Friday, November 2, 2012

Slow Cooker Bacon Apple BBQ Chicken

Tonight's dinner was A-Mazing!  So Good!!!!  What an easy recipe and yummy dinner last night.  Slow cooker is always a great way to have dinner ready when you want it.  :)  

Slow Cooker Bacon Apple BBQ Chicken

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice (fresh or from a bottle)
  • 5 small peeled and chopped apples (I only used 2 big ones)
  • 8 slices of bacon
  1. Wrap each chicken breast with two slices of bacon.  Place into a greased slow cooker.  
  2. In a small bowl combine: BBQ sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice and apples.  Pour over the chicken breasts.
  3. Cook on low 6-8 hours or until the chicken is done.  
I served this with baked potatoes, loaded with butter, sour cream and shredded cheese.  Dinner was a hit!  I will definitely make this easy recipe again. 

recipe from: Chef in Training

Monday, October 29, 2012

Baked Crispy Ranch Chicken

Well, Hurricane Sandy didn't stop dinner tonight.  We still have power and are still thanking God and praying it will continue.  I tried something easy just in case the power did go out mid-preperation.  I found this on Pinterest the other day, only 4 ingredients.  

  • 5-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I only made 3 for my family)
  • 1 cup Ranch dressing
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups lightly crushed corn flakes
I only made 3 chicken breasts and used less Ranch, bread crumbs and corn flakes for my family of three.

  • Combine the bread crumbs and corn flakes in a flat bowl.
  • Pour Ranch dressing in a separate flat bowl.
  • Coat the chicken breasts in the dressing and then the bread crumb/corn flake mixture.
  • Place in a greased baking dish (I used a square one or you could use a 9 X 13 for more chicken).
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.  

We thought this was good.  The chicken stayed moist and was a little crunchy.  I think I might add a little parmesan cheese to the bread crumb mixture next time.  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Potato Soup

Hurricane Sandy is coming, we have spent the day just waiting for the storm to hit tomorrow. So, it just felt like a crock pot day.  I found a few variations of this potato soup recipe and have wanted to try it.  
It was pretty good, especially for a very easy recipe.  I had all ingredients on hand.

  • 30 oz bag of frozen square hash brown potatoes
  • 2 (14 oz) cans of chicken broth
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can of cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (I don't eat onion so I omitted this and used some Tastefully Simple Onion Onion)
  • 1/3 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 (8 oz.) brick of cream cheese (softened) 
Garnish:  cheddar cheese and bacon (or what ever you like!)

In slow cooker, mix all ingredients (except cream cheese).  Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.  
Stir in cream cheese, cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until combined.  Garnish with your choice of toppings!

I added some shredded cheddar cheese to the soup with the cream cheese.  Then I garnished with fresh bacon and shredded cheese.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Beef Taco Bake

As I was reading my weekly magazines (People, US weekly), I kept seeing ads with yummy looking food.  The ad was for the Campbell's website.  What a great site with some good looking recipes.  
I found a taco bake that looked easy for a quick dinner for when we have evening practice.  I made it tonight and it received RAVE reviews from the family (we even had an extra nine year old that loved it)!  

Beef Taco Bake 
1 pound ground meat
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 cup Picante sauce  (I used Rotel mild diced tomatoes and green chilies)
1/2 cup milk
6 flour tortillas (8-inch), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (I used a Mexican mix of cheese, and prob. a bit more)

1.  Cook the beef over medium-high heat until well browned.  Pour off any fat.
2.  Stir the soup, picante sauce, milk, tortillas and half of the cheese in the skillet.  
3.  Spoon mixture into a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Cover.
4.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until the beef mixture is hot and bubbling. 
5.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake uncovered for 5 minutes or until melted.  

We added a little dollop of  sour cream and I served with tortilla chips for a crunch.  This recipe is a keeper!

Recipe from:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chicken Fried Rice and Crab Rangoon

This week I am again looking for new recipes to make for dinner.  Yesterday was my birthday and my little man was sick.  So we didn't go out to dinner, instead we got KFC grilled chicken for dinner.  Have you tried the grilled chicken?  Yum!  We had lots of extra chicken to use so I searched for a new idea.  

I decided on chicken fried rice.  Then as I was looking through my recipes, I found one for crab Rangoon.  

Chicken Fried Rice

Serves 5-6
4 cups rice, prepared
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked
1 cup peas & carrots, frozen
1 small white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
Prepare rice according to package instructions to yield 4 cups cooked rice. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add onion, garlic, peas, and carrots.
Stir fry until tender. Crack eggs into pan and scramble, mixing throughout vegetables.

Add rice, chicken, and soy sauce to pan.

Mix soy sauce throughout and remove from heat.

Crab Rangoon


    1/8 tsp garlic salt
    1/8 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    14 won ton wrappers
    1 small green onion
    4 oz surimi imitation crab
    3 oz cream cheese


In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, garlic salt and Worcestershire sauce until smooth.
Stir in crab and onion.
Place 2 teaspoonfuls in the center of each wonton wrapper.
Moisten edges with water; bring corners to center over filling and press edges together to seal.
Place on a baking sheet coated with non-stick cooking spray.
Lightly spray wontons with nonstick cooking spray.
Bake at 425 °F (210 °C) for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

This is a recipe bookmark. Please visit the original recipe for accurate ingredients & directions. 

Next time I would add bean sprouts to the chicken fried rice.  
The crab Rangoon was good, but I think real crab meat would be much tastier.  A little would go a long way.  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I had so many left over wonton wrappers from the I decided to try mini-tacos this week.  They were even better than the lasagnas.  We love tacos at my house, my nine year old would eat only cheese tacos if I let him.  This was a nice change to regular taco night.  


  • ground meat browned and seasoned with taco seasoning
  • wonton wrappers
  • shredded taco cheese
  • favorite taco toppings (we used shredded lettuce, sour cream, taco sauce)
After cooking and seasoning the the meat.  Line a greased cupcake tin with the wonton wrappers.  Fill each wrapper with meat and cheese.  Bake a 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Top with favorite taco toppings.  

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Cordon Bleu

Today was finally a fall day and I really wanted a yummy crock pot meal cooking all day to get in the fall mood.  I searched Pinterest for a recipe I could make and that I had the ingredients on hand...I found this chicken cordon bleu recipe that looked good.  So simple and I had everything but ham in the kitchen, so I just made it without the ham.  I bet it is even better with, but it was really good without!  
I thought the stuffing would be really dry when I checked it, but it was great.  

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
4 ounces sliced ham
4 ounces sliced Swiss cheese
1 (8 ounce) package herbed dry bread stuffing mix
1/4 cup butter, melted
Mix together the cream of chicken soup and milk in a small bowl. Pour enough of the soup into a slow cooker to cover the bottom.
Layer chicken breasts over the sauce.
Cover with slices of ham and then Swiss cheese.
Pour the remaining soup over the layers, stirring a little to distribute between layers.
Sprinkle the stuffing on top, and drizzle butter over stuffing.
Cover, and cook on Low for 4 to 6 hours, or 2 to 3 hours on High.

Friday, September 28, 2012


We like lasagna at my house, but we don't like how heavy it can be for dinner.  When I found this recipe, I immediatley thought it would be lighter and worth a try.  It also looked like a cheap meal that I could throw together quickly when my son has practice or we have an evening activity.  I would think they could be made up early and put in the refrigerator until dinner time.    

You need: 

  • marinara sauce
  •  ricotta cheese
  •  mozzarella cheese - shredded
  • Parmesan cheese
  • won ton wraps (can be found in the produce aisle of the grocery store)
  • Italian seasoning 
  • ground beef/sausage (if desired)
Start by spraying a cupcake pan with Pam & place one won ton wrap in each cup.  
Next layer sauce & cheeses, then repeat.  
Sprinkle with Italian seasonings & bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes.  
Let cool for 5 minutes & pop out with a knife.  
Depending on your appetite, figure 2-4 cups per person for a hearty dinner.

Tonight I made this as a meatless lasagna (but I might try meat another time).  I also did not add the Italian seasoning (really because I forgot!).  My husband LOVED them and I did too.  I served with a salad and we had plenty to fill us up.  Yum!
I'll take a picture next time!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


This morning I made a small brunch for a few girlfriends.  I hate making new recipes when cooking for others, but I saw this yummy looking blueberry pastry and it looked easy enough.  It was good and all the girls liked it.  The cake was moist and the outside was perfectly browned.  

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Serves 6-8
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar**
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour (set aside 1/4 cup of this to toss with the blueberries)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup buttermilk
* 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
** This 1 tablespoon is for sprinkling on top
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.
4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fall = Meatloaf in the crock pot!

I was excited to get out the crock pot today and make one of our favorites, meatloaf!  It's funny...with all the meatloaf jokes out there, it really is one of our favorite meals.  I make a simple recipe and my only complaint is the loaf usually falls apart when I cut it.  But, who cares...we are going to cut it up anyway!


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 package dry onion soup mix
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (plus a little more to drizzle over the loaf)
Combine all ingredients.  Shape into a loaf.  Put in crock pot.  Top with ketchup.  Cover, cook on low 8-10 hours (High: 4-6 hours).  

I usually cook on low, but today I didn't make up the loaf till lunchtime and cooked on high.  It was just as good!  

I always serve with mash potatoes and tonight I tried the new Ore-Ida Steam and Mash Cut Russet Potatoes. They were so easy and really creamy and yummy.  Very homemade, without all the peeling and boiling of potatoes.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Chicken Crescents

My step-mom gave me this recipe a long time ago.  One of our favorite comfort foods, I made it tonight and we have leftovers for tomorrow.  I usually make this with a store bought rotisserie chicken, it is easier and cheaper.  So I start by picking all the meat from the chicken.  


  • 2 cups cooked chicken (cubed or shredded)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1 can crescents
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup milk
Preheat oven 375 degrees.
Combine chicken and 2 Tbl. cheese.
Separate dough into 8 triangles.  Place 2 Tbl. chicken mixture onto wide end and roll to the narrow end.  
In a saucepan, heat milk, soup and 1/4 cup cheese.  Heat until cheese melts.
Pour half of soup mixture into baking dish.  Arrange filled crescents over this.
Bake 20 -25 minutes until rolls are golden brown.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese and return to oven for 5 minutes.
Use remaining sauce as a gravy.  

YUM!!!!  I looked up crescent rolls and found a website filled with recipes.  I'm thinking I'll have to check those out!  Who doesn't love a crescent roll???

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Salmon Patties

My family LOVES salmon patties.  My mom has made this recipe forever...not sure where it is even from.  This is a quick and easy dinner that you can always have on hand.  I always use the foil bag of skinless and boneless pink salmon.


  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonaise
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • bag or can of salmon
  1. Mix all ingredients.
  2. Heat Tbs. of butter in a frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Make patties.
  4. Fry patties in butter until browned on both sides.
  5. Serve with lemon.

My mom always served with egg noodles, with a little butter and parsley and green beans.  So of course that is how I serve this meal every time!  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Buffalo Chicken and Potato Casserole

First Steelers game of the season and we get to watch on national television, so we need something yummy for dinner.  I found this recipe on Pinterest and it was easy and so GOOD!

Buffalo Chicken and Potato Casserole


  • 1 1/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1/3 c. Franks hot sauce
  • 5c. frozen hash browns
  • 1 c. light ranch dressing -or- blue cheese
  • 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 (10 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In medium bowl, stir together chicken strips and buffalo sauce. Spoon into baking dish in a single layer.
  3. In the same bowl, stir together potatoes, dressing, cheese and soup. Spread over chicken. Sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over the top.
  4. Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes; uncover and bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender and juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.
(Original recipe called for freshly shredded potatoes and Panko bread crumbs - I went easy and used frozen potatoes and plain breadcrumbs that I already had.)  

This was a hit with my family.  Even after my nine year old complained we were having chicken again.  After the first bite he changed his tune!  

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mom's Chicken Enchiladas

One of my favorite dinners is my mom's chicken enchiladas.  They are so yummy!  And pretty easy to make.  The recipe calls for boiling a chicken, but I usually buy a rotisserie chicken (they are easier and cheaper).


  • whole chicken
  • 2 Tbs. margarine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 med. chopped onion
  • 1 small can chopped green chilies, drained
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Flour tortillas
  1. Cook chicken (or use a already cooked rotisserie chicken).
  2. Saute onion and green chilled in 2 Tbs. margarine in a large skillet.
  3. Stir in cream of chicken soup and sour cream.
  4. Blend and stir in chicken broth until smooth. 
  5. Set aside 1/3 of the mixture.  Add chicken to the remaining.
  6. Fill each tortilla with 1/4 cup chicken mixture.  Roll into an enchilada.  
  7. Pour set aside sauce over tortillas and sprinkle with cheese. 
  8. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, uncovered. 
You will love it!!! I serve with Spanish rice and shredded lettuce.  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Very quick, easy, 4 ingredient  chicken.  So moist and everyone loves it!


  • 1/2 cup Hellman's mayonaise
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 tsp. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Combine mayonnaise and parmesan cheese.  Arrange chicken on baking sheet.  Top with mixture and sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Bake for 20 minutes at 425.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

Last night for dinner we had this easy grilled chicken.  I made some frozen tater tots and broccoli for a quick, easy, healthy meal.  It was really good!

Yummy recipe from Kraft Food & Family:


1/4 cup Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing, divided
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil leaves

  • Place a large sheet of heavy duty foil over a half of grill grate; preheat grill to medium heat.  Pour 2 Tbsp. of the dressing over chicken in resealable bag to marinate.  Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.
  • Remove chicken from bag, discard bag and marinate.  
  • Grill chicken on uncovered side of the grill 6 min.  Meanwhile combine tomatoes, cheese, basil and remaining dressing.
  • Turn chicken, place cooked side up, on foil on grill.  Top evenly with tomato mixture.  Close lid and grill and additional 8 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through)
Makes 4 servings.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tax Free Shopping in Maryland

This week is Maryland's annual tax free shopping week for back to school clothes.  Coming from Pennsylvania where everyday is tax free clothes shopping, this is great!  The stores are having great sales too, especially if you are looking for t-shirts and shorts.  Since, lets face will be wearing summer wear for at least another month.  Remember when we were little and we all wore our new fall clothes for the first day of school?  Too hot for that! 

Happy shopping! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Quick Dinner

Quick Dinner...what's in the house?  You know how it is when you get home from milk. no bread, no produce.  What is for dinner?  My first thought was pizza delivery, but then I remembered we have been eating out for days.  
So after looking through the refrigerator and freezer I found a Philadelphia Cooking Creme.  I quickly thawed some chicken breasts (my favorite - Schwan's individually wrapped - 20 minutes in cold water and viola!)  and then marinated for a half hour in Light Italian dressing.  My husband grilled them up while I sautéed some steamed broccoli and some spinach.   I added the chicken (cubed) and the creme to the veggies.  Then mixed in some pasta.  Yum!  Even my 8 year old asked for seconds.


This summer we really don't have a vacation planned. So, we decided to take sometime off and head "home" to Pittsburgh for a sort of stay-cation. We want to share all of our childhood day trips with our son. So far it has been a fun and busy week. Here are a few places to check out if you are in the Pittsburgh area.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Quick and Easy Shower Clean Up

I am sorry to admit, but I had let my shower go...taken over by soap scum.  A small job became a big job that I continued to put off.  I read somewhere (probably Pinterest) that mixing white vinegar and Dawn dish soap in a dish wand will clean your shower.  I was skeptical...especially looking at my shower.  It came off like magic!  I hardly had to use any elbow grease.  Easy, quick and cheap!  

Monday, July 23, 2012


I wanted to use the rest of the cilantro and the jalapeño from my neighbor's garden and I found this yummy guacamole recipe on Pinterest.  So Good!!!  I can't eat raw onions so it is really difficult for me to eat pre-made guacamole.  Luckily my husband is flexible and doesn't mind skipping the onions.  

4 Ripe Avocados
2 Limes, juiced
1 Roma Tomato, diced
1 Small Red Onion, diced
1 Jalapeno, deseeded and diced
1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Kosher Salt to Taste
Take the avocado cut across the center and split in halves. Take the pit out and take the avocado out of shell using a large spoon. Place in a mixing bowl and add juice of lime. Incorporate together using a large spoon to break up the avocado.
Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine, and season to taste. 

Balsamic Chicken, Spinach and Tomato Pasta Salad

Tonight's dinner was pretty easy and yummy for the hot summer. Check out the link for the recipe. We have a lot of left overs for our family of three.


  •  I might use the smaller package of tortellini and only 2 chicken breasts next time.  
  •  I had my husband grill the chicken and the yellow peppers.  

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

Our family has been anxiously awaiting the new Batman movie for lots of reasons. First, we pretty much see all Superhero movies as soon as they are released. Second, it is a huge Blockbuster. Finally, my husband was an extra during filming! He and his brother worked two days last summer to film the stadium scene in our hometown, Pittsburgh.
The movie did not disappoint (but no sign of my husband or his brother :( ). Of course Christian Bale was not a disappointment either. Anne Hathaway was really good too.
On another note, I spent a lot of time watching the exits and scanning the theater. Christopher Nolan, the director of the movie, shares a statement on the website that expresses how most if us feel. The movie theater is a place where we can get lost in a story, forget life for a bit, and this man in CO took that away from us. It will be a long time before I will feel safe in a public setting. I'm so sad for the victims and pray for their families.

Friday, July 20, 2012


My neighbor brought over some yummy smelling cilantro. I love it! So I made a BBQ pizza. I used a Schwan's home delivery starter crusts (so yummy and easy to use). I added some BBQ sauce, cheese (mozzarella and cheddar), 2 grilled chicken breasts (also Schwan's) and the cilantro. Easy and so good!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Chicken Florentine

Tonight I decided to make a dinner from Pinterest.  I have been pinning lots of food on my board but haven't made anything yet.  I made Chicken Florentine and it was pretty good.  My eight year old loved it...which is rare!  
I think next time I will use a little less pasta then what is called for, it could have had a bit more sauce.  I will definitely make this one again.  


Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Anyone read any good books lately?  Anyone have time?  I find that if I have a good book, I make the time...sometimes even instead of watching TV!  Summertime is the best for new books.  
I jumped on the Fifty Shades and Christian Grey bandwagon with all of my girlfriends.  The first book started slow and then quickly got what? hot, weird, sexy, exciting, strange?  By the second book I was into the story but now I am stuck on the third book.  I will finish it eventually but I needed a break.  Plus my FAVORITE authors are both releasing new books this July.

I am currently reading "The Next Best Thing" by Jennifer Weiner and really liking it.  The book is about a writer that becomes a Hollywood showrunner.  She is a great storyteller, easy to read and get into the story.  

I am most looking forward to Emily Giffin's new novel, "Where We Belong" coming out next Tuesday.  If you have not read any of her novels check them out.  I have already pre-ordered for my Kindle.  She is the only author I actually get excited about.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's Tuesday...Redbox day! Who LOVES Redbox like I do?  We love movies at our house and Redbox is the easiest way to rent.  Today, I rented "Friends with Kids."  I guess that will be my early morning TV time tomorrow.  As long as you return on time, it is an easy, cheap way to catch up on movies.  

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My family

My amazing family.

New Blog

My new blog!  Same title as my old blog...just this time with the domain name to match.  

I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher, a Christian, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a Crohn's Disease sufferer and a girl that is just trying to do all these things well (like everyone else!).  
As I embark on my first year of being a stay at home mom and wife, after years of being a full time professional, I will be relying on lots of blogs to get me through.  

I'm hoping that the cyber world (and my real life girlfriends) can help me decide; whats for dinner, how can I save money, how do I keep an eight year old busy, what do I do all day, how does the dynamic change when mommy doesn't work anymore? I'm hoping I can share some of the things I have learned along the way!