Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Burrito Bowls

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup of uncooked extra-long grain rice
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 2 1/2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups of colby jack, monterey jack or cheddar cheese
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • freshly diced tomatoes
  • diced green onions
  • sour cream
  • guacamole 
  1. Start by sautéing onions in 2 tablespoon of olive oil until they start to soften.
  2. Season diced chicken with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
  3. Add chicken to pan and cook over medium high heat until chicken has started to brown.
  4. Move chicken to one side of pan, in the other side of the pan add an additional tablespoon of olive oil and sauté uncooked rice for about 2 minutes or just until some grains start to turn golden brown.
  5. Stir in black beans, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, garlic powder, chili powder and cumin.
  6. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low.
  7. Cook about 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
  8. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
  9. Sprinkle with cheese, recover and let set for 2-3 off heat to melt cheese.
  10. Garnish with fresh tomatoes, green onions, sour cream and guacamole.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Perfect Crock Pot Meatballs

All you need to do is dump a bag of frozen meatballs, a jar of grape jelly and a bottle of barbecue sauce into your crock pot and cook on low until the meatballs are cooked through and the jelly and barbecue sauce melt into a gooey, sticky glaze. It's so easy and the prep time is less than a minute.


Bag of frozen meatballs
Jar of grape jelly
Bottle of barbecue sauce


Add all of the ingredients to your crock pot and cook on low heat until the meatballs are hot. Stir to combine.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Vegetable-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms


1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
4 large portobello mushrooms, washed and stems removed
2 T olive oil
1 small eggplant, peeled and diced
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1 6oz jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Stir the balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, and onion powder together in a small bowl until blended. Place the mushrooms into a large resealable plastic bag. Pour in the balsamic vinegar mixture, seal bag, and turn gently to coat mushrooms evenly with marinade. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Place the olive oil into a skillet, and heat over medium-high heat. Stir in the eggplant and cook until eggplant turns golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the spinach and stir until wilted.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 9x13 inch baking dish.
  4. Remove mushrooms from marinade, shake off any excess, and discard marinade. Place mushrooms in prepared dish, top side down. Spoon the eggplant and spinach mixture evenly over the mushrooms. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Divide the tomatoes and artichoke hearts evenly between the mushrooms. Top each mushroom with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Place in preheated oven, and bake until the cheese melts, about 12 minutes. Serve hot.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fudgy Dark Chocolate Brownies

  • 10 tablespoons (145 g) butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (65 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
  • 1/4 rounded teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 1/2 cup (70 g) all-purpose flour (we use Gold Medal unbleached all-purpose flour)
  • 2/3 cup (75 g) chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 325 degrees F (163 C). Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch (20cm) square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. (This helps when removing the baked brownies from the pan, once cooled).
  • Add enough water to a medium saucepan so that it is 1 to 2 inches deep. Heat water until barely simmering. Combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder and the salt in a medium heat-safe bowl. Rest bowl over simmering water (if the bottom of the bowl touches the water, remove a little water).
  • Stir mixture occasionally until the butter has melted and mixture is quite warm. Don’t worry if it looks gritty, it will become smooth once you add the eggs and flour.
  • Remove the bowl from heat and set aside for 3 to 5 minutes until it is only warm, not hot.
  • Stir in vanilla with a wooden spoon or spatula. Then, add eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one.
  • When the batter looks thick, shiny and well blended, add the flour and stir until fully incorporated, then beat with the wooden spoon or spatula for 40 to 50 strokes. (The batter will be quite thick). Stir in nuts, if using. Spread evenly in lined pan.
  • Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and come out almost clean (you want it to be a little moist with batter). Note: Some have found they need to bake an extra 10 minutes, so keep an eye on the doneness of the brownies and use the toothpick test as your guide.
  • Cool completely then remove from pan. For the cleanest lines when cutting, place into freezer for 20 to 30 minutes to firm up. Cut into 16 squares.

  • Friday, August 9, 2013

    Chicken Ranch Enchiladas

    • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • 1 package chicken taco seasoning
    • 1 package ranch dry salad dressing
    • 1 cup bottled ranch
    • 1 cup salsa
    • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1 can chicken broth
    • 1 package white flour tortillas
    1. Cook and shred the chicken. I cooked mine in the slow cooker with the ranch packet and taco seasoning packages in the chicken broth. The chicken just peeled apart. I cooked it on low for about 3-4 hours.
    2. Mix the ranch and salsa in a bowl. Spread a very thin layer of the mixture on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.
    3. Start assembling the enchiladas by putting 2 Tbs of the ranch and salsa mixture on the bottom of tortilla. Then put the shredded chicken on top of that. Sprinkle with cheese and roll it up.
    4. Line up the enchiladas in the 9 x 13 pan and spread the remaining ranch/salsa mixture on top of the tortillas before sprinkling heavily with cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and enchiladas are heated through.
    5. Drizzle the top with ranch and enjoy!

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013

    Gyro-Inspired Chicken Wraps

    I've made chicken gyros a few times before and was in the mood to have them again, however, with life the way it is these days I just don't have time for anything too elaborate.  I decided to modify the recipe I have to make it much easier, faster, and (in my opinion) even better.  If you have a Costco membership, I'd buy their chicken, tzatziki, feta and flat bread.  They're delicious.

    rotisserie chicken, torn in chunks
    Italian dressing
    tomatoes, diced
    cucumber, diced
    feta, crumbled
    avocado, sliced
    flat bread

    Place the rotisserie chicken in a large skillet, lightly coat with Italian dressing (I used approximately half a cup) and heat the chicken while stirring occasionally.  When the chicken is piping hot you're pretty much done. 

    To assemble, grab a warmed piece of flat bread and spread a nice dollop of tzatziki all around it.  Add chicken and top with tomatoes, cucumber, avocado and feta.  Fold it up like a taco and BAM.  Dinner is served. 

    Monday, February 18, 2013

    Buttermilk Sugar Cookies

    2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 cup softened butter
    1 1/2 cups white sugar
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3 to 4 tablespoons buttermilk

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

    In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

    In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in dry ingredients. Add enough of the buttermilk to moisten the dough and make it soft, not wet.

    Roll rounded teaspoons of dough into balls and place on a ungreased cookie sheet. With a brush or fingers, moisten the top of each cookie with the remaining buttermilk and slightly flatten the top of each cookie. Sprinkle with raw sugar or colored sprinkles.

    Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Let stand for 2 minutes before removing to cool on a rack.

    Saturday, February 16, 2013

    Chicken Taco Soup

    1 liter (4 cups) chicken stock
    1 packet taco seasoning
    1 packet ranch seasoning
    rotisserie chicken, shredded
    can of corn, drained
    can of black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
    can of chick peas, rinsed and drained
    can of diced tomatoes, undrained
    cumin, to taste
    chili powder, to taste
    garlic salt or powder, to taste
    cilantro, to taste
    1/8 cup lime juice
    tortilla chips
    sour cream
    avocado slices

    In a large saucepan bring the chicken stock to a boil.  Add taco and ranch seasonings and stir until dissolved.  Add the chicken, corn, beans, chick peas and tomatoes, reduce heat and simmer.  Add the spices and cilantro.  Stir in lime juice just before serving.  To serve, top with any or all of the following:  broken tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream and avocado slices.

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

    Cake Batter Rice Krispies Treats

    3T butter
    1 (10 oz) bag of marshmallows
    1/4 cup dry yellow cake mix
    6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

    In a large saucepan melt butter over low heat.  Add marshmallows and cake mix, stirring until completely melted.  Remove from heat and stir in Rice Krispies until well coated.  Add sprinkles and stir to combine.  Pour into a 9x13 pan and press down with wax paper until flat.  Add additional sprinkles if desired and press into the top again with wax paper.  Cool.  Cut into squares.    


    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    Cake Mix Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars


    1 box yellow cake mix
    1 small box instant vanilla pudding
    1/4 cup water
    3/4 cup vegetable oil
    2 eggs
    1 cup chocolate chips


    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
    Combine cake mix, pudding, water, vegetable oil, eggs and chocolate chips in a bowl.
    Pour the batter (it's going to be thick) into a greased 9x13 baking dish.
    Bake your bars for 20-30 minutes.
    It may look sort of raw in the middle but if the edges are just golden and starting to get crispy, it's probably perfect.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

    Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken

    4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    1 bottle of teriyaki marinade
    1 large can of pineapple chunks packed in juice (not syrup)

    Line the bottom of crock pot with chicken breasts before pouring the teriyaki marinade and juice from the can of pineapple on top of them.  Don't add the actual pineapple yet; that doesn't happen until the end.  Add any seasonings you want; I had minced garlic and minced ginger in the fridge so I put a spoonful of each in with mine.  Cook on low 3-4 hours or until the chicken is cooked through.  Add the pineapple chunks, shred the chicken and let it soak up the sauce before serving over rice.

    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

    5 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
    1/4 cup light sour cream
    10 oz. can of enchilada sauce
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
    1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese, divided
    2 cups cooked shredded chicken
    1 cup corn kernels
    4 oz. can diced green chiles
    1/2 tsp chili powder
    1/4 tsp cumin
    salt and pepper
    4 scallions, thinly sliced
    8 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas

    1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9×13 dish with cooking spray.
    2. In the bowl of your mixer cream together the cream cheese, sour cream, and 1/2 of the enchilada sauce. Stir in 1/2 cup of each type of cheese.
    3. In a second bowl toss together the chicken, corn, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper, green chiles, and half of the scallions. Add the chicken mixture to the cheese mixture and combine well.
    4. Spoon the filling into each tortilla, roll the tortilla up, and place in the baking dish with the seam side down. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the filled tortillas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with the remaining scallions and serve.

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

    Basic Rice Krispies Treats

    3T butter
    1 package (10 oz) marshmallows
    6 cups Rice Krispies

    In a large saucepan melt butter over low heat.  Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.  Remove from heat and stir in Rice Krispies until well coated.  Pour into a 9x13 pan and press down with wax paper until flat.   Cool.  Cut into squares. 

    Friday, February 8, 2013

    Spinach and Feta Quesadillas

    • 1/2 cup packed spinach, steamed and squeezed to drain
    • 1 tablespoon herbs (a combination of mint, dill and parsley), chopped
    • 1 green onion, sliced
    • 2 tablespoons feta, crumbled
    • 2 (8 inch) tortillas
    • 1 cup (handful) kasseri or mozzarella, shredded
    • Greek yogurt
    1. Mix the spinach, herbs, green onions and feta in a bowl.
    2. Melt a touch of butter in a pan.
    3. Place a tortilla into the pan, swirl it around in the butter and repeat with the second tortilla.
    4. Sprinkle half of the cheese on the tortilla followed by the filling, the remaining cheese and finally the other tortilla.
    5. Cook until the quesadilla is golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted, about 2-4 minutes per side. (Tip: To easily flip the quesadilla place a plate onto the quesadilla in the pan and flip it from the pan to the plate and then slide it back into the pan.)
    6. Serve with Greek yogurt as a dipping sauce.

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

    Chicken Spaghetti

    This is JaNell's recipe passed down from Nana and I've slightly modified the recipe passed down to me.  I love this spaghetti and could eat it all of the time.

    1 rotisserie chicken torn into chunks
    8-10 oz of thin spaghetti, cooked and drained
    1 large onion, chopped
    2 green bell peppers, chopped
    sliced mushrooms
    1 lb Velveeta, cubed
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    1-2 cups chicken broth, divided
    salt and pepper
    shredded cheese, if desired

    Saute onion, bell pepper and mushrooms in a small amount of chicken broth in a large pan until fragrant.  Reduce the heat before adding Velveeta and cream of chicken soup; stir until smooth.  Add the chicken, stir to coat, then add the cooked noodles.  Add a cup or so of chicken broth to moisten spaghetti if needed, stir to incorporate, then pour into a 9x13 casserole dish.  Bake at 350 until hot and bubbly.  Stir the spaghetti 20-30 minutes into baking adding more chicken broth if needed before topping with cheese then continue baking until hot and bubbly.  


    Saturday, February 2, 2013

    White Soup

    We love this soup at our house.  I debated about including a picture because the picture doesn't do it justice.  Anyway, it's quick, easy and really tasty.

    1 liter (4 cups) chicken stock
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    1 medium white onion, diced
    1 rotisserie chicken, shredded into thick chunks
    2 cans cannellini (white) beans, rinsed and drained
    salt and pepper, to taste
    white cheddar or pepper jack cheese, shredded

    Bring the chicken stock and cream of chicken soup to a boil, stirring periodically until smooth.  Add the diced onion and simmer until cooked through.  Add the chicken and beans; heat through.  Salt and pepper to taste before topping with cheese.

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    Basic Brownies

    1/2 cup butter
    1 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 cup flour
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp baking powder

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8 inch square pan.  In a large saucepan melt butter then remove from heat.  Stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Stir in cocoa, flour, salt and baking powder.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes.  Do not over bake. 

    Sunday, January 27, 2013


    • 1/2 of a (1-pound) package lasagna, uncooked
    • 1 lb bulk Italian sausage
    • 1/2 lb ground beef
    • 1 cup chopped onion
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 (28 oz) can tomatoes, cut up (undrained)
    • 2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
    • 2 tsp sugar
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp basil leaves
    • 1/2 tsp fennel seed
    • 1/4 tsp pepper
    • 1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
    • 1 egg beaten
    • 1 tbsp parsley flakes
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 cup sliced pitted ripe olives
    • 4 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
    • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1. Fill a baking pan with hot water and place the uncooked noodles into the water. Set aside. Make sure the noodles are separated.
    2. In large skillet, combine Italian sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic. Cook until meat is no longer pink and onion is tender; drain. Stir in next 7 ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes.
    3. In medium bowl, blend ricotta, egg, parsley, and salt. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce into 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Layer one-third each lasagna, remaining meat sauce, ricotta mixture, olives, mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers. Cover. Bake in 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Uncover, bake until hot, about 20 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. 

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    Buttercream Frosting

    This might be the best frosting I've ever tasted.  I made it to frost these cookies  and we couldn't stop eating them. 
    • 1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature (3 sticks)
    • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    • 3 Tbsp heavy cream
    • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (use clear if desired)
    In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, using the paddle or whisk attachment whip butter on medium high speed (if using whisk attachment whip on high speed) until nearly white and very fluffy, about 7 - 8 minutes, frequently scrapping down the sides of the bowl. Add in powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until blended, then increase speed to medium and beat until very light and fluffy, about 5 - 6 minutes, frequently scraping down the sides of the bowl.

    Friday, January 25, 2013

    Lemon Crinkle Cookies

    ½ cups butter, softened
    1 cup granulated sugar
    ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 egg
    lemon zest of large lemon
    lemon juice of large lemon
    ¼ teaspoons salt
    ¼ teaspoons baking powder
    ⅛ teaspoons baking soda
    1-½ cup all-purpose flour
    ½ cups powdered sugar

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

    In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

    Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.