Monday, February 17, 2014

Back to Basics Creamy Chicken & Noodles

This is a back to basics recipe for a simple, creamy chicken and noodles soup. From start to finish it takes about 30 minutes to prepare. When I am short on time and need dinner fast, this is one of my "go to" recipes. So easy and delicious....a favorite of my daughter and all of her friends! 




3-10.5 ounce cans of cream of chicken soup
1- 15.25 ounce can of sweet corn, drained
1-16 oz bag of frozen peas and carrots, microwave for 2 minutes to thaw
3-4 cups of 1 % milk, you can adjust this depending on how thick you like your soup
3 cups of cooked elbow macaroni
1 1/2 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken, reserve 1/2 a cup to top off soup
1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper


Boil macaroni according to package directions, drain and set aside. Microwave your frozen peas and carrots, drain and set aside. Shred chicken and set aside. In a large stock pot, add cream of chicken, drained corn, warmed peas and carrots, milk, chicken, and black pepper. 

Warm on medium heat and stir until thick and bubbly. Add noodles and cook for another 5-10 minutes to warm up noodles. Top with croutons and additional chicken. Serve and enjoy! 

Note: When reheating the soup, you may need to add additional milk as it will thicken up more after cooling. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Bacon Cheese Fries from Katie's Cucina

This recipe from Katie's Cucina for Buffalo Chicken Bacon Cheese Fries is amazing and soooo easy! Crinkle cut fries, cheddar, shredded chicken, buffalo sauce, green onions, bleu cheese, crumbled bacon. Can you just imagine how good this would taste? A great side to serve while watching a game, for a bbq, or for a comfort food snack that everyone would love! Stop by Katie's Cucina for this and many other delcious recipes by clicking on link:

Amazing Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie from Can You Stay for Dinner?

This recipe for a Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie from Can You Stay for Dinner? is a quick and easy breakfast with tons of protein and fiber...filling and delicious! Any questions? Stop by Can You Stay for Dinner? by clicking on link:

50 of the Best Uses for Coconut Oil from Sun Warrior


50 of the Best Uses for Coconut Oil

Monday, January 6, 2014 @ 10:01 AM Charlie Pulsipher- See more at:

Coconut oil has a bit of a craze surrounding it lately. People have put together hundreds of different uses for this beneficial oil and it’s found its way into pantries, medicine cupboards, and even first aid kits. Some of the uses may seem bizarre at first, but coconut oil has garnered this new found fame for good reason. It works.

For years, coconut oil has had a bad name, lumped in with unhealthy saturated fats. People steered away from it and other high fat foods. The problem with throwing coconut oil in the same category as butter, margarine, and shortening is this oil is far healthier than it appears. The saturated fats in coconut oil come from medium chain triglycerides. These shorter fat chains are easily put to use by the body and are not simply stored away as fat.

This means coconut oil boosts energy levels, raises good cholesterol, and balances out blood sugar without the weight gain, cholesterol, and other health risks that come from other saturated or trans fats. Coconut oil doesn’t stop there. It’s antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, and antiviral. It also aids in the absorption of vitamins and minerals. These immune boosting properties make it the perfect oil to use in a million ways. Here are 50 of our favorites.

Massage Oil – Coconut oil soothes tired and sore muscles. Add a few drops of essential oils for more effect.

Athletes Foot – The powerful antifungal properties of coconut oil make it perfect for any fungal infection. Add a few drops of oregano or tea tree oil for more antifungal power.

Acne – Coconut oil gently fights the bacteria that cause acne. Dab it directly on the offending pimples and watch them shrink.

Cleanser – Coconut oil makes an effective and gentle cleanser to remove the grime of the day.
Lice – Coconut oil kills and removes this pesky problem.

Stretch Marks – Prevent and soften stretch marks from pregnancy with coconut oil for soft and supple skin.

Warts and Moles – Rub oil into area and cover with a bandage. Rub in fresh oil and place a new bandage each day.

Moisturizer – Coconut oil is an excellent way to soften and hydrate dry, rough, or damaged skin.

Face Scrub – Mix coconut oil with baking soda, sugar, or cinnamon and oatmeal for the perfect face scrub and exfoliator.

Dandruff – Massage coconut oil into the scalp to ease symptoms of dandruff, both itching and flaking.

Curb Appetite – Take a spoonful before meals to curb appetite so you don’t overeat.

Wrinkles – Rub into lines, creases, and wrinkles to rehydrate skin and soften those wrinkles away.

Sore Throat – Dissolve a spoonful in your mouth and let it slowly roll down the throat. This will coat and protect the throat, boost the health of mucus membranes, and fight any infection.
Ring Worm – Rub coconut oil onto affected area to kill the fungus that causes unsightly ringworm. Add tea tree oil to clear the infection even faster.

Lip Balm – Coconut oil hydrates and protects lips. Coconut even offers some protection from the sun, about an SPF 4.

Cold Sore – Coconut oil has antiviral properties that will help the body get rid of the virus that causes cold sores. Rub it on when needed and add a drop of oregano oil to speed healing.

Lubricant – Coconut makes an all-natural personal lubricant for intimate moments without chemicals.
Gum Removal – Coconut oil gets the sticky stuff out of hair, carpet, and anywhere else it doesn’t belong.

Pet Health – Coconut oil can do a multitude of things for pets, both topically and internally. It improves breath, makes for a shiny coat, eases joint problems, cleans ears, gets rid of fleas, and much more.

Stys/Pink Eye – Rub a small amount of coconut oil on the sty or around the eyes to get rid of these painful and annoying infections quickly.

Earaches – Earaches, swimmer’s ear, and ear infections clear up fast with a few drops of coconut oil mixed with garlic oil.

Cradle Cap – Coconut oil is gentle and safe for infants and helps ease the itching, pain, redness, and flaking associated with cradle cap.

Diaper Rash – Coconut oil can help heal mild diaper rash gently and effectively.

Bruises – Rub coconut oil into bruised skin to speed healing and watch the bruises fade fast.

Age Spots – Coconut oil has beneficial effects on any skin blemish. Use it to help fade age spots with powerful antioxidants.

Shaving Cream – Coconut oil keeps the razor gliding smoothly while leaving skin smooth and soft.

After Shave – Don’t want unpleasant bumps and rashes after shaving? Coconut oil soothes sensitive skin and promotes healing.

Toothpaste – Mix 1 part coconut oil with 1 part baking soda and add a couple drops of peppermint oil.
This makes a refreshing, natural toothpaste that whitens and cleans without added preservatives, fluoride, sweeteners, or other chemicals.

Chicken Pox – Ease the itch and encourage healing with dabs of coconut oil. It also works on poison ivy, poison oak, mosquito bites, and other insect stings or bites.

Yeast Infections – Coconut oil fights these fungal infections internally and externally.

Makeup Remover – Coconut oil removes oil-based makeup easily, like mascara. It cleans, hydrates, and makes skin glow.

Conditioner – Coconut oil conditions, strengthens, and repairs hair. Massage it in and rinse it out after ten minutes. A small amount can be rubbed in to dry hair to tame frizz.

Polish Furniture – Coconut oil gives a protective shine to wood furniture. Just make sure you test it out on a small area to make sure you like the outcome.

Energy – Coconut oil and its medium chain triglycerides make it an excellent energy source to improve stamina, endurance, or just to give you a boost through the day.

Deodorant – Mix coconut oil with cornstarch, baking soda, and your favorite essential oils for a natural deodorant that smells fantastic.

Eye Cream – Reduce puffiness and dark circles with a few dabs of coconut oil.

Eczema – Coconut oil reduces the itchiness, pain, flakiness, and dryness of eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.

Sunburn – Coconut oil can help prevent sunburn for short exposures. When you burn, it will also speed healing and take some of the sting away. Make sure you wait until all the heat has dissipated before applying it or you trap the heat in. Wait 24 to 72 hours depending on the extent of the burn.

Hemorrhoids – Coconut oil eases the pain and discomfort of hemorrhoids and encourages natural healing both internally and externally.

Nose Bleeds – Rub a bit of coconut oil in nostrils to fight the dry cracking that can lead to nose bleeds and pain.

Canker Sores – Dab coconut oil on canker sores to kill infection and speed up healing. Coconut oil is also a far tastier way to treat canker sores than most other methods.
Toothaches – Coconut oil eases the pain and strengthens teeth. You can mix it with a drop of clove oil to almost instantly relieve pain.

Acid Reflux – Take a small spoonful with meals to keep acid reflux and heartburn at bay.

Urinary Tract – Treat urinary tract infections with a spoonful of coconut oil. It may even ease the painful passing of kidney stones.

Nursing – Coconut oil works great to repair dry, cracked skin, including sore nipples from nursing.

Alzheimer’s – Some research points to coconut oil as a way to slow the progression of or prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Bones – Coconut oil aids the body in the absorption of calcium and magnesium. Both minerals are important for strong bones and teeth.

Epilepsy – Coconut oil may reduce the incidence and intensity of epileptic seizures.

Fitness – Coconut oil boosts energy, increases metabolism, improves thyroid function, and aids healthy weight loss. It is the perfect addition to any workout or fitness regimen. 

Cooking – Coconut oil doesn’t form harmful by-products when heated like most other oils and animal fats. Use it to replace butter, cup for cup in recipes. Sauté, cook, bake, broil, braise, and more using coconut oil as a healthier alternative.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Devilishly Good Egg Potato Salad


15 eggs hard boiled
1 tablespoon mustard
3/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/3 cup half and half
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill
1 1/2 teaspoons finely ground pepper 
1 tablespoon sugar (you can add a little less or more depending on your preference)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
3/4 cup finely chopped crispy cooked bacon
4 pounds potatoes cooked, peeled, and cut into 1 inch pieces 


Peel eggs and place yolks in a medium bowl. Mix egg yolks together with mustard, mayonnaise, milk, and vinegar. Beat until creamy and fairly thin. Stir in dill, pepper, sugar, paprika, onion, green onions, and bacon. Dice egg whites and add to cubed potatoes. Pour egg yolk mixture over egg whites and potatoes, and stir well until eggs and potatoes are coated.If the mixture is a bit dry, add additional mayonnaise until desired consistency is reached.Sprinkle top of potato salad with additional paprika. Chill several hours. Serve and enjoy!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

Like most people, I adore peanut butter! My favorite is the creamy variety. All of my favorite desserts have peanut butter as one of their main ingredients. About a month ago I was shopping at Costco and spied Wild Friends' Honey pretzel Peanut Butter. All I have to say is it is to die for! Hmmm, thinking now I realize that I should have made my salted peanut butter cookies out of this peanut butter. Well, that will be round two next time I make these yummy cookies. Anyhow, back to the discussion at hand.

There is just something about the sweet and salty combination that makes peanut butter so good it so good. Today I wanted to share my recipe for Salted Peanut Butter Cookies...they are the thicker variety that have that perfect balance of softness and chewiness. The salt adds a little extra flavor and really brings up the taste of the peanut butter. These cookies are perfect right out of the oven with a big glass of cold milk! Life is sweet, so enjoy every minute :-)



1 cup plus 2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar (to coat dough balls)
Fleur de Sel Salt (you can use sea salt as well)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the peanut butter, butter. Once combined beat in the white sugar, and brown sugar until well blended. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gently add to creamed mixture and mix until almost combined. Chill dough for at least 15 minutes.

Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. Gently roll the dough balls into sugar and place dough balls on parchment lined baking sheets. Carefully press each ball with fork tines to create a criss-cross pattern. Lightly sprinkle with Fleur de Sel Salt (you can also use plain sea salt). 

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for 5-10 minutes until sturdy enough to be transferred to a wire rack to cool completely.


Friday, February 7, 2014

Glazed Brownie Hearts from Betty Crocker

Who doesn't love brownies? A perfect treat for your sweetheart! Glazed Brownie Hearts from Betty Crocker. These Valentine's Day Treats are so easy to make that you could easily whip them up in under an hour and a half. To get the step-by-step directions, stop by Betty Crocker for this and many other easy recipes:

Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta from Butter, with a Side of Bread

Ohhh my goodness, just look at this Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta from Butter, with a Side of Bread....yummy!!! Pasta, chicken, beans, corn, onions, peppers, olives,  cheese, tomatoes,ranch, and Frito Corn Chips. An explosion of flavors with a crispy crunch from the chips. Stop by Butter, with a Side of Bread for this and many other delicious recipes by clicking on link: 

Limoncello Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling from Normal Activities

I love, love, love anything with lemon and these amazing Limoncello Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling from Normal Activities are no exception! You can omit the alcohol and add a tablespoon more lemon juice and an extra teaspoon of sugar. Refreshing deliciousness! Stop by Normal Activities for this and many other tasty recipes by clicking on link: