Thursday, December 7, 2017

Grandma Gert's Creamy Chicken Rice

OK, so not MY Grandma Gert, but my cousin's Grandma Gert!

Growing up without grandparents.  Or rather, growing up with grandparents on the other side of the country and the other set of grandparents deceased, it seemed we were always picking up other "grandma and grandpa" figures in our lives.  My mom's parents had passed before many of us were born and my dad's father the same.  His parents lived back in Philly and I do recall speaking to my grandmother once, though I couldn't understand her, (she spoke Italian) I remember telling her Hello, and that I loved her. I felt like the only kid on the planet with no grandparents!

This recipe comes from one such woman.  She was my Aunt Virginia's mother.  A week or so ago on social media, my cousin Deidre had posted a photo to her sister and said she was making "Grandma Gert's Chicken and Rice".  They all were excited and it looked fabulous so I asked her for the recipe.  She sent it right to me ad I decided to make it that next night.

I am going to give you the recipe straight from Gert!   This lasted about 3 days for us.  I served it with a big salad because it is so rich.  Don't skimp on anything!  This will feed an army!

I hope you give this a try!  If you do, post a photo, tag me on social media, let me hear what you think!

Until next time....

If you like this recipe, you might also enjoy...

Chicken and Rice Casserole
Cheesy Chicken Gnocchi
Mexican Rice

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Blueberry Cheesecake Cookies

Hello my dear friends!  How long has it been?  TOO  long!

I am glad to be back with you, after all, it IS the most wonderful time of the year!  Right?  I am ready for holiday cheer, holiday feelings, holiday food, and everything else!  I truly find it odd, how busy things have been yet, at the beginning of such a busy time, I get to make time to share some cookies with you!

If you have been following me awhile you know I have a "Just Say NO To Brown Cookie Trays" campaign.  Well, maybe not a campaign but, I feel strongly about it.  You know the ones, don't act like you have never received them!  Hard cookies, difficult to differentiate one "flavor" from another, and not even sure what is in them.  Yes, those cookie trays.  I actually came up with these cookies, because I sell Scentsy as well.  This Blueberry Cheesecake Scent Bar came out and I was like, "oh maaaaan, I need to make that edible"!  I did!  This recipe was adapted from Get In My Belly.

This recipe makes between 18-24 cookies.  I will without a doubt double it when I make it again.  This will be on my cookie trays, and I hope they will be on yours!  My grandson helped me with these today, and he also is in the YouTube video that will accompany it!

Here is what you will need:

1/4 cup softened cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flower
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cornstarch
pinch of salt
frozen or fresh blueberries

white chocolate
vegetable oil

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Using a stand or hand mixer, combine cream cheese and butter.  When it is combined add in sugar and again, mix until all ingredients are combined.  Add egg, vanilla flour, baking soda, and cornstarch.  Mix until ingredients are just combined.

Refrigerate your dough for 1 hr.  I did 30 minutes and it worked fine but if you double the batch, go for 1 hr.  You can chill it up to overnight if you like.

Place balls of dough or use a cookie scoop.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Dough will spread, but if for some reason yours does not, just give it a little smoosh with your hand.  I used frozen blueberries I had let sit out for 10 minutes, but fresh will be awesome as well!  Place 4 or 5 blueberries on the top of each cookie, slightly pressing them in.  Let sit for 15 minutes.

You can enjoy as is, or you can drizzle with some melted white chocolate.  Use about 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips, melt in 30 second increments in the microwave.  Add a cap full of vegetable oil to it to make it a bit more liquid and drizzle-able!  Drizzle and let the chocolate set before serving!

I hope you enjoy these little heavenly cookies!  I think using strawberries, raspberries, etc would be awesome as well!!


Monday, October 9, 2017

Hasselback Caprese Chicken

Welcome back!  Time is flying, fall is falling and the garden produce is beginning to get to tired and worn out and cold to make anything more!  Bummer!  I picked the last of my basil, the last of my tomatoes, and decided to close the season with a bang!  This is a dish I have seen around here and there, but I wanted to make it my own way.  I wanted to add some seasonings, and better yet, I wanted to lay them on a bed of creamy, silky, alfredo-like sauce!

This came together in about 15-20 minutes, and another 45 in the oven.  I served it with a side of spaghetti that was lightly buttered, added some parsley, and a drizzle of this awesome sauce!

I gave you kind of an approximation of ingredients.  I wrote it for 4 servings, but for the tomato and basil and cheese it will depend on how thick you cut your slices, AND how many slits you put in the chicken.  See what I am sayin'?

Let's get started!

Cream Sauce:
2 T butter
2 T flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup chicken stock (up to 3/4 depending on how thick or thin you want your sauce)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Melt your butter in a medium saucepan.  Add in your flour and whisk to combine for 1-2 minutes.  Add in milk and chicken stock.  Whisk until slightly thickened and then add in cheese.  Again, whisk until cheese is melted and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Now, pour this mixture into a 9x13 baking dish.  Also, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F!

Now for the chicken prep you will need:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2=3 large tomatoes
2-8oz balls of mozzarella cheese
20 leaves of fresh basil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste

Slice your cheese and tomatoes into half moons.  Now take your chicken and slice across it.  Don't go all the way through, just about 3/4 of the way.  Do that to tall of the chicken breasts.  Using your Italian seasoning, and garlic salt, season them up all over.

 You can stuff these however you like.  Where you cut, you will stuff with tomato or mozz cheese. I used a basil leaf in each one, alternating mozz and tomato slices.  When you finish one, carefully place it in the 9x13 pan of cream sauce.  Do this until all chicken is done.

Lightly salt and pepper when all done and place into the oven.  You will need to start checking for doneness at about 35 minutes.  I used large breasts (teehee) and mine took upwards of 45-50 minutes.  Use your thermometers!

Enjoy this with a side of pasta, a salad, some nice crusty bread, the possibilities are endless and delicious!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Pizza Joes

Hey all!  Does it feel like fall yet?  Some days it does, some days it doesn't.  I wanted to put all of my fall decor out earlier but frankly, it seemed to risky.  I did finally put it up and now I feel more like fall on the inside, but remembered, I should have put up my Halloween!  So I traded it out today, and will redo the fall decor for November.  This isn't something your momma teaches you, this is real life people.  You only get one chance. #takerisks

Now, I don't know about you, but my husband and I are NOT fans of the sloppy Joe.  o this is my take on them, but twisted up a bit so we like them!  A fun lunch or dinner that your family will love.  Super easy and quick too!

1 lb lean ground beef
1 10oz can/jar mushrooms
1 T Homemade Pizza Seasoning
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1 cup pizza sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Hamburger buns
Shredded Italian Blend Cheese (or cheese of your choice)

In a skillet, brown your ground beef.  If your ground beef isn't super lean, drain the grease when it is completely browned.  Put back in your skillet and add in your mushrooms.  Let them cook a minute longer and then add in pizza seasoning, sugar, pizza sauce,  and salt and pepper to taste.  Combine completely and let sit on a low temp while you prepare your rolls.

Set your oven on broil.  Line your sheet pan with foil for easier cleanup!  Place your rolls, bottom up on the pan.  Place in the oven.  WATCH them CLOSELY.  If you follow me on FB you saw the "remains" of my rolls!  I always burn bread, it is just part of my DNA, and frankly, I just can't.  I can't.
When they are lightly golden, spoon your mixture on to the roll, top with plenty of cheese and stick back under your broiler for about 30-40 seconds.  Dead serious, just don't test me on this one.  Remove, put the tops on and serve!

Please feel free to add onion, bell peppers, mini pepperoni, whatever you want.  This was just a twist on traditional sloppy joes that neither of us are a fan of!

Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Earthquake Cake

Happy Fall Ya'll!!!  If you have been around awhile you know I use any chance I get to say "ya'll"!  OK, admittedly, it is on a sign I have hanging up on my patio so it might not have been an original thought.  In fact, that will be a common theme in this recipe post!

I am not the creator/inventor/developer/goddess of this recipe.  I do believe it has been around quite some time.  I wanted to give it a try.  In researching this recipe, I found about as many versions as there are people who make it.  Just wait until I share another version I found!  Seriously!  I think this could be a rather interesting, and tasty journey!

It is called earthquake cake because of the cracks that form in the top while baking.  But, can I be honest?  Lots that I saw photos of, had no cracks.  The truth is, I don't really think it matters much.  What matters is getting a piece on a plate and wrapping your lips around that fork and throwin' it back!  This cake needs no icing.  It is so decadent, and rich.  SORT of, kinda, maybe a tiny bit reminiscent of a German chocolate cake at the bottom! 

I think you should also have a glass of wine.  I think I am going to start ending all of my blog posts with that.  "Should be consumed with wine".  What do you think?

Here it is!  Check out the video too!  Make sure to.... Crap, let me find my manners.  I would LOVE if you would subscribe to my YT channel!  Thumbs ups, comments, sharing the videos, all help me grow!

Let's do it!

1 box German chocolate cake mix
1 cup water
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
(or the measurements listed on your box)
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips (another 1/4 cup for later) If you want to use semi sweet or dark chocolate that is fine.
1 8 oz block of cream cheese
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (confections sugar, icing sugar)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick spray and sprinkle the coconut and 1 cup chocolate chips in the bottom, set aside.

In a bowl, prepare the German chocolate cake mix according to package directions.   Pour evenly over the top of the coconut and chocolate chips.  Set aside

In a small saucepan melt the cream cheese and butter.  When it is melted, remove and pour into a large bowl (or use a large saucepan) and add in your powdered sugar.  Whisk or mix to combine.  Dollop this mixture all over the top of the chocolate cake mix.  Use a knife to swirl it with the chocolate cake mix.  No need to go cray=zay, just do it a little bit and call it good.  Sprinkle the last 1/4 cup of chocolate chips on top and bake for 40-45 minutes.  When you take it out, it should be a little bit jiggly in the center.  No worries, cool it completely and dig in! 

So good, you don't even need frosting!  I mean, whipped cream or ice cream would be great, but, I don't want to be responsible for anyone's bad decisions. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Cheesy Kielbasa and Pasta Dinner

Good evening my friends!  It feels so good to bring you a new recipe last week and another one this week!  I have missed it, and all of you.

I found kielbasa at the store marked down.  1.00!  I bought a handful, ok....I bought 8,  Straight into the freezer for a good potato and kielbasa hash with a fried egg on top or something for breakfast or breakfast for dinners.  I asked you all on Facebook for your best recipes using kielbasa, and what great feedback.  I plan to give many of them a try!  I wanted to use pasta and cheese, and had never run across much of that nature so I went to work and hit this on the head, the first time and I can assure you, this might be a once a weeker in our house now!

This is a one pot show.  Everything into one hot tub and you are golden.  I even served it straight out of the pot.  Why not?  Added some crusty bread and a green salad and boom!

Feel free to trade out the can of diced tomatoes for a very large fresh tomato, diced!

1 T olive oil
1 lb kielbasa, cut into coins
1 tsp minced garlic
1- 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (feel free to swap out one LG fresh tomato, diced)
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 T onion powder
16 ounces short pasta (I used rotini)
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (divided)

In a large pot, on medium heat add in your olive oil.  Let warm for a minute and add in your keilbasa and let heat through and brown for 2-3 minutes.  Add in your garlic and stir constantly for 1 minute.  Add in your chicken stock and tomatoes (with juice).  Stir in your onion powder and bring the mixture to a boil. 

When it boils, add in your pasta, stir and cover and let simmer 8-9 minutes.

Remove lid, stir in heavy cream and 1 cup of cheddar cheese.

Mix until combined.  Add the other cup of cheddar on top and put the lid back on.  Let sit for 3-4 minutes to melt the cheese.

I served this with some nice crostini and fresh green beans!

If you enjoy this recipe you may also enjoy:

Mexican Spaghetti
Orecchiette and Sausage

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Cookies and Cream Oreo Blondies

Heyyyaaaa!!  Long time no see, eh?  Been a slow summer.  Been in a transition time and just haven't been mentally at my best.  I am looking forward to fall and winter though!   Lots of kitchen time!  Lots of soup!  Lots of comfort food!  Lots of delicious goodness!

As most of you know, I have a new YouTube channel.  I would love to have you subscribe if you haven't.  Here is the link, FoodThoughtsOfaChefWannabe.  You will find lifestyle, food, hauls, Scentsy, and random videos with my littles and hubby!  That being said, I love couponing so one fo those channels I watch, Nicole Burgess and she shared this recipe from Six Sisters Stuff.  I adapted my recipe from that.  I changed it up in a way I thought we would enjoy it better!

Here is what you will need:

1 cup butter softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3.4 ounce package of INSTANT vanilla pudding
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 heaping cup of white chocolate chips
20 Oreo's roughly chopped  (I save a handful off to the side to sprinkle on top when it is in the pan)

You can do this by hand, but the mixture gets pretty thick and hard to stir, (I learned the first time).  I did it in my stand mixer this time!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.

In your stand mixer cream together butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla.  When it is smooth and fluffy, add in vanilla pudding mix.  Mix until completely incorporated.  Scrape down the sides as needed!

Mix together the flour, soda, powder, and salt.  Just mix for a couple of seconds and then add flour mixture into the mixer bowl half at a time and continue mixing.  Next add in your cookies and white chocolate chips, (minus that handful) Mix until just combined.  Pour out into your 9x13 and even it out as best you can.

Pop it in the oven for 25-30 minutes.  It should still be a little gooey looking in the middle!  Let cool and serve up with an ice cold glass of milk!

Other Recipes You Might Enjoy:

Double Chocolate Mint Brownies
Chocolate Amaretti Trifle
Chocolate Crunch Brownies