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Pieroghi Soup

Thursday, December 8, 2016


This is  the number one requested soup recipe at my house. It is a spin off of chicken noodle soup and it is outstanding. You can find frozen pierogi  in the freezer section of your grocery store. Plan on oohs and aahs from your dinner crew.The pierogi cook down while they simmer and the soup has a thickness to it that is perfect comfort on cool autumn nights.  I serve these with cheddar garlic rolls . A definite staple in the cooler months. Especially after an afternoon outside in the chilly air.* note - I double the recipe for my crew of 5. Everyone always wants seconds.

Pierogi Soup


Ingredients

1 (15 ounce) boxes frozen pierogies, potato and cheese filling

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chopped onions

1 cup finely chopped cabbage, packed

3 1/2 cups chicken broth

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 cup milk

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Directions


  1. Cut each pierogie lengthwise, then 3 times crosswise, so each will be cut into 8 pieces.( partially thaw them for a few minutes and they will be easier to cut)
  2. In a soup pot, melt the butter. Add the chopped onion and cabbage; sauté for 5-7 minutes or until onions are translucent. Do not brown.
  3. Add the pierogies and chicken broth.
  4. Add the garlic powder, salt, pepper and paprika.
  5. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and gently simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the milk and cheese. Cook and stir over low heat until heated through and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.


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Eggnog Pound Cake


I love the holidays. One of the best parts is all of the baking I do. This year I  decided to concentrate less on cookies and more on cakes. I found this pound cake recipe in an email  and immediately knew that I had to make it. So glad I did. This pound cake is perfect! Soft, spongy and egg nog tasty! And...it is easy! When I went to pick up egg nog at the store, there were different flavors of egg nog on the shelf, like pumpkin egg nog and red velvet egg nog. I think I might pick up a pumpkin one  and make this using that to see if it changes up the flavor a bit.  This recipe is a keeper for parties and to give as gifts. 


Egg Nog Pound Cake

recipe from Southern Living Magazine

 1 box pound cake mix

1 1/4 cups eggnog

2 eggs

 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a bundt pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl with an electric mixture on medium speed, mix all of the ingredients together until

incorporated, about 2 minutes. Pour into the bundt pan and bake for 1 hour, or until the cake is

 cooked through. Let cool and release from pan.
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Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

Sunday, December 4, 2016


My kids love hot chocolate. In fact, it has been the number one requested beverage around here for a few weeks. It has been  cold here in the northeast, and they love the warm mugs of cocoa when they get home from school. This is my go-to recipe for homemade hot chocolate. What I love is that I can sub out the french vanilla coffee creamer for seasonal flavors, like pumpkin spice or peppermint mocha  and flavor the hot chocolate for gift giving. This year I made a batch of regular and a batch of peppermint mocha to give as gifts to neighbors, our mailman and the boys teachers. You can use any size jar or container you like. I had pints on hand this time! Enjoy! 

Homemade Hot Chocolate  ( for gift giving)

6 c sugar

1 (2lb) box nonfat dry milk

2 (13 oz) containers malted milk powder

1 (15 oz) container  french vanilla non-dairy coffee creamer (or any flavor you want)

1 (13oz) container chocolate malt mix

1 (8oz) cox unsweetened cocoa powder


In a very large, deep bowl, combine the sugar,non fat dry milk, malted milk powder, coffee 

creamer,chocolate malt mix and cocoa. Mix well to combine.Store in airtight containers at room 

temperature.

Yield : approximately 27 cups

Coconut Macaroons


If you are looking for a great cookie for your holiday cookie tray this is the perfect recipe.So easy to make with little effort and very few ingredients. This is my husbands favorite! I love that I can make the batter and in 30 minutes have warm macaroons for my hubby. It makes him very happy. You can add an almond on top or drizzle with chocolate. I found this recipe on the back of the bag of coconut I bought to make my macaroons.The recipe seemed easier and less time consuming that my old faithful recipe so I tried it. And it won me over. This is the only macaroon recipe I have now. The other one was tossed. Enjoy!

Coconut Macaroons
14 oz bag sweetened flaked coconut
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 whole egg whites
1/2 tsp almond extract


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.Grease and flour a large  baking sheet.Mix together coconut,sugar, flour and salt until well blended.Mix in the 4 egg whites and the almond extract.Mix until the the batter is moist. Drop spoonfulls of the coconut mixture onto the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


If you are a regular reader of The Fresh Plate, you are probably rolling your eyes right about now. Because I am cranking out yet another cranberry recipe. From October to December are the only time of year that I use fresh cranberries, so I have to cram in all the cranberry goodness at the end of the year. I promise this one is awesome. This is a wonderful dip to serve during the Holiday season. It has a complex flavor palette that I love! The cumin, the toasted pecans, the tart cranberries and the spicy cilantro. It makes your taste buds sing. And the red and green color combo is an added bonus. People always ask what this dip is and when they hear cranberry dip and see the bits of pecans and cilantro , they tend to turn their noses up. But once they try it, they are hooked. You just can't put it down! Serve with crackers, small bite size pieces of bread or wheat thins. * you can also omit the pecans if you have someone with nut allergies.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

Ingredients
1 (12oz) package fresh cranberries
1/4 c toasted pecans, chopped
1/4 c green onions, chopped
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 1/4 c sugar
1/4 tsp cumin
2 T lemon juice
dash salt
2 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
Directions
1.Put your cranberries and toasted pecans in a food processor or blender and chop to small pieces
2.Chop the green onions, cilantro,and jalapeno pepper.
3. Add all ingredients except the cream cheese into a bowl. Mix all together and cover and store in the refrigerator for a few hours to blend.
4.Place the cream cheese in a shallow serving dish  and spread it evenly .
5. Pour the cranberry mixture over the cream cheese and spread evenly .
6. Serve with crackers , tortilla  chips or cinnamon pita chips.




Easy Brunswick Stew

Tuesday, November 15, 2016



Weeknight Porcupine Meatballs


This is one of my husband and kids' favorite meals. I do not make these very often because of the high sodium content of the rice a roni. But there is now a lower sodium option on the shelves now,so I use that.When you cover and simmer the meatballs,make sure you simmer long enough to cook the rice inside the meatballs.I usually cover and simmer for about an hour and check to see if all of the rice is soft.

 Beef Porcupine Meatballs

1 box Beef Flavored Rice-A-Roni (low sodium)
1 lb lean ground beef (or turkey)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 T butter
2 1/2 c water

1.In a medium skillet on medium high heat,melt the butter and cook the rice (DO NOT USE THE SEASONING PACKET UNTIL LATER)until the vermicilli has browned.Transfer the rice to a large mixing bowl.
2.When the rice has cooled a bit,add the ground beef and beaten egg to the rice.Mix well and shape into meatballs.
3.Heat the skillet you browned the rice in and add about a T of oil.Cook the meatballs until all sides are browned.Add the packet of rice-a-roni seasoning and 2 1/2 cups water.Stir to incorporate the mix.Bring to a boil,reduce heat and simmer,covered for 45 minutes to an hour.If you need more water,add as needed.Serve with mashed potatoes and use the gravy on them.yum!

Homestyle Spaghetti Sauce

Monday, November 7, 2016



This recipe is my nana's ground beef spaghetti sauce. Spaghetti sauce is a  food that everyone seems to have their versions of. This is the best spaghetti sauce that I have ever tasted. Everyone that has tasted it has enjoyed it and gone back for seconds. I do  make a double batch and freeze the leftovers for busy weeknights. Serve with a salad and big, crusty bread and you have a complete meal. This recipe calls for ground beef but you can certainly lighten it up with ground turkey.And please don't leave out the Heinz 57 sauce. It is crucial to the outcome. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.


                               Homestyle Spaghetti Sauce

Ingredients
3 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Heinz 57 steak sauce
1 teaspoon italian seasoning

Directions
Brown onion and green pepper in a large skillet in a small amount of oil.
Add ground beef to the onion and green peppers; cook until brown.
Carefully drain the hamburger mixture and return to the skillet.
Add the tomato sauce, onion salt, salt, garlic salt, oregano, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Heinz 57 and Italian seasoning.
Stir well and simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours.
Serve over your favorite pasta with garlic bread and a salad.

The Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Thursday, November 3, 2016



These are my tried and true oatmeal raisin cookies.I always like to have snacks on hand when the boys come home from school,and these are on my regular rotation.I make them for get togethers and there are never any left over.I soak the raisins,which might be the secret.Who knows! Moms, these are great treats for lunchboxes too!



Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


3 eggs, beaten
1 c. raisins
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. butter
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. ground cinnamon
2 t. baking soda
2 c. rolled oats
1 c. chopped pecans

Combine eggs, vanilla and raisins in a small bowl; cover and let stand for about 4 hours.The longer the better.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, and baking soda; stir into the creamed mixture.
Stir in the raisin mixture, rolled oats, and nuts.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an unprepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Cranberry Crumble


I am trying to find easy recipes for Thanksgiving. My husband has a sweet tooth and after a big dinner, he is always looking for something sweet. I tried this cranberry crumble using fresh cranberries on a whim, and he said it was one of the best desserts I have ever made. So... it is going on the turkey day menu.This is so easy to put together. Just mix, throw into a pie pan and bake. Tart cranberries in a sugary, cakey crumble. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Happy husband :)

Cranberry Crumble 

Ingredients:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c butter , melted ( 1 stick)
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 c chopped pecans
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp almond extract

Directions:
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9" pie plate and set aside.
2.In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Stir in the cranberries and the pecans and toss to coat. Stir in the butter, the eggs and the almond extract. Spread the batter into the pie pan.
3.Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until the center is cooked through. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.


Chicken Crescent Bundles

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


This recipe is a wonderful addition to your

 tried and true file.  Chicken crescent

bundles are so creamy and full of flavor. It

is a retro recipe that never gets old. Crazy

 good for a weeknight meal.

CHICKEN CRESCENT BUNDLES

INGREDIENTS

8 oz cream chesse, softened

4 T butter, melted

2 c cooked chicken, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp pepper

4 T milk

3 T onion, diced small

1 T parsley,  minced

2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls

1 T melted butter


8 butter crackers

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  In a large bowl, mix all ingredients

 except the crescent rolls , 1 T melted butter

 and 8 crackers. Mix well.

3.seperate the crescent rolls into 8

rectangles. Seal the perforations.

4. Add about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture

 into the center of each rectangle. Gather up

 the sides of the crescent roll dough and seal
to make a bundle.

5. Place each bundle on a cookie sheet.

 Brush the 1 T melted butter over the tops of

 the bundles. Crumble one butter cracker

over each bundle.

6. Cook in a 350  degree oven for 20-25

minutes , or until the bundles are lightly

browned and the chicken is heated through.

Honey Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Wednesday, October 26, 2016



This is one of those meals that I know will be a hit with all that try it.A tried and true, if you will.And it is very easy to prepare. Make sure you let it sit for a few minutes before slicing. You won't be sorry you tried this,I promise. The sauce that this dish makes is amazing. You can thicken it up with a bit of cornstarch or arrowroot for a gravy as well.


Honey Roasted Pork Tenderloin


2 lbs boneless pork loin
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup chicken broth
Preheat the oven to 375.

Season the pork and place in a roasting pan.
In a separate bowl, mix together the honey, juice, oil and thyme.
Pour over the pork.
Add the broth to the pan.
Bake until internal temperature reaches 150 (45-60 minutes).
Baste frequently.
Strain the pan juices into a saucepan.
Reduce until slightly thickened.
Serve over the sliced pork.




Beef & Cabbage Soup

Sunday, October 23, 2016


My husband has dinner duty every once in awhile and I love not having to come up with dinner. I get burned out more often than I care to admit trying to feed everyone day in and day out and keep it interesting. So when he offers to make dinner, I happily agree.  He is a great cook in his own right, and this soup was awesome. Homey and satisfying on a cold autumn  night.

Beef & Cabbage Soup
1 pound ground beef
1/2 large onion, chopped
5 cups chopped cabbage
1 (16 ounce) can cannelini beans,
drained
3 cups water
1 can rotel tomatoes, undrained
4 beef bouillon cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper



Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat.
Add ground beef and onion, and cook until beef is well browned and crumbled. Drain fat, and transfer beef to a slow cooker.
Add cabbage, cannelini beans, water, tomatoes, beef bouillon, cumin,garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir to dissolve bouillon, and cover.

Simmer over medium high heat for about an hour and a half. Stir occasionally.

Chocolate Cream Cake

Wednesday, October 19, 2016




Have you ever had a recipe that you request over an over, and cannot get enough of? This cake is one of those recipes for me. My nana made this cake for as long as I can remember for birthdays. Every year this is the birthday cake of choice. Nothing fancy. Most of the time not even a candle. Just the cake, sitting on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, waiting to be devoured ! I must admit that I cheat. I do not make the chocolate cake homemade. It is semi homemade. From a box. but the frosting is what makes the cake, so I don't mind the cake part. I use a good devil's food cake and it is the best cake . Perfect for all occasions!

Swiss Chocolate Cake

1 box devil's food cake mix
1 box vanilla instant pudding
3/4 cup oil
1 c milk
4 eggs

Mix ingredients together and beat well. Pour into two greased and floured cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-38 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.When slightly cooled, turn onto a cooling rack and cool cake completely.

icing:
1 8oz cream cheese, softened
1 c powdered sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
12 oz container of cool whip
3 Hershey bars, shaved ( I use Dark)

Mix all together well. Place one cake on a plate and cover with icing. Place second cake on top and frost the rest of the cake. Keep refrigerated.

Homestyle Chicken Pot Pie

Sunday, October 16, 2016




I get all giddy when the weather starts to turn cooler. My  favorite  seasons are fall and winter, so I am totally in my element from September to April! I am a huge sucker for comfort food.  Roasts, casseroles and other heartier foods is definitely what I  prefer. One of my   favorite, and a favorite of my family, is chicken pot pie. The flaky crust and hot,creamy  filling loaded with veggies  is  always a welcome addition to our table. Laden with calories, but good for the soul! This recipe is very forgiving.You can add any veggies you have on hand. I usually add carrots, peas,green beans,potatoes,broccoli,onion. Anything goes. The filling is creamy,thick and perfect to nestle the veggies in . Can easily be doubled. I made 12 of these one year to feed our church congregation. So yummy!


CHICKEN POT PIE

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup diced onion
2/3 cup sliced or diced carrots
1 teaspoon salt (or more, depending on taste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup frozen peas
2/3 cup frozen corn
2/3 cup diced potato
2/3 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 refrigerated pie crust (from a pack of 2)


1. In saucepan on stove top, combine butter, garlic, onion, carrots,potatoes, salt, pepper, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and simmer until carrots and potatoes are tender
2. When carrots and potatoes are tender, add peas and corn and simmer for about 5 more minutes. Whisk together the flour and milk. Add to boiling mixture and return to a boil, stirring constantly; boil for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Add chicken and stir.
4. Pour filling into a pie dish.
5. Roll out the pie crust and place over the chicken mixture,sealing the edges.Cut slits in the middle for ventilation.
6. Bake at 425 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is hot and bubbly.


Caramel Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Saturday, October 8, 2016




These cookies are easy to make from a boxed cake mix. I have been making these for a few years

now and they are a hit with everyone who tries them. You can mix up the flavor of Hershey Kisses

and the sugars that the cookies are dipped in before baking. These I chose pumpkin spice sugar and

caramel Hershey Kisses. You could also use Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses and regular granulated

sugar. Lots of options!

Caramel  Pumpkin Spice Cookies

1 box Spice Cake Mix

1/3 c vegetable or canola oil

2 eggs

Pumpkin Spice Sugar ( recipe follows)

Caramel Hershey Kisses

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside.

2. In a medium  mixing bowl, mix together the cake mix, oil and eggs  until completely blended.

3.Roll into quarter sized balls. Roll each ball into the pumpkin spice sugar and place on the cookie

sheet. Slightly flatten each cookie with the bottom of a glass.

4.Bake at 350 degrees for 10-11 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about a minute. Place a

Hersheys Kiss on top of each cookie. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to let cool.


Pumpkin Spice Sugar

1/2 c granulated sugar

1 T pumpkin pie spice

Mix the sugar and the pumpkin pie spice in a bowl.

Liz

Cranberry Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

Friday, September 30, 2016


This is one of my very favorite meals to make. The flavors of the cranberry balsamic sauce over the pork tenderloin is fantastic. The woodsy rosemary, the tart cranberry and the sweet balsamic...heaven. This would make a great meal for holiday guests, and it is easy enough for a weeknight meal as well. I usually serve this pork with maple pecan sweet potatoes. Any type of sweet potatoes will do for this recipe. The potatoes really compliment the flavors of the pork.

Cranberry Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
Ingredients
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 pork tenderloin
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup canned whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Directions
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.
Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Sear pork on all sides, about 2 minutes.
Place skillet with pork in oven. Roast pork until thermometer inserted into center registers 155°F, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and rosemary; sauté until onion softens, about 3 minutes.
Add broth, cranberry sauce and vinegar and whisk until cranberry sauce melts, about 2 minutes. Transfer pork to work surface. Scrape any juices from large skillet into cranberry mixture.
Boil until sauce has reduced enough to coat spoon thickly, about 6 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Slice pork and serve with sauce.
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Mini Marshmallow Ghosts

Sunday, September 11, 2016


Now before you guys start rolling your eyes because I am posting about Halloween already, there is a method to my madness.  I have so many Halloween posts in my queue and I want to share them all with you in time for you to enjoy them. Not just a few days before the holiday, when you will not have time to enjoy any of the recipes, crafts and decorations I have in store for you!  See, method!

These mini marshmallow ghosts are one of my favorite October treats for my kids. I pop a bag in lunchboxes and have them as after school treats as well. And put them in mugs of hot chocolate . And they are easy. You just need a bag of mini marshmallows and a food marker. You can find the food markers at Michael's. Hobby Lobby, even Wal-Mart. Just look in the cake decorating section.
Draw dots with a black marker for the two eyes and mouth. Your kids will love you for it.

So stay tuned , my friend, for a fun filled October here at The Fresh Plate. If you haven't  bookmarked the blog, then do! I don't want you to miss any posts! And you can also find me on Facebook ! Wishing everyone an great week!



Old Fashioned Caramel Corn

Friday, September 9, 2016



One of the foods I love to make for neighbors, teachers and friends during the fall season is this old fashioned caramel corn. Growing up, this popcorn was always at my nana's when we could pop over to visit. She would make  a double {or triple) recipe and store it in a large Charles Chips tin. My sister, cousins and I would sit around the kitchen table and eat handfuls of it until nana cut us off. As we got older, she would put bowls of the corn  on the table as we played Scrabble . It brings back so many great memories. Don't you just love when food sends you into reminiscing about childhood?
This recipe is easy, once you get the hang of it. It is rich and buttery and makes a great snack. Keep it in  an airtight container , otherwise it will get soft. I would make a double batch if I were you .It goes quick!

Old Fashioned Caramel Corn
Ingredients
2 cups brown sugar (packed)
1 cup butter
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 quarts popped corn


Pop corn and keep warm in two shallow pans (however, I recommend using one large roasting pan versus cookie sheets) in 250 degree oven. Combine sugar, butter, syrup and salt in sauce pan on stovetop. Bring to a boil slowly and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour immediately over popped corn and mix well. Place back in oven and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.Let cool and break up. Store in container.

Maple Chicken Tenderloins

Wednesday, September 7, 2016



I have a confession. I am a recipe hoarder. Seriously. I am constantly printing, cutting out or jotting down recipes.Every day I add to my pile.It is so bad, I have to go through my pile every few weeks and downsize those recipes that I thought I would make at the time,but have since decided against. Now people, I am a spice snob. I tend to use Penzey's Spices on a regular basis and very ,very rarely do I buy any other. But looking through my myriad of recipes,I have always come back to this one, and it calls for Montreal Steak Seasoning. So I caved and bought a bottle. Made the recipe...and I am hooked! This recipe is ah-mazing. One of the best I have tasted in a long time.Plus, it is super easy to make,with very minimal ingredients and effort.I strongly suggest you make mashed sweet potatoes to accompany this chicken. Your taste buds with thank you. I know will have a bottle of McCormicks Montreal Steak Seasoning in my cabinet. Because I know I will be making this recipe often. And sharing it with anyone who tastes it . Now I am off to try to downsize the ever-growing pile of "to try" recipes. :)

Maple  Chicken Tenderloins
Ingredients
1 lb chicken tenderloins
2 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
2 T butter
1/4 real maple syrup (splurge and use the real stuff.It is worth it. )

Directions
1.Lightly coat chicken with steak seasoning on both sides. Heat butter in a medium high skillet  and cook chicken 6-10 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from skillet and keep warm.
2. Stir the maple syrup into the hot skillet , scraping the seasoning from the bottom. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring.
3. Put chicken back into the skillet  and coat with the maple syrup glaze. Simmer for a few minutes to rewarm the chicken.
4. Serve over mashed sweet potatoes.

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Monday, August 29, 2016






This is another great meal that you will definitely add to your list of favorites.It is a favorite at our house.It is a perfect recipe.Crockpot, few ingredients and great taste.Of course you use your favorite bbq sauce.Everyone has one! I serve the pork on buns with baked french fries and coleslaw. I usually have leftovers of the shredded pork, and I make a batch of brunswick stew the next day.








BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches




1 (14 ounce) can beef broth


3 pounds boneless pork roast

1 (18 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce




DIRECTIONS

Pour can of beef broth into slow cooker, and add boneless pork ribs. Cook on High heat for 4 hours, or until meat shreds easily. Remove meat, and shred with two forks.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Transfer the shredded pork to a Dutch oven or iron skillet, and stir in barbeque sauce.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Salisbury Steak Meatballs

Monday, August 22, 2016



 We are at the start of a new school year! My babies are starting 7th and 5th grade today.  Football and cross country practice in the afternoons are in full swing and I tend to rely on slow cooker meals at least 3 days a week until the first of November when sports end for a few months for us. One of my go to slow cooker meals are these Salisbury Steak Meatballs. They are so easy to make and easy to double the recipe. Just serve them over egg noodles or rice and a side salad and you have a great dinner with little effort.
* I make my own cream of chicken soup. There are recipes for it all over Pinterest . I use the recipe from Life in a Loft House. It makes the perfect amount for this recipe. Just search and find one you like.

Ingredients
2 lbs ground beef
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1/2 cup italian style dry bread crumbs
1/4c milk
2 (10.75 oz) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (1oz) envelope dry au jus mix
3/4 c water

Directions
1. In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, onion soup mix, bread crumbs and milk using your hands.
2. Shape into golf ball sized meatballs and place in a lightly greased slow cooker
3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the 2 cans of cream of chicken soup, dry au jus mix and water. Mix well.
4. Pour the soup mixture over the meatballs.
5. Cook on low 4 to 5 hours or on high for 3 to four hours.
6. Serve hot over egg noodles or rice.

Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joe's

Friday, August 12, 2016


My family loves any food made with buffalo sauce. These sloppy joes are no exception. They are weeknight easy and so full of buffalo wing flavor! There is only one of 5 people in the house who will  eat blue cheese, so I always serve ranch instead. This is a recipe that I make again and again on a regular rotation. I was hesitant that it would be a bit too hot for my boys' taste, but they all gobbled their sandwiches up in record time  and asked for seconds.The ground chicken makes  it a light tasting dish , which I appreciate. The buffalo sauce is so good, I could use it as a dip for chips or in other dishes.I will definitely try to incorporate the  sauce into other recipes as well. Maybe mixed with cream cheese and stuffed in chicken breasts. Yum!


           Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground chicken 
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 -1/3 cup hot sauce ( Frank's Red Hot)
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 8  burger rolls, split and toasted
  • blue cheese or ranch dressing
  • dill pickles, chopped
Heat a large skillet with extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add meat and break it up with wooden spoon, cook 5 to 6 minutes. Add in carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and  cook 7 to 8 minutes more. In a bowl combine the vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire, hot sauce, tomato paste and stock. Pour into the pan and stir to combine. Simmer a few minutes more. Pile filling onto buns and top with blue cheese or ranch dressing and chopped pickles.

Cumin Grilled Mahi Mahi

Thursday, August 11, 2016



One of our favorite foods to grill is fish. Mostly salmon and tuna , but recently I have found that mahi mahi fillets hold up great when grilling. It makes for a flavorful easy dinner that you can get on the table quickly. We love cumin in this house, so it we easy to whip up this glaze using olive oil, cumin, garlic and ancho chili powder.  Grilling mahi fillets take mere minutes , so make sure you have your sides made beforehand. I made a summery corn and avocado salad to go with the mahi mahi and it was delicious. You can find that recipe here on my blog.  You can definitley substitute another firm fish for the mahi, if it isn't your favorite or unavailable where you live. The glaze would also be good on shrimp or chicken kabobs. Or even used as a glaze for sauteed scallops.


Cumin Grilled Mahi Mahi

Ingredients 
4-6 mahi mahi fillets ( or another firm fish)
2 T good quality olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground ancho chili powder
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

Directions
1. Prepare grill and heat to a medium high heat. 
2. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except the mahi fillets. Mix well.
3. Using a basting brush, bast the mahi fillets with the cumin glaze.
4. Place the mahi on the grill and grill 3-4 minutes on each side or until fish is cooked through and flaky.
5. Serve hot on a bed of rice, salad or vegetables.

Liz

Spicy Brown Sugar Glazed Pork Chops

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Pork chops are an easy weeknight dinner  choice. Readily available, economical and quick to cook. These pork chops are sweet from brown sugar, with a bit of heat from the cayenne.  A great sweet heat meal.


               SPICY BROWN SUGAR 
               GLAZED PORK CHOPS

INGREDIENTS
4 boneless thick cut pork chops
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 T olive oil

DIRECTIONS
1. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper . Stir well .
2. Rub the spice mix into both sides of each pork chop.
3. In a large skillet over medium high  heat, cook the pork chops for about 8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the meat. It should read 160 degrees on a meat thermometer.
4. Serve with the glaze from the pan drizzled over the pork chops.
Liz

Slow Cooker Potato Soup



School is starting in the next few weeks here in WV. The boys have already started their fall sports practices and we are carpooling and running all over to practices, scrimmages and games. 
We still like to sit down and eat as a family, albeit later in the evening. Slow cooker meals are a life saver for hurried weekdays. This potato soup is a staple slow cooker meal on our rotation. So easy to throw together in the morning.  I have used both frozen diced potatoes or the frozen hashbrowns. Both work well, but I prefer the hashbrowns. They cook down amd make the soup a bit creamier. If you like chunks of potatoes in your soup, go with the diced ones. 

SLOW COOKER POTATO SOUP

Ingredients 
 1 30oz bag frozen hashbrown potatoes
1/2 c chopped onion
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 cans low sodium chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 package cream cheese
Shredded cheddar cheese

Directions
1. Combine all ingredients except the cream cheese and shredded cheese in a slow cooker. 
2. Mix well and cook on low  6 to 8 hours .
3. The last 30 minutes of cooking, add the cream cheese. 
4. Stir well until the soup is smooth and all of the cream cheese has melted into the soup.
5. Spoon into bowls and add shredded cheese.

Spicy Sesame Noodles

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


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This is my go to recipe for quick noodles. I make these for lunch quite often. It makes a ton, so I usually plan on eating it a few days during the week. Sometimes I add a few shrimp, or chicken  to make it more substantial. The longer these noodles sit, the better they are. I prefer them cold, a day after they have been made and had time to meld the flavors together. You can add more hot sesame oil, or decrease the amount, depending on your tastes. You can also add a handful of sesame seeds for extra texture. And don't skip on the green onions. They are so yummy in this dish!

*note - feedback on the oil content. Some people say this dish is way to sesame oil -y. You can decrease the amount of oil used, just tweak it to your liking.

Spicy Sesame Noodles
8oz spaghetti, cooked al dente
1/4 c low sodium soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T rice vinegar
2 T sesame oil
1/2 tsp (or more) hot chili oil
4 T canola oil
2 whole green onions, sliced
red pepper flakes (optional)

Whisk all ingredients except the noodles and green onions in a large bowl. Pour sauce over the noodles and toss very well to coat. Refrigerate . Right before eating, stir in the green onions and sprinkle with red pepper flakes (optional). Can be served hot or cold.

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Thursday, May 26, 2016


Happy Memorial Day weekend to everyone! I make zucchini bread and yellow squash bread all throughout the summer months, and happened to have a few ( actually 4!) pints of fresh, plump blueberries to use up before they went bad. So blueberry zucchini bread it was. Sweet, with a hint of cinnamon ! I make it in a bundt pan, but one large loaf pan, or 6 mini loaf pans would be perfect! Plan to double the recipe and share with friends. They will thank you!

Blueberry Zucchini Bread
Ingredients
3 c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 T ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 c sugar
2 c shredded zucchini
1 pint fresh blueberries

Directions
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan ( or loaf pan) and set aside
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
3. In a separate medium bowl, beat the eggs, oil, applesauce,vanilla and sugar until creamed.
4. Stir in the flour mixture a cup at a time, until the flour is incorporated into the batter.Fold in the zucchini . Then gently fold in the blueberries.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
6. Bake 1 hr 10 minutes for a bundt pan, and @ 50 minutes for a loaf pan, or until the center of the loaf is cooked through.
7. Cool 20 minutes in pan, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


Shirley Temple Popsicles

Saturday, May 21, 2016


When I was a little girl, there was a seafood restaurant in the town we lived in called Neptune's Galley. I have no idea if that restaurant is still in business or not, but I remember it vividly. There was a huge statue of Neptune on the roof of the building and it was dark and nautical on the inside. I have to admit, I do not remember the food that was served there. I remember first being introduced to Shirley Temple's! At the time , my favorite movie just happened to be Shirley Temple in The Little Princess. And my daddy knew that and ordered me a Shirley Temple to drink...and the rest is history. I think I requested that drink at every restaurant  we ate in for the next five years after that! Cold , bubbly sprite, grenandine and a cherry on top. Oh , how I loved getting that pink-tinted drink brought to me. I felt so grown up! Flash forward 20 years. My boys and I were at Red Robin and I introduced them to Shirley Temple's. Ummm, they were not impressed. I guess it is a  girl thing. They ended up with root beer floats. But I was determined to get them to like them! So last week I set out to make Shirley Temple Popsicles. At first I tried with just Sprite and maraschino juice. Eh. Then I added cherries  to the mix. Still not right. So  after a few trial and errors, I added   fresh orange juice , sprite, cherries and cherry juice. Perfect. And the boys ate them all. So here is to nostalgia. And Shirley Temple!

Shirley Temple Popsicles

2 cups Sprite or 7-Up soda
scant 1/2 cup fresh orange juice ( it took about 3 medium oranges to get the juice I needed)
grenadine ( I find this in the aisle with the margarita mix, etc)
maraschino cherries

In a large mixing cup,combine the soda and the orange juice .Set aside.
Fill popsicle molds with marachino cherries . (Mine were smaller molds, so I used 3 cherries in each mold)
Add about a teaspoon of grenadine to each mold.( you could use the cherry juice in the bottle of cherries, if there is enough, in place of the grenadine)
Add the soda/oj mixture to each mold, about 2/3 full. Don't fill to the to the top of the molds. It will expand after freezing .
Place tops on popsicle molds and freeze.

{ Rustic Balsamic Strawberry Galette }

Wednesday, May 18, 2016





This is one of my favorite desserts to make with fresh strawberries. I bought a flat of strawberries at one of our local farms and I canned strawberry jam and strawberry coulis, and we ate strawberry spinach salad , strawberry ice cream and strawberry shortcakes  And last but not least I made a galette. I love , love love these! I use blackberries, peaches and cinnamon apples to make these all year round. These are so easy to put together and you can't mess up the presentation. Just flip over the dough onto the fruit and brush with egg wash and dust with sugar. Enjoy!
*If you do not care for balsamic vinegar, just omit it from the recipe. It is sill super yummy without it.

*you can use heavy cream to brush the crust instead of egg wash.


Rustic Balsamic Strawberry Galette

1 pie crust ( homemade or store bought)
2 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced in half
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 35 degrees.
Place the piecrust  on a  lightly greased cookie sheet (or you can use parchment paper)
In a medium bowl, stir together the berries , balsamic vinegar, cornstarch and sugar.
Place the berries in the center of the pie dough.
Pull up the corners of the dough around the berries and pinch to hold together.
Using a pastry brush, brush egg was over the dough and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly.
Let the galette sit for about 5 minutes before cutting.


Honey Ham & Swiss Cheese Sliders

Tuesday, May 17, 2016



These little sandwiches are one of my husband's favorite meals ever. I make them on lazy weekends at home and he raves each and every time I serve them. He loves the butter-mustard sauce that is poured over the sandwiches. I have to admit they are very tasty. They are so easy to put together and I love that I can use good quality honey ham and swiss cheese from our local deli. The flavor combo seems weird, but I promise you it works. So go ahead and add them to your menu. You will love them!


Honey Ham and Swiss Cheese Sliders

Ingredients
Sandwiches
12 King's Hawaiian Dinner Rolls
12 pieces good honey ham
3  slices Swiss cheese, each cut into quarters
1/3 cup mayonnaise
Sauce
1 T poppy seeds
1 1/2 T yellow mustard
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


Directions
Spread mayonnaise onto both sides of the center of each roll. Place a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss inside of each roll. Close rolls and place them into a large baking dish or heavy cookie sheet, placing  very close together.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches. (You will not have to use all of the sauce)  Use enough to cover the tops. Let sit 10 minutes. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes or until tops are slightly brown and crispy. Serve warm.