers. Haha! Not really.
Anyway, I have a Pinterest Check-Offs board if you want to join in- just send me your e-mail so I can add you- and we can collaborate on which Pinterest recipes we have tried and liked!

Raspberry Custard

My kids love to pick wild raspberries! I did get to make one batch of ice cream this year, but for the most part, I am only "allowed" to make raspberry custard. Everyone in this house loves it, except for me. I am picky and I just don't like seeds. So, based on the recommendations of everyone else in my household, you should give this recipe a try! :)

Raspberry Custard
1 1/2 cups wild raspberries 
4 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 unbaked pie shell
Spread raspberries in bottom of pie shell.
Beat eggs. Stir in milk, sugar, and vanilla.  Pour over raspberries in pie shell.


Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 425 degrees and bake for an additional 15 minutes.


I got this recipe from my mother-in-law. Sometimes, I skip the pie crust, just because I am lazy or forget, and that works, too.