Where Cooking is Fun
We want cooking to be as fun for you as it is for us.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Taco Casserole

This casserole makes up so quick and is a "people pleaser"....if you family likes Mexican food, like mine does...it will bring a lot of "Mmmmm's" and "Ahhhhh's" to the table, as everyone comes for dinner. I adore nights like that...the kind when everyone is excited to eat. Success never tasted so good.

Taco Casserole

1 lb ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning (any brand works)
1 small can enchilada sauce (mild or medium)

Brown ground beef until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add taco seasoning and stir until well mixed. Pour just enough enchilada sauce into meat mixture to make it the consistency of a thick sloppy joe mix. Set aside.

2 c. crushed Dorito chips (or your favorite corn chips...Dorito's are what I had at the time)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained

Place chips in the bottom of a greased 8x8 baking dish. Add beans, corn and top with meat mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until heated completely. Serve with your favorite taco toppings~

Toppings: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced olives, sour cream, avocado, salsa, chopped onions, chopped green peppers


Monday, May 30, 2011


Summer BBQs are right around the corner... at least they would be if all this rain would stop. Some days I feel like I must have moved to Seattle and forgot about it. Regardless, the weather keeps promising to warm up and when it does I have a stack of delicious recipes to pull out. Our family BBQ got rained out this weekend but not before I found this delicious Limeade recipe. What I love most is that it's EASY. It's easier than koolaid-- if that's even possible. And it's oh so delicious.


1 can frozen limeade concentrate
1 bottle diet sprite (2 liter)
2 limes for garnish

Combine limeade (thawed) and sprite. Stir lightly to mix. Slice limes and add.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hot Links

Before I married, I used to work at a little shop that sold fresh produce, deli sandwiches and these fabulous HOT Links. Men would start pouring in about 11:30 AM to get a hot link and a bag of potato chips for their lunch. I have to admit, I MADE them every single day as part of my job...but didn't eat one for months. I wasn't a big fan of hot dogs at the time, so I was a little leery of something that resembled one. Finally after much persuasion from my boss, I buckled and decide to try one. He assured me that I would enjoy every bite of it. I was a little skeptical at first because I just couldn't get over the fact that it looked so much like a hot dog, but much to my surprise it was DELISH and I fell head over heals in love with these Hot Links that I cooked day in and day out. They aren't just "MAN" food...girls like them too, I am proof of that. YES, they are spicy, but I ADORE spicy! You have to try them...your man will be forever grateful that you did, and surprisingly enough you will be grateful too...your taste buds will be loving life! Come on...I DARE YOU~

Hot Links

1 package Hot Links (there are many brands and package sizes out there...get one that you like...I enjoy the Bar S brand)
1 bottle barbecue sauce (any brand will work, use your favorite)
1 package hot dog or deli buns

Place hot links in crock pot, pour barbecue sauce over the top (if you are cooking more than 8 hot links you may want to use another bottle of barbecue sauce, it just depends on how "saucy" you like them...my family prefers NOT very saucy so I just use enough to cover the links). Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-5 hours. The longer they cook the more tender they become BUT the spicier they get as well...I cooked mine while we were at church (for about 3-4 hours) and they were perfect and ready to eat when we got home. Serve on your favorite bun. They make great leftovers and warm up great for another meal so don't be afraid to cook the entire package of hot links. ENJOY!!!

*We often put grated cheese on our individual hot links after they are in the bun...this not only tastes great, but it takes some of the heat away from the hot link...just a thought.

~ Julie

Friday, May 27, 2011

Turkey Wrapped Pickle

This is one of the weirdest recipes I think we've ever posted. Some might even think it is a joke but I kid you not guys... this is one of the best appetizers EVER! I was walking around walmart the other day and I got a craving for these delicious treats and knew instantly that they had to make it on the blog. These are SO good! Weird. But good. I can't remember where I originally tried these wraps but they've been a part of the family for many years. Everyone around here loves them. The flavors combine perfectly to bring out the unique flavor in each ingredient. You think they would clash... but no, they work harmoniously to bring about this fabulous treat. I promise if you are brave enough to try it you will not be disappointed.

Turkey Wrapped Pickles

10 slices turkey deli meat
10 tsp. cream cheese
10 pickles

Spread 1 tsp of cream cheese down the center of your turkey. Careful not to rip your meat. Cut a whole pickle (or buy the ones already cut) into strips and place one strip on top of the cream cheese. Roll and refrigerate till served.

1 wrap = 1 point (points plus)


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mindy's Baked Beans

I was never a fan of baked beans growing up...in fact I ALWAYS turned my nose up at them. I thought they were nasty! Several years back one of my sister-in-laws (yes, I always brag about them because they are ALL THE MOST AMAZING COOKS EVER!!!) made a big pot of baked beans and brought them to a barbecue. Everyone was raving about how fantastic they were, so I thought "since I was a grown up now" I should give them a try....the rest is history. I think I had 3-4 helpings (large ones I might add) that day and I have been hooked ever since. THESE are to "DIE FOR" baked beans...they are scrumptious and the very best that I have ever eaten! I like to serve them with burgers or hot links or with my macaroni salad (all of which recipes are on this blog)...in fact, I've caught myself eating them for breakfast sometimes just because I didn't get my fill of them the night before. They are THAT GOOD! MMmmmmmmm!!

Mindy's Baked Beans

1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
1 lb bacon, cooked and drained
1 red onion, chopped
2 T butter
5 cans beans (your choice of any...I use 3 kidney beans, 1 great northern and 1 black bean...but your favorites will work wonderfully)
1/2 c. barbecue sauce (your favorite)
1/2 c. brown sugar
16 oz ketchup

Melt butter in a sauce pan (or frying pan if you plan on cooking baked beans in the crock pot), saute chopped onion. Add other ingredient to sauce pan and mix thoroughly OR place sauted onions in crock pot, adding other ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes in sauce pan or cook in a crock pot for 1-2 hours.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lite Buffalo Chicken Pizza

I'm still going through my obsession with Flatout wraps. So it's no surprise they are on my menu 3 times this week. I have an entire page of wrap ideas written down so you'll likely being seeing A LOT more of these. =) First up on the menu was a lightened up version of Buffalo Chicken Pizza. I fell in love with this idea a few months ago, but I wanted to create something a little less guilty. This delicious personal pizza hit the spot. It was exactly what I wanted. It was fast, easy and knock your socks off delicious. I'm sure you will agree.

Lite Buffalo Chicken Pizza

4 Flatout wraps
1/4 cup Franks Hot Sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shredded chicken
2 cups low fat cheese
1/2 cup ranch dressing

In a small saucepan combine hot sauce and brown sugar. Stir and let heat. Add chicken and let simmer for a few minutes. In your hot sauce mixture you will notice some excess sauce. Spoon a couple of teaspoons of it into 1/2 cup of ranch dressing. Mix. Spread 2 Tbsp. ranch onto each Flatout wrap. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese. Top with 2 Tbsp. chicken. Broil until golden brown.

1 pizza = 10 points (points plus)


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lemonade Chicken

Who would have thought to pair lemonade with chicken? I was a little worried because I didn't know how the two would taste together.....but it works, superbly!! It was so stinkin' delicious!! I doubled the recipe and I'm thrilled that I did because now there are leftover's for lunch tomorrow....woo hoo....and there won't be any grumbling (and thats a HUGE plus in my book)!

Lemonade Chicken
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 large can of lemonade concentrate
6 T. ketchup
6 T. brown sugar
2 T. vinegar

3-4 T water
3-4 T cornstarch

Place chicken in a slow cooker. Combine the lemonade, ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar; pour over the chicken. Cover and let cook for 2 1/2-3 hours on high (you can cook it on low for a longer amount of time). Remove chicken and keep warm.
For "lemonade" sauce, combine cornstarch and water until smooth, set aside. Pour the juice from the slow cooker through a strainer, making sure there are not any "chunks". Place juice in a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add cornstarch mixture to boiling juice and stir until lemonade sauce thickens. Continue to stir so that it won't stick to the bottom of the pan. Pour thickened sauce over chicken OR leave them separate and serve over rice (thats what we did and it was extremely tasty!).

*I had some pineapple in the refrigerator that needed to be used and so I added it to the sauce at the last minute, but its totally optional.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Oreo Snowflake Cookies

I usually don't go for recipes that have an ingredient i'm not familiar with. I like to stick to things I know. But when I saw this recipe for cookies using Mascarpone cheese I knew I HAD to find that cheese and make these cookies asap! I looked at a few stores and finally found it at WinCo. (I'm sure it's other places too) It's a smooth consistency cheese, thinner than cream cheese-- it came in a small tub for about $2.50 in the specialty cheeses section. I immediately returned home and whipped these cookies up. I ate a good chunk of the dough before I could even get them in the oven. It was heavenly! These cookies were amazing. So delicious and so easy. Definitely a crowd pleaser at our house.

Oreo Snowflake Cookies

1 cup butter
3 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. vanilla
5 crushed oreos

Preheat oven to 325. Cream the butter and mascarpone cheese. Slowly beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolk and vanilla. Slowly beat in flour until well mixed. Stir in crushed oreos. Spoon cookie dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for 12 minutes. Makes 36 cookies.

1 cookie = 3 points (points plus)


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pizza Lasagna Roll Ups

Pepperoni is my hubby's favorite pizza topping and he LOVES lasagna so I knew these would have to be a hit with him...happily, they were! They give that little hint of pizza with a lasagna twist. We are big fans of leftover lasagna because my family thinks that it tastes better the "second time around"...so I made a big pan of these roll ups and we ate to our hearts content!

Pizza Lasagna Roll Ups

1 package lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions
3/4 c. cottage cheese
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 t. chives
1 t. basil
1 t. oregano
2-3 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 large package of pepperoni (more or less according to your like and dislikes)
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook the noodles, drain. Combine cottage cheese and cream cheese, chives, oregano and basil; spread desired amount over each noodle (there will be some noodles left...I had 4 leftover). Top with pepperoni and some grated Monterey Jack cheese; carefully roll each lasagna noodle up. Place seam side down in a greased 9x13 pan. Top with desired amount of spaghetti sauce and grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.

Remove from oven, cool for 10 minutes. Serve- topped with small amounts of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese.

*"Some" recipes you can swap your favorite cheese out for another type of cheese...this is one of those recipes, use the cheese that your family likes.



Friday, May 20, 2011

Honey Bacon Club

I've talked a few times about my love for Zupas. I've been in a lazy rut the past few weeks and I admit we've eaten quite a bit of Zupas takeout. In my defense-- it's healthy so..... yeah. I finally buckled down and decided to try my hand at our favorite sandwich. Their Honey Bacon Club panini. Jack said he could no longer justify the drive to pick up dinner. If I can make it taste that good at home he will never want for the real thing.

Honey Bacon Club
4 Ciabatta Buns
8 slices of ham
4 slices provalone cheese
honey mustard
12 slices of cooked bacon

Spread honey mustard on the top and bottom of the ciabatta buns. Layer with 2 slices of ham, 1 slice of cheese, 2 slices of tomatoes and 3 slices of bacon. Cook in the Panini maker. Serve hot.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Caribbean Chicken Sandwiches

Its that time of year again when we think of quick, tasty meals. This sandwich is just that!!! Its something different, yet easy and tastes FaNTastIC!!! I give it a big whopping "4 STARS"! Don't wait another day, make this delectable dish for dinner tonight, its a wiNNeR!

Caribbean Chicken Sandwiches
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 c. Yoshida Teriyaki sauce (really, any teriyaki sauce will work, this is just my favorite)
4 buns (I used hamburger because thats what I had, but feel free to use whatever you choose)
sliced ham
sliced cheese

Brown chicken breast in a large frying pan with a small amount of oil OR spray pan with pan coating before you begin cooking. Cook chicken until almost done. When chicken is almost done, pour teriyaki sauce over it and reduce the heat. Allow chicken to simmer slowly for 20 minutes, until completely cooked. Turn chicken over periodically so that both sides are covered with the sauce. While that is cooking, toast hamburger buns (or your favorite bun). When buns are toasted place chicken breast on the bun, along with the cheese and then the ham. Top with your favorite sauce or leave as is. Serve warm.

*I like to serve these sandwiches with a little homemade honey mustard, but they taste great without it any sauces too.

*Homemade Honey Mustard:
3/4 c. Mayonnaise (yes, the REAL stuff)
honey (to taste)
mustard (to taste)

Add ingredient together. Stir and serve with your favorite sandwiches...we eat it on MANY different sandwiches!!! Its the best!!!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oreo Mint Cupcakes

I tried another cupcake creation. It shouldn't surprise any of us that it turned out delicious. Cupcakes are delicious.

Oreo Mint Cupcakes

1 box chocolate cake mix

1 cup whipping cream
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. mint
1/2 cup finely crushed oreo crumbs

2 lb powdered sugar
3/4 cups shortening
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp. mint
Green food coloring
1/2 cup finely crushed oreo crumbs

Prepare cupcakes according to box cake mix instructions. While they are cooling prepare filling. Beat whipping cream, sugar, vanilla and mint until stiff peaks start to form. Stir in crushed oreos. Use a cake decorating bag to pipe the cream into the center of the cupcake. Use a serrated tip and poke into the top of the cupcake-- squeeze filling in until you feel the cupcake start to bulge. (if you don't have a piping bag you can also cut a hole into your cupcake and spoon the filling in. It doesn't have to be pretty, you'll cover it with frosting). Prepare frosting. Mix powdered sugar, shortening, vanilla, milk and mint until smooth. Add a few drops of green food coloring and mix. Stir in oreo crumbs. Use a piping bag to swirl frosting on top. Poke an oreo in the frosting for added decor.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pineapple Cheesecake Bars

I have been looking for something to satisfy a terrible sweet tooth...you know, the kind that just aches and aches until its fed something rich and satisfying...everyone has one. Finally after hours of "blog browsing" I found the PRIZE! I was looking at The Sisters Cafe and came across this scrumptious, divine and MOST DELICIOUS looking recipe...I knew that I had to try it (besides, it had cream cheese in it, so I knew that I would love it, right?!). It only took one bite for my sweet tooth to give a HUGE sigh of relief....mission accomplished, it was EVERYTHING I was hoping for and more. BUT...there was only one draw back, IT MAKES A LOT! I realized after seeing how much that this recipe made, that I needed to have a plan in place before I whipped them or I WOULD EAT my way right out of my jeans. WHICH I knew I would regret later (probably not at the moment, but later). My "Plan"...share with neighbors...after my plan was set in place I started right away at mixing these up! I made a few minor changes to the recipe but you can eliminate my changes and stick to the orginal recipe if you want... I KNOW its wonderful. THESE bars deserve a HUGE STAR, a round of applause and a huge trophy!!! I loved them....LOOOOVVVVED them...thank you Mindy at
The Sisters Cafe for posting them...I am eternally grateful to you, my hips may not be, but I am!

Pineapple Cheesecake Bars
3 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. butter, room temperature
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (one of my minor changes, Mindy's didn't have nuts)

In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, butter and chopped nuts. Mix until crumbs. Press into a large cookie sheet (Texas Sheet Cake size- 12x17x1) and poke holes in the crust with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. While crust is baking, prepare the coconut topping and cream cheese filling.

Coconut topping:
2 T. butter, melted
3 c. sweetened coconut, shredded

In a small bowl, mix together melted butter and coconut. Set aside.

Cream Cheese Filling:
2- 8oz packages cream cheese
2 eggs
4 T. sugar
4 T. milk
2 t. almond extract (my other minor adjustment...didn't have this so I left it out)
2 t. vanilla (I added 2 MORE t. since I didn't have any almond extract)
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained

Combine cream cheese, eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla and almond extract in a large bowl. Beat well with an electric mixer until smooth. Add crushed pineapple and mix. Pour cream cheese mixture over baked crust. Sprinkle coconut topping over cream cheese filling. Bake at 350 degrees 18-20 minutes or until coconut has browned and the middle is set. Chill at least 1 hour before serving....THEN DIVE IN AND EAT UP!...then fill the neighbors plate and take it to them immediately as to not eat them all yourself...you think I'm kidding...I'm not, they are so temptingly delicious that you will want to eat them all if you don't share. ENJOY!


Monday, May 16, 2011

Cookie Dough Cheesecups

About a year after we got married a few of Jack's mission buddies came to visit us for the weekend. I wanted to impress them with my awesome wife-ness so for Sunday dinner I put a roast in the oven and set some rolls out to raise on the stove while we went to church. I wasn't thinking and left the roll pan on the back burner where the oven heat came through. It ruined my rolls and instead of being light and fluffy they were flat (still soft though- yay) I cried and thought my status as best wife ever was ruined-- but, I married the sweetest man in the world and during dinner he bragged about the "Egyptian Flatbread" I had made and his friends were none the wiser. To this day we still laugh about the infamous Egyptian Flatbread and occasionally if I have a recipe flop Jack will remind me that it's not always a dissaster. This was the case with these Cookie Dough Cheesecups. I followed the directions but when I pulled them out of the oven the middle had fallen and they looked like little "cups". After 1 bite I knew they still had to go on the blog. These were AMAZING. Some of the very best cheesecake I've ever eaten and the perfect size. I ate 4 of them in the span of 30 minutes. I had to hurry and freeze the rest or I would have willingly sat and ate every last crumb. Jack dubbed them "cheesecups" and convinced me they were "supposed to look that way". Try them out and I'm sure you will feel the same. Who cares what they look like when they taste this good!

Cookie Dough Cheesecups

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter
3 (8oz) packages cream cheese (at room temp)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 package refrigerated cookie dough
mini chocolate chips

Line muffin pan with muffin tins. In a large ziplock bag crush graham crackers (enough to make 1 cup of crumbs) Add melted butter and stir until moistened. Press crumbs into the bottom of muffin tins. Mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and beat until combined. Add sour cream and vanilla. Beat until well blended. Spoon batter into muffin tins until almost halfway. Cut up cookie dough into small pieces and sprinkle some into each muffin tin. Fill with remaining batter until cookie dough is covered. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top. Bake at 350 for 9 minutes-- reduce heat to 325 and bake additional 9 minutes. Turn off heat, crack door and allow cheesecake to cool in oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and refrigerate until served (best if left in fridge overnight).


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Anaheim Poppers

I don't know what it is that draws me to fatty,delicious cream cheese, yumminess but it seems to be one of my MANY food downfalls!...it gets me every time. If its got cream cheese in it I know I will be sampling and most likely devouring whatever it is. I just LOVE the creamy texture, the rich cheesy taste and the feeling of eating "heaven sent food," I guess. This recipe for Anaheim Poppers has now made my top 10 list of FAVORITE foods...I think I might have even eaten a few for breakfast, but we won't discuss that~ THEY ARE so scrumptious. I actually had to hide some of them in the refrigerator so that my 2 teenage monkeys wouldn't eat them all...you know, I have to look out for myself a little too. Make these Anaheim Poppers and serve them as a side dish, an appetizer OR make them as the MAIN DISH...because thats what they ended up being on my dinner plate....love, love, love them!!!

*CAUTION...these are NOT diet food, but you could use low-fat cream cheese and cut down on some of the calories.

Anaheim Poppers
10 Anaheim peppers
2 packages cream cheese
3 T. lime juice...NOT lemon
1 lb. imitation crab, shredded (use your fingers and tear apart or you can cut it)
1/8-1/4 t. cayenne pepper (more or less depending on your taste)
1/2 lb. cooked CRISPY bacon, crumbled (NOT BACON BITS...use the REAL stuff)
crushed Dorito chips

Cut peppers in half lengthwise, making a boat. Take out all seeds and membrane that is inside the pepper. Place peppers on a baking sheet (I used 2). In a medium bowl combine cream cheese, lime juice, crab, cayenne pepper and bacon crumbles. Mix until well blended. Fill the peppers with mixture and top with crushed Dorito's. Bake at 450 degrees until peppers are tender... approximately 15 minutes....but watch them closely. Serve while hot.

*The longer you cook them , the softer the peppers will be, if you like your peppers hard and crunchy cook them for less time. These are very similar to Jalapeño Poppers but without the HOT bite of a Jalapeño...I love Jalapeños (a ton) but I think I even loved these more...just sayin'.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

White Cake

Strawberry shortcake is one of my favorite desserts to eat in the spring. I like my cake oozing with danish dessert, fresh cut strawberries and alot of whipped cream. I've eaten this yummy dessert made with the cute little round "sponge cakes" that Hostess makes and I've eaten it made with the "White Boxed Cake", I've even eaten it with "angel food cake". All of them are fine and taste good...but I knew there had to be something out there that was just a "tad bit better", a little more tasty and something that would leave me craving strawberry shortcake in my sleep! I was determined to find a recipe that would do just that...after a long hunt I found an old recipe and decided to give it a try. Having said that...YES, I craved it in my sleep! Its a very moist, scrumptious cake that would be delish just frosted and served as is...but I took it up a notch. I made a tasty cheesecake, creamy frosting and topped it with danish dessert and fresh cut strawberries AND THEN I TOPPED that with WHIPPED CREAM! Ummmmm.... NO, this dessert is NOT DIET friendly BUT, really....you have to try this...its to die for! What fun is life if you don't live a little...EAT this and LIVE!!!

White Cake
2 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 t. salt
3 1/2 t. baking powder

In a large mixing bowl, combine ingredient and stir.

1 1/4 c. milk
1 cube BUTTER, softened but NOT melted
1 T vanilla
3 eggs

Pour the milk in a 2 c. measuring cup...then add enough oil to bring the liquid up to 1 1/3 c. Add the milk/oil mixture, butter and vanilla to flour mixture. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Add eggs, continue beating for 2 more minutes.

Spray 3 round cake pans (I only used 2 pans and the cake batter flooded over into my oven) with pan coating. Pour cake batter into pans, dividing the batter as evenly as possible. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until your cake passes the toothpick test. Cool cakes and then FREEZE cakes in pans. This will make it easier to frost. When ready to frost, remove cakes from freezer and let them warm up for about 7-10 minutes, just enough so that you can remove the cake from the pan. You don't want them completely thawed or your frosting will be difficult to spread. Frost with your favorite frosting OR try the recipe below.

Cheese Cake Frosting:

1 c. powdered sugar
1 8oz. cool whip
1 8oz. cream cheese, room temp or warmed in the microwave for 30 seconds (without foil of course) to soften

Whip until smooth. Spread frosting between each layer and on top...but not the sides.
Top with prepared Danish Dessert, fresh cut strawberries and whipped cream!!! YUMMMMMY!!!

*Cake MUST be refrigerated if frosted with Cheese Cake Frosting.

Enjoy this heavenly dessert!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chicken Taco Chili

I love the convenience of crock pots. I know I'm not the only one. This one was no exception. It's loaded with flavor and nutrition without sacrificing deliciousness. I felt super healthy eating it too! =)

Chicken Taco Chili

1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can corn
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes/chilis
1 package taco seasoning
1 Tbsp. Cumin
1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
2 garlic cloves
2 large chicken breasts

Throw everything in the crockpot, stir and cook on high for 6-8 hours. Before serving use a fork to shred chicken and stir well. Serve over rice or plain. Makes about 7 cups.

1 cup = 5 points (points plus)


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chunky Potato Chowder

Soup is a comfort food that just "makes you feel good" no matter what. It warms the soul inside as well as outside, on a good day or a bad day. This soup is a chunky bowl of "delish" in every single bite. Give it a try!

Chunky Potato Chowder

8 c. chopped, peeled potatoes
1 t. onion powder
1 lb. pork/bacon sausage
1 8oz package cream cheese
3 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 can cream chicken soup
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. garlic powder

Place chopped potatoes in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until soft. Drain water and set potatoes aside. Cook pork/bacon sausage until done. Combine meat and cooked potatoes, place in a crock pot. Combine seasonings, cream cheese, broth and cream chicken soup. Cover and and cook for 2-4 hours on low...time depends on how hot your crock pot cooks on low. Remember your ingredient is cooked, your just combining it all together to "marry" the flavors and keep warm until your ready to eat. If you want, mash potatoes slightly for a thicker consistency before serving.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Chicken/Bacon/Guacamole Quesadilla

(Here's a plug for Weight Watchers) One of the things I love most about Weight Watchers is that you can literally eat anything you want. So when I came across this recipe it immediately went into my "have to make TODAY" pile. I knew with a few quick changes I could eat it guilt free. The only changes I made to the original was switch out avacodos for guacamole (Wholly Guacamole- store bought- in the produce section- absolutely to die for) and grill without oil. This Quesadilla was out of this world. The Hubby and I both took a bite and stopped dead in our tracks. The flavor. Oh the flavor. So do yourself a favor and put this recipe in your "have to try TODAY" pile. You won't regret it.

Cheesy Chicken, Bacon and Guacamole Quesadilla

4 tortillas (we used the tortillas you have to cook)
4 Tbsp. guacamole
1 cup low fat cheese
6 slices bacon
1 cup chicken (cooked and diced)

Cook Tortilla according to package directions (if you are using a cook tortilla-- if not skip this step) Spread 1 Tbsp. guacamole over half of the tortilla. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over the entire shell. Sprinkle crumbs from 1 1/2 slices of bacon and 1/4 cup chicken over the same half the guacamole is on. Fold and grill in a pan (NO OIL) for approx. 1 minute. Flip and grill for additional minute. Serve immediately.

1 Quesadilla = 8 points (points plus)


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Breakfast Roll Ups

Breakfast is one of those meals that is so versatile. It can be eaten first thing in the morning, at noon or even for dinner. These yummy Breakfast Roll Up's are one of those delicious dishes that would be fantastic any time of day.

Breakfast Roll Ups

1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
2 T. butter
Saute sliced mushrooms in butter. Set aside.

1 lb. cooked ground sausage
1 lbs. cooked bacon, crumbled
12 tortillas

2 c. shredded swiss cheese, divided
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
Combine both cheeses together and set aside.

1 T flour
6 eggs
2 c. milk
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. pepper
dash of salt

Place desired amounts of cooked sausage and bacon down the center of tortilla shell. Top with small amount of cheese and mushrooms. Roll up each tortilla. Place seam side down in a 9 x 13" baking pan. In a large bowl, beat the flour, eggs, milk, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and salt. Mix until well blended. Pour over tortillas. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Bake uncovered at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until eggs are set. Serve hot.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Turtle Cheesecake Cupcakes

I recently started playing around with cupcakes. I'm usually not a cake kind of girl. I love it on my birthday and occasionally throughout the year but it's never been something that tempts me... until I started making cupcakes. What I love most about cupcakes is that the possibilities are endless. Anything you can think of can be transformed into a cupcake. Which is how this little beauty came about. The Hubby and I were talking about our love for cupcakes the other day. I brought up that I wanted to try to make Chocolate Turtle Cupcakes like some I had tasted before and in the course of a 5 minute conversation the idea for this recipe came about. They are AMAZING! Chocolate cupcakes filled with no bake cheesecake and topped with cream cheese frosting sprinkled with nuts and chocolate. Does it get any better than that?
Turtle Cheesecake Cupcakes

Chocolate Cake Mix

8 oz cream cheese
8 oz cool whip (thawed)
1/3 cup sugar

8 oz cream cheese
5 Tbsp. butter (room temperature)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Caramel ice cream topping
mini chocolate chips

Prepare cupcakes according to box directions. For filling mix cream cheese, cool whip and sugar. beat until smooth. Transfer to cake decorating bag to fill cupcakes. (poke tip directly into the center of the cupcake. Squeeze filling for approx. 5 seconds). For frosting mix cream cheese, butter and vanilla just until smooth. Don't over beat. Pour in half of the powdered sugar and beat. Add the remaining and beat until smooth. Use cake decorating bag to swirl frosting on top of cupcake. Top with a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkle of pecans and chocolate chips. Keep in fridge until served.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Vanilla Spice Bread

Cake mix is amazing...its not just for "Cake" anymore. I mixed up this scrumptious bread and planned on serving it for breakfast, but it didn't last that long. "Somehow", "someway" it just disappeared...I think the kids really liked it, what do you think?

Vanilla Spice Bread

4 eggs
1/2 c. oil
1 box spice cake mix
1 package (3 oz) instant vanilla pudding
1 c. HOT water

Mix oil and eggs until well blended. Add cake mix, pudding mix and hot water. Mix until smooth. Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing. Continue to cool on a cooling rack.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Brown Sugar Ham

As I stated in an earlier post, we hosted Easter dinner this year. Part of the reason I love hosting dinners is that I have the opportunity to try out new recipes on willing and eager guests. Unfortunately I've never had much luck baking ham. It always comes away tasting weird. So I scoured the web for a delicious/easy recipe that I couldn't mess up. Luckily I found one that looked fool proof within minutes. I made a few changes based on what I had in my pantry but whether you follow my changes or the original it will not disappoint. This recipe is amazing. It's easy and delicious and will definitely be my go to recipe each Easter. Try it and I'm sure you'll say the same.

Brown Sugar Ham

Boneless Ham
1/2 liter lemon-lime soda
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400. Slice ham 1/4" diagonally one way and diagonally the other way to create
a diamond pattern. Pour about 1/2 liter of lemon lime soda over the top of the ham. Mix 1 cup
brown sugar with 2 tsp. cinnamon and cover ham with this mixture. Bake uncovered for 40
minutes and take out of oven. Pour a bit more soda over ham and cover with tinfoil.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Ladle the juices from the bottom of pan onto ham every 15-20 minutes
to create the best flavors. Let sit for 15 minutes before carving.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Easy French Bread Pizza

I'm all about "EASY" lately...seems life has gotten a little busier and I need some quick meals. Pizza is a family favorite around here. Everyone likes the "homemade crust" with all the "homemade fixin's" BUT when I get in a pinch and I don't have time to make all the "homemade" stuff...I fall back on this recipe and the family LOVES IT! Its as easy and simple as it looks...and the best part is...it tastes DELICIOUS too!

Easy French Bread Pizza
1 loaf French bread
1 small jar of pizza sauce (I like Ragu Traditional Pizza Quick Sauce)
grated Mozzarella cheese
pizza toppings of your choice

Slice French bread in half lengthwise, opening up to expose the middle. Spread desired amount of sauce on both "insides" of bread. Top with cheese and your favorite pizza toppings. Bake at 400 degrees until done (mine took about 5-7 minutes). Serve hot!

Eat up and enjoy your "Quick and EASY" dinner...we like to dip our pizza in ranch dressing.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Baked Chicken Nuggets

Chicken Nuggets are some of my favorite food. I always get them when we go to fast food restaurants. A few days ago I was perusing through the recipes on the Weight Watchers site and found this recipe for slimmed down Baked Chicken Nuggets. These are delicious. I got my fill of Chicken Nuggets and left out all the guilt. These will definitely be a repeat recipe at our house!

Baked Chicken Nuggets

2 Tbsp. Honey Mustard
2 Tbsp. Buttermilk
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces

Preheat oven to 450. In a shallow dish whisk together mustard and buttermilk. Place bread crumbs in a separate dish. Add chicken to mustard mixture, turn to coat. Transfer chicken to bread crumbs and coat. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Place chicken on baking sheet. bake 8-10 minutes. Flip and bake additional 8-10 minutes more. Makes 4 servings.

1/4th of chicken nuggets = 5 points