Do You Eat Olives on Mexican Food? {Ask the Readers}

Ask The Readers

As I mentioned last week, I am trying to keep things pretty simple right now. This means I am keeping it easy when it comes to menu planning and meals. Some nights I have been totally changing it up and making something different because it works better with our schedule.

Over the last few months we have had tacos or taco salad at least once a week. It is a good thing that my family loves tacos. I have changed up taco night some by doing regular tacos, oven tacos, taco salad, etc, but since they all use my favorite taco meat that I keep in the freezer, they all make a quick and easy dinners.


The other day when I was putting together the ingredients for taco salad for dinner, I decided to add some olives to the meat, cheese, lettuce, and other ingredients that I planned on serving. Serving olives with taco salad got me thinking though.

You see this is an area that my husband and I disagree on. I love black olives on tacos and taco salad. I grew up eating them that way. My husband did not.

My mom did not always add olives to a Mexican meal because olives can be expensive, but you would often find olives either on a Mexican dish, on tacos, or served on the side at our house.

I will admit though that we are an olive loving family. My dad will eat them on anything. Well, almost anything. I am sure there are a few things that he would not eat olives on. And all my sisters and I love them straight from the can. An open can of olives did not last long at our house.

My husband on the other hand likes olives, but thinks it is strange to serve them with Mexican type food. He has never quite gotten use to the fact that I love them and sometimes serve them on tacos and taco salad.

I am pretty sure that my husband is probably right on this and olives, especially black olives, are not part of authentic Mexican food, but they are delicious. Or at least I think they are delicious.

Now I am curious what do you think? Is my family the only strange one that eats olives on Mexican food? 


Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Ancient Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies from Everyday Gluten-Free

Gluten Free Ancient Grain Cookie

This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill and contains affiliate links, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I was recently asked to review a new gluten free cookbook from Bob’s Red Mill. Since I love cookbooks, and Bob’s Red Mill makes some of my favorite gluten free products, I knew I had to say yes. Especially since the cookbook was full of whole grain gluten free recipes.

Gluten Free Ancient Grain Cookie-

If you are gluten free, or know someone that is gluten free, you probably know that gluten free doesn’t always mean healthier. Yes, in many people it can improve their health, but that does not mean that it is healthier food in general.

Gluten free flours and ingredients are often full of starches and grains like white rice. Those are not the healthiest of ingredients, especially when eaten in large quantities.

That is why I loved the idea of this new cookbook Bob’s Red Mill Everyday Gluten-Free Cookbook: 281 Delicious Whole-Grain Recipes. It is full of recipes that are not only gluten free, but that use whole grains and less starchy ingredients. Ingredients like chia seeds, millet, quinoa, oats, amaranth, and more.

If you are looking to increase the whole grains in your gluten free diet, this cookbook has a lot of great ideas. From soups and salads to breakfasts and desserts. This book has a wide range of healthier, whole grain, gluten free type recipes.

It also has a section where it goes into detail about each grain and the best ways to use and cook them. This information is helpful if you are not familiar with some of the grains and ingredients.

Gluten Free Ancient Grain Cookie--

The recipe I decided to try from the cookbook was the Ancient Grain Chocolate Chip Cookie. When I saw the millet and the chia seeds in the recipe I knew it was one I wanted to try. Both of those ingredients are ones that I have been wanting to include more of in our gluten free diet.

These Ancient Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies were really good. They were not your traditional type cookie. They were more of a healthier type cookie, but they were very good. Several in my family might have even eaten one or two of these for breakfast, but we won’t mention who. :-)

I did think these cookies were best the first day or two. By the third day the texture was a bit off on them. If we don’t eat them all in the first day or two the next time I make them, I will probably freeze them so they will keep longer. But that is pretty common with many gluten free baked goods. They just don’t hold up quite as well as normal baked goods do.

If you are looking for a healthier type cookie that is gluten free this is a great one to try. And if you are looking for whole grain gluten free recipes I think you will enjoy Bob’s Red Mill Everyday Gluten-Free Cookbook: 281 Delicious Whole-Grain Recipes.

The chocolate quinoa waffles are the next recipe from the book that on my to try list. They look so good!

Now for the recipe.

Gluten Free Ancient Grain Cookie__




Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Menu Plan

Weekly Menu Plan

The weather is getting a little warmer here in Oklahoma. Which at our house means breaking out the grill.

Actually, since we live in Oklahoma and can have 70 degrees in December, the grill never gets totally put away, but it does get used a whole lot less. I am though to be using it more often again and you will start seeing a few grilled recipes added into my meal plans.

For those of you that live up north, where it is not quite grilling season, I hope spring and warmer weather arrives soon for you!


smoothie mix

Homemade Smoothie Mix and Muffins

Buttermilk Pancake Syrup-

Homemade Pancakes with Buttermilk Pancake Syrup


Baked Banana Oatmeal


Easy 5 Ingredient Burritos-

5 Ingredient Burritos

Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken-

Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken 

Crock Pot -Chicken Carnitas

Crock Pot Chicken Carnitas


Southwest Baked Spaghetti 

Ground Beef Fried Rice_

Ground Beef Fried Rice


Bacon Pizza 

Dessert Of The Week

Wacky Cake-

Wacky Cake

For more menu planning ideas see Menu Planning Mondays.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Gluten Free Menu Plan

Gluten Free Meal Plan

I have been a little quiet lately in my gluten free section. I will fully admit that I am having trouble keeping up with it all. I have a stack of gluten free recipes waiting to be shared, but am struggling to find the time to actually sit down and do it. I wrote a little about this earlier this week. 

My gluten free menu plans, gluten free reviews, and Gluten Free Wednesdays are not going anywhere and I will post new gluten free recipes as I get time. Thanks for understanding as I work to figure out a schedule that helps me get it all done.

Here is this week’s plan. I made notes next to the ingredients that need to be gluten free, but as always read labels to be sure the ingredients are safe for your family.


Gluten Free Cheeseburger Helper-

Gluten Free Cheeseburger Helper

Gluten Free Corndog Muffins__

Gluten Free Corndog Muffins


Gluten Free Migas

Gluten Free Cheeseburger Pie-

Gluten Free Cheeseburger Pie

Evies Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken

Homemade Gluten Free Frozen Pizza

Gluten Free Frozen Pizza

Gluten Free Dessert of the Week

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana bars

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bars

For more menu planning ideas see Menu Planning Mondays.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Easy Cheeseburger Pie

Easy Cheeseburger Pie-

Thank you all so much for your kind comments on my post earlier this week. I really appreciate everyone who took the time to leave a comment and encourage me. It is nice to know that I am not the only one struggling to balance it all. And thank you all for understanding as I adjust my schedule and figure out how to make it all work.

Now on to easy cheeseburger pie.

Easy Cheeseburger Pie

This cheeseburger pie is one of those quick and easy recipes that I love. It is the same basic idea as my Pop Up Pizza Pie, my Pop Up Taco Pie, and my Chili Pie.

They are all the same basic batter on top with a different filling underneath. If you are gluten free be sure to check out my gluten free version. The gluten free batter will work on any of them.

I love this basic recipe because it is easy to make and my kids love it. Every version I have made quickly becomes a favorite.

The basic recipe is one of those tried and true recipes that I have been making lately, but have changed up so that my family does not feel like I am making the same meal over and over.

Each version is very similar and yet very different. By tweaking a few simple things and ingredients I have taken a simple recipe and made it work in different ways.

This cheeseburger version is one I came up with a few months ago. It is basically the flavors of a cheeseburger, but in a simple casserole type dish. Easy and delicious!

Easy Cheeseburger Pie_

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Gluten Free Wednesdays { March 25th}


I hope you all are having a great week.

My girls have been keeping our freezer stocked with all kinds of gluten free muffins, baked goods, and homemade granola. We love having gluten free food on hand to just grab and go when we need it. And I love all the ideas that are shared each week for Gluten Free Wednesday, which I co-host with The Gluten Free Homemaker and Cassidy’s Craveable Creations.


My family loves it when I make breakfast cookies, so the Sun Butter Breakfast Cookies that Gluten Free Palate shared last week caught my attention. I mean really who doesn’t love cookies for breakfast!


The Fudgy Vegan Brownies were popular last week and I can see why. They look delicious.

I can’t wait to see what you all link up this week.


The Carnival
We appreciate your participation and are happy to share many of the links on social media sites. However, as much as we hate to put a damper on this fun carnival, entries that do not follow the guidelines will not be shared and will be deleted from the linky.
  • You must link back to one of the co-hosts.
  • Links should be about a gluten-free eating idea. While it doesn’t have to be a recipe, it should be food related.
  • Recipes should have gluten-free ingredients or options in the recipe (not elsewhere in the text).
  • If you’re new, please read all the guidelines.
  • If you link up your link will show up on all three sites.
  • Thanks for participating!

Note:  Linking up indicates you are giving permission for us to share your submitted photo and your link via social media or in next week’s post if it is selected as the most popular post for the week or featured as a highlight.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Real Life, Keeping It Real, Kids Growing up, and A Few Thoughts On the Changing Blog World

Today I am changing it up a little bit and am sharing a few things that have been on my mind and heart lately. This post has actually been swirling around in my mind for weeks and I finally decided it was time to sit down and make it happen. It is a totally random keeping it real, what I have been thinking, type of post.

kids in pond

This is a picture of my kids early is my blogging years. I started this site in 2008 and I believe this picture was taken sometime during the summer of 2008.

They are all now teenagers.

My oldest daughter is driving a car, working part time, and is taller than I am. My second daughter has become quite the baker and is often taking over the kitchen to work on something. My son just turned 13 and is quickly approaching 6 feet tall. And none of them really like me sharing pictures of them now, so you will have to just imagine a new recent picture here.

But oh how they have changed. It makes me kind of sad and kind of happy at the same time. The teen years do that to you don’t they?


Part of me longs for the simpler times of when they were younger, but part of me is excited to see what they are becoming and what God has planned for their lives.

And that all leads me to some of what has been on my mind.

When I started this site it was totally a hobby. It was something I did in my spare time and it was fun. What it has become is far more than I every imagined it could be.

I have learned so much. Shared so much. And formed friendships with readers and bloggers that I am so grateful for. The amount of online friends that have become in real life friends continues to amaze me.

I am truly thankful for this little spot on the online world that I have.

The online world has changed so much though since I started blogging in 2008. And right now all those changes are what I am struggling with.

When I started blogging no one really had Facebook pages to manage. Yes, there was Facebook, but it was not what social media presence it is today. And although Pinterest and Instagram both have a huge presence in the online world now, they were not even created back in 2008.

And do you know what? I kind of miss life before Facebook pages, Pinterest, and Instagram. Yes, yes I do.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love some of what these things have done. I love interacting with my readers on my Facebook page. I love sharing a look at my everyday life on Instagram. And I totally love much of the DIY lifestyle that Pinterest has created.

But life with all those things has become noisy and for a blogger it has made what we do a lot more time consuming. Keeping up with all that social media can be a job, or two, in and of itself.

And can we talk about how Pinterest has changed pictures for a minute.

three cheese beef enchiladas

This is the photo I used for my Three Cheese Enchilada recipe back in 2008. I cringe at the photo. Really I almost did not put it in this post today. It is that bad of a photo. But the reality is that it is what dinner looks like most nights at my house and probably yours too.

I took that picture quickly as I was serving my family dinner. I then quickly wrote a post about what I made and shared it with my readers.

There was no fancy lighting. No photo editing. No props. Nothing. It was literally a picture of the food on one of our plates right before we ate it. And yet readers loved it. Quite a few of you tried that recipe and really enjoyed it.

Long gone are the days of being able to do that. Readers now expect more than that.

Beef Enchilada Rice Casserole-

This is a picture I shared recently for Beef Enchilada Rice Casserole. Now I will totally admit that the picture is far from perfect. It does not even begin to compare to many you see on some sites and on Pinterest, but it still did take a whole lot more work and thought than the enchilada recipe I shared back in 2008.

The reality of that recent picture is that I was worried about props, lighting, and getting the right angle, while my entire family was waiting behind me, begging me to be done, so that they could just sit down and eat dinner.

They did not really care if I got a good photo or not, they wanted dinner. And in the end I gave up on getting the perfect picture and let them eat dinner. Because the reality is my family has to come before a Pinterest perfect picture. And that is where I am struggling right now.

That balance between keeping up with this site and all it takes to make it work in the online world and keeping up with my family and what it takes to do what I need to do for them. That is what I am struggling with.

It was easy when I felt like I could just quickly snap a picture of dinner or dessert just before we ate it. It was much easier before the days of Pinterest and magazine perfect photos. Before all kinds of props, fancy photo editing, and special lighting.

I totally get why those things are important. I see why they make better photos. I see why that is what everyone loves to see. I see from a business perspective why everyone takes time do that. I really do get it.

What I am struggling with is fitting my life into that edited picture perfect online world. And honestly I am not sure I want to fit into it because my life is far from picture perfect.

I have always wanted this site to truly be a look into my life in the kitchen. I want it to be what I am cooking and fixing my family. The tips I use and how I balance a busy life and serving my family home cooked meals. That is what I want this site to be, not a perfect, edited, unrealistic view of my kitchen life.

Dinner at my house is not always, in fact it is almost never, beautiful perfectly-plated food. More often than not it is quickly served buffet style, as we struggle to all come together in the midst of a busy day for a family meal where we can share and connect. And if I had to guess that is the reality of dinner at most of your houses as well.

It is far from perfect, but those are the kind of meals that make family important and those are the kinds of meals I want to encourage you to make. The kind of meals where the food is less than perfect, but the moments and memories that are created are perfect because they will last a lifetime.

Yeast Raised Pancakes

Besides feeling all that, after so many years of blogging, there are a lot of behind the scenes things, the tech stuff that readers never see, but that are necessary to keep this website going, that I am so behind on. I have to figure out how to catch up.

I am also trying really hard to take weekends off. Our schedules have gotten a bit crazier as the kids have grown and I just need the weekends to be family only time. This means more planning and scheduling ahead when it comes to posts and social media.

And as our schedules get busier and my focus is a little different, it means that I am not trying as many new recipes and new things. Yes, I am still cooking and serving home cooked meals and recipes, hello feeding three teens, but I find myself relying on old favorites instead of developing new ones.

So if you made it through all my rambling and are still reading this post, you are probably wondering what the point of this post and all this rambling means and why I bothered to share it.

It all means that I right now I am struggling to find the balance between real life and online life. And it means that I am struggling to keep up with what it takes to make it in the online world now, while staying true to the picture of my everyday kitchen life that I want this site to be.

As all too often in life in general, it is all about the struggle to find the balance. The figuring out how to make it all work. And I felt I needed to share that struggle with all of you. I thought many of you would understand.

I do want to make clear that I am not going anywhere. I love this site and the little place on the online world that I have. I am not anywhere near ready to give that up. I am not going anywhere.

What it does mean though is that you may see less of me as I try to balance it all.

You may see a few less new recipes and more simple Ask the Readers, kitchen tips, or Everyday Adventures type posts.

It may also mean that my weekly menu plan and gluten free menu plan look very similar each week because I am relying on tried and true favorites that don’t take much thought or energy to make.

If I go a few days without posting it means that I am working behind the scenes to catch up or I am focusing on family, friends, and real life for a few days. And if I know my readers like I think I do, I think you all will understand exactly why I am doing that.

I can’t leave this post without a giant thank you to all of you! You help make this site what it is. Many of you have been reading for years and others of you have just found my site, but I am thankful for each and everyone of you that come back day after day to read about my adventures in the kitchen. THANK YOU!!

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Menu Plan

Weekly Menu Plan

Here is this week’s menu plan.


Freezer Friendly Baked Oatmeal

Freezer Friendly Baked Oatmeal


Oven Pancake


Beef Enchilada Rice Casserole-

Beef Enchilada Rice Casserole

Easy Slow Cooked Mexican Lasagna _

Slow Cooker Mexican Lasagna 


Easy Ground Beef Stroganoff

Mexican Pizza-

Mexican Pizza

Crock Pot Lemon Chicken

Crock Pot Lemon Chicken 

Crock Pot Carrot Soup

Crock Pot Carrot Soup

Dessert Of The Week

No Bake Chocolate Cherry Cookie Bars

No Bake Chocolate Cherry Cookie Bars

For more menu planning ideas see Menu Planning Mondays.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Gluten Free Menu Plan

Gluten Free Meal Plan

Here is this week’s gluten free menu plan.

I made notes next to the ingredients that need to be gluten free, but as always read labels to be sure the ingredients are safe for your family.


Crispy Homemade Granola

Crispy Homemade Granola- Use gluten free oats and gluten free rice crispy rice cereal

Baked Egg Cups from

Baked Egg Cups- Use gluten free Canadian Bacon


ground beef taco skillet rice

Ground Beef Taco Rice- use gf or homemade taco seasoning

Easy Pork Tacos

Easy Pork Tacos- gf or homemade taco seasoning

Baked Chicken Fajitas

Baked Chicken Fajitas-use corn tortillas

Spaghetti with Simple Tomato Sauce

Spaghetti with Simple Pasta Sauce- use gluten free pasta

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese

Gluten Free Bubble Pizza 2

Gluten Free Bubble Pizza

Dessert of the Week

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bars

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bars


For more menu planning ideas see Menu Planning Mondays.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Everyday Adventures {29}


I am starting this week’s Everyday Adventures with a keeping it real, yes I do that too, type of picture.

In case you are wondering this is what happens when you aren’t paying attention while you microwave butter… Did I make you all feel better? I hope so because I am guessing that I am far from the only person that does this way too often. And what a pain it is to clean it up. You would think I would have learned by now that butter quickly goes from too firm to exploded in the shortest amount of time.

Pi Run

With the cold weather and a busy schedule I have not been running as much the last month. I am really trying to get back into it because I really do love it, but it is amazing how hard it can be after taking some time off.

Last Saturday my goal was to run 2 miles. Once my husband, daughter, and I got out running I joked that we should do a Pi-Day run. As in we should run 3.14 miles.

Well the joke turned into an incentive and we did in fact run past two miles and continued on to 3.14 miles. I was a bit sore when I was done, but I was so glad I pushed myself to do it. It made for a fun run.


And it was a good thing I ran because my daughters decided that pie on Pi-Day was a must. The pie my oldest daughter made was so good. I will share the recipe soon.

GF Pizza Dough

I have been working on a new gluten free pizza dough. I am getting close to what I want, but am not quite there yet.

stitch the states

I shared this recently on Instagram and thought I would share it here too in case there are some needlework fans out there.

I used to do needlework projects all the time. In other words is was mainly before kids and before my website became my hobby/job. It has been about 10 years since I picked up a new project. But when I saw this #stitchingthestates project from @raisinguprubies I instantly knew I was ready to start a new project. I love it and can’t wait to start working on it. I might never finish it but I am going to try.


I also shared this on Instagram recently.

I kind of feel like we are saying goodbye to an old friend this week. We bought this piano used 11 years ago. All three kids learned to play the piano on it. But 3+ hours of piano practice a day has been hard on it and we have pretty much worn it out. It needs so much work that it is time for a new one. The kids can’t wait for the new one to come later this week, but I am kind of sad to see this one go.

And my kids said if I was going to share a picture of the old piano I had to share a picture of the new one as well. So here is the new one.

new piano

My husband and I do not play the piano, but all three kids do. My oldest has played for 11 years. My 14 year old has played for about 8 years. And my 13 year old has played for about 6 years.

I had no idea how bad our old piano was. It worked, kind of. Or at least worked until three strings broke, it wouldn’t stay tuned at all, and was just falling apart in general inside. It was long past time for a new one and since all three kids play we feel kind of bad for waiting so long.

I am not a fan of the shiny black, but the new piano sounds soooo much better. I had no idea how bad the old one was until the kids started practicing on the new one. 3+ hours of piano practice is now much more enjoyable. Or at least as enjoyable as three kids practicing the piano can be. :-)

I hope you all had a great week and have a great weekend!

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures