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!