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