Incredibly blog-worthy!!!

It has been a couple weeks since I have posted any new recipes. With the little man getting bigger and becoming so active, I spend a lot of my time entertaining and keeping up with him. That’s definitely a job all of it’s own!!

However, yesterday I finally had the chance and TIME to cook something new. Inspiration for this meal I have to give to my mother-in-law and her donation of a large green cabbage. I love cabbage in all it’s forms, but I do not recall I time that I have ever cooked it myself. So in my typical fashion, I took to Pinterest for some recipe idea. I even asked some coworkers if they had any suggestions.

Next, I needed to come up with something to accompany it. I had plenty of boneless, skinless chicken breast in the freezer thanks to a great sale a couple weeks ago at my local grocery store. So, as usual, without knowing how I was going to prepare it, I sat some out to thaw. Then, again took to Pinterest.

Below are two of the MOST DELICIOUS recipes I have ever made. So delicious, I got myself seconds….which is SO rare!!!

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Cheesy Baked Chicken

Chicken:
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-3 cups multi-grain Club crackers, finely crushed in food processor
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup low fat milk
3 cup shredded cheese (I used a 4-cheese Mexican blend)
1 tsp dried parsley

Sauce:
1 10 ounce can cream of chicken soup, fat free
2 tbsp fat free sour cream
2 tbsp butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate small dishes. Toss the salt and pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture until combined.

Cut each chicken breast into 3 equal pieces.

Coat each piece of chicken in the milk. Then press into the shredded cheese. Lastly, coat in cracker crumbs. (Note: You are likely to lose a bit of cheese while coating in the cracker crumbs. Don’t worry! It will still turn out cheesy and delicious!)

Place chicken pieces in single layer in prepared glass baking dish. Sprinkle with parsley. Cover with foil.

Bake covered at 375 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes until golden brown.

While chicken bakes, in a small sauce pan combine cream of chicken, sour cream, and butter. Stir with a whisk and heat until well combined. (Be careful: It will come to a boil quickly!)

Top chicken with sauce.

**Recipe credit: Jamie Cooks It Up

Cabbage Custard Casserole

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
1 green cabbage (about 2 -/2 pounds), cored and thinly sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups of low fat milk
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup multi-grain Club crackers finely crushed
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Melt 1/2 cup butter in large pot. Add cabbage and onion; cook over medium heat until softened, about 20 minutes.

Stir in milk; bring to boiling. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Let cool slightly.

Gently stir in eggs. Add 1/2 cup crushed crackers, salt and pepper.

Pour into prepared casserole dish. Dust top evenly with remaining crushed crackers.

Bake in 375 degrees oven for 30 minutes or until heated through and top is golden brown.

**Recipe credit: Recipe.com

As I mentioned above, these are two of the most delicious recipes I have ever made. Both my husband and my son loved them as well. My son repeatedly asked for more “doodles” ( his word for noodle, which is what he though the cabbage was)!!!

ENJOY!!🙂

Another Family Recipe

Time to get back into a blogging routine! Over the weeks leading up to and after the holidays, I had many opportunities to cook for family, friends, and coworkers.

First up…..holiday potluck at work! For our Thanksgiving potluck, I made slow cooker ham and turkey. So delicious! This time, I passed the main course torch onto another coworker, and signed up to bring baked corn and deviled eggs. Both of which, are my aunt’s recipes!

Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:
6 eggs, hard boiled
3 tbsp miracle whip
1/2 tsp yellow mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
Paprika

Directions:

Peel and cut eggs in half. Carefully scoop out yolk into a small bowl. Once all yolks are out, add miracle whip, yellow mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar, and sugar to the bowl. Stir until well combined. Spoon or pipe yolk mixture evenly into each egg half. Sprinkle with paprika. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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I have loved these eggs for as long as I can remember! I hope you find them as delicious and addictive as i do! They would be great for any get together with family or friends.

ENJOY!!🙂

Happy New Year!

Now that we are a couple weeks into the new year, it’s time to get back to business! I’d like to first start by wishing all of you a Happy New Year! From my family to your’s, I wish nothing but happiness and joy in the new year.

I was beyond happy to spend Christmas back in Pennsylvania with my family. It was great to see everyone to have time to just catch up and relax for a week.

The holidays came and went so fast. And I actually did some cooking over the past few weeks, regardless of the sickness that had plagued our house again. My coworkers and I had another potluck lunch. For this I made my aunt’s deviled eggs and baked corn. I also made the chocolate and M&M pretzels that I had made for our Thanksgiving potluck.

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Merry Christmas Circles Printables
Striped Paper Printables

While I was home in Pennsylvania, I took the time make dinner for my parents, brothers and their families. On the menu was…..slow cooker Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, and roasted green beans. Recipe for the Salisbury steak to posted later this week.

I have also made a few meals for my family since being back in Tampa, including Alfredo stuffed chicken breast and stove top macaroni and cheese. Recipes also to be posted later this week.

One of my favorites was the slow cooker chicken tacos we had for dinner last night. So simple and quick to put together. The hardest part was setting up all the fixings buffet style for us to assemble our tacos.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Ingredients:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg reduced sodium taco seasoning
1 jar mild chunky salsa
1 cup chicken broth/stock

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine taco seasoning, salsa, and chicken broth. Lay chicken breasts in bottom of slow cooker. Pour salsa mixture over chicken. Cover, and cook in high for 3-4 hours, until chicken shreds easily with a fork.

**Recipe credit: Guilt or guilt free?

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Serve along with any toppings you and your family like. We had lettuce, tomato, red onion, corn, black beans, taco sauce, sour cream, shredded cheese, as well as store bought chipotle and ranchero dressings. I also served a combination of hard and soft shell tacos.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. Looking forward to leftovers tonight!

Don’t forget to check back later this week for more recipes that I have made over the holidays.

ENJOY!!🙂

Looks Can Be Deceiving!

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Looking at the picture above, what do you guess it is????

Yes….it looks like an ordinary biscuit, but if that was your guess, then you would be wrong!

Yesterday someone had asked for suggestions of an appetizer to make for an upcoming holiday party. It had to be simple! So, I took to my Pinterest profile to look at some recipes I had already pinned to my “Small Bites and Appetizers” board. One of the first things I ever posted was a pepperoni monkey bread (here). It looked so good, and I had been thinking about that recipe ever since. I had most of the ingredients, but wanted to change it up and add a few things. Below is my version!

Stromboli Pockets

Ingredients:

1 pkg whole wheat Pillsbury Grands biscuits
2 tbsp butter or margarine
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
Turkey pepperoni (about 24)
Turkey sausage (casing removed), about 1 tbsp per biscuit
Shredded mozzarella cheese, about 1 tbsp per biscuit
Green pepper, thinly sliced or chopped
1 small onion, thinly sliced or chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line large baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.

Melt butter in small sauté pan. Add garlic. Cook on low while assembling Stromboli to allow the butter to absorb the garlic flavor.

Cut pocket in each biscuit, being sure not to cut through or create any holes other than the opening for the pocket. Fill each biscuit with the desired ingredients. I made 4 biscuits with pepperoni, green pepper, onion, and cheese. The other 4 then had pepperoni, sausage, and cheese.

Once filled, seal opening by pressing ends firmly, still maintaining overall biscuit shape. Place on prepared baking sheet. Brush the top of each biscuit with garlic butter.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Let cool a few minutes before serving.

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This in an extremely versatile recipe. You call fill the biscuits with anything you and your family like. Ham and cheese would be delicious!!

ENJOY!!🙂

Not exactly cooking, but…..

….so simple and delicious!

I have been pretty lazy lately about going to the grocery store. For some reason, I have lacked the motivation. Which is unusual because typically I love going grocery shopping!! So, needless to say, I am down to bare bones with what to cook.

Again, I laid out some chicken breast to thaw with barely a clue of what I was going to make. When I came home from work I scoured my pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what I could come up. I found some steam-ready green beans and a jar of Alfredo sauce, and this is what I created!

Weeknight Chicken Alfredo

Ingredients:

2 cups short cut whole grain pasta, uncooked (like penne or rotini)
1 jar light Alfredo sauce
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 pkg frozen steam-ready green beans
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in sauté pan. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook 7-8 minutes until cooked through. Halfway through, add minced garlic.

Cook green beans according package directions. Add to sauté pan. Stir to combine. Pour half of the Alfredo sauce into sauce pan. Stir.

Drain pasta and add to chicken and green beans. Add remaining sauce. Stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.

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ENJOY!!🙂

Obsessed With Buffalo!

This is definitely not the first time that I have posted a recipe that used buffalo sauce. I just can’t seem to get enough of it!!

This recipe is very similar to the way in which I prepared the Buffalo Burgers in a previous post. One major change…..I used boneless, skinless chicken breast instead of turkey burgers.

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

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Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 bottle buffalo wing sauce (I again used Ken’s)
1/4 cup margarine or butter
Cooking spray

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with foil. Lightly spray with cooking spray.

Combine flour, cayenne pepper, and salt in a shallow bowl or plate.

Coat each of the chicken breasts in the flour mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small saucepan, combine buffalo sauce and butter. Heat and stir until butter is melted.

In a shallow bowl, pour just enough sauce to coat each of the chicken breasts. Return to prepared baking sheet. Reserve remaining wing sauce.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees.

Transfer chicken to 8×8 prepared baking dish. Top with reserved wing sauce. Cover with foil. Return to oven for 30 minutes, allowing time for the chicken to absorb the wing sauce.

I then thinly sliced some celery and used a store bough ranch dressing to complete the sandwiches.

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WAIT!!!! There’s more!

Along with the buffalo chicken sandwiches, I made some french (baked) fries. When I bought my potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner, my store had them B1G1. I though t this was a good way to use up some of those potatoes.

French (Baked) Fries

Ingredients:

5-6 medium sized red potatoes
Olive oil, enough to coat potatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.

Cut potatoes into French fry shape. Place on prepared baking sheet. Coat fries with enough olive oil to cover all potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to your liking.

Spread potatoes in single layer on baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, or until fries are cooked through.

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This meal was a hit with my family, and I hope it will be in your’s too!

ENJOY!!🙂

How many ways……

….can you make a chicken breast?!?!

We eat A LOT of chicken in our house. Mostly because it is quick and easy, but it is also healthy….depending on how you prepare it. BUT…..chicken breast can get really old, really fast!!!

In typical fashion, I laid out some chicken breast to thaw, while I was at work, without a clue on what I was going to do with it. So, I took to Pinterest without any success. I then moved on to another favorite recipe site, All Recipes, and I simply entered the search terms “chicken breast.” I came across this recipe within minutes. It looked delicious and easy. I was sold!!!

Although, I made some changes from the original recipe.

Chicken with Onion Gravy

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Ingredients:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp butter
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cup chicken broth/stock
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp chile powder

Directions:

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in sauté pan over medium heat.

Meanwhile, cut each chicken breast in half to make 8 pieces. Salt and pepper each side.

Place 4 pieces of chicken in heated pan at a time. Cook each side about 5 minutes, or until no longer pink inside. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the other tbsp of olive oil to pan, and heat. Cook remaining pieces of chicken. Transfer to plate.

Melt butter in same sauté pan. Add flour, and whisk to combine. Cook 2 minutes.

Stir in chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan; cook and stir until gravy begins to simmer and thicken, 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in onions and chile powder (I also added additional black pepper).

Return chicken breasts to the skillet and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

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As seen in the picture above, I portioned 2 pieces of chicken per person. My chicken breasts were on the smaller side. If they are larger, 1 piece may be enough. I also served it with steamed broccoli, topped simple with salt and pepper.

**A few changes I might make next time….

First, I would probably slice the onion rather than chop it. Secondly, I would try adding either lemon zest or lemon juice to the gravy.

Have fun making this recipe to suit your family!

ENJOY!!🙂

Thanksgiving Dessert

I apologize for the late post. I got so caught up and excited about decorating for Christmas, that I completely forgot to post the recipe for the pumpkin cheesecake I serve every year at Thanksgiving.

Healthier Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Ingredients:

Crust:
3 tbsp butter, melted (I used Smart Start)
3 tbsp Splenda blend sugar
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

Cheesecake:
4 packages (8oz) reduced fat cream cheese
1 1/2 cups Splenda blend sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup fat free evaporated milk
1 cup pure pumpkin

Topping:
2 cups reduced fat sour cream
1/4 cup Splenda blend sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter until well incorporated. Press into the bottom (and slightly up sides) of a 9″ springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, on low speed. Add maple syrup, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, evaporated milk, and pumpkin. Mix until all ingredients are combined. Pour mixture over crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, or more, until center is set.

In another bowl, combine sour cream, sugar, and maple syrup for topping. Remove cheesecake from oven and top with sour cream mixture. Return to oven and bake an additional 15 minutes.

I then sprinkled with extra cinnamon on top.

Let rest at room temperature for 1 hour. Place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving.

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When I cut and serve, I typically top with a spoon of Cool Whip.

**I wish I was able to take credit for this recipe, but I can’t! I found this recipe about 5 years ago when I was clipping some coupons. I have since held on to that clipping, and made this cheesecake every year since for Thanksgiving.

ENJOY!!🙂

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving dinner is honestly the best meal of the year, and I’m not just saying that because I make it!!

Even as a child, I always looked forward to the Thanksgiving meal because of the food, and more importantly because of the time spent with family and friends. My family always made a rather tradition Thanksgiving dinner. Now that I live away from my family, I have been making that same traditional meal for my husband and his family, and now for our little guy.

The turkey I made very simply, just as I had mentioned in my previous post (click here). We also had ham that was left from the Thanksgiving potluck at work. Aside from those, we had 4 different side dishes.

Mashed Red Potatoes

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5lbs red potatoes, cubed leaving skins on
1 cup low fat milk, or to desired consistency
1/4 butter, softened
Dried parsley, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

Boil potatoes about 30 minutes, or until tender and easy to mash. Drain. Add remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth.

Baked Corn Casserole

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4 cans creamed corn
2 cans whole corn kernels, drained
4 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 Splenda blend sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine eggs, flour, and sugar. Add all cans of creamed corn and drained corn kernels. Stir until combined. Pour into greased baking dish. Bake about 45 minutes, or until center is cooked through.

**This recipe I have to give credit to my Aunt. The same Aunt I got the macaroni salad recipe from (here).

Potato Bread Stuffing (Dressing)

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2 bags cubed potato bread (I used Martin’s brand)
1 medium onion chopped
6 ribs of celery, including leaves, chopped
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chicken stock, enough to moisten and combine bread cubes (about 2-3 cups)
3 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil and melt butter in large sauté pan. Add bay leaves. Cook 1-2 minutes.

Add celery and onions. Cook 5-10 minutes, or until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, pour one bag of cubed bread. Add celery and onion mixture as well as 1 cup chicken stock. Stir to combine and moisten bread cubes.

I then alternate between remaining bread cubes and chicken stock until cubes are incorporated and it is one cohesive mixture.

Transfer to a 13×9 baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil for remaining 15 minutes, or until stuffing begins to brown.

**Recipe inspiration: Rachael Ray

The last side dish I made was a typical Green Bean Casserole. The only change I made from the original recipe was that I substituted fat free cream of chicken for the cans of cream of mushroom. Personally, I am not a fan of mushrooms. So, this is just a preference. No one else seems to mind, and find them just as delicious!

This having been my 5th year making Thanksgiving dinner on my own, I think it gets more and more delicious each year! I hope you find these recipes just as yummy, and maybe they will make it to your Thanksgiving table next year!

Check back tomorrow for a delicious pumpkin cheesecake recipe!

ENJOY!!🙂

Thanksgiving Potluck

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Last week, a coworker and I decided we wanted to have a potluck in honor of the thanksgiving holiday. Somehow, I immediately became responsible for the ham. I have not made very many hams in my day, but I was definitely up for the challenge! As usual, I took to the wonderful World Wide Web to find some recipe ideas. With in minutes, I came across a that not only sounded delicious, but was incredibly simple, AND……..it was made in the slow cooker!!

Ingredients:

1 bone-in spiral ham, about 10lbs
1 can pineapple tidbits, with juice
2 cups light brown sugar, plus 2 tbsp
Cooking spray

Directions:

Spray bottom and sides of the slow cooker.

Evenly spread 2 cups brown sugar on the bottom. Lay the entire ham on top (My ham was slightly larger, so I ended up having to cut part of my ham off in order to fit in my 6 quart slow cooker).

Pour pineapple, including juice, over the ham.

Sprinkle remaining brown sugar over ham.

Cover with lid. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

**Recipe credit: The Crockin’ Girls

The ham was absolutely delicious, and all of my coworker were in agreement! I would definitely make this again. Possibly even at our Christmas potluck!

But………

My potluck contributions did not end there! For reasons yet to be determined, I felt like Super Woman yesterday, and decided to also make a 10lb turkey as well as a Thanksgiving Potluck party favor for each of my coworkers!!! I just might be nuts!

Nothing special to report about the turkey. I just sprayed it with cooking spray to help the skin brown nicely as well as seasoned with salt and pepper. I did reserve all the “extras” to make some stock for gravy to serve along with the turkey. Where the gravy recipe called for water, I substituted the stock I made. A delicious substitute!

On to my favorite part……THE FAVORS!

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I do not know exactly what these bite-size treats are called, but I can promise you they are delicious and easy to make!

You only need 4 ingredients:

Waffle-shaped pretzels (I used Snyder’s brand. I had to represent my hometown.)
Hershey kisses and/or hugs*
Reese’s pieces
Orange-colored sugar crystals

Directions:

Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Lay pretzels flat on top of foil. Unwrap kisses/hugs and place 1 on top of each pretzel. Please note: If you are going to both hugs and kisses, you will want to prepare them on separate baking sheets. The hugs melt much faster, and therefore do not need to bake as long.

Bake pretzels with kisses about 5-7 minutes. Just until they are soft enough to push a Reese’s pieces into the center of each. The pretzels with the hugs will bake about 3-5 minutes.

Sprinkle with sugar crystals.

Keeping them on the baking sheet, put them in the refrigerator to cool and allow the chocolate to harden.

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Now as for the way in which I packaged them. I searched on Pinterest for some free Thanksgiving printables, and came across this site — Dimple Prints. This site provides you with 125 pages of Thanksgiving-themed DIY party decorations. I only printed off the full page designs and cut them to size. I then stapled them over the plastic bag. I also printed the circular badges, and stuck one to each favor with double-sided tape.

These are so delicious, and can be made to suit any holiday. Last year, I made them using red and green M&M’s, and will likely do so again this year!

Hope you and your coworkers find that these recipes are just as tasty as me and my coworkers did!

ENJOY!!🙂