Monday, December 19, 2016

{Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie}

Merry (week of) Christmas!!!

I am so excited for Christmas this year!
I mean, I'm always excited for Christmas, but this year is going to be a whole new ball game for me! That honestly makes me quite nervous to a point, but still excited!!
It's mine and Bradley's first Christmas together married, which is very exciting!
We're looking forward to celebrating the holidays with both of our families, and of course, each other!

There are usually already way too many desserts everywhere you go over the holidays, so why not add one more, right?! Christmas cookies are always a good idea, and how can you go wrong with one giant cookie?!

The more I use them, the more I fall in love with these cast iron skillets!
Especially after this little dessert.
The pictures in no way do it any amount of justice, it was so yummy!!!!!
I read a lot of different recipes trying to figure out which one to make first.
I found that a lot of them have you mix up cookie ingredients and then bake them in a skillet.
I settled on a version of this recipe, because I liked the idea of how everything was melted, mixed and baked all in the same pan.
I think it gives a flaky, pastry like crust, with all the goodness of a gooey, chocolate chip cookie in the center.
I don't really know how to give it enough credit!
I hope you try it out!!!


1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 & 1/2 cups chocolate chips or chunks
Vanilla Ice Cream, optional

In a 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet, begin melting the butter over medium heat, stirring often.
Once completely melted, reduce heat to low, and whisk in sugars. Stir continually until mixture is smooth and glossy.
Remove from heat, and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes (pan and all).
Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
Stir in flour, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt. The mixture will be thick and sticky, so this may take a bit of elbow grease and some time, but be patient, it will eventually get all mixed in!
When the flour is pretty much incorporated, add chocolate and mix until well combined.
Spread the mixture evenly over the skillet.

Bake at 325 degrees F, for 25-30 minutes. The edges should be lightly golden brown, but the inside in the center should be slightly gooey still.
Let stand 5 minutes before cutting. 
Slice and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired!

-It's important to let the mixture cool lightly before adding the eggs, otherwise you will have slightly sweet scrambled eggs, which will not taste fantastic with chocolate chips.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Cheddar Potato Soup:

Hey everyone!
I've had this recipe on the blog for a while.....well, a few years, actually!!!!
Over time, I've added and taken away a few things from the original recipe to make it better and better, so I wanted to share the new and improved recipe with you!!
It's super easy and super yummy!
I was never the biggest fan of potato soup, but I thoroughly enjoy this one!
Thick and creamy and flavorful...totally comfort food!

I hope you give it a try!!

6 cups potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 & 1/2 tblsp. butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 & 1/2 tblsp. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 & 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 & 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup bacon, fried and chopped
1 & 3/4 cups cubed, White Queso Velveeta Cheese
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan. Add enough water to just cover the potatoes. 
Bring to a boil and cook just until a fork sticks through them. Drain in a colander; set aside.
In the same saucepan, saute onion in butter over medium-high heat until onion is tender.
Whisk in cornstarch, pepper, and garlic powder until smooth.
Add chicken broth and milk.
Cook and stir until mixture barely begins to boil.
Reduce heat to medium.
Stir in potatoes, bacon, and cheese. Stir continually until cheese is melted.
Garnish with parsley.

-Check out my "Recipe Index" for some great muffin or bread recipes to serve with this potato soup!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Pepperoni Pizza Chicken Rolls:

And I'm back for our second round of stuffed chicken!
If you haven't seen my post on Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken, you can check it out HERE.

You can't really go wrong with a good ole' pepperoni pizza.
I love pizza as much as anybody, and just thinking about all the different variations of pizza out there, is just amazing!
But sometimes, I just crave some classic thin, crispy crust, extra sauce, perfect amount of cheese, lots of pepperoni piece of pizza!!!! There is just no substitute!
You know what? I have been married for over 6 weeks, and I have yet to make a pepperoni pizza, come to think of it! Definitely adding that to the menu for next week, because now that's all I can think about!!!

This recipe is in no way a substitute for an old-fashioned pepperoni pizza,
it was very, very good! We loved it!
It was so, so fun to make, and the flavors were awesome!
It's perfect as is, but it would also be fantastic to pump it up too!!
Think some spicy pepperoni, some sauted peppers, onions, mushrooms, some chopped black olives....the list could go on and on!!!

So no matter whether you're feeling classic and traditional, or adventurous, I hope you try this out!!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup marinara sauce
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 cup chopped pepperoni
12+ whole pepperonis
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Butterfly each piece of chicken, and then pound them out to make sure it's all flat and even; set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce, Italian seasoning, chopped pepperoni, 1/4 cup shredded cheese, and the Parmesan cheese. Mix until well combined.
Divide the sauce mix between all 4 pieces of chicken. Spread out over the chicken breast, to within 1/4 inch of the edges.
Gently roll up each piece as tightly as you can, like a burrito. Secure with toothpicks.
Place, seam side down, in a greased baking dish.
Pour the remaining sauce over the chicken and spread out to evenly coat each piece.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 50 minutes, or until meat thermometer reads almost 155 degrees F.
Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese, and top with whole pepperoni.
Bake for 10-12 minutes more or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Let stand for 5 minutes. Remove toothpicks.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Baked Ranch Chicken Tacos:

tattoos tacos and tequila - Google Search: Sometimes the tacos win.: as sick as I am about all these "keep calm and..." posters, I couldn't help but like this:

Oh my goodness, I just love tacos!!!!!
I don't know if I could seriously, honestly nail down a specific favorite food, 
but it would definitely be a toss up between tacos and Japanese. 

Actually, maybe it would be tacos and something else Mexican. 

No, it would be tacos and that Cuban restaurant that Bradley currently has me addicted to.

Or it could be tacos and peanut butter............never mind, I'm not willing to make that choice.

Well, whether you're a taco-addict such as myself, or quite possibly a hater, I definitely hope you give these fantastic, awesome, incredible tacos a try!
They are quite unbelievable, and quite unlike any other taco I have had.
I don't know how to explain them, to help convince you!!
It's a creamy, chicken taco, basically!!
With Fireworks!!!

I don't know, I just hope you try them out and enjoy them as much as we did!

And you could totally use this mix in a bunch of different ways! 
If you aren't a fan of the hard-shell tortillas, try:
-in a soft tortilla wrap
-on a taco salad
-shred the chicken and use it as a dip for tortilla chips
-in a quesadilla

And the sky's the limit, when it comes to the topping choices!

2-3 large chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 package (1/4 cup) taco seasoning
1/2 cup prepared ranch dressing
12 taco shells
Shredded cheese
Taco toppings of your choice

Heat oil in a medium skillet, over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Cook and stir until lightly browned, and chicken is cooked through. Drain off any excess liquid.
Return to the heat, and sprinkle taco seasoning over the chicken. 
Cook and stir until the seasoning has completely coated all the chicken
Add the ranch dressing, and cook and stir until evenly coated and heated through.
Stand taco shells up in a baking dish. 
Divide the chicken mixture evenly between the shells.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake at 400 degrees F for about 8 minutes, or until cheese is melted and everything is heated through.
Serve with your favorite taco toppings!!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Baked BBQ Chicken Nachos:

Happy Thanksgiving week, y'all!!!!!!

I'm so excited for this week! 
Yes, because this is mine and Bradley's second thanksgiving together, 
and first thanksgiving being married!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And we have soooooo much to be thankful for!!!! 
But, also I'm excited because.............................


It's been about 9 & 1/2 weeks since I have seen them (apart from FaceTime), and I CAN'T wait!!!!
Bradley's family is awesome, and they have been so sweet to me and have welcomed me in!
They have definitely helped me make the transition from Maryland to South Carolina a lot easier, but I am still excited to see my family again!

This is not your traditional "thanksgiving" menu item, I know. But sometimes it's nice to break away from all the leftovers the day after Thanksgiving or sometime, and throw together something super fun, super easy, and super yummy for your guests. Or even just yourself!!
Honestly, we totally ate this for dinner, the first time!
But it would be awesome anytime!

I love nachos!! Plain ole' chips and cheese or fully loaded....I'm all in!!
After Bradley and I closed on our house in July, we went out to eat dinner with his family to celebrate. It was this super cool BBQ place, and of all the amazing things on their menu, the BBQ nachos totally jumped out at me!
And they were sooooooo good! Oh my goodness, I was in heaven!

So, I've been thinking about them ever since, and knew I had to make them!!
I looked at a lot of recipes, and they were pretty much all missing the one key ingredient.
Not the chicken.
Not the chips.
But the white queso. 
I'm telling you, it's what TOTALLY makes BBQ Chicken Nachos!!! 
After combining like 4 different recipes, I think I finally got it!! They were really, really good!

So whether its for a super quick dinner, or an awesome appetizer/snack, I hope you try them out!!!

Note: All amounts are just approximate. Feel free to add/take away anything/as much as you want!

3/4 of a (13 oz) bag of tortilla chips, any shape you want
2 cups shredded BBQ chicken
1 large onion
5 ounces white Velveeta Queso cheese
2 teaspoons pickled jalapeno peppers, diced
2 tablespoons juice out of the pepper jar
2 cups of shredded cheese, any kind
Additional diced jalapenos and sour cream for garnish, if desired

Cut onion in half, and slice thin. Saute in a skillet with about 1 teaspoon of butter, over medium-high heat, until tender, and beginning to caramelized; set aside.

Cut white queso cheese into small chunks. Add the diced jalapenos and the juice. 
Place in a small microwave safe dish,
Heat for 30 seconds, stir. Continue heating & stirring in 30 second intervals, until cheese is melted. Set aside.

I used a huge cast iron skillet, but you could use a large plate or serving tray, or a 9x13 baking dish, or cookie sheet, or seriously whatever you want! Just so it's oven safe!
Arrange half of the chips on the bottom of your serving dish.
Add a thin layer of shredded cheese over the chips.
Top with the remaining chips.
Drizzle the melted white cheese all over the chips.
Top with the chicken, and then caramelized onions.
Sprinkle with additional diced jalapenos and remaining shredded cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes or until everything is nice and hot and cheese is melted.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Tater-Tot Breakfast Skillet:

My mother-in-law had this huge set of awesome cast-iron skillets that she didn't want anymore, so she gave them to me!!! I had always wanted some, but when I lived at home, we had a flat-surface stove, and whereas I LOVED that stove, you couldn't use cast-iron on them, because it's too heavy.

But! When I moved into my home now, we still have an awesome stove, but it has regular burners.
So I have lots and lots of things I want to try in these awesome skillets now!

This is the first thing that I made in them, and stay tuned, because more will definitely be coming your way!!

This was super fun, and really yummy!
Tater-Tots are always a good idea, and to use them for a crust is genius!
This recipe is really flexible too! It calls for sausage and bacon, but you could definitely just use one or the other if you prefer.
Of course, any kind of cheese you wanted to use would be fantastic!
And add whatever you want to your eggs! I threw in some diced bell peppers and onions, garlic powder, salt and pepper. 
But you could add in so many different things, depending on your taste...mushrooms, spinach, jalapeno peppers, etc., etc.,....the list could go on and on!!!

I hope you give it a try, and enjoy it as much as we did!
Dad, you would love this!!! I can't wait to make it for you!

FYI: Breakfast for dinner is what I'm all about, but this also heated up great for breakfast the next day!

1 (32 oz) bag frozen Tater Tots
6 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded cheese
3/4 cup cooked, crumbled sausage
3/4 cup fried, chopped bacon

(I used a cast iron skillet for this, but I'm sure you could use any skillet or even a pie plate or something...just so it has sides, and is oven safe!)

Line the tater tots in a single layer across the bottom of a greased skillet. Then line the outside edges of the pan (which will make a double layer, just around the outside).

Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon of water.
Heat a skillet to medium heat, and scramble the eggs, cooking just until set, because they can finish cooking later. 
Remove the potatoes from the oven. Using the back of a spatula, measuring cup, glass...whatever you have that's flat, gently press the potatoes down, making a more solid, flat layer, like a crust. Make sure to get the ones on the sides too, pressing them into the side, not down. 
Sprinkle with one cup of cheese.
Add eggs and spread out as evenly as you can.
Sprinkle the sausage over the eggs, and cover with the remaining one cup of cheese.
Top with bacon.
Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Let stand 3-5 minutes before slicing.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Italian Turkey Meatballs:

So, since I've gotten married, my cooking style has changed a little.
You know, families tend to have their style and preferences of food. 
I don't know really what my family's food style is, because we have so many people in our family, we have so many different preferences! What one person loves, three other people hate!!

Bradley and I have very similar food styles and preferences, and that has been awesome! 
I don't necessarily know what our style is called, but we'll call it "our" style for now! 
Just like with pretty much every area in life, we have taken pieces of our lives as individuals in separate families, and brought them together and now we're making our own "family style"!
And it's been awesome!!!

So, one thing we have tried that is different for both of us, is Turkey Burger. 
Bradley is not the biggest fan of beef because, especially in hamburger, it tends to be really greasy and that can be really gross sometimes!
I had tried turkey burger once or twice before, and really liked it.
Now, I pretty much love it!!!
It's completely interchangeable with ground beef. 
But, it's so much lighter than ground beef, and you don't have that greasy feel or taste. 
Also, I feel like you can flavor turkey burger a lot better too. 
Ground beef is already very strong, and it takes a lot of seasoning to really get a good flavor.
Turkey burger is pretty much flavorless to begin with, so it really actually screams for any kind of flavor you want to give it! It can be subtle, it can be bold, it can be spicy, it can be sweet! 
The choice is yours!!
These meatballs are pretty much a happy-medium and a blank canvas, just waiting to be "personalized"! 
They are really, really good. Super soft and light, very flavorful and hold together nicely. 
We loved them!
I tossed them in some marinara sauce, and baked them until they were heated through.
Very yummy!

I hope you give them a try!!!!

2 lbs. ground turkey
4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon black pepper
dash of salt
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup quick oats
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
3 tablespoons milk

Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl, until thoroughly combined - 
your hands are probably going to be your best tools here!

Use a cookie baller/scoop to keep all the meatballs the same size.
Roll the balls in your hands, to make a nice round shape.
Place on a greased cookie sheet, 1/2 to 1 inch apart (you don't want them to touch).
Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown in color, and no longer pink in the center.

-My turkey was very lean, so there was no need to drain them after they were baked. But if there is any amount of grease in the bottom of your pan, you will  want to place the cooked meatballs on a layer of paper towels for a few minutes, before you use them.)

Use immediately, or place on a clean baking sheet, and freeze for 3-4 hours. 
Remove from the baking sheet to a ziplock bag and store in the freezer until ready to use!
In most recipes, you can use the meatballs need to thaw before adding them to a sauce to bake or simmer, or throwing them in the crockpot!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken:

Something about stuffed chicken always looked so cool and "fancy" to me!
Like something you would make for a special occasion
(I have no clue why I thought this!)!!

When I really looked into them, I realized that they were actually not all that hard to make at all.
In fact, they are actually really easy! 
And relatively fast!
AND very fun!
AND a great stress-reliever, because you get to pound out chicken!

Anyways, so since being married, I have tried a couple different stuffed chicken recipes.
This is the very first one I tried, and we loved it!
It is a little spicy, but I mean, "Jalapeno" is in the title, so I'm sure you already guessed the spicy part! But it's really good, and the inside is so creamy, and just good!

Now, these don't look fantastic, but they really were good!
We used Turkey bacon, but you can use whatever you want.
We baked ours, but you could grill them instead. That would add an awesome smokey flavor, and great color too!!

Hope you try it out! 

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons diced, pickled jalapenos
1/4 cup (2 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
4 slices pepper jack cheese
8 slices bacon

You can either butterfly the chicken, or pound the chicken into 1/4 - inch thickness; set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese and jalapenos - I use a hand mixer with a whisk attachment, just to make sure they are thoroughly mixed, and the cream cheese is as smooth as possible.
Place a slice of pepper-jack cheese onto each chicken breast.
Divide the cream cheese mixture into fourths. Place 1/4 onto each piece of chicken, in the center on one side (just like a burrito or something).
Carefully roll up like a tortilla - fold in the sides, and roll from top to bottom as tightly as you can.
Secure the end of one piece of bacon with a toothpick, and wrap the rest of it around the chicken, securing the other end with another toothpick. Repeat with another piece of bacon.
Repeat this process with the rest of the chicken and bacon.
Place on a baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper, but that's optional), seam side down.
Bake at 400 degrees F, for 30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F in the chicken. Place under the broiler for a few minutes, if you want the bacon to be more crispy.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving!

-Grill over medium heat for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
-You can also get these totally ready up until the baking stage earlier in the day. Refrigerate until ready to cook!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Martha White Gluten-Free Mixes:

Image result for Martha gluten free muffin mixImage result for Martha gluten free muffin mix


I don't know how everyone else is, but when it comes to trying new gluten-free products,
I am the whimp of WHIMPS!!!

I am generally pretty adventurous when it comes to food...I just enjoy food and will at least try most everything once.
So, it's weird that gluten-free products scare me away! 
I think it's because when I first went gluten-free, my family tried a lot of different types of flours, and mixes, etc., and to be perfectly honest - they were GROSS!!!!

I literally got to the point that I didn't care whether I had another cookie, piece of bread, or cracker again in my life. If they were going to taste like that, I could DEFINITELY live without.

And so we did.
For a long time.
It just wasn't worth it.

However, that was over 10 years ago now. 
And a lot has changed in the gluten-free world during that time! 
Thank goodness!!!

I love seeing all these different, new, awesome things on so many grocery store shelves now, and knowing that there are so many more options out there!

But I'm still scared!!!!!!

Before we got married, we were FaceTiming one night (well, I mean, not just one night, we did it every night, but anyways!), and Bradley was eating these delicious-looking, little blueberry muffins that he had just made. And he was like "oh yeah, these are so good. And they're from a gluten-free mix you know."

Ummmm, NO! I did not know! 

He showed me the mix that he used, and I had never heard of it before.
Turns out they are a relatively popular brand that has been around for a long, long time, and now have gluten-free options as well!!!

I am a sucker for muffins, and when he said they were good, I felt brave all over, and couldn't wait to try them!!

So, that is literally the very first thing we made in our house when we got back from our honeymoon. 
We made the Blueberry mix and the Chocolate mix.
Both are incredible!!
And just FYI: spread a little peanut butter on top the chocolate ones while they are hot...

So in case you haven't heard about this brand before, 
I wanted to tell you that it's out there, 
it's amazing, 
and I hope you try it out!!

Where I am living now, I have seen them at Walmart and Bi-Lo grocery stores.
They are on Amazon as well.
And be sure to check out the Martha White website, as well!
You can purchase online there, and also read their cool story!

Monday, October 17, 2016

{Crock-Pot Lasagna}

I am a big fan of Lasagna. I am a big fan of Crock-Pots.
However, for some reason, putting those two things together, just didn't appeal to me all that much.
I don't know why, it just didn't sound good.
But thankfully, something made me just break down and try it one week.

And I am so glad that I did!
I think I may actually like it better than our regular, oven-baked Lasagna!
It was fast and easy to put together, and had such a great flavor.
I was worried about the texture being mushy and runny, but it was nice and thick and perfect!

I hope you try it out!

1 pound ground beef
36 oz. spaghetti sauce (about a jar and a half)
1 (16 oz) container cottage cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 & 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 box lasagna noodles, uncooked
2+ cups mozzarella cheese

Brown ground beef until no longer pink; drain well. Mix with spaghetti sauce; set aside.
Mix together cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, and Italian seasoning.
Line a crock-pot with a crock-pot liner or spray with cooking spray.
Spread 1/3 of the meat sauce mixture across the bottom of the crock-pot.
Break a few of the noodles into large pieces to cover the top of the sauce.
Spread half of the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles.
Sprinkle with a layer of mozzarella cheese.
Repeat layers with 1/3 of the meat sauce, noodles, remaining cottage cheese mixture, and mozzarella cheese. Top with a final layer of noodles, and the remaining meat sauce.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Cover and cook on low for 2 & 1/2 to 3 hours. During the last half hour, sprinkle another thin layer of mozzarella cheese. Cover and cook until noodles are tender when poked through with a fork, and cheese is melted and bubbly.

-I used ground turkey in mine, and it worked great!
-I also used a Mexican blend cheese, which gave it more color, and the flavor was perfect!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Wraps:

Okay, here we are for round 2 of recipes coming from OUR kitchen!!!!!!
Not that this is the second thing we made. I should have posted them in order, but I was not that organized! The very first thing we made, were these amazing muffins that Bradley had found a mix for. We made blueberry ones and chocolate ones. Oh my, they were good!
That is one awesome mix, and I will be sharing all the details about that ASAP!!

The second thing, was he made me Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta!!
With no recipe.
And he had never made it before.
And it was amazing!
Seriously, he got the short end of the stick in this deal!
Unfortunately, I will neither be sharing pictures or recipes for that right now...
or anytime soon, actually...because I have neither.
How sad is that. People - take a picture of your first big meal, okay?
Anyways,  I don't remember what any of that had to do with anything!
BUT, I am still married to the most amazing man on earth, in case you were wondering!!!!!!!!!!!!!


So, wraps are fun.
You can put just about anything in them, and personalize them to your taste.

This one might sound a tiny bit strange, and you might think that some of the ingredients don't go together all that well, but please don't knock it till you try it!

They are super easy to make, and we both loved them!
I hope you try them out!!

2 teaspoons olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
1/2 - 3/4 cup BBQ sauce, depending on your taste
Canned Pineapple (crushed or chunked), drained well
Chopped Onion
Lettuce or Spinach
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Gluten-Free Flour Tortillas

Heat the oil over medium heat in a small skillet or saucepan.
Add the chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir for a minute or so, to combine.
Add BBQ sauce (more or less depending on how saucy you like it). Cook and stir until heated through.
To serve, place desired toppings in the center of a tortilla.
Gently fold in the sides, and then roll tightly.

-My very favorite Gluten-Free Flour Tortillas come from HERE.
-If you don't have time to cook and shred some chicken, a rotisserie chicken from the deli would work perfect for this.
-We used Sweet and Spicy BBQ sauce from Kraft, but I'm sure it would be good with any kind!
-We prefer spinach in ours, but lettuce is awesome too!
-Get adventurous and try whatever cheese you have on hand!

Monday, October 3, 2016

{Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas}

So, I would like to start out by saying this is a very exciting post for me.

Not only because it's a great recipe that I can't wait to share with you
(although, don't get me wrong, because it definitely is!).

But mainly, 
because this, my friends, is a milestone post in my life! 

THIS, is the very first recipe I am sharing with you being 


To my best friend, by the way!!!

AND............straight from MY kitchen!!!


Like, I'm married, y'all!!!!!

 And I have a kitchen!!!!!!!!

That is mine!!!!!!!!

Well, it's Bradley's too, so okay....this is from OUR kitchen, then!!!!!!!!!


I'm trying not to be more excited about that fact, than the recipe itself, but........
SO not working! 
Married life is just the best, you guys!!!

Attempting to move on now!!
This recipe was great!
I mean, not as great as being married to your best friend but,
like maybe if you didn't have a best friend, then this dish could be your best friend or something!!
It's pretty much that good!!
Pretty much!

I always got Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas at this Mexican restaurant while visiting my brother in New Mexico. I just couldn't get enough of them, they were so good!
But, I have never seen them in any other Mexican restaurant, and I was pretty bummed about that.
But not anymore! 
These were super yummy, and very quick and easy to make!!
If you are looking for super spicy, I would had another can of green chilies.
But if you just want a bare hint of heat, then stick with one can.

Okay, I'll stop talking now so you can go make these!!

And so that I can go eat the last two that we have leftover!!!

And probably also kiss my best friend, too!!!!!!!

I hope you enjoy them!!!
(enjoy the enchiladas, I mean. Because you are so not kissing my best friend, sorry!)

10 white corn tortillas
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
2 cups shredded cheese, divided
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, divided
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter
4 & 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies 

-You can use whatever cheese you like. A mexican blend would be fabulous. I used a provolone/mozzarella mix.
-It works great to let your chicken cook in the Crock-Pot. It keeps it really moist and then shreds super easy when it's done.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray, and set aside.
In a medium bowl,
combine chicken, 1 cup of the shredded cheese, 3 ounces of the cream cheese, and salt and pepper. 
Mix together. Honestly, your hands are going to be your best choice here!
Lay out the tortillas and divide the chicken mixture evenly between all of them. 
Gently roll up each tortilla and place seam side down in prepared pan
(I usually get 8 going down the middle, and then one on each side).
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. 
Add cornstarch and whisk until smooth.
Add chicken broth; cook and stir until it reaches a boil.
Stir in the remaining 5 ounces of cream cheese, and whisk until melted.
Remove from heat; add sour cream and green chilies. Stir until well combined
Pour sauce over the tortillas.
Sprinkle the top with remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes or until hot through and bubbly around the edges.
Place under a broiler for 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese starts to turn golden brown.
Let stand 3-5 minutes before serving.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Marinated Grilled Pork Chops:

My family didn't eat a ton of pork when I was growing up (apart from occasionally ham, or sausage), and now I really just don't care for it in just about any way, shape or form...ham, bacon, sausage, pork thank you (does turkey sausage count? because I totally love that!).
I could live my whole life without pork, and probably never miss it one time.
But I could quite easily be pursuaded to eat a pork chop now, if they were made like this.
The marinade is a little interesting, but it made the very best pork chops I have ever had in my life!!
One of the keys is to let it marinade as long as possible, and not to over-cook it.
My whole family absolutely loved these! I hope you give it a try!

3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Chili Sauce
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 & 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
2 lbs. boneless pork chops (roughly 8-10 chops)

Place the pork chops in a gallon zip-lock bag; set aside.
Place remaining ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk until well combined.
Add the sauce to the bag, and seal tightly, getting out as much air as possible.
Gently shake and squeeze the bag to make sure the meat is thoroughly covered.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours, but the longer the better. 
Remove the pork chops from the bag, and discard the marinade. Grill over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side, or until meat thermometer reads 145 degrees F. Place on a serving plate, and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Roasted Garden Veggies:

I'm pretty much convinced that roasted veggies are
And they're super easy. And very versatile.
We always have way more yellow squash in our garden than 10 families could eat, and it gets old after a while. When you feel like you don't have anything to loose, why not try something new?! At least that's how I was feeling, so I just threw them in a pan and put them in the oven.
Turns out that was a good choice!
It ended up being super easy, and really delicious! 
So I wanted to document it for future reference, really, and also share it with everyone else!
Hope you give it a try!!

2 medium yellow squash
2 green bell peppers
2 medium onions
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 teaspoons season salt (more or less, depending on your tastes)

Line a baking sheet with foil; set aside.
Cut the squash in half. Using a spoon, scrape out all the seeds and discard.
Cut into 1 inch pieces.
Cut the pepper in half and pull out all the pale colored ribs and rinse out the seeds.
Cut the pepper into 1 inch pieces.
Cut the onion into 1 inch pieces
Place all the veggies on the baking sheet. 
Drizzle with olive oil. 
Using a spoon or just your hands, toss lightly to evenly coat everything with the oil.
Sprinkle with season salt and mix lightly.
Make sure all the veggies are spread out evenly. 
Place under the broiler (3-4 inches away). 
Broil for 5 minutes. Stir. Repeat at least 3 times 
(for a total of 15 minutes) 
or until veggies are fork tender, and some pieces are starting to look charred.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Cheesy Garlic Baby Potatoes:

A friend of mine just recently introduced me to the world of baby potatoes.
Don't get me wrong, I already knew they dad digs them up out of the garden every year!
I just didn't know that they could be bought in a bag at the grocery store!
(it takes surprisingly precious little to excite me, in case you didn't notice!)

Anyway, so we bought a bag of those cute little things (and as a side note, it was super cute, because they were red and yellow potatoes mixed together, which just adds to the awesomeness)!
Then I came across a recipe similar to this, and I didn't know how it could possibly go wrong: little baby potatoes, butter, garlic and cheese.
I know, right?!!?!!!

And they were awesome! Everyone enjoyed them! 
And get ready for this........
.........they were so cute!!!!
It might seem a tad complicated, but they are really super easy, and I mean, for a side dish, what entree does this not go with?!
I hope you try them out!!!

(P.S. Just a little FYI: we got our bag of baby potatoes at Sam's Club.)

2 & 1/2 lbs. baby potatoes
6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon mince garlic
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Shredded cheese (anything that melts really nice, stringy and creamy. I used mozzarella)

Place potatoes in a large pan of boiling water. 
Cook for about 15 minutes, or until almost done. 
Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on a dish towel to dry 
(they'll dry almost immediately.) 
Place the dried potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet. 
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter and garlic in a small sauce pan over medium heat, and simmer while the potatoes bake, stirring often. 
. Using the back of a fork, gently press on each potato, to slightly smash it 
(basically you're just wanting to break the skins, but that's hard to do without smashing the whole potato at least a little bit!).
Spoon/drizzle the garlic butter over all of the potatoes. 
Sprinkle the cheese over everything.
Sprinkle with parsley. 
Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes or until cheesy is melted and bubbly 
and starting to get a little golden brown.

Monday, July 25, 2016

{Honey Baked Chicken}

I will work at getting a much, much better picture of this chicken recipe for you,
because this one is not doing it ANY amount of justice whatsoever.
Super moist and tender on the inside, and ever-so-slightly crispy on the outside,
this chicken is super yummy!!! And so easy to make!
The combination of ingredients had me a tad skeptical at first,
but after making it the first time, I was hooked!
I don't know how to explain the flavor, other than that it would go with virtually a main dish with any kind of side dish, or in a salad, etc.
It's good straight from the oven or leftover cold.
I have only made it with bone-in chicken.
I'm sure it would still be good with chicken breasts, but keep in mind that a piece of chicken that has a bone in it, will be much more moist.
I hope you give it a try!!

1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
6-8 chicken legs or thighs*

Arrange chicken pieces in a foil lined baking dish.
Combine the butter, honey, mustard and salt in a small bowl, and whisk until well combined.
Pour over chicken.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes until chicken is lightly browned, basting every 15 minutes.

Monday, July 11, 2016

{Cheesy Potato Casserole}

Okay so, when I posted HERE about being a little sporadic with posting in the next couple of months, I was SO not meaning that that would take affect immediately,
 and that I would drop off the planet, and not post for a month+ at a time!
But things got busy, plus my computer was virtually, completely un-usable. :(
For the safety of any important things that I wanted saved from it, I couldn't even turn it on!
So between that, wedding planning, working, a couple of trips, and just every day we are, like 7 weeks after my last post! Wish I could say I'm organized and ready to go again, but yeah, that's not happening! At least for a couple more months, anyways!!
In the meantime, I hope you will keep checking back in with me!

Anyways, I have actually been cooking some during all of this time.
This recipe is not a new one, but it's one that my entire family absolutely devours.
A friend at our church makes it a lot for potlucks and she shared the recipe with us,
so thanks so much, Mrs. Cathy!!!
It couldn't be easier to make, and it's just good!
I don't have a picture of the finished product, because it never lasts long enough for that, but trust me, it's amazing!! Coming from a dinner table few of fairly picky eaters, when everyone loves something, you know it's a winner!!!
I hope you try it out!!

1 (2 lb.) package frozen, shredded Hashbrown potatoes
1 (16 oz) container Sour Cream
2 cups shredded, cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons butter, melted
dash of salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients except potatoes in a large bowl, and mix well.
Add potatoes and mix until well combined.
Pour into a greased, 9x13-inch baking dish, and spread evenly.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

-It works best to use the hashbrowns while they are still just makes it easier to mix up for some reason!
-I like to mix this up the day before, cover and refrigerate until I'm ready to bake it.
Gets all the mess out of the way!

Monday, May 23, 2016

{Lemon Blossoms}

In case you don't know, I love all things lemon! It's on an equal level with Peanut Butter, for me. Which means it's at the very top of my list!
So I'm wondering how on earth I went 20+ years without ever once having these little lemon gems. I had never even heard of them.
Luckily, my boyfriend made them over Thanksgiving, so I could try them (yes, I know he's a keeper).
Oh my goodness, they were so good! You really must try them!
Super fast and easy to make, perfect lemon flavor......mmmmm!
I know this, because I just made them yesterday, and I'm eating one right now!
You should do the same!

1 pkg. Yellow Cake Mix
1 (3.5 oz) package instant Lemon pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil

4 cups powder sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons water

Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs and oil in a mixing bowl.
Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Batter will be thick and sticky!
Spray mini-muffin tins with cooking spray. Fill each cup half full.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
Gently run a table knife around the edges to loosen, and turn out onto a clean dish towel.
Combine glaze ingredients and mix with a spoon or whisk until smooth, If it's too thick, add more water, one teaspoon at a time, until you reach desired consistency.
Place a cooling rack on a cookie sheet or over a piece of wax paper. 
While the cupcakes are still warm, dip them in the glaze, covering the whole thing. Allow excess to drip off. Place on the cooling rack, Let stand for 1 hour, or until glaze is set.
Store in an airtight container.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Live G-Free Products:

We are pretty big fans of the Aldi grocery store!
They have great prices on great food, including amazing produce.
The stores are located all over the country, and more and more are opening up!

They have recently released a line of gluten-free products, and I just want to tell everyone how amazing they are!
I have not had a chance to try everything they offer, but I also have yet to try something that I didn't like. It's very high quality, and very reasonably priced!

Probably their top product for us, is their sandwich bread.
It's amazing! Super soft and just really, really good!
The tortilla wraps are also great, and I have a few recipes that include those wraps, coming out very soon!
Their pasta, crackers, granola cereal, granola bars, and cake mixes are all things that we have tried and loved!
They have some frozen chicken nuggets that we are anxious to try, and we also just got some other flavors of crackers that we are excited to test taste!!

I am not being reimbursed for this post in any way. I just love their products, and wanted to share them with you!
If you try anything out, please let me know what you think!

Click HERE to find the store nearest you!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Chicken Chili:

My Fiance's (ah! I still can't believe I'm saying that!)
sister made this for dinner the day we got engaged.
I was not necessarily thinking completely clearly that day, because I was (and still am) in shock, 
but I definitely remember how good this was!
It smelled so amazing while it was cooking, and tasted even better!
My mom and dad couldn't get enough of it either! And my mom is not crazy about this type of thing, but she loved it! It was pretty much addicting!!
I don't know how to describe's like chili, but could also be a dip, really, and it's just plain good!! So eat it with a chip or with a fork, it doesn't matter!
Rina was super kind and shared the recipe with me! 
Mine did not taste as good as hers, but it was still good, and I really hope you try it out!!
There is no way to take a picture of this and make it look good, much less as fabulous as it actually is! But please take my word for's good!!

2 chicken breasts
1 can Rotel (tomatoes and green chilies), not drained
1 cup frozen corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
1 & 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
Tortilla chips

Place the chicken in the bottom of a slowcooker.
Top with Rotel, corn, beans, ranch mix, and taco seasoning.
Stir gently to combine.
Top with cream cheese.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring once or twice to blend the cheese.
Shred the chicken before serving.
Serve with tortilla chips!

-If this recipe is tripled, it will fill a 5-quart crock pot.
-If desired, you can use 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and 1 teaspoon onion powder in place of the taco seasoning. Feel free to play around with the seasonings to your taste!