Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ham and Potato Soup

Oh how I love this creamy, warm, perfect-for-winter soup. My husband, who is not a fan of soup, particularly likes this one because it is thick and creamy and actually fills him up. I have made it before, but I decided it would be divine for my family Christmas Eve dinner this year. And it was. It does take a bit of time, not terribly long, but not super quick either. There's a bit of chopping and a couple of different steps to put this soup together, but it is worth it! I only make a couple of changes to the original recipe when I make it too. Instead of using water and bouillon, I just use one can of chicken broth and one cup of water. That is because I usually have chicken broth on hand, plus bouillon is not gluten free, so I have to be careful about that. But either way works just fine. I usually double this recipe for big get togethers, but if it's just for a small family, then it works great the way it is. I also leave out celery- not a huge fan. :) I think adding more ham than what it calls for is also wonderful, but that's because I absolutely love ham! Also, it is yummy with shredded cheddar cheese and green onion on top if you want to add a little extra flavor and color- if not, it is great the way it is. If you are a soup fan (even if you're not), then definitely give this wonderful winter soup a try!

3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

Gluten free: use chicken broth instead of bouillon and GF flour.

Original recipe from allrecipes.com

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Me and my husband really enjoyed this dish! Anything creamy and cheesy is good by us! :) Nothing bad to say about it at all. It was super easy to assemble- took no time at all. I used minute rice so that was very easy and quick too. Lovely! The only changes I made were to make it gluten free. I also omitted the milk and just doubled the sour cream because my cream of chicken soup was not condensed, so it was a bit thinner. I used the sour cream to help cream it up a bit. And it worked! Oh, I did add a bit more rice too. I didn't think two cups was enough, so I doubled the rice as well. Over all we were very pleased with this dish. I think it would taste delicious with a monterey jack cheese too. Play around with your white cheeses! Definitely will be making this one again.


2 cups cooked rice
3 cups cooked chicken pieces
6 slices of swiss cheese (the pre-sliced squares)
10 slices of cut up ham
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
10 saltine crackers
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. parsley


Spray a 9x13 dish with cooking spray.

Now the layers:
1) Rice
2) Chicken
3) Swiss cheese
4) Ham
5)Combine the cream of chicken soup, milk and sour cream, then spread on top of the ham.
6) Crush saltines and add the paprika, garlic salt, and parsley, mix. Sprinkle on top of the soup mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Gluten free: use GF cream of chicken soup and crackers. I used the Glutino plain crackers.

Original recipe from: organizeyourstuffnow.com

Monday, December 19, 2011

Twice Baked Red Potato Casserole

It's the most wonderful time of the year...for holiday cooking. There are so many family and friends' gatherings where yummy food is prepared and enjoyed! This past weekend, I brought this delicious red potato casserole to one of many family Christmas parties. It was a hit! My dish was scraped clean! I loved using the red potatoes too. Not only are they my favorite potatoes to eat in general, but they gave such wonderful color to the dish- perfect for Christmas time! Then there's all the cheesey, bacon goodness that goes along with it. :) There are very little ingredients and it is incredibly easy to assemble. Me and my husband did it together in a matter of minutes. Can't go wrong with this one. Enjoy!

1-1/2 pounds red potatoes (about 6 medium), baked
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 cups (24 ounces) sour cream
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions, sliced

Cut baked potatoes into 1-in. cubes. Place half in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the salt, pepper and bacon. Top with half of the sour cream and cheeses. Repeat layers.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until cheeses are melted. Sprinkle with onions. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Gluten free: just double check to make sure your bacon is gluten free, other than that, you are set!

Recipe from tasteofhome.com

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Southwest Pasta Bake

I liked this dish- it was pretty tasty. I have two things to say about it: 1)I think it needs a little bit more noodles, like 12 oz. or so instead of 8 oz. so they don't get lost in all the other yummy stuff in the dish and 2)It does take a bit more time to prepare because of all of the different steps...but still not too long. (maybe 30 min or so) Other than that I have nothing bad to say about it! It was yummy and something different for me to try! Personally, I think it comes out looking very pretty too. I love the southwest flavor, mixed with the creamy cheesy goodness. I will definitely make this again, just with more noodles next time. :)

8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
1 package (8 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jar (16 ounces) picante sauce
1 can (8 ounces) no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 can (6 ounces) no-salt-added tomato paste
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
1/4 cup sliced green onions

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in milk. Stir in spinach and oregano; set aside.
In a nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in the picante sauce, tomato sauce, tomato paste, chili powder and cumin; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Drain pasta; stir into meat mixture.
In a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray, layer half of the meat mixture and all of the spinach mixture. Top with remaining meat mixture.
Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with olives and onions. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Yield: 8 servings.

Gluten free: use GF pasta noodles.

Original recipe from tasteofhome.com

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cranberry Bliss Bars

Seems like during the Christmas season, I find myself making more and more desserts! There are just so many wonderful recipes out there to try that help fill your home with Christmas cheer! :) This past weekend, I decided to fill my home with the wonderful aroma of Cranberry Bliss Bars. And they were divine. I know this recipe looks quite intimidating, with all of the different steps (cake, frosting, drizzle, etc.), but you do not have to do all of that if you do not want to. Mind you, it does make the bars look fantastic, but it is a bit of extra work, that even I didn't have time to do this weekend. I ended up just buying a pre-made cream cheese frosting instead and it still tasted great. I'm sure making the homemade frosting and drizzle would be amazing though...and one of these days when I have more time, I will definitely give it a shot.

I absolutely loved the cranberries and white chocolate together. It was delightful. And the brown sugar made the cake taste wonderful as well. It was so pretty too! The red cranberries just gave it that beautiful Christmas-y look and I loved it. I think these are going to become a tradition in my home every year! I have gone back for seconds everytime I dish one up for myself! :)

I did not make any changes to the recipe except for not making my own frosting. Everything else I followed exactly.

Mock Cranberry Bliss Bars
(adapted from My Little Mochi)

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) white chocolate chips (or chopped white chocolate)

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Drizzling icing:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1-2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and salt. Mix well.
Gradually add flour. Mix until smooth. Stir in cranberries and white chocolate.
Pour the batter into a well-greased 9×13-inch pan. Use a spatula to evenly spread the batter in the pan.
Bake 30-40 minutes, until edges are light brown. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting: Mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon juice until completely smooth. Set aside the cranberries.
Make the drizzling icing: In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk and vegetable shortening. Use enough milk to make a thick but drizzly consistency. I used closer to 2 tablespoons. [at first it will seem like the vegetable shortening is just going to clump things up, but if you mix the milk in first it will all whisk together smoothly].

When the cake is fully cooled, frost. Sprinkle the top with cranberries.
Put the drizzling icing into a ziploc bag and snip off a tiny bit of the corner (or use pastry bag fitted with small tip). Drizzle the icing on top in zig-zags or whatever pattern you like.
Cut into squares or triangles and enjoy.

Gluten free: use GF flour.

*I found this wonderful recipe on foodgawker.com.*

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cherry Cobbler

This is one of my favorite cobblers to make because it is so simple and absolutely delicious. For days, when you need something sweet, but don't want to spend all day in the kitchen, this is the dessert for you. The recipe was given to my mom by a close family friend and it has been a staple in my parent's home ever since- and now in my own. :) It is wonderful at any time of the year and best served with vanilla ice cream or cool whip. Mmmm...so, so good. I have never made any changes to the recipe because it is fabulous just the way it is.

2 sticks of butter or margarine (1 cup), melted
1 Yellow Cake mix
2 cans cherry pie filling
2 cans crushed pinneapple, drained

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a 9 x 13 dish, mix both cans of cherry pie filling and the crushed pinneapple. Pour the yellow cake mix evenly on top of the cherry/pinneapple mixture. Lastly, pour the melted butter on top of the cake mix. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Let stand for about 5-10 minutes before serving. (That way your ice cream or cool whip doesn't melt right away.) :)

And enjoy!!

Gluten free: use a GF yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker's brand).

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

What a fun and super easy dinner/lunch/party snack- whatever! Took me a whole 2 minutes to whip up the ingredients. The original recipe calls for sausage as well, however, I decided to keep it simple with just pepperoni. This recipe is awesome though because you can make your own little pizzas, so put whatever you like in there! I also do not own mini muffin pans, so I just used regular sized muffin pans and baked it for 20 minutes. Easy-peasy. I loved dipping them in pizza sauce too! So fun. I served these little puffs with a salad and wa-la! These are wonderful for kids and adults! Enjoy!

3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup whole milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
2 oz mini turkey pepperoni, (about 1/2 cup)
4 oz low-fat sausage, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup pizza sauce

Pre-heat the oven to 375°. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, garlic powder and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, sausage and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.

Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

Gluten free: Use GF flour, meat of choice, and pizza sauce.

Original recipe from plainchicken.com.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Gourmet Sweet Potato Classic

Hands down, by far the best sweet potato dish I have ever had in my entire life. Generally speaking, I am not the biggest fan of sweet potatoes anyway. I mean, I will eat them, but they are not the first thing I go to dish up on my plate. But THIS recipe is amazing. I made one batch to take to my husband's Thanksgiving and another batch for my side of the families' dinner. At both dinners, I was told it was almost like a dessert rather than a side dish, it was so yummy. Both casserole dishes were empty by the time I made my way back home after the Thanksgiving festivities. What a huge hit!

So one dish I made with 5 sweet potatoes and did the whole bit of baking and scooping and mashing, etc. The other batch I just used canned sweet potatoes and mashed those. My husband tried both batches so I could see if one was better than the other. He said no...there was a slight texture difference, but he said most people would not be able to tell the difference. Sweet! Next year I will be just using canned sweet potatoes because apparently there is no real difference in flavor when it is all said and done...AND it is so much faster!

Also, one batch I added pecans, and one batch I left them out and they were both delicious. My husband's side has nut allergies, so that is why I left them off of their batch, but it was still just as good. So if you don't like nuts or can't eat them for any reason, you can still make this dish and have it turn out wonderful! The only thing I changed was I used milk instead of heavy cream and gluten free flour. That's it! I highly recommend this dish. I can guarantee that it will be a hit at any Thanksgiving dinner- or any other time of the year too!

5 sweet potatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
2.Bake sweet potatoes 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until they begin to soften. Cool slightly, peel, and mash.
3.In a large bowl, mix the mashed sweet potatoes, salt, 1/4 cup butter, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, sugar, and heavy cream. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
4.In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup butter, flour, brown sugar, and chopped pecans. Mix with a pastry blender or your fingers to the consistency of course meal. Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture.
5.Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until topping is crisp and lightly browned.

Gluten free: GF flour.

Original recipe from allrecipes.com

Monday, November 21, 2011

Crock Pot Jambalaya

This was my first time making Jambalaya EVER- so I was a bit nervous, but it just looked so good. I had to try it. And in a crock pot? Even better. It was super simple and makes a good amount. Maybe took me 15 minutes to prepare and then it was just slow cooking after that.

All in all me and my husband enjoyed it. We had a tiny mess up in which it could have been better, but I think that was my mistake, not the recipe. Basically at the end, you add the rice for the last 30 minutes on high. Well, I did that, but when I went to check on it after 30 minutes, the rice still wasn't cooked all the way. My theory is that is because my crockpot took too long to get up to "high" temp. so the rice was not simmering properly. Next time, I will turn my temp to high first and wait for the ingredients to come to a slow boil and THEN add my rice. So I ended up having to cook the rice another 30 minutes to get it to cook, but like I said, I think that if I just turn it to high first and get it nice and hot, I think it will turn out perfectly. So the only thing that didn't turn out as planned was the rice. Other than that, it had wonderful flavor and I loved all of the different meats- chicken thigh, sausage, and my favorite- shrimp! I think I might add a bit more cajun seasoning to mine next time as well because I wouldn't mind having a bit more kick to it. :)

I left out the celery because neither me nor my husband care for it. I used cajun seasoning because it was Gluten free, but I'm sure Creole would be just as good. Everything else, I followed to a T. Like I said, I would recommend turning your crock pot on high BEFORE adding your rice and make sure it heats up nice and hot first and then your rice should come out just right. :)

Another wonderful thing about this recipe is that it is gluten free! You just have to double check your seasoning of choice and that's it! And now I know that I really like Jambalaya!

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 2-inch slices
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with juice
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole spice mix
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound extralarge shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 3/4 cups long-grain rice
Parsley, optional

Combine chicken, sausage, onion, green pepper, celery, tomatoes, garlic, chicken broth, spice mix, thyme and oregano in a large (5-quart) slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 hours.
Add shrimp and rice; raise heat to high and cook for 30 minutes more. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.

Original recipe from americanfamily.com

Monday, November 14, 2011

Buffalo Chicken and Potato Casserole

So I have finally discovered the great world of Pinterest.com. It took me a while to get the hang of it and now I found that I have a whole new range of recipes to dive into and explore! So this recipe is from that site. It just sounded so unique and yummy- plus me and my husband are huge fans of buffalo wings. So why not give it a try? Turns out, we thought it was great. It is this lovely creamy blend with a hint of buffalo spicey. Then you have your meat and potatos. Wonderful! I served it with salad on the side. It was different than anything we had ever tried before so that was a lot of fun. My husband agrees that this should be something that we add into our list of recipes that we make on a semi-regular basis. I did make one change, I did not use panko because I had to use my own gluten free bread crumbs, but I'm sure the panko tastes wonderful and would give it a nice crunch on top! I also used frozen shredded hashbrowns instead of shredding my own potatoes and it turned out great. I also read on the website that others have used a cream of celery soup instead of chicken so that you have the full buffalo wing experience, but with my husband not being a fan of celery, I went for the cream of chicken. Try it out! :)

1 1/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
1/3 c. Franks buffalo sauce
6 c. potatoes, grated w/ box grater
1 c. light ranch dressing
1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
(10 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 c. panko

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
In medium bowl, stir together chicken strips and buffalo sauce. Spoon into baking dish in a single layer.

In the same bowl, stir together potatoes, dressing, cheese and soup. Spread over chicken. Sprinkle panko evenly over the top.
Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes; uncover and bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender and juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.

Gluten free: use GF bread crumbs and cream of chicken soup.

Original recipe from holycannolirecipes.blogspot.com

Monday, November 7, 2011

Creamy White Chicken and Artichoke Lasagna

I made this for Saturday's dinner this week and it was very creamy and yummy!! It was a nice change from your standard lasagna (even though I absolutely love that too). It was really easy for me as well because I used canned everything so all I had to do what dump and mix ingredients. So it went very quickly, which I always love. We had it again on Sunday and it tasted even better the next day because all of the flavors had time to blend wonderfully. If you love cheesy, creamy goodness, then you will love this dish. :) Make sure that you use all 12 of your noodles because it makes a lot of filling for the layers! Yumm-o! :)

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese with a TOUCH OF PHILADELPHIA, divided
1/2 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil, chopped, divided
12 lasagna noodles, cooked

HEAT oven to 350°F.
COMBINE chicken, artichokes, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan and tomatoes. Beat cream cheese, milk and garlic powder with mixer until well blended; stir in 2 Tbsp. basil. Mix half with the chicken mixture.
SPREAD half the remaining cream cheese mixture onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish; cover with 3 noodles and 1/3 of the chicken mixture. Repeat layers of noodles and chicken mixture twice. Top with remaining noodles, cream cheese mixture and mozzarella; cover.
BAKE 25 min. or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining basil. Let stand 5 min. before cutting to serve.

Gluten free: GF noodles.

Original recipe from tasteofhome.com

Friday, November 4, 2011

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Of course, it's that time of year when all I want is pumpkin. I found a new recipe for pumpkin cookies and was sold immediately. And they were delightful! So far, everyone that has tried them (friends, family, co-workers) have loved them! They are moist with the perfect touch of pumpkin spice. Yummm... Because I was running out of time to make them last night, I ended up using a pre-made frosting, but I honestly think they ended up tasting just as good. I've made homemade glazes before and they are delicious, but sometimes it's just easier to go with pre-made. :) Just a side note, the dough does come out thick and sticky, so it can be somewhat difficult to shape the cookies. Many of my cookies came out different shapes and sizes and were not perfectly round like in the picture. But once you frost them, they look great, and the taste is even better. I will definitely be making this a tradition every year, especially since they made my house smell so wonderful and festive. :)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.
To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.

Gluten free: use GF flour.

Original recipe from allrecipes.com.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf

Super yum! I like meatloaf anyway, but this one was lighter and leaner, which I loved. It calls for ground chicken or turkey. I used ground turkey and it was delcious. I served this to my husband and his cousin and they both really enjoyed it. It was a really fun take on meatloaf! I will definitely be making this on a regular basis. It is very easy too. I served it with mashed potatoes and green beans. I didn't change anything about the recipe. It was even better the next day when all of the flavors had time to blend together wonderfully. I think it's an excellent form of meatloaf for this time of year- especially if you use turkey! :)

1 lb ground chicken (ground turkey can be substituted)

1 egg

1/4 breadcrumbs

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 small onion, grated

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup pasta sauce (homemade or store bought)

1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend

minced parsley for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan with cooking spray, set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, thyme, oregano, basil, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. To not over handle the mixture otherwise it will get tough. Place the mixture in the greased loaf pan and form into a loaf. Top the meatloaf with pasta sauce.

Place filled loaf pan on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and sprinkle the top with the remaining shredded cheese. Place the meatloaf back in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted.

Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving/slicing. Garnish with parsley if desired.

Gluten free: GF bread crumbs.

Original recipe from joelens.blogspot.com

Friday, October 28, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I've made broccoli cheese soups before, but I loved this one because it uses real cheese! No velveeta or processed cheeses. I liked it a lot more. I served it for my book club dinner and my mom and sister liked it too. It is a nice creamy soup to serve on a cold day to keep you warm. I served it in bread bowls for those who could eat it that way with a salad on side. Very good and not hard to make at all. Once you have all the ingredients prepared and ready to go, it moves quickly. I did not make any changes to the recipe and it was great. I think next time I might add a bit more cheddar cheese to get the richness of that flavor even more.

1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 small onion, diced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, preferably sharp or extra sharp
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
2 1/2 to 3 cups chopped, lightly steamed or blanched broccoli

Simmer chicken broth and chopped onion for 15-20 minutes in a covered small saucepan, until onions are soft. Heat milk in microwave for 1-2 minutes. In a separate medium-sized stockpot, melt butter then add flour, salt and pepper. Cook together, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, then whisk in warmed milk. Stir and heat together on medium heat until soup starts to thicken, about 5-8 minutes. Add warmed chicken broth and continue to stir until well blended. Add cheeses and stir until completely melted. Stir in seamed broccoli. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Serve immediately in bowls or bread bowls.

Gluten free: Use gluten free flour.

Original recipe from: melskitchencafe.com (from pinterest.com)

Friday, October 21, 2011

White Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

Num num. Me and my husband really liked these and it's a little bit of a change from your standard enchilada. These are nice and creamy. Loved it. Not hard to make either. Just three steps basically. First you fill your tortillas with the chicken and cheese. Then you make your white sauce to pour on top. Then you bake. Pretty simple. Takes about twenty minutes to prepare and twenty minutes to bake. Not bad. And they taste wonderful. I served it with corn on the side, which my husband enjoyed mixing with his enchiladas as well. I also used corn tortillas instead of flour since they are gluten free and it still turned out great. My husband said he actually would have preferred corn over flour tortillas anyway. So that was good!

8 soft taco size flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese, divided
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
Chopped, fresh cilantro for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside. Mix the chicken together with 1 cup of the cheese. Distribute the chicken and cheese mixture evenly among the tortillas. Roll up and place seam side down in the prepared pan. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, whisking until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat until sauce is thick and bubbly. Stir in the sour cream and diced green chilies. Pour the sauce in an even layer over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Sprinkle with cilantro just before serving.

Gluten free: Use GF tortillas (corn or rice flour).

Original recipe from foodgawker.com (off of pinterest.com).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Fudge

It's that time of year when I start craving pumpkin. I love it! I came across this recipe and had to try it. Of course, it was my first time making fudge EVER, so I had my mom come over to supervise me and make sure I didn't ruin anything. Overall it is very easy. You just have to follow the recipe to a T. Exact measurements and times. You can't flounder with fudge...it is very picky I hear. It came out well, especially for my first time! And it has great flavor. Tastes like pumpkin pie fudge. This is probably because I swapped cinnamon for pumpkin spice instead. I'm sure it is great either way. I just like pumpkin spice. :) If you have never made fudge before either, don't fear, this recipe really isn't hard at all. It moves fast, so definitely have all of your ingredients measured and ready to go once you start. It also cools and hardens quickly too so you can eat it that much faster! :) Enjoy!

2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 cup white chocolate chips
7 ounces marshmallow creme
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line a 9x9 inch pan with aluminum foil, and set aside.
In a 3 quart saucepan, heat milk and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Mix in pumpkin puree and cinnamon; bring back to a boil. Stir in marshmallow creme and butter. Bring to a rolling boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 18 minutes.
Remove from heat, and add white chocolate chips and vanilla. Stir until creamy and all chips are melted. Pour into prepared pan. Cool, remove from pan, and cut into squares. Store in a cool, dry place.

This recipe is Gluten free! Wahoo!

Original recipe from allrecipes.com

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Mug Cake

Gotta love super simple, fun and different yummies to try!! This was not only easy, but it was a fun Sunday night activity for me and my husband to do together. We each made our own mug cake so that he could use his flour and I mine. I recommend using a large mug because the cake expands and puffs up rather tall. That way you can enjoy it with ice cream on top instead of on the side! It was very tasty and rich! We definitely preferred it with vanilla ice cream on top. :)

Put into a mug:

1 egg + 3 TBSP brown sugar + 1/3 cup flour + 1TBSP softened butter + 3-4 TBSP mini chocolate chips.

Mix with a spoon and microwave for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes until set.

Enjoy with a dollop of ice cream!

Recipe by: Brooke McLay via blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen
(I got it off of pinterest.com)

Gluten free: use GF flour.

Scooter's Spaghetti

Yummy yummy yummy. I'm a fan of spaghetti as it is, and this is just a fancied up version with wonderful flavor! Me and my husband ate this for dinner last night and loved it. I did omit the green peppers because me and my husband don't always care for them in certain things, and of course the french fried onions because they are not GF (therefore I cannot eat them...sadness). But I'm sure if you did add those two things it would only make the dish that much better!! Definitely give this recipe a shot just the way it is. It takes a little bit longer than if you were to make regular spaghetti, but the cream cheese mixture just adds such a yummy creaminess that is so unique. It is not hard. And it really doesn't take too much longer...maybe 5 minutes extra. We loved it. So if you have a few extra minutes to spare, jazz up your spaghetti night with this recipe!!

8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1 pound ground beef
1 large can spaghetti sauce (26.5 ounces)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
1/3 cup chopped onions
8 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons milk
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
French Fried Onions (small can)
Cook spaghetti according to directions on the package. Cook to al dente, drain and set aside.
Brown ground beef. Drain excess grease. Add spaghetti sauce to skillet and heat.
Combine onions, peppers and butter in small glass bowl. Cover and microwave 4 minutes on HIGH until soft.
Add cream cheese and milk to vegetables and stir well.
Using a 10 x 6 dish, assemble in the following order:
1)Thin layer of meat sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.
3)Cream cheese/vegetable mixture
4)Spaghetti sauce
5)Parmesan Cheese (amount subject to your own taste)
6)French Fried Onions (added during last 5 minutes of cooking)
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Top with French Fried onion and continue baking 5 more minutes.

Make this ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze without the French Fried onions. Don’t forget to add them 5 minutes before casserole is finished cooking.

I got this recipe off of pinterest.com- original recipe from salad-in-a-jar.com.

Gluten free: No french fried onions. Use GF spaghetti noodles and check to make sure you have a GF sauce.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Yummy Goodness on the Menu!

Just wanted to give you a sneak peek into my yummy things that are on my menu this week! They are all new recipes that I have never tried before, but they sound fantastic! Recipes and reviews coming soon! :)

Scooter's Spaghetti
Pumpkin Fudge
White Chicken Enchiladas
Mug Cake

Mmm Mmm Good!

Braised Balsamic Chicken

Sometimes when you try something new, you are taking a risk at not liking it so much. This was one of those times...however, I think with some modifications it could be much better. For me, it was not my favorite. My husband didn't seem to like the flavor at all. If I were to make this again, I think I would cut WAY down on the balsamic vinegar (and I am usually a fan of it too), it was way too strong for the dish. I would also halve all the seasonings/herbs too. The overall flavor of the dish was good, but very overwhelming- meaning too much flavor. I was planning to serve this dish with a veggie and rice on the side. I ended up having to dish up a bunch of white rice and use the balsamic chicken as a small topping to my rice in order to tone down the flavor. All in all, it was ok, just really strong. I would not recommend eating it plain. Definitely eat it over rice to tame it and then it's really not too bad. And possibly halving all of it, while keeping the same amount of chicken will help tone it down as well. I think I will give it another try sometime soon and then put an updated review for you to see if it turned out better or not! I really think if the flavors are just toned down a bit, it would actually be a decent dish with a unique taste to it!

Give it a try and let me know what worked for you! Or maybe you liked it just the way it was! :)

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Season chicken breasts with ground black pepper and garlic salt. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet, and brown the onion and seasoned chicken breasts.
Pour tomatoes and balsamic vinegar over chicken, and season with basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme. Simmer until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 15 minutes.

Gluten free: this dish should be gluten free. Just double check your balsamic vinegar.

Original recipe from allrecipes.com

Monday, October 10, 2011

Zucchini Bread

This is my mother's de-li-cious zucchini bread. And what a great time of year to make it too, when everyone who has a garden tends to be overflowing with zucchini! This bread is so moist and yummy with that delicious hint of cinnamon. Not to mention easy! Usually when you think of bread, you do not think easy. But it really is. Just dump all the ingredients in a large bowl, mix and bake! I love to make it every year. Makes the house smell wonderful. Mmmm...I think I'll make another loaf soon!


3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup nuts (optional)


Grease or flour two bread loaf pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and bake for one hour.

This recipe does make two loaves so if you only need one, cut the recipe in half.

Gluten free: GF flour

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Egg-Topped Soba Noodles

This dish was delicious and different! I absolutely loved it- as did my husband! It looks really pretty too. :) The changes I made were: I used rice noodles instead of soba and thinly sliced ham instead of prosciutto. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. It really was divine.

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 3-ounce package thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into strips
8 large eggs
1 9.5-ounce package thin soba noodles
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut on sharp diagonal into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional cheese shavings

Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add prosciutto strips; cook until slightly crisp. Remove from heat. Set aside.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in each of 2 nonstick skillets over medium heat. Crack 4 eggs into each skillet. Cook on 1 side until eggs begin to set, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover; set aside.

Cook soba noodles in large pot of boiling salted water 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sliced asparagus to pot; cook until noodles are cooked through and asparagus is just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain noodles and asparagus, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.

Add drained noodles and asparagus to prosciutto mixture in skillet. Cook over medium heat until heated through, tossing and adding reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten.

Remove skillet from heat. Add grated Parmesan cheese and remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil and toss to coat. Divide among 8 plates. Top each serving with 1 egg and cheese shavings. Serve immediately.

Gluten free: Use GF noodles of your choice.

Original recipe from epicurious.com

Friday, September 30, 2011

Neat Sloppy Joes

I am a fan of sloppy joes in general. I grew up eating ground beef and Manwich. When I found this recipe, I thought it would be fun to make the whole thing from scratch, even the sauce! For the most part, I loved it! It was a bit too sweet for me though, so I think I will cut back on the brown sugar next time... and add a tad bit more salt. I know 1/4 cup does not sound like much to begin with, but for my personal tastes, it just ended up being a tad too sweet. It still had excellent flavor though. All of the ingredients blend well together. I did leave out the celery because neither me or my husband enjoys it. I'm considering trying to replace the celery with water chesnuts next time, to give it a little crunch. That could be yummy. ;) The other nice thing about this recipe is the sauce is not quite as runny as most sloppy joe sauces usually are. That's why they are called "neat" sloppy joes. They aren't quite as messy!

2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
8 hamburger buns
Place ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until evenly browned, stirring to crumble. I like to use a potato masher to even out the lumps. Add onion and celery, cover the pan, and cook until tender and transparent, about 5 minutes. Drain off any grease.
Stir the tomato soup (undiluted), ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce into the beef mixture. Season with salt and garlic powder. Heat to a simmer over low heat, and cook until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning on the bottom.
Spoon the hot beef mixture onto buns, which may be toasted first, and serve.

Gluten free: Use GF ketchup, tomato soup and worcestershire sauce, as well as GF buns.

Original recipe from allrecipes.com

Autumn Spice Ham Steak

I thought this would be fun to try for fall time. And it was very nice! It was easy and light. It was also fun to use apples on the ham instead of pinneapple. I made this for a book club dinner with my mom and sister and we all enjoyed it very much. We ate it with baked potatoes and a fresh salad. Very yummy. I followed the recipe exactly, so please share of any changes you make! Enjoy!

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 (2 pound) ham steak
1 red apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 green apple, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup maple flavored pancake syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the ham on both sides in the butter until browned. Lay the sliced apple over the ham. Pour the syrup over the apples. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally until the apples are cooked through.
Sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve immediately.

*Tip: this comes together very quickly, so don't make it in too much advance or else the ham begins to dry out and become tough. I barely fried the ham on each side...I did not wait until it was browned and then simmered on low until the apples were done- a few minutes.

Gluten free: Just double check and make sure your ham and syrup are gluten free and you are good!

Original recipe from allrecipes.com

Monday, September 26, 2011

Applesauce Bars

Oh, wow were these yummy!! I made them for a family dinner party and they were gone within minutes by both kids and adults! And they are a perfect treat for the Fall as well. Perfect blend of pumpkin and apple flavors with a delicious glaze on top...and so moist too! Loved them.

The glaze is definitely a glaze and not a thick frosting. Next time I think I will try it with a prepared cream cheese frosting! But the glaze was delicious as well.

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup applesauce
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, brown sugar and egg until smooth. Stir in applesauce. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice; stir into the applesauce mixture until well blended. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are golden. Cool in the pan over a wire rack.
In a small bowl, mix together the confectioners' sugar and margarine. Stir in vanilla and milk until smooth. Spread over cooled bars before cutting into squares.

Gluten Free: use GF flour.

Original recipe from allrecipes.com. There was also a suggestion made by another user on the website that you can use an 8x8 pan and make them thicker, more like cake than bars. I may have to give that a try next time as well!

Omelet Wraps

Ok, so I loooove these. They are easy. They are fresh. They are light. They look pretty. And they can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I've made them for my family and for a brunch with a lot of people and they were a HUGE hit.

Here is how I usually make them, but feel free to create your own!!

2 eggs (per omelet)
1/2 tsp chopped parsley, basil or cilantro (per omelet)
salt and ground black pepper
olive oil
Spread: pesto, yogurt, salsa, or hummus
salad greens
Filling: cooked grains, avocado, cheese, mushrooms, ham or turkey

1. Beat 2 eggs with 1/2 tsp herbs and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add eggs, swirling pan to create a thin omelet like a crepe. Cook until just set, 2 to 3 min.
2. Run a spatula under the omelet and carefully slide out onto a cutting board. Repeat with remaining eggs and oil. Divide your choice of spread over omelets and cover with greens and fillings, roll and cut to serve.

And what makes them even better, is they are GLUTEN FREE!! (Except some cooked grains...be careful with those.) :)

Original recipe from allrecipes.com

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Coming Soon...

I know that I am behind on posting (so busy lately, sorry!!), but I wanted to give you a quick update on what you have to look forward to! I have already tried all of these recipes (some were requests), but just have no time to actually post them this week. The recipes and my reviews will all be available to you by the end of next week. And I will tell you right now, every single one of them is excellent! I can't wait to hear your thoughts and experiences! :)

Zucchini Bread

Applesauce Bars

Egg-topped Soba Noodles

Omelet wraps

Homemade Guacamole

Also, I am currently looking for fun Fall or Halloween recipes!! I have a few already, but I am dying to try something new! If you have any you would like to share, please do! (or requests, too) I love this time of year for baking/cooking! So much fun!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sweet Potato Burritos

Ok, so I don't know about you, but when I first read the title of this recipe, I scrunched my nose. I did not know quite what to think about it. But I also thought, what a perfect opportunity to try something new and different for the blog! Plus, on the website that I found it at, other people who have tried it, swear by it. So for Labor Day, I decided to hop on the sweet potato burrito train and give it a shot. :)

For the most part, it is fairly easy...just a bit time consuming. You have to bake and mash the sweet potatoes and then you have to mash all of those beans in your skillet when the time comes. It can take a little bit of time. The only change I made was I left out the mustard because my husband is allergic. Other than that, I followed it exactly. The end result: very good. The homemade bean mixture was mine and my husband's favorite part about it. During the bean mashing part, I began thinking to myself, maybe next time I will just buy refried beans and skip this whole ordeal. BUT don't do it. The homemade bean mixture is very good and tastes different than refried beans, so you would have a completely different flavor if you went that route.

As for the sweet potatoes, they definitely mix up the flavor from your usual burrito taste. They add a sweetness and also cause the burrito to be extremely filling. I could only eat one burrito and I was stuffed. I think next time, I will try adding corn to the mixture too, to add a little crunch and texture. :) Let me know what you try!

Once done, I topped them with sour cream...because I can't live without it. :)

All in all, my taste buds were happy and it was something fun and different to try, which I always enjoy!

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups canned kidney beans, drained
2 cups water
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
12 (10 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Heat oil in a medium skillet, and saute onion and garlic until soft. Stir in beans, and mash. Gradually stir in water, and heat until warm. Remove from heat, and stir in the chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper and soy sauce.
Divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes evenly between the warm flour tortillas. Top with cheese. Fold up tortillas burrito style, and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven, and serve.

(Gluten free- GF tortillas and soy sauce. I used La Choy soy sauce.)

Original recipe from allrecipes.com (Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Amish Breakfast Casserole

For Sunday morning breakfast, I decided to do something other than pancakes and eggs. I'm usually not one to cook a fancy breakfast..my husband is the breakfast eater in the house. However, I came across this recipe and couldn't let it pass me by without trying it! It was very easy and yummy. The fun thing about this dish is you can mix it up and add different things to it! The first time around, I followed the recipe (and it was good!), but next time I think I might try adding sauteed mushrooms, peppers, and sausage! Let me know what you try! The other great thing about this dish, is it has it all in one: your potatoes, eggs, veggies, and breakfast meat! (My husband still ate it with waffles of course.) :)

1 pound sliced bacon, diced
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
6 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese
1 1/4 cups shredded Swiss cheese

1.In a large skillet, cook bacon and onion until bacon is crisp; drain. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; stir in bacon mixture. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish.
2.Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until set and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

(To cut down on time, I used pre-cooked bacon and just threw my chopped onion and bacon right in with the egg-cheese mixture. I thought it was great, because the onions weren't completely soft. They still had a tiny crunch to them, which I love. If you are not a fan of onions, then definitely saute them so they are soft because then that way you won't know they are there, yet they will add great flavor to your dish.)

This entire dish is Gluten free! Yeah!

Original recipe from allrecipes.com

Salsa Chicken

This week, at my book club dinner, I decided to try something new, but it had to be super easy because I didn't have a lot of time. I found this one and was so excited to give it a shot! I followed the recipe almost exactly and thought it was great. (The only changes I made were I sprinkled taco seasoning on each side of the chicken breasts instead of using 4 tsp. I just eyeballed it...so I probably added more than what it called for, but I like flavor!) My two guests who had it as well said they enjoyed it too. My mom also made this for their family and my little brother said he LOVED it. :)

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 teaspoons taco seasoning mix
1 cup salsa
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream (optional)

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)
2.Place chicken breasts in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
3.Sprinkle taco seasoning on both sides of chicken breasts, and pour salsa over all.
4.Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 25 to 35 minutes, or until chicken is tender and juicy and its juices run clear.
5.Sprinkle chicken evenly with cheese, and continue baking for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with sour cream if desired, and serve.

I served this with Spanish Rice and corn on the cob. Yummy!

(Gluten-free: just make sure your taco seasoning is gluten free as well as your rice, other than that you are set!)

Original recipe from allrecipes.com

Monday, August 29, 2011

Chicken Pillows

I was not able to try anything NEW this past week, so I decided to post one of my old favorites! I grew up eating this meal because for my mom, it was a quick and easy one to throw together and we all loved it.

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
8 oz. cream cheese
1 package crescent rolls
1 can cream of chicken soup

1. Cook chicken and shred. (or you can used canned chicken)
2. Mix chicken with softened cream cheese.
3. Place a spoonful of cream cheese chicken mixture on a single crescent roll triangle and then roll up. Pinch edges so the mixture does not ooze out during baking. Repeat with the remaining crescent roll triangles.
4. Bake according to the crescent rolls' package directions.
5. Warm up the cream of chicken soup. (I do not add water.)
6. Once the chicken pillows are ready, serve warm with a spoonful of the soup as a gravy.

I like to serve this dish with rice pilaf and a vegetable of choice. So simple and yummy!  Anytime I serve this meal to guests, they absolutely love it!

Also, sometimes I have left over cream cheese chicken filling. I like to save it for later and eat it with crackers as a snack! :)

At the moment, I am unsure of how to make this gluten free, unless you make your own bread dough (so it won't be the same croissant flavor, but more like a roll instead).

Friday, August 19, 2011

Better Than Sex Cake

This was my first time trying this cake. And let me just say- absolutely amazing. Loved it. I didn't change a thing about the recipe. I've had cakes similar to this and I love them all. It's not a difficult recipe either, which is nice. So-o good. :)

1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
1/2 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
6 ounces caramel ice cream topping
3 (1.4 ounce) bars chocolate covered toffee, chopped
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

1.Bake cake according to package directions for a 9x13 inch pan; cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Make slits across the top of the cake, making sure not to go through to the bottom.
2.In a saucepan over low heat, combine sweetened condensed milk and caramel topping, stirring until smooth and blended. Slowly pour the warm topping mixture over the top of the warm cake, letting it sink into the slits; then sprinkle the crushed chocolate toffee bars liberally across the entire cake while still warm.
3.Let cake cool completely, then top with whipped topping. Decorate the top of the cake with some more chocolate toffee bar chunks and swirls of caramel topping. Refrigerate and serve right from the pan!

(Gluten Free: GF devil's food cake mix- Betty crocker has a good one!)

*original recipe from allrecipes.com

Pizza Casserole

This is a new recipe that I tried for the first time this week. It was super easy and actually kind of fun to get creative with! When I make it again, I will try different varieties of ingredients. It's a casserole dish with pizza toppings! When I first mentioned it to my husband, he said that it sounded "interesting," but it's actually pretty good. It's not the best dish out there, but I liked it because it was easy, you can create a casserole of your liking easily, and it tasted good! One thing I will warn you about now, is the more toppings you add, the more sauce and noodles you will need to balance it. Other than that, do what you want with it! For the first time around, the only changes that I made to it were that I used spiral pasta noodles so that they would hold their shape/texture and I added black olives, which I love. I think next time, I might try a Canadian Bacon or even do a vegetarian casserole!

2 cups uncooked egg noodles
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup sliced pepperoni sausage
16 ounces pizza sauce
4 tablespoons milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
1.Cook noodles according to package directions.
2.In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef with the onion, garlic and green bell pepper. Drain excess fat. Stir in the noodles, pepperoni, pizza sauce and milk, and mix well. Pour this mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish.
3.Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes, top with the cheese, then bake for 5 to 10 more minutes.

(Gluten Free: substitute GF pasta, pizza sauce and pepperoni)

*original recipe on allrecipes.com

Monday, August 15, 2011

Authentic Mexican Mole Chicken

This past week, I received a request for the authentic Mexican Mole (Mo-lay) dish. I have never had Mole, let alone made it, so this was a fun adventure I was looking forward to. I searched all around for a recipe that sounded the best to me. This dish can be made with chicken, beef, or pork...I used chicken.

Warning: This is NOT a Gluten-free friendly dish and as far as I know, there is no way to convert it to gluten-free (if you know of a way, please share!). Since I am gluten-free, I was unable to try it myself, so I decided to invite a few people over to be my food critics for the night. :) Over all, they absolutely loved the dish! Some of the comments were:
"I love all of the different flavors"
"The chocolate taste is great in the dish"
"Tastes a lot like curry in a way- texture and taste"
"The chicken is very moist"
"A fun and different dish that you don't eat everyday"
"Really good, worth the wait"

The only "negative" comment that I received was only from one of the people trying the dish and they said that it "needed salt." But other than that, everyone had great things to say. One person did comment and say that "if you don't like curry, then you won't like this dish." I found it very interesting that a Mexican dish was reminding them so much of an Indian dish. It does use some of the same spices, so that may be why.

As the cook, the only thing that I would have to say "negatively" about this dish is that it takes time...LOTS of time. I think it took me around 2 1/2 hours. So if you do decide to make this, make sure you have plenty of time to spare! There are just a lot of steps to this recipe and a lot of ingredients to chop, etc. However, one of the reviews I got was that it was worth the wait! I also made a few adjustments to this recipe as well. I couldn't find a poblano pepper, so I used an Anaheim instead and I left out the fire roasted tomatoes and raisins. I served it over my favorite: Jasmine rice. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. Try this out yourself and tell me what you thought!


3 tbsp. vegetable oil
8 chicken thighs (or use chicken pieces like legs)
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 can(14 oz.) fire roasted tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup raisins
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped (these are sold in small cans in every grocery store in a Mexican area)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup dark Mexican beer, or any dark beer would be fine
2 tbsp. peanut butter
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 squares (1oz. each) unsweetend chocolate (for baking), chopped


1.Heat oil in a lg. skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and brown on all sides, set aside.
2.In the same skillet, sautee onion, bell pepper, poblano pepper and garlic. Cook and stir until veggies are soft and slightly caramelized. 3.Stir in chili powder, cumin and cinnamon and cook 3 minutes longer.
4.Add tomatoes, raisins, chipotle peppers, chicken broth, beer, peanut butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook 20 minutes, stirring often.
5.Pour the sauce into a blender or food processor and add chocolate. Cover and blend until smooth.
6.Transfer the chicken into the dutch oven, or a deep heavy cooking pot, or skillet. Pour sauce over chicken. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Serve warm over cooked white rice with warm tortillas. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with fresh cilantro, if desired.

*Original recipe from grouprecipes.com

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quick Quiche

Here is a delightful quick quiche that is wonderful for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Quiche's are great because you can throw whatever you like into it as well, so have fun with it! Throw veggies, other meats, and different cheeses in there- be creative! In this particular quiche I used mozzarella cheese instead of Swiss (however I have made it both ways and they are both great). You can try adding mushrooms, broccoli, crab, shrimp, sausage, spinach- anything you want. Or it tastes wonderful just as the recipe is. :)

8 slices bacon
4 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk

1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9 inch pie pan.
3. Line bottom of pie plate with cheese and crumbled bacon. Combine eggs, butter, onion, salt, flour and milk; whisk together until smooth; pour into pie pan.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, until set. Serve hot or cold.

*I usually end up baking mine for almost an hour. All ovens are a little bit different, so if it takes you longer for yours to set, that's ok.

(Gluten Free: use GF flour, and that's it!)

*This recipe is originally from allrecipes.com

Friday, August 12, 2011

Homemade Oreo Cookies

Here is a fun summer dessert recipe that is one of my favorites! This is a recipe that my mother has been using as long as I can remember. I am an oreo fan as it is, but these are a whole new level of goodness! This recipe is simple and yummy- two of the best things when it comes to baking! They come out nice, moist and chewy...mmm delicious! Give 'em a try. Happy baking! :)

Homemade Oreos

1 Devil’s Food Cake mix
¾ cup shortening or real butter softened
2 eggs
Cream cheese frosting (homemade or premade, depending on how much time you have)

1. Mix cake mix, shortening or butter, and eggs together. Batter will be thick.
2. Roll into one inch balls and place on cookie sheet.
3. Bake at 425 degrees for 4 minutes on the very bottom oven rack and then 4 minutes on the very top rack.
4. Cool and then apply a generous amount of cream cheese frosting between two cookies.

Now you have the yummiest cookie ever!

*If you want to add a little color to the cookies, you can add food coloring to your frosting or roll the edges of your cookies in sprinkles so they stick to your frosting. It adds a little crunch. :)

*Tip: I store these cookies in the refrigerator. Helps the frosting to stay a little more firm and the cookie chewy. Soooo good.

(Gluten free: GF devil's food cake mix (Betty Crocker has an excellent one) and your favorite GF frosting.)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chicken Florentine

This is one excellent Chicken Florentine dish that is highly recommended. It is not hard to do and consists of 5 simple steps. The original recipe was found on allrecipes.com, however I made some modifications to it and it turned out delicious! I had several requests for this recipe, so here you go! Feel free to stick to the recipe or make your own changes too! Please share how it went and what you thought!

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup butter
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 bag fresh spinach
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
2/3 cup bacon, crumbled
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Step 1: Melt a little butter in saucepan over medium heat and sautee mushrooms and spinach. When spinach is done, remove from heat and spread on the bottom of a 9X13 dish.
Step 2: In same saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Stirring constantly, mix in the garlic, lemon juice, cream of mushroom soup, Italian seasoning, half-and-half, 1 cup of the mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese until cheese is melted.
Step 3: Arrange uncooked chicken breasts in the dish on top of spinach and mushrooms, and cover with the sauce mixture.
Step 4: Sprinkle with crumbled bacon.
Bake 25 minutes in the 350 degrees F (200 degrees C) oven.
Step 5: Sprinkle remaining cup of mozzarella on top and continue to bake for 10 more minutes.
Serve over angel hair pasta or white rice.


(Gluten-free: Substitute GF cream of mushroom and just read the ingredients on your italian seasoning and bacon to make sure they are gluten free as well. Serve over GF pasta or rice. Super easy and yummy!)

Kitchen Love

Hello all and welcome to Tasty Tidbits! This blog is for anyone and everyone! Whether you like/dislike to cook, have not had very much success in the kitchen, interested in cooking more, or for those of you who already love it, but just want some new ideas and recipes! The goal of this blog is to simply share fabulous recipes that are fun to change up and create a dish that is something that you will love! It is also Gluten-Free friendly, as with all of the recipes, I will share how they can all be converted to your gluten-free needs! In short, this site is here to encourage having fun in the kitchen and then comment on how it was! What did you like about the recipe? What did you dislike? What would you change? Requests for me to try out? Have a recipe to share? Please do! Please feel free to comment as you wish and share any thoughts or ideas you may have! All are welcome!

But most importantly- HAVE FUN!!