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, 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!