Category Archives: Recipes

Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes – A Super Easy DIY

Are you in full fledged maniac mode getting ready for Thanksgiving?  Good, me too! If you are looking for a really easy and cute dessert idea, I’ve got you.  I made Thanksgiving Turkey cupcakes and they are awesome to behold. And to eat.  I always have pies for Thanksgiving, but kids don’t really love pie.  At least not as much as cupcakes.  So, this year, my lucky child guests are getting Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes!

Thanksgiving Turkey CupcakesThese are so simple and pretty quick to put together

Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Vanilla Cake Mix

Water

Vegetable Oil

3 Eggs

Vanilla frosting

Oreos

M&M’s

  1.  Bake the cupcakes according to the box directions
  2. Once cool, frost the cupcakes
  3. Twist an Oreo open and stick it creme filling side up into the frosting to make the turkey face
  4. Affix two brown M&M’s to the Oreo with frosting to make eyes
  5. Affix one orange M&M to the Oreo with frosting to make a beak
  6. Make a curved row of yellow, then orange then red M&M’s to make the turkey feathers
  7. Hide well so your kids don’t eat them before the big day!

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Easy One Pan Dinner – Sweet Sausage and Roasted Veggies

***This post contains affiliate links.  If you click one and purchase something, I may receive a small commission.***   Who loves easy one pan meals?  Me, too!  I made Sweet Sausage and Roasted Veggies and it was so delicious and hearty and autumny (totally a word).

easy-one-pan-dinner-sweet-sausage-and-roasted-veggies

Sweet Sausage and Roasted Veggies – Ingredients

Perri Sweet Italian Sausage (Perri is my favorite brand.  They are delish)

1/2 of a Butternut Squash, diced into bite sized pieces

1 bag Brussel Sprouts, trimmed and halved

1 Red Onion, chopped into bite sized chunks

3-4 Red Potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces

1 small bag Baby Carrots

2 T Fresh Rosemary – chopped fine

2 T Sage – chopped fine

2 T Honey

3 T Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to Taste

1 Large Sheet Pan (I have my eye on this one from Amazon, but until I get a nice large one pan, I actually made this one pan meal in two pans.  If you don’t have enough room to spread out the veggies, they will steam and not roast.  No bueno).

sweet-sausage-and-veggies

  1.  Preheat oven to 400
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the honey, olive oil, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper
  3. Add the vegetables to the honey mixture and coat well
  4. Add the veggies to the sheet pan.  Make sure they are in a single layer and not too crowded
  5. Add the sausage to the sheet pan
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes until done and the veggies and sausage are golden brown

This meal is one of my new favorites.  It’s really got me craving other one dish, roasted dinners, so don’t be surprised if there aren’t a lot more of these to come!

3 Ingredient Espresso Fudge

I’m half sorry and half thrilled to bring this ridiculously delicious, easy and caffeinated recipe to you today.  Why?  Because it is way too easy to be this good and also be not very good for you.  So, I’m going to suggest that you use this recipe for 3 Ingredient Espresso Fudge to make gifts for the holidays.  Everyone loves fudge and everyone loves caffeine, right?  Right?  RIGHT?  (I may have taste tested a little too much before posting this.  Quality assurance, okay?  That’s not true.  I’ve made this fudge a thousand times and it comes out great every time.  I just ate it because I have no will power and a problem with chocolate).

My obsession with Espresso Fudge started when I tried it on our annual summer vacation.  I thought it was such a great indulgence to be able to get a chunk of it from my favorite gift shop and eat a smidge every night after dinner.  Then I realized how easy it is to make and I was in trouble.  Except for one very redeeming quality of this sweet.  It falls in that category of being so rich that you really can’t eat a lot of it in one sitting.  So, even though there is an 8×8 pan of this fudge in the fridge right now, I’m not going to sit in front of the tv and eat the whole thing like I might do with cookies or brownies.  (You know you’ve done that, too.  Don’t judge me).

3-ingredient-espresso-fudge

Ingredients:

1 Bag of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1 14 oz. Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk

2-3 T of Instant Espresso

  1.  Add all of the ingredients to a microwave safe bowl.  (Yes, that’s right, we’re microwaving this).
  2. Microwave for 1 minute.  (Yup, 1 minute.  Unless it hasn’t completely melted, then maybe another 30 seconds).
  3. Stir ingredients together until well blended.
  4. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
  5. Pour the mixture into the lined pan and spread evenly.
  6. Refrigerate until the fudge has hardened.  (Or freeze until hardened if you have zero patience)

I timed myself making this from collecting the ingredients to pouring the melted fudge into the pan.  4 minutes.  You do have to let it set up before you would want to eat it, but no one said you couldn’t lick the spoon while you’re waiting.  And I stand behind my idea of making this for holiday gifts. You could totally box this up in a cute box or tin and give it to all of those difficult to buy for people. Like the bus driver, the mailman, the dog walker, the kid’s teachers, the teacher’s aids, the violin teacher, the karate teacher, the softball coaches, the basketball coaches.  That’s a lot of fudge people.  Better get on it.

 

Football Food – Queso Blanco Dip and Ham & Cheese Sliders

***This post contains affiliate links.  If you click one and buy something, I may receive a commission!***        Sundays in the Fall are for football and food.  And napping, obviously, although I tend to nap on a Sunday regardless of the season.  Food for a football game should be easily eat-able without taking your eyes from the screen, warm for added coziness and more delicious than your average snack because, well, just because.  Here’s what I made at our house today:

favorite-football-food-queso-blanco-and-ham-cheese-sliders

Can you tell from those slightly moody pictures that it has been very gloomy here in the Northeast?  All the more reason for warm comfort food to up the cozy factor.  These two recipes are simple, but they pack a TON of flavor.  And gooey cheesiness.  I should warn you, in case you haven’t figured it out, these aren’t “healthy” by any means, but I’m ok with an occasional indulgence. It’s not like I ate three of the sandwiches and half of all of the queso dip.  Ok, I did.  Big gym day tomorrow, then.

Queso Blanco Dip

8 oz Pepper Jack Cheese

4 oz Cream Cheese

4 oz Sour Cream

1/4 C of Milk

1/2 a Can of Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles (In the Mexican food section)

queso-blanco-1

  1.  Cut the Pepper Jack Cheese into chunks
  2. Add all of the ingredients into a small pot
  3. Melt all ingredients over low-medium heat until melted.  Stir often to avoid sticking
  4. Serve warm with Tortilla Chips

You can double all of those ingredients if you need a lot of queso. This was more than enough for my family of four.  Also, this dip is slightly spicy, but not “HOT” by any means.

Ham & Cheese Sliders

12 Slices of Honey Ham deli meat

6 slices of Swiss cheese

1/3 c Mayo

1 T Poppy Seeds

1 1/2 T Dijon Mustard

1 T Onion Powder

1 Package King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls (I couldn’t find these at the grocery store today and ended up using regular dinner rolls, NOT THE SAME!  Find the King’s Hawaiian or grab them from Amazon if you don’t have them locally).

  1.  Slice your rolls in half and slather one side with a little mayo.
  2. Add ham on top of the rolls, then repeat with the cheese.  (PS, I used Colby Jack cheese, but Swiss is better!)ham-cheese-sliders-1
  3. Add the top of the rolls to the sandwiches.
  4. Mix together the sauce ingredients: poppy seeds, dijon mustard, melted butter, onion powder and Worcestershire sauce.
  5. Pour the sauce mixture over the tops of the sandwiches.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for about ten minutes until tops are golden brown and cheese is melted.
  7. Serve warm with LOTS of napkins

Be warned.  These sandwiches will go fast.  Also, warning number two, they are very rich and flavorful.  That’s not really a warning.  There’s no danger in a rich and flavorful sandwich.  Except maybe that you might not have an appetite for dinner after the game.  So,win/win, really.

Ok, what are you guys eating while you’re watching the game??  Are you into warm, cozy food like me?

 

 

 

Heirloom Recipe – Chicken Florentine

***This post contains affiliate links.  If you click one and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission.***        I did something fun yesterday. I went through the recipes that were given to me at my Bridal Shower.  Way back in 2001, before Pinterest, people actually still worked from written recipes, kids!  So quaint, right?  It was really nice to go through the cards and remind myself of that time and some people who I haven’t seen in so long and others who have passed away.  It was sweet to see their handwriting and know they took the time to do this for me.  I picked a few to make and I’m calling them my Heirloom Recipes.  The first one up is Chicken Florentine.

heirloom-recipe-chicken-florentine

What I loved about this recipe is that all of the ingredients are very common staple items.  What I thought was a little odd about the recipe was that there was no spinach in it and I always equate Florentine with spinach.  So, I decided to serve it with some sauteed spinach.

Heirloom Recipe:  Chicken Florentine

6-8 Chicken Breasts

1 C Ketchup

1/4 C Finely Chopped Onion

1/4 C Vinegar

3 T Sugar

1 T Salt

1/2 C Water

4 Cloves Garlic, minced

  1.  Preheat the oven to 375
  2. Brown the chicken on both sides.  (Tip:  Make your life easier and invest in an electric griddle.  I use mine all the time for lots of things, eggs, pancakes, bacon, quesadillas and lately I’ve been using it to make big batches of grilled chicken.  Here is a link to one on Amazon:  Presto Electric Griddle
  3. While chicken is browning, mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl
  4. Place the browned chicken in a baking dish and pour the sauce over the chicken.
  5. Bake for 1 hour.

Literally as I was writing this post, my husband walked by and said, “That chicken you made was delicious”.  He has never said that about anything I’ve made ever.  He’ll say that something was good, or tasty or sometimes very good.  Never delicious.  That’s how good this chicken is.

chicken-florentine-my-husband-loved-it

It was also a winner with the children.  When I told the picky one it had ketchup in it, he was sold.  We had it tonight for dinner reheated in the microwave and it was still delicious!  So many wins in one recipe.  It would be a great and easy dish to make if you’re having company, too.

Ok, go on, go try it!

I Tried It – Salad in a Cup

***This post contains an affiliate link.  If you click on it and purchase something, I may receive a small commission.***    I have discovered the best beach/ball game/travelling food.  It is healthy.  It is easy to make.  It is easy to eat on the go.  What is this amazing discovery?  A Salad in a Cup.

Salad in a Cup - Perfect Beach Food!

It is so special that I had to present it to you in the classic pyramid style.  It is basically the 8th wonder of the world.  And I made it in my kitchen.  Actually, the first time I made it was in a tiny motel room during our trip to Old Orchard Beach, ME. This beautiful beach below is where I tested the beach-worthiness of this discovery.

Another beautiful sunset at #oldorchardbeach:

I’ve seen many salads in mason jars, and this is basically the same idea.  But, really, a mason jar is not something I want to bring to the beach.  Or to one of the 40 softball games I will have attended before this summer is over.  No exaggeration.  40 softball games.  But a plastic cup that you might use for a smoothie?  That has a lid?  And the perfect spot to stick a plastic fork in?  That I can get on board with.

These are the cups that I bought from Amazon:

A World Of Deals Plastic Clear Cup Set with Flat Lids, 100 Sets, 16 oz.

 

They were $17.49 for 100 cups and lids.

Making the salads is pretty simple.  The amounts listed below are eyeballed!

Salad in A Cup

Ingredients:Ingredients for Salad in a Cup

The ingredient list is whatever you love in your salad.  I like some lettuce, something crunchy, something sweet, some cheese and something with some protein.  When I made these on vacation, I made a Chicken Ceasar Salad version that was delicious.

1-2 T of your favorite salad dressing

3 Sweet Peas cut into bite size pieces

3-4 Mini Bell Peppers cut into bit size pieces

1 T black olives

2 T Chick Peas

1 T Goat Cheese, crumbled

2 T Dried Cranberries

2 T Slivered Almonds

1 c of your favorite salad Lettuce (or spinach or other leafy green!)

Salad in a Cup Collage

  1.  Pour your salad dressing into the bottom of the cup.
  2. Add the denser vegetables, like Sweet Peas and Mini Bell Peppers, first.
  3. Add the cheese.
  4. Add the olives, chick peas, dried cranberries and slivered almonds.
  5. Add the lettuce last.  Do not over pack the salad.  You need a little room for the ingredients to move around in the next step.
  6. When you are ready to eat the salad, shake it until the dressing is evenly distributed.

There is a method to my ingredient order madness.  You definitely do not want to add the lettuce in directly after the dressing because it will get wilty and gross.  The denser veggies like the bell peppers and sweet peas can handle the dressing.  I think alternating the heavier veggies with things like the cheese crumbles is also important because it helps when you are shaking and trying to distribute the dressing.  There is no actual science to back that up, but I’m going with it anyway.  It does take a bit of shaking to get the dressing distributed.  Speaking of distributing salad dressing, did you know that the greatest contribution the Kardashians have made to human kind is the genius idea of shaking your plastic take out salad container after adding your dressing to distribute it?  True story.

So, there you have it people.  The Salad in a Cup!  Pack a bunch in your cooler for your next beach trip!  Ooh, and let me know your favorite flavor combos!!

The Kids View:

 The Salad Cup is like a salad but in a cup lol it tastes great with a crunchy leaf on the top. My mom cooked okay but kinda of overcooked the leaf  but a fresh taste. I thought i was going to hate it but it was good and healthy this might be the only healthy option for me jk.            ~ WILL THE THRILL RIDE.

 

Thanks, kid.

I Tried It – Cake Batter Cookies – Gluten Free!

I have a small obsession with Life Hacks.  I can’t not read them and think, whose idea was this??  I need to know the brilliant person behind using a dustpan to fill a bucket from a shallow sink.  Why are they not working for NASA or trying to cure cancer?  That persons intellect needs to be tapped.

There are of course the Life Hacks that sadly don’t work, however.  Like killing ants with Febreze.  Check out my totally non-scientific test of that one here.  It will save you the trouble of wasting a lot of Febreze.

I came across a Life Hack on Pinterest this weekend for cookies made from cake batter.

Now, this is not usually something I would give more than a moment’s thought to, however, I happened to have just finished cleaning out my pantry and found a box of gluten free cake mix.  Don’t get me wrong, I like cake and I could have saved the box for cupcakes, but I REALLY love cookies.  A LOT.  So, I put this Life Hack to the test.

Double Chocolate Gluten Free Cookies

Life Hack approved!  The cookies were so easy to make, they were delicious and they are gluten free.  That is a win, win, win in my book.

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Gluten Free Cookies

1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix

1/2 c Vegetable Oil

2 Eggs

1/2 c of Chocolate Chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix  together the cake mix, oil and eggs
  3. Fold in Chocolate Chips
  4. Scoop batter into 1 T balls and place on cookie sheet
  5. Bake for 9-12 minutes

For the sake of the photographs, I sprinkled the cookies with some powdered sugar.  Only because it is very hard to get a picture of a chocolate cookie and have it not look completely like a, well, a turd. I promise, these taste delicious!  Super chocolatey and gooey.  They will be a hit for you and all of your gluten free friends.  And that recipe cannot get much easier.  Enjoy!

 

I Tried It – Goodbye Gluten Multigrain Gluten Free Bread

***This post contains affiliate links.  If you click one, I may receive a commission***  Well, I did it.  I found the holy grail of gluten free products.  I found bread that does not taste like cardboard or get all crumbly if you don’t eat it within 2.4 seconds of it being exposed to air.  Here she is friends.  You may want to shield your eyes:

Goodbye Gluten Multigrain Gluten Free Bread

Goodbye Gluten Multigrain bread.  It tastes 99.9% like regular bread.  It’s texture is perfect.  It’s flavorful with all kinds of little grains jammed in there.  My one teeny complaint is that the bread slice is a smidge small, so I recommend making two sandwiches if you are particularly hungry.

I decided to try a Roasted Veggie sandwich with the bread.  It came out so delicious I can barely stand it.

Gluten Free Roasted Veggie Sandwich - Goodbye Gluten Multigrain Bread

The recipe is simple.

Gluten Free Roasted Veggie Sandwich

4 slices Goodbye Gluten Multigrain Bread

1/2 red pepper, sliced

1/2 red onion, sliced

2 T Alouette Herb & Garlic Cheese Spread

1/2 c Baby Spinach

1 T olive oil

  1.  Place sliced red pepper and onion on a baking sheet, lightly coat with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast in the oven at 425 for about 10-12 minutes, checking frequently.  Remove when the veggies are softened and beginning to brown and the onions are translucent
  2. Toast your bread slices
  3. Add 1 T of Alouette Herb & Garlic Cheese Spread to the bottom slice of each sandwich
  4. Add a 1/4 c of baby spinach to each sandwich
  5. Top each sandwich with Roasted Veggies

Have this with your mom friends for a luncheon some day.  Do stay at home moms actually do that?  Have luncheons with the other moms while the kids are in school?  I feel like there are probably 85 other things happening while the kids are at school and none of them involve luncheons.  Well, perhaps there should be a Friday luncheon for all the stay at home moms. Ok, the third Friday of every month.  Can we squeeze that in?

If you are looking to save a little bit of money on your Goodbye Gluten Multigrain bread, might I suggest an iBotta rebate?  Click the big bread picture below and sign up through my referral link to earn $10 instantly and unlock a rebate of  $.50 for any type of bread you buy, even Goodbye Gluten Multigrain bread!

Bread - Any Brand

Linking up to:  Wonderful Wednesday, Talented Tuesday, Brag About It 

I Tried It – McCormick Skillet Sauce

***This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on one and make a purchase, I may make a small commission***

I hate when I’m rushed to make dinner.  I also hate when I have to make dinner and I really don’t feel like making dinner.  I have a solution that fixes both of those problems.  Because what I love is when dinner is easy, cheap, healthy and delicious.

Easy Chicken Stir Fry with McCormicks Skillet Sauce

I discovered McCormick Skillet Sauces through Ibotta.  You can read all about my new Ibotta obsession here but the abridged version is, if you like earning cash rebates on the groceries (and many other items!) you buy, then you will love Ibotta.   I strongly, highly recommend it.

The first week I tried Ibotta, the McCormick Skillet Sauces were one of the offered rebates.  I thought it sounded like a great idea, and the sauces are labeled gluten free, so I was excited about that.  I chose the Sesame Stir Fry sauce because stir fry is usually a four star meal (meaning all four of our family members will eat it) in our house.  And, bonus points, the Skillet Sauce was inexpensive, even before I got the rebate!

Sticking with my inexpensive theme, I decide to pair the sauce with the most economical cut of chicken known to man (or at least to me), the chicken thigh.  I love chicken thighs.  They have way more flavor than the breast and they are far less expensive.  Someone is going to catch on to this eventually and start jacking up the price of the chicken thighs.  And, no stir fry is complete without some fresh veggies and I decided on broccoli and grape tomatoes.  Tomatoes are one of the staples that Ibotta  offers a rebate for and you can use it on any brand or type of tomato.  Pretty cool.

Chicken Stir Fry with McCormick Skillet Sauce

1lb Boneless Chicken Thighs

2 c Chopped Broccoli

2 c Grape Tomatoes

2 Packets Boil in Bag Rice

1 Packet of McCormick Skillet Sauce – Sesame Stir Fry Flavor

2 T Olive Oil

  1.  Cut chicken thighs into strips or bite size pieces
  2. Heat olive oil on the stove in a large skillet
  3. Add chicken thighs to the hot olive oil.  Cook until browned on one side, then flip and brown the other side
  4. Add vegetables to the skillet.  Allow to cook and soften for 2-3 minutes
  5. Add skillet sauce and bring to a boil.
  6. Lower heat and allow to simmer for 2-4 minutes.
  7. Serve over white rice

This comes together really quickly, maybe 20 minutes, or so, depending on whether or not you have to chop your broccoli.  The sauce is really very good.  I loved the Sesame Stir Fry so much that I haven’t ventured out to any of the other flavors yet, but I really want to.  These skillet sauces are definitely my new staple!

McCormicks Skillet Sauce Chicken Stir Fry

 

I Tried It – Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crust

I love pizza.  My family loves pizza.  Pizza is my son’s favorite food.  When my whole family is eating pizza, I must eat pizza, too.  But, I’m trying really hard to stay gluten free, so I’ve been a little stuck.  Miss out on the pizza, or, eat the pizza and feel yucky the next day.  Well, folks, that dilemma has been solved.  Because I tried Udi’s Gluten Free Thin and Crispy Pizza Crust and I liked it.


I bought the pizza crust at my local Wegman’s, however that is the only local supermarket that I’ve been able to find them. So, you may need to hunt these down, but they are totally worth it.

They are really easy to work with, too.  I was worried that the thin, frozen crusts would crack while I was transporting them home or adding the toppings, but they are pretty durable.  I decided to go with a tangy veggie pizza this time, but I think the crust could handle whatever you throw at it!

Ingredients for Veggie Pizza w/ Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crust

***These amounts are definitely not precise, I totally eye balled this***

1 Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crust (Frozen or Thawed)

1/2 of a Red Pepper, Sliced, Roasted

1/2 of a Red Onion, Sliced, Roasted

1 c (approx) of Baby Spinach

2 T sliced black Olives

2 T (approx) Crumbled Goat Cheese

2 T Peppercorn Dressing (or other tangy, creamy dressing)

1 T Olive Oil

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a baking dish, add the onion and peppers, lightly coat with olive oil and roast for 10-15 minutes
  3. Place your pizza crust on a pizza stone. (This is how I cooked mine.  You can probably cook this on any pan, but, I’ve always had great luck with an actual piece of stoneware for pizza crust)
  4. Spread your dressing on top of the pizza (like you would red sauce for a regular pizza)
  5. Add a bed of baby spinach, just enough to cover the crust almost to the edges
  6. Add roasted peppers and onions
  7. Add black olives
  8. Add crumbled goat cheese
  9. Cook in the oven according to the directions on the pizza crust package, approximately 12-15 minutes

Sliced Udi's Gluten Free Veggie Pizza

This got the four star seal of approval in my house.  We ALL liked.  The children, the husband and ME!  I ate one piece while it was piping hot out of the oven and it was delicious and I purposely waited for it to get to room temperature to see if it would lose some of its flavor or crispiness.  It didn’t.  At all.  In fact, I liked it even MORE at room temperature than piping hot.  I couldn’t be happier with these results.  I’m so excited to try different variations.  As I was popping this one in the oven, I was thinking about a Mexican style with refried beans, salsa, guac…  Good thing there are two crusts in each package!  I want to hear what toppings you would use in the comments!