Sweet & Sour Meatballs with Fried Rice

These meatballs are so good. I've tired quite a few different recipes and none of them seem to hold together even after cooked. These have the perfect flavor as well. Not too sweet and not too sour. Hope you will enjoy them as much as we did.

1 to 1-1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
3/4 cup oats
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Mix ingredients and form into 12 2-inch balls. Place in casserole dish, cover with sauce (recipe follows) and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Sauce for meatballs

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tsp mustard
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Fried Rice

1/4 lb. bacon1 cup diced onion
3/4 cup diced celery
1 bell pepper, diced {I used a red pepper. We aren't fans of green}
3 T soy sauce
3 cups COLD, cooked rice

Cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and Sauté vegetables in bacon fat. Add rice and soy sauce until heated through. Add bacon.

*I wish I could remember where I got this recipe. I wrote it on a recipe card from the website and never wrote down the original owner. I do know that the meat balls recipe is originally from the Lion House cook book.


Cream of Cauliflower Cheese Soup

I got this recipe idea from a friend. I couldn't remember the exact ingredients so I found this online at We will be eating this at least once a week this winter. It's so amazingly good and even better as leftovers. Seriously try it!


1 head cauliflower, washed and broken into flowerets {I had some fresh broccoli on hand that I also added...I think it made it better}
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 vegetable bouillon cubes {I used 1 can of vegetable broth}
2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened {or use regular}
1/2 cup evaporated milk {you could use half and half but I suggest the milk}
1/8-1/4 tsp salt, to taste
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp parsley
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or 1 cup shredded American cheese

  1. Place cauliflower flowerets, chopped onion, and garlic in a large pot. Pour in just enough water to almost cover (but not quite) cover the cauliflower. Add boullion cubes and bring to a boil; cook until cauliflower is very tender -- about 10-12 minutes.
  2. Lower heat medium.
  3. Add in cream cheese and half and half; stir well. Add in salt, pepper, paprika and parsley; stir and heat through.
  4. Add in shredded cheese; stir frequently until heated through and cheese is melted.
  5. Remove from heat. Puree in batches in blender or food processor {I left mine with chunks}. Serve.


Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops & Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Another find from Pinterest! Delicious and easy to make... my favorite combo!

What you need:
4-6 Pork Chops
1 packet dry Ranch seasoning mix
10 oz can cream of chicken soup (I used cream of mushroom since I had it on hand)

4 lbs peeled and diced potatoes
5 TBSP real butter
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
6 cloves roasted garlic (see instructions below)
1 to 1 1/2 cups of warm milk
Salt & Pepper to taste

What to do:

Place pork chops, ranch seasoning and soup in medium crock pot on low for six hours (or high for four).

To roast garlic, preheat oven to 350. Wrap garlic bulb with skins lightly in tin foil and bake for one hour. Remove from foil and let cool for about fifteen minutes. Once cool enough to touch, remove skins from 6 cloves and mash completely in a bowl. Set aside.

Place peeled and chopped potatoes in a pot of cold water on stove top over high heat and bring to boil. Once water is boiling, cook for 10-12 minutes or until fork-tender. Drain and transfer potatoes to the bowl you will be mixing/mashing them in. Mix on low until potatoes are completely mashed; add remaining ingredients including the mashed roasted garlic. Season to taste. If you desire thinner mashed potatoes, add more milk.

Serve potatoes with pork chops and "gravy"... enjoy!

*Original recipe found here


Fruit Salsa and Baked Cinnamon Sugar Chips

I've never heard of fruit salsa and was intrigued when I came across this recipe. It. Was. Fantastic. If you're looking for something to take a party or a pot luck, this is it!

What you need:
2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and diced
6-8 ounces raspberries, cut in half
1 (16 oz) carton strawberries, diced
1-2 TBSP white sugar (to taste)
1 TBSP brown sugar (to taste)
3 TBSP fruit preserves (I used seedless raspberry)

For Chips:
10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
Melted butter or butter flavored cooking spray
1 cup white sugar
2 TBSP cinnamon

What to do:
In a large bowl, mix all the fruit, sugars and fruit preserves thoroughly and chill for at least 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat one side of each tortilla with butter or cooking spray. Sprinkle each tortilla with desired amount of cinnamon-sugar mixture. Cut into wedges and arrange on a baking sheet. If you used cooking spray, spray the tortillas once more. If you used butter, it's not necessary to coat any further. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until crispy. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes and serve with fruit salsa the same day (otherwise the natural juices can make mixture runny). This can also be eaten with graham crackers or cinnamon-sugar pita chips. Enjoy!

*Original recipe found here

Guacamole Bruschetta

If you love guacamole, you will love this. A perfect match of creamy and crunchy... it was delicious!

What you need:
A loaf of french bread (I used a long, skinny one found in the bakery section)
1 clove of garlic
2 TBSP olive oil
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 avocados, chopped
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 TBSP fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

What you do:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Slice the french bread at a diagonal into 1/2" rounds and place on baking sheet. Toast the bread in the oven for 3 minutes, then remove and flip over and toast for another 3 minutes on the other sides. Remove the toasted bread and immediately rub with the clove of garlic. It's almost as though you're grating the clove against the bread. Brush the tops of the garlic-rubbed bread with olive oil and set aside. Now mix all the remaining ingredients in a bowl and spoon on to bread and serve!

*Original recipe found here

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pull-apart Bread

If you haven't been on Pinterest yet, I highly suggest you go there immediately. I've found SEVERAL amazing recipes on there lately that I had to try. This bread was apart of a munch-fest some friends and I had and it was AMAZING!!!!

What you need:
1 loaf of unsliced sourdough bread (round is preferable)
8-12 ounces of sliced cheddar cheese
3 oz bag of real bacon bits
1/2 cup of butter, melted
1 TBSP ranch dressing mix (we used regular ranch dressing and it still worked)

What to do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a sharp bread knife, cut bread going both directions without cutting all the way through the crust. Place cheese slices between all of the cuts. Sprinkle bacon bits all over the bread, making sure they get between the cuts as well. Mix together butter and ranch dressing and pour over bread. Wrap the entire loaf in foil and place on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes; unwrap and bake for 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted. ENJOY!

*Original recipe found here


Sweet Onion Pork Chops

picture from

Before having baby number three I stocked my freezer up with freezer meals. This recipe froze beautifully and was simply delicious, even after being in the freezer for over a month. I've also made it and served it the same day. My kids and husband guy love this!

8 boneless pork loin chops
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup French salad dressing
1/2 cup honey

Heat oil in a large skillet and brown pork chops on both sides. You will need to do them in batches. Once all are browned, put all pork chops back into the skillet. In a small bowl combine sugar, onion, ketchup, barbecue sauce, dressing and honey, stirring well. Pour sauce over pork chops, then bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer, cover skillet and simmer for 12-14 minutes, or until meat is cooked through and tender. Cool completely and place in freezer container. Split into two if desired, ensuring equal amount of sauce goes in each.

On cooking day:
Thaw pork chops overnight. Heat skillet and add pork chops and sauce. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 5-8 minutes, or until pork chops are thoroughly heated. Serve.

*I served this with brown rice and mixed vegetables

recipe found at:

Crispy Chicken Roll Ups

Crispy Chicken Roll-Ups recipe
picture from

Holy freakin' yummo! This will rock your taste buds to the max! You know a recipe is good when the kiddos beg for more!!

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
12 slices smoked ham
6 extra thin Swiss cheese slices
2 eggs, beaten
15 saltine crackers, finely crushed (about 2/3 cup)
3 tbsp. butter, melted

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Place chicken, top sides down, on cutting board; cover with ham and cheese.
Starting at one short end of each, roll up tightly. Secure with toothpicks.

Dip chicken in eggs, then roll in cracker crumbs until evenly coated on all sides.
Place in 13x9 glass baking dish coated with cooking spray, drizzle with the melted butter.

Bake for 40 minutes or until chicken is done and juices run clear. Remove and discard toothpicks before serving.

*I served this with brown rice and steamed broccoli.

Cajun Alfredo Skillet

Cajun Alfredo Skillet recipe

This was a huge hit with my kiddos! With a new little guy in the house I've been making more easy, hearty recipes. This definitely made it to the recipe book!

1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tbsp. Cajun seasoning, divided (I used Emeril's Cerole Essence)
2 tsp. oil
1 cup each halved green and red pepper strips
1 onion, slivered
1/2 lb. smoked sausage, sliced, then halved (I used Oscar Mayer turkey sausage)
1 tub (10 oz.) PHILADELPHIA original Cooking Creme
1/4 cup milk
2 cups hot cooked penne pasta

Toss chicken with 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning.
Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat.
Add chicken and vegetables; cook 6 to 7 minutes or until chicken is done and vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring frequently.
Add sausage; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add cooking creme, milk and remaining seasoning; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through.

Stir in pasta.


Crockpot Olive Garden Style Pasta Fagioli

Oh. My. Gosh. This tasted EXACTLY like Olive Garden's Pasta Fagioli soup and it rocked my entire world. Yes, even during the summer in 110 degree temps! I loved it THAT much. Not only that, it's easy... SUPER easy. The only disclaimer is that you *must* use a 6 quart crockpot or cut the recipe in half because it makes a lot. I had to borrow a neighbor's crockpot because mine wasn't big enough. So, there's that!

What you need:
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes (and juice)
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white (great northern) beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups beef broth
1 jar (16.5 oz) spaghetti sauce
2 tsp oregano
1 tbsp tabasco
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup dry pasta (I used ditalini; added at the END of cooking time)


1. Brown meat and drain; set aside to cool.
2. Cut up carrots, onion and celery. Add to empty crockpot. Drain and rinse the beans and add to crockpot. Add the whole cans of tomatoes and pasta sauce. Add the beef broth. Add the salt, pepper, oregano and tabasco. Finally, stir in the meat.
3. Cover and cook on either low for 8 hours or high for 4. When the vegetables are tender (about the last half hour of cooking time), add the dry noodles.
4. Once the noodles are tender, serve with parmesan cheese and enjoy!

*Original recipe found here

Szechwan Chicken & Peanuts

We got this recipe from my mother-in-law a few years back and forgot about it until recently! With my husband traveling a lot with the military, I rarely make anything he wants or craves because he's rarely here. But with him having a week off, he wanted to eat this badly so we pulled it out and I just had to share it! It takes a little time and effort, but it's worth it. So tasty!

What you need:
1 lb uncooked chicken, cubed
2 tbsp cooking sherry or sake
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp parsley (or a big sprinkle of dried)
3-4 cloves minced garlic
6 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp tabasco
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp sliced green onions (scallions)
1 tbsp minced gingerroot
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
2 quarts water
7 oz egg noodles
1/2 pound spinach leaves, rinsed and stemmed


1. Blend wine, cornstarch and salt. Cover chicken with mixture and refrigerate for one hour.
2. Stir peanut butter, soy, sugar, 2 tbsp water, parsley, garlic, 1 tbsp of oil and tabasco sauce. Cover and set aside.
3. Heat 3 tbsp of oil in skillet until very hot. Add chicken and red pepper flakes. Stir fry 1-2 minutes or until no longer pink; set aside.
4. Add 2 tbsp more oil to pan. Heat onion and gingerroot for 15 seconds. Return chicken to skillet and cook until light brown.
5. Add peanuts and 2 tbsp peanut butter mixture or until chicken is covered in sauce.
6. Cook noodles according to package directions. During last 30 seconds or so, add spinach until limp; drain.
7. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and enjoy!

Easy Eggless Chocolate Cake!

Sorry for the crappy quality picture... I realized I hadn't taken a good one as I was about to eat one of the last pieces of this tasty cake, so my husband took one with his phone! I found this gem while searching for a cake recipe that would take both minimal time and minimal ingredients. I had eggs on hand, but not enough for every other cake recipe I'd looked at. Then I saw this and thought I'd give it a try which was a double bonus because one of my kids is allergic to eggs! I'm a big fan and I'd recommend it to anyone who needed a sweet fix! I doubled the cocoa powder and added cinnamon on a whim and I think it turned out magnificently!

What you need (cake):
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional... but so tasty)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease 8x8 cake pan.
2. Sift the dry ingredients together; make a well in the middle and add all the wet ingredients and then beat all together until smooth.
3. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean.

Frosting ingredients:
1/2 of a 1lb. box of powdered sugar
4 tablespoons (or half a stick) of butter, melted
1/8 cup of milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth. Add more powdered sugar if you feel it needs to be thicker and frost cake accordingly! ENJOY!

*Found and changed slightly from here


Southwestern Chicken Soup

1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups fat free, less sodium chicken broth
¼ cup uncooked white rice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (16 ounce) can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups chopped skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped seeded tomato
¾ cup diced peeled avocado (about 1 medium)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
6 lime wedges

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 3 minutes. Add broth, rice, cumin and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes. Stir in chicken, cilantro, pepper and salt; simmer 5 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly heated.
Remove from heat; stir in tomato, avocado, and juice. Serve with lime wedges. Yield 6 servings

(Serving size; 1 2/3 cups soup and 1 lime wedge)


lemon raspberry bars

Here I go again with a lemon dessert, surprise, surprise. I absolutely died over these, the crust was pure heaven to me. Actually, the whole thing was heaven. I can't wait to have these again. Perfect spring/summer treat, I think they would even be good without the raspberries.

I found these at Two Peas and their Pod and as soon as I saw them I knew I had to try them.

For the crust:

1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
Zest of one lemon

For the filling:

2 large egg yolks
1-14 oz. can fat free sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
6 ounces fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 8 by 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and lemon zest. Stir until graham cracker crumbs are moist. Press crumbs into the prepared pan, pressing the crust mixture one inch up the side of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

Once the crust is cool, combine the egg yolks and condensed milk until well mixed. Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir until mixture begins to slightly thicken. Gently fold in the raspberries. Fold carefully so you don’t break the raspberries.

Pour the lemon raspberry filling evenly over the graham cracker crust. Bake for 15 minutes, or until just set.

Cool to room temperature, then chill for at least one hour before serving. Cut into bars and serve. Keep bars in the refrigerator-up to five days.

*Note-use fresh raspberries and make sure you gently fold the berries into the lemon filling or you will have pink bars.

one pot lemon chicken & rice

photo from google

this simple "good for you" recipe is great for tight schedules and also delicious left over after flavors have a chance to meld together.


1 lb bonelss skinless chicken breast, diced into 1" cubes
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves fresh garlic, grated
1 medium red onion, diced
1 cup carrots, sliced very thin
15 oz. low sodium all natural chicken broth
1 TB cornstarch
juice of two lemons
zest of the same two lemons
1 1/2 cups brown minute rice (uncooked)
1 1/2 cups broccoli, chopped rough
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped rough
1/2 cup cream of mushroom soup
fresh ground salt and pepper to taste


in a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. add garlic, onion and carrots, saute for a few minutes.

season your chicken with salt and pepper

turn heat to medium and add chicken. stir often, rotating chicken so it browns on all sides.

meanwhile, combine chicken broth, corn starch, lemon juice, lemon zest and brown rice in a small bowl. also, salt this mixture.

once the chicken is cooked through, add your liquid mixture to the pan and turn heat back up to medium-high.

you want to bring the mixture to a boil. once it is boiling, add your parsley, broccoli and cream of mushroom soup. mix well and reduce to low.

cover and let simmer 10-15 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed, the rice is tender and the dish is nice and creamy.

this recipe makes four servings.

my findings:
*make sure you use fresh broccoli, it just makes this dish better
*i had to add a cup or so of water after i added the broccoli so that it wasn't super thick.

Recipe found here
Sorry to Janetha in which I didn't give proper credit. Forgot!


Lemon Berry Trifle (Easter)

8 ounces fat-free cream cheese
3 3/8 ounces instant lemon pudding mix
1 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon lemon zest - grated
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 ounces Cool Whip Lite or fat free (I made my own whipped cream..much better)
4 1/2 ounces ladyfinger cookies - split (I left my whole)
1/4 cup strawberries - hulled and sliced or raspberries, left whole

In a food processor fitted with metal blade, combine cream cheese, lemon pudding mix, skim milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Process until smooth. Gently fold in Cool Whip.

Arrange 1/3 of ladyfingers in bottom of baking dish, bowl, or casserole dish. Spoon 1/3 of pudding mixture. Spread evenly. Arrange a 1/3 of strawberries over pudding mixture. Repeat twice. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 4 hours.

*recipe from neighbor but changed a little by myself

Bunny Pancakes with Strawberry Butter

2 cups buttermilk baking mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Assorted candies or fruit

1. prepare strawberry butter (recipe below); set aside. Preheat electric skillet or griddle to 375 deg.

2. Combine baking mix, milk, eggs and yogurt in medium bowl; mix well. Spoon scant 1/2 cup batter into skillet. With back of spoon. gently spread batter into 4-inch circle. Spoon about 2 tablespoons batter onto top edge of circle for head. Using back of spoon, spread batter from head to form bunny ears.

3. Cook until bubbles on surface begin to pop and top of pancake appears dry; turn pancake over. Cook until done, 1 to 2 minutes. Decorate with candies or fruit to make face.

Makes about 12 (8-inch) pankcakes

Strawberry Butter

1 package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen strawberries

Place cream cheese and butter in food processor or blender; process until smooth. Add powdered sugar; process until blended. Add strawberries; process until finely chopped.

Makes 1 1/3 cups

*recipe and photo from tlc cooking


Mexican Shredded Pork Tostada's

picture courtesy of flicker

Made these for dinner this past week and thought I was in heaven. The meat is so amazing and flavorful! I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. We will definitely be making this often.

2 pounds boneless pork butt, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium onions, 1 quartered and 1 chopped fine
5 medium garlic cloves, 3 peeled and smashed and 2 minced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
table salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (14.5-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon ground chipotle powder
2 bay leaves

3/4 cup vegetable oil
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas
table salt


feta cheese
fresh cilantro leaves
sour cream
diced avocado
lime wedges

Bring pork, quartered onion, smashed garlic cloves, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 6 cups water to simmer in large saucepan over medium-high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to surface. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and cook until pork is tender, 75 to 90 minutes. Drain pork, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Discard onion, garlic, and thyme. Return pork to saucepan and, using potato masher, mash until shredded into rough ½-inch pieces. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add shredded pork, chopped onion, and oregano; cook, stirring often, until pork is well browned and crisp, 7 to 10 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in tomato sauce, chipotle powder, reserved pork cooking liquid, and bay leaves; simmer until almost all liquid has evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves and season with salt to taste.

TO FRY TOSTADAS: Heat vegetable oil in 8-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat to 350 degrees. Using fork, poke center of each tortilla 3 or 4 times (to prevent puffing and allow for even cooking). Fry 1 at a time, holding metal potato masher in upright position on top of tortilla to keep it submerged, until crisp and lightly browned, 45 to 60 seconds (no flipping is necessary). Drain on paper towel-lined plate and season with salt to taste. Repeat with remaining tortillas.


*I found that I liked the complex flavor of chipotle powder, but two minced canned chipotle chilies can be used in it's place. Also, the pork can be prepared and refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 days. The tostadas can be made up to a day in advance and stored in an airtight container.

*recipe from neighbor

Thin Mint Cupcakes

While I'm sure Thin Mint cupcake recipes have been out there on the internet for years I'm going to pretend I'm clever in coming up with my own version. For that reason, I didn't even bother Googling the subject for fear that my own creativity would be tainted by others' ideas. So if this has already been done I apologize for the repeat recipe. If it hasn't you can applaud me for my genius. :)

Thin Mint Filling

26 Thin Mint cookies, finely crushed (I used a food processor)
4 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened

Blend crushed Thin Mints and cream cheese until fully mixed. Shape into 1" balls, place on a baking sheet, and refrigerate while making the batter.

Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Family, Stamping and Food

24 Thin Mint Cookies
2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup melted butter, cooled
2 eggs
1 cup milk
2 1/2 ounces Andes Creme de Menthe baking chips
1 tablespoon heavy cream

1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 24 cupcake wells with paper liners. Place a Thin Mint cookie in the bottom of each liner.
2) Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
3) Beat sugar and melted butter together on medium speed until well combined.
4) Add eggs and beat to combine.
5) Beginning with the flour mixture, add flour and milk alternately with three additions of flour and two additions of milk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat until just combined.
6) Fill cupcake liners 1/3 full with batter. Place Thin Mint truffle in the center of each and top with more batter until 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven for 19-26 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched.
7) Cool in pan on rack for ten minutes, then remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
8) While cupcakes are still warm, melt Andes baking chips and heavy cream in a saucepan over low heat until smooth. Spread a thin layer of chocolate on top of each cupcake.

Mint Buttercream
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil
Green food coloring (optional)

1) In a large mixing bowl, cream butter for 45-60 seconds.
2) Add powdered sugar and beat until the mixture comes together.
3) Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add heavy cream, peppermint oil, and food coloring (if desired). Beat until combined and then beat an additional 45 seconds. If necessary, add more powdered sugar for desired consistency.


San Francisco Crockpot Chops

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 pork chops, about 1-inch thick
Salt and pepper for seasoning
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
Hot Cooked Rice, for serving

In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is simmering and hot. Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown the pork chops for 1-2 minutes on each side in the hot oil until golden. Transfer the chops to the slow cooker. Add the garlic to the drippings in the skillet and stir constantly over medium heat until the garlic is aromatic and golden (but not burned or it will turn bitter!). Stir in the soy sauce, broth, brown sugar and red pepper flakes; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour over chops.Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours until the meat is tender. If using bone-in pork chops, fish out the bones from the slow cooker. Remove the chops from the slow cooker to a shallow pan or plate – they will most likely be falling apart in tenderness at this point. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce in the slow cooker. Return the chops to the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker heat to high and cook for 30 minutes to an hour longer, until the sauce is slightly thickened. (I accidentally added this during the cooking phase instead of after and it still turned out great!) If you want a super duper thick sauce, once you remove the chops from the slow cooker, pour the sauce into a pan and place it over medium heat on the stove. Add the cornstarch slurry and bring the sauce to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thick. Add the pork and heat through.

Serve over rice and enjoy!

*Recipe found here


Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

My husband and I saw Alton Brown on his food network show make this recipe and I just couldn't resist. The process was much easier than I thought it would be and the final results will rock your taste buds!

4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 large whole egg, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
cooking spray

1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
pinch salt
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter and the buttermilk. Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt, whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but about 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low speed 5 more minutes or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.

Butter a 9x13-inch glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into a 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 3/4 ounces of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long side nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2 inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3 full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy, approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the the middle rack and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.


My Favorite Whipped Chocolate Ganache Frosting

12 oz chocolate chips (or you can go all out and use 12 oz good quality chocolate!)
1 1/2 c. Heavy Whipping Cream

Heat cream over medium low heat until it just comes to a simmer, stirring constantly. Pour the simmering cream over the chocolate chips that have been placed in a mixing bowl. Stir until chocolate is melted and combined with the cream. Allow to cool at room temperature...overnight on the counter is best, but one hour in the freezer will do! Once it's at room temperature, use a mixer to beat the mixture for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Use to frost cakes or cupcakes.


Herb-Roasted Potatoes

These make a great side dish for any meal. They are crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle, and everyone (including my kids) love them.

¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried marjoram
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
3 russet potatoes (about 2 ¼ pounds), scrubbed (do not peel), cut into ½ -inch cubes

Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine all ingredients except potatoes in large bowl. Stir to blend well. Add potatoes to seasoning; toss to coat. Transfer potatoes to large rimmed baking sheet, spreading out in single layer. Bake until brown and tender, about 40 minutes, turning potatoes halfway through cooking.

*recipe from my mom

Black Pepper Chops with Molasses Butter

These pork chops are amazing! I didn't really know what to expect. I got the recipe from those little recipe cards they give you in the grocery store... it sounded very unique and I thought they would either be awesome or terrible. They were better than awesome - sooooo delicious-melt in your mouth! Can't wait for you to try them!

4 pork loin chops,
1 1/2 inches thick
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 Tb molasses
1/2 tsp lemon juice
4 Tb coarsely ground black pepper

In a small bowl blend butter, molasses and lemon juice with a fork. Cover and refrigerate. Rub chops on both sides evenly with pepper. Grill chops over medium-hot heat for 12-15 minutes, turning once. Top each chop with a tablespoon of molasses butter -let it melt.


Shrimp Scampi

I've made a few different shrimp scampi recipes and took the best of what I liked out of those recipes to come up with my own yummolicous recipe.
4-5 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
3/4 stick unsalted butter
5 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of red pepper flakes
1-2 tablespoons parsley flakes
1/2 cup lemon juice
about 1 pound (or more) of shrimp, peeled and deveined
Your favorite cooked pasta
1. Go ahead and prepare your pasta so it'll be ready when the scampi is ready.
2. Heat the EVOO and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute.
3. Turn heat to down to medium. Add shrimp. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
4. Heat for 3-4 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through and pink (you don't want to over cook the shrimp or it will become rubbery).
5. Add in lemon juice and parsley and cook for about another minute.
6. Take the shrimp off the heat if the pasta isn't ready. When pasta is ready pour shrimp scampi on top.

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

I made these for the first time hoping that they would turn out right and holy heck! They were amazing!

2-1/2 cups Bisquick baking mix
3/4 cup cold whole milk
4 tablespoons bold butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 heaping cup grated cheddar cheese

Brush on Top:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch salt

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter or a large fork. You don't want to mix too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter in there that are about the size of peas. Add cheddar cheese, milk and 1/4 teaspoon garlic. Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.
3. Drop approximately 1/4-cup portions of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet using an ice cream scoop. (I just used a spoon and made a ball with my hands.)
4. Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.
5. When you take the biscuits out of the oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small bowl in your microwave. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and the dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread this garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits. Makes one dozen biscuits.
*Where this recipe was found is unknown.


BBQ Pulled Pork

3 to 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder (you could also use a beef roast if desired)
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
1 tablespoon hickory flavored liquid smoke
2 cups barbecue sauce plus extra for topping

Rinse the pork shoulder and pat dry. Rub salt and pepper over the pork and place in a slow cooker. Add water and liquid smoke. Cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours, until the pork is very tender.

Remove the pork from the slow cooker and discard the remaining liquid. Shred the pork using a couple of forks. Place the meat back in the slow cooker along with the barbecue sauce and continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes until the pork is hot again. Serve on buns with extra barbecue sauce and swiss cheese if you're feeling froggy!

*Original recipe found here


Turkey Enchiladas

Ever had an enchilada without enchilada sauce? Me neither. I'm always on the hunt for a healthier rendition of my classic favorites. I came across these and thought I'd give them a try. They were creamy and delicious; I'd definitely make them again!

What you need:
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped green pepper (optional)
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes, divided
4 oz fat free cream cheese
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1 tsp spicy garlic seasoning (try garlic powder with a pinch of cayenne pepper)
3/4 cup favorite salsa
8 whole wheat tortillas, warmed
1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice

What to do:

Brown the turkey along with the green pepper and onion in a skillet.

Once browned, add brown sugar, garlic powder, salt and chili powder. Stir in 1 cup of the crush tomatoes and simmer uncovered over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, combine sour cream, spicy garlic seasoning and cream cheese with mixer. Set aside. Mix 3/4 of this mixture into the meat during the last two minutes of simmering; Stir well to combine.

Grease a 9x13 baking pan. Combine salsa and remaining tomatoes together, then spread one cup of this mixture into bottom of the pan.

Spread a small amount of the cream cheese mixture onto a tortilla, fill with about 1/3 cup turkey mixture and roll. Place the seam side down into dish. Finish this process with the rest of the tortillas and meat.

Spread the remaining tomato/salsa mixture over the top and sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. If desired, serve with sour cream and/or salsa. Enjoy!

* Recipe found here

Peppered Shrimp Alfredo

A jar of Alfredo sauce gets an added kick with cayenne pepper, Romano cheese, and cream. Served with red peppers, shrimp, and penne pasta, this is a rich, amazing dish! It's our first time trying it and definitely a huge hit and super easy. This would be great for a Valentine dinner with your special someone.

Serves: 3


6 ounces penne pasta
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 pound portobello mushrooms, diced
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 (15 ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup cream
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or more to taste
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped parsley

Cook pasta as directed or until al dente

Meanwhile, melt butter together with the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until softened and translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic, red pepper, and mushrooms; cook over medium-high heat until soft, about 2 minutes more.

Stir in shrimp, and cook until firm and pink, then pour in Alfredo sauce, Romano cheese, and cream; bring to simmer stirring constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir drained pasta into the sauce, and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.

**I used canned mushrooms, light Alfredo sauce, passed on the Romano cheese and used half and half instead of the cream to make it a lighter dish. I'd definitely half the cayenne pepper next time. Too spicy for our liking. We topped with parmesan cheese. YUM!

* Recipe from


Donut Muffins

The perfect marriage between a donut and a muffin! These taste like donut holes! There are several recipes out there for these delectable bites, I've tried a few, and this one is my favorite. I found it in a cake book my grandma gave me. I made a few slight variations, and don't really know if it makes a difference or not, but here is my modified recipe

Doughnut Muffins

* 1/3 cup shortening
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 egg
* 1-1/2 cups flour
* 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
* 3/4 cup milk
* 1/2 tsp butter flavor extract
* 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl mash together the shortening and sugar. Add the egg and whisk it all up until it is smooth. Make sure you use shortening, Not Margarine. The shortening gives this recipe it’s special donut texture. Measure the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg into the bowl. Pour in the milk, butter extract and vanilla extract. Mix the batter with a whisk until it is smooth. Drop the mixture into 24 oiled mini muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake the muffins at 350 for 15-18 minutes, the tops my still look pale, use a toothpick to check doneness. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.

***I had a little batter left over so I added 2 teaspoons of cocoa and made 6 chocolate muffins, super yummy!***

Here are the recipes for the glazes:

Chocolate Glaze

* 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 Tablespoon milk
* 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
* 1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar

Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted. Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted. Turn off heat, add the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Dip tops of muffins into glaze. Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.
*I just heated mine in a small bowl in the microwave, then added the chocolate and sugar.*

Strawberry Glaze

* 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 Tablespoon milk
* 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
* 1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
* 1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
* a few drops pink food coloring

Directions same as above, replace vanilla extract with strawberry and omit the chocolate, add food coloring at the end.

Vanilla Glaze

* 1 Tablespoon milk
* 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar

mix all ingredients together until smooth.

For the cinnamon sugar coated muffins, I just dipped the whole muffin in melted butter then rolled in a cinnamon sugar mixture.
Be careful with these, they may seem small and harmless, but it's easy to eat more than a few!


Fruit Dip

1 (8oz.) whipped cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients and stir until smooth.

*Recipe from a good friend.

Southern-Style Potato Salad

My grandma made the absolute best southern-style potato salad I have ever had in my life. I've been using her recipe for potato salad ever since I learned how to make it. I've never found potato salad that taste as good as this.

I pretty much just eye ball the measurements, but these measurements should be close. You can always add more of something if you want.

8-10 baking potatoes, peeled and diced into cubes
pinch of salt
1/2-3/4 cup mayo (I use olive oil mayo)
a few good squirts of yellow mustard (this wasn't in my grandma's recipe, but I like it in there)
1/4 cup plus a little more of dill relish
2-3 boiled eggs, diced fine
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a big pot of water to boil. Sprinkle a dash of salt in water and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender (I add my eggs in with the potatoes to cook as well). Drain potatoes and put in large bowl. Combine all ingredients and stir until combined well. Serve hot or cold.

Classic Mozzarella Sticks

These will seriously melt in your mouth. They are so beyond good it's insane!

oil for frying
1 (8 oz.) mozzarella cheese
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder (optional)

1. Pour oil into medium-size heavy saucepan or deep skillet to depth of 1 inch. Over medium heat, bring oil to 365 degrees on cooking thermometer, about 12 minutes. If oil is hot before cheese sticks are ready, turnoff heat and bring back to temperature when ready to fry.
2. Meanwhile, cut cheese into strips 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch. Line baking sheet with paper towels; set aside. Place flour on paper plate. Roll roll cheese strips in flour to coat.
3. In shallow bowl, combine egg and water. In another shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and garlic powder.
4. Once stick at a time, coat cheese sticks in egg wash, then in bread crumbs. Repeat process to coat each stick. Place sticks in single layer on paper plate.
5. Frying in small batches, carefully place sticks in hot oil. Cook until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Remove with slotted spoot to line baking sheet. Let oil return to 365 degrees between batches.
*Where this recipe was found is unknown.

Apple Crisp

I absolutely love apple crisp. I found this recipe awhile back and it has become one of my favorites, although I have no clue where I found it!

10 cups all-purpose apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup white sugar
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place the sliced apples in a 9x13 inch pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples. Pour water evenly over all.
3. Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Individual Chicken Pot Pie Pockets

I saw this on Rachel Ray a few years ago and absolutely fell in love with the genius idea of making chicken pot pie so you can hold it in your hand! My family and friends love this oh-so-yummo meal.

2 tbsp. butter, plus additional to grease baking sheet
2 tbsp. flour, plus additional for rolling out pie dough
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup finely chopped chicken, cooked
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup frozen tiny green peas
1 small carrots, grated and finely chopped (I use match sticks carrots and chop them)
2 tbsp dill
2 sheets prepared pie dough (in the refrigerated section)
1 egg, lightly beaten with a splash of water
YEILD: 8 appetizers or serves 4 as entree, 2 pockets per person, witha green salad.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat a small skillet over medium heat with 2 tbsp. butter. When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the stock and milk and season with salt and pepper. Cook the sauce, whisking often, for a couple of minutes until it is thickened up, then stir in the Dijon and remove pan from heat. Add in the chicken, green onions, peas, carrot and dill and give it a good stir to combine everything. Set this mixture aside while you prepare your pie dough.

Grease a baking sheet lightly with butter. Lightly dust your work surface with flour and lay out the pie dough. Cut the dough into eight evenly sized triangles (just like you're cutting a pie). Transfer the triangles to the baking sheet and repeat the rolling and cutting with the remaining dough.

Divide the filling among the triangles on the baking sheet leaving a little at the edges to seal the pockets. Brush the edges of each triangle with some beaten egg and then top each triangle with the remaining wedges of dough, pressing lightly around the perimeter to seal the filling inside. If you like, you can take a fork and lightly press the very ends of the tines into the border of each pocket to give it a fancy finish.

Brush the tops of the pockets with the remaining egg wash and cut a small x in the top of each one with a paring knife to let the steam escape. Bake the pockets until they're deep golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Texas Caviar

1 can blackeyed peas (drained)
1 can shoepeg corn (drained)
1 green pepper (chopped)
1 red or purple onion (chopped)
1 tomato (diced)
1 or 2 avocados (diced)
3 limes (juiced)
2 Tbs white vinegar
Fresh cilantro to taste

Combine the first 6 ingredients. Mix together the lime juice and vinegar, pour over the vegetables and lightly mix. Add cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips. This is best when made right before serving.

My brother also likes to add this to chicken fajitas but I have never tried it.

Recipe from my mom.


Marinated Pork Tenderloin....

I buy my pork tenderloin at Sams Club. It is a skinny tenderloin with hardly any fat and it comes in a 2 pack.

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
a few dashes of minced onion

Combine ingredients and whisk to combine. Put pork into a ziplock bag with marinade and marinade for 5 hours to 24 hours. Put into a shallow baking dish with a little bit of marinade and bake for 1 hour on 365 degrees. Turn pork tenderloin over after 30 minutes of baking and add a little more of the marinade. Check pork with a baking thermometer after an hour and make sure it has reached 160 degrees. Let sit for 5 minutes after baking. Use and electric knife and slice thinly.

***my findings...This was amazing. I would have liked to be able to taste a little more of the orange juice and the Dijon mustard. I will add more next time.

* found recipe in my grandma's recipe file


Hawaiian Haystacks

My mom made these a couple times growing up and I had totally forgotten about them until my BFF was feeding my kids and me dinner one night while my husband was away. The fun thing about these is that you can dress them any way that you'd like! That and they're super quick and super easy!

Here are a few things I like to use!
For the sauce/gravy:

1-2 Shredded chicken breasts or a large can of chicken
1 Can of cream of chicken soup
1 Cup chicken broth
1/2 Cup sour cream
Salt/Pepper to taste (optional)
3-4 Cups cooked rice of your choice (or however much will feed your family)

Combine the soup and broth and stir. Add chicken and simmer ten minutes. Then add the sour cream and heat another couple minutes until warm. Serve rice with gravy over it and add garnishes.

Garnishes (use any or all):

Chow mein noodles
Diced tomatoes
Sliced olives
Chopped celery
Chopped green onions
Chopped green peppers
Pineapple tidbits
Grated cheese
Slivered almonds
Salt/Pepper to taste
Soy or Teriyaki sauce

Add all the desired garnishes to your rice and gravy and enjoy!


Wingers' Sticky Fingers!

So, I was strolling through a new blog I found the other night and came across these bad boys. If you've never heard of Wingers, I'm so sorry. Their sticky fingers are about the most amazing thing I've tasted.... ever. That is how much I love them. Now that I no longer live in Utah, I was sad I couldn't feast on them at will any longer. I saw this recipe and thought what the heck... and super glad I did. These taste EXACTLY like Wingers. It's uncanny. I accidentally bought pre-breaded chicken nuggets instead of chicken fingers and it was still so yummy that I couldn't even handle it. You're about to have a party in your mouth.

For the sauce (covers about 8-10 fingers):
3 TBSP Franks Red Hot Sauce (apparently no other sauce works, it must be Franks - found it in the BBQ sauce aisle no problem)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBSP water

Heat up all sauce ingredients until sugar dissolves. Keep on low/warm until chicken has been cooked.

For the chicken fingers:
1 cup oil
1 package frozen breaded chicken fingers (nuggets worked fine, but I'd definitely get fingers next time)

In frying pan, heat oil and cook frozen fingers until crispy, browned and warm. Place on paper towel to remove some of the excess oil and then coat in sauce. I found it easiest to pour the sauce in some tupperware and shake the chicken up in it. Serve with ranch or bleu cheese dipping sauce and enjoy!

*Adapted from original recipe found here

(In case you need help finding Franks hot sauce, I posted a link on it's name in the ingredients)


Garlic Potatoes and Ham

8 small red potatoes, cut into wedges
1 tbs oil
About 3 cups broccoli
1 smoked sausage cut into bite size pieces
1 envelope herb with garlic soup mix

In a large skillet cook potatoes in oil for 10 minuets or till lightly brown. Stir in sausage, broccoli and soup mix. Cover and cook about 25 minuets or till potatoes are tender.
Recipe calls for cubed ham but I like the smoked sausage better.

Recipe and picture from Taste of Home

Lasagna Soup

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pkg lasagna hamburger helper
5 cups water
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can corn
2 tbs Parmesan cheese
1 small zucchini

Brown ground beef, drain. Add all ingredients. Bring to a boil, simmer till noodles and zucchini are tender. Serve immediately. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired. (Next time I will wait to add the zucchini till the noodles are almost done. They were a little too soft for me.)

Recipe and picture from Taste of Home.


Greek Turkey Burgers w/Yogurt Sauce

Yogurt Sauce:

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cucumber


1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

4 whole wheat buns

In sauce bowl, mix yogurt sauce ingredients and set in fridge until burgers are ready.

The original recipe says to broil the burgers. I thought I'd save time by using our George Foreman grill. Although it did save time, it was slightly on the dry side. So, I'm sure broiling probably holds in much more of the moisture...

Set oven control to broil. In another bowl, mix all the burger ingredients. Shape mixture into four even patties. Broil burgers with tops about 6 inches from the heat for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping patties after 5 minutes. Place burgers on buns and top with yogurt sauce.

Although ours turned out slightly more dry than I would have liked, they were still very delicious! The sauce added the perfect touch! My husband said it tasted almost like a gyro, so if you like gyros... you're set! Enjoy!

* Orignal recipe found here

Chicken Parmesan

This is by far the best Chicken Parmesan I've ever had, but I can't remember where I found it! It's a favorite that my family eats up every time.

Tomato Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves

cooking spray
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in half
salt to taste
2 large egg whites
8 tablespoons dry Italian bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4-5 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Your favorite whole wheat pasta
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered until the flavors are blended and the sauce begins to thicken slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in basil.

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle the cutlets with the salt. Lightly beat the egg whites in a medium bowl. Combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan on sheet of waxed paper. Spread the flour on another sheet of waxed paper. Working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, dip in egg, then flour, egg again, then press both sides into the breading to coat.
2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken (in batches, if necessary) and cook until browned, 4-5 minutes. Transfer the chicken, in 1 layer, to the baking dish. Spoon the sauce over the chicken then sprinkle with the cheese. Bake, covered loosely with a tent of foil, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly, about 12-15 minutes.
3. While chicken is cooking in oven, cook your favorite pasta according to package directions.
4. Put pasta on a plate and spoon sauce and chicken over top.


Southwest Chicken Hasbrowns

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 large red potato, shredded (I used a baking potato, it worked fine!)
4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro, if desired
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
Salsa & Sour Cream for garnish

1. In medium bowl, mix chicken and onion. Rinse shredded potatoes with cold water; drain on paper towels (be sure to drain them well; I didn't and mine were a slight bit on the soggy side). Add to chicken mixture. Stir in cilantro and salt.
2. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Spread potato mixture evenly in skillet. Cook, without stirring, 6 to 9 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center and bottom of potato mixture is golden brown and crisp.
3. Place large plate over skillet; turn potato mixture upside down onto plate. Add remaining teaspoon oil to skillet. Slip potato mixture back into skillet, browned side up; cook 5 to 7 minutes, pressing lightly with pancake turner, until golden brown and crisp.
4. With pancake turner, divide chicken mixture in half; place on 2 plates. Top each with sour cream and salsa.

*Recipe found here

Soft Molasses Cookies

If you've ever been to Ben's cookies at the Gateway mall in Utah you know how amazing their cookies are. Every cookie they make there uses Kodiak Cakes mixes:
The last time I was there I went for one of their molasses cookies. I was an instant fan! They are perfectly soft and tasty. They offered me the recipe that I am now sharing with you. Make them as soon as you can. They are so easy and not just a holiday cookie.


2 C Kodiak Cakes Flapjack Fix (you can find their mixes at popular grocery stores in almost every state. I got mine at Smith's here in Utah. I know they have them at Fresh Market, Fry's, Albertson's, Safeway,)
1 t cinnamon
1 t ginger
1/2 C + 1 t vegetable oil
3/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C molasses
1 egg

Mix oil, sugar, molasses and egg until smooth. Blend the spices and Kodiak Cakes Flapjack Mix, then add to the sugar and oil mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for about six minutes. Do not over bake. They are better if a little on the soft side.

* I replaced the 1/2 cup of vegetable oil with the same amount of plain greek yogurt. We thought it was healthier and very good.

**recipe from Kodiak Cakes Kitchen


Bourbon Chicken

What you need:
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
Olive Oil Cooking Spray (or 1 tbsp. olive oil)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup apple juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1/3 cup reduce sodium soy sauce
1 Tablespooon cornstarch/1 Tablespoon water (optional)

Spray a large skillet with olive oil cooking spray (or use the 1 tbsp. olive oil). Add chicken and cook over medium heat until lightly browned. Remove chicken from skillet.

Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium heat until well mixed and dissolved. Add chicken and bring to a hard boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

If you prefer a thicker sauce, combine 1 tbsp. water and 1 tbsp. cornstarch in a separate bowl and add a little at at time to reach desired consistency. Serve with rice... enjoy!

* Recipe found here