Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hunker Down

We are getting our first snow for this season, and the weather today was perfect for the cozy Chicken Salad Pie on my menu.

This recipe is more labor intensive than I'd normally undertake on a regular day, but I was able to put the mixture together in the morning before leaving for work, and then assembling later in the day.  Truth be told, the smell in my house from the morning prep work made me really look forward to dinner later.  It turned out well, mostly just a fancier version of hot chicken salad, which I've made before.

The last minute addition to the meal turned out to be the highlight--Cheesecakesadillas.  Yep, you read that right, cheesecake in a quesadilla.  El yummo.  There's really no mystery here, just cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the normal quesadilla format.  I added a little fruit syrup from strawberries I had in the freezer.  We all liked them better plain, so I'd advise skipping the extra work!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Apple Puffed Pancake

Puffed pancakes are a great breakfast for dinner choice.  They are fast and easy to throw together, and then the cooking time in the oven leaves me free to throw the ball for the dog, look over papers from third grade, and quickly flip through the mail.

I love it when I find a new variety to try like this Apple Puffed Pancake.  The steps are slightly different in order for the apples to get cooked through, but it really doesn't complicate things at all.  Two large Granny Smith apples were more than enough for our 9x13 pancake.

We all enjoyed our pancake with salted caramel and whipped cream.  It was the perfect caramel apple breakfast treat.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pumpkin Pasta?

I'll admit.  It was the recipe title that made me push the "Pin It" button.  I really didn't dig in and look any farther.  Probably the "One Pot" part had me hooked too.

So what is One Pot Creamy Pumpkin Pasta?  It's fabulous that's what it is.  Ultimate creamy mac and cheese, that isn't heavy, and feels healthy because of the secret pumpkin ingredient.  Just perfect.

The prep process for this recipe is a bit interesting, but it works.  I got tired of waiting for all the liquid to go down, so I spooned a little of the extra off once I was well past the eight minute cooking point.  I was probably a little generous with the mozzarella I added, and I know I rounded up on the cheddar.  I like to walk on the wild side where cheese is concerned.

With all that cheese, the pumpkin flavor takes a back seat, and I'm okay with that.  It's simply delicious cheesy pasta, perfect for an quick, easy dinner.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Heaven for Breakfast

For some reason, our bananas for lunch consumption got all out of whack last week.  Thus I found myself with a Saturday morning and several bananas to use.

I love baked oatmeals for their easy tastiness, so I went in search of one that used bananas.  This Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal appeared in my Pinterest feed first and seemed like a great choice, so I went with it.  Mmmmmmmmmmm, so good, and we've been enjoying the leftovers for our subsequent breakfasts.  It's similar to this Hawaiian Bread and Maple Banana Baked French Toast, but fewer steps and less work--all good things in my book.  I even skipped the separate bowls for wet and dry ingredients.  Previous baked oatmeal recipes told me it didn't matter, and I detest dirtying extra dishes.

Seriously, peeps, find yourselves some ripe bananas and make this ASAP. You won't be sorry.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


For an easy night of crockpot cooking, look no further than this Honey Sesame Chicken.  Start a second crock of rice, and you're all set.

This is super easy to throw together and run out the door to wherever you need to be.  I chose to use chicken breasts and regular soy sauce.  I cut the red pepper flakes down to just a sprinkle.  I wanted enough to cut the sweet, but not enough to really feel heat.

Then dessert brought us this tasty number: Caramel Apple Pie Poke Cake.  This is another super easy to toss together cake that turns out so sweetly delicious.  The caramel apple flavor is excellent, and a perfect fall treat.  (And so good, it turns out, that I forgot to get a picture of it.  Oops.)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

On Rainy Days

Today turned out to be rainy.  It didn't start that way, but it certainly finished soggy and blech.  It was weather that called for comfort food, and this Cheeseburger Gnocchi fit the bill nicely.  Especially because I baconified it.  Be quiet, baconified is a word.  Or at least now it is.

This is a quick, easy dish, and the flavor is divine.  I made a few substitutions for our tastes and ingredients on hand, and it was still awesome. Here's what I did:

  1. Swapped drained diced tomatoes for the Rotel.  After too many spicey dishes, I've learned.
  2. Used sour cream instead of heavy cream. I forgot and used all my heavy cream earlier this week.
  3. The recipe calls for a half pound of ground beef, but I used a full pound.  It just seemed to be a better balance to the pound of gnocchi, and I didn't feel like it was too much.
  4. Added a few tablespoons of bacon crumbles.  Because bacon cheeseburgers.  
  5. Used red onion instead of white.  It's a lot of onion, but it tastes good.  Put it all in.
This recipe is gourmet, twenty times better Hamburger Helper.  Make it.  And be sure to baconify it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Halloween Traditions

Our little neighborhood gathering on Halloween continued another year.  This year's eats featured a nacho bar, snack mix (Fritos and candy corn are yum), and awesome Ghosty S'More Brownies.

The brownies are pretty easy, and the result tastes sooooooooo good.  I ended up using a combination of graham cracker and vanilla wafer crumbs, which I thought had better flavor than straight up graham crackers.  For the layer between the brownies and ghosts, I used a combo of milk chocolate chips and toffee bit--more goodness.

So another year of celebrating is done, and I've hit the stores stocking up on Halloween paper goods for next year!