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Monday, February 27, 2017



7-8 pound spiral-cut ham (bone-in or boneless)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 cups pineapple juice


Use a 6-7 quart crock pot. Unwrap ham from wrapper, and discard the flavor packet. Place ham inside crock pot, flat side down. Rub the brown sugar over all sides of the ham. Then pour on the maple syrup and pineapple juice. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours. Baste ham with juices an hour or so before serving. When cooking is done, carefully remove ham from crock pot and place on a cutting board. Let rest 15 minutes before carving. Enjoy 



5 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs
1 cup of ranch salad dressing
5 slices of bacon, uncooked
1 cup of shredded Colby-Jack cheese


Place chicken in casserole Crock Pot.
Spread ranch salad dressing over each piece of chicken.
Place each piece of bacon on top of the salad dressing
Cook on high for two to three hours.
When chicken is cooked, sprinkle with cheese. Cook till cheese is melted.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Homemade Soft Pretzels


2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 standard packet)
1 cup warm water
1 tbs unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups all-purpose flour + up to 3/4 cup more if needed
2 cups water
4 tbs baking soda
1 tbs coarse salt, for sprinkling on top
6 tbs salted butter, melted


Preheat oven to 475 degrees and line a large baking sheet or two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine yeast with warm water and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with hook attachment. Once mixture becomes "frothy" your yeast is ready. Stir in salt and 1 tbs of melted butter. Add flour 1 cup at a time until a dough forms and is no longer sticky. You may need more or less depending on temperature differences. If you press your finger into the dough and it bounces back, it's ready to knead. Knead dough for 5 more minutes until smooth and pliable. Form dough into a ball and place it back into the bowl to rest for 15 minutes. During this time, prepare baking soda bath.
In a medium sized pot, boil 2 cups of water with 4 tbs of baking soda. Once the baking soda is mostly dissolved, take mixture off heat and allow it to come down to a lukewarm temperature. Pour into a 9x9 baking dish once cooled down.
At this time, 15 minutes of dough resting time should be up. Take dough out of the bowl and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Cut dough into 8 sections (like a pizza). Roll each triangle into a long rope, about 19-20 inches long. Shape dough into pretzel shape and place in baking soda bath for 2 minutes. If the whole pretzel isn't covered by the water, spoon it on top of the areas is doesn't reach. Once the 2 minutes is up, carefully pick pretzel up either by your hand or with the help of a fork and place on prepared baking sheet. You may have to re-shape slightly. Sprinkle the pretzel with coarse salt while still wet (optional). Repeat these steps until all 8 pretzels are prepared and on the baking sheet(s).
Bake pretzels for 8-9 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately from the oven, brush (heavily) with 6 tbs of melted butter.
These homemade soft pretzels are best served hot and fresh out of the oven but will keep for about 2 days stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Pop them in the microwave and they're good as new!



2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt (or can use regular table salt)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons almond extract

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk (or water)
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract


Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and almond extract, mixing until combined. Add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until completely combined.
Roll 1 tablespoon of dough into small circles and then press with hands (or with the bottom of a cup) into a disk shape. Place on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 8 minutes. The cookies will not look browned or cooked, but they are! Remove from oven and let cookies rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To Ice: In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk and almond extract - until smooth.
Using a spoon, smooth icing onto the top of each cookie and let set for 10 minutes, or until hardened. Store in the fridge, let come to room temperature when ready to serve

Cinnamon Bun Scone


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Quaker oats
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter or alternative, chilled and cut into pieces
3/4 cup milk
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon, vanilla
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 to 4 teaspoons orange juice or orange drink


Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.
In large bowl, combine flour, oats, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, baking powder and salt; mix well. Cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In small bowl, combine milk, egg, and vanilla; blend well. Add to dry ingredients all at once; stir with fork or rubber spatula until dry ingredients are moistened. In small bowl, combine remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar with the cinnamon; mix well. Sprinkle evenly over dough in bowl; gently stir batter to swirl in cinnamon mixture (Do not blend completely). Drop dough by 1/4 cup fulls 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire rack; cool 5 minutes. In small bowl, combine powdered sugar and enough orange juice for desired consistency; mix until smooth. Drizzle over top of warm scones. Serve warm.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017



1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
l 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 eggs
3/4 cup finely crushed saltine cracker crumbs

How to make it

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 5x9
inch loaf pan. Press the brown sugar in the bottom of the prepared pan
and spread the ketchup over the sugar.
In a mixing bowl, mix thoroughly all remaining ingredients and shape into a loaf. Place on top of the ketchup. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until juices are



2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 can (15 OUNCES) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dried
1½ cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
4 green onions, chopped
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne red pepper
1 package (21) egg roll wrappers
**1 egg beaten for sealing egg roll (can substitute water)
Guacamole (optional)


In a large bowl, combine everything but the egg roll wrappers. Place ~1/4 cup mixture in the center of one egg roll wrapper. Fold bottom corner over filling. Fold sides toward center over filling and continue to roll tightly to seal (see directions on egg roll wrapper). Using your finger, moisten remaining corner with egg. Repeat.
Place seam-side down on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush tops of egg rolls lightly with olive oil. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10-15 minutes until lightly brown. Turn them halfway through baking.
Serve warm with guacamole and hot sauce.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Best Pot Roast....EVER!

You'll need:

McCormicks slower cooker Savory Pot Roast season packet
An Au Jus packet
A Can of Pepsi (we use Coke because we always have coke in our house)
And Boneless Cross Rib Roast
and your crock pot 

How to make it:

Put your Roast in the crock pot. 
Mix the Slow cooker seasoning with 1 cup of Water.
Pour on top of roast.
Add the whole can of Coke.
Cover with your lid for 8 Low or 4 hours on high.
Its VERY important that you never lift the lid!
Right before you are ready to pull it out, 
sprinkle your dry Au Jus packet over the roast.
Pull it out and slice it up!
I promise you it is the most tender Roast EVER!!



2 lbs of chicken breast, thighs, or combination
1, 12 oz jar of pepper rings
2, .7 ounce envelopes of Italian Salad Dressing and Spice Mix


Put chicken in the bottom of a crock pot. Pour pepper rings with juice over chicken. Sprinkle Italian mix over chicken. Cook on low for 8+ hours or on high for 4+ hours.
After chicken has cooked, remove any bones or skin and shred. Keep on low till ready to eat. Add chicken broth or water if chicken seems to be drying out.
Serve on buns.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Crockpot Roast Beef

1 chuck roast
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 can tomato paste
1 or 2 onions, sliced as large as you like
3 or 4 cloves of garlic (used jarred kind, minced)
2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
2 tbsps red wine (optional)
2 tbsps roast seasoning, any kind no sugar (didn't use)
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsps butter

How to make it:

If you have time, brown roast in a pan prior to putting in crockpot. (I did not do). Season meat with seasonings. Layer onions and garlic. Mix tomato sauce and paste. Pour over the top. Add butter. Put on the lid cook all day on low. Meat will fall off the bone. Take drippings and reduce down till it makes a nice gravy, serve over top. (I did not reduce down).



2 cups nonfat dry milk
2 cup measure for measure [sugar free sweetener (xylitol, erythritol, Splenda, etc)
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup melted, unsalted butter (not margarine!)


Put the dry milk and sweetener in the blender.
Blend for 30 seconds on high.
Add the boiling water, vanilla, and melted butter.
Blend on high for one minute.
Pour into a jar, cover tightly, and refrigerate overnight before using.

Spiced Shrimp

1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 T. Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1 pound fresh medium shrimp

How to make it:

In a large saucepan, combine first 4 ingredients; bring to boil. Add shrimp, stir gently. Cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and serve.

Crock pot rotisserie chicken


1 whole chicken, about 5lbs (I bough the one with the neck and giblets removed)
½ Tbsp cajun
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp paprika
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried sage
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Dash of salt & pepper


Plug in your crock pot, I found cooking on high worked well but you can cook on low too.
Place 4 foil balls on the bottom of your crock pot, this will prevent the chicken from cooking in its own juices.
Mix all your seasonings in a bowl.
Rinse your thawed chicken under cold water.
Sprinkle your seasonings all over the chicken, getting everywhere you can cover. You can change up your seasonings to please, there really is no right from wrong when it comes to seasoning it. Also you can make it more of a rub style by adding a bit of water to your mix.
Place chicken in crock pot so it is resting on the foil balls, cook on high for 4-4.5 hours or low 7-8 hours. Chicken should reach a minimum temperature of 175F (you can check with a meat thermometer) Remove chicken, slice and serve.
Smart points- 1sp for 3oz
Points plus is 1pp per oz

The B-E-S-T LC Chili Recipe!

1 pound ground beef 
1 large yellow onion – diced 
1 can (14.5 ounce) cut diced tomatoes 
1 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce
1 can (14 ounce) beef broth 
1 cup water 
11/2 teaspoon chili powder 
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/2 teaspoon ground oregano 
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon ground black pepper 
Optional: 1 can (15 ounce) black soy beans –drained and rinsed well.
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Sour Cream

How to make it:

Brown ground beef and onions, breaking up well. Drain well.
Add spices and continue to cook and blend well.
Add the remaining ingredients. 
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes or until reduced slightly. 
Add beans (if using) in the last 10 minutes, just long enough to heat through. Black soy beans have a softer texture than pinto beans and will break down faster. 
Add water or more broth if necessary.
Serve hot with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Egg & Sausage Burritos (Freezer Recipe) | Breakfast on the Go


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound breakfast sausage
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
12 eggs
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper
your favorite shredded cheese
salsa (optional)
10-12 medium or fajita sized tortillas


1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook the sausage, pepper, and onion, breaking up the sausage into tiny pieces while cooking. Set aside
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper until combined. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat and melt a tablespoon of butter all over the pan. Add the eggs and scramble until cooked through.
3. Warm the tortillas per the package instructions. Layer 1/2 cup scrambled eggs, 1/2 cup cooked sausage, 1-2 Tbsp. shredded cheese, and a little salsa on a warmed medium sized tortilla. Fold up into a burrito. Don’t know how to fold a burrito, let wiki-how show you.
4. Place each burrito on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and flash freeze in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Store the burritos in a plastic freezer bag.
5. At breakfast time, place frozen burrito on a plate and cover with a cloth napkin or paper towel. Microwave for 30 seconds. Cut burrito in half and cover back up. Heat for 30-60 seconds or until warm all the way through.
Side note: I wrap a few in foil to store in the freezer for my husband to take to work. Just remove foil before heating in the microwave. Heat through and wrap back up in the foil to keep the burrito warm.

pb and j overnight oats


1 very ripe banana
1 cup almond milk
4 tbsp. peanut butter
pinch salt if peanut butter is unsalted
1¼ cup rolled oats
⅛ cup. chia seeds
½ cup 100% concord grape juice (like Welch's brand)


In a stand mixer or using a bowl and hand mixer, whip the banana, almond milk, peanut butter and a pinch of salt until smooth and creamy. Add in the oats and whip until combined.
Move into a container and place in the fridge overnight.
Whisk the chia seeds into the concord grape juice and set into the fridge.
In the morning, place divide the peanut butter mixture into jars (will make two large servings, 4 smaller ones. Will also keep for at least 2-3 days in the fridge so you can have multiple servings from one recipe).
Top with grape chia mixture

Grab & Go: Egg White Bites


¼ onion, diced
½ pepper, diced
Handful of spinach
egg white carton (24 T. total is used)
olive oil cooking spray
black pepper


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Spray each muffin tin with olive oil cooking spray so it lightly coats the bottom
Add your favorite diced vegetables!
I added ripped-up spinach leaves, diced red pepper, and diced onion
Fill each muffin tin with egg whites. When using the mini muffin tins, it only took about 1 T. of egg whites to fill it. 
Lastly, sprinkle the tops with some ground black pepper for a little flavor.
Toss them in the oven! 
The mini muffin tins took about 10 minutes. If you are using regular sized muffin tins, let them cook for about 20 minutes. 
Once they are cooled, enjoy! You can also add your favorite toppings- my favorite are avocado and salsa!
Mine lasted in the fridge perfectly for 4 days (I couldn't keep them in there any longer... they were too yummy and too easy to grab and take on the go!)
Each egg white bite only has 10 CALORIES!
I had 8 for a snack which equaled out to about 80 calories! Unless you top it with avocado, the egg white bits have no fat, cholesterol, or sugar.



2 cups almond flour
4 eggs
1/2 cup water (for puffier pancakes you can use sparkling water)
1/4 cup oil
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-4 packets stevia


Mix ingredients together in a blender.
Let batter sit for about 15 minutes.
Pour onto hot griddle or pan over medium high heat (about 325-350 degree F).
Flip them when the edges start to dry.



pepperoni slices
1 lb. ground beef
1 (14-oz) jar pizza sauce
1 large green pepper
1 medium onion
1 (8-oz) package baby bella mushrooms
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


Dice green pepper, onion and mushrooms.
Add veggies and ground beef to pan. Cook until ground beef is browned and veggies are tender. Drain.
In crock pot, layer ground beef and veggie mixture, sauce, cheese and pepperoni. Repeat layers.
Cook on low in crock pot for 2 hours, until cheese is melted and and casserole is heated through.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Pecan Pie Cake

Pecan Pie Filling
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup cornstarch
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/8 tsp salt
3 TBSP butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (the real stuff)

Whisk together the first 6 ingredients in a heavy 3-quart saucepan until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, and boil for 1 minute, or until thickened. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla. Place a sheet of wax paper directly on surface of mixture to prevent a film from forming, and chill at least 4 hours.

Now for the cake....
Pecan Pie Cake
3 cups finely chopped pecans, toasted and divided
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 TBSP vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup dark corn syrup

Sprinkle 2 cups pecans evenly into 3 generously buttered 9-inch round cake pans; shake to coat bottoms and sides of pans.
Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy, and gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
Combine flour and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in remaining 1 cup pecans.
Beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form, and fold one third egg whites into batter. Fold in remaining egg whites. (Do NOT over mix). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. I always set timer to go off 5 minutes before to be safe. Silly oven!
Check for doneness with the old toothpick inserted into center test.
Cool in pans on wire racks for about 10 minutes, then invert onto the wire racks. Put some wax paper down under the wire racks... Trust me! You'll be glad you did!
Brush the tops and sides of layers with corn syrup, and cool completely. (See, aren't you glad you listened?)
Spread half of pecan pie filling on one layer, pecan side up. Place second layer, pecan side up, on filling, and spread with remaining filling. Top with remaining layer, pecan side up.

Now, every Southern cook knows you don't make a pecan pie when it's raining, right? Guess what it was doing the day I made the filling? Yep, that's right.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017



1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 large apple, peeled and finely chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer or large bowl, combine white sugar and butter until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and continue to beat on medium speed until combined. Add flour and baking powder, then milk.
Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Cover with half of the apples. Pat apples into batter with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with half of sugar and cinnamon mixture. Pour the remaining batter over apple layer; TOP with remaining apples and add more brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Pat topping into the batter with the back of a large spoon.
Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Vintage Cheddar and Gruyere Mac and Cheese with Polish Kielbasa


2 tbsp-butter
1 heaped tbsp-flour
1½ cups-milk, 2% or whole
200 gr- vintage cheddar, grated
200 gr-Gruyere, grated
1 lbs-short pasta
150 gr-Polish smoked kielbasa, sliced


Preheat the oven to 375F/190C.
Cook pasta in a large pot filled with salted water 3-4 minutes less than the package directs.
While pasta is cooking make the cheese sauce. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, blend in flour with a wire whisk.
Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes while stirring the entire time, then add milk and stir.
Cook the sauce for 5 minutes, it will gradually thicken, continue stirring with a wire whisk to avoid lumps.
When the sauce is the desired consistency take it off the heat and stir in both cheeses, reserve a combined ¼ cup of cheese.
The cheese should melt and completely incorporate into the sauce. Use your wire whisk to ensure the sauce is smooth and lump-free. (Don't walk away from the stove the entire time the cheese sauce is cooking as it can burn quickly and/or will go lumpy if left unattended.)
When your pasta is cooked drain but reserve ¼ cup of starchy water the pasta was cooking in.
Return the drained pasta into the same pot and add water and cheese sauce, gently toss to coat the pasta. It should be quite runny.
Mix in sliced kielbasa and transfer to a deep baking dish, sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. The TOP should be golden by the end of the cooking time. If the pasta still looks pale at the end of the cooking time set your oven to broil and let the top crisp up for 2-3 minutes.
Serve with a simple green salad.
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