Monday, December 31, 2012

Calico Beans

I have been making these beans for years.  The recipe originally came from my sister.  It is a very easy recipe to alter to suit your taste.  My sister makes these with ground beef, which would make them a nice main dish.  I usually leave the ground beef out and make these beans as a side dish.  You can also vary the type of beans you use.  I usually make these beans in the crock pot, but you can also put it all into a 13" x 9" in. pan and bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes.  Enjoy!

Calico Beans


1/2 cup bacon, cooked and chopped
1 (15 oz) can pork & beans
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained
1 (15 oz) Great Northern beans, drained
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1 cup chopped onion
3 tbs cider vinegar
1 lb ground beef, if desired

Pour all ingredients into a slow cooker.  Cook on low four hours or on high for two hours.  Alternatively, put all ingredients in a 13x9 in. pan and bake at 350 for 45-60 min.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cornstarch Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's no surprise that like most things, chocolate chip cookies are just so much better made from scratch. Just when you think you have the perfect recipe for the classic chocolate chip cookies, a new recipe shows up.  

Lately, I have seen various recipes on Pinterest for chocolate chip cookies made with cornstarch that are supposed to be amazing!  Today I decided to give them a try.  I am a soft cookie person as opposed to a crunchy cookie person and these cookies promised to be soft and fluffy.  

These cookies were very easy to make and as promised, they turned out soft.  They are more of a cakey type cookie, which I love but if you prefer thin and crispy cookies then you may not care for these.

Cornstarch Chocolate Chip Cookies
Source: Sweet Pea's Kitchen via Pinterest

2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
2 cups all purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add half of the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between them. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until barely golden brown around the edges. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

                                                         Picture source: 100 Best Cupcake Recipes

These cupcakes were fantastic!  For the cake part,  I just used my favorite recipe for pumpkin bars and added a maple frosting from the book, 100 Best Cupcake Recipes.

For the cupcakes:
 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Fill 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners.  In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the pumpkin, sugar, oil, and eggs on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.  Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.    Scoop the batter into the muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full.  Bake for 18 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Maple Frosting

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) softened butter
3 tbs. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tbs milk (if necessary)

Beat butter in a large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add maple syrup and vanilla.  Beat until well blended.  Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Add 1 to 2 tbs milk, if necessary, to reach desired spreading consistency (I did not add any milk).  Garnish the top with a candy pumpkin or candy corn.
Yield: about 2 1/2 cups.  

Friday, July 13, 2012

Roasted Broccoli

Roasted veggies are so delicious!  I discovered this dish many years ago and it is definitely my favorite way to eat broccoli.  This is a very simple side dish that can be served alongside beef, chicken, pork or fish.  Feel free to add other veggies to the broccoli.  Cauliflower, carrots and peppers would all be wonderful.

Roasted Broccoli


2 heads fresh broccoli, separated into florets
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp grated parmesan cheese (optional)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
In a large bowl, toss broccoli florets with the extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, pepper and garlic. Spread the broccoli out in an even layer on a baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven until florets are tender enough to pierce the stems with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle parmesan cheese (if desired) over broccoli before serving.

Baked Oven Fries

These fries were amazing!  They were easy to make and so delicious!  They will definitely be a regular in our house!

Baked Oven Fries
via:  Annie's Eats


3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into even sized wedges
5 tbs vegetable oil, divided
3/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp pepper, plus more to taste


Preheat the oven to 475˚ F. Place the potato wedges in a large mixing bowl. Cover with hot water; soak for 10-30 minutes. Put 4 tablespoons of the oil onto a heavy, rimmed baking sheet. Tilt the sheet side to side to evenly coat the pan with oil (a pastry brush can also help with this). Sprinkle the pan evenly with the salt and pepper. Set aside.

Drain the potatoes. Spread the wedges out on layers of paper towels or on clean kitchen towels. Pat dry with additional towels. Wipe out the now empty bowl so it is dry. Return the potatoes to the bowl and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Arrange the potato wedges on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the bottoms of the potatoes are spotty golden brown, 15-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes. Using a metal spatula and tongs, flip each potato wedge keeping them in a single layer. Continue baking until the fries are golden and crisp, 5 -15 minutes. Rotate the pan as needed to ensure even browning.

When the fries are finished baking, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain some of the grease. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

7-Up Biscuits

Image Source: Plain Chicken

This recipe is from Plain Chicken (love her!).  They were easy to make and came out so delicious!  The biggest challenge was that this recipe makes a very sticky dough.  It was not easy to pat them out and get them into the pan without having dough stuck to everything (even with using extra baking mix on the counter and my hands).  I think next time I make this, (and there will be a next time) instead of patting and cutting the dough I might just be a little more rustic and grab globs of dough and put it in the pan :-).  

7-Up Biscuits

2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 7-up
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 450.
Cut sour cream into biscuit mix, add 7-Up. Makes a very soft dough.
Sprinkle additional biscuit mix on board or table and pat dough out. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a 9 inch square pan.  Place cut biscuits in pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chicken Parmesan

I have to let you in on a little secret.   Well, I guess it may not be a secret to some, but I have recently made the decision to join Weight Watchers.  Over the years I have seen the weight on the scale slowly creeping up, however the number I see now I have not seen since I was NINE months pregnant with my little ones.  While I do hope to shed some of these extra pounds, I really just want to be healthier.  I love junk food and sweets and I hate to exercise.  This lifestyle may have been ok 10 years ago but the older I get the more I notice this is not ok.  I want to feel better and I want to have more energy.  I have learned a great deal about healthier food choices, especially appropriate portion sizes, through the Weight Watchers website.  What I love about their program is that you can still eat whatever you just can't have as much as you want.  I have been experimenting with some of the Weight Watchers recipes and have not found one yet that wasn't a hit with my whole family!  That is a huge plus!

I debated about whether or not to post these recipes on my blog because I don't want to turn it into a "Healthy Food Blog".  And I have no intentions of doing that.  But when I thought about why I started this blog in the first place, I realized that yes, I want to share the recipes that I love with others, but first and foremost I started this blog as a way to keep track of all the recipes I love and want to use again.  I refer to my blog all the time when I meal plan and cook so in order for this blog to continue to serve me I decided to post the recipes I love because even if they are lower in calories and fat they are still delicious!

 Picture Source: Weight Watchers

This recipe comes from  It is the best chicken parmesan I have ever had.  I've never been a huge fan of chicken parm as I've always found it to be too rich.  This was so fresh tasting and so delicious.  I served mine with long grain and wild rice and mixed vegetables.  So yummy!

Chicken Parmesan
via: Weight Watchers

Prep: 10 min        Ready in: 75 min.         PointsPlus Value: 8

29 oz canned diced tomatoes, with Italian herbs (2 cans) 
1 tsp Italian seasoning 
1/2 tsp dried basil   
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper   
1 Tbsp sugar 
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (I omitted this)
1 pound(s) uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast(s), four 4-oz pieces   
1/2 cup(s) seasoned bread crumbs, Italian   
4 tsp olive oil, divided 
1 spray(s) cooking spray
3/4 oz shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese   
1/4 cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese, fresh   

  • Combine first 5 ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 35 minutes. Stir in sugar and vinegar; simmer 5 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1⁄2-inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Dredge chicken in breadcrumbs.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 chicken breast halves to pan; cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and chicken breast halves.
  • Arrange chicken in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour tomato mixture evenly over chicken, and sprinkle with cheeses. Cover and bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half, 3⁄4 cup tomato mixture, and 1 ounce cheese mixture).

Monday, June 11, 2012

Basil Chicken Over Pasta

This recipe comes from my recipe binder, which means I'm not really sure where it originally came from.  It is a very simple and delicious dish.  It's also great with Italian sausage instead of chicken.

Basil Chicken Over Pasta

2 tsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped (1/2 tsp jarred)
2 C. chicken, cooked and chopped
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 finely diced onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 3 tbs. dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/3-1/2 box spaghetti
Parmesan cheese

Boil pasta and drain.  Sautee onion in hot oil until tender but not brown (1-2 min).  Stir in tomatoes, chicken, basil and salt.  Reduce heat to medium, cover skillet and simmer 5 minutes.  Add pasta to skillet and stir to combine.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Recipe linked up to Mandy's Recipe Box Linky Party.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fudge Brownie Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting

Picture Source: Sally's Baking Addiction

I found these cupcakes this morning and new I had to make them right away.  I am so glad I did because I honestly think they are one of them best things I have ever made.  Not only were they really quick and easy but they are so so so amazingly delicious!  I followed the recipe exactly and although it says you can substitute your favorite brownie mix for the brownies, I honestly don't see why you would want to.  The brownies are pretty quick to put together and they really are so tasty.  The cookie dough frosting was really easy too and it tastes just like cookie dough!  I will definitely be making this again.  Next time though I think I will make these in mini muffin tins because they are so rich.  Even I couldn't eat more than a few bites at a time.  The recipe says it makes 10-12 cupcakes, I only got 8 cupcakes out of this recipe.  

Fudge Brownie Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • cookie dough frosting (recipe below)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper cups.
  2. Melt butter in the microwave in a large microwave safe bowl. Mix in the sugar until smooth and microwave for about 1 minute. Stir the mixture until smooth again. Whisk in the vanilla and eggs.
  3. In a seperate bowl, mix together the salt, baking powder, cocoa powder, and flour. Slowly add to the wet ingredients and stir until completely combined.
  4. Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full. Bake in the prepared muffin tin for about 8-10 minutes (mine took a little under 9 minutes). Allow to cool completely before frosting.
*You could easily use boxed brownie mix as a shortcut, but you would need to adjust the frosting accordingly since the cookie dough frosting recipe below only makes enough for 10-12 cupcakes.
*Depending on how full you fill the muffin tins, you could get anywhere from 8-12 cupcakes. I filled mine about 2/3 full.

Cookie Dough Frosting

makes enough to frost 10-12 cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temp
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp milk (I used vanilla almond milk, but soy or regular would be fine)
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  1. In the bowl of a stand alone mixer with paddle attachment OR using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy.
  2. Add the vanilla and beat well. Stir in the flour and salt until doughy.
  3. Stir in the milk and beat until fluffy. Gently fold in chocolate chips + frost brownie cupcakes.
*I find these cupcakes are best served cold.  I kept mine in the fridge.  It also helped to avoid the cookie dough frosting from melting.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Flat Apple Pie

Photo Source: Food Network Website

It's no secret that I love Pioneer Woman's recipes and now I also really love her new show on Food Network.  I've had my eye on her recipe for flat apple pies for a while and finally had the chance to make it.  I love apple pie and usually use my mom's recipe, which is amazing but I was intrigued by this recipe.  It was very easy to make (especially since I used refrigerated pie crust).  One of my pies leaked all the liquid out which was pretty disappointing but tasted great nonetheless.  Luckily I put the pies on rimmed baking sheets lined with non-stick foil.  I highly recommend you do this or you could end up with a huge mess in your oven.

The recipe posted below is the original recipe by Pioneer Woman, however I did make a few adjustments which are written in red.

Flat Apple Pie


  • 5 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced I used a combination of gala and fuji apples because I prefer them sweet to sour.  I also cut my apples into small chunks because I prefer that to slices in pie.
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon I left this out because I forgot to buy a lemon ;-).
  • 1 recipe Perfect Pie Crust, recipe follows I used Pillsbury refrigerated pie dough
  • 6 tablespoons butter


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In large bowl, stir together the apples, brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, salt and lemon juice. Set aside and see how long you can keep from sneaking a slice of apple.
With a rolling pin, begin rolling out the Perfect Pie Crusts into large circles. Roll the dough from the center outward. Be gentle and patient, it'll take a little time to get the dough completely rolled out.
If you think the bottom is really sticking to the surface below, use a nice, sharp spatula to loosen the dough and sprinkle some extra flour on top. Then flip it over to finish rolling. Remember to roll from the center in single, outward strokes, no back-and-forth rolling.
Again with a spatula, loosen and lift the dough and carefully place the circles on large baking sheets.
Place half the apple mixture on one crust and the other half on the other crust. Fold over the edges of each crust so that it covers 2 to 3 inches of the apple mixture. No need to be artistic - the more rustic the better. Dot the tops of the pies with chunks of the butter. I sprinkled the crust with cinnamon and sugar.
Bake until the filling is golden and bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. If the crust appears to brown too quickly, cover the edges with aluminium foil for the remaining baking time.
Allow to cool slightly, then slice into wedges with a pizza cutter. Eat 'em on the go!

Perfect Pie Crust:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold butter
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add in the butter and shortening. Using a pastry cutter, gradually work the butter and shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles. This step should take 3 or 4 minutes.
Lightly beat the egg with a fork, and then add it to the mixture. Next, add in the cold water and vinegar. Stir the mixture together until it's just combined, and then remove half the dough from the bowl. Yield: dough for 2 crusts.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chicken Tacos

This is not the first recipe I have tried for chicken, made in the slow cooker for tacos.  The first recipe I tried I was not overly impressed with.  This one however, exceeded my expectations.  It was incredibly moist and so very flavorful.  I will definitely be making this again and again.

Shredded Chicken for Tacos
Source:  Cooking Classy
2.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup Zesty Italian Salad dressing
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, optional (adjust according to desired heat preference or omit)

Place chicken breast halves in the slow cooker.  In a mixing bowl whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour mixture over chicken in slow cooker, cover slow cooker with lid. Cook chicken on low heat 6 - 8 hours. Shred chicken (it's so tender I usually just shred it in the slow cooker without even removing it), then cook shredded chicken in broth in slow cooker an additional 30 minutes on low. Drain broth from chicken. Serve warm in tacos, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, taquitos etc

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Texas Sheet Cake Brownies

I love Texas Sheet Cake so when I saw this recipe on Six Sister's Stuff I was eager to try it.  I have to say that it was more cake-like than brownie-like, but either way it is scrumptious!  It is really moist and not too sweet.

Texas Sheet Cake Brownies
Source: Six Sister's Stuff

For one 17 1/2 x 11" baking pan (48 brownies), you well need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup water
1/4 cup dark, unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup buttermilk*
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2 Tbsp dark cocoa
1/4 cup milk
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

*If you don't have buttermilk, no worries! Mix 1/2 cup milk with 2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice. Let sit for a minute before adding to other ingredients.

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and the sugar.
2. In heavy saucepan, combine butter, shortening, water, and cocoa. Stir and heat to boiling.
3. Pour boiling mixture over the flour and sugar in the bowl. Add the buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla.
4. Mix well using a wooden spoon or high speed on an electric mixer.
5. Pour into a well greased 17 1/2x11" pan (like a cookie sheet).
6. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until brownies test done in center.
7. While brownies bake, prepare the frosting. In a saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa, and milk. Heat to boiling, stirring.
8. Mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla until frosting is smooth (you may have to whisk it).
9. Pour warm frosting over brownies as soon as you take them out of the oven. Let cool. Cut into 48 bars.

Optional: Sprinkle chopped pecans or peanuts on top of the frosting.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

S'mores Mini Pies

One thing I really love about the seasons is the foods that go with them.  Just as pumpkin makes you think of fall, s'mores scream summer!  

Eating s'mores makes me so happy.  I love the combination of chocolate, marshmallow and graham crackers.  While a s'more in it's pure form is truly amazing, I really love to experiment with all of the different s'more recipes I see all over the web.

These little pies are amazing!  They are crispy on the outside and chocolatey and gooey on the inside.  Exactly how a s'more should be.  They are best warm from the oven but they are also yummy at room temperature.

While these are definitely easy to make, they are a bit time consuming since you have to fill and fold one pie at a time.  You may be tempted to add extra filling but don't!  If you put in too much filling it will burst out of the pie as it bakes.

This is a recipe from Monster Mama, however the recipe below is my slightly adapted version. 

I also want to add that I used this fun little gadget to cut my dough circles and fold over my little pies.  But you can use anything with a circle shape to cut your dough.  A glass works well.  

S'mores Mini Pies

1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie dough

1/2 c marshmallow creme
2 tbsp cream cheese, soft
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 c choc chips

Crumb mix:
1/2 c graham crackers (about 8 cracker squares, finely crushed)
1/4 c sugar
3 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together ingredients for crumb mix and set aside.  Mix filling ingredients in a bowl.  

Cut dough into circles using a round cookie cutter or glass.  Brush both sides of dough circles with melted butter and dip in crumb mixture.  Place a scant tablespoon of filling in center of each round.  Fold dough in half and press with a fork to seal.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until brown.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Yesterday I went to a friend's house for our monthly crochet club get together.  My friend that hosted is an amazing cook and she made this for dessert.  Everyone was in heaven!  It was so delicious and so easy!  She found the recipe on Pinterest but it reminded me that I had actually made a cake like this a few years ago but I made it in a loaf pan.  I believe the recipe for the one I made came from a Kraft magazine.

I think the flavor combinations with this are endless.  You could vary the flavor of ice cream sandwiches, the sauce and/or syrup you layer it with and the topping.  My friend made it with regular ice cream sandwiches, caramel and toffee bits and it was fabulous.  I made it with regular ice cream sandwiches and Smucker's Milk Chocolate Sauce.  I think it would also be good with mint ice cream sandwiches and hot fudge or neapolitan sandwiches.

My friend made this with 24 sandwiches in a 9" x 13" pan.  I used 12 sandwiches and made it in an 8" x 8" pan.  Either works.

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

24 ice cream sandwiches
1 jar hot fudge sauce (or any other ice cream topping)
8 oz. Cool Whip
Candy of your choice, chopped fine (toffee bits, snickers, butterfinger, chocolate chips, etc)

Place 12 ice cream sandwiches in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan, cutting as necessary to fit.  Top with half to Cool Whip and half the ice cream topping.  Place the remaining 12 ice cream sandwiches on top of the cool whip mixture.  Top with the rest of the cool whip and ice cream topping.  Sprinkle chopped candy over top.  Cover and freeze until ready to serve.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Just An Apology

So I logged on to blogger to look up my hamburger recipe and discovered that my main page (don't know what the technical name for it) was completely different.  So as I'm trying to navigate my way through it to find out how to get to my blog I see that there are 39 comments waiting for my approval.  WHAT??!!  How did that happen??  Anyway, I discovered I had it set to always wait for moderation of comments before posting them.

So I feel horrible!  Horrible that people took the time to write a comment that I never even knew existed!  Sorry, fairly new blogger here.  I had no idea that so many people were even reading my blog, let alone commenting!  I am so humbled and appreciative.  I have changed my settings so that hopefully the comments will show up immediately (and you won't even have to type in that funny word).  I am also going to be working hard to get some new posts up in the next couple weeks.

Thank you to everyone for taking the time to read my blog, and of course for all of your wonderful comments!  I hope you will continue to follow even though I appear to be quite the space cadet!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

5-Minute Macaroni and Cheese

I made this a couple months ago and I loved it.  It was really easy and actually really good considering how fast it was to make.  The only thing I think I would change is to put less pepper than the recipe says.  I thought the pepper was a bit overbearing for my taste.  Otherwise this recipe has become a new staple for me!

5 Minute Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
Via: Picky Palate

1/2 pound cooked pasta of choice (I used small shells)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup whole milk (I used 2%)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1. Place pasta, cheese, milk, salt and pepper into a microwave safe bowl. Stir to mix. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and microwave for 3 minutes. Stir and microwave for an additional 2 minutes. Stir until creamy and smooth. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Southwest Chicken Chili

This was a very easy and very tasty chili.  It makes quite a bit so if you don't have a lot of people to feed you could halve the recipe or freeze some of it.  It tastes great reheated!  I made a few changes to the recipe, which I noted in parenthesis.  Enjoy!

Southwest Chicken Chili
Source: In Katrina's Kitchen

·        1 medium onion, chopped
·        2 Tablespoons olive oil
·        3 Tablespoons taco seasoning (1 envelope)
·        1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix
·        2 Cups water (I used chicken broth)
·        2 cans pinto beans, drained (I used one can of pinto and one can of black beans)
·        2 cans diced tomatoes
·        1 can chilies
·        2 Cups cubed or shredded chicken, cooked
·        Cilantro (to taste)

1.   Sauté onions in olive oil in the bottom of a large pot until tender.
2.   Add remaining ingredients and heat through. Simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Glazed Carrots with Rosemary

Oh these carrots were yummy!  They make a wonderful side dish to chicken or beef.  I drizzled mine with some honey when they came out of the oven to add a little extra sweetness.  

The original recipe says to use the long carrots, not baby carrots.  Honestly, I think these would be just as good with baby carrots.

Glazed Carrots with Rosemary
Source: Jamie Cooks it Up

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

10 long carrots 
2 T salted butter, melted 
4 T brown sugar
1 sprig fresh rosemary chopped
4 T fresh orange juice
1/8 t cracked pepper
1/4 t cracked sea salt

1. Peel the carrots and chop off the tops and the very tips. Cut each carrot into sticks.
2. Combine the butter, brown sugar, rosemary and orange juice together in a small bowl.
3. Place the carrots in a 9x13 baking dish. Pour the butter mixture over the top.
4. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Check them after about 20 minutes and give them a little stir.
5. After taking them out of the oven crack the pepper and salt over the top. Stir to incorporate, cover and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Funfetti Pound Cake

This recipe, from Mrs. Happy Homemaker was a big hit.  It was super easy to make and was quite delicious.  I am not usually a huge fan of boxed cake mix and canned frosting so I was a bit resistant but was pleasantly surprised.  This is definitely a great way to doctor up a cake mix!

Funfetti Pound Cake
Source: Mrs. Happy Homemaker


  • 1 box funfetti or rainbow chip cake mix
  • 1 tub rainbow chip chip or funfetti icing
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/3 cups water


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Combine everything minus the tub of icing together using an electric mixer or whisk.  Gently stir in the icing.  

Grease & flour a bundt pan - or spray with Bakers Joy.  Fill the pan with the batter.  Bake for 50-60 minutes.

Remove to a wire rack & cool for 10 minutes in the pan.  Then invert it onto the rack, and cool an additional 10 minutes before slicing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sesame Chicken

I found this recipe on Cully's Kitchen and decided to give it a try.  I am so glad I did because it was really good.  It tasted like it came from a Chinese restaurant, but better because I knew exactly what was in it!  I loved it and will definitely be making this again.

I did make a few minor changes to this which I have noted below in the recipe.  I don't love the taste of ginger so I only put in half what the recipe called for and I think next time I will leave it out completely.  I also think next time I will use low sodium soy sauce to cut down on some of the saltiness.  Other than that this is a great recipe and definitely worth making!

Sesame Chicken
Source: Cully's Kitchen



1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup chicken broth
1-2 tablespoon sesame oil (to personal taste)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 dash red chili pepper flakes (I omitted this)
2 teaspoons cornstarch (or more is you want a thicker sauce) (I used 2 tsp and thought it was perfect)


4 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sherry wine (I omitted this because I didn't have any)
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder (optional) (I omitted this)
2 drops sesame oil
cornstarch, to coat chicken
Vegetable oil or Peanut oil (for frying)
Sesame Seed (to garnish)
Sliced Green Onion (to garnish)
prepared Rice, to serve.


Combine chicken ingredients except cornstarch and let marinate for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.

Remove chicken from marinade and toss in cornstarch then cook chicken in hot oil on the stove or deep fryer until cooked through.  Keep warm in pan while making the sauce.

Combine all sauce ingredients EXCEPT cornstarch in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over med. heat.
Mix cornstarch with a little water (about 1/4 cup) in a cup until dissolved- then slowly add to the sauce mixture on the stove and heat until thickened to the consistency of gravy.

Add the sauce to the chicken. Heat thoroughly.  Serve over hot rice.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions.

Monday, February 13, 2012

S'mores Bars

These are definitely one of my favorite s'more treats.  I have made them twice and love them so much.  They taste just like a traditional s'more! 

S'more Cookie Bars
source: Baked to Perfection

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (approximately 7 full graham crackers)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 super-sized (5 oz.) dark chocolate bars (e.g. Hershey’s)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.

Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place chocolate bars over dough. Two 5 oz. Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick. Spread marshmallow fluff evenly over the chocolate layer.

Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff. This is most easily done by putting the second half of the dough in a gallon size freezer bag. Use your palms to flatten it out, and then use scissors to cut down both long sides of the bag, so it will open up book-style. Open it up carefully, and the dough will stick on one side of the bag. Then place the bag, dough side down, on the other three layers. From there peel the bag up ad spread the dough where it is uneven.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars

Makes 16 cookie bars