Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Baked Paprika-Parmesan Chicken

Much to my husband's dismay we eat a LOT of chicken in our house! I have made chicken a million ways, I'm always looking for a new recipes but I like to keep a handful of recipes that I can make in a pinch using things that I keep on hand. 

Weeknight meals need to be fast and easy, there just never seems to be enough time in the evenings. The prep was only about 10  mins. I keep frozen thin cut chicken breast in the freezer at all times. They thaw quickly and are already portioned. The chicken was very flavorful and moist. This recipe will be going in the weeknight rotation!!

Baked Paprika-Parmesan Chicken 
adapted from allrecipes.com

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 fresh grated parmesan
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp pepper
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbs milk
4 boneless, skinless thin cut chicken breasts 
1/4 cup butter, melted

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a shallow baking dish with olive oil. 

Mix flour, parmesan cheese, paprika, salt & pepper in a shallow bowl for dredging. Combine egg and milk in another bowl. 

Dip the chicken into the milk mixture and dredge the chicken through the flour mixture. Place in the dish and pour the melted butter over the chicken. 

Bake for 25-40 minutes until the chicken is completely cooked. 


Friday, July 20, 2012

Snickerdoodle Blondies

The first time I ever had a snickerdoodle was in Home Ec 10 and it was the first time I was allowed to bake by myself. Each bite tasted like a little piece of  accomplishment that had been rolled in cinnamon and sugar!

This recipe is a new take on the classic snickerdoodle. They are still chewy, crispy and covered in cinnamon and sugar but the perk is that these take about half the time to make. I found this recipe on cute blog called Rumbly In My Tumbly!!

Snickerdoodle Blondies
1/2 cup un-salted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar + 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 8 x 8 baking pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. 

Cream together sugar and butter. Beat in salt, egg and vanilla. Slowly add in flour until well incorporated. Dough will be thick. Scrape into prepared pan and smooth until even. 

Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small dish. Sprinkle evenly over the top of dough. 

Bake for 30 mins. Let the bars cool before removing foil from the pan and cutting into bars. 


Saturday, April 28, 2012


We LOVE pizza!! We eat pizza at least once a week. It was my childhood dream to eat pizza everyday but I'll settle for once a week. Last week we discovered pizza's cousin - Stromboli!! The Stromboli was really easy to put together and paired with a salad it made a perfect weeknight meal. We loved it so much I made it twice in one week!!

Recipe adapted from Burn Me Not

1 loaf of frozen dough, thawed according to directions on the package (I used Bridgford Ready-Dough)
1/4 lb sliced ham (about 4-6 slices)
1/4 lb pepperoni
4 slices provolone cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Italian seasoning
Garlic salt
Olive oil
Warmed pizza sauce

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. 

Roll out dough into a 15 x 12 inch rectangle. Arrange provolone cheese on dough leaving about 2 inches of dough without any toppings. Next, arrange ham and pepperoni evenly over the cheese. Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the meat. Follow by sprinkling with Italian seasoning (about 1 Tbs or to taste).

Roll up the dough by folding in the two shorter ends first then start rolling from the filled side to the portion of dough without topping. Place dough on pizza stone or baking sheet. Brush dough with olive oil then sprinkle with Italian seasoning, garlic salt and Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Slice and serve with warmed pizza sauce. 


Monday, April 16, 2012

Sugar-Free Strawberry Cheesecake

For Easter, I was asked to bring a sugar-free dessert that we could enjoy with our Grandma who is diabetic. I have made a few sugar-free recipes over the years and they don't always turn out great. This one was fantastic!! It was sweet but not too sweet. It was creamy and light. Perfect to enjoy after a heavy meal or on a summer day!

Recipe found on Allrecipes.com and adapted 
1-1/2 cups of sugar-free cookies, crushed (I used shortbread)
6 Tbls butter, melted
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1-8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups milk
1-1 oz package of sugar-free cheesecake flavored Jello pudding mix 
2 pints of strawberries, sliced

To crush cookies, place them in a gallon sized ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin or place cookies in a blender. Mix cookies, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a medium bowl. Press cookie mixture into the bottom of a pie pan with a spatula and place in the refrigerator to cool while making the filling. 

Beat cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl until soft. Add in milk slowly and beat until combine. The texture will be very watery. Add in pudding mix and beat for 2-1/2 minutes. Mixture will become thick but not firm. 

Place half of the mixture on top of the graham crust. Layer the sliced strawberries on top of the cheesecake. Finish with the rest of the cheesecake mixture. 

Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. 

I was able to find sugar-free cheescake Jello pudding mix, however I noticed that it is not at all stores. I think vanilla would work just as well. 
Also, sugar-free cookies are sometimes hard to find so use what you can find. If a little sugar is okay than use vanilla wafers. 


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Wreath

I’m usually really into decorating for the holidays, however, we just bought a house in November and I've been feeling overwhelmed with decorating. So, in an attempt to get in the Easter spirit I decided to add some Spring to my front doors. 

I scoured Pinterest to find a cute and easy DIY Easter wreath. Luckily, I found a pin from Cindi’s Blog, showing a wreath made of Easter grass and plastic eggs. I study the picture for a few minutes and decided it met my cute and easy criteria. After going to Michael's for supplies I found it also met my cheap criteria too! The cost to make both wreaths was under $15!!

Supplies Needed:
  • 1-2 Wooden wreath forms (I purchased mine at Michael’s for $3.99 each, Cindi made her’s from cardboard)
  • 1 bag of Easter grass (it was enough to cover 2+ wreaths) $0.79
  • Approx. 2 dozen plastic Easter eggs for each wreath $4.25 for 3 bags.  
  • Hot glue gun and about 3 hot glue sticks for each form
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors

I laid the wreath form on a trash bag so when I was done trimming the grass, I could just bunch the bag up and toss it. 

Make a 3-4 inch zig-zag of hot glue directly on the form. 

Press grass onto the hot glue. Repeat until the entire wreath is covered in grass. 
Hold your wreath upside down and trim the grass to about 3-4 inches long. You can do this step before or after you glue the eggs in place. 
Add eggs to the wreath by placing hot glue directly on the grass and form then press the egg into the glue until it is secure. Next, add a pretty ribbon and hang up your wreath!!
Here is the finished project!! I'm really happy that I was able to throw both of these together in under an hour and get them up on my door to share with my neighbors. 
 I wish you and your family a very Happy Easter!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Easter Bunny Rolls (Bread Machine)

These rolls are a perfect addition to any Easter brunch! This recipe makes about 20 bunny rolls. Once they are cooled completely, they can be place in a freezer bag and frozen for up to 3 weeks. Simply remove them from the freezer 3-4 hours before serving.

Easter Bunny Rolls
Recipe from Budget Gourmet Mom and adapted for a bread machine

1-1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
3/4 tsp ground cardamom or allspice
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbls finely shredded orange peel
1/4 cup orange juice

Orange Frosting
1 1/2 cups sifted powder sugar
1 tsp finely shredded orange peel
2 - 3 Tbls orange juice
In a medium saucepan heat and stir milk, the butter, the 1/3 cup sugar, and salt just until warm (120 degree F to 130 degree F) and butter almost melts. Pour mixture into the bread machine.

In a large mixing bowl combine 4 cups of the flour, the yeast, and cardamom.

Add beaten orange juice, orange peel and egg to the milk mixture. Next, add the flour mix to the bread machine. Be careful not to scramble your eggs. This shouldn't happen if you add the egg after the orange juice. 

Set bread machine to the “Pizza Dough” setting for a 2 lb loft. The “Pizza Dough” cycle will take 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Lightly grease two cookie sheets. Divide dough into roll each 2 sections. Working with one section at a time, divide it into 12 small balls. Roll each ball into a rope 12 inches long.

Set aside 2 of the 12 inch ropes to be used for tails.
On one of the lightly greased cookie sheets, overlap one end of strip over the other to form a loop; bring the end that's underneath up over the top end, letting one end extend on each side to make ears. Pat tips of ears to shape in point. Repeat with the other 9 ropes.

With remaining 2 ropes of dough make 10 small balls of dough for the tails. Moisten ball and place atop dough at bottom of loop. Press tails onto dough.
Repeat with remaining dough making 10 more bunnies.

After shaping, cover and let rise until nearly double (30 to 45 minutes). Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degree F. Bake small bunnies 11 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from cookie sheets; cool on wire racks. Frost while warm with orange icing, if desired.

In a small bowl combine 1-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange. For Orange Icing, stir in enough orange juice (2 to 3 tablespoons) to make of drizzling consistency.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars
adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

1 package plain yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2) Mix cake mix, melted butter, peanut butter, and eggs in a large bowl. Using a spatula press half the cake mixture into a 9X13 pan. Set the other half aside to crumble on the top.
3) Place chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter in a small bowl and melt in the microwave. Heat the mixture for 1 minute at a time, stirring between intervals until the chocolate chips are completely melted. Once melted, add in vanilla.
4) Next, layer the chocolate mixture over the cake layer and crumble the remaining cake mix on top of the chocolate mixture.
5) Bake for 20-25 minutes. For best results, cool completely before cutting into bars and serving.

These bars are super rich so a little goes a long way! 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Taco Cups

It's almost game time!! Are you still looking for something to take to a Super Bowl party this weekend? This recipe is great because you can assemble them the day before and bake them up onsite. We had this for a fast mid-week meal paired with a salad and some Spanish rice. 

Taco Cups
Recipe adapted from Plain Chicken 

1 lb lean ground beef 
1 packet taco seasoning
2/3 cup water
1 can black beans, drained

1 small can of corn, drained
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
48 wonton wrappers

Optional Toppings: sour cream, taco sauce or salsa.

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain grease. Stir in taco seasoning, water, black beans and corn. Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 10 minutes or until water is absorbed.

Spray 24 regular muffin cups with cooking spray. Place one wonton wrapper in each muffin cup. Divide half of the meat mixture between muffin cups, about a tablespoon in each cup. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the meat. Repeat layers with another wonton wrapper, taco meat and cheese. 

Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and wrappers are golden brown. Serve with your favorite taco toppings.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ranch Chicken Packet

Oh, how I love Pinterest!! I don't have to dig through magazines and cookbooks to find recipes anymore. I love that I can sort recipes into a folder for quick reference. To say that Pinterest has changed my life would be stretching it, but it really has made meal planning a lot more fun!!

I pinned this recipe from Big Oven on Pinterest. Everyone loved it and it has been added to the meal rotation!


  • 1 package Stove Top stuffing; chicken flavor
  • 1 1/4 cup Water
  • 4 Boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 4 cups Fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup Shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices Bacon; cooked & crumbled (optional)
  • 4 Tbls Ranch dressing


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Spray 4 large sheets of heavy-duty foil with oil. Combine stuffing mix and water. 
  • Spoon 1/4 of the stuffing mixture onto the center of each foil sheet. Top stuffing with a 6oz. chicken breast half. Top chicken with 1 c. broccoli. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the cheese and 1 slice of bacon, crumbled. I love bacon but you really don't have to have it in this recipe. If you are short on time, I would just skip this step. Drizzle with 1 T. ranch dressing
  • Fold foil into a packet leaving room for heat to circulate inside. Place packets on a cookie sheet and bake 35-45 mins depending on the size of the chicken breast. Remove packets and let stand 5 mins.


This is how my packet looked. The original recipe called for 6 oz chicken breasts to bake for 35 mins, I had Costco chicken breasts and it took about 45 mins. So, use your best judgement on the cook time. Chicken breasts are done when the internal temp is 165 degrees.

This is how the chicken looked after it was dished out. Pretty darn tasty!! The chicken stayed really moist, the broccoli was tender but not over done and the stuffing was gooey. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

DIY Fabric Flower Clips

I love being crafty!! So, when I was planning my wedding a couple years ago, I added lots of personal hand-made touches. My favorite wedding craft project was making flower clips for my hair and shoes. Since then, I have made a few of these flowers for some of my friends’ weddings. These steps are a loose guideline so play around with your fabric and see what works best for you. 

Tools Needed:
Needle & thread
Silk Flower taken apart
A good pair of scissors
Straight pens
¼ yard of silk or chiffon
½ yard of tulle
Beads, pearls and rhinestone embellishments

Step 1
Fold a square piece fabric in half a couple times until you have four layers. Use one of the petals from a silk flower as a guide and pin it to the fabric in two or three places. Cut the fabric around the guide. Repeat 3-4 times with the fabric and with the tulle. 

Step 2
Stack fabric and tulle petals on top of each other randomly alternating the type of fabric and direction. 

Step 3
Sew a couple stitches through the center of the flower to keep it together. Then randomly pinch sections of the petals and stitch to secure. This step with add volume to the flower. 

Step 4
Use a hot glue gun to secure embellishments to the center of the flower.

Step 5
Attach each flower to a barrette, hair clip, safety pin or headband. The flowers in these photo were to embellish to flip flops so I used a barrette that would be large enough to clip around the straps of the shoes.