Baked Chicken Parmesan

Switching it up this week to pasta Sunday.

DSC_0484 redoCover each side with bread crumbs & place on a cookie sheet.

Once chicken has fully cooked, it’s pretty easy to assemble.

 *I totally forgot to take pictures during the preparation of this meal, oops ;)*DSC_0491 redoDoesn’t that look delicious!?


2 Chicken Breast (trimmed, sliced in half)
3/4 cup Seasoned Breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 tbsp Melted Butter
3/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese
1 cup Marinara Sauce
Cooking Spray
Whole Wheat Pasta

Preheat oven to 450°.
Spray cookie sheet lightly with the cooking spray.
Combine breadcrumbs & Parmesan cheese in a bowl.
Melt butter & lightly brush onto each side of the chicken.
Once chicken has been buttered, dip each side into the breadcrumb & cheese mixture. 
Place on cookie sheet & repeat with the remaining chicken breast.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over to bake an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven, spoon 1 tbsp of sauce over each piece of chicken & top each with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve on a bed of whole wheat pasta.

Original Recipe


Baked Ziti

My husband loves pasta, so we always have

it on hand for those last minute, quick & easy meals.  I had a bunch of

marinara sauce left over from a previous meal along with some Italian sausage but no

spaghetti noodles.

Searching through the pantry I found a box of penne,  which basically

sealed the deal of baked ziti.  I had everything on hand & it could be thrown together in under 45 minutes. Perfect!

My husband not only loved this, but had seconds, left overs the following day &

has mentioned this a couple times since we had it for dinner.

My favorite part was the yummy cheesy topping. It’s really the best part of baked ziti!! 😉

DSC_0403 a3 Italian sausage links, casing removed.

DSC_0407 aGrate Parmesan cheese.

DSC_0417 aAdd the sausage (browned) & ziti to your marinara sauce.

DSC_0418 aAdd the pasta to a glass pan, then cover with cheese & sprinkle with parsley.

DSC_0427 aBaked to perfection!


1 Box of Ziti or Penne

1 Jar of Marinara Sauce/ Homemade Sauce

3 Italian Sausage Links (Casing Removed)

Olive Oil

1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese

1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese

Parsley (Optional)


Preheat oven to 350°F.
Fill a large pot with water & bring to a boil. Add a pinch of salt & a little olive oil to the water & bring to a boil.
Once boiling, add the pasta, cook about for 7 – 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  Remove the casing from the 3 sausages, cook on medium heat, breaking the sausage apart. Cook until evenly browned & drain.
  Add your pasta & sausage to the sauce & mix well.
  Pour mixture into a  glass 8”x 8” baking dish & top with mozzarella & Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese bubbles & turns a golden brown.
  Cool & Serve.

DSC_0433 a

Thin Crust and Pizza Sauce

Our Saturday nights can be busy & tiring if there’s a late night football game to attend.

Those are the kind of nights that require something quick & easy for dinner. The last thing you

want to do is spend an hour or so in the kitchen cooking after you just spent 2 hours

in the stands cheering & screaming. So what makes everyone in the house smile?


Make the dough before you leave & it will rise while you’re gone. It will be ready by the time you get home.

The sauce takes just a couple minutes to make in the blender.

Shape the dough, add the sauce & toppings and presto, pizza in about 20 minutes.

It didn’t cost an arm & leg, no 45 minute wait for delivery & you can make it however you want!!

DSC_0329 aI’ve never tried this type of yeast before, but it makes some pretty awesome thin crust pizza.

DSC_0334 aShape your dough very carefully & add the toppings.

DSC_0339 aBake for 15 minutes, slice & serve.


Thin Crust Pizza

2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Envelope Fleischmann’s Pizza Yeast
1 1/2 tsp Sugar
3/4 teaspoon Salt
2/3 Cups very warm water (120F – 130F)
3 Tbsp Oil

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Combine 1 cup flour, undissolved yeast, sugar & salt in a large bowl.  Add very warm water & oil; mix until well blended, about 1 minute. 

Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.  Dough should form a ball & will be slightly sticky.

Knead on a floured surface, adding additional flour if necessary, until smooth & elastic, about 4 minutes.

Pat dough with floured hands to flatten on baking sheet or roll dough on a floured counter to 12-inch circle;

place on a greased pizza pan or baking sheet.  Spread with pizza sauce.  Top with desired toppings and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake on lowest oven rack for 12 to 15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and crust is browned.


Pizza Sauce

1 tsp Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic
28 oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 tsp Oregano
2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Basil
Salt & Pepper to Taste

In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic & saute until golden, being careful not to burn.

Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper & oregano to blender. Pulse until smooth. Add garlic & fresh basil to blender. Pulse again until smooth.

Spoon onto pizza dough.

* If you prefer to cook your sauce, cover & let simmer about 15 – 20 minutes.*

Fajita Tacos

I recently posted a recipe for beef & cheddar melts & this is what I

came up with the next day.

Don’t you just love getting a whole new meal out of your leftovers?

I know I sure do!!

I’ve been on a mission lately to use everything we

purchased from the grocery store. My family & I have been pretty wasteful in the past,

like buying a whole thing of cilantro & not even using half. 

Next thing you know it’s bad & we’re throwing it out.

This has been a very interesting challenge coming up with a bunch of recipes for the

week that use only half of what’s leftover from a previous meal.

While a challenge we are making it happen & this is one of the end results.

An end result that is mighty tasty by the way! 😉

DSC_0317Roughly chop your cilantro.

DSC_0320 aA little olive oil, green & red bell peppers sauteed.

DSC_0321 aCook the tortillas (corn), add a little avocado, squeeze a little fresh lime juice & sprinkle with cilantro.


Beef – Recipe Here

1 Green Bell Pepper

1 Red Bell Pepper

1 Avocado

1 Lime


Corn Tortillas

Olive Oil

If not using the recipe above for the meat, please use whatever type of meat you have on hand & season it to your liking (I used leftovers that

I made in the crock pot the day before). Roughly chop the cilantro. Set aside. Add a little olive oil to your pan on medium heat.

Add one corn tortilla at a time until the tortilla becomes a little brown around the edges. Make sure to cook both sides.

Place in tin foil to keep them warm until ready to serve.

  Slice & sautee the bell peppers in a little olive oil.

They should be nice & tender with a little browning. Once the peppers are ready, throw the meat into the pan to reheat.

Fill each tortilla with bell peppers, meat & avocado. Sprinkle with cilantro &  serve with fresh lime slices.

Beef and Cheddar Melts

Crock pot Sunday once again!

Enjoy these wonderful beef & cheddar melts.

DSC_0315 a

DSC_0314 aServe them up with your favorite chips, homemade kettle chips, fries or whatever tickles your fancy.


1 lb Thinly Sliced Chuck Roast
1 Medium Onion, Thinly Sliced (Optional)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Garlic Powder
Texas Toast
Spray Butter
Cheddar Cheese
Spicy Pickles (Optional)

Marinate the beef & onions in the spice rub for at least four hours or overnight. Place in a slow cooker & cook on low for eight hours. It will fall apart when you are done.
Once the beef is cooked, use some tongs & place the beef in a bowl. Discard the juices. Pull apart with a couple of forks, taste, & season with any additional salt & pepper.
Add one slice of the buttered bread on a preheated skillet on medium heat. Add two slices of the cheddar cheese to the top of the bread, covering the bread, then add as much shredded beef as you want. Top that with the remaining two slices of cheese, then top with the remaining slice of bread, butter side up.
Cook the sandwich for a few minutes, gently lifting to make sure you are getting that golden crust you want in a great grilled cheese sandwich. Once golden, carefully flip over, and cook on the other side. Lower the heat a bit, and if you have a sandwich press, at it to the top of the sandwich. If you do not have a sandwich press, add a heavy pot to the top, or add a bit of pressure with a spatula.
Cook another few minutes, and once that side is golden, remove it and get ready to plate.
Slice the sandwich in half, on a diagonal. Poke a few spicy pickles with a toothpick & stack on top of the sandwich.

Original Recipe.

Semi Homemade Chicken and Dumplings

Have you ever wanted to make something but kept putting it off because

you thought it was going to be a time consuming process?

That’s exactly how I felt about making chicken & dumplings.

Since I was a little kid I always heard about making homemade biscuit

dough & boiling the chicken and so on & so forth.

Sounds like a lot of work, right!? Right!

But, when you find short cuts, it becomes a really easy &

pretty quick meal to make. So let me share with you this

20 minute semi homemade chicken & dumplings recipe.

DSC_0287 aAll you need is a bag of biscuit mix, 2 cans of chunky chicken breast & 2 cans of chicken broth.

DSC_0288 aFollow the instructions on the bag. Half cup of milk & mix to form a ball of dough.

DSC_0291 aPinch off small pieces of dough to make your dumplings.

Flour your hands to keep the dough from sticking to you fingers.

DSC_0293 steamAfter bringing the chicken & the chicken broth to a boil, add your dumplings to the pot.

DSC_0298 aYumm!


1 Bag Biscuit Mix

1/2 cup Milk

2 (14 ounce) Cans Chicken Broth

2 (10 ounce) Cans Chunk Chicken, Drained

In a medium bowl, stir together the biscuit mix & milk as directed on the package.
Pour the two cans of chicken broth into a pan along with the chunks of chicken. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, tear off small pieces of biscuit dough & flatten them into small little dumplings. Drop them into the boiling broth. Make sure you fully submerge the dough into the chicken broth. This is important, as you don’t want to eat raw dough. Once you’ve carefully placed all of the dough into the pot, cover & simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Season & serve warm.

Snickers Popcorn

This popcorn is fantastic for a couple reasons.

First, it taste really good & second because you can add

whatever candy bar or candy you want. Your imagination

can run wild! It’s a great snack for a family movie night or

to put into little gift bags.

I chose to pop my own popcorn instead of using prepackaged bags.

Less preservatives that way.

I’ve list the instructions below but feel free to use

whatever works best for you.

Oh did I mention homemade caramel sauce!? Oh yeah, it’s GOOD!

DSC_0031 aNo more than 1/2 cup popcorn in a brown paper bag at a time.

Fold the top of the brown paper bag twice.

DSC_0034 aPut the bag into the microwave for about 2 1/2 minutes.

When the popping slows down, remove bag from the microwave.

DSC_0039 aLine the counter with wax paper & spread the caramel covered popcorn out.

Then add chocolate & chopped up Snickers.

DSC_0042 aDoesn’t this look good!?


8 quarts popped corn (about 2 cups of kernels)
1 cup salted butter
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
30 “Fun Size” Snickers bars coarsely chopped
3 oz melted milk chocolate

Preheat oven to 200°
Over medium heat boil butter, brown sugar, salt & corn syrup for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat & stir in your baking soda.
Put popcorn into a large roasting pan & pour caramel over your popcorn. Stir to coat evenly.
Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven & stir in your coarsely chopped Snickers. Return to the oven for 3 more minutes so the Snickers begin to melt slightly.
Remove from the pan & transfer popcorn to your counter top lined in wax paper.
Drizzle melted chocolate on top of popcorn.
Let set & store in an airtight container.

Original Recipe.

Beef with Snow Peas

As I’ve mentioned before, I love the Pioneer Woman,

so of course this is another one of her recipes. 

I’ve really been on a mission to create my own Chinese food since finding any

decent restaurants close by has been unsuccessful.  

This particular recipe stuck out because it’s similar to what my daughter orders

every time, beef & broccoli. I knew she would love it. Surprisingly she didn’t question where the

broccoli was, just was curious how to eat the snow peas, lol. She wasn’t sure if

you were suppose to eat the pods or not. After poking at them for a minute or

so she popped one in her mouth & was happy to report how tasty they were.

I know a recipe is a keeper when my family goes back for seconds.

DSC_0267Thinly slice up the flank steak & cover with marinade.

DSC_0269Add olive oil to your pan & cook for a minute or so.

DSC_0273Set aside snow peas & first batch of cooked beef on a clean plate.

DSC_0275 fixedOnce all the beef has been cooked, throw everything back into the pan for an additional 30 seconds or so.

DSC_0285 fixedServe over some jasmine rice.


1-1/2 pound Flank Steak, Trimmed Of Fat And Sliced Very Thin Against The Grain
1/2 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons Sherry Or Cooking Sherry
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger
8 ounces, weight Fresh Snow Peas, Ends Trimmed
5 whole Scallions, Cut Into Haf-inch Pieces On The Diagonal
Salt As Needed (use Sparingly)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Crushed Red Pepper, For Sprinkling
Jasmine Rice, Cooked According To Package

In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger.

Pour half the liquid over the sliced meat in a bowl and toss with hands. Reserve the other half of the liquid. 

Heat oil in a heavy skillet or wok over high heat. Add snow peas and stir for 45 seconds. Remove to a separate plate.

Allow pan to get very hot again. With tongs, add half the meat mixture, leaving most of the marinade still in the bowl. Add half the scallions.

Spread out meat as you add it to pan, but do not stir for a good minute. (You want the meat to get as brown as possible in as short amount a time as possible.)

Turn meat to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove to a clean plate.

Repeat with other half of meat, allowing pan to get very hot again first. After turning it, add the first plateful of meat, the rest of the marinade, and the snow peas.

Stir over high heat for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Check seasonings and add salt only if it needs it. Mixture will thicken as it sits.

Serve immediately over rice. Sprinkle crushed red pepper over the top to give it some spice.

Breakfast Empanadas with Chipotle Sauce

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals. I actually look forward to getting up

on the weekends to cook for my family.

Believe it or not, I find it fun combing through recipes looking for ways to spice

up the same old boring breakfast foods. 

This chipotle sauce is really what makes this a repeat recipe in our house.

I’ve made this sauce several times outside of breakfast for my

husband who loves using it as a spread on crackers.

aAfter rolling out the biscuit dough, add your fillings. I used, eggs, sausage & cheese

aaFold the dough over to form a pocket & pinch the edge closed with a fork.

aaaCut off the extra dough.

IMG_1413Brush the tops of your empanadas with the egg wash & bake.

aaaaServe with chipotle sauce.


Empanadas – Any breakfast items you prefer (Eggs, Sausage, Cheese, etc)

1 Can of Jumbo Biscuits

1 Egg (for egg wash)

4oz Cream Cheese

1/2 cup Sour Cream

2 Chipotle Chilis in Adobo, minced (add a little extra for an extra kick)

1/2 tsp garlic salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook empanada ingredients as instructed on their package.

Open the can of biscuits; separate each biscuit into 2 halves. Flatten each half with your hands or rolling pin to make larger.

Spoon a heaping tablespoon of your breakfast fixings into center of each biscuit, fold the dough over & pinch closed using a fork.

Place on a nonstick baking sheet & brush with egg wash.

Bake 15 minutes.

Chipotle Sauce: In a small saucepan, combine cream cheese, sour cream, chipotle peppers & garlic salt.

Cook over medium heat until cream cheese is melted & all ingredients are combined.

Serve warm.

Funnel Cakes

The State Fair isn’t the only time you can have a funnel cake.

Make your own at home, your family will love you. 😉


funnel 2


1 1/2 cups  Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 cup Powdered Sugar

1 1/3 cup Milk

1/4 tsp Lemon Zest

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Egg

Sift the dry ingredients into a large container that you can easily pour from  a plastic pitcher. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with the rest of the wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and stir until a thick batter forms, (If too thick, add a little more milk).  Pour the batter directly from the pitcher into the pan.

In a large pan, pour in the oil until it is about 1/2 inch deep, and heat to 350F.  Pour batter into the pan and cook until funnel ring is solid (30 seconds-1min).  Flip and cook the other side for 30 seconds to a minute or until a nice golden brown. These cook very quickly so be careful not to burn.

Once golden brown, remove from pan and place on paper towels to drain. Immediately top with powdered sugar. 

Serve warm.

Original Recipe: Unknown (Printed off several months ago)