Sunday, March 31, 2013

Leftover Easter Eggs? Make Easy & Delicious Egg Salad

What to do with all of those leftover Easter eggs? It is your lucky day because I have a delicious solution for you! My Easy & Delicious Egg Salad is not only tasty, but it is so simply to make. Eat it alone, on top of a nice green salad, or between two pieces of your favorite bread. Enjoy!


12 hard-boiled eggs
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp Hungarian paprika
1/4 cup minced shallot
1/4 cup chopped green onion or fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup minced celery
1/2 c mayonnaise
mixed greens or your favorite sandwich bread


Cook eggs until hard boiled. Remove from heat and dump out water and replace with cold tap water and 2 cups of ice. Peel when cool.

Roughly chop the eggs and place them in a mixing bowl.

Add the salt, paprika, shallot, green onion, celery, and mayonnaise. Stir with a amspoon until very well blended.

Transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 days.

Serve on top of your favorite mixed greens or sandwich bread. Enjoy!

Homemade Edamame Hummus


1-15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups shelled, cooked edamame, thawed if frozen
2 medium garlic gloves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup water, plus more as needed
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 medium lemons), plus more as needed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Pita chips 


Place the cannellini beans, edamame, garlic, water, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and sesame seed oil in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment.

Season with pepper and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. If the dip is too thick, pulse in more water, a tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

Taste and season with more salt or lemon juice as needed. Serve with pita chips. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from:

Roasted Lemon Scented Cod with Creamy Red Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Lemon Scented Cod


4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, plus 1 tbsp for top of fish
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
4 x 150 g (5 oz) cod fillets
2 lemons, thinly sliced
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix together the garlic, parsley, oil and some salt and pepper. Rub the mixture over the fish fillets and set aside for 10 minutes or so. 

Spray a glass baking pan with non stick spray and arrange cod in pan. Cover with onion slices. Place the lemon slices on top of the cod and onions and sprinkle with red pepper and parsley. 

Cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes until Just cooked and a little charred. Serve immediately with red mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

Creamy Red Mashed Potatoes


8 medium red potatoes, cubed
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup half-and-half cream
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon steak seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


Place the potatoes into a large pot, and fill with enough water to cover. Add 1 teaspoon of the crushed garlic to the water for flavor. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork.

Drain the potatoes, and add the butter. Mash until the butter is melted. Mix in the half-and-half, sugar, steak seasoning, garlic powder and remaining garlic. Mix potatoes with an electric mixer until smooth.. Enjoy!

Friday, March 29, 2013

S’more Bites from Sweet Pea's Kitchen

These S’more Bites from Sweet Pea's Kitchen are fabulous! Only five ingredients and 30 minutes prep and baking time easy is that? I know a lot of kiddos who would love to make these. They would be a perfect treat for little hands since they are mini muffin size! Stop by Sweet pea's Kitchen for this and other tasty treat recipes:

Perfect for Easter! White Chocolate M&M Pudding Cookies from The Recipe Critic

This is a super cute recipe for White Chocolate M&M Pudding Cookies from The Recipe Critic. Easter colored M&M's are a great accent to this amazing little cookie. A great treat for all of your little Easter bunnies! Hop by The Recipe Critic today to view this and other tasty recipe ideas:

Gouda and Bacon Macaroni and Cheese from Shugary Sweets

Oh my gosh! Just look at this delicious recipe for Gouda and Bacon Macaroni and Cheese from Shugary Sweets! Tender macaroni noodles floating in an ocean of gouda and bacon yumminess with an crunchy bread crumb topping...AMAZING! You've got to stop by Shugary Sweet to view this and many of their other delectable treats. Trust me, you won't regret it! Click on link to view recipe:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mozzarella Cheese Sticks from Noshing with the Nolands

Ahhh...these Mozzarella Cheese Sticks from Noshing with the Nolands are simply...AMAZING! The perfect accompaniment to any Italian meal. How could you go wrong with fried cheese. Is it good for you, not really, but hey having an indulgent meal every now and then never hurt anyone. Swing by Noshing with the Nolands to view this and many other delicious recipes:

Italian “Drunken” Noodles with Spicy Italian Sausage, Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions from The Cozy Apron

This Saucy, Italian “Drunken” Noodles with Spicy Italian Sausage, Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions and Red and Yellow Bell Peppers, with Fresh Basil (wow that's a mouthful) from The Cozy Apron looks AMAZING! Really easy to make as it is a one pan dish (with the exception of the pot to boil the noodles).  Stop by the Cozy Apron to view this and many other delicious recipes:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Bunny Bark from Blooming on Bainbridge

Just look at this fantastic idea for Easter Bunny Bark from Blooming on Bainbridge. With just a few ingredients like chocolate Easter bunnies, white chocolate, and your choice of Easter candy (malted chocolate covered eggs, Easter M&M' get the idea) make this a great treat that your little Easter bunnies will gobble up quicker than you can make it. Stop by Blooming on Bainbridge to view this and other delicious recipes:

Monday, March 25, 2013

Lisa's Quick & Easy Crusty French Bread


1 1/2 tbsp yeast
2 cups warm water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
5-6 cups flour, plus extra for dusting board if necessary


Combine yeast, sugar and water and let poof. Combine other ingredients, then mix all together. Knead for 7-10 minutes. Raise until double in size. Punch down and shape. Let raise a second time for 30 minutes. Shape dough into a loaf or place in a bread pan sprayed with non-stick spray and place in an oven that has not been preheated. Using a sharp knife, make several sideways cuts across the top of bread, Set temperature at 400 degrees and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and slice with a very sharp bread knife. Serve with butter and enjoy!

Creamy Vodka Sauce with Italian Sausage Fettucine


1/2 pound Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled

1 tso olive oil
1/2 cup butter
1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, finely diced
3/4-1 cup vodka
2-28 ounce cans Italian crushed tomatoes 
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 pint heavy cream
6 cups cooked fettuccine pasta
parsley for garnish, finely chopped
Parmesan cheese, finely grated


Remove Italian sausage from casing and brown in skillet with 1 tsp olive oil. Drain and set aside. 

In same skillet over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in butter until slightly brown and soft.  

Add cooked sausage to cooked onion and garlic.

Pour in vodka and let cook for 10-12 minutes. 

Mix in crushed tomatoes and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 minutes. 

Pour in heavy cream and cook for another 30 minutes or until rich and creamy. 

Top fettuccine with sauce and sprinkle with chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese. Serve with fresh bread. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from:

Easy Smokey & Sweet Pork Chops


4-6 medium sized porkchops
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp each salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp smoked paprika 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes, adjust to liking
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl combine 1/4 cup brown sugar and spices (1/2 teaspoon each salt, pepper, cayenne, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. 

Remove the pork chops from their package and rub the brown sugar/spice mix all over both sides. Use all of the spice mix.

Heat one tsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chopped garlic. Remove when lightly browned. Add remaining olive oil to pan and heat to medium-high. When the oil is nice and hot, add the pork chops. Cook the chops for about 5 minutes on each side or until they are nicely browned. Remove from heat and add browned garlic. 

If you are using an oven safe skillet, place the skillet in the oven for an additional 5 minutes to make sure they are cooked through. If you do not have an oven safe skillet, transfer the chops to a baking sheet lined with foil then place in the oven.

Remove the chops from the oven and drizzle with remaining sauce from pan. Enjoy!

Chocolate Amish Friendship Bread & Starter

Every time I receive a starter for Amish Friendship Bread I squeal with delight. I get so excited is because this is the most amazing bread...EVER! If you've never sampled this delectable bread before... you are in for a real treat. Once you make up an initial batch, you can continue to give away starters and keep one for yourself in order to always have a couple of loaves of this deliciousness on its way every ten days. Give it a try and I bet that you will agree that this is one of the tastiest breads you have ever had. I hope your family enjoys it as much as we do!

Starter Recipe:

1 package active dry yeast
2 - cups warm water (110 degrees)
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar

For Amish Friendship Bread Starter:

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm water in a deep glass container. Stir in remaining warm water, milk, flour and sugar. Beat until smooth. Cover a large glass jar or bowl with a tight fitting lid works best for this. Do not refrigerate! The starter requires 10 days for fermentation.


Day 1, 2, 3 and 4: Mush batter in bag.
Day 5: Add 1 cup each milk, flour, sugar and stir
Day 6-9: Mush batter in bag.
Day 10: Add 1 cup each flour, sugar, milk; stir.

Put 1 cup of starter in each of three containers or larger zip lock bags. Give away to friends and keep one. This will begin their Day 1.

Directions after you have your starter:

Do not use any type of metal spoon or mixing. Do not refrigerate.

It is normal for the batter to rise and ferment. Do not taste raw batter and date bag.

Day 1: Do nothing.
Day 2: Mush the bag and let the air out
Day 3: Mush the bag and let the air out
Day 4: Mush the bag and let the air out
Day 5: Mush the bag and let the air out
Day 6: Add to the bag 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Mush the bag and let the air out.
Day 7: Mush the bag and let the air out
Day 8: Mush the bag and let the air out
Day 9: Mush the bag and let the air out
Day 10: Mix and divide starter as follows. Pour the entire contents of the bag into a non metal bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and 1 1/2 cups milk. Next measure 1 cup batter into 4 gallon size zip lock bags. Keep one for yourself and give the other 3 to friends along with a copy of the recipe. You will end up with 5 batches of bread (4 bags and 1 in the bowl)

To Bake Friendship Bread~

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. To the remaining batter in the bowl (about 2 cups) add:

3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 large box instant chocolate pudding (or 2 small boxes)
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup oil
2 cups flour

If using self - rising flour omit soda, salt and baking powder.


Grease two large loaf pans or one 9 x13 inch pan. Mix 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Dust the greased pans with half the mixture. Pour batter into the pans and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon mixture on top. Bake for about 1 hour cool until bread loosens from the pan.
A great gift for friends and family. Make them a mini loaf and a starter and a copy of the recipe...a super sweet treat for anyone you know. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Two in One Vegetarian Lasagna...One for Now and One for Later

This is one great lasagna recipe with lots of vegetables that is not only flavorful, but with the addition of the spinach, carrots, and zucchini it is also good for you! So savory and will never miss the meat. Give it a try and think you will agree. Enjoy!


Pasta Sauce:

2-24 oz jars of vodka pasta sauce

1- 14 ounce can tomato paste

1-28 ounce can diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 tsp sugar

Ricotta Layer:

1-15 ounce container part skim ricotta cheese

1 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped

2 eggs

1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Additional Layers:

2 cups baby spinach

1 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup shredded zucchini

1 package (8-9 ounces) no-boil Barilla or Ronzoni lasagna noodles

4 cups low fat mozzarella, shredded

1/2 cup cheddar


Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.

Add two jars of pasta sauce to a medium sized saucepan. Add tomato paste and diced tomatoes and bring to simmer; stir in herbs and sugar and reduce heat to low and simmer slowly until flavors are blended, about 30 minutes; set sauce aside. (Sauce can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days). Set aside.

Mix ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan, basil, parsley, eggs, salt, and pepper in medium bowl with fork until well-combined and creamy; set aside.

Assemble lasagna. Spread 1/4 cup sauce over bottom of two 8 inch square pans (you can also just bake one 13 by 9-inch.) Place two noodles on top of sauce, evenly space 8 tablespoons ricotta mixture over noodles, and spread gently with a spatula; sprinkle ricotta evenly with 1/2 cup mozzarella; spoon 1/2-3/4 cup sauce over cheese. Divide spinach, carrots, and zucchini into thirds and place one third over first layer of ricotta and cheese.

Repeat layering of noodles, ricotta mixture, mozzarella, vegetables, and sauce two more times. Place remaining noodles on top and spread with remaining sauce. Cover with remaining mozzarella, Parmesan, and cheddar.

To Bake One: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover dish with foil that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake until sauce begins to bubble around edges, about 10-15 minutes. Remove foil and continue bake until hot throughout and cheese is browned in spots, about 20 minutes longer.

To Freeze One: Wrap 1 square pan with plastic wrap and then cover tightly with foil and freeze for up to 2 months. To Serve: Remove from freezer and place in refrigerator 24 hours before serving. The next day, remove from refrigerator, unwrap pan and cover with foil that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and cover lasagna. Bake 25-30 minutes, then remove foil. Return lasagna to oven and continue to bake until cheese is spotty brown and sauce is bubbling, about 25 minutes longer. Cool lasagna about 10 minutes; cut into pieces and serve.

Recipe adapted from:

Lemon Drop Cupcakes with a Cream Cheese & Lemon Frosting


Juice of 2 medium sized lemons (reserve 1 tbsp for frosting)
zest of 2 lemons (4 tbsp-reserving 2 tbsp for frosting)
zest of 1 lime (1 tbsp)
1 pkg yellow cake mix
3 tbsp lemon instant pudding mix
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 large eggs
Lemon cream cheese frosting (see recipe below)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.

Wash lemons and lime and dry completely. Grate 4 tbsp of lemon zest, reserving 2 tbsp for frosting. Grate 1 tbsp of zest from lime and reserve for frosting. Squeeze juice of two lemons and combine with 2 tbsp of lemon zest in a small bowl. Place remaining 2 tbsp of lemon zest and 1 tbsp of lime zest and set aside for frosting.
Add all ingredients to large bowl and using an electric mixer combine ingredients on low for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and increase speed to medium and mix for an additional 3 minutes. 
Fill cupcake pans 1/2 way full until all 24 cupcake cups are filled. Place in oven and bake approximately 25 minutes. Remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 1 hour before frosting.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:

1-8 ounce pkg cream cheese
4 tbsp butter
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbs reserved lemon zest
1 tbsp reserved lime zest
Combine cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium until thoroughly combined. Add confectioners' sugar on low for 2 minutes. Add vanilla and lemon juice on medium for 1 minute. Frosting cupcakes. Sprinkle tops with lemon and lime zest.

Refreshing Limeade with a Touch of Lemon


2 cup lime juice (from 10 regular sized limes
Juice of one lemon
1 3/4-2 cups granulated sugar
5 cups water
1 cup of crushed ice
Lime slices (about 8 slices cut in half to make 16 pieces)


In a small saucepan bring to a boil the 2 cups of sugar* and 3 cups of water. Continue to stir for 5 minutes. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and let cool for for a few minutes.

*You can adjust the amount of sugar depending on how sweet you like your limeade. Add lime and lemon juice and stir.

Allow to cool for 15 minutes and add remaining 2 cups of cold water, 1 cup of crushed ice, and lime slices. Stir to mix ice, additional water, and lime slices.

Gingersnaps with a Lemon & Lime Glaze


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup unsulfured light molasses
1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
Granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies (optional)
Lemon & Lime glaze, see recipe below


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and then combine the mixture with your hands.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar, oil, and molasses on medium speed for 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to low speed, add the egg, and beat for 1 minute.

Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for 1 more minute. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Scoop the dough with 2 spoons or a small ice cream scoop. With your hands, roll each cookie into a 1 3/4-inch ball and then flatten them lightly with your fingers. If you do not plan on using the glaze on your cookies, press both sides of each cookie in granulated sugar and place them on the sheet pans.

Bake for exactly 13 minutes. The cookies will be crackled on the top and soft inside. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Lemon & Lime Glaze


2 cups of powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp grated lemon and lime rind


Add powdered sugar and milk to a mixing bowl and add lemon and lime juice. Whisk with an electric mixer until fluffy and smooth. Add additional lemon or lime juice (if necessary) until it becomes spreadable, but still very thick. if glaze gets too thin you can add more powdered sugar. Using a spoon, drizzle glaze over cooked cookies. Glaze will solidify in a few hours. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from:

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Easy Four Ingredient Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

An incredibly easy treat to make with kids. They can help add and mix ingredients since the mixing is done by hand. They can help roll the dough into balls and in the confectioners' sugar. This is a very kid friendly recipe for little ones who love to bake!


1-18.25 ounce box red velvet cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
confectioners' sugar or granulated sugar, for rolling


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Stir (by hand) dry cake mix, oil and eggs in a large bowl until dough forms.

Drop large tablespoons of dough into a bowl of confectioners' sugar and shape into 1 1/2 " size balls. The sugar will help keep the dough from sticking to your hands.

Allow dough balls to set for 10 minutes on a cookie sheet before rolling in confectioners' sugar for a second time. This will keep the sugar from being absorbed into the dough and disappearing during baking.

Roll balls in confectioners' sugar a second time and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until center is just set.

Remove from pans after a minute or so and cool on wire racks.

Crispy Baked Taco Egg Rolls


1 1/4 lbs ground turkey or chicken
1 packet taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup grated extra sharp cheddar
1 can jalapeno refried beans
1-12 oz pkg egg roll wrappers
1 egg, whisked with 1 tbsp water
Cooking spray
Pineapple Salsa, click on link to view recipe


In a 12" frying pan brown the ground meat over medium high heat. Drain excess grease from meat and return to frying pan. Add the taco seasoning mix and cook until most of excess liquid has cooked off.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a large baking sheet by spraying liberally with cooking spray and set aside.

Lay one egg roll wrapper in front of you so that it looks like the shape of a diamond. Place a thin layer of refried beans and about 3 tablespoons of filling onto the bottom third of wrapper. Fold one side over the middle. Repeat with other side. Continue rolling the rest of the way making sure to roll tightly as you go. Seal edge with a bit of the egg wash. Place completed egg rolls on a second large baking sheet.

Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling until all are completed.

Spray tops of egg rolls liberally with cooking spray. Turn egg rolls over and spray opposite side. Place on prepared baking sheet making sure that the egg rolls are not touching.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes on one side and turn over and cook another 10 until golden brown.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with pineapple salsa or you favorite dipping sauce.

So Easy Tomato & Pineapple Salsa

This salsa is so easy to make and can be used as an appetizer with chips and guacamole or add it to pulled pork or shredded rotisserie chicken for fantastic soft tacos. You can easily up the heat by adding additional jalapeno, or bring it back down by omitting the pepper and adding mild chilies in its place. This is a staple at our house and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! 


4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1-10 oz can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 cup fresh pineapple, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1/3 cup sweet onion, chopped
1/4 cup lime juice
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped


In a small bowl, combine salsa ingredients. if you want a finer salsa, place ingredients in a food processor until desired consistency is reached. Refrigerate and serve with your favorite chips or cook with shredded pork or chicken to make fabulous soft tacos. Enjoy!

Simply Delicious Crispy Sweet Chili Sauce Chicken Bites


8 chicken tenderloins, cut into small bite size pieces (about 32 pieces)*
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
parsley, finely chopped (optional)


Heat oil in a deep frying pan to 375.

Place flour, salt, and pepper in a zip top bag and shake until mixed. Add chicken tenderloin pieces and shake until thoroughly coated in flour mixture. In a medium size bowl, add sweet chili sauce. Shake off excess flour and place 1/3 of the floured chicken pieces into bowl with sweet chili sauce.

Using tongs or a fork, coat chicken in sauce and place in heated frying pan. Turn once chicken is golden brown and continue turning every few minutes until thoroughly cooked. Place cooked chicken on a plate and repeat 2 more times with remaining chicken. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and red pepper flakes. Serve on a bed of additional sweet chili sauce.

*you can also use chicken breasts

Creamy Three Cheese, Bacon & French Fried Onion Penne

Cooked to perfection penne that is surrounded by a creamy three cheese sauce and topped off with crispy French fried onions, crispy turkey bacon and thinly sliced green two words-comfort food!


2 tablespoons butter
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2-1 tsp ground mustard
1/2-1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups half and half, room temperature
3 slices of yellow American cheese
4 ounces Colby Jack cheese, shredded*
4 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded*
1 pound penne, cooked al dente
2 green onions, thinly sliced


8 sliced turkey bacon, cooked and diced
Chopped green onions
French fried onions


In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, white pepper, mustard, nutmeg, paprika, and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Cook until combined. Slowly stir in the half and half and sour cream. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally and cook until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Add the cheeses and stir until melted, then remove from heat and stir in thinly sliced green onions. Stir in the pasta and toss until thoroughly combined. Top with diced bacon, green onions, and french fried onions.

* If you prefer your macaroni and cheese to be extra creamy you can add additional cheese.

Friday, March 22, 2013

20 Spring Inspired Cookies from

Here are 20 fantastic Spring inspired cookie ideas from Click on link below to get some great ideas for super cute treats for your little Easter bunnies!

Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops from Lil' Luna

I am not a big pork chop eater. Growing up I had one too many that were really dry and not very tasty, but after seeing this delicious recipe for Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops from Lil' Luna I think I have changed my mind! The recipe is really easy with only eight ingredients. Tender pork with a crispy and savory crust...perfect! Swing by Lil' Luna to view this and many other amazing recipes:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Soul Warming French Onion Soup from The Healthy Foodie

Oh my goodness! Just look at this Soul Warming French Onion Soup from The Healthy Foodie. Not only is it delicious, but it is lighter on the calories and fat than your average french onion soup. This healthier version has a little under 13 grams of fat per serving. Compare that with the whopping 24 grams of fat that is in the original version! Swing by and visit The Healthy Foodie for this and other tasty recipes by clicking on link:

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream from La Famille Noire

Just look at this Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream from La Famille Noire. This recipe alone would be an excellent reason to go and purchase an ice cream machine....seriously! This recipe is so easy that it is almost ridiculous. Stop by La Famille Noire to view this and other delicious recipes by clicking on link:

Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Pinwheels


1 pound pizza dough
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
3/4 cup pizza or marinara sauce
1 tsp red pepper flakes plus extra for topping
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sliced pepperoni, chopped
1 cup marinara or pizza sauce
3 tbsp parsley, chopped


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using a rolling pin shaped pizza dough into a large rectangle.
Add 1 tsp of red pepper flakes with 3/4 cup of pizza sauce. Spread pizza sauce evenly over dough making sure to leave 1/2" around the tops and sides free from sauce. Sprinkle with garlic salt, basil, cheeses and pepperoni. Starting at the short end, roll dough up tightly to form a log. Slice into 1-inch pieces.

Place rolls on lightly greased baking sheets. Sprinkle additional Parmesan on top of pinwheels after 5 minute of baking. Bake an additional 5 minutes. Broil tops for 1-2 minutes until cheese is golden brown.

Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and chopped parsley and serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

Recipe adapted from:

Double Chocolate Chip S'more Cookie Bites


2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 bag (12 ounces) semi sweet chocolate chips
1-3.5 ounce milk chocolate bar, chopped into big chunks
1 bag of large sized marshmallows


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until combined; mix in vanilla.

With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture; mix until just incorporated. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips and chocolate bar pieces.

Drop small mounds of dough (1 teaspoon of dough rolled into a ball) onto ungreased baking sheets, at least 4 inches apart and away from edges of pan. Bake until golden, 11-13 minutes.

Cool 1 to 2 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

When completely cooled, place large sized marshmallows on a plate. Make sure they are standing upright. Microwave them 7-10 seconds. Working quickly, take one marshmallow and set on top of one of the cookies. Using a second cookie, gently press together and place on a baking sheet to set. If marshmallows are not soft enough, return to microwave for 5 seconds more.

*If you are short on time you can use a premade chocolate cookie mix from the store

Easy Cherry Cheesecake Pancakes


11/4 cups all-purpose flour
11/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
2 cups chopped frozen cheesecake

1-8oz pkg of cream cheese, softened
1/4 butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

1 can of cherry pie filling, warmed
cooking spray

* To bring down the sweetness level you can omit the cream cheese topping and just use the cherries alone.


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip until smooth. Refrigerate until all of pancakes are cooked.

Pulse the flour, buttermilk, egg, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheesecake pieces, keeping them whole.

Coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Working in batches, pour about 1/4 cup batter into the skillet for each pancake. Cook until bubbly on top, about 4 minutes, then flip and cook until the other side is golden brown, about 2 more minutes.

Transfer the finished pancakes to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Serve the pancakes topped with the cheesecake filling and warm cherries topping. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Quick and Delicious Cheesy Crab Stuffed Mushrooms


1-8 ounce package light cream cheese

8 ounces of chopped imitation crab

2 tbsp. Johnny’s Garlic Spread & Seasoning (available at Costco)

1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper

½ tsp. garlic powder

1/3 cup grated light cheddar cheese (reserve a small amount to top mushrooms)

mushroom stems

1 tsp. olive oil

cooking spray

18 large mushrooms (with stems removed) 


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove stems from mushrooms and rough chop. Heat a sauté pan on medium high heat with 1 tsp. of olive oil. Add mushrooms stems and cook until all moisture is absorbed.

In the meanwhile, add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Mix cream cheese mixture with cooked mushroom stems. Using a spoon, fill each mushroom cavity with filling.

Spray baking sheet with baking spray and place stuffed mushrooms on tray. Spray sides and tops of mushrooms lightly and sprinkle with remaining grated cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Super Simple 30 Minute Lazy Girl Lasagna


8 ounces Italian dry salami, thinly sliced
1-24 ounce jar pasta sauce, divided
1-24 ounce package fresh or frozen cheese ravioli, thawed and divided
4-6 ounce pkg grated Parmesan and Romano blend cheese
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheeese, grated
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, gratedred pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, blend all of the grated cheeses together. Set aside.

In a 2 1/2 quart greased dish, layer 1/3 the spaghetti sauce, 1/2 the ravioli, 1/2 the Italian salami and 1/2 cup of the mixed cheeses.

Repeat, topping with the rest of the spaghetti sauce and remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Serve and sprinkle with red pepper flakes (optional). Serve with crusty Italian bread. Enjoy!

So Easy Low Fat Cheesy Shredded Chicken Taquitos

Before you read any further....I am going to warn you that this recipe has Velveeta in it, so if you are a Velveeta hater... turn away now ;-) For those who can bear the thought of eating Velveeta, then continue on. This recipe is so ridiculously easy to make and is lower in fat (4.5 grams/serving) than its fried counterpart that has up to 20 grams of fat. Kids love them because they are hand held and portable. I love them because they are baked in the oven and get just as crispy as the deep fried version. Dip them into your favorite salsa, low fat sour cream or guacamole. I guarantee that your family will love them!


1 rotisserie chicken or rotisserie turkey breasts, shredded with all skin and fat removed
1-2 tsp olive oil
2-10 oz cans Ro*Tel diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 tbsp sugar
16 corn tortillas
12 oz Velveeta, cut into 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 squares, then into 4 strips
4 green onions, thinly sliced
non-stick cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Shred chicken or turkey meat and set aside. Place olive oil in pan and heat on medium high. Add shredded meat and cook until meat begins to brown for approximately 7-10 minutes. Make sure to turn over occasionally. Add pepper and Ro*Tel. Continue turning until most of the liquid had been evaporated.

Place 12 corn tortillas wrapped in a damp paper towel and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes to soften. Remove from microwave oven.

Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Lay one tortilla on plate and place 1-2 tablespoons of meat mixture along the center. Add one slice of Velveeta. Sprinkle with green onions.

Roll up tight and place a toothpick through the center. Set on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Liberally spray the tops of taquitos with non-stick spray.

Cook for approximately 25 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Remove toothpicks. Centers will be very hot! Serve with salsa
and light sour cream. Enjoy!