Southwest Scramble

Like most of you, my fridge is still full of those decadent holiday leftovers.  And like most of you, I am trying find new and creative ways to use them up.  That is why tonight I decided I was going to make some delicious omelets.  Everything was going swimmingly until it came time for the fold.  *sigh* Alas the non-stick coating in my pan is not as non-stick as it used to be, so I had to improvise, but I am so glad I did.  What came of this near kitchen disaster was the most delicious Southwest Scramble I have ever tasted.  I know you are going to love it so let's get started!


West Virginia Quick Pho

I wouldn't say that I live in a small town by any means.  Actually Parkersburg is the third largest city in West Virginia, but being that as it may, we are limited in our ethnic cuisine.  Sure we have the Mexican restaurants and Chinese places, but aside from that it is pretty meat and potatoes around here.  That's why when I travel, I'm always looking for fun and exciting new foods to try.  One such culinary delight I've been hearing a lot about is Pho, a Vietnamese dish.  I learned about Pho from North Market in Columbus, Ohio, but every time I was up there something happened and I wasn't able to try it, so the other day my friend Melissa and I decided we were going to make some Pho at home.  However, upon doing some research, I discovered that a traditional Pho broth takes an upwards of 10-12 hours to make!  Ain't nobody got time pho that!  So, as I often do, I decided to make my own, quick version, of Pho and I think the result will blow your mind!  I can't wait to show you how we did it!

Let's Get started!


How to Make the Perfect Prime Rib

 Nothing says Christmas dinner to me like a beautiful Prime Rib.  It's one of the most coveted cuts of meat there are, and the price tag definitely reflects it.  I think that's why so many people shy away from it.  You see, you have to treat this roast like a lady.  You can't "man handle" it.  You can't rush it.  No. This is not the kind of cut you are going to throw into the slow cooker and forget about it.  It needs your time, your attention.  You treat it right and it will treat you right.  You try and rush it, and this meal will go down hill fast.  And when you are paying $10+ a pound, the thought of it not turning out is pretty scary!  But don't worry.  With a little technique, and some simple salt and pepper, YOU, yes YOU can pull this off and it will be so delicious your guests will be amazed!

Let's get started!


French Toast Casserole

Let's talk traditions, shall we?

Growing up, my siblings and I had this tradition of all sleeping in the same bed on Christmas Eve.  Yes, all four of us would pile in together and try our very best to go to sleep as quickly as possible.  I will never forget the year we all piled into my brother's bunk beds.  Two on the top, two on the bottom.  Forgetting that I was on the top bunk, I totally rolled off, onto the floor, while my parents were videotaping!  It was both humiliating and painful.  *lol*

One thing I don't remember doing on Christmas morning was eating breakfast.  I think that was because once all of the present opening was complete, my mom and dad immediately went into the kitchen to get everything ready for the big dinner while my sibling and I got cleaned up to visit our family.  There really was no time to stop and make breakfast, but I have to admit, I think that a traditional family breakfast after gifts would have been lovely.

So when I got married, I decided that I wanted a special breakfast on Christmas morning to be a part of our traditions.  I like to keep things simple, and my French Toast Casserole is perfect for this because everything can be assembled the night before, and all you have to do on Christmas morning is bake it off!

You won't believe how simple it is so let's get started!


Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip Recipe

The finished baked spinach artichoke dip with the title above it.

It's Christmas and of course you are being invited to parties and family get-togethers galore!  One of the good things about hosting a modern day holiday celebration is that it is customary for your guests to bring a dish.  One of the downsides to being a guest is what do you bring?  My go-to, and one of my personal favorites, is Spinach Artichoke Dip.  Now I know what you are thinking, "I have had a million and one spin dips. What makes yours special?"  Well, my spin dip is a little different from your average dip and I think the flavor is out-of-this-world.

I can't wait to share it with you so let's get started!


Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken Breast

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pompeian Olive Oil.  
All opinions are my own. 

Tis' the season for holiday parties, family get togethers, and more!  I love spending time with all of the special people in my life, and I can't think of a better way to do that than around a table with a great meal!  The thing is, with all the shopping and meal planning for the big day, my pocketbook doesn't always allow for pricey cuts of meat and expensive wines.  That's when I turn to my pantry  for inspiration.  Using an inexpensive cut of meat, such as chicken, a few staples, and a good quality oil such as Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, you can whip up this AMAZING Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken in no time!  Oh, and did I mention that in addition to being the first and only extra virgin olive oil to carry the USDA quality monitored seal, Pompeian has a wide variety of products including blended oils, vinegar, cooking wines and cooking sprays for all of your holiday cooking needs.  

With that being said, Let's Get Started!

Homemade Hamburger Helper

I don't know about you, but it seems that ever since we entered into the holiday season, life has been CRAZY!  I feel as though I don't have time to think straight, no less cook elaborate meals for my family.  It is in these moments that a telephone call to the local pizzeria or the drive-thru on the way home seems SO VERY tempting.  Or maybe it's the box of powdered "Heaven-Only-Knows" in the pantry, that is ready in 20 minutes, beckoning out to you.  Here's the thing.  You don't have to do it!  Simple isn't necessarily better and you know what else?  It's not necessarily faster either.   Take my Homemade Hamburger Helper for example.  A little short cut mixed with some great, fresh ingredients and you have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less!

Let me show you how I did it!


French Onion Soup

Recently my husband has been traveling a lot.  This means that there have been many weekends where my mother-in-love and I are home alone.  So to keep myself occupied, and to test out some recipes, I have been entertaining friends.  I love getting together with my girlfriends.  You can guarantee that there will be lots of laughing, eating, and some form of a British television series in the background!

The best part about low-key entertaining with friends is that is doesn't have to be anything fancy.  Take my French Onion Soup for example.  Yes, it may sound fancy, but with only a few simple ingredients this elegant soup is perfect for a delicious night in with your friends.

Let me show you how I make it...


Chicken and Dumplings

The weather has been all over the place this winter, no?

One minute it's snowing, and literally within 10 minutes it can be raining.  The next day, 60 degrees!  I CAN'T TAKE IT!!!  That is why I love recipes like these Chicken and Dumplings!  It uses simple ingredients, has great flavor, and is super heart warming!  No matter what the weather is where you are at, these are going to hit the spot!  You won't believe how easy it is and I can't wait to show you!

Let's Get Started!


Corn Flake Wreath "Cookies"

A BIG part of the Christmas season, for me, has been cookie baking.  Growing up, my mom was always baking something.  Cakes, cookies, brownies.  She is an amazing baker!  Another thing she was always good at was getting us in the kitchen to help out.  Whether it be measuring flour, cracking eggs, stirring, she always involved us.

So when I was thinking of what I wanted my "formed" cookie to be for today's "Tis the Season for Cookies" round-up, I wanted to do something that would involve all of your children, no matter what their age or ability.  Then I saw a picture on Facebook for these adorable Corn Flake Wreath "Cookies".  While these are not actually what I would describe as a cookie, it is something that everyone can be apart of and the result is absolutely adorable!  I can't wait to share it with you so LET'S GET STARTED!


Lemon Pepper Chicken Soup w/ Kale

This Fall/Winter transition is kicking my butt.  (Is it okay to say butt on here?)  Anyway, my seasonal allergies are always worse in the fall.  Throw in all of the snow and rain we have been having and my sinus' have had enough.   That is when I decided I needed to give my immune system a little boost so I headed to my fridge and see what I had to work with.

Usually when one is feeling under the weather, you would make them chicken noodle soup, but I really didn't want that.  However, I DID have some leftover, grilled, lemon pepper chicken, carrots, kale, Hmmmmm....How about Lemon Pepper Chicken Soup with Kale!

This soup is packed full of great, immune boosting, vitamins and the flavor it out-of-this-world!  I can't wait to show you how I made it, So let's get started!


Perfect Marinara Sauce

I am going to share a little story with you.  I didn't always know how to cook.  No, I'm not talking about when I was a child.  I mean as a young woman, in my early 20's, I did not know how to cook. Sure, I grew up around great food and even better cooks, but no one really taught me how to do it.  So here I was, a newly married woman, unable to feed my husband.  That is when I knew that my mission in life was not to simply learn how to cook, but to be able to cook the kind of food that I grew up on.

My first step in that endeavor was learning how to make the Perfect Marinara Sauce.  It is the base for just about any red sauce you want to make, and it is equally delicious all on it's own. When you think of homemade sauce you instantly imagine hours slaving away in a hot kitchen, but the beauty for the modern day cook is that companies such as Tuttorosso Tomatoes, a cherished 85-year-old tomato brand that's family-owned and family-run, are producing fantastic canned tomato products so that you can make fresh pasta sauces, from scratch, for your family, in no time at all!  So today we are going to "Celebrate the Sauce" with Tuttorosso!  

Let's get started!


Turkey Pot Pie

 Thanksgiving has come and gone, but if you are anything like me, you still have a lot of leftover turkey in your freezer.  So the question remains...What do you do with all that left-over bird?  Well, one of my favorite dishes to make is Turkey Pot-Pie!  It is so simple and you can put just about any leftover vegetables in it that you want.  It is the perfect take-two recipe for your Thanksgiving leftovers and I can't wait to share it with you.

Let's get started...


Apple Pie Cookies w/a Salted Caramel Icing

Happy December first everyone!
Thanksgiving is behind us, the leftovers have been consumed, our shopping carts have been filled, and now it is time to focus on something new...CHRISTMAS!

I can't think of a better way to transition into the Christmas season than with COOKIES, can you?  That is why some fellow bloggers and I are doing a "Tis the Season for Cookies" Round-Up!  Each week we will feature different cookies for you to try!  This will be a delicious endeavor to say the least!  To go to my fellow cookie makers blogs just look for their links at the bottom of this recipe!

To kick of my portion of this cookie adventure I bring to you my DELICIOUS Apple Pie Cookies w/a Salted Caramel Icing!  They taste JUST LIKE little bite-sized pies and I know you are going to LOVE them.

Let's get started!


Homemade Artisan Bread

I know this may seem silly, but I have always wanted to take a cooking class.
Yes, I read a lot of cookbooks.  And yes, I watch A LOT of Food Network.  But there is a certain energy that comes from a group of people, cooking together in a kitchen, that you just can't get any place else.  So when I saw that my local kitchen store, The Cook's Shop , was having an Artisan Bread making class I immediately signed up.

I LOVE bread.  I have been known to travel 2 hours to stock up at the most amazing bakery called Omega Artisan Baking located at North Market in Columbus, Ohio.  I love the crusty outside and light airy inside.  *sigh*  Shall we just have a moment for bread?  Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the class and I learned a lot of old world techniques.  Something else I learned, Artisan Bread takes a LONG TIME.  In a best case scenario 24 hours.  And in the words of this housewife "Ain't nobody got time for that!" So I set out to make beautiful, artisan bread in the same amount of time it would take to make a basic white loaf.  It took me a couple goes, but I am pleased to say that I got it and I am going to share it with you!

Let's get started!


Pizza Calzones

Pizza Calzone on a cutting board

I love cooking.  You all know that.  But let's be honest.  I don't always WANT to cook.  However, here it is, the end of the month, the week before the big Thanksgiving meal.  I do not have the extra cash to be eating out, so I have to make something.  I am tired of stir-fry.  I am tired of heavy meats.  So what do you do?  How about some simple calzones?

In the same way that stir-fry is a great mid-week go-to, calzones are so easy and versatile that you can use just about anything you have on hand.  For today's recipe I am going to keep it simple.  A basic Pizza Calzone, but you can put ANYTHING you like in yours.

Let's get started...


Tomie's Bacon Cheddar Ranch Crockpot Chicken

Y'all know I love a good family recipe.
Things that get passed down are great.  In fact, I have many family heirlooms in my kitchen, but things can get broken or lost.  A recipe lives on throughout generations.

Today's family recipe is really special to me because it comes from my little sister, Tomie. (Yes, her name is REALLY Tomie.)

Tomie is not only a FANTASTIC mamma to two of my adorable nephews, but she is one of the most beautiful, talented, & free-spirited people that I know!  She is the first to celebrate with you, laugh with you, cry with you.  She is truly one of my best friends and I love her so much.

Recently I was able to go and spend a weekend with her and her family in Ohio and she shared with me one of her favorite go-to recipes.  I will admit I was a little skeptical at first, but MAN-O-MAN am I glad I tried it.  Not only is it super flavorful, but it is so easy that I am not even sure it qualifies as cooking!  *lol*

It is so very special to me and I can't wait to share it with you!
Let's Get Started...


Chicken Parmesan Easy Recipe

 We've not had the massive amounts of snow that many of you are enduring, but we re finally starting to get our fair share.  I will confess that I don't really mind it though.  Why you ask?  Because this is the season where I get to indulge in some of those heavier, heartier meals.  You know the ones.  Pure comfort food.  And for me, it doesn't get any more comforting that a good Chicken Parmesan.

The finished Chicken Parmesan with the title at the  bottom.

It's saucy, and crunchy.  Cheesy and tender.  Mmmm....It's truly divine and not nearly as difficult to make as you may think.  In fact, I dare say you can even whip this up on a week night.  I know you are going to love it, so let's get started!


Edameme Stir-Fry with Spicy Peanut Sauce

I have posted a few stir-fry recipes on here, I know. But the thing is, whether you need a quick and easy weeknight meal or you're just trying to clean out the fridge, stir-fry is a fantastic go-to.  Last week I was CRAVING Thai something fierce.  We don't really have any Thai places around here so if you are craving it, you better be willing to go for a little drive or make it yourself.  So, I decided to rummage through my fridge to see what I could come up with.  I found carrots, red bell peppers, mushrooms, edameme, ladies and gents we have a stir-fry!  The star of this dish...The Spicy Peanut Sauce!  It is out of this world and I KNOW you are going to love it!

Let's Get Started!


A Thanksgiving Menu

I know that Thanksgiving can be one of the most stressful meals of the year to prepare. So for the last couple of weeks I have been sharing the recipes and step-by-step instructions to my family's yearly menu.  I hope you have enjoyed reading the stories, hearing about my family, and most importantly, I hope you now feel like you can do this!  

To make it easy for you, I thought I would take a moment and put all of my Thanksgiving go-to's in one place.  

How to Perfectly Roast a Whole Turkey

The finished perfectly roasted turkey with the title at the bottom of the image.

Here we are, the final installment of my Thanksgiving 101 Series, I hope this has helped you come up with a game plan for your big day and ultimately relieve you of a little stress!  YOU'VE GOT THIS!!!  There is only one final piece left in our holiday dinner puzzle, the piece de resistance,THE TURKEY!

This may very well be the most intimidating item on your menu.  Why?  Because we have all see that moment in Christmas Vacation where Clark brings the picturesque bird to the table, cuts into it, and POOF! the thing is so dry it practically evaporates right there on the table.  Or what about that time you went to Aunt (you fill in the blank)'s house and the skin on the turkey was yellow and rubbery. Oh, and the worst, when the skin is totally burnt to a crisp only discover that the meat inside is still raw.

Yes, good ol' Tom has been kicking butt and taking names for a while.  Maybe you have even made it on this list a time or two, but not this year!  No, this is the year you show Tom the Turkey who's boss.  This is the year you place the show-stopper on the table and wow your guests.  Yes, this is the year you make the PERFECT Butter and Herb Roasted Turkey!  Just follow these simple instructions and your bird is going to come out flawless.

Let's Get Started!


Homemade Dinner Rolls

*For your convenience this post contains affiliate links.*

Fresh Bread.

I could stop right there and not have to say another word.  I mean, who doesn't like fresh bread?  A better question would be what holiday meal would be complete without a piping hot, Homemade Dinner Roll? Not any of mine, I'll tell you that much.  This dinner roll recipe has been in my family as long as I can remember.  It is my Grandma Racer's and they are delicious.  The thing I remember most about these during the holidays is that my grandma could fit so many of these yummy morsels into a baking pan, but they were still so fluffy.

The finished dinner rolls in a cast iron skillet with the title.

The best part about these Homemade Dinner Rolls is that not only are they probably the BEST dinner rolls you will ever eat, they are effortless to make. I know these are going to become a staple on your table so let's get started!


Made From Scratch Pumpkin Pie

What would Thanksgiving Dinner be without a pumpkin pie?  I, for one, don't even want to think about it.  When it comes to pumpkin pie you have everything from canned pie mix to 100% pumpkin puree to choose from.  But, since this is one of the most special dinners of the year, why not get crazy and try making one from the actual pumpkin!

I know what you are thinking "WHAT!?!  Do you KNOW everything I have to do?!?"  Yes, I do know, but perhaps you break it up like my family does, and everyone brings their own dish.  If the pie is your job why not WOW everyone with this AMAZING recipe because I promise you...You CAN taste the difference!

It's super simple so let's get started...


Homemade Pie Crust

One of the reasons I love cooking so much is that it knows no sense of space or time.  When you are missing someone that is no longer with you, you can simply go into your kitchen, pull out a few ingredients, and they are there. Pies are one such recipe for me.  

This is my Grandma Margaret.

 This picture is from the late 80's, early 90's, but when I think of her, this is who I see.  She was that grandmother that had special drawers full of wonderful costume jewelry and every once in a while, if I was good, she would let me play with it.  She also had THE BEST closet.  It was full of old evening gowns and clutch purses.  I remember on a few occasions she would let me play dress-up with them.  It was then I discovered that each and every purse held a single dime.  I asked her about it once and she told me that her mother, my Great-Grandmother Violet, told her to always keep a dime in your purse in case you get stranded and need to call a cab.  I never told anyone, but for the longest time after that I kept a dime on my person, not realizing that a phone call would cost me a quarter.  It is all of these little memories that filled the weekends and summers of my childhood, but the place I remember her being the most was in the kitchen.  I can see it perfectly in my mind right now.  She is standing at the sink, looking out over the farm from her window.

Just as my Grandma Racer was known for her noodles, my Grandma Margaret was known for her cakes, hot dog sauce (it's a West Virginia thing), and her pies.  She made WONDERFUL pies.  And while my crust recipe is slightly different from hers, any time I make it, I think of her and instantly she is right there, in my kitchen, with me.

I can't wait to share my recipe with you.


Old Fashioned Bread Stuffing

Thanksgiving has many controversial issues surrounding it.  From the accuracy of historical events to what was actually served on the first Thanksgiving table.  However, the most controversial issue to ever become intertwined with this culinary holiday is the Great "Dressing vs. Stuffing" Debate!  In my house, my family always referred to it as stuffing so that is what I call it.  I will be honest with y'all.  If I want stuffing on a weeknight I am probably going to grab my favorite "red box" go-to, but for a special occasion such as Thanksgiving it doesn't get any better than homemade and you will not believe how easy it is.

Let's Get started!


How to Make Easy Deviled Eggs

Inevitably someone in my family is early getting to my parent's house for Thanksgiving dinner, and of course we all come hungry.  To help keep us "heathens" at bay my mom always has a few things for us to munch on while we wait for them to finish up.  There are the usual meats and cheeses, veggies and dips, but everyone's favorite appetizer are the Deviled Eggs.

The finished deviled eggs on a plate with the title in the bottom right hand corner.

My mom can hardly make enough  They are so yummy and very simple to make!  I know you are going to love them.

Let's get started!


Country-Style Green Beans Recipe

Green beans are my FAVORITE vegetable!  I love them in a multitude of ways, but my favorite is the Country-Style Green Beans or "cooked to death with bacon" way!

A bowl of the finished Country Style Green Beans.

At Thanksgiving you can never make enough of these for my family. I know what you are thinking "Why in the world would I cook these, from scratch, for hours , when I could make them in a couple minutes from a can?"  Well, once you try these I think the question will be "Why Wouldn't You?"  The best part about this dish, you can make it on the stove-top OR in the slow-cooker, and BOTH ways can be done ahead of time.  Perfect for keeping your Thanksgiving prep as simple as possible. I can't wait to show you so let's get started!


Fruit Pizza

It's day two of my Thanksgiving 101 series (I haven't settled on a name yet.  I'm hoping that will just organically happen soon lol.) and today we are talking dessert!  There is one thing that you can bank on at any large family dinner, LOTS of desserts.  My family is no different.  While we have all the traditional sweet treats that the holiday lends itself to, the one dessert that has been at EVERY family function since I was a child is my mom's (Teese) Fruit Pizza.  Let me just say that before anyone has had seconds, before any pies have been cut and served, shoot, sometimes even before the big meal itself, this confectioner's delight is in SOMEONE's belly (usually my brother's)  It is AMAZING and I am so excited to share it with you!  Oh, and I almost forgot.  This too can be made in advance. ;)

Let's Get Started!

Baked Three Cheese and Macaroni


It is the most anticipated/dreaded meal of the year.  We get so stressed out over what to make and how to prepare it that The Food Network actually has an entire month dedicated to it. But, let's face it, all of this anxiety is totally warranted.  IT'S A BIG DEAL!  This year, however, things are going to be different.  I am going to take the next couple of weeks and share with you my family's traditional Thanksgiving menu, with all of the step-by-step pictures you love, that will ENSURE you have nothing but success at this year's family feast!  

Let's get started with my Baked Three Cheese and Macaroni! It's a REAL crowd pleaser and I KNOW you are going to love it.  The best part, it can be made ahead of time and baked off on the big day!


Soup Beans

Soup Beans are pretty much a staple in my neck of the woods.  Though it may seem like a simple dish, everyone has their own way of making it.  I am no different.  My soup beans are bold, beefy, and packed with flavor!  You will never look at this humble dish the same way again.

Let me show you how I make it!


Baked Pork Chops and Rice

Everyone loves the idea of the "Sunday Dinner", but if your Sundays are anything like mine, the last thing I want to do when I get home from church is head into the kitchen, make a massive meal, and wash a mountain of dishes.  Let's be honest, all we REALLY want to do on Sunday is eat our fill of food and take a nap.  That is why I love this Oven Baked Pork Chop and Rice recipe.  It has the simplicity of a weeknight, one pot meal, but warmth and character of a Sunday supper.  You are not going to believe how delicious this is and I know it is going to be on your menu soon.

Let me show you how I made it!


Homemade Apple Crisp

By free admission I am not a baker.  However, there is just something about fall that makes me want to fire up my oven and fill my house with the scents of brown sugar and cinnamon.  And when the time comes to get baking, my go-to dessert is this delightful Homemade Apple Crisp.  It has all of those sweet fall flavors that you crave, but it couldn't be easier to make!

Let me show you how I did it!


Homemade Vegetable Soup

Every week I go to the market, list in hand, and game plan on my mind. I get everything I need, head home, put it away, and think to myself "this is going to be an AWESOME week." Then that little thing called life happens and before you know it we have eaten out three times and my refrigerator is full of produce that NEEDS to be used.  Maybe this never happenes to you, but all to often this is the story of my life.  I hate waste, but I can't use all of this stuff in a day...Or can I!?!

The answer to that question is yes, you can!  You can make this delicious Homemade Vegetable Soup that is PERFECT for warming your soul on a chilly autumn night and cleaning out that fridge!
Just add a few staples from the pantry and you are good to go.

It is so scrumptious and I can't wait to show you how to make it!  Let's get started!


Grilled Chicken Kebabs

If you wouldn't mind, I am going to whine for a moment.  I LOVE fall, but ever since autumn has come to the valley we have had nothing but NON-STOP RAIN! For days and days on end it has literally poured.  Just when I was about to just curl up in my bed, not to emerge until spring, we FINALLY had a break in the weather.  The sun came out, the grass dried up, the leaves were absolutely stunning, it was a glorious moment indeed.  That is when I knew I was going to grill out for dinner.  I wanted to be outdoors, enjoying this time of year, and this may be the only chance I get before the leaves are gone.  I headed to the store for some inspiration and to my delight they were having a sale on their zucchini and peppers!  Instantly I thought KEBABS!

I think kebabs are delicious, but they can be tricky.  Often times they are  bland and if the sticks are overcrowded the meat will be raw while the vegetables are burnt.  However, if you follow these simple steps I know that your kebabs will turn out perfect every time!

Let's get started:


Italian Wedding Soup

I love Saturdays at my house.  Typically we sleep in, then I get up, pop some cinnamon rolls in the oven, and proceed to watch The Food Network all morning long.  I know, Heaven right!  Anyway, while I was watching this past Saturday one of the hosts were making Italian Wedding Soup.  I have to admit that I have never had this soup before, but it looked amazing and I knew I wanted to try it.  However, being a food blogger myself, I didn't want to hijack their recipe so I decided to do a little research of my own and create this dish using my touch and my kitchen.  This may not be a tradition "minestra maritata" (married soup), but these flavors definitely marry to make one hearty and delicious meal PERFECT for any fall table!  

Let me show you how I made it!


Chocolate Brownie w/a Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl

Fall is officially here, and along with all of you my mind is turning toward all things pumpkin.  And since it is Monday I decided that life is too  short not to start with dessert first!  So in the spirit of fall, dessert, and all things pumpkin, I present to you my recipe for a chocolate brownies with a pumpkin cheesecake swirl!  Oh yes, I did!  And you are going to love it!

Let me show you how I made it.


Weeknight Lima Beans

Let's face it, we can all do the big entrees in our sleep.  However, one thing I think we all struggle with are side dishes.  I know this is going to blow some of your minds, but this kitchen wife CANNOT live on mashed potatoes alone.  One of my favorite quick and easy go-to's are my Weeknight Lima Beans.  The reason I call them weeknight lima beans is because I use frozen beans.  I know, I know, it isn't "from scratch", but I am just bypassing the long soak and cook, and they are MUCH better for you than the mushy canned ones.  Not to mention I pack them full of flavor.

Let me show you how I do it!


Cheesy Tater-Tot Casserole Recipe

I will never forget the first time that my husband cooked for me.

The finished tater tot casserole with the title in the bottom right right hand corner.

We hadn't been married all that long and we were living in a little basement apartment.  He told me he was going to make something called "Tater-Tot Casserole" and I will confess to you I was a little concerned.  I have told y'all that I did not grow up eating casseroles so when I saw the traditional ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, and tater-tots, it was scary.  But, as with any new bride, I was a good sport about the whole thing and I will humbly admit that it was DELICIOUS!!  Over the years I have tweaked the recipe a little and did away with the canned soups, but this recipe is equally delightful and I know you are going to love it!

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Roasted Chicken w/ Fingerling Potatoes

Every home cook needs to have a good Roast Chicken in their back pocket, but I have to admit that when I began cooking I found this a little daunting.  The thought of roasting an entire foul, while making sure the skin is crispy and the meat was tender and juicy was TERRIFYING!  However, the day came when I mustered up the courage to give it a try and what I discovered was that roast chicken is not only delicious, but it is so simple to make!  So let me ease any anxieties you may have about roast chicken and share with you the easiest recipe there is!

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Baked Steak

Baked Steak_Title

I know that I usually do a meatless Monday dish, but I have to be honest with you about something. As the colder temperatures start setting in, I crave heavy, stick-to-your-ribs, food.  You know what I'm talking about.  The kind of food that not only warms the body, but warms the soul as well.  Baked Steak is one such meal for me.  The thing with baked steak though is that it can be a little bland.  Once you've had one, you've had them all.  Until now!  This gravy has a little zip that is going to ensure this will be what the troops are asking for all fall and winter long!  I can't wait to show you how I did it so let's get started!


Dora's Homemade Applesauce

It is officially Autumn!  I love it!  I...LOVE...IT!! I love the changing leaves, the cooler weather, everything.  So this year, to celebrate the first day of Fall, I decided to head over to our local apple orchard Hidden Hills Orchard. This was my first time there and I am so glad I went!


Vanilla Scones

I love the Vanilla Scones at Starbucks.  The thing is, there is not a single solitary Starbucks in my entire town.  NOT ONE!  Hard to believe, I know, but alas, I suffer.  That is when I decided that I had to come up with a recipe to make these at home!  Now these are not the prettiest scones you will ever see, but I promise you they are tasty!  

I can't wait to show you how I did it so let's get started!


Mexican Pizza

Have you ever had a craving that drove you insane?  You know the one.  No matter what you eat, what you drink, if you don't get it you will never be satisfied.  Well, that was me the other day.  I REALLY wanted a Mexican Pizza from that very popular fast food chain.  I mean REALLY wanted it.  The problem was that I was broke.  Yep, we are at the end of the month and I have just enough in the good ol' grocery envelope to get me through.  BUT I REALLY WANTED IT!  So that is when I decided to get creative.  I went to my fridge and pantry, grabbed a few simple ingredients, and made my own.  You know what?  They were DELICIOUS!  So, without further delay, let me show you how I made them.  You won't believe how easy it was!


Rigatoni alla Vodka

Studhubs and I recently went on vacation to Myrtle Beach, SC.  When we go to the beach we really don't plan on doing much more than sitting on the beach, swimming in the waves, reading books, and evenings in the hot tub.  *sigh*  I LOVE the beach.  However, the one thing we do enjoy doing while we are there is finding some great, locally owned places to eat.  On our first night there Studhubs requested pasta, so we went on the hunt for a great Italian place to eat.  What we found was this great little place, tucked away on N. Kings Hwy, called Toscana Italian Bistro.

photo courtesy of

It was a BEAUTIFUL little place!  Our service was outstanding, and the food, oh my, the food was amazing!  While I was there I had Penne alla Vodka.  I had never tried this dish before, but I was SO glad I did.  It was delicious and I knew instantly that I had to try and recreate this recipe as soon as I got home!  The result was divine, and I can't wait to share it with you!

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