Breakfast Wraps

I have a new addiction.  I go through addictions with food and the only way to get rid of them, is to give in to the cravings…a lot.  Then, eventually they will go away.  Previous addictions include: peanut butter and bananas (yeah, a raw banana and a spoon of peanut butter straight from the jar), dark chocolate covered almonds and yogurt almonds.  I’m still working on the almond addiction.

However, most of my energy is focused on these things.  They are so simple – they take like 5 minutes to make and they are delicious!  I’ve actually been eating them for dinner like once a week.  Yeah, I’m out of control.

Plus, I really like that you can customize them.  You can essentially put any of your favorite breakfast flavors in there: bacon, cheese, ham, egg, taco sauce, etc.

Then you wrap it up in a delicious tortilla and it’s finger food!  Seriously though, give these a try.  You won’t be disappointed.

Breakfast Wraps

– 6 eggs

– 2 T milk

– 1/4 pepper

– 1 c shredded cheddar cheese (or fav cheese)

– 3/4 c diced fully cooked ham (or lunch meat style ham)

– salsa, if desired

– 4 flour tortillas, warmed

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and pepper.  Grease a large skillet and add egg mixture; cook and stir over medium heat until eggs are completely set.  Stir in cheese and ham.

Spoon egg mixture down the center of each tortilla; roll up.  Serve immediately with taco sauce or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze in a resealable plastic bag.


Breaded Chicken Breasts with Light Raspberry & Walnut Pan Sauce

In my French class in high school, we would take an annual field trip to a French restaurant where we were served a multiple course meal.  It was always a really fun time and the food was AH-MAZING.

One year, I got this chicken with this red sauce on it that I had never seen since then.  I couldn’t even really remember the details of it.

When I saw the recipe for this chicken, I knew it was it.  I was so excited!  I anxiously anticipated trying it (and I had to coax Zack into it, because he was pretty apprehensive about the raspberry-walnut pairing).

We finally got to try it one night and it was exactly like I had hoped!  It was like I was back in high school at the French restaurant.  Zack really liked it, surprisingly.

I also made some cheese sticks with it, but I will talk about those in another post.

Don’t you love recipes that make you reminisce on wonderful past experiences?  Feel free to share any experiences of the like 🙂

Breaded Chicken Breasts with Light Raspberry & Walnut Pan Sauce

– 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to between 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick

– 1 c buttermilk

– 1/3 c all purpose flor

– 1 1/4 t salt

– 1/4 t cayenne pepper

– shake of black pepper

– 1 1/4 c bread crumbs

– 1/2 c all purpose flour

– 2 T olive oil

– 2 T butter

– 1 c light raspberry-walnut vinaigrette

– 1 oz cream cheese, room temperature

– 3 T fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  In a bowl, mix milk, 1/3 cup flour, salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.  Place bread crumbs and 1/2 c flour in a shallow dish, such as a pie plate, and stir to combine.  Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dip into mixture, letting excess liquid drip off.  Dredge both sides in bread crumb-flour mixture and place on a platter.  Repeat with remaining chicken.

As you bread the chicken, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Place two chicken cutlets in the pan and cook for 3 minutes or until the underside is golden brown.  Flip and continue cooking for another 3 minutes.  Remove to an ovenproof platter and place in oven to keep warm.  Add remaining olive oil and butter to skillet and cook remaining chicken pieces.

Reduce heat to medium.  Add vinaigrette to skillet and let cook until reduced to a glaze, about 30-45 seconds.  Remove from heat and add cream cheese, stirring with a whisk to blend into sauce.  Stir in parsley.  To serve, divide sauce between four servings, pouring over chicken pieces.


Christmas Party Goodies!

Zack and I got to go to the first Christmas party of the season last weekend.  His boss had a dinner party for the management and office employees.  I really enjoyed going, because I got to meet the people that Zack works with.  It was really nice to get to put faces with names that I’ve heard Zack talk about.

Everyone was so nice, too!  Plus there was lots of good food.

Zack and I took a platter of desserts – peanut butter and chocolate fudge and cookie balls and a plate of jalapeno cheddar bite appetizers.  People seemed to like both plates of stuff.

There were some leftovers on both plates, so I took them to work with me Monday and every bit got snatched up 🙂

I forgot to take a picture of the platter of goodies which sucks, because the fudge and cookie balls looked so cute arranged on the platter!  Oh well, at least I got individual pictures.

Christmas Tree Cool Mint Oreo Cookie Balls

Prep: 30 minutes, plus refrigerating. Makes about 24 cookie balls.

– 6 oz package cream cheese, softened

– 1 pkg (15. 25 oz) Oreo cool mint cream cookies, finely crushed

– 2 pkg (6 squares each) white chocolate, melted

– 6 drops green food coloring

– red and green decorating icing

Mix cream cheese and cookie crumbs until well blended.

Shape into 1″ balls; place on waxed paper covered baking sheet.  Freeze 10 minutes.  Mix melted chocolate and food coloring until well blended.  Dip balls in chocolate; return to baking sheet.  Squiggle green and red icing onto balls to make Christmas trees.  Let stand until chocolate is firm.  Keep refrigerated.

Chocolate Fudge

Prep: 10 minutes.  Cook: 30 minutes.  Cool 2 hours.  Stand 1-2 hours.

– 4 c sugar

– 1 1/3 c milk

– 1/4 c corn syrup

– 1/4 t salt

– 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate

– 1/4 c butter

– 2 t vanilla

Grease bottom and sides of square pan, 8×8 with butter.

Butter sides of heavy 3-qt saucepan.  Place sugar, milk, corn syrup, salt, and chocolate in saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and sugar is dissolved.  Cook, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, to 234 degrees on candy thermometer or until small amount of mixture dropped into a cup of very cold water forms a soft ball that flattens when removed from water; remove from heat.  Drop butter on top, but do not stir.

Cool mixture without stirring to 110 degrees, about 2 hours (bottom of saucepan will be lukewarm). Add vanilla.  Beat vigorously and continuously using wooden spoon until fudge begins to thicken.  Then, continue beating 5-10 minutes until mixture is thick and no longer glossy.

Quickly, spread or press into pan.  Let stand about 1-2 hours or until firm.  Cut into 1-inch squares.

Peanut Butter Fudge

– 8 T butter, plus more for greasing pan

– 1 c smooth peanut butter

– 1 t vanilla extract

– 1 lb powdered sugar

Combine the butter and peanut butter in a 4-qt microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Microwave for 2 minutes on high.  Stir and microwave on high for 2 more minutes.  It will be HOT.  Add the vanilla and powdered sugar to mixture and stir to combine with a wooden spoon.  Mixture will become hard to stir and lose its sheen.  Spread into a buttered 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper.  Fold the excess parchment paper so it covers the surface of the fudge and refrigerate until cool, about 2 hours.  Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Jalapeno Cheese Bites

– 1 can pizza dough

– 2 jalapeno peppers, halved, seeded, blanched, and sliced

– 1 – 1 1/2 t olive oil

– salt & pepper

– 1 t mixed dried herbs (oregano, parsley, basil)

– ~ 1 c Tex-Mex shredded cheese

Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Press down the dough on a lightly floured surface.  Then pull and stretch the dough into a rectangular shape.

Spread the oil on the dough and gently press it into a 14×8 inch rectangle.  Sprinkle some salt, herbs, pepper, cheese, and jalapeno peppers onto the dough.

Roll up the dough as tightly as you can.  Pinch both ends, and slice the log into 3/4″ – 1″ rounds.  Place the rolls on the baking sheet, cut side up, and bake for about 16-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and light golden brown in color.

Makes about 14 bites.

Spinach Lasagna

I feel like I should preface this post by saying Zack and I do not like cooked spinach.  Give it to us raw in a salad?  That sounds delicious.  Cook it into any food, especially one of our favorite Italian dishes, lasagna?  NO WAY, no how.

BUT – one day Demeter (see Birthday Cake) and I went to the dining hall on our college’s campus for dinner.  They had spinach ravioli.  Demeter was getting some, so I decided to be brave and get a little, too.  It was incredible.  Not goopy and gross like all other cooked spinach that I’ve ever had.  The flavor actually complimented the Italian flavors really well.

As fate would have it, the next day I saw a recipe for spinach lasagna.  After some gentle coaxing, I got Zack to agree to try it if I made it (I promised him I would make him a grilled ham and cheese sandwich if he didn’t like it).  It was even better than the ravioli! Even Zack liked it! Although, he did say that he would like it even more if I used slightly less spinach next time.  10 ounces is kind of a lot for such a small thing of lasagna.

It should also be cooked a bit longer than 30 minutes, because the cheese wasn’t completely melted after 30 minutes.

I wish I had written down the name of the sauce that I used, because it was amazing.  It only had 4 ingredients and was completely natural.  I got it at TJ Maxx, a type of discount store, so I may never see it again.  😦 Since it only had 4 ingredients, the garlic was kind of overpowering, but not going to lie, I kind of loved it.

Looking at these pictures really makes me want another big plate of this right now.  I like it as much as regular lasagna which is saying a whole heck of a lot!

Today I am taking a cooking class with my mom called “Edible Christmas Gifts” and I cannot wait!  I will let everyone know how it goes.

Spinach Lasagna

– 4 oz cream cheese

– 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

– 1 1/2 c mozzarella cheese, divided

– 2 c spaghetti sauce

– ~10 lasagna noodles, cooked

– 1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

Mix cream cheese, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.  Set aside.  Make a layer of noodles on the bottom of a 9×9 baking dish.  Spread spinach mixture on top of noodles.  Layer another layer of noodles on top and cover with spaghetti sauce and 1/2 c mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

French Toast

As I’ve mentioned before, I love making my Zackie breakfast.  It’s usually so easy and he really enjoys it.

I decided to make him some traditional French Toast.  The fun thing about French Toast is that you can add some sugar to it (along with the pancake syrup) and it is like a breakfast dessert!  Who doesn’t love eating sweets in the morning?!

I had never made French Toast before. It’s the simplest breakfast ever (well, not as simple as my bowl of cereal, but close!).

I like that you can make a lot of it at the same time.  Griddles are so handy.  This would be a good breakfast item to serve when you have a lot of guests, because you can make as much as your griddle will hold!

You can also switch up the type of bread that you use.  I just used whole wheat sandwich bread that we had.

A fresh fruit topping (and whipped cream)would be really yummy with it, too!

Yum!  Powdered sugar!

Drizzled with syrup!

French Toast

Prep: 5 minutes.  Cook: 16 minutes.  Yield: 4 slices.

– 2 eggs

– 1/2 cup milk

– 1/2 T sugar

– 1/4 t vanilla

– 1/8 t salt

– butter

– 4 slices sandwich bread

Beat eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt with wire whisk until smooth.

Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat or to 375 degrees.  Grease griddle with butter if necessary.

Dip bread in egg mixture.  Place on griddle.  Cook about 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving and serve with pancake syrup, if desired.

Creole Turkey Wraps

We, like probably every other Americans, had an abundance of turkey left over after our Thanksgiving dinner.  I knew we didn’t want to eat it in the exact same way again today, so I searched through my recipe binder looking for a sauce to make for it.

First I was going to make Creole Turkey Sandwiches, but I had to run in the grocery store to get some cake baking supplies and I saw Ole Extreme Wellness High Fiber Low Carb Tortillas sitting on a shelf beckoning to me.  I had never had them before, but they looked delicious and only had 71 calories per tortilla.  I bought a bag and brought them home to use for dinner.

The sauce was really yummy and the wraps were AMAZING.  I ate two turkey wraps without even feeling guilty, because hey, each tortilla only had 71 calories!

I highly recommend these meal and the tortillas.  I will definitely be buying them again.

Creole Turkey Wraps

– turkey (we used probably 3 cups of shredded leftover turkey)

– 1 large onion, thinly sliced

– 1/4 c chopped green pepper

– 1/2 c ketchup

– 1/2 c water

– 1 T Worcestershire sauce

– 1/2 t salt

– dash pepper

– 4 Ole Extreme Wellness High Fiber Low Carb Tortillas

In saucepan, saute onion and green pepper until tender.  I just sauted them in a pan sprayed with cooking spray.  You could also saute them in butter or oil.  Stir in ketchup, water, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.  When thoroughly combined, add in turkey.  Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Place on tortillas and wrap up.  For an extra spice kick, put some BBQ sauce on them.

Our First Thanksgiving Dinner Party

AAHHH… That’s my sigh of relief and happiness.  Our dinner party couldn’t have gone any better.  I am so pleased.  My dad, mom, stepdad, Zack’s parents, two brothers and his brother, Caleb’s, girlfriend all came!

We have tons of leftovers, though.  I sent two whole trays of food home with my dad.  Next year, I won’t double the recipes like I did this time.

Everyone said everything was really good.  I’m so thankful for both of our families and for the fact that everyone gets along so that we can have dinners like this.

I spent all of today and yesterday cooking.  I am exhausted.  It feels so good to be sitting on my couch with my Zack doing nothing right now.

I’m just going to share all of the recipes from today in this post.  I hope you enjoy.

Be thankful for your families and for the time you get to spend with them.  I know I am.

Appetizer Course:

Here’s our appetizer table:

No Bones Chicken Wing Dip

Prep: 15 minutes

– 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

– 2 c (16 oz) sour cream

– 1 c ranch dressing

– 1/2 c buffalo wing sauce

– 2 1/2 c shredded cooked chicken

– 1 block (8 oz) Monterey jack cheese, shredded

– baby carrots, celery ribs, and crackers

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, salad dressing, and buffalo wing sauce until blended.  Stir in chicken and Monterey jack cheese.

Transfer mixture to a greased 2-qt baking dish.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Serve dip warm with baby carrots, celery, and crackers.

Yield 6 1/2 cups.

Main Course:

Our main table.  We used the oreo turkeys and little name cards as place cards.  I think it turned out adorable.

Roast Turkey

– 1 large turkey, neck and giblets removed

– 1/2 c butter, melted

– 2 large onions, peeled and chopped

– 4 carrots, peeled and chopped

– 4 stalks celery, chopped

– 2 sprigs fresh thyme

– 1 bay leaf

– 1 c dry white wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Thoroughly rinse turkey.

Brush turkey with melted butter.  Place breast side up on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan.  I cooked mine in an oven bag in a roasting pan.  Stuff the turkey cavity with 1 onion, 1/2 the carrots, 1/2 the celery, 1 sprig of thyme, and the bay leaf.  Scatter the remaining vegetables and thyme around the bottom of the roasting pan (in the bag for me) and cover with white wine.

Roast uncovered 3 1/2 – 4 hours in preheated oven until internal temperature of thigh reaches 180 degree.  Allow the bird to stand about 30 minutes before carving.

 Side Dishes:

Butterflake Rolls

1 t yeast

– 3/4 c very warm water

– 1/4 c sugar

– 1 egg

– 2 egg yolks

– 3/4 t salt

– 1/2 c buttermilk

– 2 1/2 – 3 c AP flour

– 1 stick butter, softened

Prepare a muffin tin for baking by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray, or tossing a small pat of butter into bottom of each cup.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix yeast in 1/4 c warm water until dissolved.  Add the sugar.  Whisk in the salt and eggs.  Beat in milk and remaining water until well mixed.

Use a wooden spoon to stir in about 2 1/2 cups of flour, adding more (up to 3 cups) as necessary to make a soft dough.  You want to be able to knead the dough and not have it stick to your fingers, but still have the dough be soft and pillowy.  Less is definitely more here.

Knead dough a few times.  Roll out dough to 1/2″ thickness and spread with a thin layer of butter (it should be about 2 tablespoons).  Fold dough in half, then spread with butter.  Repeat this 4 more times.

Once you’ve finished buttering, roll into 1/2″ thickness and cut dough into 1×1 inch squares.  Place 3-4 squares in each non-stick sprayed muffin tin.  Let rise about 45-60 minutes or until well-risen.

Bake in middle rack at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Stuffed Ham & Provolone Rolls

– 2 c herb flavored stuffing cubes

– 1/2 c boiling water

– 2 T + 2 t butter, divided

– 8 slices deli ham

– 8 slices provolone cheese

– 1 egg, beaten

– 1 T water

– 1/2 c dry bread crumbs

Combine stuffing, boiling water and 2 T butter.  Cover and let stand 5 minutes.  Top each ham slice with a cheese slice.  Spoon 1/4 c stuffing mixture over center of cheese; roll up and secure with a toothpick.  Whisk eggs and water together.  Roll ham rolls in egg mixture, then roll in bread crumbs.  In a large skillet over medium heat, saute ham rolls in remaining butter for 4-5 minutes, or until golden, turning only once.  Discard toothpicks before serving.

Yield: 8 rolls

Turkey Gravy

Prep: 10 min.  Cook: 7 min.

– 3 cans (14 oz each) chicken broth

– 1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup

– 1 t poultry seasoning

– 1/2 t black pepper

– 1/4 t garlic powder

– 1 c milk

– 1/3 + 2 T AP flour

– 2 T corn starch

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan.  Stir in soup and season with poultry seasoning, pepper, and garlic powder.  Reduce heat to low and let simmer.

Warm the milk in the microwave and whisk in the flour and cornstarch with a fork until there are no lumps.  Return the gravy to a boil, and gradually stir in the milk mixture.  Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until thickened.  Be careful not to let the bottom scorch.


– 4 T butter

– 1 medium onion, chopped

– 3 celery stalks, diced

– 1/2 t salt

– 1 t ground sage

– 1 t dry thyme

– 10 c dried unseasoned bread cubes

– 1 1/2 c chicken broth

– 1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter in a large pan.  Saute onions, celery, salt, sage, and thyme for 5 minutes on medium heat.  Turn off heat.  Add bread cubes and gently stir them into the onion mixture.  Slowly pour chicken broth over the bread cubes folding everything so the bread cubes do not break apart too much.  In a small bowl, gently whisk the egg and add it to the stuffing mix.  Continue to fold everything until the egg is incorporated.  Scoop uncooked stuffing into a medium casserole dish and bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until nice and toasty on top.


Creamy Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

– 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

– 3/4 c evaporated milk

– 1/4 c butter

– 1 c (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

Place potatoes in a large saucepan.  Cover with water; bring to a boil.  Cook over medium high heat for 15-20 minutes or until tender; drain.

Return potatoes to saucepan; add evaporated milk and butter.  Beat with hand-held mixer until smooth.  Stir in cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.

Sweet Potato Souffle

– 6 c mashed sweet potatoes

– 2 c sugar

– 1 t salt

– 4 eggs

– 2/3 c stick butter, softened

– 2/3 c milk

2 t vanilla

Combine with mixer and pour into greased casserole dish.

– 2 c brown sugar

– 1 c flour

– 2 c chopped pecans

– 1 stick melted butter

Mix well and distribute over potatoes.  Bake 30 minutes at 325 degrees.

 Deviled Eggs

See Deviled Eggs for recipe.

Green Beans

Just take some green beans, I used about 3 lbs here and then add a bouillon cube (1 per lb).  Bring to a boil then simmer.  The longer you let it simmer, the better they are.


Pecan Pie

Prep: 20 minutes.  Bake 50 minutes.

– Pastry for 1 crust pie

– 2/3 c sugar

– 1/3 c butter

– 1 c corn syrup

– 1/2 t salt

– 3 large eggs

– 1 c pecan halves broken halves

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt and eggs in medium bowl with wire whisk or hand beater until well blended.  Stir in pecans.  Pour into pastry lined pie plate.  Bake 40-50 minutes or until center is set.


Colossal Caramel Apple Trifle (COLOSSAL = key word)

Prep: 40 minutes

– 1 package yellow cake mix

– 6 c cold milk

– 3 package (3.4 oz each) instant vanilla pudding mix

– 1 t apple pie spice

– 1 jar ( 12 1/4 oz) caramel ice cream topping

– 1 1/2 c chopped pecans, toasted

– 2 cans (21 oz each) apple pie filling

– 2 cartons (16 oz each) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions using 2 greased 9-inch round baking pans.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

In a large bowl, whisk milk, pudding mixes and apple pie spice for 2 minutes.  Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft set.

Cut one cake layer if necessary to fit evenly in an 8-quart punch bowl.  Poke holes in cake with a long wooden skewer.  Gradually pour a third of the caramel topping over the cake.  Sprinkle with 1/2 c pecans and spread with half of the pudding mixture.

Spoon one can of pie filling over pudding; spread with 1 carton of whipped topping.  Top with remaining cake and repeat layers.  Drizzle with remaining caramel topping and sprinkle with remaining pecans.  Refrigerate until serving.

Pumpkin Pie

Prep: 20 minutes.  Bake 1 hr 10 minutes.  Cool 2 hours.

– pastry for 1 crust pie

– 2 large eggs

– 1/2 c sugar

– 1 t ground cinnamon

– 1/2 t salt

– 1/2 t ground ginger

– 1/8 t ground cloves

– 1 can (16 oz) pumpkin

– 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk

– whipped cream, if desired

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Make pastry for unbaked one pie crust; before adding filling, partially bake pastry (carefully line pastry with double thickness of aluminum foil, gently pressing to bottom and sides of pastry. Let foil extend over edge to prevent excess browning.  Bake 10 minutes; carefully remove foil and bake 2-4 minutes longer or just until pastry begins to brown and has become set.  If crust bubbles, gently push bubbles down with back of spoon..

Beat eggs slightly in medium bowl with wire whisk or hand beater.  Beat in remaining ingredients except whipped cream.

Cover edge of pie crust with 2-3 inch of aluminum foil to prevent excess browning; remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking.  To prevent spilling filling, place pie plate on oven rack.  Pour filling into hot pie crust.

Bake 15 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Bake about 45 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack 2 hours.  Serve with whipped cream.  After cooling, pie can remain at room temperature up to an additional 4 hours, then should be recovered and refrigerated.

Oreo Turkeys

– Double Stuff Oreo Cookies

– Candy Corn

– Whoppers

– Peanut Butter Cups

– Chocolate Frosting

– Writing icing (any color) for eyes

Grab a cookie and put some chocolate icing in the edge.  Stick some candy corn in.  The icing makes it stick better.  It’s easier if you do all the cookies through this step.

Next, secure the opposite end of those cookies to a bottom cookie with a gob of icing.  If they are not sturdy, you can set them against the wall until the icing hardens a little.

While they are drying, unwrap the peanut butter cups.  Take a sharp knife and cut a sliver off of one end.  It helps to gently cut in a sawing motion so you don’t break the peanut butter cup.  Cut from the bottom.

Place a gob of icing on the peanut butter cup and place it on the bottom cookie.

Glue a whopper on top of the peanut butter cup with icing.  I put frosting on the side of the whopper touching the peanut butter cup and the cookie.

Use another gob of icing and glue on the white tip of a candy corn for a beak.  Put two dots of your writing icing for eyes.

Hot Mulled Cider

Float a few apple slices and some cinnamon sticks in the drink as it warms.

– 2 qt apple cider

– 1 orange, quartered

– 1/4 c brown sugar, packed
– 1/4 t pumpkin pie spice

– 2 (4-in) cinnamon sticks

– 6 whole cloves

Combine all ingredients in a 3-quart slow cooker; cover and cook on low 2-4 hours.  Remove orange sections and spices before serving.


Cheesy Chicken Casserole

This is the ultimate comfort food.  It’s crunchy, cheesy, chicken-y, buttery…just overall delicious.  This is another recipe that has been handed down from my mom.  She used to make it for me all the time when I was little.

Zack really likes it, too, so it has become a staple in our household.

This is my first post in a few days.  I’ve been really busy getting everything ready for Thanksgiving.  I made desserts to take to my granny’s dinner on Thanksgiving day.  Now I am preparing for my first ever hosting of a Thanksgiving Dinner.  My parents, stepdad, Zack’s parents, brothers, and grandma are all coming.  I am really excited and really nervous at the same time.  (Yep, I’m cooking the entire traditional spread myself).  The dinner is Sunday, so be expecting a post about it soon after that.

Enjoy this recipe, it’s one of my favorites! 🙂

Cheesy Chicken Casserole

– 1 can (10 1/4 oz) cream of chicken soup

– 1/2 stack Ritz (or other buttery cracker) crackers, crushed

– 1/2 cup cheddar cheese

– 1/4 cup mayonnaise

– 1/2 stick butter, melted

– 2 cups boneless chicken breast, cooked and chopped into bite size pieces (or use canned)

Place chicken in a medium casserole dish.  Mix soup and mayonnaise and spread over chicken.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Melt butter and combine with crushed crackers.  Place on top of cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Rosemary Chicken and Rice Dinner

One of my favorite summer dinners is grilled rosemary chicken.  Since grilling season is taking a back seat, I needed a new way to enjoy this delectable chicken.

I had the idea to cook it in a cast iron skillet, because let’s face it, everything is great cooked in cast iron.

I had some mushrooms left over from a previous dinner, so I threw those into the marinade, too.

Rice was an obvious choice for a quick and easy side dish.

It turned out great.  Just as delicious, in a different way, as the grilled variety.  Plus, the mushrooms were easily some of the best ones I’ve ever had.  The marinade made them incredible.

Rosemary Chicken & Rice Dinner

– 1/3 c red wine vinegar

– 1/3 c olive oil

– 1 t garlic powder

– 1 t rosemary leaves

– 1 t salt

– 1 t Dijon mustard

– 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces

– 1 c brown rice, cooked

– 1 c mushrooms

Whisk together first six ingredients in a small bowl.  Place chicken and mushrooms into gallon size Ziploc bag and pour marinade over it.  Allow to sit 2-24 hours (longer the better).

When ready to make, heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Add chicken and mushrooms and a small amount of the marinade.  Allow to cook, tossing occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Serve over cooked rice.

Serves 2.

Potato Crusted Salmon

I love salmon.  It’s such a versatile fish and is really mild.  It’s a lot like chicken – you can really add basically any flavors to it and it will still be delicious.

This recipe made the salmon crunchy and the paprika gave it a nice spice.  I actually used a four-cheese mashed potato mix which added positively to the flavor as well.


Potato Crusted Salmon

Prep: 10 minutes.  Cook: 6 minutes.  4 servings.

– 1 lb salmon, about 3/4″ thick

– 1 egg, lightly beaten

– 1 T water

– 1/3 c mashed potato mix (dry)

– 2 t cornstarch

– 1 t paprika

– 1 t lemon pepper

– 2 T olive oil

Cut fish into 4 serving pieces.  Beat egg and water with fork.  Mix potato mix, cornstarch, paprika, and lemon pepper.  Dip just the top and sides of fish into the egg, then press into potato mixture.

Heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium high heat.  Cook fish, potato sides down in oil 3 minutes.  Carefully turn fish with wide slotted spatula.  Reduce heat to medium.  Cook about 3 minutes longer or until fish flakes easily with a fork.  If fish has skin, carefully slide cooked fish off of the skin with wide spatula.