Monday, December 31, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Rice Curry

Ok, so this was one of the easiest curries I've ever made!  Plus, me and my husband quite enjoyed it!  My husband is Indian too, so he is a tad pickier than most about his curry.  We really liked this one because it had more of an authentic flavor to it than other recipes we have tried.  The only difference from the usual curry that we are accustomed to is that it has almost no heat to it.  Usually the curry we eat it has some serious spice to it, but this is extremely no heat.  So if you do like spice, then you will want to add some cayenne pepper, or anything else you think would taste good to add heat to the dish.  We still enjoyed it without the spice though so it was all good. :)  I did leave the raisins out, however, because neither me or my husband will eat them, I used 6 chicken thighs instead of breast halves (I like the meat better myself), and I added about 1/2 tsp of onion salt as well.  Lastly, I did not do the last step of adding instant rice to the slow cooker at the end.  Instant rice and curry just don't mix, in my opinion.  So I just cooked my meat and gravy on low for 8 hours and about 30 minutes before it ended, I made my own jasmine rice in a separate rice cooker.  You can decide which method you prefer.  I hope you enjoy this recipe!  It is seriously easy, no need to be intimidated, which curry can often induce.  And the meat was so tender, I could barely keep it together to serve it on my rice!  Very yummy, indeed.

Makes 6 servings.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH plus 20 minutes on HIGH
4 bone-in chicken breast halves (about 2 pounds), skin removed
1 tablespoon McCormick® Curry Powder
1 package McCormick® Chicken Gravy Mix
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium Golden Delicious apple, unpeeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup McCormick® Onions, Chopped
McCormick® Bay Leaves, broken in half
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Garlic Powder
1 cup instant rice
1. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Cut each breast half into 2 pieces. Sprinkle chicken with curry powder.

2. Gradually stir Gravy Mix into broth in slow cooker until well blended. Add seasoned chicken and remaining ingredients except rice; stir well. Cover.

3. Cook 8 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH.

4. Gently stir in rice. Cover. Cook 15 to 20 minutes longer on HIGH or until rice is tender. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Slow Cooker Tip: For best results, do not remove cover during cooking.

Gluten free:  use a GF gravy packet- the only flavor I had available to me at the time was Savory Herb, instead of chicken, but with the chicken broth included in the recipe, it was still delicious.

Recipe and photo found on

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Taco Tater Tot Bake

Me and my husband really enjoyed this dish!  It was similar to any tater tot casserole, with a twist of Mexican!  Delicious!!  The only change we made, was we only added about 2/3 bag of shredded cheese.  If we had used the whole thing, it would have been a bit too greasy for us.  But with 2/3 bag, it was perfect!

Ingredients:1lb ground beef
1 small onion (diced)
1 garlic clove (minced)
1 small can black olives (sliced)
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (16 ounce) bag frozen corn
1 (4 ounce) can green chilies (diced and drained)
1 (12 ounce) can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 (16 ounce) bag shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 (16 ounce) package frozen tater tots
1 (10.5 ounce fluid ounce) can enchilada sauce

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Heat a skillet to medium high heat. Add ground beef, garlic, and onion and cook while breaking the meat apart with a spoon or spatula until the ground beef is completely browned. Drain off any excess fat. Add taco seasoning mix, green chilies, frozen corn, and black beans to the ground beef. Cook until heated through.
Step 2: In a large bowl combine ground beef mixture, ¾ of the Mexican cheese blend, and all of the tater tots. Stir well to combine.
Step 3: Pour about 1/3 of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Add the tater tot mixture to the baking dish and lightly pat the mixture down into a solid, even layer. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tater tots.
Step 4: Place into the oven and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. During the last few minutes of baking, top the casserole with the remaining Mexican cheese blend and the sliced black olives. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
(Makes 6 Servings)

Gluten free:  use a GF taco seasoning mix (I'm always able to use Kroger brand without a problem), and GF enchilada sauce.

Recipe and photo found on

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chicken Lasagna

I hope you like creamy and cheesy food!  Because that's definitely what this was- and I loved it! :)  One of the easiest lasagnas I've ever made as well, which is fantastic!  Enjoy!

2-3 cloves minced garlic
2 T. butter (use the real stuff)
1 to 1- 1/2 lbs. chicken breast, cubed into small pieces
2 cans cream chicken soup
1-8 oz light cream cheese
2 c. light sour cream
1 c. skim milk
1 box lasagna noodles prepared according to package instructions
3-4 c. grated Monterrey Jack cheese
1-2 c. shredded Swiss cheese
Italian spice or dipping spices, for sprinkling over the top (optional)

In a large frying pan saute chicken and garlic in melted butter until the chicken is no longer pink. Removed chicken and keep warm.

Add cream soup, cream cheese, sour cream, and milk, to the skillet. Stir until ingredients melt and thicken slightly. Add chicken and continue to stir. Turn heat down and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Spread a thin layer of sauce in a 9x13 baking dish. Then layer noodles, then cream sauce with chicken, then cheese. Continue to repeat until your pan is full, ending with cheese on top. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Gluten free:  substitute GF cream of chicken soup, lasagna noodles.

Recipe and photo found on  Chicken Lasagna adapted from Better Than Burgers

Friday, November 9, 2012

Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese



16 oz macaroni pasta (any shape shape you like)
1/2 C butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 C flour
3 1/2 C milk, warmed
1/4 C white wine (or sub w/chicken broth)
1/2 lb Velveeta cheese, cubed
1/2 lb cheddar, cubed
1/2 C panko bread crumbs
1 Tbl parsley
2 Tbl butter, melted


Heat 350' oven. Grease 9x13 glass dish ( 8x8 or round casserole, if making half the recipe).
Cook pasta for about 2-3 minutes less than called for, drain, set aside.
In a saucepan, melt 1/2 C butter, salt pepper, once melted add flour, stir until smooth. Let cook for 1 minute. Add milk, wine, bring to a boil, whisking. Add cheeses and stir until melted. Pour over cooked pasta and add to greased dish. Combine the panko, parsley and melted butter in a small bowl. Sprinkle macaroni with panko topping, bake uncovered 30 minutes.

Gluten free:  use a GF pasta of choice, GF all purpose flour, and GF bread crumbs.

Recipe found on and photo from Elle's New England Kitchen

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin French Toast Bake


This is DELICIOUS!!!  Perfect for fall time.  Plus, I absolutely love anything pumpkin, so I was in Heaven.
  • 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 cups 1-inch bread cubes (depending on type of bread)
  • 7 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk (any kind)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin BUTTER (or 1/2 cup pumpkin puree- which is what I used)
  • 3-4 tablespoons brown sugar for topping
  • nuts, like pecan or walnuts (optional)

  1. Cut any kind of bread into 1-inch cubes – I recommend a crusty, whole grain variety, but sandwich bread will work, too. Just use enough slice to fill a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish quite full.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and pumpkin butter until well combined. Pour over bread and push down with a spoon or your hands until it’s all soaked and mostly covered. Cover with saran wrap or lid and refrigerate overnight.
  3. In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees, uncover and top with brown sugar and nuts (optional). Bake for 35-45 minutes or golden brown and no longer wet.
  4. Serve immediately with maple syrup, honey or agave nectar. Store leftovers in the refrigerator covered for up to a couple days.
Notes from original pinner:
"I HIGHLY recommend using pumpkin butter as it has a concentrated pumpkin flavor and is much sweeter than puree. But if using puree instead of butter, it’s important to compensate the flavor by adding a bit more puree, pumpkin pie spice, and a little agave nectar, brown sugar or maple syrup to the batter. Otherwise, it will lack that delicious fall, pumpkin flavor you’re going for. I used 2%, but use skim or low-fat for a lighter recipe. Alternatively, use non-dairy such as soy or almond."
Gluten free: use a gluten free bread, I just used my Udi's sandwich bread. 
Recipe and photo found on

Chicken Tamale Casserole

Me and my husband very much enjoyed this dish!  It tasted just like tomales, only in casserole form (at least it did to us!).  Not only did we serve it with sour cream, which is delish, but we all added some chalula as well as a side of Spanish rice.  Yum yum!

1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/3 cup fat-free milk 
1/4 cup egg substitute (I just used one egg)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
Cooking spray
1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast 
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Combine 1/4 cup cheese and next 7 ingredients (through chiles) in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
3. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until set. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese.  (I probably did more like 1 1/2 cups cheese, because I love it!) Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream.

Gluten free:  use a gluten free corn bread mix such as Pamela's or Amy's brand and add a bit more milk, more like 1/2 cup to the mixture.  Also, double check your enchilada sauce.  I used El Paso brand and it was ok with me.

Recipe and photo found on

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Italian Cream Cheese Chicken

I love this recipe.  It's been in my family for years.  It doesn't call for very many ingredients and it is so incredibly easy.  Not only that, but it never fails to hit the spot when I make it.  Me and my family love this dish!  I often double it as well, if I am having a group of people over, or I just want some left overs for the week. :)


4 chicken breasts
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 packet of dry Italian dressing mix


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place uncooked chicken breasts in an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish.  In mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, soup, and italian dressing mix.  Blend well.  It won't come out perfectly smooth with the cream cheese, but trying to get it as smooth as you can.  It usually takes me 2-3 minutes of blending.  Then pour mixture over chicken breasts.  Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour (or longer depending on your oven).

Serve over white rice.

Gluten free:  use GF cream of chicken soup and double check your italian dressing mix (I usually use a Kroger brand).

Photo from

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chewy Oreo Bars

This was like eating a super yummy, chewy cookies and cream treat.  I love anything and everything cookies and cream, so naturally I loved these too.  :)


2 (16.6 oz) packages of Oreos
2 (10 oz.) bags of large marshmallows
1 stick butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

*Note~ If you want to make a smaller batch, use a 8x8 pan and only half of the ingredients.


Grease or butter a 9x13 pan. Place Oreos in food processor and pulse into ground (you may have to work in batches).  I personally just poured all the oreos into a ziplock baggie, doubled it up, and then crushed them with the heel of a spatula.  I didn't mind having some chunkier pieces. Pour Oreos into a large bowl. In another large microwave-safe bowl, melt marshmallows and butter for 60 seconds. Stir. Repeat until mixture is melted and mixed together. Pour over Oreos. Stir, using a wooden spoon, until mixed well. Mixture will become thick and hard to stir. Keep mixing until all the crumbs are incorporated. Pour into prepared pan and press to spread evenly. Set aside. Place white chocolate chips in a zip-loc baggie. Place in microwave for 20 seconds. Take out and knead to mix. Repeat until chocolate is melted. Cut off a small piece of the corner of the bag and drizzle bars with chocolate. I usually place them in the fridge to hurry the process (but if you leave them too long, you will have to let them sit out to soften before cutting). Once chocolate has set, cut into bars and enjoy.

Gluten free:  substitute GF chocolate/oreo like cookies.  I like Glutino brand the best.  Also, make sure you have enough cookies...the gluten free cookies you buy come with less cookies in them than an actual Oreo package does.  So you may have to use more cookies or use less marshmellows, whichever you prefer. :)

*Recipe adapted from Picky Palate, found on
*Photo from

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

White Chicken Chili

I doubled this recipe and made it for a group of family that came to eat at my house and we all loved it!!  Each of us had second helpings.  It was delish.  As I mention below, I did not add any cream or half and half.  I figured with all of the cheese and sour cream on top, it would be plenty creamy.  Personally, next time I make this, I'm going to add a bit more cumin and maybe even some garlic salt to bring out all the yummy flavors in this chili.  But other than that, it was wonderful!  The green onion and jalepeno really add nice color to the dish as well.  I loved this recipe and it was a crowd pleaser as well!  Perfect for this time of year.


1 whole roitessiere chicken, skin removed and chicken shredded
1 sm onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced or 1 tbsp
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 can fire roasted green chilies, the whole can undrained (4 oz.)
1 can white shoepeg corn (11 oz.)
2 can(s) cannellini beans (14 -15 oz.)
2 can(s) chicken broth, low sodium 14 oz. 1/4 to 1/2 c whipping cream or half and half (I did not add this personally)
1 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp oregano
2 Tbsp diced jalapenos (optional)

Toppings that I loved:

green onions, chopped
sour cream
cilantro or parsley
6 lime wedges, for squeezing juice on top
1 block of monterey jack, shredded
Tortilla chips


Saute your onions and garlic in the olive oil for 5 to 7 minutes in pot. Add your chicken broth to onions and garlic and heat up to medium. I would use 1 1/2 cans to start and add more later if need be. Add your chicken, chilies, sauteed garlic and onions, corn, beans, cumin, coriander, oregano and if using the jalapenos add them. Determine if you need more broth to make less thick and then cook for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. Next, add your cream (if desired) and dish up.

Add to your bowl of chili the monterey jack cheese which melts really easliy. Add green onions, cilantro and lime wedge on the side for additional flavor squeeze in the lime too.
Serve with tortilla chips.

Gluten free:  I boiled my own chicken because I can't always trust roitessiere chicken to be GF.  Otherwise this recipe is gluten free!

Original recipe and photo from

Monday, October 1, 2012

Apricot Chicken

Don't let the name fool you, it is not JUST apricot chicken.  However, I grew up eating this dish my entire life and that's just what my mom called it, so there you go. :)  I absolutely love this recipe.  It is one of my favs that I turn to frequently.  And it is so easy.  With very little ingredients required.  Yes!  Like I said, I love it, my family loves it, my husband loves it.  It hasn't failed me yet! :)


4-6  uncooked chicken breasts (or thighs, drumsicks, whatever chicken you like- I have tried them all!)
1 jar of apricot jam (or apricot-pinneapple which is just as yummy)
1 bottle thousand island dressing
1 packet lipton onion soup mix
Served on top of white rice (I prefer jasmine rice myself).


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In 9x13 baking dish, place your uncooked chicken.  In mixing bowl, combine jam, dressing, and soup mix and pour over chicken, making sure to coat each piece.  Cover and bake for 1 hour.  Serve the chicken and all of that yummy sauce over white rice.

Gluten free:  double check your thousand island dressing and I used Kroger brand Onion Soup Mix.

Recipe from my Mother-  Photo from

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Recently, it's been rainy and I developed a nice little cold.  But it just made this soup taste that much better!  I love soup on a cold, rainy day and/or when I don't feel the greatest.  And this one is delightful.


4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup cream or 1 cup of milk
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese


1. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in heavy medium pot over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion, carrot, salt and pepper and saute until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes.
3. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, until the flour reaches a blonde color.
4. Add stock and bring to boil.
5. Reduce to a simmer and add broccoli.Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes.
6. Pour in cream and cheese. Stir to combine and melt.  Serve hot.

Gluten Free:  use GF all purprose flour and GF chicken broth.

Recipe and photo from

Cheesy Potato and Sausage Casserole

This recipe is delicious!  Creamy and cheesy, with your choice of protein.  Yum yum!


3 cups idaho potatoes, peeled, boiled and cut into cubes when cool, approx. 1 lb
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 lb Velveeta cheese, diced
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 lb skinless smoked sausage 
1/8 teaspoon paprika


1 Cut skinless smoked sausage in half, lengthwise, and then chop into 1/2 inch "half moon" cuts. Cook in a frying pan for about 15 minutes, turning frequently to SLIGHTLY brown.
2  Meanwhile, put cooked & diced potatoes in 2 quart casserole. Add cooked meat and give it a gentle toss.
3  Mix all remaining ingredients (except for shredded cheddar cheese & the paprika) in a saucepan over medium heat until warm, melted and smooth. (Use a whisk and stir constantly.).
4  Pour white/cheese sauce over potatoes and meat. Sprinkle shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top, and then sprinkle paprika evenly over the top.
5  Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 35-45 minutes (watch, until golden brown on top).
6  NOTE: You can substitute: 1/2 lb. hot dogs, sliced into 1/2-inch slices OR 1/2 lb. ham diced into 1/2-inch dices OR 12 oz. can of Spam diced into 1/2-inch dices, instead of the smoked sausage.

Gluten Free:  Use GF all purpose flour.

Recipe from

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Beef Tortilla Stack

This is a recipe I have grown up eating my entire life.  And it is so simple and delicious!  I just made it again this past weekend, and decided to share!  I hope you enjoy as well!

1 lb. ground beef
12 corn tortillas
1 14. oz can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 large can sliced olives
Shredded cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)

Brown your meat in a skillet.  Once cooked through, add tomato sauce and chili powder and remove from heat.  Layer the ingredients in a 6 inch round baking dish.  Layers: 3 tortillas, meat sauce, olives, cheese and repeat until the ingredients are gone, ending with cheese on top.  (I usually end up with about 3 layers.)  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. 

I like to serve this dish with sour cream, guacamole, and shredded lettuce and eat it almost like a taco salad.  Sooo yummy!  You can also substitute the beef for ground turkey or shredded cooked chicken.  I have tried both ways and they are both very good and much lighter as well!  In fact, I think me and my husband prefer them now over the beef!

Also, this recipe is GLUTEN FREE!  Wahoo!  Just double check your corn tortillas.  Mission brand has a yellow corn tortilla that actually says "gluten free" on the back of the package, just FYI.

Photo from

Thursday, September 13, 2012

6 Can Soup

You know me, I'm all about simple and easy recipes!  Being a woman that works full time, although I absolutely love to cook, I don't always have the time or energy.  This soup was perfect for one of those days!!  Took me 10 seconds to pour all of these cans in to a pot and then let it simmer until I felt the flavors were nice and blended.  Me and my husband served it with scoop tortilla chips, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream.  Yum yum yum!

Ingredients1 can of each:
Chicken broth
Chicken n' Rice soup
Ranch style beans
Corn, undrained
Chicken breast, chunks

DirectionsPour all ingredients into a pot, simmering until warm and the flavors are mixed together nicely. (about 20 min or longer if you prefer)

Gluten free: just make sure to double check your chicken and rice soup (I used Progresso brand) and ranch style beans.

Recipe and photo found on

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fiesta Chicken Casserole

This was a nice, creamy, cheesy casserole with just a hint of heat that me and my husband very much enjoyed.  Because I love cheese so much, I may even add some shredded cheese to the cream of chicken soup mixture as well as on top at the end to add some extra cheesiness!  Mmm...  And did I mention how easy this was?  Because I used canned chicken  (that's what I had in my pantry- and tasted just fine to us!), it went so fast.  While I boiled the noodles, I prepared everything else.  Took maybe 10 min.  So great.


2 cups chicken breast grilled & cubed  (I used canned chicken)
2 cups medium shell pasta cooked
2 cups cheddar/jack cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Rotel
1 can green chilies
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste


Boil pasta according to package directions.  Combine pasta and cooked chicken in a 9x9 baking dish.  Blend 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1 can Rotel, 1 can green chilie,s 1/2 cup of milk in separate bowl, then pour over pasta and chicken, stir to combine. Cover with cheese, salt and pepper to taste! Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Gluten free: use GF pasta of choice and GF cream of chicken soup.

Recipe found on  No other source was listed, but it was pinned as Fiesta Chicken Casserole.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hawaiian Grilled Cheese

DELISH!!  I had to make a few modifications, and only because I couldn't find some of the exact ingredients on my own, but came out with a FANTASTIC result nontheless.  I had to use naturally smoked deli sliced ham from the grocery (so I missed out on the rosemary bit), couldn't find Comte cheese, so opted for a white, creamy Provolone cheese instead.  I also didn't have smoked sea salt, just regular sea salt.  But like I said, the ingredients I ended up with seemed to do the trick!  Me and my husband loved these!


- 5 slices of fra'mani rosemary ham
- 1/4 pound of shredded Comte cheese
- 2 pats vermont creamery cultured butter
- smoked sea salt
- Roberta's city white bread
- 2 tbs chopped fresh pineapple

Layer the ingredients as such: After buttering and lightly salting each slice of white bread, layer:

Bread, Cheese, 3-4 slices ham, thin layer of sliced pinneapple (just enough to get some sweetness in each bite), ANOTHER layer of cheese and bread.  Once placing it on your skillet, use your spatula to press down on your sandwich, just a tad to get all of those layers melting together and keeping all of those delicious flavors in.

Found on:, Originally from:

Photo from

Friday, August 10, 2012

Chicken Fried Rice

Oh, how I love fried rice.  I order ham fried rice on a regular basis.  Mm mm!!  When I saw this recipe, I was so excited to finally make my own!  (I know, I hadn't made my own yet!  Crazy, right?)  This one used chicken, which I was excited to use and try something a little different in my fried rice.  Well, it turned out fabulous!  Me and my husband gobbled it right up.  Next time, my husband suggested using 3 eggs instead to get more egg flavor, which I think is a good idea.  And I preferred a touch more soy sauce, but I just added it to my own portion because my husband said that it was perfect.  So you can decide for yourself! :)  This is a delicious recipe (and SO easy- took like 10 minutes total), don't pass this one up!


4 cups prepared rice
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked
1 cup peas & carrots, frozen
1 small white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce

Prepare rice according to package instructions to yield 4 cups cooked rice. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add onion, garlic, peas, and carrots.
Stir fry until tender. Crack eggs into pan and scramble, mixing throughout vegetables.
Add rice, chicken, and soy sauce to pan.
Mix soy sauce throughout and remove from heat.

Gluten free: use GF soy sauce, such as La Choy brand.

Recipe found on
Photo from

Shrimp Chowder

This was by far the easiest chowder I have ever made.  It is most definitely not better than my mom's homemade chowders, but if you are crunched for time, or just like things that are easier to cook, then this is very much the way to go!  It had excellent flavor and I loved the variety of using shrimp instead of the usual clams.  I also really liked the red pepper.  I thought it added such a nice touch!  Give this recipe a try if you want a super easy, quick, and yummy chowder!

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 medium onion, chopped 
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans cream of potato soup, undiluted
3 1/2 cups milk 
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 1/2 pounds medium-size fresh shrimp, peeled* 
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Garnish: chopped fresh parsley 
Oyster crackers (optional)

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion, and sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Stir in cream of potato soup, milk, and pepper; bring to a boil. Add shrimp; reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Stir in cheese until melted. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately. Serve with oyster crackers, if desired.
*1 1/2 pounds frozen shrimp, thawed; 1 1/2 pounds peeled crawfish tails; or 3 cups chopped cooked chicken may be substituted.

Gluten free:  use GF cream of potato and GF crackers if desired.  I used a GF potato chowder with rosemary and it turned out great!

Recipe and photo found on

Monday, July 16, 2012

Navy Bean Soup (Slow Cooker)

What a delicious and ridiculously easy soup!  I made a few changes to the original recipe (nothing major), but it was because I couldn't find a dried navy bean soup mix.  So I ended up buying a 16 oz. bag of dried navy beans and adding my own seasonings.  I just added 2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 2 cloves chopped garlic, 1 tsp. onion powder and one bay leaf.  I cubed up what meat I could get off of my ham shanks (after they cooked for 8 hours in the soup) and then discarded the bones/fat, but absolutely loved using the extra tender meat!  OH and I did not soak the beans over night first.  All I did was rinse them and throw them in the crock pot with the rest of the ingredients to cook.  It worked wonderfully!  I'm sure soaking them before hand turns out great too, but I've made beans in my slow cooker before without pre-soaking, so I decided to give this a shot.  And it worked.  My soup was technically done at about 8 hours, but if you let it cook just a little longer, it allows the flavors to develop beautifully.


1 bag dried navy bean soup mix (or just the beans, like me)
1-2 cups chopped ham or ham bone (I used 2 cups cubed ham plus 3 ham shanks)
3 stalks celery chopped
3/4 cup onion chopped
2 cups carrots sliced (I used frozen carrots)
8 cups water
2 cups skim milk
Spices to taste


Soak beans overnight in a bowl of water. The next morning drain the water and place beans in the crock pot. Add the rest of the ingredients including the soup pack that came with the beans. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Gluten free:  this recipe is gluten free!  (Not sure what is in the navy bean soup mix, because I did not use one, but if you make it the way that I did, then you should be safe.)

Recipe from and photo from thank you!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

This was super simple and tasted good!  I did mine in the oven and it turned out great.  I'm sure the slow cooker version is excellent as well.  I did not change anything about the recipe.  Served it with corn on the cob on the side!  Love that corn on the cob is in season again!  Me and my husband love it. :)

1 (32 oz.) bag frozen tater tots
1 (3 oz.)bag bacon pieces
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup milk
salt & pepper, to taste

(Slow Cooker Version)

Layer half of the frozen tater tots on the bottom of the slow cooker
Sprinkle with 1/3 of the bacon pieces
Now top with 1/3 of the shredded cheese
Add diced chicken on top.  Season with salt & pepper
Now add 1/3 of the bacon pieces and another 1/3 of shredded cheese
Put the rest of the frozen tater tots on top
Finish with the remaining 1/3 cheddar cheese and remaining 1/3 of bacon pieces
Pour 3/4 cup milk all over the top

 Cover and cook on low about 4-6 hours

(Bake in Oven Version)

To make this in the oven, spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
Layer ingredients into baking dish. Cover and bake at 350F degrees for about an hour.

This recipe is gluten free!!  (just make sure to double check your tater tots and bacon)

Recipe and photo from

Monday, June 25, 2012

Avalanche Bars

Oh my were these good!!  A favorite at a family dinner this weekend!  Definitely a fun and different way to enjoy a rice crispy treat!  Super sweet too.  I think next time I will add even more marshmellows because those were my favorite bites!  (my husband agrees)  I think I will add at least two cups of marshmellows next time.  Those chewy bites were the best! :)  Super quick and easy too.  The best!

12 oz bag of White Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups Rice Krispies
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips + 2 Tbsp for garnish.
Lightly grease a 9x9 pan

In microwave-safe bowl pour in white chips and heat on 50% power for 1 minute. Stir and continue in 30 second increments until chips are melted.
Combine the peanut butter with the melted chips and add the krispies.
Let cool approx 15 – 20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes or so to help cool.
Add the marshmallows and the mini chocolate chips and stir to combine.
Pour mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly, pressing lightly with the back of your spoon, but do not compact too much, otherwise they will get hard.
Press the remaining chocolate chips into the top for garnish.
When the bars are completely cooled cut into squares and enjoy!

Another great thing about this recipe is that it is Gluten free!!!!  Wahoo!

Recipe and photo from

Slow-Cooker New Orleans Red Beans and Rice

Two words: absolutely delish.  I had my mother in law and sister in law over for dinner yesterday and every single one of us couldn't stop eating this dish!!  It was so beyond easy too.  I've never cooked with dried beans before so I was a bit nervous.  Nope, don't be with this dish!  So so good.  It does have a slight spice/kick to it, but we all loved it!

1 pound dried red beans
7 cups water
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped 
3 celery stalks, chopped 
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 pound andouille sausage, sliced
3 tablespoons Creole seasoning
Hot cooked rice 
Garnish: sliced green onions (optional)

Place first 8 ingredients in a 4-quart slow cooker.
Cook, covered, at HIGH 7 hours or until beans are tender. Serve with hot cooked rice. Garnish, if desired.

Gluten free: use GF creole seasoning or your own combination of seasonings.

Recipe and photo found on thank you thank you!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Green Chili Enchilada Bake

Made this over the weekend for me and my husband and we really enjoyed it.  It is so very easy.  The "I don't feel like making dinner" title is accurate and fits perfectly.  It throws together super quickly and tastes great.  I served it with tortilla chips and left over salsa verde that I didn't use in the meal itself.  It was yummy!

Green Chili Enchilada Bake (aka) I Don’t Feel Like Making DinnerIngredients
1 cup mild green enchilada sauce
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
3/4 cup salsa verde, mild
12 white corn tortillas broken into 1 inch pieces
2 cups cooked chicken or turkey breast
One 15 ounce can black beans, drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Place enchilada sauce, sour cream and salsa into prepared baking sheet. Stir until well combined.
3. Stir in broken tortillas, chicken or turkey and black beans. Stir to combine and top evenly with cheese.
4. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until cheese is hot and melted. Serve with chips and salsa if desired.
Makes 8 servings

Gluten free: use GF enchilada sauce (I used Kroger brand)

Recipe and photo from thanks for sharing!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fruit Cocktail Cake

This is one of my absolute favorite cakes.  The first time my mom told me about it, I thought it sounded...well, not so appetising.  And I'm not gonne lie, even the end result does not LOOK very appetising either.  However, she told me that my dad, who does not usually care for sweets, actually went back for SECONDS when he tasted it for the first time.  So I decided to give it a shot and it has been a family favorite ever since.  This cake is so moist, sweet and melt in your mouth good.  Don't knock this one until you try it! :)


1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 can fruit cocktail (undrained)
1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 stick margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all of the cake ingredients together in a mixing bowl, except the brown sugar.  Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish.  Sprinkled brown sugar evenly on top.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.

When cake is done and still warm, in a saucepan, combine the drizzle ingredients and heat through on med-high heat until sugar is melted. (about 3-5 min)  When heated through, pour over prepared cake.  Allow time for the cake to absorb all of this delicous goodness for about 20 minutes.  Serve warm with a side of vanilla ice cream or dollup of cool whip.

Gluten free:  use GF all purpose flour and a bit less of the drizzle topping, otherwise the cake will be a bit too mushy in the end.  For some reason the GF cake mix does not absorb the drizzle quite the same as a regular cake would.

Ham and Pineapple Kabobs

Easy and delicious!!  Especially if you are like me and tend to have leftover ham around your house often.  Give this one a shot!   Perfect for summer time grilling!

  • Ham cubes (or slices)
  • Pineapple (pre-heat if fresh)
  • Skewers
  • 1/4 Cup Pineapple Juice (pre-heat if fresh)
  • 2 T Soy Sauce
  • 2 T Brown Sugar
  • Ginger to taste
  1. Place ham and pineapple on skewers.
  2. Mix juice with remaining ingredients.
  3. Marinate for 2 hours.
  4. Baste on the grill
  5. Grill until heated through
TIP from (and trust me you will want to follow this!):  If using fresh pinneapple, preheat in microwave for 30 seconds before adding to skewers so that it does not tenderize the meat and break it down.  Canned pinneapple should not have this problem.

Gluten free: use GF soy sauce, such as La Choy.

Recipe adapted by from:

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Photo from

Monday, May 21, 2012

Guide to making the perfect steak.

For years now, me and my husband have never known how to cook the perfect steak.  Almost always, they are over cooked, or wayyyy too red in the middle.  We are medium rare people.  I don't know why we never thought to do this before, but this past weekend, we finally sat down to search on the Internet how to make the perfect steak.  There are lots of links you can click on and even videos for you to watch, but we found this site and found it particularly helpful.  It is very detailed and gives you several different cooking options.

What we did:

1) Bought two Ribeye steaks (about 3/4 inch thick)- with a bit of marbling, which means it is a fattier steak...lean meat does not cook quite as well...not as juicy anyway.
2)  Sat them on the counter about an hour and 15 minutes before we started grilling.  They should be close to room temperature.
3) After preparing the grill and steaks as the directions on the link below directs (just sea salt and pepper), we grilled our steaks (with the lid CLOSED) for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
4) After taking the steaks off the heat, we let them rest for about 8 minutes before indulging in their juicy goodness.

These steaks were melt in your mouth good.  They were so juicy and tender.  I couldn't believe how good they turned out.  I'm sure they will just get better and better too as my husband perfects his steak-grilling technique. :)  I served them with a side of roasted garlic and Parmesan mashed potatoes and green beans on the side.  Soooo good!!  I love BBQ/Grilling season!!

Photo from (who also has some great steak grilling tips and recipes!)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Vegetable Cheese Soup

This was a delicious, creamy, cheesy soup that me and my husband really liked. And it was so simple. While one thing was simmering, I was chopping my veggies, or prepping for the next step in the recipe. It was great. I didn't waste any time. I used the pre-cubed Simply potatoes with onion and that was just one less step for me to have to do as well! I added a bit of extra cayenne also because I liked the flavor it was giving the soup! I hope you enjoy this one as well!

2 (10 3/4 oz) can of chicken broth
2 tsp or 2 cubes chicken bouillon
1 onion, diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 cups diced potatoes
1/4 cup butter
2 cups milk (I used skim)
1/2 cup flour
dash of cayenne pepper
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. In a large pot, combine the chicken broth, bouillon, and onion. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Add the celery, carrots, and butter. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
3.Add the potatoes and simmer until tender – about 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk the milk and flour together until smooth.
Gradually add the milk mixture to the vegetable mixture stirring constantly.
Add shredded cheese and cayenne. Blend until cheese in melted. Serves 6. Gluten free: skip the bouillon, or if you can find a GF one then that's great! maybe just add some garlic salt to give it some extra salt flavor instead. Also use GF all purpose flour blend.

Recipe and photo from

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Baked Penne

This was a simple, basic, easy dinner.  I love that.  I loved the flavors of the sausage with the cooking cream and pasta.  Makes great left overs too!

1/2 lb. extra-lean ground beef or Italian Sausage
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup green peppers
1 jar(24 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 tub(10 oz.) Philadelphia Italian Cheese and Herb Cooking Creme, divided
1 cup Kraft Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
3 cups cooked penne pasta

Heat oven to 350°F.
Brown meat with vegetables in large nonstick skillet. Stir in spaghetti sauce, 3/4 cup cooking creme and 1/2 cup mozzarella; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until mozzarella is melted. Add pasta; mix lightly. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole; top with remaining cooking creme and mozzarella. Cover. Bake 20 min. or until heated through, uncovering after 15 min.

Gluten free: use GF pasta of choice and double check your spaghetti sauce.

Recipe and photo from

Monday, April 30, 2012

French Toast Bake

Oh this was fantastic.  Me and my husband absolutely loved this sweet, warm, buttery goodness.  And it takes hardly any time to prepare.  Took me maybe 10 minutes is all.  Put it in the fridge the night before and then take it out and bake when you are ready to eat in the morning.  Oh so easy.  And it is sooo good.  Just a side note: if you forget to make it the night before, as long as it has time to sit and chill in the fridge for at least an hour, then that's better than nothing.  I've made it that way before as well and it still turns out great.

1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
1 cup brown sugar
1 loaf Texas toast
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar for sprinkling

1. Melt butter in microwave & add brown sugar….stir till mixed.
2. Pour butter/sugar mix into bottom of 9 x 13 pan….spread around
3. Beat eggs, milk, & vanilla
4. Lay single layer of Texas Toast in pan
5. Spoon 1/2 of egg mixture on bread layer
6. Add 2nd layer of Texas Toast
7. Spoon on remaining egg mixture
8. Cover & chill in fridge overnight
9. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes
10. Sprinkle with powdered sugar
11. Serve with warm maple syrup

Gluten free: use GF bread of choice.  I just used my Udi's brand sandwich bread and it turned out great.

 Recipe and photo from

Bacony Chicken and Rice

This recipe is delish!  I make something similar, a recipe from my great-grandmother (which I will have to post sometime in the near future), but this one was fun because it uses different spices and herbs to flavor it so it was the same idea, with different flavors.  So so good!  I love the use of bacon at the bottom which just adds so much to the flavor of the dish as well.  The chicken comes out so moist and juicy.  Mm mm.  Me and my husband really enjoyed it.

4 slices of thin bacon, cut in half
1 cup of long grain, uncooked rice
4 chicken thighs
Couple pinches of Kosher salt, or to taste
8 turns of the pepper grinder
Couples shakes of paprika
Couple dashes of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama)
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 cup of water
Sprinkle of garlic salt
Pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of oregano
Small palmful of dried parsley

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Cut 4 slices of bacon in half and layer them on the bottom of a 9 x 9 inch baking dish. Pour the rice on top. Add the chicken over the rice and season with the salt, pepper, paprika, and Cajun seasoning. In a separate bowl add the cream of chicken soup, water, garlic salt, nutmeg, oregano, and parsley and whisk together well. Pour over the chicken. Cover tightly with heavy duty foil, or add one layer of regular aluminum foil, seal tight and repeat with a second layer. Bake in the middle or upper part of your oven, at 300 degrees F for 2 hours.

Gluten free: use GF cream of chicken soup.

Recipe and photo from - thanks for sharing!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Alfredo Potatoes

Me and my husband absolutely loved these!! They were super quick, with just microwaving the potatoes too. We served them as our main dish, with a side of corn, green salad, and garlic toast. They were very filling and delicious. I couldn't get enough. I refused to leave even a drop on my plate, even though I was so full. Oh so good. I added a tad more (maybe 1/2 cup) of the alfredo sauce, and sprinkled some onion salt in also. We were just loving all of the flavor! I hope you enjoy them as well too!

2 large baking potatoes
1 cup prepared Alfredo sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Pierce potatoes several times with a fork and place on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high for 4-1/2 minutes or until tender. Allow potatoes to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the Alfredo sauce, garlic powder, pepper and thyme. Stir in 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp and add to the sauce mixture; mix well. Spoon into potato shells. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Microwave on high for 45 seconds or until cheese is melted. Yield: 4 servings.

Gluten free: use a GF alfredo. I used Classico brand.

Recipe found on

Monday, April 16, 2012

California Egg Casserole

This was a fun and different egg casserole. The only thing that took some time was chopping all of the ingredients up. Other than that it was just layering and baking. And it was fun to try a new kind of egg casserole. I highly recommend making this on a day where it will all get eaten in one sitting though. The left overs did not taste as good as the first day, plus the avacado goes bad fairly quickly. So it's nice to eat it when it's hot and fresh! Just a tip, but doesn't mean you can't use it as left overs if you want to! :)


12 eggs
3-4 cups shredded Jack cheese (I used two cups)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 large ripe tomatoes, diced
2 large avocados, cubed
3/4 cup green onions, diced
8 oz cream cheese cut into small chunks
3/4 cup milk


Prepare 9×13 dish with nonstick spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix eggs with milk, beat well.
Layer 2 cups Jack cheese and 1 cup cheddar in bottom of dish (I only did the two cups Jack cheese). Layer remaining ingredients: avocados, tomatoes, green onions, cream cheese. Cover with remaining cheese and cover all with egg/milk mixture. Bake for 45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

This recipe is gluten free!

Recipe and photo found on

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham (Slow Cooker)

I got this recipe from one of my mom's neighbors several years ago and it is one that I make on a regular basis now! I love it. And what a great way for me to use my left over Easter ham too. It is delicious and easy. I also adapted it this last weekend to be even EASIER. And it turned out just as good, if not better in my opinion. I will first give you the original recipe and with my subtle changes to the side. I hope it doesn't get too confusing, if it does, just leave me a comment to clarify and I would be happy to do so! Happy slow cooking! :)

7 cups sliced potatoes (I used two bags of Simply Potatoes- cubed potatoes with onion)
3 cups cubed ham
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups diced onion (I omitted this last time because there was already onion with my packaged potatoes)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 2.5 oz. can of sliced mushrooms
2 tsp parsley

Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray. Then layer your ingredients (Half of the ham, potatoes, onion, cheese- repeat layer with remaining half of ingredients). Once you are done layering your ingredients, in mixing bowl, combine cream of mushroom soup, undrained can of mushrooms, and parsley. Spoon evenly over the top of your layered ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Stir to mix ingredients and serve.
Makes great left overs!

Gluten free: use GF cream of mushroom soup.

Enjoy!! I know I always do! :)

Image from

Monday, April 2, 2012

Taco Chicken Bowls (Slow Cooker)

What can I say? This was yummy, easy, low cost, and fresh. Loved it. And my husband did too.

1.5 lbs.chicken breasts
1 (16 oz.) jar salsa
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained
1/2 lb. (8 oz.)frozen corn
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 Tbsp cumin
1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
to taste cracked pepper
2 cups dry rice
8 oz. shredded cheddar
1/2 bunch cilantro (optional)

STEP 1: Add everything except the rice, cheese, and cilantro to the slow cooker along with 1/4 cup of water (for good measure). Give everything a good stir and make sure the chicken is covered in the mixture.

STEP 2: Secure the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hrs.

STEP 3: Near the end of the cooking time, cook the two cups of rice according to the package directions (Bring the rice and 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot with a lid in place, as soon as it reaches a boil, reduced the heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving).

STEP 4: After 8 hours of cooking, carefully remove the lid of the slow cooker. Stir with a fork to shred the chicken (it should be super tender and will shred easily). Build the taco bowls by placing rice on the bottom, then the taco chicken mix, shredded cheese and fresh cilantro.

This recipe is gluten free! Bonus!

Recipe and photo from Thank you much!!

Pistachio Cupcakes

These cupcakes were delicious! I honestly could not stop eating them. They have a few extra steps, but overall pretty easy to make. And they are worth it in the end! Since this past weekend was the last weekend in March, I decided to make them to end the month on a delicious note! :)

For cupcakes:
1 box of white cake mix & all ingredients that it calls for
1 box of pistachio pudding mix
1 batch of Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (I used pre-made, but you can make your own)

For white candy/chocolate shavings:
7 ounces weight white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable shortening or vegetable oil


For cupcakes:
Combine cake mix and it's ingredients as packaging instructs.
Add in pudding mix and combine well.
For cupcakes, fill cupcake liners about halfway full with batter.
Bake as directed on cake mix packaging.
Cool and decorate as you like.

For white candy/chocolate shavings:
Melt chips according to package instructions.
Stir in vegetable shortening/oil until combined well.
Using a spatula, spread melted candy/chocolate thinly on a baking sheet.
Let harden for a few minutes.
Using a spoon, scrape across hardened candy/chocolate to create curls and shavings.

If you want to make your own frosting, here is an excellent Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe that was recommended by

Gluten free: Use a gluten free vanilla cake mix... I used Arrowhead Mills brand and loved it.

Recipes and photo found on thank you!

Monday, March 26, 2012

7up Chicken and Rice (Slow Cooker)

Two very wonderful things about this recipe: 5 ingredients (that I normally have around my house anyway) and it is ridiculously easy. Bam. That is awesome. The only thing I have to say about this is it was just a tad bland for me. But this is highly likely due to the fact that I had to use gluten free cream of chicken soup and that tends to be a bit more bland than the regular stuff. So maybe yours will taste just fine! There is nothing super special about this recipe, it is extremely basic, but sometimes that's just what you are looking for. Especially if you are running low on time and need something to just quickly throw together.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Recipe:
(Recipe from Celebrating Home Magazine)

3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 4)
10.5 oz. can of cream of chicken soup
12 oz. can of 7UP or lemon lime soda
1 c. rice (Minute Rice is best)
1/4 c. chicken broth

Place chicken breasts in the bottom of your slow cooker. Cover with soup and 7UP. Cover and cook for 2-3 hours on low. Add rice and chicken broth and cook for 2-3 more hours until chicken is cooked through.

Gluten free: use GF cream of chicken soup.

*Recipe and photo found on* I highly recommend this site! Love their stuff! :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Corn and Zucchini Melody

Only tried one new recipe this past week, and this was it. But it was a hit! I took it to a family birthday party and I got non-stop compliments on how pretty and tasty it was! I definitely recommend it. (And did I mention how easy? Took like 25 min. total.) I doubled it for the get-together, and by the time I went home, it was gone! It was fresh with just a hint of richness from the delicious bacon and cheese. It can only get better during the summer when everyone has their veggie gardens going! We ate this side dish with marinated flank steak and rice pilaf. Perfecto!

4 slices bacon
2 cups chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 small onion, chopped
1 pinch pepper
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Reserve 1 tablespoon of drippings. Drain bacon, chop, and set aside.
Heat the bacon drippings in the skillet over medium heat. Saute the zucchini, corn, and onion until tender but still crisp, about 10 minutes. Season with pepper. Spoon vegetables into a bowl, and sprinkle with chopped bacon and shredded cheese.

This recipe is gluten free friendly! Wahoo!

*This recipe was found on*

Monday, March 5, 2012

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Soups are so great during cold weather, aren't they? Me and my husband enjoyed this wonderful split pea (and ham) soup this past weekend and it was great....and beyond easy too. I couldn't get my hands on a meaty ham bone, so I ended up using 2 ham hocks AND 2 cups of diced ham. I like to actually have ham in my split pea soup, not just the delicious flavor- so I did both. I omitted the celery, of course, because I don't care for it and added just a tad more garlic. Threw it all in the crock pot and I was done! Love it. I definitely recommend this one and will be making it again in the future.

1 (16-oz) package dried green split peas, rinsed
1 meaty ham bone, 2 ham hocks or 2 cups diced ham
1 cup sliced baby carrots
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 ribs celery plus leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
6 cups chicken broth

Layer ingredients in slow cooker in the order given, adding the broth last. Do not stir ingredients. Cover and cook on high 4—5 hours or on low 8—10 hours until peas are very soft and ham falls off the bone.

This recipe is gluten free! Wahoo!

*Recipe and photo found on*

Monday, February 27, 2012

Taco Casserole

Loved this dish- and my husband did too! Super easy and fairly light tasting as least my version was. :)

I used a little more than 24 tortilla chips for the bottom of the casserole...just eyeball it until it looks good and covered with no gaps. I used extra garlic, because I love it. I also used ground turkey instead of chicken because it is nice and lean and not heavy to eat. I substituted Great Northern beans for the black beans because I prefer the flavor and I used fresh salsa (NOT JARRED). I used a Mexican Blend cheese and added as much as I wanted of that, plus olives on top as well.

I used spicy guacamole and sour cream for garnish and had extra tortilla chips for dipping to add a little bit of crunch.

So so good! Definitely making this one again.

24 Tortilla Chips, plus additional for serving

1 Tbs Chili Oil (or olive oil and red pepper flakes)

1 Onion, chopped

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1 pound Ground Chicken

2 Tbs Taco Seasoning

1 can Black Beans, drained

1 cup Salsa

1 cup shredded fat free or reduced fat Cheese

Optional: Other toppings such as jalapenos, olives, etc.

Heat oven to 350.
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft. Add meat and taco seasoning. Cook, breaking up meat with a spatula, for about 5 minutes. Add beans and salsa. Mix well and continue to cook until salsa thickens.
Line the bottom of a large baking dish with tortilla chips, pressing down on them lightly to break them into bite-sized pieces. Spread the meat and bean mixture over the chips and top with cheese. Add sliced jalapenos or other toppings that you ant to be cooked. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and gooey.
Scoop up with additional chips if desired.

Gluten free: double check your taco seasoning.

Original recipe and photo from
Thank you, thank you for sharing!

Creole-Style Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

With Mardi Gras being last week, I decided to celebrate a few days late (oops) with a creole style shrimp and sausage gumbo! This was my first time making a gumbo and I was slightly intimidated. The process is just so involved and does take a bit of time to do. This is definitely something to make when you have plenty of time to do it. It will probably just be a yearly tradition during Mardi Gras for us! However, it is very good! I'm a shrimp and sausage lover as it is. So this was great for me! All of the flavors blended so well together, with just a hint of spice. Very good.

I made two changes because I didn't have time to do some of the extra steps. Here's what I did differently to save on time (hopefully not on flavor!):
1) I used 1 quart of chicken broth instead of making my own shrimp stock.
2) I omitted the celery...not a fan.

Overall, very yummy! Hope you enjoy as well!


1 1/2 pounds small (51-60 per pound) shrimp, peeled & deveined (shells & tails reserved)
1 cup clam juice
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
12 oz frozen sliced okra (sliced about 1/2 inch thick)
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup chopped parsley
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups steamed brown rice, hot
4 scallions, thinly sliced


1. In a medium sauce pot, combine reserved shrimp shells and tails with 1 quart water, and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain. Discard the shells and tails. Combine the shrimp stock with the clam juice and 1 quart cold water. Set aside.
2. Add 1/2 cup vegetable oil to a large Dutch oven or sauce pan, and heat on medium-high for about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon, stirring constantly to work out any lumps. Continue stirring constantly, until the mixture turns a deep shade of brown (a mix between the colors of milk and dark chocolate) and gives off a toasty aroma, about 20 minutes. Add the onion, pepper, celery, okra, garlic, thyme, cayenne, a good pinch of salt and a few good grinds of pepper. Cook on medium, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
3. Slowly add half of the stock mixture and stir vigorously to combine. Add the rest of the shrimp stock mixture. Add bay leaves. Bring to a simmer. Decrease heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes. (You may need to skim the surface from time to time, to remove any scum that collects on top.)
4. As the soup simmers, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat for two minutes. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and heat one minute more. Add sliced andouille sausage to the pan in an even single layer and sauté until crisp and golden brown on the bottoms, about three minutes. Flip over the slices and sauté the other sides, about two more minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. (If you have too much sausage to fit in a single layer in the sauté pan, do this in two steps.) Once all the sausage is sautéed, add a quarter cup water to the empty sauté pan and bring to a simmer, scraping up any bits and pieces sticking to the bottom of the pan. Simmer about two minutes, then pour these juices into the simmering soup.
5. After the soup has simmered thirty minutes, stir in the sautéed sausage. Simmer thirty more minutes. Stir in the shrimp, then simmer until cooked through, about five more minutes. Turn off the heat, and stir in the parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Fill serving bowls with a generous ladleful of gumbo. Top with about a third a cup of hot steamed brown rice. Garnish with sliced scallions.

Gluten free: Use all purpose GF flour of your choice and double check your sausage.

Original recipe and photo from

Thanks for sharing!