Thursday, July 31, 2014

Orange Pineapple Blossoms

Wouldn't these make awesome breakfast muffins?

This recipe comes from Pillsbury's website.  It is one of those semi-homemade recipes that are quick and easy!

I love the combination of orange marmalade and cream cheese . . .


    • 1 can (12.4 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
    • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple (from 8-oz can), well drained on paper towels
    • 1/3 cup SMUCKER'S® Sweet Orange Marmalade
    • 4 oz cream cheese (from 8-oz package), softened


Heat oven to 350°F. 

Spray 8 (2 3/4 x1 1/4-inch) muffin cups with CRISCO® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. 

Separate dough into 8 rolls; set icing aside. Cut each roll into quarters; place 4 quarters, points up and separated slightly, in each muffin cup.

In small bowl, mix pineapple, marmalade and cream cheese. Place 2 tablespoons mixture into center of dough in each cup.

Bake 17 to 22 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool in pan on cooling rack 5 minutes. Run knife around edge of muffin cups; remove rolls from cups and place on serving plate.

Remove cover from icing; microwave on Medium (50%) 10 to 15 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle. 

Drizzle icing over warm rolls. Serve warm.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Crazy Brownies from The Pioneer Woman

The next time I want to make something deliciously sinful and decadent, this is it!!

I was watching The Pioneer Woman this afternoon and I could not believe it when she was putting these brownies together.  All I can say is look at the ingredients list!

Won't these be a big hit on the dessert table at your next party?

  • 1 box Chocolate Cake Mix, 18 To 20 Ounce Box
  • 1/3 cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1 stick Butter, Melted
  • 9 whole Peanut Butter Cups (regular Size, With The Paper Pulled Off)
  • 12 whole Rolo Candies
  • 1/2 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
  • 1/3 cup M&Ms
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • Powdered Sugar (for Sprinkling)


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Put the dry cake mix in a large bowl and stir in the evaporated milk. (Mixture will still be dry.) Next, pour in the melted butter, stirring gently until the mix just comes together (don't over-mix.)

Divide the mixture in half and press half of it in the bottom of a greased 8 x 8-inch baking pan. Lay the peanut butter cups over the top. Peel the wrappers off of the Rolos and place them in the spaces between the peanut butter cups. Sprinkle nuts into the cracks, followed by M&M's. Finally, sprinkle the salt all over.

Put the other half of the batter on a cutting board and press it into a square a little smaller than the pan. (It will be very sticky.) Transfer it to the pan and lightly press it to cover all the ingredients. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the batter is fully baked. Allow to cool completely, then place the pan in the fridge, covered in foil, for a couple of hours.

Remove the brownies from the pan in one piece, then sprinkle on plenty of powdered sugar. With a sharp serrated knife, cut into small squares.

Source:  The Pioneer Woman

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Spaghetti Aglio E Olio

My nana often made this meal for lunch with homemade garlic bread, salad (with oil and vinegar dressing and parmesan cheese) and iced tea with lemon.  It was such a treat for me and it still remains one of my favorite meals.

The photo and the following recipe comes from Ina Garten, but I make mine a different way . . . I think much easier!

My version starts off by getting my pasta water boiling (with lots of salt) and get the pasta cooking.

At the same time, I heat up a pan and melt about 1/2 stick of butter.  Add about 2 garlic cloves, making sure the garlic does not brown.

Angel hair pasta is what I prefer and the best thing is that it is ready in three minutes, so I have to work fast to put this all together.

As the garlic is sauteeing in the butter, I start adding pasta water little by little.  (You'll need to experiment with how much pasta water you add.)  I love the way the pasta water slightly thickens the butter and also brings lots of flavor!  Right before the pasta is done, I throw in a handful of parsley.

Add drained pasta to the mixture, along with about 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.  Mix together!  I always make sure that I have enough mixture to add to the pasta so that the pasta doesn't stick together.  I hate when that happens! Reserve some of the pasta water when draining in case you need more.

A note about my recipe . . . I prefer butter over olive oil because I really don't like the taste of olive oil.  You can use olive oil or a combination of both.  Whatever you prefer!  

All in all, I've got this recipe down to just five minutes from start to finish.  I've had lots of practice making it since I was a little girl!

The Food Network
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
2010, Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?, All Rights Reserved
SHOW: Barefoot Contessa


    • Kosher salt
    • 1 pound dried spaghetti, such as DeCecco
    • 1/3 cup good olive oil
    • 8 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
    • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
    • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold the pasta, such as a 12-inch saute pan or a large, shallow pot. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it just begins to turn golden on the edges-don't overcook it! Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more. Carefully add the reserved pasta-cooking water to the garlic and oil and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about a third.

Add the drained pasta to the garlic sauce and toss. Off the heat, add the parsley and Parmesan and toss well. Allow the pasta to rest off the heat for 5 minutes for the sauce to be absorbed. Taste for seasoning and serve warm with extra Parmesan on the side.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mini Cheesecake Cookie Bites

What a cute and delicious idea!  

I didn't even know that cheesecake cups with removable bottoms existed!  Great concept for so many recipes :)

Just say cheesecake and you've got my attention!  You can't get any easier than this recipe for a last minute dessert to take to a party or just to enjoy at home.  

I've used other cheesecake recipes from Pillsbury's website and always get requests for the recipe.

Source:  Pillsbury
By Jocelyn Delk Adams
Publish Date: September 23, 2013

    • 1/2 package Pillsbury™ Ready to Bake!™ chocolate chip cookies
    • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups whipped cream topping (from aerosol can)
    • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    • 1 tablespoon coconut oil


Heat oven to 350°F. 

Remove 12 dough rounds from cookie dough package; save remaining dough for a later use. 

Place 1 dough round in each of 12 mini cheesecake cups with removable bottoms.
Bake 14 minutes. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium to high speed 3 to 4 minutes until smooth. 

Using rubber spatula, gently fold in whipped cream topping.
Gently spoon or pour cream cheese mixture over each cooled cookie until cup is full; smooth top until flat. Freeze at least 3 hours to set.
Just before removing cheesecakes from freezer, place chocolate chips and coconut oil in microwavable bowl. 

Microwave on High in increments of 20 seconds until chocolate is completely melted. Beat mixture with whisk until smooth.
Once cheesecakes are firm, remove pan from freezer. Gently release cheesecakes from cups. Remove cup bottoms from cheesecakes; place on cooling rack. 

Decoratively drizzle melted chocolate over tops of cheesecakes. 

Let stand 2 to 3 minutes to set before serving.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Banana Fritters

Sandra Lee always has the easiest recipes that give the illusion of spending a lot of time in the kitchen when it was super fast!

I love having a variety of banana recipes . . . I hate throwing them away when they start to ripen a bit too much.

Recipe courtesy of Sandra Lee
Recipe copyright Sandra Lee
The Food Network
SHOW: Sandra's Money Saving Meals
EPISODE: Affordable Entertaining


  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups baking mix
  • 3 ripe bananas, diced
  • 2 cups canola oil, for frying

Spiced Glaze:
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice


For the fritters: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk and sugar until blended. Stir in the baking mix and bananas until just combined.

Heat the canola oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Using a small ice cream scoop, drop the batter into the skillet. Fry in batches until golden brown and cooked through the center, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from the oil and allow to drain on a wire cooling rack set over a baking sheet.

For the glaze: Whisk together the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup water and pumpkin pie spice.

While the fritters are still warm, pour the glaze over top. Allow the glaze to set up slightly before serving.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Red Lobster Crab Alfredo

Red Lobster is my favorite restaurant!  I'm always happy to find their copycat recipes :)

I've never had this dish at Red Lobster, but it includes my favorites, pasta, alfredo sauce and crab . . . so it has got to be good.

Comments for this recipe recommended starting off with less parmesan cheese and add more a little at a time until desired thickness is achieved.

    • 8 ounces linguine
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 4 tablespoons flour
    • 2 cups half-and-half
    • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (or more)
    • salt & pepper
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 6 (8 ounce) cooked snow crabmeat, cut into chunks


Cook linguine according to package.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook briefly until it looks sandy.

Do not let it color.

Whisk in the half-and-half and stir until the mixture forms a thick sauce.

Stir in the cheese and season to taste.

Simmer a few minutes to blend the flavors and stir in the crab meat. Cook just until the crab meat is heated through.

Serve over cooked linguine with additional parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes on the side.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Quick, easy, delicious . . . my kind of recipe!



    • 1 can Pillsbury™ Crescent Recipe Creations™ refrigerated seamless dough sheet
    • 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    • 1/4 cup caramel topping, if desired


Heat oven to 375° F. Grease 13x9-inch pan with shortening or cooking spray.

Unroll dough, and press in bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of pan.

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips.

Spread filling over crust.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until edges are set and firm to touch.

Cool 1 hour on cooling rack.

Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours to set.

Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.

Serve drizzled with caramel.

Store covered in refrigerator.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fancy Mac and Cheese from The Pioneer Woman

This recipe was one of Ree's favorite things ever on her episode of the "Ten Things I Love".  At first I thought "mac and cheese"?  Then, as she went into the recipe, I could see why . . . and I can't wait to make it.

All that cheesy goodness of 4 cheeses and bacon too!

I have a feeling this is going to be my new favorite mac and cheese :)

Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond

The Food Network
2012 Ree Drummond, All Rights Reserved
SHOW: The Pioneer Woman
EPISODE: Ten Things I Love


    • 1 pound white button or cremini mushrooms, quartered
    • Olive oil, for drizzling
    • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
    • 8 slices thick-cut bacon
    • 2 yellow onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
    • 5 tablespoons butter, plus more for buttering the pan
    • 1 1/2 pounds macaroni
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 1/3 cup half-and-half
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 3/4 cup grated fontina
    • 3/4 cup grated gruyere
    • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
    • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese (chevre)
    • 4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola or other blue cheese


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Drizzle the mushrooms with olive oil, and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside. Try not to eat them before the macaroni's done. Turn down the heat to 350 degrees F.

Next, fry the thick slices of bacon until chewy, but not yet crisp. Chop up the bacon into bite-size bits. Set aside. Try not to eat them before the macaroni's done.

In a large skillet over medium-low heat, saute the onions in 1 tablespoon of the butter, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Set aside. Try not to... oh, never mind.

Cook the macaroni until just undercooked. Set aside.

To make the sauce, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour, whisking to combine. Let the roux cook for a minute or so, whisking constantly. Then pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Cook the white sauce until thick and bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes. Next, add the half-and-half, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Spoon some of the hot white sauce into the beaten eggs to temper them, stirring with a fork to incorporate the mixture without cooking the eggs. Pour the tempered eggs into the white sauce, stirring constantly as you add them. Add the fontina, gruyere, Parmesan and goat cheeses. Stir until the cheese all melts. Add the cooked macaroni and stir to coat. Splash in a little milk or hot water if needed for thinning.

Butter a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Lay on half the onions, half the macaroni, half the mushrooms, half the gorgonzola and half the bacon. Repeat the layers, ending with the bacon. Bake until bubbly and hot, 20 to 25 minutes.

This is the stuff that dreams - and love handles - are made of.

Cook's Notes: 

Substitute diced ham or pancetta for the bacon. Use different cheese to your liking. Serve with steak or chicken as a side dish, or with a green salad as a main dish.

The Original Chex Party Mix

This retro recipe conjures up so many memories of parties and get-togethers my parents would have that always included the Chex Party Mix.  Everybody made it for their parties!  Us kids could be found hovering around the bowl :)

I had forgotten about the recipe until I was browsing the Betty Crocker website.  Then it all came back to me and I can't believe I have not made this party mix in all these years!


    • 3 cups Corn Chex™ cereal
    • 3 cups Rice Chex™ cereal
    • 3 cups Wheat Chex™ cereal
    • 1 cup mixed nuts
    • 1 cup bite-size pretzels
    • 1 cup garlic-flavor bite-size bagel chips or regular-size bagel chips, broken into 1-inch pieces
    • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder


In large microwavable bowl, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels and bagel chips; set aside. 

In small microwavable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on High about 40 seconds or until melted. Stir in seasonings. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.

Microwave uncovered on High 5 to 6 minutes, thoroughly stirring every 2 minutes. 

Spread on paper towels to cool. 

Store in airtight container.

Friday, July 4, 2014

No-Bake Key Lime Yogurt Pie

Low fat or no fat can taste awesome too . . . less than 200 calories per serving!

Source of recipe and photo:

    • 2 tablespoons cold water
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    • 1 1/2teaspoons unflavored gelatin
    • 4 oz (half of 8-oz package) fat-free cream cheese, softened
    • 3 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait® Light Thick & Creamy Key lime pie yogurt
    • 1/2 cup frozen (thawed) reduced-fat whipped topping
    • 2 teaspoons grated lime peel
    • 1 reduced-fat graham cracker crumb crust (6 oz)


In 1-quart saucepan, mix water and lime juice. Sprinkle gelatin on lime juice mixture; let stand 1 minute. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved. Cool slightly, about 2 minutes.

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add yogurt and lime juice mixture; beat on low speed until well blended.

Fold in whipped topping and lime peel. Pour into crust. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

Expert Tips

Research shows that eating 3 daily servings of low-fat calcium-rich dairy foods like yogurt can play an important role in weight loss plans.

Nutritional Information

Serving Size: 1 Serving

Calories from Fat 
Total Fat 
4 g
(Saturated Fat 
1 1/2 g,
Trans Fat 
1 g
0 mg 
210 mg
Total Carbohydrate 
26 g
(Dietary Fiber
0 g
16 g 
5 g

% Daily Value*:

Vitamin A 
Vitamin C 


1/2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 1/2 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1 Fat; 
Carbohydrate Choices: 

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Grilled Chicken Bacon Sliders

These awesome and versatile chicken sliders can be an appetizer, snacks or a main meal.

This is the type of slider that has so many possibilities . . . use your imagination and put your special touch to it.  There are some suggestions for variations at the end of the recipe.

The recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman's website, so you know it's got to be good!

Awesome party food :)


    • 4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (breast Halves, Not The Whole Breast)
    • 16 slices Thin Bacon
    • Cajun Spice
    • Salt And Pepper, to taste
    • 16 whole Small Dinner Rolls
    • 16 slices Cheese Of Your Choice (cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, American, Swiss)
    • Bottled Sauces Of Your Choice: BBQ, Louisiana Hot Sauce, Teriyaki, Etc.
    • Toppings Of Your Choice: Tomato Slices, Grilled Onions, Lettuce, Celery Leaves, Etc.
    • Spread Of Your Choice: Mayo, Mustards, Mayo Mixed With Chipotle Pepper, Etc.

Preparation Instructions

Slice bacon pieces in half and fry over medium-low heat until

Place the palm of your hand flat on the top of each chicken breast. Apply light pressure as you slice it horizontally in half (be careful!) When you're finished, you'll have eight thinner chicken breast pieces. Slice each of these in half so you'll wind up with sixteen small chicken "patties." Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the thicker pieces and pound gently with a rolling pin to flatten slightly.

Brush both sides of the chicken pieces with a little bit of the bacon fat, then season with Cajun spice and salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a grill pan if you have one, or a heavy skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Cook chicken pieces on the first side for a couple of minutes, then flip them over to the other side. Lay slices of cheese (whatever kind you'd like) on top of each piece, then top with a couple of bacon slices. Cook until chicken is done, then remove from the pan.

Spread both sides of dinner rolls with the spread of your choice (mayo, mustard, etc.) and the toppings of your choice (tomato, lettuce, etc.) Place chicken pieces in between halved dinner rolls. Serve immediately!


* Brush a little BBQ sauce on the chicken before laying on the slice of cheese and the bacon.

* Brush a little Louisiana hot sauce on the chicken. Add bacon, then top with a bunch of celery leaves before putting inside the buns.

* Change up the cheese, toppings, however you'd like!

Source:  The Pioneer Woman

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