Saturday, October 18, 2014


Tonight I made Creamy White Chili for dinner. I really wanted some kind of bread to go with it but couldn't decide what to make. I finally looked through some online recipes and found this one for Olive Garden type breadsticks.  They seemed easy enough, so I decided to give them a try.

Now I have tried breadsticks before. And I have not had very good luck with them.

But for whatever reason, this time it worked.  Too well,

I want to eat the whole batch.

1 1/2 cups warm water (not too hot, not too cold, just right...kind of like warm bath water temps)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp yeast (instant or rapid-rise)
2 Tbsp softened butter
4-5 cups of flour (After reading reviews, I went with bread flour...definitely the way to go)
1 Tbsp salt

Topping ingredients:
3-4 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp garlic powder
sea salt

Pour the water, sugar, and yeast into a bowl and let it "proof" for about 5-10 minutes.

Add the butter, flour, and salt.  I would add 3 cups of flour then add more as needed to form a soft dough.  You can knead with a mixer or by hand.  Today I tried using my food processor which has a dough blade. It worked very well until the dough was thick, then it just couldn't handle it. So I finished by hand.

Let the ball of dough sit (covered) for about an hour in a warm spot.

After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and roll it out into a log. Divide the log into 12-14 equal pieces. (I used a knife sprayed with pan spray to prevent sticking as the original recipe suggested). 

Roll each piece out into sticks, about 6 inches long. Place about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet (or just use parchment paper like I do :). 

Place in the oven on the warm setting (about 175 degrees) for 15 minutes or so until the breadsticks have doubled. 

Brush with half the melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake at 400 for 12-14 min (until golden brown).

Add garlic powder to remaining melted butter and brush onto the breadsticks.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Cream Cheese Chicken Taquitos

I am back.

It has been a long time.

I am not sure my fingers even know how to type anymore (well, other than lesson plans and other school related stuff).

But here I am.

I tried another new recipe this week (which is rare these days since I am often running on fumes...I tend to resort to tried and true), and it was a hit. A HUGE hit.

I have a feeling this will be another tried and true for the future.

And best of all, it cooks in the crockpot until the very end. 

Cream Cheese Chicken Taquitos
2-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp chili powder (I omit due to food issues)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin (I doubled to make up for the lack of chili powder :)
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup water (I upped to 1/2 since I used more chicken)
Tortillas (I use flour)
Mexican cheese (I used a whole package of shredded Mexican cheese)
Other toppings (optional):  salsa, sour cream, avocado/guacamole, extra cheese, etc.

Put the chicken, spices, cream cheese, and water in the crockpot.

Cook at low for 8 hours or high for 4.

Toward the end of the cooking of the meat (which smells amazing, I might add), shred the chicken with two forks.

Pre-heat to 450.

Scoop about 1/4 a cup of chicken mixture onto a tortilla. Top with a couple tablespoons of shredded cheese. Roll tightly up and place on a greased (I may have forgotten to grease...oops) cookie sheet.  I was able to get 14 with four chicken breasts.

Bake for 10 minutes.


I have already been asked by one child when I am making this again!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Garlic Parmesan Baked Chicken Wings

I meant to get a better picture but we were halfway through the meal before I thought, "I need a picture of this!"

And by the end of the meal, there was nothing.

All gone.

Lesson learned.

When I make this again, I need to double the recipe.  Or at least the chicken wings...

I cannot remember exactly where I got this recipe but it is a keeper for sure!

Garlic-Parmesan Chicken Wings 

1/4 cup butter
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (I always use freshly grated)
24 chicken wings (baked- I baked ours in a baking dish at 375 for 45-50 minutes)


Melt butter.

 Add garlic powder, onion salt, and pepper. 

Arrange hot fresh baked wings on a serving platter and drizzle with the butter mixture. 

Top with the Parmesan cheese.

We ate ours with new potatoes in white sauce and homemade parkerhouse rolls.



Monday, March 10, 2014

Chicken Stuffing Bake

Tonight one of my kiddos asked me why I always take pictures of our food. Another one responded, "She is a foodie photographer."  I had to laugh. I told them that I don't have enough time or patience to be a food photographer. Once it is out of the oven, we are ready to eat.  So this is the best I can do under such circumstances.

I have still been cooking. Just lax about blogging lately. :)

This recipe is an old family favorite.

Tonight I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner, which is rare for me. I usually have my menu planned by Sunday.

I knew I had chicken, that I wanted to avoid pasta, and that we had no potatoes.

What to do, what to do.

It just so happened I had some stuffing and some Swiss cheese on hand.


Chicken stuffing bake.

It is a simple recipe (my favorite kind) and easy.

Just what I needed.

Chicken breasts or tenderloins (skinless, boneless)

Swiss Cheese, sliced

1 container of cream of mushroom soup

1 package stuffing

1/4 cup white wine OR chicken broth

1/4 cup butter, melted

Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray.  Okay, I totally didn't do that, and it worked just fine.

Spread the Swiss cheese slice on top of the chicken. 

Mix together the cream of mushroom soup, the stuffing, the white wine OR chicken broth, and the melted butter.

Spread over the top of the chicken/cheese.

Cover with foil.

Bake at 350 for 55 minutes.

I served this with green beans and rolls.



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Coming Soon...

A real blog post.

I promise.

I have been cooking.

Really, I have.

I have just been dealing with the "gunk/junk" that comes with winter. And renovating your house.

You know...coughing, sneezing, gasping for air.

Fun stuff.

But I hope to be back by week's end.



Thursday, February 6, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

For Super Bowl Sunday, we were supposed to go to my parents' house.

Except it snowed.

A lot.

Well, a lot for us. 

So suddenly we were having our own Super Bowl party at home.

Thankfully I had some Taco Soup in the crockpot already. 

What I didn't have was a plan for dessert. 

My mom was going to make brownies.

And I love brownies.

But I decided we would try something new.

I hit Pinterest and was reunited with this recipe.

Seemed easy enough.

During halftime, I ran to the kitchen to whip these up.

A little while later, we were enjoying these chocolate chip cookie bars. Thoroughly.

2 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup salted butter, softened
3 eggs whisked
2 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose works fine)
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2-2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together the brown sugar and the softened butter.  Add in the whisked eggs.

In another bowl, mix the baking powder and salt with one cup of flour.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix.

Add in the remaining flour as well as the vanilla.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan.  Spread batter in the pan, pressing down.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, until lightly browned.

Let them cool off for a few minutes.


Happy cooking!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

I really need to make this again and take a better picture. I will just say it was a really hectic day when I made this and I was just happy we were finally sitting down to eat.  I didn't have time to do much photography...

So the other night I wanted to try a recipe I had pinned for chicken Alfredo roll ups.  I mean, it had Alfredo sauce, cheese, and pasta. How could I go wrong?

Except like I said, it was a bit of a hectic day.

And I started thinking, "Why do I have to roll up anything? That is more time than I have..."  So I decided to go for more of a lasagna instead.  And thought it wasn't beautiful (as noted above), it was well-received.  And almost all of it was gone before the night ended.

Best of all, it really was easy (especially since I didn't roll anything).

9-12 lasagna noodles (I did 12)
2 1/2 cups Alfredo sauce (I make a homemade version...YUM)
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
garlic salt
2-3 cups shredded Mozzarella

Boil lasagna noodles according to directions on package.

Spray a 9 x 12 inch pan with cooking spray or olive oil.

Heat oven to 350.

Spread a small amount of the Alfredo sauce on the bottom of the pan.

Lay 4 lasagna noodles down on top of the sauce.

Mix the chicken and the Alfredo sauce together.

Spread 1/2 of the chicken/Alfredo sauce over the noodles.

Lay down 4 more lasagna noodles.

Again, spread 1/2 the chicken/Alfredo sauce on top of the noodles.

Place the remaining four noodles on top.

Sprinkle the shredded Mozzarella on top.

Sprinkle the oregano and garlic salt over the top.

Bake for 30 minutes.


We ate ours with breadsticks.  I would have thrown in some corn or a salad but once again, it was a bit of a crazy night. So we just ate a simple meal.  And loved every bite!

More later,

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cinnamon Roll Cake

I cannot believe it has been a month since I posted!

It isn't that I am not cooking. I really am.

Or that I haven't made recipes that we liked. I really have.

My life is just a bit chaotic right now.

As in seriously chaotic.

There is dust everywhere. Carpet pulled up. And I now have a stairwell I didn't have a few weeks ago.

We are adding on to our house.

Which hasn't really stopped my cooking, though we have had to call the builder a time or two to say, "Please get my stove turned back on!" (which thankfully he has).

It is just tiring to me.

I come home after a busy day, do the normal stuff like help kids with homework or cook dinner, and then there is extra stuff like vacuuming the kitchen and countertops which is truly futile but I feel like I must do anyway.

So when it is finally time to sit down, I can't stay awake. I am spent for the day.

I guess I have been on hiatus.

But I am back.  At least some.

When I am awake anyway.

So the other day I saw a recipe for a cinnamon roll cake.

I love cinnamon rolls.  And I have made several different kinds.

But they can be kind of a pain to make.

So a cake?

That sounded perfect.

The taste of cinnamon roll but not the work.

Okay, a little work.

But not as much work.

Yet just as much taste.

Between my family and the workers at our house, TWO cakes were gone before 10.


Here is the original recipe. I really didn't change much.  I actually didn't change anything on purpose, just forgot a thing or two and didn't always follow directions (accidentally).

3 cups flour, plus 2 Tbsp divided  Okay, totally forgot to add the 2 Tbsp later. But it still worked.

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1 1/2 Tbsp baking soda

1 1/2 cups milk

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup butter melted

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp cinnamon

2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease two 8-inch cake pans, then line with parchment paper. Okay, I technically used pie plates because I don't have good cake pans, AND I didn't bother with the parchment paper. I just "greased" (with cooking spray) really well.

Use the mixer to blend the 3 cups of flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, milk, eggs, and melted butter.

Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.

In another bowl, beat (with a mixer) the softened butter, the brown sugar, the cinnamon, and the 2 Tbsp flour (which I forgot).

Use a tablespoon to drop the butter mixture onto the cake batter, alternating between the two cake pans.  Or pie pans. However you roll. :)

Swirl in with a knife.

Bake for 25-30.

Remove from oven and let them cool for 10 minutes in the pan.

Flip cakes out onto serving plates. Which I discovered I had none of. :( Not big enough for this anyway.  I just improvised. Story of my life.

Whisk the icing ingredients and drizzle over warm cakes.


The original recipe states that one cake can be frozen (pre-icing) then re-heated later.

In my house, we are not likely to have ever have any leftover cakes. :)

But it is a good suggestion.

Happy cooking!