Friday, September 17, 2010

Coming Soon!

So it's been awhile since I posted any recipes and I have a huge list of candidates for posting. I posted 3 today but I have to save some for the coming months, especially in light of the holidays that are coming soon...oh how I looove holiday recipes! Here is a list of some of the recipes I will be posting over the next few weeks and months:

Meringue Cake

Hot Cocoa Mix

Stuffed Shells

White Chicken Enchiladas

Sunshine Tuna Bake

Pizza Dough & Breadsticks

Banana Split Cake

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Chewy Noels

Crab Ball

Eggplant Parmesan

French Silk Chocolate Pie

Sausage Balls

I'm excited to post these recipes, every single one is super yummy and of course you know me, I like easy! So almost all of them are really easy to boot. Have a great weekend!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Serves 8-10

12oz Hot Wing Sauce
16oz Ranch Dressing
2 - 8oz cream cheese, softened
4 chicken breasts, boiled & cut up or shredded
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese (monterey jack or cheddar are the best!)
3 green onions, chopped


Preheat oven to 300

Mix hot sauce & chicken in 13x9 pan. Mix ranch dressing and cream cheese in a saucepan over medium heat until smooth. (Or you can shortcut like I do and microwave it!) Pour over chicken & sprinkle with cheese. Bake 45 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes then sprinkle green onions on top. Serve with tortilla chips.

It's football season!!! In other words, GATOR season here. :) So football season means lots of yummy hors d'oeuvres and that means DIPS. And what is the most perfect dip in the entire world?? That's right, Buffalo Chicken Dip is! This dip is smack your grandma good...but just give her the lip smack, not the backhanded smack, ok? MAKE THIS DIP THIS WEEKEND. I promise you won't be sorry. Man, now I want this dip. Right this minute.

Hamburger Soup

Serves 6

1 lb. ground beef
1 28oz can stewed tomatoes
1 14oz can tomato soup
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 cups macaroni
1/2 cup barley
3-4 beef bouillon cubes
2-3 cups water (depending on how thick/thin you want your soup to be)


Brown beef and onion and drain. Add all remaining ingredients except macaroni and simmer about an hour. Stir in macaroni and cook another 10 minutes until pasta is tender. Stir in basil and pepper to taste and serve. *Can also put everything in a crockpot and cook on low for 4 hours, adding cooked pasta at the last hour.*

This is one of those meals that you remember eating on a cool evening and since it's September and the fall weather is approaching, it's the perfect time for this recipe! I like to put mine in the crockpot because it's easier and I love my crockpot! I serve this soup with fresh bread or rolls and we like to dip ours in the warm soup. Quick and easy and delicious. :) You can also stir in other vegetables if you like. I've put in a cup or two of peas and/or carrots and it gives it a heartier texture and you feel like your kiddos are getting more veggies. Bonus!

Crockpot Soy Sauce Chicken

Serves 4-6

1/2 cup soy sauce
6 packets splenda (or 3 teaspoons of white or brown sugar)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (or can mince fresh)
1/4 cup chopped onion
Dash Worcestershire
1 whole chicken (can cut up or not...can also use boneless pieces if preferred)


Place chicken in a greased crockpot. Mix all other ingredients together in a bowl then pour over chicken. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 6.

This is a simple recipe that is delicious! We like to serve ours over rice or egg noodles, whichever we're in the mood for or whichever is in our pantry! I usually serve some steamed or roasted veggies on the side and my husband likes to mix all his meat/rice/veggies together to make a sort of stir-fry type dish. This is great for a weeknight or one of those late mornings when you didn't put something in the crockpot early enough. If you start it by 2 you can still eat by 6!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 40 Cookies

1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup of mashed bananas (2-3 ripened bananas)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. In a bowl, mix the mashed bananas and baking soda with a fork and let sit for a couple minutes. Mix the banana mixture into the butter mixture. Mix together the flour, salt and spices and sift into the wet mixture, mixing until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop in dollops onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until golden.

I have been trying to come up with recipes to use up brown bananas other than banana bread or muffins. We buy bananas by the ton (not really, but it feels like it!) and it always seems no matter how many we eat, there are always one or two (or three!) that don't get eaten before they get too soft to be appealing to the kids. This recipe is super easy and YUMMY. The cookies are not crispy, more cakey, but they taste delicious and are soft and moist right out of the oven. Delicious with a big glass of milk. You can leave out the spices if you don't like spice-type foods--this does have a "fall" spice to it similar to pumpkin pie or pumpkin bars, so leave out the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves if you'd rather and replace it with a teaspoon of vanilla for some flavor. These cookies are a delicious way to use up those over-ripened bananas! Yummy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Crockpot Lasagna

Makes 8-10 Servings

1 lb. lasagne, uncooked
1 32oz (2lbs) tub ricotta
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup parmesan
1 tablespoon parsley
1/2 tablespoon basil
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 26oz jar spaghetti sauce
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
1-2 cups water


Mix sauce, tomatoes and 1 cup of water together in a bowl. It should be pretty watery...if not, add another cup of water. Mix the ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella and seasonings together in a bowl. Spray crockpot well with cooking spray or spread with olive oil. Cover bottom of crockpot with sauce. Break pasta to fit and get as even a layer as possible, making sure pasta is pretty well "sauced". Spread a layer of the cheese mixture on top, then sauce, then pasta, then cheese, etc. Repeat all layers, ending in sauce then sprinkle extra parmesan and mozzarella on top. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low 6-8 hours.

Amazing!! Lasagna that is moist, cheesy and delicious from your crockpot! No boiling noodles or heating up that oven in the summer. I can't believe how easy and tasty this is and this has become our new regular. This recipe makes it extra cheesy and "gooey", and to us, this is perfect. Make sure all the lasagna noodles are submerged under the sauce or cheese and that no dry edges are sticking out or you'll get a hard piece. Mine brought it to about two inches from the lid and that was the perfect amount of space for steam to cook it perfectly. This makes enough to feed our family of six and still have half the pot leftover, so if you want less, the recipe halves nicely. I like to freeze the remaining half, or invite company over. YUM.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Makes 16 Brownies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup flour

1 cup powdered sugar
1 heaping tablespoon cocoa
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons milk


Preheat oven to 325. Mix sugar, butter and eggs with a fork thoroughly. Add flour and cocoa and mix well. Spread in greased 8x8 square baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes until set. Let cool before icing.

Frosting: Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until boiling. Remove from heat and beat until it starts to thicken, then spread over cooled brownies.

This is a simple chocolate brownie recipe that tastes delicious with the fudgy icing on top. If you like nuts in your brownies, you can mix in 1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans are the best!) to the batter before baking and/or you can put a single nut half on top of each brownie after frosting.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Rich Chocolate Bread Pudding

Makes About 10 Servings

1 loaf of French bread or 2 Baguettes, 1-2 days old and starting to harden
2 cans evaporated milk
1/4 cup half & half
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 large eggs
1 - 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 325. Slice and cube the bread--this may require some elbow grease if it's hardened already. (Be prepared for lots of crumbs! I usually do mine over the sink or put a big kitchen towel under the cutting board.) Spray a 13x9 glass baking dish and spread the bread in it evenly. In a large bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, half & half, and coffee (try to resist drinking this). In a medium sized bowl, mix the sugars together with the cocoa. Slowly stir this into the milk mixture in the large bowl. In another bowl (medium sized or so), beat the eggs then add the vanilla, almond and cinnamon and stir. Pour egg mixture into the large bowl with the milk mixture and stir until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour evenly over the bread cubes in the baking dish and let stand, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes, or until the bread has absorbed most of the liquid. Bake for 1 hour until set and a knife inserted into the center of the pudding comes out clean (except for melted chocolate chips). Serve warm or cold.

This dessert is really simple to make and tastes delicious! I like to serve ours warm with some fresh whipped cream on top. Yummy! It's good cold too though or with ice cream or even hot fudge on top. And by the way, you can use REALLY old (non-moldy of bread with this too. I have made it with some poor forgotten loaves of bread that were rock hard and about 2 weeks old and it tasted just as good as with 2 day old baguettes!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Roasted Garlic Bread

Makes 1 Loaf

1 whole head of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons parsley
Kosher Salt
1 loaf fresh Italian bread, split horizontally


Preheat oven to 425. Cut the top off the head of garlic (about half an inch, like if you were cutting the ends off an onion) place on a square of foil. Drizzle olive oil over the top of it and wrap the foil around it to form a sealed packet. Bake for 30 minutes then remove and allow to cool. Hold garlic upside down over mixing bowl and squeeze until all the cloves have all dropped into the bowl. Add the softened butter and parsley and mix on low until well blended. Spread onto both sides of the Italian bread and sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Place buttered sides up on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil 5-6 inches from the heating element for 2-3 minutes until butter is melted and bread is toasty. Slice and serve.

My all-time favorite garlic bread recipe! Delicious and easy. It may sound complicated and/or time consuming, but it really isn't that much more effort than dealing with those frozen things and the taste is a million times better! Mmmm, now I want garlic bread.

Easiest Shrimp Pasta Ever

Makes 8 Servings

2 Packages Frozen Gorton's Shrimp Scampi
1 (16oz) package of angel hair pasta
1/2-1 cup of pasta water
1/2 cup cream or half & half
1/2 - 1 cup Parmesan


Boil pasta as directed. While waiting for water to boil, heat a skillet on medium heat. After adding spaghetti to water, dump contents of shrimp packages in skillet and saute until shrimp is opaque and cooked through. When pasta is done, turn heat off and move pan but do not drain. Using spaghetti servers, transfer pasta to skillet with shrimp and toss to combine. Add 1/2 cup pasta water, cream and parmesan and mix well. Add more water as needed. Taste and if it needs more seasoning, add garlic powder and Italian seasonings. Serve with additional grated parmesan.

Total cheater "recipe" here...this is one of my quick and easy go-to meals when I am pressed for time. It can't even really be called a recipe, but I figured I'd share it in case you guys are like me and never thought of doing this but need something fast and yummy like this. Since the shrimp is frozen raw, it tastes fresh and when they are BOGO at your store, combine that sale with a coupon and you're spending less than a dollar per serving, not to mention saving yourself a boatload of time! If you go order Shrimp Pasta at a restaurant you're paying $12+ per pay less than they for an entire dish full with this "recipe"! Quick. Easy. Cheap. Delicious. Does it get much better than that? If you want it to be creamy, you can always use 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup of the pasta water, as well as 1/2 cup or so of Parmesan. That's always yummy too.
P.S. I've also used Gorton's Grilled Shrimp Scampi too and it is delicious! Only problem is the tails, so you have to remove while cooking or while eating, but if that doesn't bother you, I recommend that product too. I've tried other brands, but they're not as good as Gorton's!

Menu Monday

I'm thinking since I mostly post these on Tuesdays I should just start titling my post "Menu Tuesday" LOL. My Mondays have been just too busy to post!

Oh well! Here's my dinner menu for this week:

EASIEST Shrimp Pasta EVER!!

Beans & Cornbread

Chicken Salad Focaccia
Carrot Sticks w/ Ranch

Spaghetti & Meatballs
Garlic Bread

Rehearsal Dinner

My sister's wedding!

Lawry's Lemon Pepper Drumsticks
Steamed Broccoli
Broccoli Cheese Rice

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Raspberry Cake

8 Servings

1 package white cake mix
3 tablespoons flour
1 3oz package raspberry jello
4 eggs
1/2 cup water
1 cup oil
1 10oz package frozen raspberries, thawed but NOT drained.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 lb. powdered sugar


Combine cake mix, flour and dry gelatin and mix well. Add water, oil, eggs and half of the bag of raspberries with juice and beat well. Pour into 3 8" pans and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Let cool and remove from pans. Mix the butter, powdered sugar and other half bag of raspberries until well blended. Spread over cooled bottom layer, then place second layer and repeat. Then place the third layer on top and spread icing all around top and sides until all the frosting is used up and cake is fully covered. (Can do a crumb layer of thinly sides and top of all three assembled layers...refrigerate for 20-30 minutes...then ice with the remaining frosting.)

THE BEST RASPBERRY CAKE EVER, HANDS DOWN!!!!! Ok, had to get that out. This really is amazing and delicious and flavorful and addicting. If you don't want three layers you can always put in a rectangular pan, but I like the layers and I could eat the whole cake if I let myself. It's THAT good. Trust me! And this coming from a chocolate girl! Do yourself a favor and try it. It's perfect for Valentine's Day because of it's bright pink color. Make it for your sweetie or just make it for yourself. Either way...just MAKE it!

Italian Meatballs

Makes 30 Meatballs

1.5 lbs ground beef
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 cup parmesan
2 tablespoons parsley
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup raisins (use up to a cup, depending on how many you like in your meatballs)
2 tablespoons olive oil


Mix everything together with your HANDS in a large bowl only until everything is incorporated and well-mixed--do not over-mix or you'll have tough meatballs. The mixture should feel gritty and mushy. Roll into 1.5" balls and saute in preheated olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet until lightly browned on the outside, about 3-4 minutes. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet about half an inch to an inch apart in uniform lines. You can immediately cover with foil and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 8 hours and then cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Quick and easy meatball recipe that my kids love. The raisins give it the perfect sweetness and it's soo good. My kids request "homemade meatballs with raisins" all the time and there are never any leftovers. These are great in spaghetti or any other kind of pasta and they make delicious meatball subs too. Of course you can omit the raisins if you like, but you really should try it with the raisins at least once! Even if you don't like raisins, I bet you'd like them in these meatballs. Very delicious and very Italian. YUM.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Easy Lasagna Casserole

Makes 10 Servings

1 16oz box uncooked rotini pasta
1 32oz jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce, or 4 cups of homemade sauce
1 32oz container ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend (It usually has 6 cheeses: Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan, Fontina, Romano and Asiago)
1/2 - 1 cup parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 tablespoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Extra shredded Italian cheese blend for topping


Boil pasta according to package directions and drain. Mix with a little sauce to keep from sticking and set aside. In a large bowl mix ricotta, shredded Italian cheese, parmesan, eggs, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir in pasta with sauce. Spread a couple tablespoonfuls of sauce in a large 13x9 casserole baking dish. Stir remaining sauce into pasta mixture and pour into baking dish. (Mixture will appear soupy.) Top with additional shredded Italian cheese and bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes until pasta is bubbly and cheese on top is melted.

This was my little "experiment"...I planned to make spaghetti and meatballs but discovered I was out of spaghetti. So I improvised. I made a lasagna filling and mixed it with the rotini and sauce and the result was amazing yumminess. It tasted like lasgana but without the hassle of layering and spreading and it was much easier to fork it up in big mouthfuls. It was a hit in my household, so this was definitely a keeper! I also had already mixed and rolled the scratch meatballs so we served those with the casserole and they were delicious together. Recipe for meatballs will be following shortly. Buon appetito!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Makes 2 1/2 Dozen Cookies

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6oz (1/2 a bag) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup powdered sugar


In a large bowl mix together the melted butter, cocoa and sugar. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, stirring until well blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Refrigerate the dough for about 2 hours, or freeze for 30 minutes to an hour if you're in a hurry. Take about a tablespoon and a half of dough and shape into balls then roll in the powdered sugar. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350. Cool on pan for 2 minutes then move to wire rack or paper towels.

These cookies are so delicious you won't be able to help yourself from saying "mmmmm" after your first warm bite. They send out the most amazing scent while baking--your whole house will smell like chocolate. We have a rainy day here today and these cookies are the perfect way to make us feel warm and cozy while the rain pours down outside. They don't usually last longer than an hour in my house!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Makes 1 Pie (4-6 Servings)

2 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken
2 cans cream of potato soup
1/2 soup can milk
1 can Veg-All vegetables, drained
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 pie crusts


Mix everything together and pour into pastry-lined pie dish. Top with second pie crust and cut several slits in the top for venting. Bake 30-45 minutes at 350 until filling is bubbly and crust is nicely browned.

This is one of the quickest and easiest chicken pot pie recipes that I have. If you don't like using canned vegetables, you can certainly substitute 1 1/2 cups of thawed frozen vegetables. The thing I like about canned is that I can just make sure to have a can or two on hand in my pantry and they last virtually forever and when it's a weeknight and I forgot to start the crockpot or thaw frozen meat, I can easily throw this together in no time flat and get dinner on the table before my husband leaves for work that evening. I like to keep cooked thopped chicken in my freezer too so I always have the ingredients ready for mixing. You could also substitute any other cream soup if you'd rather. And of course if you don't like using cream soups, just Google a substitute and that will work fine too. This is always a big hit with my family and we never have leftovers. It is hearty and filling and a wonderful comfort food that just makes you feel at home.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Parmesan Cheese Bites

Makes 32 Bites

1 cup flour
2/3 cup parmesan
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 cup cold butter, cut up
2 tablespoons milk


Stir first three ingredients together well in a bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until crumbly. Press mixture together with hands, working until it is blended and forms a smooth dough--this will take a few minutes.

Shape dough into 2 4" long logs. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill 8 hours, or place wrapped logs inside an airtight container and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in refrigerator.

Cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush with milk. Bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Baked bites can also be frozen up to one month if desired.

These make the perfect reception food. I made them for my sister's bridal shower last weekend and they were a big hit and went perfectly with my chicken salad focaccia. My kids love to eat them as a snack and I like to keep the frozen logs in my freezer so that I can bake them up anytime we're running low on snack items, especially ones that can travel well in lunch boxes! I know the instructions say to thaw overnight, but I've sliced and baked them right from frozen and the time it takes me to cut them all gives them enough time to partially thaw and I'll bake them right from that state and they're still delicious! They may require an extra minute or two, but no biggie. These make good appetizers and are good for parties and even weddings.

Hashbrown Casserole

Makes 6-8 Servings

1 28-30oz bag frozen shredded hashbrowns, partially to fully thawed
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2-3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3-4 green onions, chopped
2 cups cornflake crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted


Mix soup, sour cream, salt pepper, green onions and cheese in a large mixing bowl, reserving some cheese for topping. Add hashbrowns and stir everything together well. Pour into greased 13x9 baking dish. Sprinkle remaining shredded cheese on top. Mix cornflakes and melted butter together and spread evenly on top of casserole. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes until bubbly around the edges.

I have tried multiple hashbrown casserole recipes and this is the winner! It is moist and creamy and cheesy and delicious without being too salty. The cornflakes on top are delicious and give it that great crunch. This dish is a hit even with my kids, which is weird considering there are onions in it, but for some reason they aren't as picky about green onions as they are about others. I like to top mine with extra fresh green onions because I'm crazy about them.

Menu Monday

So I'm a little late posting this seeing as it's Tuesday now!

But here's my dinner menu for this week:

Black Beans & Rice
Corny Cornbread
Steamed broccoli

Risi e Bisi

Crockpot Mac n Cheese
Baked Ham
Green Peas

Shake n Bake Chicken
Hashbrown Casserole
Green Beans

Chicken Pot Pie

Yellow Rice & Chicken

Dinner with the inlaws.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Corny Cornbread

Makes 6 Servings

1 pkg Jiffy cornbread/muffin mix
1 can creamed corn
1 can whole kernel corn
1 8oz. package cream cheese, cubed and softened
2 eggs
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 T butter

Melt butter in microwave. Stir in cream cheese and microwave until soft. Stir together and mix the rest of the ingredients, reserving some cheese for topping. Pour into a greased 13x9 pan and sprinkle with reserved cheese. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

This is super easy and super yummy too. My kids love it and it goes great with pretty much any dish. We like to serve ours with black beans and rice or jambalaya. Something about the cornbread with the rice is such a hearty and filling meal and everyone goes to bed with full tummies.