Why my "chaotic kitchen?" Have you ever tried to cook a meal with two small boys running around? Those Iron Chefs have nothing on me! Most of these recipes are pretty easy to prepare (I'm sorry but I'm not Julia Child) and hopefully are easy to follow. Enjoy your stay and I hope you find some recipes that your family will enjoy!

Monday, December 23, 2013

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Monday, December 16, 2013

I'm Still Alive!!

I promise I haven't forgotten about y'all! Truly! But...its that time of year when there just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done. Don't get me wrong! I love this time of year...but I could seriously use about 5 more hours every day! I should be able to get a few recipes posted (okay...maybe at least one!) after I get through this week (trust me...its a doosy!). I made some AH-mazing gingerbread cookies and I can't WAIT to share!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Corn and Black Bean Soup

It was freakishly cold here in Georgia this past week. I know, I know, to those of you north of the Mason-Dixon line 20 in the morning isn't that cold but to us down here, that's COLD! Especially in November! Pretty much unheard of in these parts. Anyway, cold weather means soup or chili and this time I made soup. This soup is AH-mazing!! It does have a little kick to it but it is not overpowering or anything that will make your eyes water. :) Heads up, it does require Tastefully Simple products, but this seriously some of the best soup I've ever had AND I think its good for those veggie only folks out there (enjoy it...this is probably the only time you'll see something like this on my blog lol!).

This makes A LOT of soup so you could easily freeze some of it to enjoy later!


1 jar Corn and Black Bean Salsa
2 Tbsp Onion Onion
1 tsp Fiesta Party Dip Mix
16 oz can crushed tomatoes with juice
3 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
2 (14.5) oz cans vegetable broth (low sodium if possible)
3/4 tsp cumin
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
2 cups cooked brown rice


1. Combine the first 10 ingredients in a large pot; bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Serve! Can garnish with some cilantro if you want.

*Makes about 10 CUPS of soup!
*If its thicker than you'd like, add a little water until you get the consistency you like.
*This is a slight variation of the recipe found on the TS site; that one has chicken added.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Monster Pudding Cups

I probably should have posted this BEFORE Halloween but...The "faces" on these could probably be changed to suit Christmas parties. I made these for my 2 year old's Halloween lunch at preschool. Aren't they ADORABLE?! :) I'd seen these floating around on Pinterest and thought they looked easy. They WERE! This will make 12 cups of cuteness.


2 large boxes instant vanilla pudding
6 cups of cold milk
green food coloring
Oreo cookies (crushed)
clear cups
Sharpie marker


1. Draw your faces on your cups. Make sure they're fairly low down so they'll actually be on the pudding.
2. Make the pudding according to the packages.
3. Add green food coloring until you get the tint you want.
4. Scoop about a 1/2 cup of pudding into each cup.
5. Using a food processor (if you have one), crush the Oreo cookie until its in little pieces. Don't use the whole package of cookies; start out with about 12 cookies (you can always crush up more if needed).
6. Sprinkle the crushed cookies on top of the pudding until you have a thin layer.

Enjoy! :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Crock Pot Ranch Chicken

This is a "twist" (if you can call using chicken instead of pork a twist) on a recipe I saw floating around on Pinterest last year. The recipe calls for pork chops and I've made it several times; its really, really tasty (honestly, the gravy is to DIE for...if you like gravy I suppose). I wanted to make it this evening, opened the freezer, and DOH! No pork chops...but I did have chicken! I love these easy "dump them in the Crock Pot and let them cook" recipes. Enjoy!


2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 - 3/4 of a packet of Italian Dressing mix
1 lb boneless chicken breasts


1. Mix the soup and dressing mix together in a bowl. I don't use the entire packet of dressing mix because, in my opinion, it makes it too salty.
2. Put a little of the soup mixture in the bottom of your Crock Pot. (I NEVER use mine without those handy Crock Pot liners you can buy in the store!!)
3. Lay your chicken breasts in your cooker and then pour all the soup mixture on top, making sure the chicken is covered.
4. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Your cooking time is going to depend on how hot your Crock Pot cooks (mine seems to cook hot) and also on how much time you have until dinner (haha!). Start checking it after 2-3 hours just to see how its doing - you don't want dried out meat.

Serve with mashed potatoes (the gravy is amazing on taters!)!

*I couldn't get a "good" picture of this...I should've used a blue plate!

Fiesta Layer Dip

Like I said in a previous post, I love Mexican food, especially those yummy dips! I was craving some so I whipped up this very quick and easy layer dip this afternoon for a snack. Hubby ate most of it (of course!). This has the leftover chili from my post a few days ago (you can see the recipe for that here). I didn't measure anything so the amounts in the ingredients will be a bit "generalized;" just use enough to feed whomever you are feeding and to suit your tastes!


chili (homemade or canned)
1 can refried beans (cooked)
shredded cheddar
shredded colby jack
sour cream (for the dip)
mayonnaise (for the dip)
Fiesta Party Dip


1. Make the Fiesta Party Dip according to the directions on the bottle. Let it sit at least 2 hours.

2. Put a layer of chili in the bottom of a microwaveable bowl.

3. Sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese.

4. Put a layer of refried beans.

5. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds.

6. Put a layer of Fiesta Party Dip.

7. Sprinkle a nice layer of shredded colby jack on top.
(You can start the layers over again if you want a thicker dip for more people)

8. Heat in the microwave for about 2 minutes or until its bubbling along the edges.

9. Heat for another 30 seconds or until the cheese on top is mostly melted.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Macaroni and Cheese

Who doesn't love some good mac and cheese? If you don't, you probably don't need to be on a food blog anyway. :) This is a recipe my mom made when I was growing up and she passed it on to me (such a good mommy). It will take a little more time and ingredients than what comes out of the blue box but it is soooo worth it! My sons eat this up like there's no tomorrow.


1 1/4 cups macaroni
3 Tbs butter
2 Tbs all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/4 cups of milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (approximately)
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs


1. Cook macaroni and drain. Set aside. Heat oven to 350.
2. Put butter in a large microwaveable dish (needs to be able to hold a few cups of liquid) and microwave for 30 seconds or until melted.
3. Stir in flour, salt, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and pepper.
4. Put milk in a microwaveable dish and microwave for 1 minute or until warm.
5. Gradually stir milk into the flour mixture. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, stir, then cook another 1 1/2 minutes. Stir. If its not smooth and thickening, microwave for another minute.
6. Add 1 1/2 cups of the cheese and stir until melted.
7. Combine the cheese mixture and the cooked macaroni noodles in a 1 1/2 - 2 qt casserole dish. Top with the remaining cheese and the bread crumbs.
8. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted.

*I usually use more cheese than this because...well, because we like cheese!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Chicken Enchiladas

I love Mexican food. I think I could sit at a table in a restaurant with nothing but a glass of Coke, a basket of chips, a bowl of salsa, and a bowl of that glorious cheese dip. Yum. But, as I have two small terrorists boys, going out to eat is usually not something I want to inflict on the poor, unsuspecting diners at our local restaurant. I wanted enchiladas but not the headache of taking my kids out - so I searched the internet until I found some recipes that I could alter and make with what I had at the house.

NOTE: This will probably make more enchiladas than your 9x13 pan will hold. You can either cook two pans OR wrap each enchilada in some cling wrap and then aluminum foil SEPARATELY, put in a freezer bag, pop in your freezer, and you have an easy meal for another evening. 


corn tortillas
1 cup shredded, cooked chicken (I used canned chicken that was in my pantry)
1-2 cans of enchilada sauce (depends on how much sauce you like)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


1. Heat oven to 375. Spray some non-stick cooking spray in a 9x13 baking dish.
2. Heat the chicken, one can of sauce, and 1 cup of the cheese in a pan on the stove until heated through.
3. Wrap your corn tortillas in a slightly damp paper towel and warm in the microwave for a few seconds (this helps keep them from tearing as much as you roll them up).
4. Spoon some filling into each tortilla and roll them up, placing them seam side DOWN in your pan.
5. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over them and top with remaining cup of cheese.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Serve with chips or refried beans or Spanish rice or whatever you like. 

* You can cook some chicken to shred for this but I'm lazy.
* Some of that mixed shredded Mexican/taco/quesadilla cheese they sell in stores would be yummy, too.
* I loved having the leftovers in the freezer for a second, super easy meal for the family when I had to go out for the evening. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"German" Pancake

Okay, okay. Before anyone gets on my case about the name of this dish, this is what a friend of mine called it when her mom made it for me every time I'd come over to spend the night. I don't know if its truly "German" (though I've had a HUGE pancake at a German restaurant). But its really yummy and really easy (of course...remember, I'm no Julia Child!) and my kids both love it.


2 Tbs butter
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2/3 cup flour
3 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 - 1 tsp lemon extract (depending on how "lemony" you want it)
powdered sugar (optional)


1. Heat oven to 400. Put the butter in a 9 inch pie dish and stick it in the oven while it heats and you make your batter.
2. Mix milk, eggs, flour, sugar, salt, and lemon extra in a large bowl with a whisk (or fork) until well blended. It is going to be runnier than a regular pancake batter.
3. Pull the pie dish out of the oven (butter should be completely melted) and pour your batter into the hot dish.
4. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the pancake puffs up and is a pretty golden brown. It will sink a little as it cools.
5. Take it out of the oven and you can sprinkle with a some powdered sugar before serving.

*I always put a little syrup on my crust...its sooo yummy!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Donut Acorns

I love things that have to do with squirrels (it was my sorority mascot!) so when I came across this adorable snack idea a couple years ago I knew it was for me! I've made this recipe the past two years for the Thanksgiving lunch at my son's preschool and it was a big hit each time (I'll be making it again this year for youngest son's lunch!). These are ridiculously easy to make. I mean, shhh-don't-tell-anyone-how-easy-these-were ridiculous! And really, who can resist cute little acorns?


old fashioned donut holes
tub of chocolate frosting (or Nutella if you want to be healthy...I don't)
chocolate sprinkles
mini pretzel sticks


1. Spoon some of your frosting into a bowl and microwave it for a few seconds so its softer and easier to work with.
2. Pour some chocolate sprinkles into a bowl.
3. Pick up a donut hole. Dip one end into the chocolate frosting. Give it a little twist.
4. Dip the chocolate side of the donut into the chocolate sprinkles and roll it a little so the sprinkles cover the frosting.
5. Break a pretzel stick in half and stick a piece in the top of your donut.

Volia! You are done! Yes, its that easy. Now just repeat it over and over until you make as many as you need.

Easy Peasy Chili

So my gorgeous Great Smoky Mountain calendar on the wall says its now fall and the Georgia temps are actually starting to cooperate (I've worn my jeans and my boots...I'm happy happy happy). What do I have to make as soon as that season changes and I can step outside in jeans and not feel like I'm going to die of heat stroke? Well, make chili of course! This is a really easy recipe and (like a lot of my recipes) you can kinda add and take away to suit your family's tastes. This one uses some Tastefully Simple products but if you don't have them (and why don't you????) I have listed the substitute.


1 lb ground beef
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce (or 2 small cans)
1 1/2 Tbs Onion, Onion (or some chopped up onion)
3 Tbs Wahoo! Chili Seasoning  (or a packet of chili seasoning)
salt and pepper to taste
dash of sugar (optional)


1. Brown ground beef with your onions until beef is done and drain grease.
2. Add salt and pepper to taste and the chili seasoning. Stir.
3. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Stir. (You can add a dash or two of sugar here if you like to cut the acidity of the tomatoes but this is optional.)
4. Let it simmer on the stove for at least 20-25 (longer is always better), stirring occasionally and giving it a taste to see if it needs any more seasoning to your liking.

Can serve with rice or cheese or cornbread or whatever you want. :)

* I like to use my left over chili for chili dogs the next day.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Crunchy Fiesta Chicken

First, I'll apologize again for not so great pictures. I just use my camera phone and I am certainly NOT a professional photographer! :)

This chicken dish, while it took a little longer than some of my other recipes, was really, really tasty and I can't wait for the leftovers. This one DOES require a Tastefully Simple product, though! I have to say, I kept picking all the extra chip pieces off the baking dish (that had the dip mix and cheese on them) because it was so tasty! I think I'm going to make a layer dip based on this recipe...


1 1/2 Tbsp to 2 Tbsp Fiesta Party Dip Mix
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups crushed tortilla chips

shredded Cheddar cheese


1. Heat oven to 375. Line a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil and then spray with cooking spray.
2. Combine the first 3 ingredients (the Fiesta Dip Mix is spicy so base how much you add on how spicy your family likes their food!) and spread on both sides of the chicken breasts.
3. Roll the chicken breasts in the crushed up tortilla chips (some is going to fall off, don't panic).
4. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of each chicken breast for the last 5 minutes of cooking. (some of the "breading" is going to come off, don't panic)

*I can't take credit for coming up with this recipe! I modified it a bit from the one found on the TS website!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Nutella Stuffed French Toast with Macerated Strawberries

I love French toast. Love it. Probably my favorite breakfast item. I make it a lot and I like to play around with it, making different versions (can't wait to make Egg Nog French Toast!). I'd seen recipes for stuffed versions but they all used cream cheese, which my lactose intolerant hubby can not eat. I really wanted to make some stuffed toast so I opened the pantry and what was right before my eyes? My hubby's beloved Nutella. Ding ding ding! We have a winner! Please note that I have NEVER measured when I make French toast, I just add the amount that I like and that works for how many of us are eating that morning. :)


sliced sourdough bread (I got some from a bakery)
1 tsp vanilla extract (the REAL stuff)
orange juice (or lemon)
butter (for the pan)
powdered sugar (optional)


1. Cut up your strawberries and put them in a bowl with a few tablespoons of sugar and a few tablespoons of orange juice. Stir them up and sit in the fridge while you make your toast.
2. Heat your griddle (or flat pan or whatever you use!). Don't go higher than medium.
3. Mix eggs, milk, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla together. (use amounts that work for how many you're serving and how sweet/unsweet you want your toast to be)
4. Make Nutella sandwiches! Really. Spread the Nutella on a slice of sourdough and plop the other piece on top. Put as much or as little as you like.
5. Throw a little butter on the pan to melt. Dunk your sandwiches in the batter, coating both sides. Once the butter is melted, put them on the griddle.
6. Let them cook for 2-3 minutes per side (until it reaches your desired level of brownness) and then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes.
7. To serve, put a sandwich on a plate, sprinkle with some powdered sugar, and top with your macerated strawberries.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

This is another recipe I saw floating around on Facebook and Pinterest (aren't they helplful? lol). I made a few changes to the recipe when I fixed it. I added a little something extra to my sauce to give it a slight kick (not much!). The chicken came out of the oven SOOO wonderfully crispy! Not a great picture (sorry); I'll try to get one of just the chicken the next time I fix it.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 (10 oz) can Cream of Chicken soup
2 Tbs butter
1/2 shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbs milk
Tastefully Simple Fiesta Party Dip Mix (optional)


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2.  Cut the chicken breasts in half length wise.
3. Put the crackers in a food processor and grind those babies up!
4.  Put the milk, 2 1/2 cups cheese, and cracker crumbs into 3 separate dishes. Add a dash of salt and pepper (to taste) to the crumbs and stir it up.
5. Dip each piece of chicken into the milk, then the cheese (press the cheese onto the chicken, some will come off, don't panic!), and then into the cracker crumbs. Press it all onto the chicken (again, some will probably come off) and then place into the baking dish.
6. Cover with foil and bake for about 35 minutes.
7. While the chicken is cooking, in a medium sauce pan combine the Cream of Chicken soup, butter, and 2 Tbs of milk. Stir over medium heat until hot and then stir in the 1/2 cup of cheese and 1 Tbs of Fiesta Party Dip Mix (the dip mix is OPTIONAL). Let it bubble for a minute and then serve it over your chicken.

Easy Chicken-Potatoes-Green Beans

I saw this recipe all over Facebook and Pinterest for awhile before finally trying it. OMG it is soooo easy to throw together (always a plus when you have small children running around the kitchen not listening to your pleas of "get out!!!"). I used different potatoes than what I saw in recipes on the internet because, well, because I like Yukon golds! I also used one of my Tastefully Simple products to add a little something "extra."My house smelled amazing while it was cooking and the 6 year old enjoyed it.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can of green beans (mostly drained)
2-3 large Yukon gold or yellow potatoes (depends on size)
1 package Italian dressing mix
1 stick of butter, melted
Tastefully Simple Roasted Garlic Infused Oil (optional)


1. Heat your oven to 350.
2. Arrange the food in a 9x13 baking dish with the chicken in the middle.
3. Sprinkle the packet of Italian dressing mix over top of the entire dish.
4. Drizzle a little Roasted Garlic Infused Oil over the top. (optional step)
5. Carefully pour the melted butter over the entire dish.
6. Cover with foil and bake for 50-60 minutes (until the chicken is done and the potatoes are fork tender).

*You can use half a stick of butter and sub some olive oil for the other half.
*Fresh green beans will work as well.
*Broccoli is good, too!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Monte Cristo Sliders

These little sammies would be perfect for tailgating, parties, or just quick snacks! They're super easy to make! I absolutely LOVE them!!! I've always thought raspberry on a hot sandwich was a bit...weird...but this is oddly delicious! It got two thumbs up from the boys and it will be a frequent item on our table from now on!


12 bakery rolls
vegetable oil
thinly sliced ham
thinly sliced turkey
sliced Swiss cheese
raspberry spread/jam


1. Put a piece of aluminum foil on a large baking sheet.
2. Leave the big block of rolls connected and just cut them in half so you have a big top and a big bottom. Set the top aside.
3. Brush the bottom of the bottom piece with some veggie oil and place it, oiled side down, on the aluminum foil.
4. Spread the raspberry jam on them. It can be as thick or thin of a layer as you like but I went with a thinner layer because I didn't want it oozing out all over the place!
5. Layer the turkey, ham , and Swiss cheese evenly across the bread.
6. Put the top piece on and brush the top with some more veggie oil.
7. Cover with another piece of aluminum foil and SEAL the two pieces of foil together (so your sammies are in a cozy little pouch!).
8. Put in a 400 degree oven for 8 minutes, remove and (carefully!) flip the pouch over. Put back in the oven for about 5 minutes or until heated through.
9. Cut them into 12 yummy little sammies to devour!

*I got the recipe idea from Publix grocery store.