Jun 16

Reese’s Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

Hope everyone had a great weekend and all the Dads got spoiled yesterday! We had a nice day, filled with fun and food. The weather was gorgeous which made it all even better.

My original intent with these cookies was to make them into ice cream sandwiches…but, they were gobbled up WAY too fast. Almost as fast as it was for me to make them. Only 4 ingredients, people!


Wish I’d made more. Next time it’s a double batch, and they WILL be stuffed with ice cream!

Reese’s Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies
adapted from The Frugal Girls

1 box chocolate cake mix (I used Devil’s Food)
1 1/2 cups Reese’s peanut butter chips
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix, eggs and oil, and mix until smooth. Add chips and stir. Chill dough in fridge for 45 minutes.

Drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheets in rounded balls (make bigger ones for bigger cookies or ice cream sandwiches!). Bake for around 9-10 minutes, depending on size.

Posted in chocolate, cookies, dessert, peanut butter, QuickAndEasy | Leave a comment
Jun 9

Spicy Black Bean Hummus

Summer fun has begun, and this dip is perfect for entertaining! It’s easy to make and even easier to transport. This is for all you spicy food lovers out there.


Veggies can easily be subbed for pita chips if you’re low carbing. I really liked this and definitely plan on making it again soon!

Spicy Black Bean Hummus
slightly adapted from Cooking Light

2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
Dash of crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
pita chips

Place garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add lemon juice, tahini, cumin, salt, black beans, jalapeño pepper, and crushed red pepper. Process until smooth.

Spoon dip into a bowl and drizzle with oil. Serve with pita chips.

Posted in appetizers, beans, Cooking Light, dip, low carb, make ahead, QuickAndEasy | Leave a comment
Jun 2

Chili-Lime Chicken Kebabs

The weather has been amazing lately – perfect for grilling! Life has been crazy as well so I’m always happy when I find a new recipe that’s quick and easy to make. These kebabs were perfect for yet another hectic day in our house.


Use whatever veggies you have on hand to add to these…anything goes! I doubled this recipe very easily and it was a great menu item to serve to a group.

Chili-Lime Chicken Kebabs
slightly adapted from Kate’s Recipe Box

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
juice of one lime
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
cayenne pepper, to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
vegetables you have on hand (I used red peppers, mushrooms and red onion)

Whisk oil, vinegar, lime juice and spices together in a bowl. Add chicken and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Chop veggies into bite size pieces. Thread them together with chicken onto skewers.

Grill over medium-high heat for around 10-15 minutes, turning halfway through.

Makes 4 skewers.

Posted in chicken, grilling, lime, low carb, main dishes, make ahead, QuickAndEasy | 3 Comments
May 23

Memorial Day Weekend Recipe Roundup

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend – eat, drink and be merry – and stay safe! Here are some recipe ideas to either serve or take along to your celebrations. Enjoy :)

Meditteranean Layer Dip

Homemade Salsa

Hawaiian Pulled Pork

London Broil with Balsamic Marinade

Grilled Rosemary Chicken on Mixed Greens

Sweet and Sour Pork Kebabs with Pineapple and Peppers

Black Bean & Quinoa Salad

Dijon Potato Salad


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Lemonade Sugar Cookies

Key Lime Cupcakes

Posted in roundup | 1 Comment
May 19

Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

What can I say about this cake, other than – I wish I had a piece RIGHT NOW! Yum.


Delicious and SO easy to make. This is definitely one to consider making for your Memorial Day celebrations, so get your ingredients this week!

Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze
from Yankee Magazine

2 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen)
2 tablespoons cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 cups AP flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup orange juice (can also use milk)
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Mix first three ingredients and set aside.

Mix together additional sugar, oil, and eggs. Add flour and baking powder to mixture. Add salt, vanilla, and orange juice to batter and mix well.

Spread 1/3 of batter into the bottom of the pan. Top with 1/2 of blueberry mixture, forming a ring around the center of the pan. Repeat, ending with the batter.

Bake for 75-90 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly.

Remove cake from pan and plate. Mix confectioners sugar, butter, and lemon zest to make icing and drizzle on cake. Add a little milk if the consistency is too thick.

Posted in berries, cake, dessert, lemon, make ahead | 1 Comment
May 14

Quick Bean and Cheese Quesadilla

Has anyone else noticed lately that the prices of, well, EVERYTHING, have gone up? I feel like every time I go food shopping, the numbers keep rising. It’s just out of control.

As you probably already know, one easy way to keep the grocery bill down is to buy less meat. I’ve been eating more vegetarian/meatless meals for dietary reasons, but saving money certainly doesn’t hurt either. Not to mention that fact that life has just been plain crazy lately. So, this dinner worked for me in many different ways.


As a member of Influenster, I was recently sent a few coupons for Sargento Ultra Thin cheese. Talk about another way to save time and money, while easing up on calories. These thin slices are much healthier than the average prepackaged cheese, and they’re perfect for melting. I used my free coupon to pick up their Colby Jack slices and they were delicious in this quesadilla!

You can read more about Sargento Ultra Thin Slice cheese here. Give them a try…you won’t be disappointed!

Quick Bean and Cheese Quesadilla

1 cup kidney beans, drained and rinsed (any beans are fine – these were what I had on hand)
2/3 cup salsa
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
canola oil
2 tortillas (I used the low carb ones from Trader Joe’s)
2 slices Sargento Ultra Thin colby jack cheese
1 scallion, chopped and divided
sour cream
chopped avocado

Put beans, salsa, cilantro, cumin and garlic powder in a pot. Let cook for around 10 minutes, until all flavors are combined and beans are heated through.

Lightly coat a frying pan with canola oil (or use cooking spray) and add one tortilla. Top with bean mixture, cheese, and half of the scallions (from the white part up). Top with second tortilla. Cover and let warm through, around 6-7 minutes over medium high heat. (Don’t worry about flipping the tortilla over – it can be very hard to do with the beans, so by covering it everything will warm through. Or, you can cut the quesadilla in half while in the pan to make it easier to flip)

Remove from pan and plate. Top with sour cream, avocado and remaining scallions.

Posted in appetizers, beans, cheese, low carb, main dishes, Mexican, QuickAndEasy, Trader Joe's | Leave a comment
May 5

Crockpot Balsamic Chicken Breasts

After making this recipe a handful of times I’m finally getting around to sharing it. It’s perfect for different things like salads, sandwiches, as a main course…here I have it sitting on top of cauliflower “rice” (recipe coming soon). SO easy!


Wait…am I a bad blogger for not posting something Mexican today? I ate Mexican food pretty much all weekend long but they were all repeat recipes! Oh well. Enjoy your margaritas later ;)

Crockpot Balsamic Chicken Breasts
slightly adapted from Sugar-Free Mom

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
7 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Add oil and garlic to bottom of crockpot. Place chicken on top. Add seasonings so that chicken is evenly coated. Pour vinegar over chicken. Cook on high for around 4 hours (depending on your crockpot).

Posted in chicken, crockpot, low carb, main dishes, make ahead | 2 Comments
Apr 30

Chocolate Covered Oreo Cake

My niece turned 12 last week – for weeks I asked her what kind of cake she wanted and she couldn’t give me an answer. Well, she gave me one answer, but it was a cake that had about 5000 steps and took 4 days to make. Nina, I love you, but…


So, Aunt Miss needed to make a quick decision. And the family said it was one of the best cakes ever. In the top 5. I LOVE when something so easy gets rave reviews. And wait until you see how easy it is to make this!


Chocolate Covered Oreo Cake
adapted from Allrecipes

your favorite dark chocolate cake recipe (I used a box mix…shhhh)
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups thawed frozen whipped topping
18 Oreo cookies, chopped
10 Oreo cookies, chopped

Bake cake in two 9 inch round pans. Let cool completely.

Beat sugar and cream cheese until combined. Add whipped topping and 18 Oreos, and mix. Set aside. Melt chocolate and butter together in microwave to form a thin ganache.

Place one cake layer on serving plate. Add cream cheese mixture evenly, and place second cake layer on top. Top with ganache and add 10 Oreos before ganache hardens. Let stand 10 minutes then refrigerate. Keep refrigerated until serving.

Posted in cake, chocolate, cookies, cream cheese, dessert, family | 2 Comments
Apr 28

No-Knead Onion Rolls

It’s been a while since I’ve baked with yeast. I’ve been doing my best to lay off bread (yeah, going to the doctor isn’t usually much fun…) but of course, I had to make an exception for Easter. And besides, I had this recipe bookmarked for way too long.


If you’re afraid to use yeast, you need to try this recipe. It’s foolproof! Plus not having to knead is always a plus. And these were a big hit. Wish I’d made more…

They’re actually pretty light and fluffy inside – check them out!


The recipe yields 16, but they’re really big, so they can easily be cut in half when used as dinner rolls. A big hit, especially for onion lovers like me!

No-Knead Onion Rolls
from Noble Pig

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 medium onions, chopped
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
2 (0.25) packages active dry yeast
2 eggs
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons butter, melted
6 cups AP flour (plus more for bench)

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in pan. Add onions and one teaspoon of sugar, along with a little salt, and cook until golden brown over medium heat, approximately 15 minutes.

Place 2 cups warm tap water in mixing bowl and sprinkle in yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 4-5 minutes. Whisk in eggs, 4 tablespoons of melted butter, remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add flour and 3/4 of onions. Mix with dough hook attachment until sticky dough forms.

Brush top of dough with remaining tablespoon of oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about an hour.

Grease a 9×13 baking pan. Punch dough down. Flour hands and working space, and form dough in 16 balls of equal size. Place into pan, spacing evenly. Sprinkle with remaining onions. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in warm area to rise until doubled, around 30-40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove plastic and brush dough with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter. Bake 18-22 minutes, until golden (mine took around 27 minutes). Tent top with foil if they brown too quickly. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before serving.

Posted in bread, side dishes, yeast | 1 Comment
Apr 25

Nana’s Rice Pudding

This dish has graced our table dozens of times since I started writing this blog, yet EVERY time, I forget to get a decent picture (or any picture at all!). Well, that’s it – no more delays. I need to get the recipe out there! It’s one of the best ways to keep Nana’s memory alive.


Like most family recipes, measurements are, well, questionable. So excuse me for my mom’s loose translation, but it’s the best we can do. Try it a few times and I promise, you’ll love it. It’s easy, cheap to make, and best of all, DELICIOUS! One of my all time favorites.

Nana’s Rice Pudding

1 quart milk
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup Carolina rice (yes, it MUST be Carolina)
1/3 cup sugar (or to taste)
2 egg yolks, beaten
ground cinnamon
golden raisins (optional)

Place milk in a pot and add cinnamon sticks. Bring milk to a boil. Lower heat, add rice and cook until almost tender, for around 15-20 minutes. Add sugar. Once sugar is cooked through, remove from heat.

Take cinnamon sticks out and add egg yolks. Stir until combined (the heat will cook the yolks). Add raisins if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve (or eat it warm if you like). Sprinkle with cinnamon before serving.

This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. You can also substitute lowfat milk since the starch from the rice is what helps the thickening process. You can also use Splenda in place of the sugar.

Posted in dessert, family, Greek, make ahead, QuickAndEasy, rice | Leave a comment