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Oct 31, 2011

Cowboy Casserole

Cowboy Casserole

I am on a mission to find a casserole that I really like.
I found this recipe on pinterest and made it. My husband liked it, mostly because it's a meat and potatoes kind of dish. 
I think it's so so, but it was quick and easy and I made it the night before and let it set in the fridge and then just put it in the oven after church.
To make you will need:
1 ½ pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (15.25 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
½ cup milk
4 Tbsp sour cream
1 bag frozen tater tots

Before I make this, I let the crispy crown tater tots sit out for about an hour to defrost.

In a large skillet, cook onion under tender. 
Add chopped garlic & cook 1 more minute.
 Add beef & cook over medium heat until cooked through. 
Drain mixture, put in bowl & set aside.

In small bowl, combine soup, milk, & sour cream. 
Whisk until smooth and then add to hamburger mixture & stir to combine.
 Add corn & 1 cup of cheese. Gently mix.

Grease 9X13  baking dish and layer half of the tater tots on bottom.
 Pour the hamburger mixture over top and then layer with other half of tater tots. 

Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes.

You can even prepare it the night before & stick it in the fridge. 
Just take it out for about 45 minutes to reach room temp before throwing it in oven.

Oct 29, 2011

Buca Di Beppo's Chicken Limone

Buca Di Beppo’s Chicken Limone
First off: This recipe is for a chicken dish, but I converted it to a pasta dish!

I am not gonna lie, this is an amazing recipe! One bite of this and I was like, "Holy Cow! This is like a 5 star restaurant dish". I was blown away and how delicious it was! I've never tasted this restaurant's version of this, but I am very happy with this version and will be making it LOTS more!! Now here's how you can make it too!

Lemon Butter Sauce:

½ cup white wine
2 tsp minced garlic
½ cup (1 stick) butter
½ cup heavy cream
1/8 tsp salt
1 lemon

Also needed:
2 skinless chicken breasts, halved
¼ cup flour
¼ cup EVOO
1 ½ tsp capers
angel hair pasta (optional)

To make:
Prepare lemon butter sauce by combining wine & garlic in small saucepan over med heat.

When wine begins to boil, reduce heat to simmer & cook 3 minutes, until wine is reduced by half. Pour the wine into strainer over a bowl to remove garlic.
While wine drips through strainer, rinse out saucepan & put back on med heat. Add butter.

When butter melts, pour strained wine back into pan along with heavy cream & salt.

Slice 2 wedges out of lemon for garnish later, then squeeze all the juice out of the lemon.

Add 1 ½ tsp of juice to the sauce. When it boils, reduce heat & simmer 10-12 minutes. Cover & remove from heat.

While sauce simmers, prepare chicken by heating EVOO in large sauté pan over med/high heat.

*OPTIONAL*- I made a pot of angel hair pasta to go with it & converted the recipe to a pasta dish!

Cover each piece of chicken with plastic wrap & pound to ½ inch thickness.

Pour the flour onto a plate & coat each side, then shake off any excess. 
Carefully slide each piece of chicken into the oil & sauté about 4 minutes per side.

Arrange chicken side by side on platter & sprinkle capers over top & spoon on a generous amount of lemon butter sauce over top.

Place a lemon wedge at each end!

Now enjoy how amazing it turned out!

Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur

Oct 28, 2011

FAIL crock pot orange chicken

Orange Crock Pot Chicken FAIL

If anyone see's this recipe on Pinterest for Crock Pot Orange Chicken......

This should be deleted from your boards asap and never thought of again!
I have been making lots of new recipes lately from Pinterest and I made this one the other day and it was so disgusting.

It comes out tasting like really, really, REALLY bad chinese takeout.
The flavor is so synthetic and it tastes like bad OJ flavored chicken.
So beware!

and don't say I didn't warn you!

apple tart

Apple Tart

If you are anything like our family, then this is the perfect time to go to the apple orchard. With all those apples at the house, this is the perfect dessert for a yummy treat after dinner! This is a great and easy dessert for the fall with only 3 ingredients! 
All you need is:
puff pastry
1/4 cup sugar
granny smith apples or any type you prefer

You will also need a little:
parchment paper

Simply preheat your oven to 425 F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lay 1 sheet of thawed puff pastry on a very lightly floured surface and gently rub the top with a bit of flour. With a rolling pin, roll out into a 10 X 15 inch rectangle about 1/8 inch thick.
Place rectangle on parchment lined baking sheet and put in freezer for 5 minutes while you prepare the apples.
Core 2 granny smith apples, then cut them in half lengthwise, and slice into very thin half moons, leaving the skin on. 
With a sharp paring knife, cut a 1 inch border along the edges of the puff pastry, being careful not to cut through the dough.
Prick the inside of the border all over with a fork, then sprinkle half of the 1/4 cup sugar. 
Arrange the apple slices, slightly overlapping, inside the border, and sprinkle the top with the rest of the sugar.

Bake until puff pastry is golden brown and apples are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Cut into pieces and serve warm or at room temperature.
You can even add some vanilla ice cream or do what I did and get yourself some of this delicious caramel topping and drizzle some on top for a caramel apple puff pastry!

Source: Parenting Magazine October 2011

Oct 25, 2011

Wendy's Chili

Wendy’s Chili

So Wendy's Chili isn't the best, but there is something about it that I do like. So I found this recipe and figured it couldn't be so bad with fresh ingredients. I made it, the house smelled ah-mazing! and it was really, really good! 
I even freezed a  bag for a cold fall day!

You will need:
2 pounds ground beef
1- 29 oz. can tomato sauce
1-29 oz. can kidney beans (w/liquid)
1- 29 oz. can pinto beans (w/liquid)
1 cup diced onion (1 med. onion)
½ cup diced green chile (2 chilies)
¼ cup diced celery (1 stalk)
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp cumin
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 ½ tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
2 cups water

Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat; drain off the fat.
Using a fork, crumble cooked beef into pea-size pieces. In a large pot, combine beef plus all remaining ingredients & bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring every 15 minutes for about 2-3 hours.

Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur

Oct 24, 2011

Cafe Rio Chicken

Cafe Rio Chicken
So this is a delicious, EASY recipe for making shredded chicken in the crock pot and it can have SO many uses!
I used mine for chicken tacos and then freezed the rest and used them later for delish quesadillas!

2 lbs chicken breasts
1/2 a small bottle of zesty italian dressing
1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 pkt ranch dressing mix (mixed with 1/2 cup of water)
1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin

Place all ingredients in a crock pot. 
Cook on High 5-6 hours OR on Low 8 hours.
 Shred with fork and serve in salads, burritos, tacos...etc. 

You can also double or triple this to make extras for freezing. 
Then simply thaw and reheat for a lickity split meal.

Oct 16, 2011

Roasted Garlic Chicken

The smell of Garlic roasting in the oven is so delicious to me.
After you get the garlic all ready, it just squeezes right out of the bulb and is ready to incorporate into a sauce.
Plus, there will be more sauce leftover to drizzle on your mashed potatoes! 


  • 1 head garlic
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
  • chicken breasts
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons grill seasoning, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock


Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Cut the tip off the head of garlic, exposing the very top of the cloves.
 Drizzle the top of the garlic head with EVOO, wrap it tightly in tin foil.

Place the garlic head in the oven and let it roast for approximately 45 minutes. 
When the garlic is finished and cool enough to handle, squeeze the cloves out of their skins and into a small bowl. 
Mash it with a fork.

Arrange the chicken pieces on a  pan and drizzle them with EVOO and season them with grill seasoning. Place them on a grill and cook until they reach an internal temperature of 165ºF.

While the chicken is on the grill, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat on the stove.
 Sprinkle the flour into the butter and stir the mixture, allowing the flour to cook slightly, about 1 minute. 
Whisk in the chicken stock, allowing it to simmer and thicken, about 3-5 minutes. 
Add the roasted garlic mash to the gravy, stirring to incorporate and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve chicken with a good helping of the roasted garlic gravy over everything!

Oct 13, 2011


Super easy and delicious alternative to how I usually prepare my asparagus.

All you need is:
Parmesan Cheese

To make:
Pour a little EVOO over asparagus, sprinkle with salt and pepper and parmesan and bake at 350F for  10-15 minutes.

Oct 12, 2011

Layered Berry Trifle

A simple trifle recipe with layered berries, cake and a sweetened whipped cream...
perfect for those summer BBQ's!
 I love how easy it is and how pretty!

You will need:

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water

12 ounces pound cake or butter loaf (store bought :)
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 cups fresh blueberries
3 cups fresh strawberries

To Make:
Prepare lemon syrup: In a small saucepan, bring sugar, lemon juice and water to a boil over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar completely. Let cool.

Slice cake into 3/4-inch slices. Then brush over both sides of each cake slice. Quarter each slice.
Beat cream cheese with sugar on high speed until light and fluffy.
 Reduce speed to medium and slowly add cream. 
Continue beating until mixture resembles soft whipped cream.

Arrange half of the cake pieces in the bottom of a glass serving bowl or dish (2 qt. size is sufficient). Spoon half the cream-cheese mixture over the cake in dollops; spread to the sides of the dish. 

Scatter half of the blueberries and strawberries on top. 
Repeat layering with cake, cream cheese and berries. 
Pile additional strawberries on top.
Cover and refrigerate until chilled (about an hour). 
You may also refrigerate overnight.

Oct 11, 2011

Chili's Boneless Buffalo Wings

Chili’s Boneless Buffalo Wings
I am not a huge fan of spicy foods, but these smelled spicier than they actually turned out to  be! They were not hot, and they had tremendous flavor!

1 cup flour
2 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp paprika
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
6-10 cups vegetable or canola oil (amount in deep fryer)
¼ cup Frank’s or Crystal Hot sauce
1 Tbsp butter/margarine

Bleu Cheese (optional)

Celery sticks (optional)

Combine flour, salt, peppers, and paprika in medium bowl. In another small bowl, whisk together egg & milk.

Slice chicken breast into 6 pieces. Preheat 6-10 cups oil in deep fryer to 375 degrees F. 
One or two at a time, dip each piece of chicken into egg, then into breading blend. 
Repeat so that each piece is double coated.

When all chicken pieces have been coated, place on plate & chill for 15 minutes. 

Then drop each piece into oil to cook, about 5-6 minutes.

While that cooks, mix up hot sauce & butter/margarine in a small bowl. Microwave sauce 20-30 seconds, until butter melts, stir to combine.
Take chicken out of fryer & place on a plate with paper towels.


Then place chicken in a bowl with a lid & pour sauce over the chicken, cover, & gently shake until each is coated. 

Pour chicken onto plate & serve with bleu cheese and/or celery sticks!

Oct 10, 2011

Pumpkin Pancakes

Have you seen these boxes at Target?
They are for Pumpkin Pancakes and I tried them out on a recommendation from a friend......
and I'm SO glad that I did!
They are delicious. I had to go back and buy the rest of the boxes.

I decided to throw on some sliced banana and pecans and they were delish!

Easy Rigatoni Casserole

Easy Rigatoni Casserole

This was such a quick, easy recipe for dinner. I liked everything, but I am not a huge fan of Italian Sausage, so next time I think I will just use hamburger meat instead. Other than that, it was great.

1 lb. Italian Sausage ( I used mild)
1 box Rigatoni pasta
1 24 oz. jar Marinara Sauce (I used Mario Batali)
8-10 oz. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
4 cloves or garlic, minced
3 Basil leaves, torn into small pieces ( i doubled this)
Kosher Salt to tast

1. Cook pasta until el dente. Strain then pour into a large bowl. Add cooked Italian Sausage, cheese, and as much marinara as you would like! Stir.

2. Add Basil leaves, Garlic, and a teaspoon of Kosher salt. Stir well.

3. Pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 glass dish, then top with more cheese or marinara if you would like!

4. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

 If the top starts to brown too quickly, cover with foil

Oct 9, 2011

Dr Pepper sauced chicken wings

Dr Pepper Sauced Boneless Wings

So for some reason the recipe calls for boneless wings, but when I was at the store I bought actual wings. Call it mommy brain. Anyway, next time I make these I will do them boneless, but regardless this is a great, sweet & sticky, sauce for wings!

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into nugget sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 Tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 can Dr. pepper
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 Tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • Oil for frying
Combine the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Toss the chicken in the flour mixture, coating completely. Put the coated chicken in the fridge for at least 1 hour. This will help the coating adhere to the chicken during frying.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the can of Dr. Pepper to a boil, reduce heat and simmer briskly until reduced to about 1/8th the amount. Add the brown sugar, ketchup, Tabasco and butter and simmer until a nice thick sauce. Set aside.

Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Remove the chicken from the fridge and fry in the oil until golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. when all chicken is cooked, toss in the sauce until completely coated.

Oct 8, 2011

Chinese Lemon Chicken

Chinese Lemon Chicken

I love getting Chinese takeout, but it seems lately that it hasn't tasted that good to me, so I decided to get creative & find a way to create my own chinese dishes! Lo and behold this one is fabulous!!

2 1/2lbs boneless-skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” cubes)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs
¼ cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch white pepper
oil (for frying)

1/3 cup sugar
1 cup chicken broth
1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¾ teaspoon salt
3 slices of lemon (peeled)
2 tablespoons oil
yellow food coloring (optional)

Step 1: Place cut chicken breast pieces into a bowl and mix with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and ½ teaspoon of salt. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Step 2: To make the batter – beat 2 large eggs with ¼ cup of cornstarch, a pinch of white pepper and baking powder.  Coat the chicken with the batter.

Step 3: Heat deep fryer to 350 degrees and deep-fry in batches until chicken is fully cooked. Drain on paper towels and set aside. You can also cook the chicken using a wok if you don’t have a deep fryer.

Step 4: Now, to make the lemon sauce – combine 1/3 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 cup chicken broth, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and ¾ teaspoon salt (if using food coloring you can add it now). Mix until well combined and add 3 slices of lemon to the sauce mixture.

Step 5: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in your wok and stir in the lemon sauce mixture and heat until well mixed and sauce becomes clear. Remove lemon slices and pour the sauce over the chicken and mix. Best served with rice and broccoli.

Oct 7, 2011

blueberry pie!

I can't believe I never posted this! 
This was my crowning achievement this summer!
Paddys Blueberry Pie
    • 5 cups fresh blueberries
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 (15 ounce) packages refrigerated pie crusts or your own recipe
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine
    • 1 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Ingredients for double pie crust-
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 sticks butter, cut up
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Food Processor
                                                     Directions for Pie Crust: 
Process all ingredients for 10 seconds until it looks like oatmeal. Then pour 1/4-1/2 cup ice water in gradually. Wrap in saran wrap into 2 flat circles & chill at least 2 hours or overnight. Then roll  between 2 pieces of wax paper.
(If you're doing a single pire crust, bake at 425 F for 10-12 mintues)

Pie Filling :

  1. SPRINKLE berries with lemon juice; set aside.
  1. FIT half of pastry in a 9-inch pie plate.
  2. COMBINE 1 cup sugar and next 3 ingredients; add to berries, stirring well.
  3. Pour into pastry shell, and dot with butter.
  4. UNFOLD remaining pastry on a lightly floured surface; roll gently with rolling pin to remove creases in pastry.
  5. Place pastry over filling; seal and crimp edges.
  6. Cut slits in top of crust to allow steam to escape.
  7. Brush top of pastry with beaten egg, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar BAKE at 400° for 35 minutes or until golden.
  8. Cover edges with aluminum foil to prevent overbrowning, if necessary.

Oct 6, 2011

Chili's Salsa

Chili’s Salsa
1- 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
3 Tbsp canned diced jalapenos
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cumin
½ cup diced Spanish onion

Combine diced tomatoes, jalapenos, lime juice, onion, and spices in a food processor. Run it on high for a few moments until the tomatoes are nearly pureed, yet still chunky. The jalapenos should be chopped into visible minced bits. Be careful not to over-process.
Pour mixture into bowl. Stir well, cover & store overnight for flavors to properly develop.

Oct 5, 2011

Little Caesar's Crazy Bread

I've always loved Little Caesar's breadsticks since I was a kid, so when I saw this recipe I had to try it!

You will need:
1-10oz. tube Pillsbury pizza dough
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Kraft 100% grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Unroll the dough on a cutting board. Position it lengthwise (longer from left to right than top to bottom). With a sharp knife, cut the dough in half, and then in half once more so that you have 8 even strips of dough.
 Being careful not to stretch the dough, place each strip on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 6 to 8
minutes, or until the top just turns golden brown.

While the dough bakes, melt the butter (on the stove or in the microwave on high for 15 to 20 seconds), then
add the garlic salt and stir until it dissolves.
Remove the browned dough from the oven and with a pastry brush or spoon spread a coating of garlic butter
over each piece.
Sprinkle a generous amount of Parmesan cheese on each!

Source: Todd Wilbur's Top Secret Recipes

Oct 4, 2011

Waffle House Waffles

Waffle House Waffles
This is a 50 year secret formula and to properly make it, you should chill the batter overnight (like they do in the restaurant). If you need instant gratification though, you can make the batter in the morning, but just let it sit about 15-20 minutes so it can rest & thicken up.

1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 egg
½ cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp butter, softened
2 Tbsp vegetable shortening
½ cup half & half
½ cup milk
¼ cup buttermilk
¼ tsp vanilla extract

Combine flour, salt, & baking soda in medium bowl & stir well. Lightly beat eggs in another bowl. Add sugar, butter, & shortening & mix with mixer. Add half & half, milk, buttermilk, & vanilla. Mix again.
Add wet mixture to dry one while beating. Mix only briefly. It’s okay if there are small lumps. Cover & chill overnight.
Rub a light coating of vegetable oil on waffle iron. Preheat waffle iron. Spoon 1/3 to ½ cup of batter into waffle iron & cook 3-4 minutes or until waffles are brown.

Makes 6 waffles.                  
Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur