Back to School Cooking on a Busy Day – Delicious Solutions are Only a Target Trip Away

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own. This shop has been compensated by Acorn Influence, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

We are still in the middle of summer but our back to school shopping that we have just started reminded me this week about how fast the last few weeks of summer are going to pass by – and I need to be ready when the fall season comes along to have a collection of quick and simple meals that I can prepare quickly for my family, that everyone will enjoy.

I find that one of the easiest ways to please our little toddler is creating something for her to eat that she will be happy to try, and enjoy but that will be also a creative way of presenting some of the familiar foods for her, as well as encouraging her to try new flavors and foods in a fun and playful manner.

Dinosaur Snack Plate

Dinosaur Snack Plate using Tyson Chicken Fun Nuggets

Tyson Chicken Fun Nuggets Dinosaur Snacks

One of the most challenging meals for our toddler is the snack time. When we are in a rush to go outside to run errands, the last thing I want to do is getting her a bag of ready-made snacks that might not a quick solution but that is not a nutritional equivalent of a properly picked ingredients and flavors. I want her to enjoy her meals and eat the best possible options – I usually prefer to offer raw vegetables, and fruits, something that we have made at home from scratch, and something that can keep her entertained without the need to turn on the shows on TV.

Tyson Chicken Fun Nuggets Dinosaur Snacks

Today I have created a dinosaur themed plate for her that is filled with different snack options – sometimes I know my daughter can be quite picky, and I like to give her different snacking options that she enjoys. This plate was inspired by the fun dinosaur shapes that were in one of our most favorite frozen products by Tyson. I am happy to present this quick and easy to make snacking option for you today, thanks to Tyson sponsoring this post. I know that this meal with save you a lot of time, and your children will love it!

I have even made a video showing exactly how I put this plate of food together!

First, I have created a dinosaur nest with celery left tops, carrot sticks, and celery sticks. Then I have placed the dinosaurs on their nest, and surrounded them with grapes that were posing as their eggs. The whole plate is actually filled with dinosaur eggs of all colors and sizes. There are also cucumbers that I cut to resemble dinosaur claws. To make the plate a little bit more interesting, and to make a reference to a pre-historic period of time, I have also added a dinner roll volcano with honey barbeque sauce as lava, as well as a cookie with a dinosaur footprint. The final dessert item on the plate was a cupcake decorated with dinosaur bones made of marshmallows and cookie and cream flavored sticks, and dinosaur egg shaped candy and dragees.

Tyson Chicken Fun Nuggets Dinosaur Snacks

The beauty of this plate is how quickly it is possible to put it together – if you can take a night to cut and prep your vegetables and fruits for the whole week, you can really throw this plate together in no time. You don’t have to always add a dessert item – this is just what I did but I will probably skip the dessert next time I make it – our toddler doesn’t really like the cupcakes except for the icing on them. So, you can mix and match, adding more egg-like looking options – make melon balls with you small sized round scoop, boil some eggs, and add them as an additional protein option – the sky is the limit!

I have actually made this plate of food for my older children as well, not just for the toddler. They all loved it! I am so glad that Tyson came up with these fun and cute shapes to use to make our busy days more exciting and special! I also love that with Tyson products I don’t need to worry about trusting the food that we are eating that is factory produced. Tyson is moving to using No Antibiotics in their products, and it will be more noticeable in the stores in the coming months as more products appear at Target with this label of No Antibiotics Ever.  Tyson uses 100% all natural white meat chicken in its Fun Nuggets, with whole grain breading. There is no need to feel guilty about feeding your children when you have this type of high quality product.

For the dessert options I have made chocolate cupcakes with simple white icing using this recipe. I actually subbed the cocoa powder for cocoa drink mix that I had on hand – it worked out perfectly. For the cookies, I made thumbprint cookies, and using a finger and a fork I made a little dinosaur footprint in them to appear as a fossil. The cookies turned out rather large, they were intended to go on the cupcake, but as they were too big, they did not fit on the cupcakes so I served them on the side. These cookies are very easy to make, and taste a lot better than any typical sugar cookie, and are just as easy to decorate if you are looking for a cookie for that.

So, this is a plate that I recommend for children – you can’t beat adding this imaginative spin on food, and it is so easy to put together inspired by Tyson fun nuggets shapes.

Skillet Meal using Jimmy Dean Sausage Links

skillet meal using Jimmy Dean Sausage Links

This week I have also made something quick and easy for the whole family – I wanted to re-create one of our favorite diner dishes that we love. Sometimes when life gets very busy during the school season we crave something very comforting to eat that is not going to be a huge calorie packed fest, and that will still be affordable for us to eat as a family. Sometimes we end up going to our favorite Denny’s diner craving a comforting skillet meal. Sometimes we get a fast takeout of comfort soul food, but it is really incredible how fast and easy a skillet meal really is!

It is honestly hard to imagine that a meal like that can take less than 15 minutes to put together, and it is such a treat to have on a busy day! Another note – we have made enough for a family, and I thought we would have a lot of leftovers, but this kind of a meal was eaten in a flash – everyone loved it and went for many extra helpings – and I think it actually tasted a lot better than in a diner – I am not sure if I exceeded my own expectations with making some a skillet meal inspired by Denny’s or if the quality of the ingredients we used is that much better – it is hard to imagine how delicious a homemade meal can really be, made in such a short period of time that can be put together even on the busiest day – and tasting this good!

Jimmy Dean Sausage Links Cooked

In order to put together this delicious skillet of food, all I used was prepping some veggies, adding amazing chopped Jimmy Dean pre-cooked sausage links, and then melting them altogether with cheese under a high heat broiler, adding a few fried eggs – a dish that can be put together literally in a matter of minutes!

Jimmy Dean Sausage Links Cooked

Jimmy Dean Sausage Links Cooked

Skillet Meal Using Jimmy Dean Sausage Links

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: for 3-4 people

This dish can be easily put together under 15 minutes even on the busiest day, and will make you comforted with a home-cooked meal on any day!
  • 1 white onion
  • ½ green bell pepper
  • ½ yellow bell pepper
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • 2 tomatoes on the vine
  • 6 Jimmy Dean sausage links cooked
  • 10 small potatoes, home fried or any leftover potatoes you have
  • you can also add a blend of Mediterranean spices to the mix
  • you can add mushrooms
  • ½ cup of freshly grated cheese - we used Provolone
  • 2 eggs
  • salt, pepper to taste
  1. Prepare ahead of time - chop up your vegetables and store them separately - the peppers, onions, tomatoes
  2. Fry up potatoes, or you can use your leftover potatoes
  3. Cook peppers, onions together until onions are just translucent and a little browned. Add salt/pepper.
  4. Add tomatoes to the vegetables and cook for a few minutes.
  5. Grate your cheese.
  6. Microwave Jimmy Dean sausages for 1 minute as they are already pre-cooked. Cut it into bite-sized pieces.
  7. Mix together vegetables, potatoes and cut up sausage. Place the mix in a cast iron or any over-friendly dish.
  8. You can add a blend of spices that you like, and then add your cheese on top.
  9. Fry your eggs.
  10. Put the skillet under a broiler for 1 minute just to melt the cheese.
  11. Once the skillet is out of the oven, serve your cooked eggs on top. Enjoy!

Jimmy Dean Sausage Links Cooked