Family Favorite Recipe: Pineapple Pretzel Fluff


Family Favorite Recipe: Pineapple Pretzel Fluff

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving at our house without this amazing recipe floating around the table. I discovered it several years ago on Taste of Home and made it on a whim for an Easter dinner. It was by far one of the greatest successes in our family history!

Anytime we have a family celebration or holiday dinner it is a must have. So today I wanted to share it with you in hopes you find it just as treasured around your family table. I serve it as a “side” to a meal – but you could easily use it as a dessert too. 

It is NOT low-fat, nor can it be categorized in any way as healthy, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do! You can easily substitute gluten-free pretzels to make it a gluten-free dish.

Here’s how to make Pineapple Pretzel Fluff.


  • 1 cup coarsely crushed pretzels
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 20 ounces crushed pineapple, drained well
  • 12 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed


  1. In a small bowl, combine the pretzels, butter, and ½ cup sugar. Press into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan.
  2. Bake at 400° for 7 minutes. Cool. I tend to make this the day before and store it in an air-tight container.
  3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until creamy. Fold in pineapple and whipped topping; chill until serving.
  4. Break pretzel mixture into small pieces; stir into pineapple mixture right before serving.

You can make everything the night before. It holds up well. Just don’t add the pretzels until right before serving it!

Do not worry about how you will store any leftovers, because there will not be any leftovers – take it from me and personal experience! I imagine one of my kids will request this at their wedding – it is that popular in our home.

Image Credit



Paleo Turkey Bacon Meatballs from eMeals



As many of you know, I LOVE eMeals! I have shared over the years yummy recipes and how I use eMeals to help me stay organized, eat healthier, save money and have more time OUT of the kitchen!

eMeals is a meal planning service that sends you a weekly list of recipes including side dishes with a completed grocery list. Love it!!

Right now you can get 2 FREE weeks of eMeals to try it out for yourself! If you decide to stick with it after the two weeks, you can enjoy your choice of over 60 meal plan options including breakfast, lunch and dinner.

And, as a bonus right now all eMeals’ members get a FREE Comfort Foods menu that features all kinds of fall-friendly menu items to enjoy. What are you waiting for? Check them out now!

I wanted to share with you the yummy PALEO Meatballs I made for dinner last week, they were easy and really good.  It was a filling recipe and easy to serve with some sautéed spinach and roasted cauliflower.  You can grab this recipe below!


Dream Dinner Challenge Wrap Up



Earlier this month I partnered with Dream Dinners  with the 30 Days of Dinner Challenge.  I was blessed with a fabulous way to provide great meals to my family by using the simple and easy meals you pre-make in their store locations.  We have had a very busy month and it was such  treat to just pull something from the freezer and not have to worry about grocery shopping or coming up with an idea and prep time.

We took care of that when we went into Dream Dinners and made our dinners in just under 1 1/2 hours!

We exceeded the challenge I took by two meals.  Our schedule is tricky – but this month I had challenged myself to 15 family meals together – we actually had 17 (and that is not including several breakfasts and lunches!)

What we ate

This is our spread from Dream Dinners – remember I am not a food photographer, but this will give you some ideas of the yummy meals we had.  We also of course had leftovers and a few other family favorites mixed in.










Wasn’t all that looking very good??

What I loved

Going to a location where we made our meals all in advanced was FAB-U-LOUS!  They cleaned it all up and I came home with 12 meals.

The best meals in my opinion were the two steak dinners – I was absolutely amazed at the quality of beef we had.  Remember here, I am rather spoiled as we buy direct from a farmer, grass-fed beef – and it is incredible.  I was very surprised at the tenderness of this meat and the sauces used were very tasty.

Going to the freezer and just pulling a meal out was incredibly easy and saved a ton of time.  We have never been real big on just heading out the door to a restaurant for dinner when I end up empty handed in the evening – we always find something.  But this made that idea of ‘going out’ because we didn’t anything an excuse we couldn’t use.

What I found difficult

To be honest, there was one thing that was a bit hard for me, since I have unique dietary challenges, mostly being gluten free.  It was hard to determine exactly what I could eat when choosing the menu items off the website, so we ended up arriving to make meals that did in fact have gluten in them.  If there had been a better description or list of ingredients I could have chosen more wisely or even brought different ingredients to substitute.  

For example, the meatloaf has bread crumbs, I could have brought my almond flour to use instead or these corn flake crumbs and substituted those.  So, for me it was a bit more challenging to eat this month and stay on track.

All in all it was a great success!  I loved making all the meals ahead of time and also finding new things to share at our dinner table.  We were extremely blessed!

Did you commit to the challenge too?  I would love to hear how it went – leave a comment.

30 Days of Dinner Challenge



I am a big fan of family dinners – it is not secret if you’ve been here long.  Dinner together is a relationship building experience of bonding and memory making.  We are a blended family – meaning everyone is scattered in different homes at different times plus my husband travels – so it makes our time together even more valuable.

I am pleased to announce I am partnering with Dream Dinners in a 30 Day Challenge to have dinner together as a family.  You know, September is a crazy busy month with adjusting schedules and everyone back to fall sports and after school activities.  If you are not careful and plan – dinner can easily be forgotten.  

For me, planning is key:

1. I grab a blank monthly calendar and mark the days my husband is out of town and then mark the days the kids are home.  If it’s just me and my 4 year old, dinners tend to me a little more low key.

2. I  plan out what meals I have on hand and what I want to make through the month.


3.  This month I was blessed to go to Dream Dinners and make ahead dinners to use during the month.  Dream Dinners is the originator and leader of the meal assembly industry – and the menu changes each month, so you’ll never get bored!  We picked our dinner choices online and then showed up to assemble them as a family affair.  It was great for everyone, and even the older kids were excited!

Here are some photos of us making our dinners – it was great.  My two oldest kids came along – and my hubby!  It was a fun evening and I loved all my helpers.


I had done this before with my kids when they were much younger and I was a single mom.  It was such positive experience and a fun way to build memories, so this was great for bringing those back – my kids were thrilled to go again!

We broke into teams and made dinners and it took a little less than 1 1/2 hours to make 12 dinners for the month.  The total cost was $262.72 for 8 meals that served 6, and one meal that served 3; equaling $5.15 per serving.  All the prep was done ahead of time, meals are in the freezer and ready to be taken out!   

You travel to stations set up with all the ingredients you need for the recipe and the best part – they clean up after you AND they have treats!!  We had a special preview appetizer of a menu item that will be available next month as well as freshly baked cookies.


We made:

Meatloaf Milano with Mashed Potatoes

Chicken Soft Tacos with Key Lime Corn

Cranberry Buttermilk Chicken

Steak Provence with Wild Mushroom Sauce

Kentucky Pork Chops

Outlaw Chicken Marinar

Monte Cristo Chicken

Cola and Lime Tender Pork Roast

Bueno Steak Tacos with Spanish Rice

I absolutely loved the experience and overall ease of prepping dinners.  The only thing I would love to see is allergen information posted when you go online to sign up for the dinners you will prepare on your set time.  Being Gluten Free, I can easily make adjustments to recipes at home,  but when you are prepping things away from home, there is less opportunity to change up items or know for sure that the meal can be made gluten free.  

Will you join me?  

To Join the Challenge:

1.  Decide on the number of meals you’d like to share with your family each week during September.  Whether you plan on pledging to share 30 homemade meals this month or are looking forward to sitting down as a family for three dinners a week, you’ll reap the benefits of family meals all month long.

2.  I will be sharing my dinners on my Facebook page and Instagram using the hashtag #30DaysofDinner.  You can also share original pictures of your family’s meals on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter – either homemade or a family dinner at your favorite restaurant – they all count!

3.  Tag Dream Dinners in your photo and use #3oDaysofDinner to enter the contest.  Dream Dinners will be giving away a $200 gift card each week during September – so the more photos you share, the more chances you’ll have of winning!

I am looking forward to this fun challenge!  I have committed to 15 dinners together as a family this month – that may seem a bit slim, but with a hubby that travels and kids at different homes….that is a great number for us!  

What’s your number?

I was gifted with a $200 gift card as compensation for my partnership in this challenge from Dream Dinners and all opinions are my own and were not influenced by the compensation.

Paleo/Gluten-Free Meatloaf



Welcome, I am so glad to have you continue the “Essentially Summer” blog series, wasn’t Stephanie’s Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad recipe not the best?  She even kindly suggested you could use it as a side-dish to my meatloaf recipe!!  {BLUSH}  I can’t wait to make it!  The items I need are on my grocery list already for the weekend!!  Even though I am gluten free, I know my family will love it!

I am excited to share with you one of my family favorites – many have asked for my meatloaf recipe over the past few months as I’ve went to a Gluten-Free and mostly Paleo diet.  So, today is your lucky day!

One of my secret tricks is to hide some veggies in my meatloaf, so today my recipe has a few carrots and mushrooms that I’ve chopped to add in.  I love the color the carrots add.  I have made this as a loaf, you can make meatballs as well as mini-meatloafs using a muffin tin.

Lowfat Paleo/Gluten-Free Meatloaf Recipe 

Paleo/Gluten-Free Meatloaf
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  1. 1 1/2 lb grass fed beef
  2. 1/2 lb bulk sausage
  3. 3/4 cup minced onion
  4. 3/4 cup minced carrots
  5. 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  6. 2/3 cup almond flour
  7. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  8. 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  9. 2 drops Young Living Basil Essential Oil
  10. 2 drops Young Living Oregano Essential Oil
  11. 1 t salt
  12. 1 t pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix until just combined. Transfer to a 8 X 4 inch loaf pan rubbed with a touch of oil. Bake 1 hour or until a thermometer reads 165 degrees.
The Confident Mom
Are you ready to jump in to this wonderful world of caring for your family with therapeutic grade essential oils? The time is now!

Click here to learn more or contact the person who introduced you to the “Essentially Summer” blog recipe series! 

Next up is Kate at Real Food RN with Black Pepper Burgers

Be sure to check out all the posts {so far} in the “Essentially Summer”  blogger recipe series, click here