Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Year's Chicken

This has always been a family recipe that Hatley & I really enjoy.  Rebekah made this for the main course at our progressive dinner.  Great job, by the way!
It is always a big hit with the guys.  And, it is simple to make!  Easy + delicious = perfect :)

Serves 12


3 1/2 cups chicken, chopped
1 lb. sausage
1- 6 oz Uncle Ben's long grain wild rice mix with seasonings
2-2 1/2 cups chicken broth (make sure to pay close attention to this, you don't want it to turn out too dry)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup(undiluted)
1 cup herb stuffing mix (Kraft Stove Top brand)
1 T. melted butter

Cut up chicken into small pieces(cooked).  Cook sausage in frying pan.  Follow directions for rice, using broth instead of water.  Stir all ingredients together.  Add additional broth if necessary.  Place in Casserole (9x12).  Toss butter and herb stuffing mix and place on top of casserole.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Holiday Salad w/vinaigrette dressing

Friday night a group of our friends had a progressive dinner party.  It was a great time and thank you to each of you for all you contributed, everything was delicious!!!  
Jay O. & I were co-hosts at Chris's house & I made this holiday salad.  It is definitely a recipe I will be making again!  I HIGHLY recommend it :)
I doubled this recipe for the dinner. 
Servings: Serves 10
Dressing (can be made up to 2 days in advance, refrigerated in an airtight container & whisked before serving):
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 5 cups mixed baby greens or baby arugula
  • 1 head romaine lettuce , coarsely chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, about 4 ounces (I used a garlic & herb feta cheese blend)
  • 1 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup red onion , chopped
To make dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, shallots, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in oil until well blended.  I actually did my dressing in a blender so the shallots would blend in well, I was happy w/the way it turned out.  Either way works!

To make salad: In a large bowl, toss together baby greens, romaine, tomatoes, cashews and dressing. Add feta cheese and 1/2 cup bacon; toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with cranberries, red onion and remaining bacon before serving.
Now enjoy this flavorful salad without any guilt!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cranberry Daiquiri's - the perfect holiday cocktail

This is a family recipe as well.  My Mom & Aunt Kim have always made them during the holiday season, and everyone loves them!  They are almost like a dessert, definitely a tasty treat.

It was funny because my Mom was in a hurry writing down the recipe for us & forgot to add in the fact that you add FIVE cups of water, makes a big difference!!  Jay O. & I knew something was missing :) 

1 can frozen cranberry juice cocktail
2 Tablespoons real lemon
1 1/2 cups rum - 2 cups rum
1 10 oz. frozen strawberries
5 cups water

Blend the strawberries & the rum in the blender.
Mix in Large pitcher or container.
Place in freezer overnight.

*Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites*

I think that this recipe was the biggest hit of the party.  I got the recipe from my Mom & have always loved it!!

This concludes the new food recipes we used.  I also prepared an earlier post, the spinach-artichoke dip, mini caprese salad's on toothpicks, fresh veggies, & Jay O. made venison meatballs.  We had cream puffs & strawberries w/chocolate fondue & bon bon's for dessert. 

We enjoyed the night and the great company!!! 

3 large chicken breast halves (cut into 1 inch pieces)
8 slices bacon cut into 3rds
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
vegetable spray
wooden toothpicks

- Wrap each chicken cube w/bacon & secure with a wooden toothpick.
- Stir together ingredients and pour over chicken.  Marinate all day or over night.
- Coat broiler pan with cooking spray
- Bake at 450 degrees for 10 min, turn chicken over & bake for 10 more minutes.
I tripled the amount of chicken for supper club & doubled the marinade. 

Pesto Torte

This isn't the easiest thing to prepare...but it is delicious & well worth the effort!  And, the colors are perfect for a Christmas party :)  I found snowflake Ritz crackers at the grocery store for serving.

2 pkg cream cheese
1 pkg salad dressing mix (Ranch or Italian)
1 jar pesto
1 jar sundried tomatoes in oil (chopped)


Mix cream cheese and dressing mix.
Layer the cream cheese & pesto in a round tupperware dish lined with plastic wrap/saran wrap.  End with the cream cheese mixture.
Refrigerate overnight. 
Transfer to serving dish and top with the sundried tomatoes.
Serve w/crackers

Party Pizza's

The guys always love these!!!

1 lb. lean sausage
1 lb. spicy sausage
1 lb. velveeta
1 loaf party bread (rye or pumpernickel/whatever the store has available)
I like to sprinkle in red pepper flakes for a punch of spice, optional. 


Cook the sausage in a saucepan lightly coated in olive oil over medium heat, discard most of the liquid.
Cut the velveeta into cubes and add to the cooked sausage. (add in the red pepper flakes if you like)
Stir until melted, then remove from heat.
Let the mixture sit at room temperature until it becomes thick.
Spread desired amount onto each square.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes on a greased cookie sheet if you are making them that day.  If not, freeze and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes when you are ready to serve.  Make sure to take them out of the freezer a little bit before you want to cook them :) 

***Three Pepper Tortilla Rolls***

Jay O. & I are in a supper club & it is at a different person's house every month.  We had it at our house last week, and I have been mad at myself ever since because I took ZERO, ZIP, ZILCH pictures.  There is no excuse!  I think I was too busy preparing & then everyone got there & I was too busy taking things out of the oven/talking/sipping on my daiquiri that it slipped my mind.  whoops!  But, I think the recipes are still worthy of a post even though there are no this one and the next few were things we prepared.  We had heavy hors d'oeuvres & cranberry daiquiri's trying to give it a holiday esque feeling :)

I promise to do my best to take pictures of our Christmas decor before it's too late!!

Three Pepper Tortilla Rolls
1 cup green bell pepper strips
1 cup red bell pepper strips
1 cup yellow bell pepper strips
1/2 cup thin onion slices
1/3 cup margarine
1 tsp cumin
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
10 (6-inch) flour tortillas
You can use whatever color bell peppers you prefer.  For the Christmas party I did red & green only, & I have made them with orange & yellow before, too :)

Saute the bell pepper strips and onion slices in the margarine in a large skillet until softened.  Stir in the cumin.  Drain, reserving the liquid.
Beat the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and Parmesan cheese at medium speed in a small mixing bowl until blended.  Add enough of the reserved liquid to make the desired spreading consistency.
Spoon 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture onto each tortilla.  Top with the bell pepper mixture and roll up.  Cut each tortilla into 4 slices and secure with wooden toothpicks. 
Arrange on a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

Ham, Apple, & Brie Panini

During the holiday season schedules get hectic and there are so many parties with friends, work parties, and family festivities you have to cook for it tends to make you want to slack for every "normal" meal.  However, during the season of giving it still helps out to make your usual trips to the grocery store to help with your budgeting for gifts :)  Recipes like this one are simple, inexpensive & delicious!!  

I got the recipe idea from the blog "Keeping Up w/the Joneses" and the recipe was found here.   I am cooking this for Jay O. & me tonight & will let you know how we like the final product!  Okay,  I FINALLY made this last night and it was amazzinnng!!!  I LOVED it! 

Doesn't this look mouth watering?! 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Brie en Croute (w/crescent rolls)

Last week we had our friends Nathan Rutledge and Jordan Morgan over for dinner & had a very nice evening!  For an appetizer, I prepared this recipe & for the entree I prepared the penne pasta recipe that was my very first post on the blog :)

1 8 oz. brie cheese
1 container crescent rolls
1 Tbsp butter (melted)
dried cranberries
1/2 cup apricot preserves

Peel apart crescent rolls and shape them/connect them into a star.  
Cut a piece of the extra crescent roll and put it in the center of the star so that there are no cracks.
Spread the preserves onto the middle of the star, leaving a little room on the edges so it doesn't bubble out while baking.
Sprinkle desired amount of cranberries onto the preserves.
Place the cheese (rind removed) onto the cranberries.  
Wrap the crescent roll around the cheese and press the crescent together where cracks may show.
Cut out a cute design from the leftover crescent, I chose a star
Spread melted butter over the top, and bake according to crescent roll instructions, then place aluminum foil over it and bake for about 10 more minutes until the cheese is nice and melted!

Serve w/crackers.  I had grapes on the side, too!

Monday, December 6, 2010

*Bon bons - A Tasty Holiday Treat *

This Thursday night Jay O. & I have supper club at our house for the first time, and I prepared these ahead of time to be part of the desserts.  Not too time consuming & my all time favorite!  Sorry the pictures turned out kind of blurry, whoops!

16 oz. powdered sugar
3 cups rice krispies 
2 cups peanut butter
1 stick butter
Semi-sweet chocolate morsels
Butterscotch chips

Melt stick of butter in a sauce pan  over medium heat.  
Stir in peanut butter until it is nice & creamy, remove from heat.
Add in rice krispies & powdered sugar, stir until combined.
Roll the mixture into balls.
Melt the butterscotch chips according to package instructions (microwave 60 seconds, then for 30 second increments stirring in between until melted) and the chocolate chips the same way.
Dip each ball into the chocolate or the butterscotch & roll until covered.
Place the balls on wax paper to dry.
Lastly, place them in your adorable Christmas tins & refrigerate until you're ready to indulge :) 

It is a cute idea to buy small Christmas tins & fill them with the bon bon's & put a bow on the container to take to neighbors, friends or family!  Everyone loves them!!  Jay O. doesn't even like peanut butter & these are one of his very favorite things.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Steak Soup w/ all the right flavor

This is the first soup recipe I have ever attempted with beef, and goodness it was delicious!  Thinking about it, I am not sure why I have never made any sort of beef stew...but, I am mostly a white meat kinda' gal :)

I asked Jay O. what he would rate it from 1 to 10, & he said this was definitely his favorite soup he has ever had next to a hearty bowl of chili.  So, ladies, I recommend you make this for your significant other.  I guarantee they will be impressed, and you will love it too!

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound London broil steak (I used filet mignon's we had on hand, but anything would work!)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups beef broth (I added another small can of beef broth)
  • 1/4 cup jarred sliced pickled jalapenos (I used very few in the soup since Jay O. doesn't like jalapeno's & added a few to my bowl :))
  • 1 cup crushed canned tomatoes 
  • 1 (11-ounce bag) bag baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 
  • 3 cups tortilla chips, crumbled


Preheat a grill to medium-high. In a small bowl, combine cumin, garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice blend over all of the steak pieces along with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Let rest at room temperature, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 4 minutes.

Stir in the mushrooms and garlic and saute until mushrooms are tender, adding extra oil if needed. 

Pour in the broth, jalapenos, and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer while beef cooks. 

If you choose to use a hot grill, sear the steak until golden brown on both sides (about 4-5 min per side), then let it sit out for 10 minutes to cool before slicing.  I chose to slice mine before hand & mix the marinade in so it soaked up more of the flavor, and then seared the steak on a hot skillet.  

Stir the strips of beef along with the spinach into the soup. Season soup, to taste (salt, pepper, & I chose to use about 1 Tbsp hot sauce for an extra kick). Transfer to serving bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream and crunched tortilla chips.

I got this recipe here & made just a few minor changes.

I hope you love it!  Let me know what you think :)


Monday, November 22, 2010

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

Tonight my Mom is coming over to help me decorate our house for Christmas, I cannot believe it is already the holiday season!  I cooked a pot of Chicken Enchilada Soup for us to be able to take a decorating break for a cup o' soup.  My Dad & Hatley are coming over, too :)

6 Cups Chicken Broth                                                              
6 fresh tomatoes, chopped                                         
1 can red enchilada sauce
3-4 Tbsp butter or margarine 
1 large onion, diced
2 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
1 can diced green chiles
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
2 Tbsp flour 
2 cups red. fat half-and-half cream
2 Tbsp. hot sauce
1/2 cup Sour Cream
3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (or more if desired)
crushed multi-grain tortilla chips (to garnish)

1) In a large pot, bring the chicken broth to a light boil.
Add in chopped tomatoes; simmer on low.
2) Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the butter, and saute the onion, jalapeno, & garlic... add in the chiles; cook 2-3 minutes.
3) Stir in cumin and chili powder, then flour, blending well.
4) Gradually add in the half and half; stir to combine.
5)Transfer the mixture into the pot with the broth, pour in the enchilada sauce & hot sauce; cook at a bare simmer over very low heat for 15 minutes, stirring often.
6) Add in the cheese and sour cream carefully, stirring often.
7) Add in the cooked chicken (I cut my chicken into small pieces and cooked them in the skillet with olive oil, salt, pepper, a little cumin & red pepper flakes).  Mix until combined.
8) Top each serving with crushed tortilla chips, and grated cheddar sprinkled on top. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Creamy Mashed Potato Casserole

I can say that this recipe is hands down the reason I look forward to Thanksgiving every year.  This recipe has always been in my family & I have always LOVED it.  I have never really been a turkey and dressing kind of girl, but put this in front of me & a couple of green bean bundles & I am a happy camper...and, in trouble!  

Not only is this recipe delicious, it is SIMPLE.  When I first asked my Mom for the recipe, I was astonished that it was so incredibly easy & that it even used instant potatoes!  I have to note, my Mom tried this recipe last year with real potatoes & said she would never bother going through the trouble again, so stick to this.  

I recommend you make this for this years Thanksgiving.  I promise your family will love you for it (more than they already do :)).

1 Box Hungry Jack Instant Potatoes (box that serves 16-20)
1 8 oz. french onion dip
1 8 oz. cream cheese (you can get light if you want, but if you're eating this what would be the point?)
garlic salt

Cook the potatoes according to the directions on the box, using a quarter less liquid.
After the potatoes are cooked, add garlic salt to taste
Mix in dip & cream cheese WITH A HAND BLENDER (this is a must for the creaminess).
Put potatoes in a greased pan, drizzle with melted butter & sprinkle the top with paprika.
Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Now, you can be glad you cooked this & happy that you didn't break your budget!  Mmmmm Mmmmmmm Good!  

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reason the Recipes have been on hold :(

I wanted to let everyone know that I will be back to posting recipes in the VERY near future.  Jay O. & I have been on an amazingly not delicious but nutritious diet for a little over a week now, and we have a little over a week to go.  I guess it isn't "not" delicious, but let's just say it is a little repetitive & getting a bit old!  November 20th, here we come!!!  The 20th is the day we get to eat a piece of bread, drink a glass of wine, & celebrate the wedding of the soon to be Whitney & Wes Hunt with great friends :)  And, we can NOT wait. 

I can also not contain my excitement for our new oven that is going to be delivered tomorrow!  It is my parents early Christmas present to us.  I requested that we get it before our first time we have supper club at our house in December so our guests would not burn to death from our aged oven :)  So, the new oven will be extra motivation for new recipes, so be on the look out!

I will be posting a yummy mashed potatoe casserole on Friday & pictures of the old & new oven so you can see the dramatic difference between the two.  I have to make the casserole for Jay O.'s work Thanksgiving meal on Friday.  Hopefully I can get through making it without taking even one teeny tiny taste! And, hopefully he will get through the entire Thanksgiving meal without eating anything (yeah right, let's say I will be impressed if this happens).

Have a wonderful Wednesday, and have a Happy Veteran's Day tomorrow! 


Monday, November 1, 2010

Broccoli, Mushroom & Cheddar Quiche

Every now & then Jay O. & I like having breakfast for dinner.  Over the weekend we had a relaxed night in, caught up on our t.v. shows we had DVR'd, & I made an extremely simple and delicious quiche :)

1 Cup Sliced Mushrooms                                                 
1 Cup each - sliced mushrooms & broccoli 
5 eggs
1/3 Cup miracle whip dressing
1/3 Cup milk OR water
2 Cups cheddar cheese
1 pie crust (I used the Kroger brand)
a dash of salt & pepper
If you want to add meat, I would recommend
chopped canadian bacon 
Recipe courtesy of

PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Place vegetables in skillet sprayed with cooking spray; cook on medium heat 5 min. or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; set aside. 
BEAT eggs, dressing, milk, salt & pepper in medium bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Stir in vegetable mixture and cheese; pour into pie shell after placing pie shell into a pie pan & pressing the sides down with a fork.

BAKE for 40 to 45 min. or until center of quiche is set and top is golden brown. Let stand 10 min. before cutting into slices to serve. 

I served the quiche with fresh strawberries.
I would say this would serve 6 people, because we had more than half left over!


*Hot Cream Cheese Dip w/ Turkey*

On Saturday night we had Anna Jeter & Jimbo Ramsey's wedding which was absolutely gorgeous!  I think Anna's cake was, hands down, the prettiest I have ever seen and she made a gorgeous bride!

Before the wedding, we went over to Chris's house for a glass of vino & appetizers.  I took over the most simple dip EVER, but one of the most delicious dips ever, too!  I have already had someone text me asking me for the recipe :)  My Mom got the recipe from Mrs. Cathy Alexander & then gave it to me.  The original recipe calls for italian sausage, but I used ground turkey & added a little bit of spice.

1 pkg. ground turkey (or hot turkey sausage, remove from links...I have done both)
1 pkg. 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 can rotel
a dash of season all salt & red pepper flakes & 2 Tbsp. hot sauce (if you use regular turkey or sausage)

Spray a sauce pan or skillet with non-stick spray & cook the meat.
Add the salt, red pepper flakes & hot sauce if you are using non spicy meat.
Once the meat is browned, add in the rotel & cream cheese.
Stir frequently until the cream cheese is melted & the dip is blended well.
Let simmer & stir occasionally until the dip slightly thickens.
Remove from heat & serve immediately with tortilla chips.

This is SO easy & everyone will love it!  And, extremely budget friendly :)

Jalapeno Popper Dip!

This past Friday there was a Halloween Party at work & this is the dip I made to contribute.  I was very happy with the way it turned out & it seemed to be quite a hit!  I doubled the ingredients since it was for a large crowd but only used 3 fresh jalapeno peppers instead of 4...I tried to mellow out the spice since not all people like things as spicy as I do :)

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (room temperature to make mixing easier)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (grated)                                      
1/2 cup parmesean cheese
1 (4 ounce) can sliced jalapenos (pickled)
2 jalapeno peppers (chopped, optional)
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesean cheese for the top

1. Mix the cream cheese, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, parmesean and jalapenos in a bowl and pour into a baking dish.
2. Mix the panko bread crumbs and parmesean and sprinkle over the dip.
3. Bake in a 375F oven until bubbling on the sides and golden brown on top, 20 min. for the regular amount, 30 if you double the ingredients
Recipe was courtesy of the blog, "Closet Cooking"

You could get the tostito's with a hint of lime or jalapeno if you'd like!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

*Mini Mexi Meatloafs*

Tonight JayO. & I had Hatley over for dinner.  It is always such a treat having her come to the house to hang out with us, and we are loving being in the same town with her!  She was so sweet to bring us a bottle of red wine to go along with our meal, now that she is 21 and all :)

For dinner we prepared mini-Mexican meatloaf's that you prepare in muffin pan's.  I got the idea from my favorite recipe blog "Keeping up with the Joneses" & just made a few minor changes to the ingredients.  It turned out great! 

1 1/2 lbs. ground lean beef
3/4 cup picante sauce
1 4 oz. can of diced green chiles, drained
1/2 cup finely crushed corn chips
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 pkg taco seasoning
1 Tbsp hot sauce
1 tsp salt
Toppings:  Light Sour Cream, Salsa, Monterey-
Jack Cheese & Cilantro.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees for muffin tin (375 for small loaf pan)
Combine the first 9 Ingredients in a large bowl
Stir together well (works best w/clean hands)
Place in lightly greased muffin or small love pan
Bake for 25 min. in muffin tin or 40 min. in loaf pan
Top w/salsa, light sour cream, cheese & cilantro

I served the mini mexi meatloaf's with black beans and a small side salad.

Have fun making this dish that is unlike anything you are used to in your
normal recipe rotation.  You can even use the muffin tin idea for
your favorite meatloaf recipe to change things up!