Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Fun Change of Pace


This was delicious, but at first glance, it didn't appear to be what it actually was, so it came as a pleasant surprise for all of us.


Cheesy Baked Potato Gnocchi


2 pounds gnocchi
1/4 cup butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups half and half
3 cups shredded cheese, divided (Cheddar or Mexican-blend)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare gnocchi according to package directions.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium skillet. Add garlic cloves and saute over medium heat for 1-2 minutes (do not brown garlic, turn heat down, if necessary). Whisk in flour until thick, cook for another 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly. Slowly add evaporated milk, then half and half, whisking constantly, until no lumps remain and mixture is thickened and bubbling. Stir in 2 cups shredded cheese until incorporated.

Place cooked gnocchi in a baking dish. Add cheese mixture and combine thoroughly. Sprinkle remaining cup of shredded cheese over the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

Source: The Wicked Noodle. You can find it here.

Notes: I don't know quite what we were expecting or even what we initially thought it was, but we were all surprised to learn this was gnocchi. It was really good though!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Breakfast for...Dessert?!

Well, now this was unexpected. How could we not try it? A breakfast themed dessert! It had to be done!

We had tried another breakfast-themed trifle years ago, but hadn't liked it quite as much as this one. However, if you would like to try that one out, it is Betty Crocker's recipe for Strawberry Cream Cheese Trifle, and you can find it here. That trifle was made with pancakes. It was good, but I would suggest making your favorite "from scratch" pancake recipe rather than making Bisquick pancakes, and I would have cut the pancakes into smaller pieces for the trifle (though this wouldn't have looked as pretty, it would have tasted better, made it easier to eat, and melded the flavors better).

Donut Trifle


2 pkg. (3.4 oz each) Jell-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
3 cups cold milk
1 cup sour cream
8 glazed donuts with sprinkles, each cut into 8 pieces (see notes)
1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed
1 tablespoon multi-colored sprinkles


Beat pudding mixes and milk in medium bowl with whisk 2 minutes. Stir in sour cream.

Layer half of the donut pieces followed by half of the pudding and then half of the Cool Whip in a large bowl; repeat layers.

Top with sprinkles.

Source: Kraft Recipes. You can find it here.

Notes: I have no idea what store Kraft goes shopping at, but I have never seen glazed donuts with sprinkles on least, not regularly. I have seen cake donuts with frosting and sprinkles on top. So, here's my suggestion: if you want it a little lighter, get simple glazed donuts (no sprinkles necessary), or if you want it richer, get cake donuts with or without frosting and sprinkles. My mom got an assortment of cake donuts (different flavored cake donuts...blueberry, strawberry, regular, etc.) with frosting and sprinkles. It was good, but heads up, it was also super sweet and rich.

Breakfast for Dinner

Ahhh, breakfast for dinner. I love it, though not everyone does. So, if you aren't a fan of having breakfast for dinner, just make these recipes in the morning and voila! Problem solved. Heads up're going to need a lot of 9x13-inch pans for this dinner night!


Charleston Breakfast Casserole


12 slices bacon
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 cups croutons
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
6 eggs
1 3/4 cups milk
1 bell pepper (any color), diced
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste


Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Melt butter in microwave, or in a small pan on the stove over low heat. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with vegetable spray. Place croutons in the bottom of the dish, and drizzle with melted butter. Sprinkle with grated Cheddar cheese.

Crack the eggs into a bowl, whisking to break up the yolks. Add milk, peppers, mustard, salt, and pepper, and beat until well-combined. Pour over the croutons and cheese, and sprinkle with crumbled bacon.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to stand 10 minutes before servings.

Source:, submitted by Scott M. You can find it here.

Notes: You have to have some savory breakfast choices! This was a good one to throw into the mix. It was also fun to use croutons instead of cubed bread.


Overnight French Toast
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 (1 pound) loaf French bread, sliced
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine the corn syrup, butter, and brown sugar in a small saucepan and simmer until the sugar has melted. Pour this mixture over the bottom of a greased 9x13 inch casserole dish. 
Place the bread slices over the sugar-butter mixture in the dish. In a bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and salt; pour this mixture over the bread. Cover the dish and let it stand in the refrigerator overnight.
The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Uncover the pan and bake for 45 minutes. Serve while hot or warm or French toast will harden in the pan. It can be reheated.
Source:, submitted by BOBSROAD. You can find it here.
Notes: BOBSROAD wasn't just whistling Dixie. This stuff really does harden in the pan if you don't consume it the point of making it really difficult to get out of the pan! We originally made this for our Christmas brunch, but we tried it again tonight and changed things up by cubing the bread instead of slicing it. It made it much easier to serve and eat.


Oven Scrambled Eggs


1/2 cup butter or margarine
24 eggs
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups milk


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Pour melted butter into a glass 9x13-inch baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and salt until well blended. Gradually whisk in milk. Pour egg mixture into the baking dish. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes, then stir, and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until eggs are set. Serve immediately.

Source:, submitted by Erin. You can find it here. We also originally posted it on our blog here.

Notes: It's so nice to have these eggs baking in the oven rather than rushing to scramble them perfectly on the stovetop in the midst of all of your other dinner prep.


Easy Cinnamon Rolls


12 Pillsbury Grands Biscuits
Cinnamon, to taste (1-3 teaspoons)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup cream


Place rolls in lightly greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar, then cinnamon. Pour cream over the top. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes, or until brown.

Source: My mom got it from a lady in her ward. It is similar to this Pillsbury recipe, though ours is much easier. We also love this recipe so much that we have already posted it here, here, and here.

Notes: On the last link above, we accidentally bought refrigerated cinnamon rolls instead of the Grands Biscuits. We just followed the recipe above with the cinnamon rolls and found another fantastic way to prepare these rolls! We just can't get enough of these!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Easy Soup

In the mood for Chinese food, but not in the mood to go out to eat, get take-out, or spend a ton of time in the kitchen? If that's the case, this recipe might be your best bet.

Restaurant Style Egg Drop Soup


4 cups chicken broth, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (or to taste)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, optional
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk


Reserve 3/4 cup of chicken broth, and pour the rest into a large saucepan. Stir the salt, ginger, and chives into the saucepan, and bring to a rolling boil. In a cup or small bowl, stir together the remaining broth and cornstarch until smooth. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk together using a fork. Drizzle egg a little at a time from the fork into the boiling broth mixture. Egg should cook immediately. Once the eggs have been dropped, stir in the cornstarch mixture gradually until the soup is the desired consistency.

Source:, submitted by W.J. Cory. You can find it here.

Notes: I added a little more ginger to suit my tastes and I skipped the chives since I didn't have any on hand. This is such an easy soup. It is so similar to the egg drop soup you can get in a restaurant.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Remember This When Soup Weather Rolls Around


This is a great and satisfying soup. It is easy to throw together and oh so flavorful. It is a great recipe to have up your sleeve when the cold weather sets in. I originally shared it on our blog here.


Southwestern Chicken Soup

Makes 4 servings


1 (12 ounce jar salsa verde)
3 cups cooked chicken pieces (1 small deli-counter rotisserie chicken or leftovers)
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
Tortilla chips, optional


Empty the salsa into a large saucepan. Cook 2 minutes over medium-high heat, then add the chicken,beans, broth, and cumin (if desired). Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Top each bowl with a sprinkling of onions, a dollop of sour cream, and some tortilla chips (if desired). Four a soupier dish, use 4 cups of broth.

Nutrition information: 381 calories, 124 mg calcium, 27 g carbohydrate, 91 mg cholesterol, 13 g fat, 5 g fiber, 4 mg iron, 35 mg protein, 6 g saturated fat, 668 mg sodium.

Source: Real Simple, October 2004, found on You can find it here.

Notes: The recipe suggests using a rotisserie chicken or leftovers. This time, I cooked my chicken in a slow cooker and shredded it prior to adding it to the soup. But you could poach it and dice it as well.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

This Really Is the Easiest


If you want a super easy dinner to throw together in your slow cooker, this is it. I love dinners I can throw in my slow cooker in the morning and forget about...until that wonderful smell reminds me that dinner is already ready.


Easy Chili Verde


1 boneless pork shoulder roast (4-5 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces (or cubed pork stew meat can be used)
3 cans (10 ounces each) green enchilada sauce
1 cup salsa verde
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1/2 teaspoon salt
hot cooked rice
Sour cream, optional
Chopped cilantro, optional


In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine pork, enchilada sauce, salsa verde, green chilies, and salt. Cook, coverd, on low-5-6 hours or until pork is tender. Serve with rice. If desired, top with sour cream.

Yield: 12 servings (3 quarts)

Nutrition information: (calculated without rice and sour cream): 287 calories, 17 g fat, 90 mg cholesterol, 729 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrate, 27 g protein.

Source: Taste of Home submitted by Julie Rowland. You can find it here.


Monday, January 4, 2016

Turkey Time! Part 3


Here's the last recipe I found this year to use up my turkey leftovers. It was really great! Plus, since my kids liked it, it's a winner in my book.

Turkey a la King with Rice


2 tablespoons butter
1 3/4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 celery rib, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup fat-free milk
2 cups cubed cooked turkey breast
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups hot cooked rice


In a large nonstick skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, celery, onion, and pepper; cook and stir until tender.

In a small bowl, mix flour and broth until smooth; stir into vegetable mixture. Stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Add turkey, peas, and salt; heat through. Serve with rice.

Yield: 4 servings.

Source: Taste of Home. You can find it here.

Notes: I loved this. I loved that it was so different than Thanksgiving dinner. I loved the freshness that the peas and mushrooms brought to it. It was delicious served over rice. This recipe is a keeper.

Turkey Time! Part 2

Here is another great recipe to help you use up your turkey leftovers.

Turkey Fettuccine Skillet


8 ounces uncooked fettuccine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups fat-free milk
1 teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups cubed cooked turkey breast
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large ovenproof skillet coated with cooking spray, saute onion, celery, and garlic in oil for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook and stir until vegetables are tender. Stir in the milk, seasoning blend, and salt. Bring to a boil.

Combine cornstarch and half-and-half until smooth; stir into skillet. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Stir in Parmesan cheese just until melted.

Stir in turkey. Drain fettuccine; add to turkey mixture. Heat through. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Broil 4-6 inches from the heat for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Yield: 6 servings.

Nutrition information: 1 cup equals 361 calories, 7 g fat, 76 mg cholesterol, 343 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 34 g protein.

Source: Taste of Home. You can find it here.

Notes: By the time I made this, I only had dark turkey meat left in my leftovers. It worked, but it would have been much better with turkey breast meat. I also didn't do the broiling step. I just didn't feel like it was necessary. Rather than using mozzarella (which I discovered that I was actually out of at the last minute), I sprinkled the top with additional Parmesan cheese. Since it was a little monotone in color (mostly brown and white), I decided to sprinkle the top with some chopped Italian parsley. It was really a nice addition. Not only did it look pretty, but it added a bright and fresh aspect to the dish. All in all, this recipe is a keeper and definitely a great way to use up your turkey leftovers.

Above: Here it is sprinkled with only Parmesan, and without the Italian Parsley.

Turkey Time! Part 1


So, perhaps you made a turkey for Christmas and perhaps after also having a turkey for Thanksgiving, you have a lot of leftovers. Or perhaps you just like turkey and want to make something with turkey in it at any time of the year. In my case, I made turkey for Thanksgiving and bought another turkey to make for Christmas, but since I was so sick over Christmas, I did it a little later. It was a big turkey with a lot of leftovers, and for whatever reason, my turkey sandwich loving family wasn't really in the mood for turkey sandwiches. So, I hunted down a few recipes that helped me use up my turkey leftovers. All of these recipes were paired with mushrooms, so if you don't like mushrooms, you probably won't like these recipes. However, since I do, I thought they were quite good. Here's the first recipe.


Turkey Mushroom Tetrazzini


1/2 pound uncooked spaghetti
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 can (12 ounces) fat-free evaporated milk
2 1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey breast
1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
Dash pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon paprika


Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain.

In a large saucepan, saute onion until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Combine cornstarch and broth until smooth; stir into the onion mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Reduce heat to low. Add milk; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the spaghetti, turkey, mushrooms, seasoned salt and pepper. 

Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese and paprika. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through. Yield: 6 servings.

Nutrition information: 1 1/4 cups equals 331 calories, 5 g fat, 51 mg cholesterol, 544 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 28 g protein.

Source: Taste of Home. You can find it here

Notes: This was good. My boys gobbled it up, which is always a plus for me. I have two different flavors of seasoned salt and I was on the fence as to which one to use. Afterward, I wasn't sure if I had used the right one, but when I had the leftovers, it was fantastic. You could also use a dry Italian dressing seasoning packet in place of the seasoned salt and it would taste great (1/2 a packet for the recipe as is, or a whole packet if you double the recipe).

I doubled this and it made a ton, so I split it in half and shared some with a neighbor who was in need.