What’s for Dinner?

Amazing Chicken & Parmesan Sweet Potatoes

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Okay, does anyone else have a “pinning” problem?  You know, the problem where you pin, pin, pin but never do anything with the amazing pins.  Well, I finally did it!  I cooked two of the recipes on my Recipes to Try board! Continue reading

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What’s for {Breakfast}?

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

I’m realizing that my follow up on the blog is pretty terrible.  I made these delicious babies over a month ago and again while I was in Colorado.  This recipe pretty much went viral on Pintrest so I had to try it (and if you read my Teacup Cake recipe, you know that I am a huge fan of quick sweets).  It’s not too late to indulge in pumpkiny goodness!

Ingredients

  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1 can pumpkin (2 if your cake mix is for a two layered cake – check it to avoid severe post-shopping disappointment!)
  • 1/2 bag chocolate chips (mini chips worked the best)

Combine the cake mix with the pumpkin.  Sprinkle (do not dump, like yours truly did) the chips into the batter until have as many as you want in the mix.  Portion the mix into cupcake tins (I highly suggest paper cups because this is a heavy and moist batter) and bake at 350°F for 15-18 minutes.

*I also, on a separate occasion, chopped up and roasted three apples.  I processed them, combined them with spice cake mix, and replaced the rest of the liquid in the recipe with Coca-Cola.  They were pretty awesome.

Mmmm, enjoy!

What’s for {Dessert}?

Teacup Cake

So, between a two week vacation and those awkward cooking days before Thanksgiving (you know, making small meals that won’t fill up the refrigerator or cause undo stress), I have not cooked nearly anything!  But, the one terrible (for your waistline) recipe I have not shared with you is the 3-2-1 Cake or, as I like to call it, the Teacup Cake.

Ingredients

  • 1 box angel food cake
  • 1 box any cake mix of your choosing (I chose a dark chocolate cake)
  • Just about any beverage (I chose coffee)
  • Nutella, chocolate chips, and sprinkles are optional

Mix the two boxes of cake mix in a gallon-sized plastic bag.  In a teacup mix together three tablespoons of the cake mix and two tablespoons of the beverage.  I added a few dark chocolate morsels.  Microwave for one minute (I do about 45 seconds, adjust according to your microwave).  Top with an icing or Nutella and sprinkles or just eat it plain!  That’s it!  Store the bag of cake mix in your refrigerator for when you need a quick fix or need to make dessert for surprise guests.  I have also used soda in this recipe; get crazy with some Cream Soda or Cheerwine!

What’s for Dinner?

My Dad’s Chili

with Fancy Cornbread

Oh, it’s so good now that it’s getting cold (or occasionally cooling off, if you live in the South).  This is a dump recipe, so there are no precise measurements.  Also, this chili freezes really well.  Don’t worry about the cornbread, there won’t be enough left over to freeze.  🙂

Quick poll:  I love eating my chili over macaroni noodles.  My husband thinks this is weird and only eats crackers with his chili.  I’ve heard of other people topping rice with chili.  What do you do?

Chili

Ingredients:

  • Pretty much one of each can of beans – I usually use light kidney, dark red kidney, black beans, and navy beans.
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted this time and it was delicious!)
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 can tomato paste or sauce (depends on how thick you like your chili)
  • worcestershire sauce
  • one-half to a whole bottle of beer (the darker the better) Continue reading

What’s for Dinner?

Italian Pie

Prebaked – for some reason I got two pies out of my ingredients last night.

This is a dinner favorite.  I can’t find my recipe (go figure), but I have made it so many times I can just give you the basics.  Also, it is easiest to go ahead and make two pies since pie crusts come in packs of two and the recipe calls for half a pound of lean beef and half a pound of turkey.  Tonight I am only making one pie, so I am just going to use a pound of turkey.  Also, this recipe does not freeze well!  This lesson was learned the hard way.  Ricotta has too much water in it and ruins the dish when frozen.

Ingredients

  • Deep Dish pie crust
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • small can tomato paste (6 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • small container ricotta cheese (15 ounces)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella (reserve one cup for topping)
  • 1 egg
  • small package frozen spinach, defrosted (tonight I will be slightly wilting 1 pound of fresh spinach with minced garlic)
  • 1 diced tomato (or half a can diced tomatoes, drained)
  • a few fresh basil leaves (which I will be omitting tonight) Continue reading

What’s for Dinner?

Today I’m going to share a few of my favorite dinner sides.  As much as I love plain veggies, I’m a huge fan of new ways to prepare side dishes.  Please share one of your go-to recipes in the comment section!

Quick and Easy

Roasted Asparagus

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Trim coarse ends of the asparagus and rinse.  Spread spears on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.   Continue reading

{Better for You} Chicken Salad Sandwich

I am not a fan of mayonnaise-based salads, at all, until I had a cranberry chicken sandwich from Bull Street Gourmet.  What sold me on the sandwich was that it had just enough mayonnaise to hold everything together.  Naturally, I had to find a recipe so that I could make it myself.  Here’s how I make my own cranberry chicken salad sandwich:

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • A palm-full of tarragon
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup olive oil mayonnaise

 

Directions

I season my chicken with tarragon, salt and pepper and then grill them on my Foreman, but you can also cook them in a pan with olive oil.  When no longer pink in the middle, cut the chicken into bit-sized pieces.

Meanwhile, combine cranberries and orange juice in a bowl and microwave for 10-15 seconds to re hydrate the cranberries.

In a large mixing bowl combine the chicken, cranberries, almonds, and mayonnaise.  If you need more moisture, use some of the orange juice you used to heat the cranberries.

Serve cooled on toasted bread with lettuce and tomato (or just plain!).

*Side note:  I have also used plain yogurt when I was out of mayo and walnuts in place of almonds with fabulous results.  🙂