Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Chicken Packets

This is an easy recipe that can be made with whatever you have

2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
2 cups rice (white or brown)
3 stalks celery, diced
cheese, grated or diced
1/2 c mayo
season to taste
2 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls

Any additional veggies: broccoli, peppers, carrots, anything really


  • Prepare all ingredients, cooking chicken and rice, cutting vegetables
  • In a large bowl, combine chicken, rice, celery, cheese, mayo, and seasoning
  • To form the packets, unroll the crescents and combine two triangles to make a rectangle. It holds together better if rolled out and smooth, or you can just pinch the seam of the triangles
  • Fill the rectangle dough with a spoonful of the dough, then bring four corners together in the center and press to form the "packet"
  • Bake at 375* for 10 minutes

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Pancakes from SCRATCH!

: Once you try these, you'll never go back to box. Unless you want to be lazy, then whatever floats your boat! But it will make you think twice about box mix pancakes

adapted from Williams Sonoma
makes about 12-16 pancakes

11/2 c. flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. kosher salt (or any kind of salt)
1 c. milk
2 eggs
4 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
*Any additional add-in: blueberries, strawberries, bananas, chocolate chips, or add buttermilk instead of regular milk

  • In a small bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt
  • In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, melted butter (not too hot or it will cook the eggs!), and vanilla
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Over stirring will toughen the pancakes. Add any mix-ins while stirring
  • Heat a griddle to about 325*, spray with non-stick cooking spray, melt butter
  • Using a 1/4 c. measuring cup, pour batter onto griddle to form pancakes
  • Cook until the edges are set and the tops are covered in bubbles. Using a spatula, flip and cook on the other side

Creamy Vegetable Soup

Easy, healthy, and delicious!

6 Tbsp. butter, divided
1 1/2 c. carrots (3 large)
1 c. celery (2-3 stalks)
1 small yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 c. chicken broth
3 1/2 c. potatoes
3 c. broccoli
desired seasoning (salt & pepper, thyme, Italian)
6 Tbsp. flour
3 c. milk
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 c. sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 c. parmesan cheese
These ingredients are SO flexible. Use whatever veggies you like or have, and pack this full of them. I don't use cream, just 2% milk, and whatever cheese I have. 


  • In a large pot over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp. of butter. Then add diced carrots, celery, and onion and saute for 3 minutes. Then add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
  • Stir in chicken broth, potatoes, and seasoning. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to medium heat, cover with a lid, and cook for 15 minutes
  • Stir in broccoli (zucchini and squash at this point if you use them) and cook for 5 minutes, or until veggies are tender

Roux/Cream Sauce:

  • While veggies are cooking, melt remaining 4 Tbsp butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stir in flour and whisk constantly for 1 minute, then slowly stir in milk and cook until mixture is thick and gently boiling (add heavy cream if using)
  • Once veggies are tender, pour roux into soup and stir
  • Remove soup from heat, add cheese and stir until melted

*If I didn't chop my veggies small, I'll puree some of the soup so it isn't too lumpy

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Strawberry Jam

Once you've had it, there's no going back

1 quart of strawberries = 4 cups pureed
1 SURE JELL : 3 cups sugar : 4 cups strawberries pureed
1 batch of jam = 3.5 pint mason jars

(It's in the SURE JELL box, but it's confusing)

  • In a saucepan, combine 3 cups of sugar, 1 pkg. SURE JELL, and 1 c. water
  • Bring it to a boil for ONE MINUTE
  • Remove from heat, add 4 cups mashed strawberries, stir until well combined
  • The mixture needs to be stirred occasionally as it cools to keep it mixed, and prevent future spoilage. Either keep in the saucepan or pour into jars, but KEEP STIRRING
  • freeze for up to a year

Monday, August 24, 2015

Baked French Toast

Baked French Toast

1 loaf bakery bread, a day old is best
8 eggs
 2 c. milk
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream (or just more milk)
3/4 c. sugar
2 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick cold butter


  • Grease a 9x13 pan, I like to use a glass pan
  • Tear bread into large chunks and set aside
  • Mix together eggs, milk, whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla. (I like to add cinnamon and vanilla to the eggs to give more flavor) Add the bread and mix until the bread is totally covered and soaked in the egg mixture
  • Spread bread in pan until evenly spread. Refrigerate over night if possible, but not necessary
  • Combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl. Use a knife or pastry cutter to combine until the butter is pebble sized. Sprinkle crumb mixture on top of bread
  • Bake at 350* for 45 mins - 1 hour

Harvest Cobb Salad

Simple, delicious, and beautiful presentation

Harvest Cobb Salad
1 bushel Romaine lettuce
1 cucumber
4 slices of bacon
2 large eggs
1 apple, diced
1 pear, diced
1/2 c pecans
1/3 c. dried cranberries
1/3 c. cheese - feta, parmesan

Cut all ingredients to small, bite sized pieces
Layer and decorate as desired

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

I am terrible at frosting, but this one worked great

Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1 c. butter (2 sticks), softened
3-4 c. confectioner's sugar
2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
2-3 Tbsp milk, heavy cream, or half-and-half


  • Place softened butter into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. On medium speed, cream the butter until it is smooth and has lightened in color, about 3 minutes
  • Add confectioner's sugar 1/2 cup at a time. After each cup has been incorporated, turn the mixer onto the highest setting and beat for 10 seconds to lighten the frosting
  • Add vanilla and salt and combine until well-incorporated
  • Add milk until the frosting has reached the preferred consistency. For a firmer consistency, add more confectioner's sugar, for softer frosting add more milk
*To keep the frosting white, beat on high after each addition of confectioner's sugar 
*To get the frosting fluffy, beat on the highest setting with the paddle attachment to incorporate air

Moist Chocolate Cake

This blog is my new fave, everything is perfect!

Chocolate Cake
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c. milk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c. boiling water

  • Preheat oven to 350*. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans - I prefer to spray with cooking spray, line the bottom with wax paper, spray again, then flour lightly
  • In a stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until well combined
  • Add milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and beat together until well combined. Reduce speed and slowly add boiling water. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter
  • Pour into the cake pans, bake for 30-35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean 

Cafe Rio Night

Cafe Rio from the comfort of your home

Sweet Pork
2 lbs. boneless pork
3 cans coke
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash of garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can diced green chilies
3/4 (10oz) can red enchilada sauce
1 c. brown sugar


  • Place the pork in a heavy duty ziplock back to marinate. Add half the coke and 1/4 c. brown sugar to the meat. Marinate for a few hours or overnight
  • Drain marinade and put pork into the crockpot. Add half a can of coke, water, and garlic salt to the crock pot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 8 hours - until it shreds easily
  • Drain any liquid left in the crock pot and shred the pork
  • In the blender, mix 1/2 can of coke, chilies, enchilada sauce, and 1 c. brown sugar
  • Put shredded pork and sauce in the crockpot, cook on low for 2 more hours

Cilantro Lime Rice
1 c. long grain white rice
1 tsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15oz) chicken broth
1 c. water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

  • In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime juice, chicken broth, and water
  • Bring to a boil, then cover and cook on low for 15-20 minutes until the rice is tender, then remove from heat
  • In a small bowl combine 1 Tbsp. lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot rice and mix as you fluff the rice

Black Beans
2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1 can black beans
1 1/3 c. tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

  • In a non-stick skillet, saute garlic and cumin in oil over medium heat until you can smell it 
  • Add beans, tomato sauce, and salt. Continually stir until heated through
  • Just before serving add cilantro 

Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing
1 packet TRADITIONAL Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not buttermilk)
1 c. mayo
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 clove of garlic
1 lime
2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced (optional, I was too lazy)
1 jalapeƱo (optional, I don't like it spicy)

  • Mix all ingredients in a blender

For the total salad, build from bottom to top:
tortilla - mexican cheese blend - rice - beans - pork - shredded lettuce - pico de gallo - guacamole - sour cream - tortilla strips - parmesan cheese - cilantro ranch dressing

2 Ingredient Pancakes

Well...2 main ingredients with a few little extras

2 eggs
1 banana
a pinch of baking soda
a dribble of vanilla (if you want more flavor)

   -Crack and beat the eggs in a medium bowl until well mixed
   -Slice a banana and mush with a fork, either in a separate bowl or with the eggs if you're lazy
   -Add baking soda and vanilla, mix until well combined and not too lumpy
   -Cook like a pancake on a greased griddle or pan over medium heat
*make sure to cook long enough on each side or the pancake will turn to banana scramble eggs*
   -Eat plain, with fruit, or topped with peanut butter, or syrup for a little sweet