Friday, December 24, 2010

Blackberry Cream Cheese Dip!

Morgan and I made this yummy dip for Christmas!
1 - 8 oz. package of Cream Cheese
3/4 c. Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
6 oz. Blackberries
Graham Crackers
Mix together until well blended. Refrigerate and serve cooled.
Next time I make this, which will be next week at my book club, I will use less sugar so the berries will be the dominant flavor.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bruschetta Bake!

I love all things Bruschetta, especially when it comes from Olive Garden! Unfortunately We can't go there as much as I would like (every day). While searching the web for some ideas to remedy this situation I cam across this recipe.

Our version in Red

Ingredients :

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed - already cooked, cut up and seasoned with pepper and garlic salt.
1 teaspoon salt
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (6 ounce) box chicken-flavored dry bread stuffing mix - Herb flavored stuffing
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese - Fiesta shredded mixed cheese
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning - Did not use this ingredient


1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray a 9x13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.
2.Toss the cubed chicken with the salt in a large bowl - Omitted this step. Place the chicken in a layer into the bottom of the baking dish. Stir together tomatoes, water, garlic, and stuffing mix in a large bowl; set aside to soften. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the chicken, then sprinkle with the Italian seasoning. Spread the softened stuffing mixture on top. - Obviously I did not put the Italian seasoning in the dish, but I did add more cheese on top of the stuffing. I love cheese!!!
3.Bake uncovered until the chicken cubes have turned white and are no longer pink in the center, about 30 minutes. Since the chicken was already cooked I cooked it in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes. Just long enough to melt the cheese.


Friday, December 10, 2010


I found this awesome recipe for Candy Cane Hershey Cookies! They are my new addiction! It is a very simple recipe. The hardest part was chopping up the kisses. I had to do them all by hand.
A friend of mine suggested using a meat tenderizer, good idea!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


The other day i decided (for the millionth time, maybe) that I miss living close to Ikea. They have cute toys, adorable kitchen gadgets, and wonderful (and cheap!) food. We like the Swedish meatballs with Lingonberry sauce.

So I decided to try an easy Swedish meatballs recipe. Pretty sure it's not even close to authentic Swedish meatballs, or the ones at Ikea. But it's been so long since we've eaten at Ikea, so we couldn't tell. We did like it though, so that works for me!

This is the recipe I used, except I bought frozen meatballs. The sauce is very creamy, and super easy!
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/4 pound Jimmy Dean sausage (or favorite ground sausage)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • .
  • Sauce:
  • 2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dash Tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 cup milk

Mix all ingredients together for the meat mixture. DO NOT OVER MIX! Roll into small balls and place on cookie sheet. Bake 45 minutes or until browned. In a medium bowl mix sauce ingredients together. Place meatballs in a skillet or crock pot. Simmer for 45 minutes. May be used as main dish served over rice or noodles or as an appetizer served with toothpicks.

Also, big surprise, Cameron Walmart doesn't sell Lingonberries! So I made some easy cranberry sauce (used the lingonberry sauce recipe, but it's just the same as cranberry sauce), which added just the perfect sweet compliment to the creamy sauce.

Overall, even if this isn't the "real deal" we like it. Yum!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese- extra cheese, please!

Several months ago Andy and I took the boys to Cracker Barrel for lunch. And big surprise Avery didn't eat all his food, which included some delicious mac and cheese.

And so the search began. Andy has never really liked the mac and cheese recipes I've tried...too dry, too bland...blah blah.

As is the recipe is good, but we've made minor changes to make it acceptable to be a keeper in our house. In the end I've ended up with the happiest husband when I double the cheese sauce recipe, so it stays nice and moist after baking, and it's still plenty moist as left overs.

Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese (6 servings) (my changes are in red)


    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth (I made my own with bullion and water, for a more flavorful batch add double the bullion to the 1 cup of water)
    • 1/2 cup cream
    • 2 1/2 cups shredded colby cheese (I've used colby, I've also just done cheddar. both are good)
    • 2 1/2 cups uncooked pasta
    • 1 teaspoon salt 
    • 1 cup bread crumbs, give or take


  1. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat; add the flour a little bit at a time whilst whisking to make a roux. (if you don't know what a roux is, read this)
  2. Heat the broth.
  3. Next, add the broth to the roux, and stir with the whisk; this will thicken as it heats.
  4. Add a little cream, watching for the desired consistency. (desired consistency is...really whenever you feel like being done. IT should be thicker than water, but it doesn't have to be very thick)
  5. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a separate pot; add salt and pasta.
  6. In the other pot, add shredded cheese a 1/4 of a cup at a time whilst (I like that this recipe has the word whilst, people should use that more) stirring with a spoon. When you have about one cup of cheese in you can add the rest of the cheese.
  7. Cook the pasta until al dente; strain and combine with the cheese sauce.
  8. Pour the mix into a casserole (cover with bread crumbs) and bake uncovered in a preheated oven set to 350°F for about 10 minutes.
  9. Keep an eye on the mac & cheese, you want it to brown around the edges and in patches on top.
  10. Remove and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
So, try it the original way and make your own adjustments, try it my way or not at all. 
I haven't been back to Cracker Barrel since making this maybe we're WAY off, but the way I make it works for us. And whether it's like Cracker Barrel mac and cheese or not, we definitely have CB to thank for our new favorite Mac and Cheese recipe! :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Macaroni and Cheese Caruso!

This was the most delicious Mac and Cheese I have had in a long time!
A flavorful macaroni and cheese casserole with chicken, bacon, and peas.

Click on image to enlarge.

The original ingredients are in black. What I did will be in purple.


4 cups chicken broth ~~~ I used 3 cans of the Swanson brand chicken broth
2 slices bacon, cut up ~~~ I cut about 3” off the package of bacon and then cut it up
1/3 cup finely chopped onion ~~~ I really like onions so I used about 3/4 cup
2 cups shredded American cheese ~~~ I used about 3-4 cups
1 package frozen green peas, cooked and drained, (10 oz) ~~~ I did not use this ingredient. Mostly because I don't like peas
3 tablespoons sherry ~~~ As a substitute I used 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
8 ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked ~~~ I wanted to use a different pasta so I used one box of Ziti
1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper ~~~ I used about 1/2 cup of orange peppers
2 cups cooked chicken, cut up ~~~ Unseasoned
1/4 cup chopped pimiento ~~~ I did not have this ingredient. It tasted great without it though!


In a saucepan, heat chicken broth to boiling. Add macaroni. Cook 10 minutes or until tender; do not drain. In a large skillet, cook the chicken add uncooked bacon and fry bacon until crisp; add green or orange pepper and onion. Cook and stir until onion is tender. No need to drain, the chicken will absorb the juices. Stir into macaroni-broth mixture, add remaining ingredients. Heat through. Serve with freshly diced tomatoes and fresh parsley!
Serves 6 to 8.

This was so good, the kids even ate it! If you decide to make this come back and leave me a comment with your opinion! Enjoy!

Origins Of Macaroni and Cheese!

This week we have decided to feature some fun, simple and of course gloriously yummy recipes for Macaroni and Cheese!

While searching the internet for unique recipes I stumbled upon an article on the origins of Mac and Cheese. The earliest findings of macaroni and cheese are from the thirteenth century for a dish known as de lesanis. It was lasagne sheets made from fermented dough, cut into 2" squares, cooked in water and then tossed with parmesan. To me that does not sound very appetizing. I'll just stick with the box of Kraft Mac and Cheese. According to other articles the American version was brought back from Italy by Thomas Jefferson whose daughter is credited with creating the first dish using Macaroni and parmesan cheese.

However it was made, it was a genius dish indeed!

Enjoy the recipes!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tropical Fruit Punch

So, Selissa's post prompted me to share this yummy recipe that we had at my daughter's birthday party. It's been a hit everytime I've done it... (okay, I've only done it twice, but whatever...)


1 (40-ounce) can pineapple juice
1 (32-ounce) bottle lemon-lime soda (The recipe actually calls for sugar free, however mine wasn't and it tasted good too.)
1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
1 (16-ounce) package frozen peaches
1 (12-ounce) package frozen raspberries
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
2 oranges, sliced (I didn't actually use oranges... if anyone does it with oranges, let me know how it tastes.)

Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl, and stir. Enjoy!

Oh, side note... if the punch starts to get warm, add more frozen fruit!

(You can find this recipe @

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Water Punch!

I hosted a Bridal Shower last night for my Sister-in-law and the punch that was served was absolutely delish! As well as extremely easy! The recipe came from an adorable Kitchen store here in Logan, UT!

Water Punch

1 Tbsp Citric Acid
1 Tbsp Lemon Extract
2 Cups Sugar
5 quarts Water

Mix and refrigerate
Serve with Ice
Lemon or LIme slices add color. We used Orange slices because one of the wedding colors is orange.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

While you wait....

While you wait for delicious restaurant quality recipes I will give you this slow cooker keeper. This recipe will feed 3 adults and 3 children.
  1. 4 boneless skinless chicken breast
  2. 2-3 cups of Ranch dressing...mmm.....use this ingredient generously as it is pretty much the only flavoring.
  3. 10 Red potatoes
  4. 2 cans chicken broth
  5. 1 bag of stir fry veggies
  6. 4 cups Rice
  7. Lemon Pepper

Put the chicken breast in the bottom of the crock pot and pour the ranch over the top. Quarter the potatoes and onions, add them to the crock pot, pour the chicken broth over the top. Cover and cook on High for up to 6 hours. Stirring occasionally. Chicken and potatoes will be very tender when done. 20 minutes before eating add the bag of veggies and stir. Cover and let cook. Meanwhile, cook the rice with the lemon pepper.

When the veggies are finished, ladle all the vegetables into a separate bowl.

Take the chicken out and put it on a plate. Shred the chicken.

Put the gravy in a sauce pan and add a couple tablespoons of corn starch to thicken. Don't thicken too much, you still want it to be soupy. Add the chicken and the rice to the gravy and stir. ( I did this step in the crock pot and that is why it ended up soupy, we liked it that way though ).


I would have a picture of this...but we ate it all!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Surprisingly Delicious!!

What would your reaction be if someone asked you to eat Chocolate covered grapes? Would it be, "Ew, gross"? Or would you be intrigued by the idea and try it anyway? My reaction was the first choice! However, when I tried them I was pleasantly surprised and have found a new way to ruin my goal of losing 10 pounds! Here is the recipe, so that you can join me in ruining said goal!

1 bag of Milk chocolate chips ,
Grapes (Red Grapes tasted better but green was also tasty!),
Pan covered with wax paper

Rinse and thoroughly dry the grapes, do this step at least an hour before covering to be sure that they are dry. If you are in a hurry, you can dry them with a towel.

Melt chocolate chips in the microwave or over the stove. Proceed to dump a hand full of grapes into the chocolate, make sure they are covered in it and then set them on the pan.
Put them in the refrigerator for approximately 1 hour. Enjoy!

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Challenge: Eat delicious food!

I had a moment of panic when Selissa called and said "You know how we like to eat out a lot? Well, I have a proposition for you".

I am the first to admit, I like my sub sandwiches, burgers from the dollar menu, eating grilled chicken salads while my boys chow down on chicken nuggets and fries (am I killing my children?!), and I have a major weakness for Chinese restaurants and buffets.
Though I am happy to report I've been doing much better when it comes to eating out and nickle and diming myself to death...or debt.

So you can imagine my relief when not only did Selissa tell me no, I don't have to stop eating out...but I get to eat out and try and recreate the yummy food at home, and then blog about it! You know what this calls for...dinner out. SOON.

I'm looking forward to being a regular and diligent contributor on this blog. You help other people out!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ode to food!

Food O Food, How I long to munch,
You taste so good,I love you so much.
Sometimes you're good and sometimes you're bad.
You make me so happy and also so sad.
Staying away is so very hard,
I love you so much I've turned into a Bard.

Click here to read the "welcome" post and learn more about this family blog!