Thursday, November 14, 2013

*Spiced Pork Chops w/Sweet & Sour Glaze*

Occasionally, I like to make a "man's meal" for Jay O.  This is about as close as I get!  It was really tasty.  I will say, if you don't have a ventahood, you might want to have someone handy to open the doors & fan out the smoke ;)  However, it was worth the trouble!
I halved this recipe for Jay O. & me and used less honey than it called for.  I served the pork with sweet potatoes & my roasted broccoli recipe you can find here.

Original recipe found here.



  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra as needed
  • 4 (8-ounce) boneless pork chops, about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 scallions, pale green and white parts only, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, at room temperature
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper



Pork: In a large, heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper, to taste, and sprinkle with the red pepper flakes. Add the pork to the pan and cook until cooked through. for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side, or Remove the pork from the pan, cover loosely with foil, and set aside.

Glaze: In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, honey, garlic, scallions, and rosemary to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the honey has dissolved. Simmer for 9 minutes, or until slightly reduced. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Arrange the pork chops on a platter and drizzle with the glaze.

*Redneck Caviar, y'all!*

I made this recipe for my Grandmother Gin-gin's 80th surprise birthday party.  It was such a fun celebration and great to be with my family!!!  I think I only got teary eyed, like, 10 times ... Love my Gin-gin!

This recipe would be great just as a salad, or served with tortilla chips.

Original South Georgia Caviar recipe found here.


2 (15-ounce) cans black eyed peas, drained
1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles (recommended: Ro-Tel)
2 cups chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh jalapeno peppers
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (8-ounce) bottle Italian Dressing
1 (4-ounce) jar chopped pimentos, drained
Season to taste with sea salt & fresh ground pepper
I doubled this recipe & didn't use the entire 16 oz. bottle of Italian Dressing


In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir gently to combine. Refrigerate mixture overnight. Serve with corn chips.

The Mitchell clan!!! Missed the Bradley girls!

*Cajun Cheesedip*

I think an appropriate name for this dip would be "Cajun Heart attack dip."  Definitely not healthy, but definitely yum.  I made this for supper club last night.  Our friend William made an amazing family red beans  & rice recipe & I made this for an app.  I will say, I made this up as I went, but I will get as close as I can!

1 large block Velveeta Queso Blanco
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1/2 cup salsa
1 yellow onion, diced
1 lb. spicy sausage
1 bag crawfish (find this in the freezer section)
Creole Seasoning, Fresh Ground Pepper, Paprika, & Cumin to Taste

Cook sausage & onion in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Once cooked through, add in Velveeta, Cream of Mushroom Soup, Salsa & stir to combine.  Add in Crawfish & season to taste. 

You can either make this the night before, pour into a casserole dish & bake it at 300 until heated through the next day. Or, if you make this the night of, you can simply pour the dip into a casserole dish & serve.  Sprinkle Paprika on top before serving.

Serve with toasty baguette slices or tortilla chips.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

*Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup*

I read a few different recipes for chicken noodle soup on pinterest today, and this is what I came up with :-)  It makes quite a bit, so you can definitely plan for it to be leftover for your next days lunch or dinner.  And, best of all, this recipe is very easy to prepare!  I hope you enjoy!

2 Tbsp Butter
2 cups chopped carrots (I used 4 whole carrots, shaved & sliced)
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup onion (I quartered mine)
8 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups skim milk
2 cans cream of chicken soup
16 oz. package egg noodles
1 rotisserie chicken (skin removed & shredded - or you can boil your own)
salt & pepper to taste

Prepare egg noodles according to package directions.
While your water is coming to a boil for the noodles, this will allow time to cut your veggies.
Melt butter in large soup pan on medium high.  Sauté  vegetables until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add chicken broth & bring to a boil for 10 minutes so that the vegetables are fully cooked.
Bring heat back down to medium.  Add in milk, cream of chicken soup and stir until smooth.
Gently add in cooked shredded chicken and egg noodles. 
Lastly, season with salt & pepper & bring to a simmer until ready to serve.

Friday, October 25, 2013

*Tortellini Soup in the Slow Cooker*

My Mom told me that my Aunt Kim made this when she was in Fayetteville & that it was a must try.  She was right!  I thought it was delish.  And, it is easy peasy, quick to make, budget friendly, & plenty for left overs, too.  All of those are BIG +++ in my book.

24 oz jar prepared spaghetti sauce + 1/2 lb browned lean ground beef + 1/2 lb browned spicy Italian sausage (If you would like to do turkey & spicy turkey sausage that would be good, too!)
1/2 bag (4.5 oz) fresh spinach leaves
4 Cups chicken broth
8 oz cream cheese (the original recipe calls for regular b/c says fat free clumps up in the crock pot ... you could try 1/3 less fat if you'd like!)
8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
16 oz cheese tortellini (frozen or unfrozen is fine)
parmesan cheese

Combine spaghetti sauce, meat, spinach, cream cheese, chicken broth, and mushrooms in a slow-cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours, on high for 2-3.

20 minutes before serving, turn heat to high if it isn't already an stir in tortellini. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until tender and hot.
Serve topped with parmesan cheese.

Monday, October 21, 2013

*Fall Salad*

I made this salad for supper club & LOVED it.  The salad dressing was hands down my favorite vinaigrette I have made for this time of the year.  I highly recommend it!

Sorry I forgot to take a picture :-(
Dressing Ingredients:
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons maple syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a hand blender/blender/food processor until smooth.
In the salad I did romaine lettuce, fresh shaved parmesan, 2 red pears (peeled & sliced), & candied pecans.
I served the salad with the butternut squash & spinach lasagna rolls & French bread. 
For appetizer I did my bacon wrapped chicken bites appetizer(I recommend marinating these overnight).  I felt like I needed to do some sort of meat so the guys wouldn't be bothered by the meatless entrée :-)  And, I did an apple crumb for dessert w/vanilla bean ice cream. 
Original salad dressing recipe is found here.  The original recipe has different types of lettuce, but I went with romaine since that is always a good bet with a large group of people.

*Fall Spirit*

We have done some decorating around the house to get in the Fall spirit and I thought I might as well share a few pictures :-)  We had supper club at our house 2 weeks ago, so that helped us get motivated!  The flowers were for the tables the night of supper club.


And  last but not least, the cute owl vase my Mom got me.  Kappa's are owls too, ya know ;-)

*Spaghetti Squash with Cheese & Fresh Spinach*

As I am sure some of you have noticed, I absolutely love Gina's Skinny Taste blog.  It is one of my favorites because everything I have tried is great, and also low cal.  I made this for Jay O. & me last week & it was delish.  It was great the next day for lunch, too.  I would not say it tastes like mac n' cheese ... just kind of like I will never say cauliflower tastes like mashed potatoes ... but it is great to have this when you're craving some cheesy goodness! And, it's a great dish for meatless Monday's :-)

Original Recipe found here.

5 1/2 cups cooked spaghetti squash (I used one LARGE spaghetti squash)
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup flour (use 2 tbsp corn starch for gf)
2 cups skim milk
1 cup fat free chicken broth (vegetable broth for vegetarian)
8 oz 2% reduced fat mild cheddar
salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups (about 4 oz) baby spinach
1/8 cup grated parmesan


Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Poke holes in squash with a fork.  Bake the squash whole on a baking sheet until tender (knife should be able to pierce through the squash easily when done) about 1 hour - 1 hour 15 min.  Let squash cool about 15 minutes.  Cut spaghetti squash in half.  Remove seeds.  Then separate the strands of squash with a fork & place strands in a medium bowl (discard shells).   Maintain the oven temperature. 

Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook about 2 minutes. Stir in flour. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring continually 3 - 4 minutes.

Add milk and chicken broth and continue whisking, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil and becomes smooth and thick, about 2 minutes stirring; season with salt and pepper.

Once it becomes thick, remove from heat, add cheddar cheese and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, add cooked spaghetti squash and baby spinach, pour into a baking dish and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Bake until bubbly and golden 25 to 30 minutes.

Friday, October 4, 2013

*Butternut Squash & Spinach Lasagna Rolls*

Yes, I am actually posting a recipe ... it's a surprise, right?! Since starting my new job in June (which I LOVE) I have been really focused & haven't been very creative with my cooking.  This week I decided to change it up a bit, & this recipe was fantastic.  It is perfect for Fall with the butternut squash parmesan sauce you make with garlic & shallots.  Jay O. is not a big veggie eater & loved this.  I highly recommend you try it this weekend if possible!!!

I will warn you, it is a tad time consuming.  I would make sure to have about 1  - 1.5 hour's on your hands to prepare the dish for baking.

The original recipe is from Gina's Skinny Taste Recipe's

The only thing I came across with the recipe was that putting 1/3 cup of the cheese/spinach mixture into each noodle did not quite make 9 rolls.  So, I would recommend adding additional cheese to your mixture, putting a little less in each roll, or just making 8 :-)

For the Butternut Parmesan Sauce:
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh grated parmesan cheese
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Lasagna:
9  lasagna noodles, cooked

10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, heated and squeezed well
15 oz fat free  or part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
salt and fresh pepper
~3 ounces part skim shredded Italian Blend Cheese
1 tablespoon parsley, minced

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Half butternut squash, remove seeds & excess fiber.  Then peel the outside of the butternut squash & cut squash into large cubes.  Add butternut squash to boiling water & cook until soft . Remove squash with a slotted spoon, reserve about 1 cup of the water and set aside, then blend until smooth with a food processor or immersion blender, adding 1/4 cup  of the reserved liquid to thin out.

Meanwhile, in a large deep non-stick skillet, add the oil, sauté the shallots and garlic over medium-low heat until soft and golden, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add pureed butternut squash, season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Add a snitch more of the reserved water to your desired consistency. Stir in ~2 1/2 Tbsp of the parmesan cheese and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Ladle about 1/2 cup butternut sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.

Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

Ladle most of remaining sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tbsp Italian cheese blend. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese is melted & bubbly.

To serve, ladle additional sauce onto plates & place lasagna roll on top (optional). 

As everyone says, "Happy Fall, Y'all!!!"


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

*Skinny Chicken Enchiladas*

I made this for dinner tonight & we loved it.  I will say, my other chicken enchilada recipe is still our all time fav.  However, this one was still great and I will definitely make this recipe more often because it is MUCH lower cal :-) 

Since Jay O. might be the pickiest eater I know (but I will admit he has gotten better since we have been marriedJ) I omitted the cilantro.  It was still great.  But, if you are a cilantro fan, I definitely recommend including it! 

For the sauce:

2 garlic cloves, minced

1-2 tbsp chipotle chilis in adobo sauce

1-1/2 cups tomato sauce

1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

3/4 cup fat free chicken broth

kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

For the chicken:

1 tsp vegetable oil

8.5 oz (2 breast halves) cooked shredded chicken breast

1 cup diced onion

2 large clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup cilantro

kosher salt

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp chipotle chili powder

1/3 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup tomato sauce

8 (7-inch) reduced carb whole wheat flour tortillas (la tortilla factory)

1 cup shredded low fat Mexican cheese

non-stick cooking spray

1/2 cup chopped scallions or cilantro for topping

In a medium saucepan, spray oil and sauté garlic. Add chipotle chiles, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and garlic on low until soft, about 2 minutes. Add chicken, salt, cilantro, cumin, oregano, chili powder, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Spray a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Put 1/3 cup chicken mixture into each tortilla and roll each tortilla. Place each enchilada on baking dish, seam down, and top with sauce.  Then top with cheese.

Cover enchiladas with aluminum foil and bake in the oven on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes.  Makes 8 enchiladas.  The original recipe came from Skinny Taste.        

I served mine with a green side salad & used Bolthouse Farms Ranch.  Bolthouse dressings are made with yogurt & a tasty healthy alternative to the typical regular dressing.  You can find these dressing in the refrigerated area in the produce section of your local market. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

*Skinny Spaghetti Squash Alfredo*

Last night we had this for dinner & it was delish.  The original recipe came from The Comfort of Cooking.  However, my friend Laura Vick has tried it before & told me it was one of her all time fav’s!  Check out her blog, here. 

The only part I did not like about the recipe was having to get out the seeds.  Once you think you’ve gotten all of the seeds out … believe me … you haven’t.  And, I am pretty sure any recipe that says “gently” I am not great at because I tend to get a tad bit impatient.  I will say, looking back, it was totally worth it for this recipe staple.

I served mine with a small side of grilled chicken.  After all, I knew I couldn’t get away with just serving Jay O. spaghetti squash ;) 


1 medium-sized spaghetti squash                                                      

1 Tbsp butter

3 cloves of garlic, finely minced

2 Tbsp flour (I used wheat)

1 1/2 cups milk (I used 1%)

1 Tbsp cream cheese - 1/3 less fat

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 Tbsp extra for topping

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Crushed red pepper flakes and fresh parsley, for optional garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

First, prep the squash. Cut spaghetti squash in half using a large sharp knife, scoop out the seeds and place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet covered with water. Bake until tender, about an hour.

Once squash is cooked, use a fork to gently scrape the “spaghetti” strands into the center.  

For the sauce, melt butter in a small pot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in flour, cooking for another minute, while stirring. Whisk in milk until no lumps remain. Once hot, add cream cheese and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in Parmesan, salt and pepper.  

Spoon sauce equally into each spaghetti squash half. Gently pull up the spaghetti strands to coat as much as possible with the sauce. Top with extra Parmesan and place under the broiler of your oven for 2-3 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Top each half with a pinch of red pepper flakes and fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Serve hot.

P.S.  my pic was so ugly I decided not to post it :)  

Monday, May 27, 2013

*Mexican Coleslaw*

My Mom made this recipe over the Memorial Day weekend to go with Sunday night’s dinner.  The entire dinner was absolutely DELISH!  Jay O. & I aren’t very big slaw fans, but we loved this.  She served just a tad of the slaw on top of each fish taco & we also had it as a side item.

One BIG plus to the salad is that it calls for Jalapeno Ranch dressing that you purchase at the store.  Usually my Mom & I both are against pre-packaged dressing, but this recipe got away with it with flying colors.  You can typically find a Jalapeno Ranch Dressing in the refrigerated area in the produce section at your local market.

Jay O. & I had a 5 day weekend.  The first 2 days in New Orleans at a wedding (which was t-totally perfect), the 3rd day in the car, and the last 2 days at the lake.  We were dreading the 11 hour drive to the lake, but it was definitely worth it to be able to chillax for a few days before we came back to the real world.  Thanks, Mom & Dad, for the hospitality! 

1 package Slaw Mix 1 can corn {drained}                                                  
1 can black beans {drained}
1/3 cup diced green onions 
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup diced cilantro
avocado chopped
3/4 cup Jalapeno Ranch Dressing
Garnish with cilantro.

Combine ingredients and toss with the Jalapeno Ranch dressing.  I would recommend chilling for at least 2 hours before servings.  Enjoy :-)