Saturday, October 27, 2012

Marble Pumpkin Brownies

Oh My! These were divine!

Just thought I'd share my friend's recipe. Thanks Jess! You are inspired!

The only difference I did with this recipe is I didn't layer the pumpkin mixture in between. I put all of the brownie batter on the bottom of my Large Bar Pan (Pampered Chef Stone), then poured the pumpkin mixture in stripes across the pan. I then took a butter knife and cut through the batters in both directions to get the marble look and get the pumpkin distributed.

This is what it looks like. Not a picture of the actual brownies.

Enjoy these (I know you will) and check out the other amazing desserts and recipes that Jess has posted!

Saturday, October 6, 2012


This recipe was introduced to me by one of my first college roommates. Many thanks to Valerie and all of her delicious recipes. A pan of these never lasted long enough to even cool. So good!

2 cans Whole Water Chestnuts
1 lb Bacon cut into 1/3 slices
1 1/2 cups Ketchup
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Dry Mustard
1/4 cup Pineapple Juice
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 tsp Pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a 9x13" pan mix everything but your Water Chestnuts and Bacon.

3. Slice your bacon into thirds and begin wrapping around your Water Chestnuts. Secure the bacon with a toothpick (make sure you've poured your toothpicks out so you don't contaminate the clean ones you'll use later).

4. Place your Bacon Wrapped Chestnuts in your pan and swirl around to cover them in the sauce. Once all are wrapped and covered in sauce (they don't have to be completely covered since the sauce will be boiling and such) cover your pan in tinfoil and place in your oven.

5. Bake for 45 minutes.

Make sure to give them a little time to cool. It is hard, but you do want to be able to taste them.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Taco Soup - TexMex Style

I'm back to trying out some delicious products done by My Personal Pantry. This recipe was a spur of the moment "Ah-Ha" type of thing. I wanted to mix together some Taco Soup (don't you love Soup Weather?). My one dilema here is that I'm never prepared with a list of spices to throw in. I was about to go look something up when I remembered the small little can waiting for me.

It was all very easy from there.

3 cans of beans (I used Black, Kidney, and Pinto)
1 lb of cooked ground beef (I used canned because I was really feeling lazy)
1 bag of freezer corn
4 cups of water
1 cup of TexMex Tomato Soup Mix
Anything else Taco Soupy

1. Rinse your beans really well

2. Pour all of your ingredients in a decent sized pot. Heat over medium to medium-high heat until your soup is boiling. Lower heat to a simmer until you are ready to eat.

3. Top with things like sour cream, cheese, olives, etc.

So Easy! Very delicious!!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Quinoa with Black Beans

I've been playing around with the idea of trying Quinoa for awhile. I have two friends that have been really good at promoting it on Facebook. Thanks Adree and Tricia! It really is delicious and has lots of benefits. It is pretty much a substitute for things like rice.

Both of my friends recommended this recipe. I did it just like it said (except I didn't have any broth at all so I ended up using chicken noodle soup juice watered down until I had enough). One friend doesn't use the cayenne because she feeds it to her kids (and they like it). I tried it with. It had a fun kick!

Turkey-Stuffed Bell Peppers

I've started participating in Bountiful Baskets again. I figure it will force us to eat more healthy foods. I'm pretty excited about it. If you don't know much about Bountiful Baskets check out their website and see if they have something set up in your area.

When looking in my fridge last week I had a scrumptious idea to make some stuffed peppers. My neighbor brought us some last fall and they were delicious. I went on a hunt.

This recipe was found on the Taste of Home website. It was wonderful!!!

5 medium bell peppers
1 large onion, chopped (I used some onion powder instead)
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1-1/4 pounds ground turkey
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (I used Pampered Chef)
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded cheese (I chose Colby Jack)
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups rice (their recipe calls for soft bread crumbs)
1/4 teaspoon paprika (I skipped)

1. Cut peppers in half lengthwise and discard seeds. In a large pot, cook peppers in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. in a large skillet, saute onion in oil until tender. Add the turkey, cumin, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper; cook and stir over medium heat until meat is no longer pink.

3. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in the cheese, tomatoes and rice. Spoon into pepper halves. Place in a baking pan and sprinkle with paprika.

4. Bake uncovered, at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until heated.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Eating Healthy for Less

This is an article that I read on the other day. I thought it had a lot of good points and reminders. Enjoy!

Living in a fast-paced society, it can be difficult to eat fresh, healthy foods. “Pre-packaged” and “drive-thru” seem to be the key words of the day. But not only are foods made from scratch or homegrown healthier, they're often less expensive. Here are a few tips for eating fresh and for less.
1. Stay on the “outside” of the grocery store box
Grocery stores are arranged in an interesting fashion: By walking around the perimeter of the store, shoppers will encounter foods in their freshest state. This includes not only items in the produce section, but artisan breads still piping hot and deli items sliced up fresh, not to mention meat before it’s been wrapped in those plastic and Styrofoam cages.
Surprisingly, prices tend to be lower on these items as well. A half-pound of cheddar sliced up at the deli will often run a dollar a pound less than the pre-packaged kind. Even bringing home the bacon, literally, can be a better deal if the butcher slices it up for customers.
Because fresh items are so perishable, they’re constantly being discounted and placed in “must sell” bins. For someone planning on eating it tonight, they can save on it today.
2. Think local
Farmers markets are wonderful places to come across all kinds of fresh produce and homemade goods. Shoppers can find freshly-picked produce, and often, they'll have a bounty of homemade jams, breads and even salsas to choose from.
Not only will shoppers be supporting local farmers, but prices will usually be more reasonable because they don’t involve transportation and other third-party fees.
To find farmers market locations along the Wasatch Front, visit Wasatch Front Farmers Markets.
3. Eat seasonally
Making a salad with strawberries in January? Plan on paying close to $5 for those berries, if you find them.
Knowing what kinds of produce are in season may help you better plan your menu and navigate the grocery store. Prices for produce are lower for those items farmers and grocery stores have a bounty of. It's also a more sustainable way of eating.
Epicurious has a helpful map of of each state's growing season.
4. Learn to share
Americans throw away up to a quarter of all of the food they purchase, leading to a staggering amount of wasted money and depleted resources.
There’s a classic joke that around harvest time, look out for that pile of zucchini anonymously left on your front porch. In reality, there are probably plenty of people willing to take any freebies that come out of a neighbor’s garden. It’s often just a matter of getting the right produce to the right person. It might be prudent to make a neighborhood list at the beginning of the season, not just to get first dibs on some fresh tomatoes, but also to reconsider what could be planted in your own garden.
On the website, expert bloggers give some ideas for sharing a vegetable garden.NeighborhoodFruit .com is designed to help fruit tree owners share their bounty with others instead of allowing their crops to go to waste. Many such organizations exist, but if one isn’t available in your particular area, consider starting it yourself.
5. Use it or lose it
The biggest obstacle to eating fresh is using up items before they go bad. According to Jonathan Bloom, author of “American Wasteland,” Americans throw away up to a quarter of all of the food they purchase, leading to a staggering amount of wasted money and depleted resources.
There are many strategies to prevent this, the first of which is to carefully plan out meals so that fresh food isn’t purchased before it can be reasonably used. Also, be cautious about the amount of food purchased to begin with. Buying items that are on sale or in bulk won’t pay off if they’re not eaten.
Freezing or storing items properly are the next step to preventing waste. The National Center for Home Food Preservation lists some important information on how to preserve food safely. Many items, especially produce, simply need to be removed from the plastic bags or containers they come in. Meats, cheeses, even breads, can also be frozen and easily thawed for later use.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tomatillo Chicken Soup

A BIG thanks to my friend Kate Desmond for sharing this recipe with me. It's one of my new favorites!

Kate’s Tomatillo Chicken Soup
Saute the following in big stock pot approx 10-15 min:
1/2 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb tomatillos, diced (about 5 medium size, don’t forget to remove the husk and wash)
1 tablespoon cumin
add the rest & simmer approximately 15-25 minutes:
3 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
1 49 1/2oz chicken broth can
1 16oz fresh salsa from the grocery store deli
1 15.5 oz cans yellow hominy (drained)
1 15.5 oz cans white hominy (drained)
**serve with:blue or white tortilla chips
avocado chunks
white rice
shredded cheese
sour cream
fresh lime juice

*Tomatillos without the skin stuff vs. with it.

*Here is my chicken in the pot. I use the wooden spoon trick over the top to keep it from boiling over. It TOTALLY works!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cheddar Baked Chicken

Found this on Very Scrumptious!

I was looking for a good baked chicken recipe. I had one from my mom… but I kind of wanted to branch out a little and add some more flavor. This recipe had a great rating and lots of good reviews. After making it for a double date with my brother and soon-to-be wife we give it our full support!

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 eggs
2 Tbl milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups cornflakes, crunched up
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts- cut in half
2 Tbl butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a medium baking dish with 1/4 cup of melted butter.

2. In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. In a separate bowl, but together the eggs and milk. In a third bowl, mix the cheese and cornflakes. Dredge chicken pieces in the flour mixture, dip in the egg mixture, then press in the cornflakes. Arrange in the prepared baking dish.

3. Pour your remaining cornflakes and cheese over the top of the chicken then drizzle the 2 Tbl butt evenly over the chicken.

4. Bake for 35 minutes in the oven. Make sure to check the temperature (170 degrees)

Guiltless Alfredo Sauce

WOW!!! This is my new favorite recipe! Seriously!!! It tastes amazing and is so much healthier than your normal stuff. Thanks to Pinterest and wonderful friends who pointed it out on Facebook. This really is an amazing recipe.

2 cups low-fat milk (I used 1%)
1/3 cup cream cheese (you could also buy low fat)
2 Tbl Flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbl Butter
1 tsp garlic powder or 1 Garlic Clove
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Place milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt in a blender and blend until smooth.

2. If you’re using a Garlic Clove: In a non-stick sauce pan, melt butter on med-high heat and add garlic. Let the garlic saute for about 30 seconds, you don’t want to burn it.

3. If you’re using Garlic powder, In a non-stick sauce pan, melt butter then add your garlic powder. Mix it together, then add milk mixture to the pan. Stir constantly until it just comes to a simmer. Once it has come to a simmer keep stirring and let it cook for 3 more minutes. It should be getting much thicker at this point.

4. Remove pan from heat. Add the cheese, stir it up and then cover as quickly as possible. Let it stand for at least 10 minutes before using. It will continue to thicken upon standing

If you have leftovers in the fridge the sauce will thicken to almost a solid. Just re-heat it and add a little milk. It will be back to normal and just as good.

Santa Fe Chicken


This was inspired by some Pinterest Recipes I’ve seen floating around. I didn’t have everything on hand that I wish I had, but it was still really good.

2-3 Chicken Breasts
1 can Black Beans
1 can Kidney Beans
1 bottle Salsa
1 bag Freezer Corn (Canned corn would work too)
Southwestern Seasoning

Wish I had had:
1 bunch of Green Onions, diced
1/2 bunch of Cilantro (or more depending on if you like it a lot)

1. Cook your chicken up (170 degrees internal temperature) with some of your favorite Mexican-like seasoning. Mine is Pampered Chef’s Southwestern Seasoning. Once it’s cooked, dice it up and throw it in your crockpot.

2. Drain and rinse your beans.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients into your crockpot. Where everything is already cooked or safe to eat you are mainly letting things simmer and heat up. The mixture of flavors…. yum! Cook it on HIGH for 1-2 hours or LOW 3-4. Make sure to put it on high for the first little bit either way so that your food can all get to the safe food temperature fast, then turn it down if you are using your low setting.

If I had had Green Onions and Cilantro I probably wouldn’t have put them in, but left them for a topping afterward.

This was really good over rice. It would also be good on salad.

Green Monster Smoothie


There is a new trend going around about these things. It is blowing up on Pinterest and I’ve seen them a few times on Facebook. I decided to try my hand at them and see what I thought.

I’ve kind of been on a health kick lately (counting calories and such). That’s kind of what piqued my interest on these. I wanted something healthy, yummy, and easy to put together in the morning or for a snack during the day. These are so easy to put together and to change up to your liking also.

1 cup (or generous handful) fresh and clean spinach leaves
1 frozen banana
1/3 cup yogurt (I used WF Vanilla)
1/2 cup milk

1. Put everything in your blender and blend it on up.

This is 235 calories and makes about 1 1/2 glasses full. I didn’t actually measure it yet, but that is what it serves as in my glasses. I you want it a little thinner you can add another 1/2 cup of milk (50 more calories) and it will probably be two glasses of smoothie.

This is kind of a starter recipe that would be easy to add more things to. Here are suggestions:

1 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter (90 Cal)
Some frozen or fresh berries
Cocoa Powder
Flax Seed (tons of health benefits and adds a fun flavor)

Have fun with it!

Chicken and Black Bean Wrap

While trying to lose some weight lately I’ve been focusing on some fairly simple and healthy recipes.


2-3 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 can Black Beans
1 cup Freeze Dried Green Bell Peppers
1/2 cup Freeze Dried Onions

1. Get your bell peppers soaking so they can hydrate. Make sure that they are covered in water and then let them sit.

2. Cook your chicken in a skillet deep enough to prepare everything in. (Don’t you love one pan meals!) Once some of the juices and oils from the chicken start working around in the pan go ahead and throw in your Freeze Dried Onions. I didn’t reconstitute mine because I often like to just use the natural juices from the meats to do that. You can reconstitute them if you’d rather.

3. Once your chicken is cooked through and the temperature is at least to 170 degrees go ahead and slice it up. I don’t have a nylon knife that is safe to use in my non-stick pan so I forked them out and cut them into strips on my cutting board.


I guess I added the beans and drained peppers before I cut it. It really doesn’t matter.

4. Add your peppers and beans to your hot pan so they can get warmed up.

5. Serve over some rice or in a tortilla


Golden Graham Smores

I found this recipe on


3/4 c. light corn syrup
3 Tbsp. butter
1 pkg. (11.5 oz) milk chocolate morsels
3 c. miniature marshmallows
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. (12 oz) Golden Graham cereal (9 cups)

1. Grease 9x13 pan

2. Heat syrup, butter and morsels to boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.

3. Pour over cereal; toss until coated. Fold in Marshmallows (it suggests one cup at a time, but I just poured it all in at once. Press in pan with buttered back of spoon. I added some extra marshmallows on top for fun. Let it stand for 1 hour.

4. Cut into 2 inch squares (or the serving size you want). Store loosely covered at room temperature up to 2 days. Makes 24 squares.

These are DELICIOUS!!! I heard my sister talking about something similar to this and I had to try them. This is the only recipe I’ve tried, but I love the proportions and the easiness of it all. It comes together really quick.