Monday, December 31, 2012

Oven Roasted Root Vegetables

This year at Thanksgiving I was assigned a vegetable.  Since I like to cook and like to fancy things up a bit, I decided that the time had come for me to make this recipe that I had had my eye on for a while.  It was a HUGE hit and I ended up making it for Christmas dinner as well.

  • 1 large butternut squash (1 1/2 to 2 pounds) halved, seeded and peeled
  • 3 large Yukon gold potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed
  • 1 bunch medium beets, (about 1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed and tops trimmed
  • 1 medium red onion
  • * 2 large parsnips (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 head garlic cloves separated, and peeled (about 16)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Place 2 baking sheets in the oven and preheat to 425 degrees.
Cut all the vegetables into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Cut the onions through the base core to keep some of the layers in chunky pieces. Toss all the vegetables with garlic, olive oil and salt in large bowl. Season generously with pepper.
Carefully remove the heated baking sheets from the oven, brush or drizzle with olive oil. Divide the vegetables evenly between the 2 pans, spreading them out to assure they don't steam while roasting. Roast the vegetables until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
*The second time I made these I skipped the parsnips all together.  They were good, but not necessary for this dish.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Growing up my mom always made donuts on Halloween.  It was something that I always looked forward to every year.  They are so yummy.  Now I make them with my little family.  We made them tonight and took them around to a few neighbors.

1 c. shortening
1 TBS yeast
1/2 c warm water
1 c. sugar
4 c. milk
5 eggs
2 c. mashed potatoes (I use instant)
1 TBS salt
1tsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla
 12-15 c. flour


2 lb pwd sugar
 1 tsp vanilla
 1 tsp lemon extract

Scald milk with shortening (slowly heat until bubbles form).  Add salt, sugar, and enough flour to make batter (like cake batter).  Add potatoes, beaten eggs, dissolve yeast in 1/2 c. water and add to mixture.  Add both vanilla and lemon flavorings.  Add enough flour to make soft dough (should be a little sticky), let rise twice until doubled in bulk (I usually let it rise an hour).  Roll out dough, cut into doughnut shapes.

In big pot melt Crisco on medium.  Drop doughnuts in and cook until light brown.  Drain on paper towels and glaze.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Simple Sweet Pork Tacos

Sweet Pork Tacos

1 lg pork roast
2 cans of salsa
2 cups of brown sugar

{I am cooking just for my husband and I, so I split this in 1/2... it still made a lot}.

Place the roast in a crock pot, and pour salsa and brown sugar over the top. Cook for 8 hrs on low heat. When the meat has cooked for 7.5 hrs, take out the roast, shred it with a fork, put it back into the crock pot, and mix it with the juices. Let it finish cooking for 30 minutes. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Spicy Honey Chicken

I made this for dinner yesterday and it turned out so great! The only thing is that it gets your grill a little messy... but it was well worth it.

From the kitchen of: Our Best Bites

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 2lbs  {I used chicken breasts and not as many. However, Our Best Bites claims that it is better with thighs}.

2 t granulated garlic
2 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t coriander
1 t kosher salt
1 t cumin
1/2 t chipotle chili powder {I didn't use this, I added just a tad more chili powder}
 2 t vegetable oil

1/2 C Honey1T Cider Vinegar


Combine the rub spices in bowl and mix well.

Rub oil over each of the chicken pieces, then coat each piece with the rub. Grill chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through { I love meat on the grill}! 

While chicken is cooking, warm honey in the microwave so it’s not so thick. Add the vinegar and combine well. Reserve 2T honey glaze for later. Take the rest and brush on chicken (both sides) in the final moments of grilling.

 If you don’t have a bbq, try it on an indoor grill pan or use your broiler. Just be sure to open a window in case you burn your glaze.

So simple! Enjoy!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Rosemary Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

I am just barley getting to posting what we had for dinner for Easter Sunday this year.  Our tradition in the past has always been to have ham, but last year we tried pork tenderloin for the first time and loved it so I decided that I would do it again this year.  I tried this new recipe and it was so delicious!  It comes from this cookbook.

1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp crushed rosemary
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1. Combine garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Massage the seasonings all over the pork loin.
2. Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
3. Place the seasoned pork tenderloin in a zip-top bag and add the oil and vinegar combination.  Seal the bag and refrigerate for 4-10 hours.
4. Removed the pork from bag and place in foil lined baking dish.
Place dish in preheated oven and bake until internal temperature of the roast reaches 160 degrees F.  About 20-25 minutes.
5. Let stand for 5 minutes and then slice into 1/2 inch pieces.  Spoon pan juices over roast before serving.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Smoked Mozzerella and Penne Spinach Salad

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter weekend!  We had such a wonderful few days.  On Saturday we went to a family party of a BBQ and flying kites with the cousins.  It was so much fun.  I brought this incredible salad to share that I found on this site.   It was scrumptious and I am trying to find another excuse to make it, I have been dreaming about it ever since. 

Parmesan Dressing:
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup white whine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
12 ounces penne pasta
3 cups packed baby spinach
12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and diced
4-6 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, diced
For the dressing, combine the Parmesan cheese, parsley, mayo, vinegar, garlic, cayenne and salt and pepper in a blender and process until the dressing is smooth. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. The dressing can be made up to two days ahead of time.
To prepare the salad, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until just tender, al dente. Drain the pasta into a colander and run cold water over it and drain well. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, spinach, roasted red peppers and smoked mozzarella. At this point, the salad and dressing can be refrigerated for a couple of hours separately before serving.
Toss the salad with the dressing right before serving.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu- Slow Cooker Style

Here is a quick and easy recipe for you with little time.

4-6 slices ham
4-6 slices swiss or mozzarella cheese
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, flattened to 1/4 inch
1 (10.75- ounce) can cream of chicken soup, condensed
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

So... it says to flatten the chicken breasts, however, I simply cut mine in half (they were thick). Then I placed the ham and cheese on top and folded it over. To tie it all together I stuck in a couple toothpicks. Easy breezey. I then placed it all in the slow cooker.

Next, I mixed the milk and cream of chicken soup. Once it is well mixed,  I poured it over my little chicken creations. Now, the recipe called for Italian season breadcrumbs. I'm sure that would taste nice, but I just sprinkled some Italian season over the whole deal, put the slow cooker lid on and called it good (I was on my lunch break... little time).

I then cooked it on high for 4 hours.

The home smelled delicious when my hubs and I walked in. He thanked me for working so hard on our meal... little did he know I quickly threw it all in and got on pinterest until I had to head back to work (guess I did have time for the bread crumbs after all). :)

It was so good! Lot's of flavor from the Italian seasoning and cream of chicken. Also, the chicken was super tender.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ham and Potato Soup

This recipe is one of the most raved about at  My family and I love it too.  Once again, the picture is lacking, but it really is so good!  Recipe found at
  • 3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup diced cooked ham
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper or to taste
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk

  1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
  2. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Peach and Mustard Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Last year were hosting my parents and a few of my siblings for Easter.  Our tradition has always been to have a ham for dinner on Easter but...I left it for the last minute and there were none to be had the night before.  Well, I had wanted to try this pork tenderloin recipe forever, so I decided that would be a good alternative.  Well, now that I have tasted it I don't think I can ever go back to ham.  It is heavenly!  I just had to share it on here.  Recipe from this cookbook. 
1/2 cup peach preserves
2 TBS Dijon mustard
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp salt
2 pork tenderloins (about 3/4 pound each)

Mix all ingredients except pork.  Place pork in resealable plastic food-storage bag or shallow glass or plastic dish.  Pour preserves mixture over pork; turn pork to coat with preserves mixture.  Seal bag or cover dish and refrigerate at least 1 hour but no longer than 8 hours.  Turning occasionally.

Heat oven to 450 degrees

Remove pork from marinade, reserve marinade in a 1 quart saucepan.  Place pork in shallow roasting pan.  Insert meat thermometer so tip is in the thickest part of pork.

Bake uncovered 25 to 30 minutes or until thermometer reads 155 degrees.  Cover pork with aluminum foil and let stand 10 to 15 minutes, brushing once with reserve marinade, until thermometer reads 160 degrees (temperature will continue to rise about 5 degrees, and pork will be easier to carve.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Orange Kissed Cookies

I love oranges and pretty much anything that tastes like oranges.  Orange soda, orange flavored candy, orange gum, orange...well you name it, I am a fan.  Our family has gotten into the "chocolate rut".  This is where you can't eat anything that doesn't at least have some chocolate in it.  I have been feeling like we need to branch out and I have been buying those huge bags of oranges and the kids were getting a little done with oranges.  I decided to make these one day as a treat that is something different than we are used to.  I have to tell you, I immediately fell in love.  I wasn't the only one either.  Pretty much anyone (other than my pickiest children who wouldn't go near them as they weren't brown in color and didn't scream that they were made of chocolate) that tasted them went crazy over them.  This recipe was featured on, but it comes from the ever famous and incredibly talented gals of Our Best Bites (got their cookbook for Christmas and I am loving it!  These are a must try!
Orange Kissed Cookies
Recipe from
1 c. white sugar
1/2 c. butter-flavored shortening
1 egg
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (add another 2 tablespoons for high altitudes)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. thawed orange juice concentrate
1 Tbsp. grated orange zest
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1/4 c.  thawed orange juice concentrate
1/2 c. softened butter
3 c. powdered sugar
2-3 drops orange food coloring (optional)
Preheat oven to 375.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a mixer, combine the white sugar and shortening.  Beat until well-combined.  Add the egg and beat well, then add the sour cream and vanilla and beat for about 1 minute or until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Add the orange juice concentrate and orange rind and mix well.
Using a cookie scoop, drop the dough/batter (the mixture will be VERY moist–thicker than a cake batter but thinner than traditional cookies) by the tablespoon-ful onto a lined, un-greased baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes or until the cookies are set and just starting to turn golden brown around the edges.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.
For the frosting, combine the frosting ingredients with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Pipe or spread over the cooled cookies.
Yield: Approximately 36 cookies.

Sunday, January 22, 2012