Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Green Bean Casserole

Paula Deen.  Casserole.  Are there any sweeter words?  This is a great side dish and would make a great dish for a potluck too.  Recipe from Smithfield Ham’s website.


-1 bag frozen French-style green beans

-1 cup celery, chopped

-1/2 cup sour cream

-1 can cream of celery soup

-1 can corn, drained

-1 green pepper, chopped (optional)

-1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated or shredded

-1 sleeve Ritz crackers, finely crushed

-3 Tbsp melted butter


1.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients and place in a prepared casserole dish.  Combine the crushed Ritz crackers and melted butter and spread over top of casserole.

2.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

Love a recipe that works for both our family or for giving away to others.  This makes two loaves and is so dense that it lasts a long time.  Next time I will definitely send the second loaf off to work with my husband.  This dessert isn’t too sweet so it would work nicely for a brunch as well.  Recipe from Family Circle Magazine.


-3.5 cups flour

-1/2 tsp salt

-4 eggs

-4 egg yolks

-1 Tbsp vanilla

-1.5 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened

-2 cups sugar

-1 bag (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips


1.  Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Coat two 9x5x3 loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray; dust with flour and shake out excess.  Set aside.  (Next time I would use butter instead of the cooking spray – made the outside a little too crunchy).

2.  Stir together flour and salt; set aside.  In small bowl, stir together eggs, egg yolks and vanilla; set aside.

3.  Mix butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for 6 minutes or until very light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to medium and gradually pour in egg mixture.  Increase speed to medium-high and beat 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.  On low speed, gradually add flour mixture and beat until just blended.  Stir in chocolate chips.

4.  Divide batter between prepared loaf pans and smooth tops.  Bake at 325 for 1 hour, 12 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans on wire rack for 30 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on rack.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Quiche

If you haven’t noticed by now, I like meals that include pie crust.  It’s probably not the healthiest option, but I like the “pie” aspect and it’s easy and fun for everyone to eat.  Make it Tex-Mex and I’m in.  Recipe from Pillsbury.


-1 refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box

-4 eggs

-1 cup milk

-1.5 cups cooked chicken, shredded

-1.5 cups broken tortilla chips

-2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

-1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (I just used 3 cups Cheddar instead of the two cheeses)

-1 cup Salsa

-1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles (optional)

-1/2 tsp salt

-Pepper to taste


1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Place pie crust in 9” glass pie pan as directed on box for One-Crust Filled Pie.

2.  In medium bowl, beat eggs with whisk until blended.  Beat in milk.  Stir in chicken, chips, cheeses, salsa, green chiles and salt.  Pour into crust-lined pan.  Sprinkle pepper over top of filling.

3.  Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until crust is light golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.  Cut into wedges.  Serve with sour cream and/or salsa if desired.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tex-Mex Surimi Rice Salad

We love surimi (imitation crab) so I definitely wanted to try this recipe.  It’s so-so as a side dish but would be wonderful wrapped in lettuce as a little finger foods.  Next time we try this, we’ll wrap the rice in iceberg lettuce leaves (a la PF Chang’s) and go to town!  Recipe from Family Circle Magazine.


-3 Tbsp lime juice

-2 Tbsp olive oil

-2 Tbsp sour cream

-1/4 tsp chili powder

-1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp black pepper

-2 packages (8.8 oz) each fully cooked microwaveable rice (such as Uncle Ben’s)

-3 wedges Laughing Cow Light Queso Fresco & Chipotle Cheese

-1/2 pound surimi (imitation crab), cut into bite-size pieces

-1/2 green bell pepper, core and seeds removed, finely diced (optional)

-2 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)

-1 head green leafy lettuce or iceberg lettuce


1.  In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, sour cream, chili powder, cumin and pepper.  Set aside.

2.  Heat rice in microwave following package directions, about 2 minutes; add to a large bowl.  Add cheese and stir until melted.  Stir in surimi, green pepper and scallions.  Add lime juice mixture and stir to coat all ingredients.

3.  Serve rice salad with lettuce leaves for wrapping.  Squeeze with lime wedges, if desired.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dryer Sheet Wreath Tutorial

If you haven’t seen it yet, please check out my beautiful new laundry room HERE!  We re-did it just a few weeks ago and it turned out so pretty.  It makes me happy to do laundry . . . well . . . okay, I wouldn’t go that far but it makes the chore much more tolerable!

This is one of my favorite parts of the re-do:

3702I made this wreath for FREE!  The tutorial is below.  Enjoy!


-Used dryer sheets.  You are going to need a LOT.  I saved up for probably 3 or 4 months before I had enough to make this wreath.  Just keep them somewhere off to the side until you have probably at least 75 to 100.  I know that sounds crazy but the fuller the wreath, the more you will need. 

-Wire hanger


1.  Bend your wire hanger until it is the shape of a circle.  If you have a thin enough hanger, you can do this by hand but you may want to use some pliers to straighten it out.

  DSC_0021 2.  Take a dryer sheet and fold it in half. 

DSC_0022Then you want to put the wire hanger on top of the dryer sheet and fold the top over the hanger, then pull the bottom ends through.  You are simply knotting the dryer sheet onto the hanger.  This project works best with USED dryer sheets.  They are MUCH easier to use than new ones.

Here is how your knot will look.

DSC_0023 3.  Pull the open ends (to the right) of the dryer sheet until your knot is tight on the hanger. 

DSC_00244.  Repeat with all dryer sheets.  As you work, pull the dyer sheets up toward the front of your wreath so that the knots are in the back.

DSC_0025 You want to make sure and squish each dryer sheet nice and close to the one before it.  The tighter the dryer sheets are to each other, the fuller your wreath will be.

5.  When finished, bend the hook end of your hanger down and behind the wreath to form a place for your nail to go to attach to the wall.  It doesn’t have to be pretty because it will be hidden behind the dryer sheets.  I bent mine down into a loop.

Here is your finished project!

DSC_0373 You can see that some of my dryer sheets have a little color to them.  It’s up to you if you want to use those or not.  The sheets for our master bed still run a little when I was them, even though we’ve had them for several years.  I like the little bit of color that it adds to the finished wreath. 

I hope you get a chance to make this nice, FREE project!  Please let me know if you have any questions!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Baked Spaghetti

This is the first recipe I think that I can ever claim as my own.  It’s so simple but it was so good that I don’t think I’ll ever make regular spaghetti again!  The best part is the cheese layer in the middle – makes it so yummy.  Enjoy!


-2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes with oregano and basil, with juice

-12 oz spaghetti (I use angel hair), cooked and drained

-1 pound ground beef, browned and drained

-2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 13x9 baking dish.  Cook spaghetti per directions on box.  Cook beef until no longer pink; drain.  Add tomatoes and sprinkles of salt, pepper, oregano, onion and garlic powder (to taste).  Heat through.

2.  Place half of the cooked spaghetti in baking dish.  Top with half of beef mixture and half of cheese.  Repeat layers.

3.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 15-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

DSC_0112Admittedly, it’s not the best picture but it tastes SO good!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Zucchini Chips

Sorry for the long absence.  It’s been a little crazy around here plus we were able to get away for a quick vacation.  Hope everyone is doing well and ready for a nice weekend!

I’m always looking for an interesting way to incorporate vegetables into our meals.  With a husband less-than-fond of veggies and a suddenly picky toddler (who was always a good eater before), the challenge is on.  I saw this tip in Family Circle Magazine and gave it a try.  It was a HUGE hit.  Add a little Ranch dressing for dipping and you are in business!


-Zucchini – I used 1 medium-sized and it filled an entire tray for baking


-Italian-seasoned Panko or bread crumbs


1.  Slice zucchini very thinly.  The thinner, the better.  Use a mandolin if you have it.

2.  Dredge zucchini slices in milk and then cover in bread crumbs.

3.  You can either bake these in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden or put under the broiler under golden.  Keep an eye on them – when you slice them thinly they can quickly go from golden to burnt!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

California Cheeseburger Pie

Anything with melted Velveeta in it is aces in my book!  This looked yummy so we thought we’d try it.  Again, no points for health on this one but it sure was yummy!  The ingredients don’t sound like they go together but it really combines for a yummy treat.  Recipe from Pillsbury.


-1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

-1.5 lb ground beef

-2 large onions, chopped (I just used one)

-12 oz Velveeta, cubed

-1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing

-2 tsp yellow mustard

-16 round dill pickle chips or 8 oblong dill pickle slices

-1/4 tsp sesame seed (optional)


1.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Make pie crusts as directed on box for Two-Curst Pie using 9” pie plate.

2.  In skillet, cook ground beef and onions over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until beef in thoroughly cooked; drain.

3.  Stir in cheese, dressing and the mustard.  Reduce heat to low; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted.  Spoon beef mixture into crust-lined pie plate.  Arrange pickle chips over beef mixture.

4.  Top with second crust; seal edge and flute.  Sprinkle with sesame seed.  Cut slits in several places in top crust.  Cover crust edge with 2-3” wide strips of foil to prevent excessive browning; remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking (I didn’t need it).

5.  Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

DSC_0001 Sorry I didn’t get a better picture, but we were running late with dinner and had to get started while the baby was sleeping!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Southwest Chicken Flat Pie

This is a variation on a million different recipes that I’ve tried before.  I like the pie crust – makes it a little different and was fun for my toddler.  She thought it looked neat and therefore ate it all up!  Also great because it’s most of the things that I always have on hand.  Recipe from Pillsbury.


-1 refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box

-2 cups shredded cooked chicken

-1/2 cup salsa

-2 medium green onions, chopped (optional)

-1 Tbsp ground cumin

-1/2 tsp chili powder

-1/2 tsp paprika (smoked if you have it)

-1/2 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp pepper

-1/2 cup canned black beans, drained, rinsed

-1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

-1 egg, beaten (can use or not – up to you)


1.  Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Unroll pie crust on ungreased cookie sheet.

2.  In large bowl, toss chicken, salsa, green onions, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper.  Spoon chicken mixture onto center of crust, spreading to within 1/5 inches of edge.  Top chicken mixture with beans and cheese.

3.  Fold crust edge over filling to make 1/5 inches border, pleating crust as necessary.  Brush crust edge with beaten egg.

4.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  If necessary, during last 10 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Cut like a pizza!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pea Salad

I loved the old pea salad where you just took a can of peas and added mayonnaise.  When my parents made that, it made me happy.  This is a dressed up version of that same salad.  Make sure you get some good sweet frozen peas – that makes all the difference!  Recipe from Family Circle Magazine.


-1 bag (16 oz) frozen peas

-1 cup mayonnaise

-1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped (optional)

-1 tsp black pepper

-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or a mix of cheeses

-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1.  Place the peas in a colander and run under cold water until just thawed but still cold.  Allow to drain and place in a large bowl.  Stir in the mayonnaise (add more or less according to taste).

2.  Add the chopped onion, black pepper and cheeses.  Mix well.

3.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Burger n’ Fries Pot Pie

Okay, I don’t win any points for this one being healthy.  But it’s tasty and would be fun for kids too.  Plus, I love a recipe with only 6 ingredients, most of which I always have on hand.  Recipe from Pillsbury.


-1.5 lb ground beef

-1 large onion, chopped

-2 Tbsp flour

-1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained (seasoned would work well too)

-1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

-2 cups frozen crispy French-Fried potatoes (from a 20 oz bag)

-salt and pepper to taste


1.  Heat oven to 450 degrees.  In a skillet, cook beef and onion over medium-high heat about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain well.  Sprinkle flour over beef mixture.  Cook 1 minutes, stirring constantly.  Stir in tomatoes and salt and pepper; heat to boiling.  Remove from heat. 

2.  In ungreased 1.5 qt casserole, spread beef mixture.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Arrange frozen potatoes evenly in single layer on top.

3.  Bake uncovered about 20 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.



Monday, July 11, 2011

Sweet Tea Rice

I’ve said it before that my husband is from South Carolina, the “Deep South” which is very different from Texas’ South.  I didn’t grow up on Sweet Tea like my husband did so I don’t really have the taste for it.  But when Southern Living Magazine did a special section on recipes with Sweet Tea, I knew that we would find some winners.  This rice is SO good.  I don’t think we’ll make rice any other way from now on!


-2 cups sweetened tea

-1 cup uncooked long-grain rice

-1/2 tsp salt


1.  Bring tea to a boil in a 3 qt saucepan over medium-high heat; stir in rice and salt.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes or until tea is absorbed and rice is tender.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Pink Lemonade Pie

Nothing says summer to me like Pink Lemonade Pie!  It’s tart, refreshing and such a sweet, light dessert.  This recipe is from my sister-in-law but I’ve seen several variations out there.  We love it so much that we’re on our second one in two weeks.  :)


-1 graham cracker crust (can use premade from the store but my recipe is below if you prefer)

-1 can sweetened condensed milk

-1 small can pink lemonade, thawed (if you can’t find a small one, use half of the large one)

-1/2 carton Cool Whip


1.  Mix milk, lemonade, and Cool Whip until well combined.  Pour into prepared crust.  Refrigerate until set.


Graham Cracker Crust:

-1/3 cup butter, melted

-1/4 cup sugar

-1 1/4 cups finely crushed graham crackers (roughly one sleeve of crackers)

Directions – Melt butter, stir in sugar.  Add crushed crackers; toss to mix well.  Spread in pie plate and push down to set.  Cook 4-5 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven.  Cool.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Meatball Minestrone

Years ago I was given a cookbook called “Cheap.  Fast.  Good!” by a colleague at work.  I really love this cookbook – quick and easy dinners with things that you usually have around the house.  I have a lot of vegetable soups that I make but I like the added meatballs in this one and the angel hair pasta.  It ends up being a little more of a stew than a soup because there isn’t a ton of broth.  Enjoy!


-1 can (14 oz) chicken broth

-1 can (14 oz) beef broth

-2 cups frozen mixed vegetables

-1 can (14.5 oz) stewed or diced tomatoes

-20 already-cooked meatballs (I use frozen – can thaw or add frozen)

-1/3 cup broken angel hair pasta (1 to 2 inch lengths)

-1 can (15 oz) light red kidney beans

-1 tsp dried Italian seasoning

-1/2 tsp garlic powder


1.  Pour the two broths into a Dutch oven or soup pot and place over high heat.  While the liquid is heating, add the frozen vegetables, tomatoes, meatballs, and pasta.  Cover the pot and bring it to a boil.  This will take about 10 minutes.

2.  While the soup is heating, rinse and drain the beans.

3.  When the soup comes to a boil, uncover it and stir well, making sure to stir along the bottom in case the pasta sticks.  Add the beans, Italian seasoning and garlic powder and reduce the heat to medium or medium-high (to maintain a vigorous boil).  Stir frequently until the pasta is tender, about 3 minutes.  Serve at once. 


Monday, June 20, 2011

Meal Planning Monday

Lots of new recipes to try this week.  Southern Living Magazine had a special section a couple months ago about sweet tea and different recipes you can try with it.  Excited to try the Sweet Tea Rice and Sweet Tea Icebox Tart!

Monday – Out with family

Tuesday/WednesdayBurger and Fries Pot Pie (new), Pea Salad (new)

Thursday/FridaySouthwest Chicken Flat Pie (new), Sweet Tea Rice (new)

Saturday/MondayApartment Fish

Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday – Texas Tech Chili (my old roommates recipe that I’ll post – YUM!), Cornbread

Friday/SaturdayChicken and Dumplings, Fruit Salad

Dessert – Sweet Tea Icebox Tart (new)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

I’ll eat blueberries in pretty much any form they come in and I also love zucchini so I knew I’d try this recipe.  This is really a great way to hide vegetables for kids (or husbands) who aren’t fond of them.  I used 2 small zucchini in this recipe.  We like to “twice bake” our bread – we slice it up, put it on foil, butter it, and stick it under the broiler for 5 minutes until it gets a little crispy around the edges.  This bread is VERY good that way!  Recipe from Parents Magazine.


-1 cup all-purpose flour

-1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (I didn’t have this so I just used another cup of all-purpose flour)

-1/4 cup packed brown sugar

-1/4 cup granulated sugar

-1 tsp baking soda

-1 tsp cinnamon

-1/2 tsp coarse sea salt

-1/2 tsp baking powder

-3 eggs

-3/4 cup canola oil

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 small zucchini)

-1 cup blueberries


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly coat the bottom of 4 mini 5” loaf pans or 1 9” pan with cooking spray; set aside.

2.  In a large bowl combine flours, sugars, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and baking powder; set aside.  In another bowl, mix eggs, oil, and vanilla extract.  Add to flour mixture and stir until combined.  Gently stir in zucchini and then blueberries.

3.  Spoon batter into prepared pans.  Bake about 40 minutes for mini pans or about 1 hour for 9” pans or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean.  Allow to cool in pan 10 minutes before removing.  Serve warm or let cool completely before slicing.  Freeze extra loaves up to 3 months.



Friday, June 10, 2011

Upside Down Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake

Sorry that I’ve been gone for so long!  In-laws were here last week and I’ve had a sick little one this week.  We’re all on the mend so bring on the DESSERT.  :)

I heart coffee cake.  And I also heart anything that has the word “pie filling” after it – cherry, apple, etc.  This is a great recipe that is pretty quick and simple.  It looks nice enough that I would serve it for brunch to friends or take to a church pot luck breakfast.


-1 can apple pie filling

-1/2 tsp cinnamon

-1 tube Pillsbury Grand! Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls (with frosting)

-2 Tbsp butter, melted

-1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar


1.  Mix together apple pie filling and cinnamon.  Spread a thin layer of the filling onto the bottom of a well greased, 9” pie pan (with handles if you have it – makes it easier to turn it out later).  Set the remaining filling aside.

2.  Separate cinnamon roll dough into 8 rolls (or 5 rolls depending on your package).  Cut each roll into quarters for 8 rolls or into 8 sections for 5 rolls.  Place the cut rolls into a large bowl and add remaining apple pie filling.  In a separate bowl, combine melted butter and brown sugar.  Mix well and add to cinnamon roll mixture.  Toss gently to combine.

3.  Spoon cinnamon roll mixture over the layer of apples in the pie pan.  Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes or until a deep golden brown.  (I actually ended up cooking mine for closer to 40 minutes to ensure that the rolls in the middle were cooked all the way through.  Add foil around the edges to avoid excess browning if needed.)

4.  Cool for 5 minutes and invert onto a serving platter.  Remove the lid from the frosting container and microwave for 10 seconds or until a thin consistency.  Drizzle over warm coffee cake.



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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Four Stack Pie

From the moment I saw this recipe, I knew that we had to try it.  What could be better than layers of cream cheese, chocolate pudding, and whipped cream?  I was anxious to give it a go and dug right in.  Yeah . . . ever try a recipe and it becomes an EPIC FAIL?  Sadly, this recipe does not work as written so I’ve altered it to work so you can enjoy it and let me know how it is.  They had the pudding preparations wrong and it never fully solidified.  So good luck, my bloggy friends!  Let me know how it turns out.  :)  Recipe from Family Circle Magazine.


-1 large box (5.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding

-3 cups milk

-1.5 cups flour

-1/2 cup butter, softened

-1/2 cup chopped pecans (We can’t eat nuts so I substituted a graham cracker crust – see step #2)

-3 Tbsp granulated sugar

-1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

-1 cup confectioners’ sugar

-1.5 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed (i.e. Cool Whip)


1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare pudding as directed on package.  Let cool and refrigerate to set up.

2.  (If using a graham cracker crust, prepare as directed)  Using your hands or a pastry blender, mix together flour, butter, pecans and granulated sugar until well combined and crumbly.  Press into bottom and side of a 9” deep pie plate.  Bake crust at 350 degrees for 18 minutes, until very lightly browned.  Remove to a wire rack and cool completely.

3.  Beat together cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until completely smooth.  Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over cooled crust.  Top with chocolate pudding, then spread whipped topping over pudding.  Chill for at least 1 hour or until set.

I did take a picture of my epic fail for your amusement . . .


Gross.  As you can see, we actually took a piece out and it wasn’t too bad.  It just looked like something threw up in the fridge.  Riiiiiight.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Meal Planning Monday

Well, after 5 glorious weeks it’s time to get back in the kitchen.  Feeling good and looking forward to trying out some new recipes and enjoying some of our “golden oldies!”  For those that are new in the past few months, recipes that are already posted on the blog are linked, just click on the name of the recipe.

Monday/TuesdayCrunchy Chicken Nuggets, Balsamic Green Beans

Wednesday/Thursday – Brats and Corn on the Cob on the grill

Friday/SaturdayMeatball Minestrone (new), Blueberry Zucchini Bread (new)

Monday/Tuesday - Creamy Chicken Taquitos (new), rice, Congealed Orange Salad (new)

Wednesday/Thursday – Hot Dogs, Macaroni Salad (my Dad’s recipe – I’ll post)

Desserts – Four Stack Pie (new), Upside Down Cinnamon Apple Caramel Cake (new)

Only cooking through next Thursday because my in-laws are coming into town that Friday and we’re probably going to eat out more than we are going to eat in.  Enjoy!

And because posts are boring without pictures, here’s what we’ve been up to . . .

DSC_0269 DSC_0005

Playing with our new princess castle and sleeping on Daddy.  Lots of fun around here!  :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Dump Cake

Okay, I’ll admit that the name of this cake is a little unfortunate. . . but it’s the easiest and yummiest dessert there is!  When we want something quick and I don’t want to bother with baking, this is the answer.  It’s almost like a cobbler with the cake mix as the topping.  So good!


-1 box of yellow cake mix

-1 stick of butter

-2 cans of cherry pie filling

-1 can of crushed pineapple, drained (you can get the big or small can, it’s up to you)


Mix the cherry pie filling and the crushed pineapple together in a 9x13 baking dish.  Pour the dry cake mix on top of the cherry/pineapple mixture.  Cut the stick of butter into small chunks (about 1/2” each) and cover the top of the cake.  Place into a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until bubbly and a little brown on top.  Serve with ice cream!



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Friday, April 29, 2011

Red Velvet Brownies

No, I’m not back to cooking just yet although the little one is 3 weeks old now so I should consider it . . . Had this in my drafts.  Enjoy!

My husband’s favorite cake is Red Velvet.  I get tired of just having the cake sometimes so I knew when I saw this recipe in Southern Living Magazine that we had to give it a try.  They were a huge success.  They are VERY rich which means that they lasted us a long time . . . who am I kidding?  I was 9 months pregnant and NAILED those suckers.  :)  Yummy!


-1 (4oz) bittersweet chocolate baking bar, chopped

-3/4 cup butter

-2 cups sugar

-4 large eggs

-1 1/2 cups flour

-1 (1 oz) bottle red liquid food coloring

-1 1/2 tsp baking powder

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-1/8 tsp salt

-Your favorite Cream Cheese Frosting

-White chocolate chips (optional)


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line bottom and sides of a 9” square pan with foil or spray with non-stick spray.

2.  Microwave chocolate and butter on High for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30 second intervals.  Whisk in sugar.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, whisking just until blended after each addition.  Gently stir in flour and next 4 ingredients.  Pour mixture into prepared pan.

3.  Bake at 350 for 44 to 48 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs.  Cool completely on a wire rack (about 2 hours).

3.  Life brownies from pan using foil sides as handles (I kept mine in the baking pan to store).  Top with your Cream Cheese Frosting.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips.



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Friday, April 15, 2011

Chicken Stroganoff Pot Pie

I’m surprised I haven’t posted this one before because it’s a staple slow cooker recipe in our house.  Chicken Pot Pie is my FAVORITE meal and I love this tangy twist on the original.  The biscuits on top are fluffy from being steamed in the slow cooker and add a great touch to this meal.  Sure to be a crowd pleaser!  Recipe from “Betty Crocker’s Slow Cooker Cookbook.”


-1 envelope (.87-1.2 oz) chicken gravy mix

-1 can (10.5 oz) condensed chicken broth (my can was 14.5 oz and I threw it all in)

-1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1” pieces

-1 bag (16 oz) frozen stew vegetables, thawed and drained (I throw in frozen mixed veggies, not thawed :)

-1 jar (4 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained (optional)

-1/2 cup sour cream

-1 Tbsp flour

-1 1/2 cups Bisquick Original

-4 medium green onion, chopped (optional)

-1/2 cup milk

-1 cup frozen green peas, thawed (I threw mine in frozen, surprise)


1.  Mix gravy mix and broth in slow cooker until smooth.  Stir in chicken, stew vegetables and mushrooms.

2.  Cover and cook on low heat setting about 4 hours or until chicken is tender.

3.  Mix sour cream and flour.  Stir sour cream mixture into chicken mixture.  Cover and cook on high heat setting 20 minutes.

4.  Mix baking mix and onions; stir in milk just until moistened.  Stir in peas.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto chicken-vegetable mixture.

5.  Cover and cook on high heat setting 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of topping comes out clean.  Serve immediately.



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Monday, April 4, 2011

Pork Chops with Apple-Cherry Stuffing

This is such a yummy slow cooker recipe.  I hate dry pork chops with no flavor and this makes them so tender that they just fall apart.  Make sure that you get boneless pork chops and trim the fat.  All I could find were the bone-in ones and they get so tender that we were fishing for bones in the stuffing – gross.  Recipe from Betty Crocker.


-1 package (6 oz) herb stuffing mix (Stove Top makes an Apple one now and I used that)

-2 medium celery stalks, chopped

-1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped

-1 medium onion, chopped

-1 cup dried cherries

-1/4 cup butter, melted

-1 cup chicken broth

-6 pork boneless loin chops, about 1/2” thick


1.  Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray.

2.  Mix all ingredients except pork.  Place half of the stuffing mixture in slow cooker; top with pork.  Spoon remaining stuffing mixture over pork.

3.  Cover and cook on low heat setting 6 to 8 hours or until pork is tender.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Fruit and Mozzarella Salad with Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing

This recipe looked SO good that I had to try it immediately, even if fruit isn’t at it’s finest just yet.  I actually just bought some pears, strawberries, kiwis, blueberries, oranges, and apples and cut them up and tossed them with the mozzarella cheese and some of the dressing.  SO good.  Next time I would not toss the dressing ahead of time because it gets soggy in the fridge – dress each serving individually.  This would make a great dish for Easter.  The Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing is fabulous and would be great on salads too!  Recipe from Southern Living Magazine.


-3 cups peeled, coarsely chopped fresh peaches

-1 (8 oz) tub fresh small mozzarella cheese balls, cut in half (I used a big ball of mozzarella and cut into 1” pieces)

-3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

-3/4 cup Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing (at bottom)

-4 cups seeded and cubed watermelon

-4 cups cubed honeydew melon

-3 cups sliced fresh strawberries

-2 cups seedless green grapes, cut in half


1.  Toss first 3 ingredients with 1/4 cup Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing.

2.  Layer watermelon, peach mixture, honeydew, berries, and grapes in a large glass trifle dish or tall glass bowl.  Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 8 hours.  Toss remaining 1/2 cup dressing just before serving.

Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing:

Process 2/3 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, 1 1/2 Tbsp poppy seeds, 2 tsp finely chopped onion, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, and 1/2 tsp salt in a blender until smooth.  Store in refrigerator up to 1 week; serve at room temperature.



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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Word About Salads

We do a lot of salads in our house.  Sometimes it is just the easiest side dish, sometimes it is very refreshing in the summer.  Growing up, salads were a big bowl of iceberg lettuce that everyone dug into and then dressing and some croutons.  We do it a lot different in our house.  I make everyone an individual bowl of salad and then start adding toppings.  The toppings are what make it – I raid the fridge and the pantry and throw in as many different things as I can find. 

Some of our favorites:

-sliced sweet petite pickles

-mandarin oranges

-cut up apple

-cut up lunch meat (turkey, ham, salami)




-shredded cheese

-croutons (of course!)

Depending on what we have on hand that day, the salad is always different.  Think outside the box for your salads and give something different a try!



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