I love casseroles!

Why do I love casseroles? Because they are easy to make, provide left overs or feed a crowd! Also, they smell delicious, are warm, filling and easy to pair with a side of veggies or a salad for a delicious meal on a cold winter evening.

This casserole came to life on Sunday afternoon when we had been gone all weekend, but needed a small dinner and leftovers to start our week. I created it from ingredients I knew I already had in my kitchen. Maybe I should have called it Kitchen Sink Casserole? The first time I made it, it was a THM-S dish, because I didn’t rinse my meat. Knowing I cook way to many THM-S dishes I wanted to find a way to turn it into a THM-E meal. Below is the revised recipe. Don’t forget to rinse ground beef (if you use it) really well under hot water before putting it in the casserole. This removes all that excess fat and grease.

Some things you could add to this dish to make it your own are a can of diced green chilies, diced up chicken breast instead of ground meat, diced tomatoes, or corn. (The casserole in the photos is made from shredded pork (S), diced tomatoes, onion and pepper seasoning blend without the beans and rice. Serve with baked tortilla chips for dipping.)

This is a super simple casserole to put together and if you are following THM and have made any of the cheesy casseroles in their cookbooks you might just have all of these ingredients on hand! Yes, this does contain the secret ingredient okra, you can leave it out if you wish, but it thickens the sauce up nicely and adds some good nutritional value to the dish. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Creamy Enchilada Casserole (THM - E 8 Servings)


Heat oven to 375 degrees

Brown ground beef in frying pan, then rinse under hot water, add back to frying pan and cook with 1/2 cup salsa, pinto beans and 1 cup frozen seasoning blend.

Spray 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Spread meat mixture in the bottom of baking dish.

Top with all but 2 tablespoons of salsa.

Layer with cooked brown rice, then sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder and salt to taste.

In blender: almond milk, veggie broth and okra, blend until there are no green bits of okra showing. Add 4 oz. cream cheese, 6 wedges laughing cow cheese and 2 table spoons salsa, blend well.  Pour over contents in the baking dish, top with shredded cheddar.

Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until heated through and bubbly. Serve with a side green salad or steamed veggies.

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*All Thing Creative is affiliated with Trim Healthy Mama and this blog post contains affiliate links to Trim Healthy Mama’s website. This blog post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

Sprouted Molasses Cookies (THM E)

These cookies are not quite like traditional molasses cookies, but they do meet expectations for a sweet treat. The following recipe is adapted in THM style, but the changes to the recipe have altered the way they bake, they don’t spread out thin like traditional molasses cookies but they still taste great and make for a perfect treat.

I believe that if you kept the butter at 3/4 of a cup instead of reducing it like I did that they would probably bake more like the traditional recipe, but I was aiming for an E cookie instead of a crossover. I have countered the lack of spreading by pressing my cookie down with a fork before baking, like a peanut butter cookie and this has seemed to help. The cookies are still soft and chewy like you expect from a molasses cookie.

I altered a few more ingredients and methods when I made my cookies than listed above. I used 1/2 a cup of monk fruit and approximately 1/2 cup of honey for my “sugar” sources. Yes, I know that honey is considered off plan but I tend to like it’s flavor better. I also did not roll all my cookies in Pyure sweetener before baking because I experienced an aftertaste from the stevia and I liked the cookies better without the extra sweetener. I know that a lot of people feel that stevia doesn’t have an aftertaste, so it really depends on your own preference. I also found that in my oven the cookies only needed 8 minutes baking time to turn out perfectly.

If you make any other variations or use more butter I would love to hear about your results. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Sprouted Molasses Cookies (THM -E)

Mix together all the dry ingredients except 1/3 of a cup of sweetener

Melt the butter and cream in sugar and egg, then stir in molasses.

Mix with the dry ingredients until a dough forms.

Refrigerate 1 hour.

Pre heat oven to 375

Roll chilled dough in balls and roll in reserved sweetener. (Optional)

Press down with a fork. (Optional)

Bake 8-10 mins

Let cool.


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 *All Thing Creative is affiliated with Trim Healthy Mama and this blog post contains affiliate links to Trim Healthy Mama’s website. This blog post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

Italian Minestrone Crockpot Soup (THM-E)

This recipe actually comes from my sister. The funny thing is that she isn’t a THM’er and she wasn’t even trying to make a recipe that worked in my eating plan, but she did and it was so good!

My first time creating this soup myself I used Italian sausage and realized after the fact that that meat combined with the beans probably created a crossover instead of on E.

When my sister made it for me and my husband she used ground chicken instead of sausage. That’s the wonderful thing about soup like this, there are so many ways you can make it and it will still taste good.

Pair this soup with a side salad and a sprouted grain roll or peice of toast for a complete meal.

Italian Minestrone Crockpot Soup (THM-E)

Brown meat of choice in a frying pan with the onions. (if you want to use Italian sausage I believe the meal would then become a crossover)

While cooking put all other ingredients in the crockpot

Rinse meat under hot water to get rid of excess grease, add to crockpot

Cook on low for 8 hour or high for 4 hours

Serve with a green salad and sprouted toast or roll.

 *All Thing Creative is affiliated with Trim Healthy Mama and this blog post contains affiliate links to Trim Healthy Mama’s website. This blog post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

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Chicken Cordon Bleu (THM-S (with S helper), E)

When I started creating this dish, I originally wanted it to be an E meal, but after I created the recipe and started calculating the fat content I realized I had an S with an S helper and that I was going to have to reduce some of the fat content for it to be an E. So I have included in the recipe both E and S options.

I based the idea for this dish off of a recipe I saw on Pinterest and the Queso Chicken Bake in the Trim Healthy Table Cookbook on page 123, which by the away is another family favorite. I was concerned that my new dish would not have enough flavor or that it would be dry. But I baked it and served it to my husband with the disclaimer that it was newly created recipe and asked him for an honest review. I was blown away! He loved it! As I tasted it I also enjoyed it! It reminded me of comfort food at its finest and another family favorite was born! Yes, I was honest with my husband and told him there was okra in it, but if you have picky eaters, you don’t have to tell, because they won’t even be able to see it or taste it.

We will be eating this one quite often. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole (THM-S (with S helper) or E) 8 Servings

S ingredients

 E ingredients

Preheat oven to 375

Place shredded chicken, cooked rice and bacon bits in a greased 9x13 baking dish and mix, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder

lay ham across the top of the chicken

In a blender blend the okra, cream cheese, laughing cow cheese, chicken broth until smooth, pour over mixture in the baking dish

Sprinkle with a little bit of Parmesan

Bake for 30-35 mins until golden on top.

 *All Thing Creative is affiliated with Trim Healthy Mama and this blog post contains affiliate links to Trim Healthy Mama’s website. This blog post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

My Adventures in the Trim Healthy Mama Kitchen

I started the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) lifestyle about 6 months ago and I am loving the recipes. I am in no way a die-hard THM eater. I probably go off plan several times a week, but with each recipe I find that I can use to replace something that I love to eat, I am getting closer to being on track than ever before.

I love to bake and cook, so finding ways to still do those things in a healthy fashion makes me very happy! I have had a couple of kitchen failures on the THM plan and everyone will. I had a pizza crust that just turned into a soggy crummy mess. (P.S. My not so picky husband asked me not to make that one again.) I tried to replace almond flower with THM baking blend in a pumpkin muffin recipe and tried to add some applesauce and milk I think because it didn’t look anything like muffin batter; another kitchen fail. (I didn’t even serve these to my hubby, I tasted them and threw them out.)

I still don’t have the E, S, Crossover and FP completely figured out, but I do know what’s on plan and what is not. So my recipes won’t be labeled with a category, it will be up to you to figure out how they fit into your eating plan.

I did learn this week from the every so helpful THM Facebook page, that sprouted grain bread is always an E, but it depends on what you eat with it that will either keep it and E or turn it into a crossover.  My friend Jennifer, who introduced to me to THM loves to remind me that crossovers are on plan, so don’t worry if you eat a few of them. She is such an encouragement in the whole THM lifestyle.

I have also found that some of the on plan sweeteners don’t agree with my system, so I have added in some honey and pure organic maple syrup, but these can always be replaced with on plan sweeteners of your choice.

This week I started experimenting with sprout whole-wheat flour. Which can be hard to find in the store, I bought my first bag at our local food co-op, then after success with a few recipes I purchase a larger bag on Amazon. (Amazon is great for those hard to locate ingredients so that you don’t have to run all over town looking. I think my first few THM shopping trips took me half a day because I had to read all the packages to make sure it was on plan, but once you do it a few times you will know exactly what to buy.)

My first success with sprouted whole-wheat flour was a very yummy dinner roll! This recipe is super easy and only takes 30 minutes to whip up. If you have never used yeast before, don’t be scared. Its not that hard to navigate, just make sure your water isn’t boiling, but warm. You should be able to stick your finger in it to test the water. The honey is what helps the yeast work and there is not so much in the in recipe that you need to be concerned about it throwing you off plan, as these are a dinner roll, not a sweet roll. So on to the shopping list and recipe:

You need:

I apologize in advance I did not take photos of this recipe, but future blogs will have photos of what I actually made and any issue I came across or hints to make it easier.

I also must give credit to where credit is due. This recipe was adapted from www.mymontanakitchen.com/30-minute-rolls-with-sprouted-flour*, and was created by Sarah Hardy another THM blogger who has wonderful, wonderful recipes on her blog. I have tried quite a few of them and they have all be great!

30 Minute Rolls with Sprouted Grain Flour


For Egg Wash


1.     Preheat oven to 400.

2.     In a small bowl, combine warm water, yeast and honey. Stir until dissolved. Let stand for 2-3 minutes. In a few moments, you should begin to see bubbles form on the top of the water (this shows your yeast is working).

3.     In a large mixing bowl, combine salt, stevia, and sprouted flour.

4.     Add yeast mixture to flour mixture, then add melted butter and egg. Mix until combined and a soft dough forms.

5.     After all the ingredients are mixed together, turn out the dough onto a flat surface lightly dusted with more sprouted flour. Knead 8-10 times, or until the dough is smooth.

6.     Using a dough cutter, divide the dough into 4 equal sections. Then divide each section into 3 parts. This will give you exactly 12 dinner rolls.

7.     Shape each piece of dough into a roll and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Let rest for 10 minutes.

8.     Brush tops with egg white wash, if desired.

9.     Bake for 10 minutes, or until tops begin to turn golden.

My tips and hints

When I make yeast bread I make sure not to knead in to much extra flour as that can make your bread very dry and not quite as enjoyable. I only use as much flour as is needed for me to be able to handle and form the dough into the desired shape

I also do not own a dough cutter, so I use my best judgment to divide the dough evenly.

These dinner rolls compliment any E meal perfectly and they freeze well. After I made my first batch, my husband and I enjoyed them with the “Wipe Your Mouth BBQ” recipe from the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook on page 43. Then I tossed the rest in the freezer and we have been pulling them out to go with E soups when we need a little something extra.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Coming soon, my adventures in sprouted whole-wheat flour cinnamon rolls, BAM Cake and Fajita Stuffed Spaghetti Squash!

*This recipe was adapted from the website www.mymontanakitchen.com. I have made adjustments and changes to suite my taste buds.

**All Thing Creative is affiliated with Trim Healthy Mama and this blog post contains affiliate links to Trim Healthy Mama’s website. This blog post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

The art of Jelly Rolls and Birthdays

Hi friends, I am so sorry about my long absence from my blog. Life ran away with me and I am just now getting back to a normal routine, but I have missed writing, designing and sharing creative ideas with all of you!

My husband and I have moved to a new rental, which took about a month of my life.  First there was sorting, cleaning out and packing, then the move, unpacking and cleaning the old rental. We are starting to settle into our new home. We still have a few boxes to unpack and the hobby room, a.k.a my studio is still a mass of boxes and things to put away.

But in the midst of all this chaos, my dear sister celebrated a birthday! Birthdays in our families have always been very special, lasting more than a day and are spent doing activities that interest the person we are celebrating.

This year my sister chose to have homemade burgers and fries, play games and learn how to make a jelly roll! So, alas you see where our title comes from!

The three of us, my mom, sister and myself, spent Sunday afternoon in the kitchen, bantering and discussing life and baking, all while making our first jelly roll. I truly believe baking is an art form. It takes time, creativity, the mixing and matching of recipes to reach the desired effect just like a painting takes time and the mixing and matching of different mediums.

If you have never made a jelly roll you don’t realize the long process to reach your end product, but the results are quite tasty, though I think we decided we enjoy a regular birthday cake just as much; however, the learning of a new skill was the entertaining part.

So, on to the jelly roll. Our jelly roll was a spice cake with a cream cheese filling, but I am pretty sure if you search online you can find just about any flavor combination you wish to make.  I am not going to take you through our entire recipe but just share some of the important tips that make a jelly roll successful.

Tip one: separating eggs.

When you separate you eggs you must make sure you don’t get any yolk in your whites. If you do your whites won’t form stiff peaks when you beat them. The spongy consistency of a jelly roll comes from the fact that you whip your egg yolks until they are thick and you whip and fold in your stiff egg whites, making your cake very light, fluffy and full of air.

Tip two: folding in the egg whites.

When you fold in your egg whites you want to do so very gently, making sure not to loose the air that has been whipped into them. Keeping as much air in your egg whites as possible is what allows for your cake to be rolled with out falling apart.

Tip three: the pan.

Our recipe said to grease and flour your pan and then line it with parchment and grease and flour your parchment, we determined after doing both steps that your pan doesn’t need to be greased and floured if you are using parchment.

Tip four: baking time.

You do not want to over bake your jelly roll or it won’t roll up the way you want it to. Our recipe called for 11 minutes of baking time, but we started with 8 minutes and it was done! So reduce your baking time because you can always bake it some more.

Tip five: cooling and rolling of the cake.

When it came to the rolling of the cake we followed our recipe’s instructions exactly to make sure our jelly roll didn’t fall apart. The steps were as follows, remove the cake from the oven, cool for 3 minutes, turn the cake onto a damp tea towel that has powdered sugar sprinkled on it, peel off the parchment, and roll the cake from the short end along with the tea towel and let it cool completely.

Our spice cake jelly roll with cream cheese filling turned out wonderfully and was delicious! When you don’t have time to paint a masterpiece be creative in the kitchen! It’s the next best thing!

I am sad I missed the valentines day season on the blog, because I had lots of creative ideas for you. We won't miss Easter! Coming soon, Easter crafts and creative decorations.

Olive Oil

The art of infused oils

Personally, I love cooking with flavored olive oil. It makes me feel like a gourmet chef! The only problem is I have found purchasing flavored oils can be quite expensive. The flavors are excellent and the meal tastes good when I get done, but do I really have to spend a lot of money to get that result?

As I write this I am getting ready to embark on trial run of creating my own flavored olive oil. Why? A few reasons. I love finding ways to cut costs. I like trying to new creative recipes. I have fresh herbs growing in my back yard and I am looking for a creative way to use them. I also think that flavored oils will make great gift ideas if I can create them myself at home. Packaged in a beautiful bottle or jar, with a cute gift tag and you have a wonderful gift that anyone who cooks can use.

To start, I have been doing some research online on how best to prepare the herbs so that they will infuse the oil with the most flavor, how long to let them infuse and how to keep the oil from growing bacteria. (Side Note: I didn't even know this could be an issue until I started my research. I really glad I did some reading before starting this project, I would not want to be responsible for getting anyone sick.)

First, is to decide what flavors you think will go well together. I have chosen about onion, rosemary and oregano. I chose these flavors because I have them growing in my backyard. You could also make fruit infused olive oils to use in combination with vinegar for home made salad dressings. I am also thinking you could create your own flavored vinegar. For this trial run, I am going to stick with herb based oil infusions. (But would love to hear about your fruit experiments if you try any).

Next, I need to find some containers to infuse my oil in. I can start with the container that I want to give the gift in or I can infuse in any sealed jar and transfer to another container before giving. I think that I am going to start small, just to see how the oil turns out. If I like my combinations then I will make some larger batches. Here are the supplies you will need for this project.


Step one: Purchase good quality olive oil and herbs (or pick them from you own garden)

Step two: Find or purchase jars and bottles with a good seal.

Step three: Wash your herbs and let them dry overnight, its the water on the herbs that could have the potential to grow bacteria in your oil, so you want to make sure they are completely dry before placing them into your oil.

Step four: You need to bruise your herbs to release their aromatic oils. To do this you can either gently roll them and rub them with your fingers or gently tap them with a mallet or the back of a knife.

Step five: Place your chosen herbs in the container you are going to use for infusing, then fill with good quality olive oil.

Step six: Seal your container and let it sit in a cool, dark place for 1-2 weeks before using or gifting.

Step seven (optional): You can strain out the herbs after two weeks so they no longer infuse or you can leave them in as you use the oil.

In my containers seen here I have chosen to combine rosemary and oregano in one of the very small containers and in the others I have done rosemary, onion (just the greens on top of the onion) and oregano as stand alone flavors.

Tip: If giving as a gift, I feel that leaving the herbs and spices in the bottle adds to the look of the gift.

At this point if you are giving your oil as a gift you can print out the free gift tags included in this tutorial or make your. Attach the tag with twine or ribbon that matches your container and your ready to present your gift.

Infused olive oil can be used as a gift for many different occasions. Make a few bottles and use it as a wedding gift, grab one out of the cupboard for a last minute hostess or birthday gift. Does someone in your family love to cook gourmet meals? Make set for Christmas or just because.

I think you will find that the most expensive part of this gift is buying good quality olive oil, the rest of the supplies are quite affordable and easy to find. Just remember the higher quality ingredients that you use, the better your infused oil will taste.

Don't forget to visit www.bethannerickson.etsy.com for more printable designs for purchase.

Coming Next Week: Fourth of July: Decorating in red, white and blue