Monday, October 3, 2016

French Potao Salad

This is another really yummy potato salad!  I have come to the conclusion that I really prefer potato salad without mayo in it.  I am not a big fan to begin with, and it adds so many extra calories.  This one has a vinegar dressing that is delicious!


1 pound small white boiling potatoes

1/4 cup of good dry white wine

1/4 cup chicken stock

4 tablespoons Champagne vinegar (I have used Apple Cider Vinegar when I didn't have champagne on hand)

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup good olive oil

1/4 cup minced scallions (white and green parts)
2 tablespoons greek seasoning

2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves

  • Drop the white potatoes into a large pot of boiling salted water and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until they are just cooked through. Drain in a colander and place a towel over the potatoes to allow them to steam for 10 more minutes. As soon as you can handle them, cut in 1/2 (quarters if the potatoes are larger) and place in a medium bowl. Toss gently with the wine and chicken stock. Allow the liquids to soak into the warm potatoes before proceeding.
  • Combine the vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Add the vinaigrette to the potatoes. Add the scallions, dill, parsley, basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Adapted from Source:

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Lemon Basil Chicken Pasta

This is a quick, light and delicious meal that my whole family loved.  Even my pickiest eater said it was "OK" then went back for seconds.  So yummy!

  • Frozen diced/sliced chicken (or rotiserie or even raw)
  • greek seasoning
  • 8 oz dried linguine
  • 4 TB salted butter
  • 2½ TB flour
  • 1 cup regular chicken broth
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 TB dried basil
  • 2TB dried dill
  • parmesan cheese
  • Note: If you'd like to add veggies, simply boil some spinach or kale leaves along with the pasta during last 2 minutes of cooking.  You could also add frozen microwaved artichokes when you add your chicken back in at the end which is what I did. 
  1. Warm skillet.  Spray with cooking spray then put your frozen chicken in to warm up and defrost.  Season as desired, I prefer greek seasoning but you could use anything you like.  Cover and stir as needed until it is warmed through.  Set aside and keep warm.  Add your veggies to this bowl when they are ready too.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook linguine according to package instructions, to al dente. Drain and keep warm.
  3. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add flour and whisk well until combined.
  4. Add chicken broth, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, basil and dill. Bring to a boil. Immediately reduce to simmer for 2-3 min. or until sauce is thickened.
  5. Add linguine back into the skillet with sauce and coat well.  Add the chicken and veggies back into the skillet to coat too.
  6. Sprinkle parmesan onto plates and serve.  If you like, you can also add some more fresh lemon juice to your individual serving. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Creamy Slow Cooker Italian Chicken

My neighbor brought this over for dinner one night while we swam.  Both of the kids loved it so I started looking for a rendition of it to add to our menu!  This is really yummy and everyone in our house loves it and asks for seconds!  I serve it over rice with a veggie on the side and the littles love to scoop it up with corn chips!


  • 4-5 chicken breasts
  • greek seasoning
  • packet of zesty italian dressing mix
  • 1 LF cream of chicken soup
  • 1 LF cream of celery soup
  • milk
  • small can of diced green chilis
  • block of cream cheese (2% is fine)
  • 4 cups cooked rice.

  • In your slow cooker, cover bottom with chicken breasts.
  • Season chicken with greek seasoning and sprinkle zesty italian mix over chicken.
  • Mix together cream of chicken, cream of celery, diced green chilis and enough milk to thin to desired consistency.  I often season this with some additional greek seasoning. 
  • Pour this over your chicken.
  • Cut your cream cheese up and evenly drop cubes around the top of the chicken.
  • Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low 8-10
  • When you are ready to serve, pull the chicken out, shred with a fork if desired, stir the soups really well then add the chicken back in a stir.
  • We serve this over rice.  The kids eat it with corn chips to scoop it out. 
  • I often serve baked artichokes on the side!
If making this in the instantpot:

Follow above directions, but add 1 can of broth and
  1. Lock cover into place and seal steam nozzle.
  2. Cook on the chicken setting or manually set for 15 minutes. If you are using frozen chicken, add an additional 10 minutes.
  3. Naturally release pressure for 5 minutes then quick release remaining pressure.
  4. Remove chicken, shred, add back to pot and stir and serve over rice.  

Garlic Parmesan Broccoli

I love broccoli but have really been wanting something a little different than how I normally make it.  I REALLY like this method of cooking broccoli!  My husband who isn't a huge fan of borccoli likes it too!

  • broccoli
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • garlic salt
  • salt
  • pepper
  • lemon juice
  • parmesan cheese
    • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
    • In a large bowl, add broccoli, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, pepper and salt to taste. Toss broccoli with a spoon until it's completely coated.
    • Pour broccoli on the prepared baking sheet, spreading out into an even layer. Scoop out any garlic & oil left in the bowl and sprinkle it over the broccoli. 
    • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until broccoli is cooked through.
    • Sprinkle broccoli with parmesan cheese before serving and add more lemon juice if desired!
    Adapted from:

    Thursday, June 2, 2016

    Italian Wedding Soup

    I love a good hearty soup that is also healthy and this one fits the bill!  I also love to take shortcuts so I used the recipe attached to the link below and adapted to meet my needs! 
    • Meatballs:
    • 1 lb. ground sirloin
    • 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
    • 2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
    • 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
    • 1 Tbsp. garlic clove, minced
    • 2 Tbsp. milk
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
    • 1 1/2 tsp. Greek seasoning
    • Soup:
    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    • 1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
    • 1 cup carrots, finely chopped
    • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
    • 1 Tbsp.garlic cloves, minced
    • 7 cups chicken stock - I used one large carton plus one can
    • generous amount of dill, chopped
    • 1 tsp. oregano
    • 1 tsp. kosher salt
    • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
    • 1/2 cup acini di pepe
    • 2 cups, fresh spinach leaves, rinsed, stems removed and julienned
    1. In a medium bowl, combine all meatball ingredients and mix thoroughly.
    2. Form meatballs using a small scoop. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in refrigerator.
    3. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic and cook, covered until soft, 10 minutes.
    4. Add chicken stock, dill, oregano, salt and pepper and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low boil, and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
    5. Add acini di pepe and continue to cook for 6 minutes until pasta is tender.
    6. Drop the meatballs into the soup and continue to cook for 4 minutes, until the meatballs float.
    7. Add spinach and parmesan and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
    8. Serve immediately.
    *For a quicker version of this meal, you could also buy a sausage and cut into circles and add to the pot.  Turkey sausage would make this even healthier!  You could also make your meatballs with ground pork, chicken or turkey as well!   


    Tuesday, March 8, 2016

    Chicken Pot Pie

    In the past I have always made a Weight Watchers friendly chicken pot pie that was pretty good.  I decided recently though that I wanted to try one that was closer to what I remember as a kid, but still keeping the calories in check.  I adapted my last one and it did not disappoint.  My husband and I both thought it was as good as what Mrs. Stouffer used to make us as kids and the kids ate it up as well!

    2 cups cooked chicken (I use frozen precooked either cubed or shredded chicken)
    2 cans LF cream of chicken
    1 bag of frozen mixed veggies
    1/3 cup milk
    1 russet potato
    1 premade pie crust
    salt and Peper

    Lightly grease casserole dish. Peel your potato and dice it into small pieces.  Mix together first 5 ingredients plus seasoning.  Pour into your prepared dish.  Lay the pie crust out over your casserole dish on one end and bend/fold the corners to create a "pie crust".  Lay the other crust piece out over the other end, overlapping in the middle and repeat the bending on the edges.  This does not need to be pretty or perfect.  Just be sure to cover all of your mix.  Cut slits in the crust.  Bake @ 400 for 30 minutes.  Remove and serve!  If your crust isn't crisp enough, you can turn the temp up to 425-450 for the last 15-20 minutes, or even add an additional 15 minutes if needed.  Remove, let cool and serve!

    *The last few times I have made this, I bought the premade pie crust and folded and cut it into quarters.  I put the first four into the corners of the rectangular dish.  Then I did the same with the second one and used it to cover any open areas.  I took what was left and ripped pieces and put them along the edges to create more of a crust and cover the edges.  I cooked more evenly and was really good! 

    Monday, January 18, 2016

    Grilled Venison Backstrap

    This year we have a freezer full of venison to eat so we are on the hunt for some delicious recipes and this one did not disappoint!  In fact, it was HEAVENLY!!! 

    • 2 pounds of venison backstrap, cut into chunks
    • 1 quart of apple cider
    • 1 1/2 pounds thick sliced bacon
    • 2 (12 oz) bottles barbecue sauce, your choice

    • Place chunks of venison into a shallow baking dish, and pour enough apple cider in to cover them. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove, and pat dry. Discard apple cider, and return venison to the dish. Pour barbeque sauce over the chunks, cover, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 more hours.
    • Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Charcoal is best, but if you must, use gas. Remove meat from the refrigerator, and let stand for 30 minutes, or until no longer chilled. Wrap each chunk of venison in a slice of bacon, and secure with toothpicks.
    • Brush the grill grate with olive oil when hot, and place venison pieces on the grill so they are not touching. The bacon will kick up some flames, so be ready. Grill, turning occasionally, until the bacon becomes slightly burnt, 15 to 20 minutes. The slower, the better. Dig in, and prepare to want more.

    Adapted from :

    Monday, December 21, 2015

    Tomato, Avacado and Goat Cheese Salad

    Recently when we were in Mexico and having a lot of really great food, I grew a new appreciation for goat cheese.  I have had it plenty but not sure I ever registered exactly what it was when I tasted it.  It is so creamy and not an overpowering flavor.  I personally love cheese and really love goat cheese!!!  My friend ordered a salad similar to this with breakfast one morning that she let me eat plenty of bites off of and after craving it every since, I decided to come up with my own version.  :)


    • Large Tomato
    • Ripe Avocado
    • Crumbled goat cheese
    • Olive Oil
    • Balsamic vinegar
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Basil

    I am sure there a lot of ways you could go about making this with various variations but here is what I have usually done for something quick and simple.

    • On a plate, drizzle olive oil and then balsamic vinegar to your preference.
    • Slice your tomato and lay slices on top of the oil and vinegar.
    • Pepper your tomatoes to taste.
    • Slice your avocado and lay on top of tomatoes.
    • Salt your avocados to taste.
    • With a spoon, sprinkle your goat cheese all over the top to taste.
    • Sprinkle basil (fresh or dried will work) on top of cheese.
    • Enjoy!!!
    I am going to work on a rendition of this with grape tomatoes that will hopefully serve more easily at a gathering but doesn't require the effort of stuffing them.  This could also be really good with some cucumber added in as well I bet!

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

    Gammy Cherry's Sweet Potato Casserole

    Gammy Cherry made this sweet potato casserole last year at Thanksgiving and everyone went back for seconds and went on and on about how wonderful it was.  Yummy!!


    • 3-4 medium sweet potatoes
    • 1/4 C melted butter (use butter, NOT margarine)
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 C evaporated milk
    • 3/4 C sugar with a dash of cinnamon added to it
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/2 C crushed cornflakes
    • 1/2 C chopped nuts
    • 1/4 C melted butter
    • 1/2 C light brown sugar


    • Mix all of the casserole ingredients together in one bowl.
    • Mix the topping ingredients together in another bowl.
    • Beat well. 
    • Pour into buttered dish. 
    • Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.
    • Reduce heat to 350. 
    • Add topping.
    • Bake for another 15 minutes.

    Tuesday, September 1, 2015

    Summer Potato Salad

    Recently when I went to Austin to visit my cousin, her fiancé made this Summer Potato Salad and I couldn't get it out of my head.  It is very light compared to most potato salads and has lemon which is one of my favorites.  This one is SO SO good!  This is one that is even better the next day! 


    • Salad:
      • Small bag red potatoes cooked then halved/quartered (I like the kind in a bag you can microwave)
      • 1/4-1/2 red onion chopped coarsely (I have also made it with sweet yellow onion)
      • 2 ears fresh corn (cut raw corn from the husk)
      • 1 container of cherry tomatoes (sliced or quartered)
      • Basil ( either torn fresh basil or dried will work)- I use a pretty generous amount of dried usually.
      • Feta Cheese (I have also used Goat Cheese for a creamier finish)
      • Salt
      • Pepper
      • Greek seasoning
    • Dressing:
      • 2 Lemons (Squeezed)
      • 1/4 cup olive oil


    • Prep and add together all of the ingredients for the salad portion of the recipe in a large bowl.  I like to quarter the potatoes and tomatoes because it gives smaller bites and absorbs the dressing better.  Use as much or as little of each ingredient based on your tastes.  Just be sure not to overdo the amount of potatoes or your dressing will need to be adjusted because it might get to dry.  Be sure to salt and pepper your potatoes really well.
    • In a measuring cup mix together your olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice well and pour over your potato salad. 
    • Mix everything together really well and add more of the seasonings if needed. 
    • Chill and serve!
    **My husband and I have a recent obsession with goat cheese.  I originally made this with feta cheese and it was delicious this way.  I tried goat cheese one night and it took it over the edge for us and made it a little creamy.  That is the way we now like it every time!  But if you don't have access to or like goat cheese, try it with feta, or none!** 

    Adapted from:

    Friday, February 13, 2015

    Lobster Tails

    Another favorite that my BIL and his wife taught us to make is lobster tails.  We often do these on the grill but they can also be done in a skillet.


    • Lobster Tails
    • Chopped Garlic
    • Butter

    • Melt your garlic and butter and let it sit to cool.
    • Cut a slit in your lobster tail down the back side leaving the belly in tact.
    • Once the butter has cooled some, pour it into each tail.  You can also add extra seasoning if desired.
    • Grill: place tails belly side down on the grill.  It will change to a pinkish color on the shell and the meat will turn white (like a huge shrimp) and sort of pull away from the shell once it is cooked which isn't very long.  Probably 10 minutes.
    • Here are several different methods for cooking them:
    • It seems that my SIL prepares them the same way as we do for grilling.  I think she put a little water in the bottom of the skillet and cooks them flesh side down for 3 minutes, then shell side down for about 7, and cover for the last 6 or so minutes.

    Crab Legs

    Man do we love crab legs!!!  I was always intimidated by them until my BIL and his wife came over and taught us how to cook them.  Now they are one of our very favorite treats and they are so easy to make!

    We usually serve ours with garlic butter, crusty bread and a simple green salad.


    • Crab Legs (We got he long ones) Approx 3 bundles per person
    • Butter
    • Chopped Garlic

    • In microwave melt several TBSP's of butter and a heaping spoonful of chopped garlic and place in a bowl for dipping.
    • In a large tall pot, bring about 1/2-1 inch of water to a boil. 
    • Place crab legs in pot fingers down. 
    • Boil covered for 10 minutes.
    • Remove and place in a big bowl for eating.

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

    Easy Italian Chicken

    One of my friends posted this recipe the other day and I thought it looked really good.  I added some more veggies to it and everyone in my house ate this and loved it!  (Although the kids really didn't eat the veggies!)
    • 3-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
    • 4-6 Tablespoons Prepared Pesto
    • 1-2 Roma Tomatoes
    • 1 squash
    • 1 zucchini
    • 1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, grated
    •  whole mushrooms
    • 2-4 cups of cooked rice
    • lemon juice (to taste)
    • Trim the chicken and lay them in a glass baking dish in a single layer.
    • Spread 1-2 tablespoons of the pesto on top of each chicken breast.
    •  Cut the roma tomatoes into slices approx 1/2" thick and lay 2 slices on top of each chicken breast.
    • Cut the squash and zucchini in half then slice long ways to make thin strips.  Lay these slices over the tomato.
    • Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the chicken breasts.
    • Lay mushrooms in pan on sides wherever there is room.
    • Cover and Bake at 400F for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is done and the juices run clear.
    • Bake uncovered for the last 10 minutes. 
    • Serve over a bed of rice or a plate of pasta.
    • Season the rice with the broth from the chicken and add a little lemon juice as desired.
    •  Enjoy!

    Roasted Cauliflower

    There is a restaurant here called Terra that I absolutely love.  They have roasted cauliflower that I just can't get enough of.  This recipe is not the same, but I feel the same way about it so I would say it is a win!  So yummy!

  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into bite-size florets (about 8 cups)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves

  • Directions:
    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
    Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper on a baking sheet; sprinkle with the salt and thyme and toss again. Roast until golden and tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.  If you want yours more brown, you can increase the temp to 500 degrees for the last 10 minutes or so.


    Friday, January 30, 2015

    White Chicken Green Chili

    I love chili but have been trying to incorporate more lean meat in our diet and in a hearty healthy way.  I would say this recipe accomplishes just that!  And everyone in my family loves "soup"!  This recipe was originally written to be made in a slow cooker which is great, but I make it at night when I get home in a big pot and it works just as well.  See the link for the original recipe. 
    • 1 pound cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast (frozen or defrosted) (I often use either a rotisserie chicken or frozen diced precooked chicken for simplicity)
    • 1 TBSP chopped garlic
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 can cream of chicken soup
    • 1 cup tomatillo or green chile salsa
    • 1 can chopped green chiles
    • 1 can white northern beans, drained
    • 1 can reduced sodium corn
    • 1 cup water or chicken stock
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • Lime Juice to taste
    • Optional: Pepper Jack Cheese and/or Chopped Green Onions to garnish

    In your pan, add garlic and chopped onion and sauté until tender.  Add everything else but the chicken and beans and bring to a boil.  Once you have brought it to a boil, add your chicken and beans and bring back to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Add lime juice to taste!  Garnish with cheese and green onions if desired.  Enjoy!

    Slow Cooker Directions:
    In your slow cooker, layer chicken, onion, soup, salsa, green chiles, beans and water.  Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours (or on high 3 to 4 hours).  Remove lid and take two forks and shred chicken up right inside the slow cooker.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with cheese and/or onions.
    That's it!  Isn't that easy?  You pile everything in, ignore it all day and then it's ready for you at dinner time.  Super yummy and hearty without any fuss.  Enjoy chili night!

    Tuesday, January 13, 2015

    Italian Chicken Soup

    This was a recipe that another mom shared with me that I adapted a little for us.  It was such a nice change from the soups I normally make.  It was healthy, hearty, and really good!  And extra delicious with a good crusty bread!

    I have since changed this some to be instantpot ready and it is even easier!  My whole family loves this meal!  My kids will eat just about any soup if I let them scoop it up with corn chips but both of mine always ask me for leftovers of this the next night.  We love it with garlic bread on the side!



    • 1 tbsp. olive oil
    • 1 yellow onion diced
    • 1-2 tbsp. chopped garlic
    • 3-4 carrots diced (you can also used pre sliced or shredded carrots)
    • 3-4 celery stalks, diced
    • 1 bag of frozen diced hash browns (or 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced)
    • 1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
    • 2 4 oz. cans green chili
    • 1-2 juiced lemons
    • 1 rotisserie chicken deboned and diced (I use 1 bag of frozen precooked diced chicken)
    • Basil, dill, Italian seasoning, Greek seasoning or whatever else you like!
    • 2 32 oz. chicken broth

    • Turn your IP on to the saute function.  
    • Saute onion and garlic.  Add the other veggies and sauté them for 3-5 minutes.  Then add everything else on top!  I usually add broth last and push contents down a little if needed so that it is all in the broth.   
    • Set your IP to manual for 15 minutes.  Let it natural release for 10 minutes them you can quick release the rest of the way.  I always throw a dish towel over the top to contain splatter!
    • Serve with garlic bread on the side.  Top your bowl with cheese and extra lemon juice if you like!


    This was a recipe that another mom shared with me that I adapted a little for us.  It was such a nice change from the soups I normally make.  It was healthy, hearty, and really good!  And extra delicious with a good crusty bread!


    • 1 tbsp. olive oil
    • 1 yellow onion diced
    • 1-2 tbsp. chopped garlic
    • 2 32 oz. chicken broth
    • 4 carrots diced (you can also used pre sliced or shredded carrots)
    • 5 celery stalks, diced
    • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
    • 1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
    • 2 4 oz. cans green chili
    • 1/2 c diced parsley
    • 1 rotisserie chicken deboned and diced (I use 1 bag of frozen precooked diced chicken)

    • Saute onion and garlic.  Add the other veggies and sauté them awhile too.  Then add everything else but chicken or parsley.  Once everything has cooked until tender you can use a hand mixer and puree just a bit to thicken.  (You don't have to do this and I don't, but I am told it really makes it yummier.)  Then add the chicken and parsley.
    • You c an also add a little pasta if that appeals to your family. 

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

    Easy Spanish Rice

    I made this Spanish rice this year for Christmas to go along with our tamales.  It was really easy to make and turned out really well!  Everyone said it was great!
    •  2 tablespoons oil                             

    Weekly Menu

    Weekly Menu
    Cedar Plank Mahi Mahi with brown sugar rub, sautéed spinach, skillet seasoned red potatoes.


    Grilled Chicken Drumsticks, Lemon Butter pasta, teriyaki green beans

    Speedy Chili

    Baked Pork Chops, Mac and Cheese, Broccoli with mustard sauce

    Tuna Noodle Casserole

    Monday, November 3, 2014

    Zuppa Toscana-Low Calorie

    I keep seeing pictures and recipes for Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana.  I have never actually had it but it always looks good to me!  The only problem is that they all seem to be heavier in calories than I like, especially for a soup!  So I adjusted it to be a little healthier.  My entire family really liked this soup so it will become part of the rotation!

    • 1 pound uncooked Italian Turkey Sausage Links (I have used turkey breakfast sausage when that's all they had)
    • 1 TBSP Oscar Myer real Bacon Bits (or pieces)
    • 2 TBSP Minced Garlic
    • 3-4 cans of Chicken Broth (around 6 cups)
    • 1 package of sliced mushrooms
    • 1 package of mini potato gnocchi (or 2 cups of diced potatoes)
    • 2 cups thinly sliced kale
    • 1-2 cans cream of chicken soup
    • 2 TBSP lemon juice

    • Remove casing from sausage and brown, then set aside.
    • In your soup pot, sauté garlic, bacon and mushrooms.
    • Add broth and bring to a boil. 
    • Add gnocchi and bring back to a boil for about 2 minutes. 
    • Add kale, cream of chicken and sausage to pan.
    • Cover and heat through at a simmer. 
    • Salt and pepper to taste and add lemon juice.

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

    Chuy's Creamy Jalapeno Dip

    I have a love affair with Chuy's Jalapeno Ranch dip.  I would happily go to Chuy's and eat that and chips for a meal.  I can't get enough of it.  I wouldn't say this recipe is exactly like it, but it is pretty darn close and fills the craving for me.  Bonus points are that my daughter loves it too and happily dips raw broccoli in it!


    CHUY'S JALAPENO RANCH SAUCE1 whole jalapeno, chopped, deveined and seeded (less if you don't like a lot of heat)
    3-4 tablespoons cilantro without stems
    1 cup mayonnaise
    3/4 cup buttermilk
    1/3 cup tomatillo sauce (salsa verde)
    1 package Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix

    In a mini food processor put mayonnaise, buttermilk, jalapeno, cilantro, and salsa verde.  Blend well until smooth.  Remove from processor and place in a bowl.  Add Hidden Valley Ranch mix and stir well.  Chill several hours before serving to allow flavors to blend.  Serve with chips or even as a dressing for salads.


    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Raw Broccoli and Cranberry Salad

    My brother and I both grew up with a great love for broccoli!  I usually make it with a mustard sauce that my mom made.  It has always been my favorite way.  I do like to change it up every when I see something that looks good and let me tell you, this was SO GOOD!  I can't stop thinking about it. 

    I think that I might use pine nuts instead of bacon to make it a little healthier but it was absolutely delicious.  The trick for me was to cut the broccoli into small florets.

    This recipe makes enough for 4 portions.

    4 cups broccoli pieces (chopped) or broccoli florets
    1 red onion, chopped
    1 cup dried cranberries
    8 pieces of bacon, crumbled
    Your favorite honey mustard salad dressing (I used Newman's Own)

    Toss the first 4 ingredients together in a big salad bowl and drizzle in your desired amount of honey mustard dressing. Serve and enjoy :).

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

    One Pot Zucchini Mushroom Pasta

    I made this to change things up a little and really liked it!  I can't put my finger on what it reminds me of but possibly the sauce in moo goo gai pan.
    • 12 oz spaghetti
    • 1 small carton of mushrooms, thinly sliced
    • 2 zucchini, thinly sliced and halved or quartered
    • 2/3 cup peas
    • 2 TB chopped garlic 
    • 2 sprigs thyme or 1 TB dry thyme  
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper an greek seasoning, to taste
    • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
    • 1/4 cup 2% milk
    • 4 cups of chicken broth or water
    • In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat, combine spaghetti, mushrooms, zucchini, peas, garlic, thyme and 4 cups broth; season with salt and pepper and greek seasoning, to taste.
    • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until pasta is cooked through and liquid has reduced, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in Parmesan and heavy cream.
    • Serve immediately.
    • I originally poured the milk and cheese in together but the cheese melted in big clumps.  I suggest sprinkling the cheese in as you stir to more evenly distribute it.  And to top your serving with a pinch as well!
    • You could easily add some cooked diced chicken to this recipe as well and make it a meal with meat!  I served chicken breasts on the side!

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014

    Avacado Deviled Eggs

    This is a recipe that my cousin Alison discovered and is always a hit! 


    Original recipe makes 12 servings
    6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
    1 small avocado - peeled, pitted, and diced
    3 slices cooked bacon, chopped, divided
    2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
    2 teaspoons lime juice
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    sea salt to taste
    1 jalapeno pepper, sliced(optional)
    1 dash hot sauce, or to taste(optional)


    1. Scoop egg yolks into a bowl; add avocado, 2/3 of chopped bacon, mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic, cayenne pepper, and salt. Mash egg yolk mixture until filling is evenly combined.
    2. Spoon filling into a piping bag or plastic bag with a snipped corner. Pipe filling into each egg white; top with a bacon piece, jalapeno slice, and dash hot sauce.
    Notes: I used a pickled jalapeno slice and removed 1 whole egg yolk to make room for the avocado. I used half of a Haas avocado.

    Monday, July 7, 2014

    Paula Deen's Corn Salad

    I had this corn salad at a bday party we went to recently and it was so delicious!  I made it for the next gathering at my house and everyone loved it so it is definately a keeper!  And I am not a fan of mayo but you would never even know that is what's in this!

    2 (15 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained
    2 cups grated cheddar cheese
    1 cup mayonnaise
    1 cup green pepper, chopped
    1/2 cup red onion, chopped
    1 (10 1/2 ounce) bag coarsely crushed
    Fritos chili cheese corn chips
    (I could not find these so I mixed 1/2 regular and 1/2 barbeque corn chips)

    Mix first 5 ingredients and chill. Stir in corn chips just before serving.


    Cucumber Salad

    This is the yummiest cucumber salad I have ever had and ALWAYS a crowd pleaser!

    Ingredients: (This is for a large batch, if you don't want it so big, just cut it in half)
    6 large cucumbers, sliced thin
    1 medium tomato diced
    1 medium sweet yellow onion diced
    1 Tbsp salt

    1/2 cup cider vinegar
    4 Tbsp canola oil
    2 Tbsp honey
    1 tsp celery salt
    1 tsp dried basil
    1 tsp ground mustard
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1/2-1 tsp salt (to taste)
    1/2 tsp dried oregano
    Couple dashes of cayenne pepper

    Put sliced cucumbers in a strainer and toss with 1 Tbsp salt. Let stand for 30+ minutes. (This draws all the water out of the cucumbers, so either put it on a plate to catch the water or in the sink. I like it on a plate in the fridge so the cucumbers stay cold)
    In a large bowl, combine diced tomatoes and onions.

    In a small bowl whisk together all the dressing ingredients. When you are ready to serve, rinse the cucumbers to get all the salt off and drain. Add to tomatoes and onions. Toss with dressing.



    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

    Honey Lemon Garlic Chicken

     This was a really delicious recipe!  Everyone in my house ate it up which is always a bonus!


    • 2 lemon
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 8-10 cloves garlic
    • 8 tablespoons honey
    • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
    • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
    • 3.5-4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken
    *Be sure to reserve some of the sauce on the side before pouring over raw chicken.  The chicken is even better with a little extra marinade drizzled over it when served.


    1. Squeeze lemons to release 2/3 cup of fresh lemon juice.
    2. Mince or crush garlic in garlic press.
    3. Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, honey, minced garlic, parsley, seasoned salt, & pepper together in bowl, then divide into two 1 gallon freezer bags. (If freezing, be sure to label bags ahead of time.)
    4. Marinate chicken in bag for at least 30 minutes or longer, or press out air from bag and freeze.
    5. Thaw if frozen. Grill 6-8 minutes per side, basting with additional marinade, if desired.

    Preparation time: 5 minutes + marinating time
    Cooking time: 6-8 minute(s)
    Number of servings (yield): 8

    Source (Adapted):

    Monday, June 2, 2014

    Pork Tenderloin with Chimichurri

    This chimichurri sauce is AMAZING!!!
    Combine the garlic, jalapeno and vinegar in a bowl. Stir in the parsley, cilantro, and lime juice. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside at room temperature to allow the flavors to marry.
    Reserve 1/2 cup of the chimichurri to serve and marinate the pork in the rest. Put the pork and marinade in a sealable plastic bag and set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
    Preheat an outdoor charcoal grill or oven broiler to high.
    Remove the pork from the marinade, wiping off any excess. Season both sides with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and place on the grill. Grill the pork on the hottest part of the barbecue for 4 minutes per side, until well charred. Allow the tenderloin to rest for about 5 minutes prior to slicing. Spoon some chimichurri over the meat, drizzle with lime juice, garnish with parsley, and serve with the remaining sauce at the table.

    Adapted from:

    Thursday, May 29, 2014

    Lamb Chop Rub

    We recently decided to try some new meats and new recipes and lamb was one of them, and this rub did not dissapoint.  In fact, it was one of the most delicious ones we have had in a long time!

    *Bit of soy sauce
    *brown mustard
    *olive oil
    *worcestershire sauce
    *salt and pepper to taste

    Adjust to bring out whatever notes you prefer, but it shouldn't be really wet, just enough to coat the chops. Leave them in the ziploc with it to marinade awhile...the longer the better then place on a cookie sheet into a hot oven, maybe 400, and cook for about 20-30 minutes. You can flip them...but they are supposed to be quite rare.

    Sunday, February 23, 2014


    2 shots berry infused vodka
    1 shot orange liqueur
    Cranbury juice to taste
    Lime Perrier to taste
    Squeeze of lime

    All over crushed ice if you like.

    - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

    Friday, February 14, 2014

    Cinnamon Roll Casserole

    This is the easiest yummiest breakfast casserole.  It is great on Christmas morning or when company is in town and you have more mouths to feed, but also great any morning and the leftovers can be enjoyed for several days.  My kids LOVE it when I make this and they get it for breakfast all week.

    An easy cinnamon roll casserole recipe made from Pillsbury cinnamon rolls
    • Baking spray
    • 2 cans of Pillsbury refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
    • 4 eggs
    • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 cup chopped pecans
    • ¼ cup maple syrup
    • Garnish:
    • Icing from cinnamon rolls

    1. Heat oven to 375 degrees
    2. Spray 13×9 glass baking dish with baking spray
    3. Separate both cans of cinnamon rolls into 16 rolls; set icing aside.
    4. Cut each roll into 4 pieces.
    5. Place pieces in baking dish.
    6. In a medium bowl, beat eggs.
    7. Beat in cream, cinnamon and vanilla until well-blended.
    8. Gently pour the egg mixture over cinnamon roll pieces.
    9. Sprinkle with pecans.
    10. Drizzle with ¼ cup syrup.
    11. Bake 20-28 minutes, or until golden brown.
    12. Cool 15 minutes.
    13. Remove covers from icing and microwave for 15 seconds, or until thin enough to drizzle.
    14. Drizzle icing over the top of the casserole.

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

    Susan's Pecan Cookies

    These are some of my very favorite cookies my mom used to make.  Recently my Aunt Sally made some and I asked her for the recipe because I am not sure where it is at my parent's house.


    1 cup butter or marg 2 cups flour

    1 cup brown sugar packed 1 to 2 cups pecans

    1 egg separated

    1 ½ Tab Cinnamon chopped

    1 ½ Tea spoon vanilla


    Preheat oven to 325

    Melt Butter and combine with sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and egg yolk (add last.) Stir in flour and mix well.

    Spread on greased cookie sheet to cover completely. Pour egg white on top and spread completely over dough. Pour excess off. Sprinkle on pecans and gently press into dough.

    Bake 25 to 30 min, until light golden. IMMEDIATELY slice into cookie bars (approx 6 dz) and remove from pan to cool. They freeze well or keep will in tightly closed container.

    OPTIONS: Sprinkle sesame seeds between pecans to completely cover. Or, Chop 2 pralines and sprinkle along with pecans. This needs to also be pressed into dough.

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

    Diana's Zucchini Bread

    Years ago my friend Diana brought us all some zucchini bread to dinner one night when us girls met.  It was so incredibly delicious so I asked for the recipe and tucked it away for years.  I need to make this soon!  I bet my kids would love it and the added bonus would be some veggies in their bread!

    Zucchini Bread


     4 c coarsely chopped zucchini
    3 c all-purpose flour
    2 1/2 c sugar
    1 1/4 c vegetable oil
    4 eggs, beaten
    1 Tbsp + 1 tsp vanilla
    1 Tbsp cinnamon
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 c chopped nuts (optional)

     Heat oven to 350.  Generously grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans.  Blend all ingredients in mixer on low speed for 1 minutes, scraping bowl constantly.  Beat on medium speed for 1 minute.  Pour into pans.  Bake for 50 minutes to an hour.  Pick should come out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pans.  Cool completely before cutting.  Stores well in refrigerator for about a week.  Freezes well, too.

    Aunt Sally's Super Delicious Seasoned Crackers

    My Aunt Sally made these for everyone for Christmas this year and they are to die for!  I have eaten then plenty by themselves as well as put them out with cheese for guests.  These are so so yummy and very addictive!


    • 3 sleeves of Saltines
    • 1 c. of oil
    • 1 envelope of ranch dressing mix
    • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
    • 2 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
    • 1-gallon ziploc bag
    • Put the sleeves of crackers in the Ziploc bag.
    • Mix oil, pepper and garlic power in container that can pour (I use my pyrex measuring cup)
    • Pour mix over crackers and swish around a bit. Lay flat for 20 minutes.
    • Flip bag for another 20 minutes.
    • Maybe flip again twice, in 15-minutes intervals, or just give up trying to coat crackers evenly and dump entire bag out into your mouth.

    I use the new round crackers, one whole box. A large ziplock bag works best...I think mine are 2 gal. It allows you lots of room to mix the crackers around. I flip my bag more than twice, but you can decide what works best for you. I don't always put 2 Tbs. of red peppers, then sometimes I put a little more. Keep them in air tight container, they will last for weeks, if you don't eat them first. :)

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    Lemon Butter Shrimp with pasta and veggies

    This is by far a very favorite meal in our house.  Both of my kids shovel it in and usually ask for more.


    * 1 package of cooked, pealed and deveined frozen shrimp
    * 1 package of favorite veggie mix (I usually get one with squash, zucchini, green beans and carrots but have tried many variations)
    * linguine noodles
    * chopped garlic
    * butter
    * lemon juice
    * dill, basil and oregano (dried)
    * greek seasoning or salt and pepper


    * Preheat a skillet that has a top to a low temperature.
    * In a measuring cup add a 4-5 TBS of butter.  Add lemon juice to taste (I like a lot), dill, basil, oregano.  Put in microwave and heat until melted.  Usually around a minute for me.  Set aside until you are ready for it.
    * Cook about 10-12 oz of noodles.
    * In skillet add garlic then frozen shrimp and frozen veggies.  Cover it and let them steam while the pasta cooks.  When you are about ready to add the pasta and lemon butter, and the shrimp/veggies seem defrosted and warmed, I pour off the excess water.   
     * Add in your pasta.  Mix well then pour the lemon butter mixture over it and season with greek seasoning.  Mix well again.  Turn to the lowest setting, cover and let the butter sort of cook onto the pasta.  Keep an eye on it and mix occasionally.

    When I serve it, I often add more lemon juice to my serving.  It really just depends on how lemony your like it and I like a lot! 

    I have also often adapted this into a side dish by removing the shrimp and veggies and just doing the pasta. 

    Tuesday, December 31, 2013

    Black Bean and Avacado Dip

    * 1 (15 oz) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
    * 1 (14 oz) can of corn, drained
    * 1 (14 oz) can of diced tomatoes
    * 1/2 cup chopped red onion
    * the juice of one lime
    * 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    * 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
    * Pinch of Salt and Pepper
    * 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
    * 1 avocado, diced (add that when you're ready to eat it)

    In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients in order listed (except only add in avocado when you're ready to eat it).  Cover and chill until you're ready to eat.

    Easy Cajun Jumbalaya


    Original recipe makes 6 Servings                    
    8 ounces kielbasa or other precooked sausage, diced (you can also substitute or add shrimp)
    * 1 bell pepper, diced
    * 1/2 cup diced celery
    * 1 can diced tomatoes with onion and garlic
    2 tablespoons chopped garlic
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    salt and ground black pepper to taste
    * 4 cups of instant cooked rice (2 bags usually)
    * 1 can chicken broth
    * 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    * 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

    Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Saute sausage/shrimp until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper, celery and garlic. Season with cayenne, salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes, or until celery and bell pepper are tender. Add cooked rice, then stir in chicken stock and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, or until rice is tender. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce.