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Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken & Homemade Rice-a-Roni

19 Aug

We all liked both of these recipes, and would make them again. I found both of these recipes on Pinterest, and happened to have all the ingredients on hand to make them. The chicken was moist and flavorful, the combo of the cheese and Italian dressing mix matched well with the chicken. I was surprised at how easy it was to make homemade Rice-a-Roni. I served this meal with steamed broccoli, a favorite of my toddler.

Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken
Source: Key Ingredient

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 package Italian dressing mix
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the cheese, Italian dressing, and garlic powder together. Moisten the chicken breasts with water, and then coat in the cheese mixture. Place in a shallow baking dish, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.

Homemade Rice-a-Roni
Source: Rita’s Recipes

1 C white (regular long grain) rice
1/2 C pasta, (spaghetti) broken into small pieces
2 T butter
3 C chicken broth
2 T parsley flakes
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t pepper
1/4 -1/2 t seasoned salt (depending of saltiness of broth)

Melt the butter in a large skillet and saute the rice and pasta until golden, stirring often. Stir in all the seasonings, then add the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered until the liquid had been absorbed and the rice and pasta are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork a few times. If it is still too wet, let it sit on low with the lid off a few minutes.


Crockpot Macaroni & Cheese

10 Jul

My two year old loves macaroni and cheese, so I was excited to try this recipe out on him. I’m sure glad I did, he loved it. I thought it was good too. It kind of reminded me of Stouffers frozen macaroni and cheese. I have tried a crockpot macaroni and cheese recipe before, and it didn’t turn out very good. The milk in that recipe curdled in the crockpot. I didn’t have that problem with this recipe, it was smooth and creamy.

Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese
Source: Six Sisters, originally from Paula Deen

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste after cooking
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Boil the macaroni in water for six minutes and drain. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Heat over medium high heat and stir until the cheese melts. Spray your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Combine cheese mixture, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper in your slow cooker. Add the drained macaroni and stir again. Cook on low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Crockpot Mac and Cheese

Aunt Connie’s Pasta Salad

18 May

I made this pasta salad for my son’s second birthday party, and everyone enjoyed it. I have made it a few times, and my husband and I love it. It’s super easy to make, and stores well.

Aunt Connie’s Pasta Salad
Source: My aunt, original source unknown

1 cup cubed hard salami
12 oz package of tri color rotini pasta
1 cup fresh chopped broccoli
1/2 cup sliced black olives
3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cups cubed cheddar cheese
1 cup real mayo
1 cup Italian dressing

Cook pasta al dente; drain. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

pasat salad

Betty Lou’s Sweet Potato Casserole

13 Dec

I first had this casserole at one of my husband’s family gatherings. His great aunt, Betty Lou made it. I loved it, and had to get the recipe! I have made this for the last 2 years at Thanksgiving, and everyone loves it. The sweet potatoes are sweetened up even more with Splenda, and they are topped with a delicious sweet crumb topping. It is easy to make. I have used canned sweet potatoes in this recipe, but I prefer to bake the sweet potatoes. If you bake them, let them cool for just a few minutes. The potato peel is really easy to remove. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do ūüôā

Betty Lou’s Sweet Potato Casserole
Source: original source unknown

3 cups cooked sweet potatoes
1 cup Splenda
1/2 cup butter
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk


3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup butter

Mix all ingredients (except topping) with an electric mixer until smooth. Grease a 9×13 inch pan. Spread mixture evenly into pan. Mix topping ingredients together. Spread evenly over sweet potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

sweet potato casserole

Sweet & Spicy Corn Relish

29 Aug

A coworker of my dad’s gave my parents a couple of jars of this corn relish, and they were kind enough to let me sample it too. I’m so glad they did, I loved it. This is such a perfect side dish in the summer to anything coming off of your grill! This makes alot, but freezes well. I made 5 pints with one batch. This was really easy to make, and would make a great gift in the summer!

Sweet & Spicy Corn Relish
Source: Dad’s coworker, original source unknown

1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 sugar, 1/2 splenda)
1/3 cup oil
small red onion, diced
1 red, 1 green pepper; diced
4 jalapenos (2 seeded, 2 not) diced
4 cans white and yellow corn; drained
1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, and oil. Heat to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and cool. In a very large glass or plastic container, combine the onion, peppers, jalapenos, corn, and kidney beans. Pour the cooled brine over the veggies and combine. Cover and chill overnight. Place relish in 5 pint jars or desired containers. Will keep in fridge for one week.

corn salsa

Cheesy Roasted Garlic Potato Balls

10 Feb

It’s recipe swap time once again, and this time the theme is potatoes. I submitted a side dish recipe for lemony asparagus and new potatoes, and was given this one. I love trying all the recipes in the swap, it’s fun to try a recipe that you might not have given a chance. I adapted this recipe quite a bit for just the two of us. I did not roast the garlic or use gruyere cheese. I used shredded cheddar in ours. I also halved the recipe, as it makes 20 balls and I thought that would be way too much for us. This is a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. To see all of the recipes, check out A Taste of Home Cooking. We both liked the potato balls, although they were a little work. My husband dipped his in ranch dressing, and I dipped mine in bbq sauce.


Cheesy Roasted Garlic Potato Balls

Source: Around the Table: Loving Food in RI and Beyond, adapted¬†from Life’s Ambrosia


1 clove garlic, minced

kosher salt

1 cup leftover stiff mashed potatoes, at room temperature

1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 eggs

1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

oil for frying

Place mashed potatoes in a bowl. Stir in garlic and cheddar cheese. Add salt to taste.

Using a tablespoon of the mixture, roll into balls.

In one bowl, beat the eggs. In another bowl, combine the bread crumbs and panko.

Dip each ball into the egg, and then into the bread crumb mixture. After that, dip once again in the egg, and crumbs to double coat.

Heat 2 inches of oil in a large pot or pan. Once oil starts to shimmer, add a few bread crumbs. If the oil starts to sizzle, it is ready.

Fry the potato balls until they are golden brown, working in batches (about 3-4 minutes).

Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper lined plate. Allow to cool for several minutes and serve.

Cucumber Tomato Salad

28 Jul

If you are like me and have tons of cucumbers and tomatoes right now from your garden, then this is the recipe for you! I remember my grandmother making something similar to this when I was growing up. She would slice cucumbers and onions very thin and soak them in a combination of vinegar and sugar. I used to love when she would make this for me! The longer this salad marinates, the more the flavors really penetrate the vegetables. What can I say, this is perfect for a hot summer day.

Cucumber Tomato Salad

Source: adapted slightly from Allrecipes


2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 large cucumber, peeled and diced

4 green onions, chopped

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup cider vinegar

1 cup water

In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, and green onions. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the vinegar and water. Pour vinegar mixture over vegetables, and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

13 Feb

I have been making these stuffed mushrooms for years now. I don’t have a recipe for them. I usually add a little of this, and a little of that. They are always a hit when I make them. My husband loves them, and he usually eats about 15 of them all by himself. I have to say, they are quite addictive! Well, I made them last night for a special steak dinner, and I wrote out the measurements. Now I can share the recipe with all my family and friends that request it. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! There were a total of four people here last night for dinner. Between the 4 of us, we almost demolished 32 oz of mushrooms! That’s alot of mushrooms. So, if you are making this for a crowd, you might want to triple the recipe.



Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

Source: The Cooking Nurse Original Recipe


16 oz package of whole mushrooms, washed and stems discarded

(16 oz)  1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened

1/2 stick real butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons parsley flakes, plus more for garnish

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup real bacon bits

Preheat¬†oven to 350 degrees. Wash mushrooms well, and discard stems. In a medium-sized bowl, combine cream cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, parsley flakes, Parmesan cheese, and bacon bits. With a spoon, divide cream cheese mixture evenly between mushrooms. Place the mushrooms cream cheese side up, in a greased 9×13 inch pan. Depending on the size of your mushrooms, you may need an additional pan as well. Sprinkle mushrooms with additional parsley. Bake for 45 minutes, or until mushrooms have softened. Enjoy! They make an excellent side dish to any kind of grilled meat, or are great as¬†an appetizer.

Ranch Macaroni and Cheese

11 Jan

I’m sure by now you must know of my love for all things ranch. This recipe was quite tasty. The ranch flavor is not overwhelming at all, it just adds a little something different to plain old mac and cheese. We will be repeating this in our house in the future, it was very good. I cut this recipe in half and still¬†had leftovers, it makes alot!

Ranch Macaroni and Cheese

Source: Cassie Craves, Adapted from Taste of Home


1 pound macaroni

1 cup milk  (I used skim)

1/4 cup butter, cubed

1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

1 cup shredded Colby cheese (I used cheddar)

1 cup sour cream (I used light)

1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, combine the milk, butter, ranch, garlic powder, and salt and pepper; heat through. Stir in Monterey jack and Colby cheeses until melted. Stir in sour cream.

Drain macaroni; stir into cheese sauce with the Ritz crackers. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


Tuscan Tomato and Bread Salad

10 Aug

The cooking board I like to frequent has a new challenge out this week! The challenge is to use the ingredient tomatoes in a new recipe and blog about it. I immediately thought of this recipe that my mom makes frequently in the summer. It is so addicting! This recipe tastes fantastic with tomatoes fresh out of the garden, which I have an abundance of right now! I served this along side tequila lime chicken.


Tuscan Tomato and Bread Salad

Source: Saveur’s Italian Cookbook

  • 3/4 cup olive oil, split in half
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 baguette, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 3-4 lbs fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I used garlic flavored rice wine vinegar)
  • salt to taste
  • fresh basil, thinly sliced (I used 1 teaspoon dried basil)

Heat 1/2 olive oil in large oven proof skillet over medium heat. Remove from heat and add minced garlic and bread cubes. Mix well. Place skillet in oven and bake until bread is golden (10-15 minutes at 350 degrees). Remove from oven and let bread cool.

Meanwhile, chop tomatoes and remove seeds. Transfer chopped tomatoes to a large bowl. Add remaining oil, vinegar, and season with salt to taste. Shortly before serving toss bread with tomato mixture and add basil.