About Me

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Who am I? Wife. Mother of 2. "Newbie" to fitness. Personal Trainer-in-training. Lover of health. Fitness. Religion. Family. Gluten and refined sugar intolerant. Welcome to my journey. Learn with me.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

Wow! I LOVE Chicken Cordon Bleu and I was so excited to try this recipe - and WOW it didn't disappoint! I LOVED it so much and Jake had three helpings! This will DEFINITELY be a constant in our household. We put together the entire dinner and ate in one hour's time. Try it! You will love the flavor! I got this recipe here.

From Blogging… It’s What’s for Dinner!

2 cups cooked, diced chicken
6 oz deli ham, diced
2 cans cream of chicken soup
8 oz sour cream ( I used fat free)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
cooked pasta

Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan until cheese is melted, smooth, and creamy. Serve over whatever pasta you like.

*NOTE: I used large shell pasta and it was PERFECT! I definitely wouldn't use regular spaghetti noodles. It seems like small noodles are best: bowties, elbows, etc.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Baked Oven Omelet

I love recipes from Real Mom Kitchen. I browsed all of her blog recipes and picked out a few that I wanted to try. This one was another one from her compilation. It was pretty tasty with a nice strong flavor, mostly contributed by the green onions. If you don't like soggy bread texture, this may not be the recipe for you. It has a very unusual texture that might be mistaken for ALMOST soggy bread. But it sure does taste good. It requires a little bit more work and time, but both my husband and I enjoyed it. I got this recipe here.

from Real Mom Kitchen

1 loaf of bread
3 cups of grated cheddar cheese (I think the sharper the better)
1/2 pound chopped ham
1/4 cup chopped green onion
5 eggs beaten
2 1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. prepared mustard

Trim crust off bread. Save crust for another use. As you layer the bread, butter each side of the bread. I just use my tub of margarine for this. Place a layer of bread in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan, just enough buttered slices to cover the bottom of the pan. Then layer 1 cup of the cheese, half the ham, and half the green onion. Place another layer of buttered bread slices. Top with 1 cup cheese, remaining ham, and remaining green onion. Beat egg, milk, salt, paprika, and mustard together. Pour over layers in pan. Top with remaining cheese and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, until knife comes out clean. Serves 9-12.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Chicken Tortellini Soup

So, not only did I finally get a CAMERA for Christmas, I also got this great new cookbook called Made Simple Chicken. I love chicken and so I am very excited to try the MANY tasty looking recipes. This first recipe looked too good to wait any amount of time before making it - and it didn't disappoint. I loved the flavor and Jake said it is a keeper for our regular recipes! It was very easy to make and only required a trip to the grocery store for a few inexpensive items. (Getting packaged tortellini instead of the refrigerated kind is a HUGE price break, and it isn't that hard to cook it yourself!)

From Made Simple Chicken

6 cups chicken broth or 1 can (48 ounces) chicken broth
1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese and spinach tortellini or three-cheese tortellini
1 package (about 6 ounces) refrigerated fully cooked chicken breast strips, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh baby spinach leaves
4 to 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped chives or 2 tablespoons sliced green onions

Bring chicken broth to a boil in large saucepan over high heat. Add tortellini. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes. Stir in chicken and spinach.

Reduce heat to low. Cook 3 minutes or until chicken is hot. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and chives. Makes 4 servings.

*I used 6 cups water plus 6 chicken boullion cubes for my broth, 9 ounces uncooked spinach tortellini (cooked to package directions), frozen chicken cooked up in a bit of oil with onion powder, salt, and pepper until browned, and the green onions instead of the chives.

Hot Vanilla

I love hot drinks! Especially hot chocolate and hot apple cider. They are so soothing and comforting, and with all of this crazy snow, that is just what we need! This one is DEFINITELY a keeper! In Jake's words, "Yummmmm, that is the stuff!" It's fast, it's easy, it doesn't require a whole lot of ingredients you wouldn't already have on hand, and it's EXTREMELY tasty! I got this recipe here.

from Real Mom Kitchen

1/2 cup of whipping cream
1 tablespoon of chocolate syrup
Dash of cinnamon
1 cup of milk (per hot vanilla)
2 teaspoons of sugar (per hot vanilla)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (per hot vanilla)

1. Start with the topping. In a medium bowl, whip 1/2 cup of whipping cream until it's frothy. Add 1 tablespoon of chocolate syrup and a dash of cinnamon, then continue to whip the mixture until everything is well blended and peaks form. Makes enough to top about 6 drinks.

2. For each hot vanilla, microwave 1 cup of milk and 2 teaspoons of sugar in a mug for 90 seconds. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Top with a dollop of chocolate cream, a drizzle of chocolate syrup, and a dash of cinnamon.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Topsy Turvy Taco Bake

Okay, so I admit I had my doubts about this one and so did Jake. As I was baking it it looked REALLY peculiar and Jake kept saying, "Are you sure about this recipe?" BUT... in the end it turned out really good and it looks quite pretty when you dress it all up with the toppings. It tastes pretty good too and I wouldn't mind making it again because it was so simple and tasty. I got this recipe here.

from Real Mom Kitchen
1 ½ lbs. ground beef (raw) (I only used 1 pound and it was plenty)
1 egg
1 T. instant onion (just the dried minced stuff)
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 pkg (1.25 oz.) taco seasoning
1 pkg (8.5 oz.) cornmeal muffin mix (I used a jiffy mix)
Dressings: chopped tomatoes, avocado, shredded lettuce, green onions, cheese, black olives, salsa, and sour cream (whatever you like on your taco)

Combine beef, egg, onion, tomato sauce and taco seasoning. Spread in even layer in bottom of 10-in baking dish (I used an 11x8 dish). Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Prepare cornmeal muffin mix according to package directions. Spread over top of beef. Continue baking at 400 degrees for 15 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let sit on counter for 10 minutes. Turn upside down on serving plate and top with tomatoes, avocado, black olives and cheese; dollop sour cream on individual servings.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Caramel Cream Brownie Trifle

I took this to a celebration dinner last night for my little brother and it was a hit! My dad took a bite and said, "This is awesome!" It is very rich, so be careful about that, but the combination of the flavors and textures are wonderful. The reviews all said that it gets better and better the longer you let it sit. The pudding kind of soaks into the brownies so they are moist and delicious! I got this recipe from here.

From Betty Crocker

1 Box (1 lb 2.3 oz) Betty Crocker® fudge brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box
1 box (4-serving size) chocolate fudge instant pudding and pie filling mix
2 cups milk
1/4 cup caramel topping
1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional) - I used Heath toffee pieces instead

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Bake brownie mix as directed on box, using water, oil and eggs, in 13x9-inch pan. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
2. Make pudding mix as directed on box for pudding, using milk; refrigerate. Cut brownies into 1-inch pieces. Thoroughly stir caramel topping into whipped topping.
3. In 3-quart glass bowl, layer half each of the brownies, pudding, walnuts and whipped topping mixture; repeat.
4. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving but no longer than 24 hours. Store covered in refrigerator.

*NOTE: I used a 2-quart glass bowl and it was the PERFECT size.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes

I just love pancakes and so I was very excited to try this new recipe. It did not disappoint! I think these were probably my all-time favorite way to have pancakes. They had the most wonderful flavor! I think next time I will try raspberries or strawberries because these pancakes would be good with any variety of fruit folded into them. Jake had six and just kept saying, "Yum!"

from Erin at sisterscafe.blogspot.com

2 c. all-purpose flour
¼ c. sugar
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 eggs
1 ½ c. milk
1 c. (8-oz) sour cream (I used fat free sour cream)
1/3 c. butter, melted
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries (I used frozen that were partially thawed)

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs. Add milk, sour cream, and butter; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until blended. Fold in the blueberries. Pour batter by ¼ cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle; flip when golden on bottom. Cook until the second side is golden brown.

*Note: This recipe made 16 pancakes for us. (Using 1/3 cupfuls)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cheesy Lasagna Rolls

I LOVED these! They were one of my favorite meals that I have made recently. I added 1 lb. of browned ground beef to my mix before rolling it up into my noodles and I thought it was a great addition. Jake said it was a little bit too much meat for him although he liked the rolls in and of themselves. Maybe next time I will either try halving the ground beef or leaving it out altogether. I got this recipe from here.


12 Lasagna noodles, cooked and cooled (I only used 10 because that is what I had)
1 jar spaghetti sauce, divided

1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp parsley flakes
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic salt
2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided (1 1/2 cup for filling, 1/2 cup on top)

Pour half of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Mix together all ingredients for the filling. Lay noodles flat and spread filling mixture on noodles. Roll up like a sleeping bag and lay in pan. Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

*Note: Do not over cook noodles. Follow directions on box of noodles.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

I had potatoes that I needed to use up and so was browsing through some recipes and thought that this one looked delicious. I love browsing recipes and found this one here. It got great reviews from other cooks, but I was a bit skeptical about making it after looking at the ingredients. I was afraid it wouldn't have much flavor to it. Plus, it takes a really long time to cook. If I spend that much time on a recipe I want it to be worth it! Well, I can assure you that this recipe was worth the time. It tasted a lot like my hot dog casserole recipe (which we love) although this one has to be a lot more healthy! If you have the time to make it I promise you won't be disappointed!


1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt (I wouldn't use more than 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups milk
3 cups ham, cooked
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped (I just used onion powder)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
5 cups potatoes, pared and sliced

Melt butter in large sauce pan over low heat; blend in flour, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. Remove from heat gradually stir in milk. Return to heat; cook until thickened and bubbly. Fold in ham, onion, green pepper and cheese. Pour over potatoes in a large bowl. Stir gently then move into a buttered or greased 13X9-inch baking dish; cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake for 1 hour.
Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

*NOTE: I topped my dish with cheese for the last 25 minutes of cooking. It was a delicious addition! It was golden brown when the dish finished and added such a wonderful flavor!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Mom's Chicken Sour Cream Enchiladas

I grew up with this recipe but, amazingly enough, I have never made it myself until tonight! IT WAS SOOOOO GOOD!!! It took very little time to prepare and I am currently sitting in the most comfortable position I can comprehend to try and take some pressure off of my extremely full stomach. I think my husband had 4 helpings! Try this one! You won't be disappointed! Sorry there is no picture... I will hopefully have a camera soon!


2 cans cream of chicken soup
½ chopped onion (I just sprinkle in onion powder)
1 can diced chilies
¾ c. water (I used chicken broth)
2 cups diced, cooked chicken
12 - 16 oz. Sour cream (I only used about 12 oz.)
Cheddar cheese

Mix together in a warm pan: soup, onion, chilies, and water. Add chicken. Fold in sour cream. Heat tortillas in frying pan (I just spray the pan or put in a little butter). In a 9 x 13 pan cover bottom of pan with sauce. Put 2 Tbsp. sauce and 1 Tbsp. grated cheese into tortilla and roll. Put side by side in pan. Cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Cover. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. These are even better if they sit for one hour before baking.

*NOTE: For those of you who like things SPICY I added about 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper to our sauce. I also sliced olives and topped my enchiladas with them.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pineapple Meatballs

I have always been such a fan of my Swedish Meatball recipe that I was a little hesitant to try a new one, but this recipe certainly did not disappoint! It reminded me a lot of the flavor of sweet and sour chicken and next time I make this (because there will be a next time) I may even add a chopped green pepper into the sauce. The recipe below is my modified recipe. I halved the meatball part and left the sauce part as is because Jake is a big fan of sauce. You can find the original recipe here.



1 lb. ground beef (lean)
1 large egg
¼ cup oatmeal
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder


1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¾ cups pineapple juice (reserved from pineapple tidbits)
1 cup water
¼ cup white vinegar
1 ½ tablespoon soy sauce
1 ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (14 oz) can pineapple tidbits

Step 1: Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Make the meatballs by combining all meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well and shape into about 1” meatballs.

Step 2: Make the sauce by combining cornstarch and brown sugar in a sauce pan. Then add ¾ cup pineapple juice and 1 cup water and blend until the mixture is smooth. Add vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and stir. Simmer uncovered on medium low until thickened (about 8 minutes - mine only took about 4 minutes to thicken).

Step 3: In a casserole dish pour sauce over meatballs and add pineapple tidbits. Lightly mix meatballs until they are coated with the sauce. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until fully cooked.

*This makes a LOT of sauce so don't be surprised!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Brandi's Pumpkin Dessert

This is a great pumpkin recipe that my family likes even more than pumpkin pie! It is SOOO easy to make and tastes phenomenal! My favorite part is the crust! Try it - it's a fantastic holiday treat!


1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick of butter

Melt butter and add to cake mix. Mix well.

Lg. can pumpkin
12 oz. Evaporated milk
4 eggs
1 ½ c. sugar
¼ tsp. Cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
Sprinkle nutmeg

Stir ingredients together. Press ½ cake mix in bottom of greased 9x13 pan. Add pumpkin mixture on top. Sprinkle other half of cake mix over pumpkin layer.

Cook at 350 for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Moon Cake

This recipe comes from my wonderful friend Ashley Crapo. This recipe does NOT have a heavy sweet taste which I love SO MUCH! It is a lot like an eclair or cream puff taste. Yesterday, my brother had 3 pieces, my husband had 4, and my father had 2. The actual CAKE part is very finicky and make SURE you follow the directions, but once you get past that part it is not hard at all! I couldn't find a good picture for this recipe because Chinese moon cake is ENTIRELY different. This should look like a bubbly yellow cake on the bottom, layer of vanilla colored cream in the middle, and a layer at the top that is a SLIGHT brown. (VERY Light)


1 ¼ c. cold water
½ c. + 2 Tbsp. Margarine
1 ¼ c. of flour
5 eggs
2 - 8 oz. Cartons of cool whip
3 - 4 Tbsp. of Fudge

Cream Cheese Layer (*ASHLEY usually doubles this part, I leave it as is*)
1 - 8 oz. Package cream cheese, softened
3 ½ c. milk
2 - 3 oz. Pkgs. Vanilla instant pudding

Mix cold water and margarine in sauce pan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Add flour all at once and let sit for 5 min. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat after each one. Spread on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes. DON’T OPEN OVEN WHILE BAKING AND DON’T POP THE BUBBLES THAT FORM. Let cool.

Blend cream cheese and then slowly add milk. Add vanilla pudding. Beat until thick and spread on cool cake.

Fold in fudge to cool whip. (OR just use 2 pkgs. of chocolate cool whip if you can find it). Frost the top of the cake with mixture. Allow to chill for several hours.

*I ignored the "ungreased cookie sheet" part last time... big mistake. The batter slipped and slid all around the sheet until I was just ready to scream! Next time I will definitely leave the cookie sheet ungreased.

The BEST EVER Homemade Pizza

I love this recipe. LOVE LOVE LOVE! The crust is wonderful and the sauce is divine! I always get RAVE reviews when I use this recipe and it really isn't that hard. I hate to mix and knead dough... I wish I had a mixer... but oh well. Maybe someday!


1 pkg. Dry yeast (2 tsp. = 1 pkg.)
2 Tbsp. Lukewarm water
Dissolve yeast in warm water.
1 egg
1 tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Shortening or oil
1 cup boiling water
3 cups flour

Beat egg, add shortening, salt, sugar. Slowly stir in boiling water. Cool to lukewarm and add yeast mixture. Add ½ flour; stir (or beat with electric mixer) until smooth. Add remaining flour. Knead to soft dough. Roll to fit pan. Spread light coating of oil over dough on pan. Let rise 15 minutes. (You can spread on sauce and toppings while waiting for dough to rise.)

2 cans tomato sauce
2 cans tomato paste
½ tsp. Ground sweet basil
½ tsp. Oregano
3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Sugar
¾ tsp. Garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together and spread on top of dough. Top with cheese, olives, peppers, ham, pepperoni, mushrooms, as desired, or topping of your choice. Bake pizza at 425 for 15-20 minutes.

*Note: A good cheese mixture is ½ Mozzarella and ½ American, medium sharp. I doubled the crust recipe and left the sauce recipe as is and we made 4 LARGE personal pizzas with lots of leftover sauce.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


This is one of those classic dishes that have a million different versions! This is my version and we like it quite a bit! It's so easy, it's almost like cheating when making dinner!


16 oz. spaghetti noodles
1 jar Prego spaghetti sauce
1 packet spaghetti seasoning
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 lb. Ground beef
Onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, as preferable.

Prepare spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Brown ground beef and drain if desired. Add Prego sauce, packet of spaghetti seasoning, parmesan cheese, and any other desired seasonings. Serve over spaghetti noodles or mix noodles and sauce together before serving for more even portions.

*FANTASTIC ALTERNATIVE: Use 1 package Hillshire Farm sausage (instead of ground beef) and 1 can of olives (in addition to other ingredients). Slice sausage into rounds and fry in skillet. Add spaghetti sauce with seasonings and sliced olives. Mix in a large bowl with cooked spaghetti noodles and top with cheddar cheese.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff

I got this recipe here. This dish turned out SOO tasty - just like the reviews on the website said! My husband and I loved it and it was just about the easiest preparation I have ever found in a slow cooker recipe. The recipe listed below is my modified recipe. If you want the original recipe please see the link above. This is a GREAT one!!!


3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
1/8 cup margarine
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
1/4 cup green onions
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (I used fat free)
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
16 oz. wide egg noodles

Put chicken in a large Ziploc bag with the dressing mix. Leave in refrigerator overnight. The next day, put chicken and dressing mix, margarine, and green onions in slow cooker; mix together and cook on high for 2 1/2 - 3 hours. Add cream cheese and soup, mix together and cook on high for another 1/2 hour or until heated through and warm. Serve over noodles.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

One Egg Pancake

I got this recipe here. This was a very simple, very few ingredient, tasty breakfast that reminded me a lot of crepes. The pancake was thin and cooked VERY quickly! I served this with a little bit of Smucker's syrup and whipped topping with scrambled green onion and cheese eggs on the side. My husband loved it and so did I!

1 egg, beaten
3 Tbs. flour
4 Tbs. milk
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
dash salt
Cinnamon (optional, but it is soooo good)

Mix all ingredients together and pour in buttered/sprayed saucepan. Wait till the edges look done, and then flip and cook on other side. This makes a really BIG pancake.

*This recipe is enough for 1 serving. I used wheat flour and the resulting pancake was a lot like a crepe, but sufficiently filling that I only needed to make one pancake per person. I didn’t just double the batter but actually made them completely separate so that the proportions would be identical.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chunky Potato and Ham Soup

I have made this soup twice now - once with my mother and once by myself. I have potato trauma whenever I put them on the stove to boil, so it was pretty frustrating for me when I did it... but I think it is a pretty simple recipe in general. And in the end, it tastes great! I served it at a party we hosted at my house and it was gone in about 5 minutes flat!


3 medium red potatoes
2 cups water
Onion Powder
Crushed Red Pepper
Black Pepper
3 Tbsp. Flour
3 Tbsp. Butter
3 cups milk
1 1/2 cups cheese
1/2 tsp. sugar
Crushed red pepper flakes

Cut potatoes into cubes and add to water. Cook until tender. Drain, reserving liquid. Set aside potatoes. Measure 1 cup cooking liquid; set aside. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add flour to saucepan; season with onion powder, pepper flakes, pepper, and salt. Cook 3 to 4 minutes.

Gradually add potatoes, reserved 1 cup of cooking liquid, milk and sugar to mixture; stir well. Add cheese and ham. Simmer over low heat 20 - 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

*I added some extra cheese and just turned the heat up until the cheese was all melted before serving.

Apple Jello-O Salad

This is super easy and really tasty! My family has had this for family gatherings for YEARS! Hope you enjoy it too! *NOTE: Picture is raspberry jello salad, not apple.

I served this at a party we hosted at my house and between six people this HUGE bowl of jello was almost completely devoured. People had 2 - 3 helpings each!


3 LARGE packages Apple Jello
1 – 12 oz. container cool whip
3 – 4 apples

Make up jello using 9 cups water instead of 12 (3 hot, 6 cold). Let set for 4 - 5 hours. Once set, use electric mixer to blend in cool whip. Mix in apples.

*You can use this same technique with various different combinations of Jell-o flavors and fruit!

Lindi Anderson's Wheat Bread Recipe

This is a CLASSIC STAPLE in my family. My mom makes 3 loaves every three days because my siblings will not eat any other kind of bread. You start to crave the wheat bread and will be so surprised how quickly a whole loaf goes! My mom has perfected the recipe and it is so wonderful!


1 ¼ c. warm water
1 ¼ tsp. Yeast
2 heaping Tbsp. Honey
2 Tbsp. Butter
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Dough enhancer
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. Gluten
3 cups wheat flour

Put all wet ingredients in the bottom of the mixer. Place all dry ingredients on top except for yeast. Make a little well in the dry ingredients to put the yeast in. Mix together thoroughly. (I just use a bread maker.)

*I like to use 3 Tbsp. Butter instead of just two.

If you don’t have a bread maker: Mix the dough really well and knead it for about 8 minutes and then roll it out to make sure to get all the bubbles out of it. Fold over the long sides so they meet in the middle and then roll it up and put it in a bread pan. Cook at 350 for 30 minutes but check it between 25 and 27 minutes.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Paprika Chicken with Sour Cream Gravy

YUMMMMM!!!! I just absolutely love this recipe. It is one of my very favorite dishes! It isn't too difficult to make although the process of making the dish seems a bit "impractical." Just a few notes: Chicken chunks or strips are a million times better for this dish; yes, you only need ONE can of cream of chicken soup and yes, it will seem like it isn't enough; I don't think the picture (obtained from http://www.campbellskitchen.com) is a very accurate representation of this meal; this is a spicy dish so if you are sensitive to heat reduce the amount of black and red pepper; and I like it much better served over noodles. I got this recipe here.


From: Campbell's Kitchen
Prep/Cook: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground red pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I only use 3 and I cut it into chunks)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 container (8 oz.) sour cream

Mix flour, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper and red pepper on plate. Coat chicken.
Heat butter in skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken 10 min. or until browned. Set chicken aside. Add soup and green onions. Heat to a boil. Return chicken to pan. Cover and cook over low heat 10 min. or until chicken is done. Stir in sour cream.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

BBQ Meatcups

I got this recipe here. It was super easy to make and very flavorful! The buttery taste of the biscuits was a PERFECT compliment to the tangy meat mixture. I had to cook it a little bit longer than it said (about 3 minutes extra) and I PACKED each biscuit with the meat filling and still had some left over. But these were a HUGE HIT with my husband! He ate SIX of the EIGHT that I made and only stopped because he was too full to pack anymore in! I'll DEFINITELY be making them again!


1 lb ground beef (browned and drained)
1 tube Pilsbury Grands Biscuits
½ cup catsup
½ cup BBQ sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
3 TBS dried onion
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 TBS relish (optional)
cheese for topping

Preheat oven to 375°. Grease muffin pan and flatten dough from biscuits into the pan. Put hamburger in bowl, mix in remaining ingredients except cheese. Fill dough with meat mixture. Bake 8 minutes. Top with cheese and bake another 5 min.
*NOTE: I was worried that cooking the meat mixture in the biscuits would make them gross and soggy but I was SO wrong! The biscuits turned out perfectly well and not the least bit soggy. If you are not a big onion fan I would recommend using onion powder instead of the dried onion. That way you still get the taste of the onion, minus the texture!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hot Dog Casserole

So simple, so quick and easy, so AMERICAN!


1 package hot dogs (eight)
3-4 medium sized potatoes OR 6-8 small potatoes
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 c grated cheese

Slice potatoes thinly, cut up hot dogs, and grate cheese. Mix hot dogs, cheese and soup together to make sauce. Layer in crock pot: first potatoes, then sauce. Continue until sauce is gone (usually two layers of each). Cook in crock pot on low for about 6 hours.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Spaghetti Florentine

This was definitely unusual - there is no doubt about that. It is completely vegetarian and has a very unique flavor. However! It was tasty, we liked it, and it was easy! So, try it and see what you think! This recipe was from campbellskitchen.com! P.S. If you don't like the flavor of spinach, this is NOT the recipe for you!


1 can (14 oz.) Swanson® Chicken Broth (1 3/4 cups)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning, crushed
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 pkg. (about 10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 medium tomato, diced
4 cups hot cooked spaghetti, cooked without salt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

MIX broth, flour, Italian seasoning, garlic and pepper in saucepan. Add spinach. Cook and stir until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.STIR in yogurt and tomato. Toss with spaghetti. Sprinkle with cheese.Serves 6.

*I added salt and extra pepper, lemon juice, and extra garlic powder to my sauce. I like things with FLAVOR!
*NOTE: I enjoyed this recipe the night I made it, but it was 10 times better the next day re-heated for lunch! The parmesan got all melty and the taste of the spinach wasn't nearly as strong.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Mmmmmm... so good! This is a little more involved to make, but it wasn't too bad. If you have a fantastic husband to help you around the kitchen it goes quite fast. Make sure to prepare ahead of time for the hour it takes to cook! But let me tell you, it was WELL worth it! This recipe is courtesy of http://mykitchencafe.blogspot.com/


3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

Cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg. Fry in a little oil until brown but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish. Mix sauce ingredients (below) together and pour over chicken.

¾ cup sugar
4 tablespoons ketchup (or ¼ cup)
½ cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt

Bake for one hour at 325 degrees. Turn chicken every 15 minutes. If you like extra sauce, make another batch of sauce and bring it to a boil on the stovetop. Stir constantly and let cook over medium heat until thickened and reduced - about 6-8 minutes.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mom's Quick and Easy Apple Crisp

This is a recipe that I tried with some of my girlfriends because we had a TON of apples sitting around in our house. It was another shot in the dark recipe and I LOVED it! Super quick and easy - especially if you have girlfriends to help you cut up the apples.


8 Granny Smith apples, peeled & sliced thin
1 c. sugar
1 c. flour
1/4 c. oats
1/2 c. butter
1 tsp. cinnamon

Cream sugar and butter. Mix in flour, cinnamon and oats. Place apple slices in glass pie dish (8 or 9 inch). Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high (optional). Remove plastic wrap, sprinkle with flour mixture, pat a little. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

*The original recipe doesn't call for you to toss anything with the apples... I thought this was rather curious and so I tossed them with 3 Tbsp. butter creamed with 1/4 cup brown sugar, a dash of nutmeg, a palm full of cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. of vanilla.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Chicken Casserole

This is a classic dish that I grew up with. So easy to make and very tasty!


3-4 chicken breasts
1 c. mayonnaise
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 cans green beans
Grated cheese

Cook and cut up chicken. Mix together mayonnaise, soup, and lemon juice. Layer: chicken, beans, sauce, and cheese. Cook at 350 for 30 minutes.

*I add a little bit of salt, pepper, and onion powder to my sauce.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Easiest Brownies in the World

These turned out so great and they were SOOOO easy! This recipe is courtesy of http://mykitchencafe.blogspot.com/


1 12-ounce bag chocolate chips (use the kind you prefer)
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate chips. Stir constantly and remove from heat when chips are fully melted. In the same pot, blend in the sugar. Then add eggs, blending fully one at a time. Add flour and beat until air bubbles form in the batter. Pour into a greased 9 X 13-inch pan (this recipe works great doubled and poured into a large 11 X 17-inch rimmed baking sheet). Bake for 20 minutes. Turn heat down to 325 degrees and bake for 10 more minutes.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Joan's Easy Southern Peach Cobbler

This recipe was a shot in the dark. Jake brought home some peaches the other night and they looked VERY ripe! AKA: Don't have a whole lot of time before they go bad. I was browsing recipes on the internet to find something I could do with the peaches (and that I had all of the ingredients for already sitting around my house). I came across this recipe on About.com's Southern recipes. The reviews for it were either really great or really bad with nothing in between. SO..... I took a risk and it paid off! Jake loved it and so did I! He had two pieces with lunch and insisted that we have it for dessert at the end of the day. I will definitely be making this again!


I used fresh peaches in this recipe, but fresh ripe nectarines or drained canned peaches will work as well. Serve this cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or drizzle with a little cream.

1 stick (4 ounces) butter, melted
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat oven to 375°. Pour melted butter into a 2-quart baking dish (11x7 or 8-inch square). In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of the sugar, the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir to blend. Stir in the milk and vanilla until blended. Pour the batter over the melted butter. Toss the peaches with the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Arrange the peach slices over the batter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. The top will be browned and the cake will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Serve warm with a little heavy cream, whipped topping, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serves 6.

*This recipe is very finicky about WHERE you cook it in the oven! You have to make sure it is IN THE MIDDLE so that the top or the bottom doesn‘t cook faster!

Tip for skinning peaches: Boil water in a large pan on the stove. Remove from hot burner and place peaches in water. Wait for 2 - 3 minutes and remove peaches. Skin should EASILY peel away from cut peach slices. Be careful not to leave the peaches in the hot water for very long or they will start to cook through and get really soggy and hard to cut.

Chicken Parmesan

I am all about quick recipes that taste really good without having to spend an eternity in the kitchen and using a hundred different dishes that I will need to wash afterwards. I love cooking, but I love simplicity also! This recipe is a great one. Jake and I ate almost the entire thing by ourselves last night!


1 can (32 oz.) spaghetti sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese
2-3 chicken breasts, cut up
1 cup parmesan cheese

Add all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 2 - 3 hours, or cook in Dutch oven and simmer 2-3 hours. Serve over cooked noodles.

*I only used 26 oz. of spaghetti sauce and sprinkled the cheeses to my liking. (Not exact measurements)

My Spaghetti Sauce Strategy: I start with a VERY basic sauce in a jar. (You can get them for $1.00 at the grocery store). I add a package of spaghetti seasoning, and basically anything that sounds good that day! Usually a little extra salt, garlic powder, onion powder, italian seasoning, and sometimes paprika.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Virgin Strawberry Colada

This was one of our favorite things to make in the late night days of college. This beverage is especially good served with a fresh piece of fruit.


4 Chilled Glasses
1 c. cream of coconut
1 c. crushed ice
1 c. pineapple juice
12 oz. strawberries fresh or frozen

Blend fresh or frozen strawberries, cream of coconut and pineapple juice. Add crushed ice and blend until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses. Serve with a straw.


A classic holiday treat! If anything, make the whole thing - no halving! You may even want to double it. Trust me, you will want to continue to return to the pot and just have to heat it up! My mom QUADRUPLED this recipe and it was gone in 2 days. Yeah, it's that good.


½ gallon apple cider
1 ½ cups of orange juice, made up
¼ cup honey
½ tsp. Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Nutmeg

Add all ingredients to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and serve.

Ashley Crapo's 7 Layer Dip

Jake had VERY few requests for his birthday this last year - and this dip was one of them. It is the best 7 layer dip I have had and is even good for the next few days after your parties... assuming there are leftovers, which is doubtful.


Layer 1: 10 oz. Bean dip mixed with 16 oz. Canned refried beans

Layer 2: 1 c. mayo mixed with 1 c. sour cream and 1 pkg. Taco mix

Layer 3: 2 lg. Avocados mixed with ½ tsp. Lemon juice and salt

Layer 4: Cheese

Layer 5: Tomatoes

Layer 6: Olives

Layer 7: Green Onions

Ashley Crapo's Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Okay, so I love Ashley. A ton of my dessert recipes are from her. We always request that she brings different desserts to our get togethers and they are always great! These are some of the best chocolate chip cookies I've had. Self control goes out the window when these are hot on the counter.


1 1/4 c brown sugar
3/4 c Crisco
2 T Milk
1 T Vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 c flour
1 t salt
3/4 t baking soda
1 c chocolate chips
1 c nuts (optional)

Cream brown sugar, Crisco, milk and vanilla together. Add the egg. Add dry ingredients until just mixed. Bake at 375 for 8 - 10 minutes.

Ashley Crapo's Oreo Balls

Okay, so these are to die for. Really, I'll be honest. If I didn't exercise self control I would probably devour the entire batch in one sitting. These are a hit ANYWHERE you take them and are absolutely divine. HOWEVER, they are a bit of a pain to make. Very few ingredients, just time consuming to put together. But I promise - get some friends, make them together, and you'll love them!


1 pkg. Oreos
1-8 oz. Cream Cheese
Almond Bark Chocolate

Put all the Oreos in a large Ziplock bag and crush them using a rolling pin or large spoon. Make sure there aren’t any large chunks. Add cream cheese to the bag and mix with your hands until well blended. Roll into small balls and place them on a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in freezer for about 30 min. Dip balls in melted almond bark. Store in the freezer until serving.

Traditional Troff Banana Bread

I LOVE BANANA BREAD!!!! It is one of my favorite things. I would really love to eat it every morning if I had it on hand that often. This is the most fantastic banana bread recipe I have ever tried and you are sure to love it! (FYI: Troff is my maiden name - this is a family recipe!)


1 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, softened
2 eggs
3 - 4 medium bananas, mashed
1/3 c. water
1 2/3 c. flour
1 tsp. Baking soda
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Baking powder

Heat oven to 350. Mix sugar and margarine in bowl. Stir in eggs until blended. Add bananas and water and beat for 30 seconds. Stir in remaining ingredients until just moist. Grease the bottom of the bread pan only (regular sized bread pan). Pour into pan. Bake 50 - 60 minutes or until middle of bread is firm.

*We usually double or triple the recipe.

Hearty Lasagna Soup

You would think that this soup would have a strong tomato base or flavor, but it really doesn't. It has a lighter flavor than you may expect but is still really good.


From: Campbell's Kitchen
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. dried parsley flakes
3 1/2 cups Beef Broth
1 can (about 14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1 1/2 cups uncooked mafalda or corkscrew-shaped pasta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the beef, onion, garlic and parsley in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until the beef is well browned, stirring often. Pour off any fat.

Stir the broth, tomatoes and Italian seasoning in the saucepan and heat to a boil.

Stir the pasta in the saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Stir in the cheese. Serve with additional cheese, if desired.

*I like to use ¼ cup green onions instead of regular yellow or white onions and for the broth I just dissolve 4 beef bouillon cubes in 4 cups water and measure out 3 ½ cups for my soup. (If you boil the water for 5 - 10 minutes it should boil out the extra ½ cup pretty closely.)

German Pancakes

This is a classic recipe I grew up with and love! Super quick and easy and goes well with ANY syrup or jam!


6 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
½ tsp. Salt
5 Tbsp. Butter

Melt butter and put in 9x13 pan. Add batter and cook at 450 for 15 minutes.


1 Tbsp. Margarine
4 large eggs
2/3 c. milk
2/3 c. flour

Beat eggs with a wire whisk for 1 min. Add milk and beat for 1 minute. Add flour and beat until smooth. Spray a 9x9 glass cake pan and pour melted margarine over the bottom. Pour egg mixture over melted margarine. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Fantastic French Toast from Campbells

Pregnancy has brought a LOT of different cravings and French Toast has been a constant. I am very picky about my French Toast and I was very pleased with this recipe. I would probably make it every morning if it was a bit more healthy for me...


From: Family Time
Prep: 5 minutes
Serves: 4

2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon or vanilla extract
pinch salt
8 slices day-old homemade style bread or any slightly stale bread

Preheat a large griddle or skillet over medium heat. Lightly beat the eggs in a pie plate or similar shallow dish. Stir in the milk, sugar, cinnamon or vanilla, and salt.

Put about 1 tablespoon of butter or oil on the hot griddle or in the skillet. While it's heating, dip a slice of bread in the egg mixture. Turn it to coat both sides and then transfer it to the griddle. Continue to coat the rest of the bread slices. Add more butter or oil as needed to the pan to prevent sticking. Cook 1 or 2 slices at a time. Cook the bread for 30 seconds to a minute, or so, until lightly browned. Turn and cook until lightly browned on the other side.

Transfer the cooked French toast to a plate and serve hot. Serve with syrup or jam.

To keep the French toast warm, put it in a 200 degree F oven for up to 30 minutes.

*I like to use the cinnamon AND vanilla. Also, the longer you soak the bread in the mix before putting it on the skillet - the softer it will be. (I like mine to be REALLY soft.)


This is a basic crepe recipe I got for allrecipes.com. They turned out delicious and we may have had a dozen crepes each before we had to give in to the fact that we were so full!


1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly. Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.

*These are really great served with a Danish dessert wrapped inside the crepe with whipped cream on top. You can buy the Danish dessert in boxes at the store by the jello. Follow the directions on the back of the box for the Pie Glaze.

Ham & Noodle Casserole

This casserole is kind of like an American Lasagna. It's easy to make and requires very basic ingredients. The only reason we have leftovers when this meal is over is because there are only two of us and we can't eat a whole casserole by ourselves! (Although I think Jake gets close sometimes!)


1 can Cream of Mushroom
1 c. sour cream
1 8 oz. pkg. Lasagna noodles (cooked)
2 c. cheese (shredded)
2 c. cubed ham (16 oz.)
½ c. milk

Mix soup, sour cream, and milk. Layer noodles, cheese, ham, sauce, and repeat. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.

*I like to add some onion powder, salt, and pepper to my mix to give it more flavor.

Enchilada Casserole

This is one of Jake's favorites. It requires a little bit more work to put together but the final product is well worth the effort!

4-5 flour tortillas
1 lb. hamburger
Onion powder to taste
1 can enchilada sauce (I use Hatch's Mild Red Sauce)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 can chopped green chilies
6 tsp. milk mixed with soup
1 can sliced black olives
Grated cheese
Sour cream, lettuce, and tomatoes as desired

Fry hamburger with onion powder until brown. Drain. Add enchilada sauce, soup with milk, and green chilies. Simmer while preparing the rest.
Tear tortillas into fourths. Put a thin layer of meat sauce on the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan (to avoid sticking). Layer ingredients: tortillas, grated cheese, chopped olives, sauce, then repeat until all the sauce is gone. (Usually 2 layers of each). Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Top as desired.

*I like to replace the can of green chilies with ¼ tsp. of cayenne pepper. We think it gives it a bit more of a kick.

*NOTE: This dish does not refrigerate well BEFORE baking. Unlike some enchiladas you should put this dish together and bake almost immediately. I tried to let it sit in the refrigerator for a while and the tortillas got too soggy.

Swedish Meatballs

This is, hands down, one of my all time favorite meals. I am not a big raw meat person so Jake usually mixes it for me and forms the meatballs - but it is a simple, quick recipe that tastes DIVINE!


1 lb. Hamburger
½ c. oats
1 egg, slightly beaten
¾ tsp. Salt
Few grains pepper
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 c. milk


½ c. brown sugar
¼ c. vinegar
1 tsp. mustard
¼ c. barbeque sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Mix together and roll in balls. Cook at 350 for 30 minutes. Heat sauce and pour over meatballs. Serve over rice.

*I recommend doubling the sauce recipe and pouring it over the meatballs BEFORE cooking. This gives more sauce to put over the rice and a stronger meatball flavor.

Upside Down Spaghetti

This is a classic spaghetti dish in our home. Jake and I love it and we even had it for our anniversary dinner! It's super quick, easy, and doesn't require many ingredients!


8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. sour cream
12 oz. spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1-2 c mozzarella cheese

Mix cream cheese and sour cream together. Spread mixture in the bottom of a 9x13x2-inch pan. Place spaghetti noodles over cream cheese mixture. Pour spaghetti sauce over the top. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top. Bake for 45 minutes at 350°.

*If noodles and sauce are already hot, baking time can be reduced to 20-25 minutes.
*Spaghetti noodles can be substituted for fettuccine noodles or angel hair.
*Using 6 oz. of cream cheese and sour cream instead of 8 oz. makes the cream cheese taste less overwhelming. I also like to use 16 oz. of noodles instead of 12 oz.
*Cheddar cheese is the preferred cheese in our house and it tastes great! I also top my "casserole" with italian seasoning.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chicken and Rice

TALK ABOUT EASY!!! If you want minimal work, great taste, and few ingredients all bundled together with a terrific outcome - this is the recipe for you! This recipe is just chicken in a sauce, served over rice. Simple enough, right?


2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream, generous
2-3 chicken breasts cut into tenders or strips
Salt and Pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 6 hours. (Longer if chicken breasts are frozen) Serve over cooked rice.

If you don't have a crock pot or you don't want to wait 6 hours for dinner just put all the ingredients in a casserole dish, cover with aluminum foil, and cook at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Don't forget to cover it or your sauce will dry out!

NOTE FOR NEW COOKS: If you aren't familiar with how to cook rice it is really simple to remember: you always use a 1:2 ratio. (1 cup rice = 2 cups water, 2 cups rice = 4 cups water, etc.) You put the rice in the water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to simmer, COVER, and leave alone for 20 minutes. DO NOT LIFT THE LID! Rice cooks by STEAM.

Super Spuds

This is a recipe that I got from the Foods class that I helped aide last year at West Jordan High School. I thought it was something my husband would like and I was right! I am NOT a mushroom fan but this recipe didn't bother me. In fact, I really liked it! And it is really simple to make.


1 - 2 potatoes per person
1 lb. Hamburger
½ c. Sour Cream
1 1/3 c. water
1 can cream of chicken soup
½ can mushrooms
2 Tbsp. Dried onions
4 Tbsp. Diced green chilies
Grated Cheese

One way to cook potatoes: Scrub potatoes and poke a hole in each one. Cook in the microwave on high power for approximately 8 min. Cook until fork can go in smoothly. When potatoes are cooked, wrap in clean dish towel and let steam.

*I cooked 4 small red potatoes in the microwave, wrapped in a paper towel for 8 minutes at 100% power. They were very soft and tender. You will want to adjust microwave cooking time if you use more or bigger potatoes.

Another way to cook potatoes: Wash the potatoes and cut out any bad parts. Then poke the potatoes with a fork in several different places, wrap them in aluminum foil and put them directly on the oven rack. I cook them somewhere between 350 and 375 for an hour to an hour and a half depending on how big the potatoes are.

Brown hamburger in skillet and drain. Add onion, chilies, and mushrooms to brown hamburger. Heat together. Add soup and water, bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Add sour cream, stir in meat mixture. Open up potato, top with meat mixture and grated cheese.

*I like to use just less than ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper instead of the diced green chilies. (It is cheaper and easier to come by when I’m throwing something together around the house.) I also used 1 small can of mushrooms instead of ½, and onion powder is just as good as diced onions - besides the fact that it is cheaper, more convenient, and cleaner! Adding salt and pepper is necessary for flavor and I added some chives to my sauce.

Angel Hair Pasta with Lemon and Chicken

This is a great LIGHT pasta for a simple, tasty dinner! Courtesy of Allrecipes.com.


1 (9 ounce) package Angel Hair Pasta
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or just 1 Tbsp. ground parsley)
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Toss pasta with chicken, butter, lemon juice, parsley, marjoram and garlic powder. Season with salt and ground black pepper, if desired.

*I added parmesan to my pasta and it made a big difference in the taste and texture.

Chicken Tikka Masala

I got this recipe from http://mykitchencafe.blogspot.com/ - one of my new favorite places to find recipes. My husband really likes Indian food but it is quite pricey to buy at a restaurant. This ingredient list is mildly lengthy and requires a few things you may not have on hand, but it is well worth it and not too difficult to make!


1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (can be substituted for paprika if you don't want it so spicy)
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoons minced fresh ginger (Can be left out or just use regular ground ginger)
1 teaspoon salt
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients except chicken. Pour sauce over chicken and refrigerate for one hour. Grill or cook chicken in frying pan. Discard marinade.

1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (can also be left out)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for one minute. Season with cumin, paprika and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve over hot rice.

*I left out the cayenne pepper and the jalapeno when I made this recipe for fear that it would be too hot; however, I ended up adding just less than ¼ tsp. to the final sauce because we like things a little bit more spicy at my house.

In case you are new to cooking and aren't sure what the reference to "CREAM" is - it is the whipping cream that you find at the grocery story by the sour cream and milk that comes in little cartons. There are different options for whipping cream including heavy and half and half. You just need the one that is basic, with no special things about it!