Monthly Archives: September 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

It’s that time of year again…time to break out all things pumpkin. These are full of chocolatey pumpkiny goodness and your family will LOVE them.

2 c flour
1 & 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cloves
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1 c unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 c pumpkin puree
12 oz chocolate chips
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350. Line bottom and side of 13×9″ pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Spray with cooking spray.

Whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda and salt.

Cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high until smooth. Beat in the egg & vanilla. Beat in the pumpkin puree.

Add the dry ingredients and mix on low just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Using an offset spatula (or the back of a spoon), spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (or with a few crumbs, not batter). Cool completely in the pan.

Did I change anything? The recipe above has the amount of sugar I used. I cut the original amount in half. I figured it already had a whole bag of chocolate chips in it, so it was going to be pretty sweet anyways. I sprayed the aluminum foil with cooking spray because I was worried about these tasty treats getting stuck to the aluminum foil. That would ruin all of the fun.

What did the family think? Hubby won’t eat them because there is pumpkin in them. I know, he’s weird.

Where did this recipe come from? Bake at 350

photo from Bake at 350


Filed under After School Snacks, Definitely Making it Again, Desserts, Easy, Vegetarian

Chicken Florentine Bowtie Pasta

It’s a good thing that this dish went over pretty well last night because it made a lot of pasta and we will be having it for dinner again tonight.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped white onion
1 clove minced garlic
4 cups baby spinach leaves
2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Cups Philadelphia Cooking Creme
1 pound bowtie pasta or other small noodle
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a 9รƒโ€”13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and run under cold water to stop cooking.

Place oil in Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Stir in spinach leaves, cook, stirring until wilted about 2 minutes. Add chicken, salt, and pepper, and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add cooking cream, stirring to combine.

Add pasta to chicken mixture stirring to combine. Transfer to prepared baking dish and top with cheese.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until cheese is melted.

What did the family think? The only person who freaked out a little about the spinach was our youngest which is so funny because sitting on his plate, right next to the pasta, was a salad which he happily ate that had spinach in it. He also, of course, was not pleased that there was chicken in it. There was enough cheesy pasta to make up for all of the other offensive ingredients though, so he was fine.

Where did this recipe come from? Picky Palate

Photo from Cooking with Karyn

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Filed under Chicken, Everybody Ate It, Italian

Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This makes a lot of pasta. The family really liked this and I probably should have just baked it all at once so they could have had seconds, but instead I divided it into two casserole dishes. I baked one and froze the other for later.

6 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dishes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound penne rigate
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (8 ounces each), halved horizontally
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups whole milk
10 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded provolone (6 ounces)
1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmesan (4 ounces)
Salt and pepper, for seasoning

Preheat oven to 400.

Butter two shallow 2-quart baking dishes. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta, and return to pot.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper; cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Halve each piece lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.

In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook 1 minute. Off heat, gradually stir in provolone and 1/2 cup Parmesan.

Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes; sprinkle each with 1/2 cup Parmesan.

Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Did I change anything? I boiled and shredded the chicken instead of cooking it the way the recipe states. I used 1% milk instead of whole and used cooking spray instead of butter on the casserole dishes.

What did the family think? Honestly, this was not my favorite dish, but everyone else LOVED it and there wasn’t enough for everyone to have seconds.

Where did this recipe come from? Martha Stewart

photo from Martha Stewart

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Filed under Chicken, Everybody Ate It, Italian

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

There’s oatmeal in them, so they’re healthy, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup rolled oat

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle position.

Melt the butter in a large microwave safe bowl.

Add the brown and white sugars and let cool a bit.

Add egg, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla.

Add flour and wheat germ and mix. Then add the chocolate chips and oats and mix everything up. The dough will be quite stiff.

With a spatula spread dough evenly into a greased 8×8 baking pan or a similar sized pie dish.

Bake at 350 for 25รขโ‚ฌโ€œ 30 minutes.

Cut into bars when cool.

Did I change anything? I added the wheat germ and I would have put in a lot less sugar had I thought about it before I dumped it all in there.

What did the family think? It has sugar, butter and chocolate. Enough said.

Where did this recipe come from?

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Filed under After School Snacks, Definitely Making it Again, Desserts, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Pepperoncini Crock Pot Roast Beef

This recipe saved us last night. We had violin and tae kwon do testing and this yummy recipe was cooking away while we were out doing all of that and was ready to go when we got home.

3 lb. beef chuck roast, trimmed of most fat
2 garlic cloves, sliced
16 oz jar pepperoncini peppers (remove stems after cooking)
6 slices provolone cheese
Hamburger buns

Make small cuts in roast and insert garlic slices in cuts.

Place roast in the slow cooker, and pour the entire contents of the jar of pepperoncini, including liquid, over meat.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.

Shred meat and serve on buns with pepperoncinis and provolone cheese.

Did I change anything? The original recipe didn’t say anything about the provolone. Everything is better with provolone, in my opinion, so I added that in.

What did the family think? Hubby and I really liked it…a lot. Our oldest ate his, but it wasn’t his favorite. Our youngest ate the cheese and the bun and one bite of meat.

Where did this recipe come from?

photo from Serious Eats

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Make Ahead of Time, Sandwich, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make

Lasagna Flatbread

These were so fun…it’s like lasagna and pizza all rolled into one.

15 oz ricotta cheese
8 oz shredded mozzarella, divided
3 oz parmesan cheese
2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 egg
1 lb Italian sausage
1/2 (26oz) jar marinara sauce
6 flatbreads

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine ricotta, 1/2 of the mozzarella, parmesan, Italian seasoning and egg. Set aside.

In a large skillet, cook sausage or hamburger until it is no longer pink. Drain off fat. Stir in marinara sauce (use as more or less depending on how saucy you want this). Set aside.

Assemble the flatbreads. Spread 1/6 of the cheese mixture on top of flatbread. Top with 1/6 of meat sauce and sprinkle with 1/6 of remaining mozzarella cheese. Repeat for remaining flatbreads.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted on top.

Did I change anything? For the flatbreads, I used naan since the only flatbread I could find at our store was really, really flat.

What did the family think? It was a hit!

Where did this recipe come from? Plain Chicken

Photo from Plain Chicken

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Italian, Super Easy to Make

Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese

If this doesn’t say fall, then I don’t know what does. It’s like having a pumpkin pie cheesecake and spreading it on graham crackers, bagels and waffles. Yum!

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese, pumpkin and sugar until smooth. (You could also use an immersion blender or wooden spoon.)

Add the pumpkin pie spice and vanilla.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

What did the family think? Only two of us have tried it so far and we LOVED it.

Where did this recipe come from? Ezra Pound Cake

photo from Pinch My Salt


Filed under After School Snacks, Breakfast, Definitely Making it Again, Desserts, Easy, Make Ahead of Time, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Rosemary Roasted Chicken

This is very easy and comes out looking like you’re a gourmet cook. It also makes your house smell incredible.

1 whole chicken (about 4-6 lbs)
1 lemon
1 T olive oil
1 tsp.salt
1-2 T dried rosemary

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Clean gizzards and neck out of chicken cavity, rinse and pat dry.

Place chicken on a cookie sheet that has sides.

Cut lemon into four parts and stick into cavity.

Rub chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Sprinkle rosemary on the outside of the chicken.

Cook the chicken at 450 degrees for the first ten minutes to give the skin a crunchy finish, then lower the temperature to 375 degrees for the rest of the cooking time. You want to make sure you cook the chicken for about 20 minutes per pound. I had a six pound roaster, so I cooked it for about two hours.

Let it rest for about 15 minutes before carving.

What did the family think? Everyone liked it except the youngest. He doesn’t do chicken…unless we are at a restaurant and then he’s fine with it. Don’t ask. I have no idea.

Where did this recipe come from? This is just a variation of a recipe that I have been making for years.

photo from

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Filed under Chicken, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make

7-Up Biscuits

If you are looking for health food, then you need to stop reading right now because you aren’t going to find it here today. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a recipe for amazingly tasty biscuits, then you’ve come to the right place.

2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 7-up
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 450.

Cut sour cream into biscuit mix, add 7-Up. Makes a very soft dough.

Sprinkle additional biscuit mix on board or table and pat dough out.

Use the top of a glass to cut out biscuits.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a 9 inch square pan.

Place cut biscuits in pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

What did the family think? Holy cow. Put a little honey on them and they are even more heavenly if that’s even possible.

Where did this recipe come from? Plain Chicken

photo from Plain Chicken


Filed under After School Snacks, Bread, Breakfast, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Side Dish, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies

You may be wondering why I have am putting up all of these quinoa recipes all of the sudden. Well, it was on super duper sale at the grocery store, so now I have a bunch of it we need to use up. These cookies were described as “awesome” by my oldest child, so don’t let the quinoa scare you away.

3/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup all-Purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a food processor, grind the quinoa and oatmeal. I gave it a couple of pulses and called it good. Add quinoa and oats to a bowl, then add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine.

Cream together oil and sugars. Add in flax seeds, milk and vanilla.

Add dry ingredients to the wet, in batches, stirring the mixture to incorporate the dry ingredients. You may need to add a splash of milk at this point to get everything to mix together.

Add in the chocolate chips and mix.

Drop by the spoonful on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for 8-10 minutes.

What did the family think? Yummy goodness all the way around.

Where did this recipe come from? Vegweb

photo from Multiply Delicious

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Filed under After School Snacks, Definitely Making it Again, Desserts, Everybody Ate It, Vegetarian