Chilis copycat Queso Dip

16 oz. box mexican velveeta cheese

15 oz. Hormel Chili (no beans)

1 + cup milk

2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper

4 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. lime juice

garlic  and salt to taste

opt. shredded chicken (apx. 1 cup)

Cut cheese up into cubes. Put all ingredients into saucepan. Stir occasionally until cheese is melted and queso is a good consistency.


Put everything in the pot. Set on “Bean/Chili” for 30 minutes. Done!

Ginger Salmon

IMG_9820Ginger Salmon

From The Healthy Gluten Free Life


3 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. honey

1/2 tsp. onion powder

pepper to taste

2 Tbsp. olive oil


4 boneless skinless wild salmon fillets

Topping options:

chopped green onion

sesame seeds

finely chopped macadamia nuts

Whisk together sauce.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat, spray, add salmon.  Reduce heat to med-low, cook for about 1 min.  Turn salmon over, simmer, uncovered for about 3 min.  Pour sauce over salmon, into pan.  Simmer, uncovered, for about 2 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through and flakes with a fork.  To serve, place salmon on plates and spoon some of the sauce on top.  Garnish as desired. Yumm yumm!

Basic Crepes

This is one of my kids’ favorites!


Basic Crepes

4 eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup water

4 Tbsp. butter (melted)

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup powdered sugar (optional to sweeten it)

Whisk together the wet ingredients.  Slowly add in the dry ingredients, beat all clumps out. Heat a lightly oiled pan  to medium heat and then pour about 1/4 cup of batter in the center of the pan and tilt the pan around so the batter can spread out.  Cook until light brown on bottom and easy to pick up with spatula.  Flip over and cook on other side. (about 2 minutes total).  Oil or butter pan again and repeat for the next crepe.

Topping ideas:



apple pie filling

whipped cream

chocolate, fruit flavored, or maple syrup




Chocolate Cream Pie

This Thanksgiving I tried out a new recipe and it was pretty much mouth watering amazing-ness.  My hubby loved it and it was gone before the night was done – a true sign of a great pie. I’m posting here the recipe I got directly from .  I followed the recipe exactly this time (shocker). Next time I’d like to add a thin layer of slightly melted peanut butter (Maybe 1/4 cup) and chopped snickers or toffee on top of the crust before I pour in the chocolate.  Mmmmmm!

Chocolate Pie

Chocolate Cream Pie

1 oreo crust *

2 Tbsp flour

2 Tbsp + 2 tsp. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. salt

2 cups milk

4 egg yolks (save three egg whites for the meringue)

2 squares (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate chopped **

1 Tbsp. butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

In medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt and whisk to combine. In a medium bowl, whisk milk and egg yolks until smooth. Gradually stir into sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and comes to a full boil. Boil and stir for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate, butter, and vanilla. Stir until melted. Pour into pie shell. Place plastic wrap over filling to prevent skin from forming and chill for several hours. Top with meringue or whipped cream and chocolate curls if so desire.

*Oreo Crust:

24 oreos

1/4 cup butter melted

Blend the cookies until crumbs.  Add the butter and stir.  Press into a 9″ pan.

**I made homemade unsweetened chocolate by melting 2 Tbsp. butter and stirring in 6 Tbsp. cocoa powder. Add in just as if it were the chocolate squares.

Meringue Topping (for High Altitude)

(original recipe found here)

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

6 Tbsp. white sugar

1 pinch salt

1/2 cup water

3 egg whites

In a glass or ceramic bowl, stir together the cornstarch, sugar and salt. Mix in the water. Heat in the microwave until the mixture is thick and clear, about 2 minutes at full power. Set aside to cool slightly.

Beat egg whites in a large glass or metal bowl until foamy. Gradually pour in the sugar mixture while continuing to whip the egg whites until thick and stiff enough to hold a peak. Cover pie filling completely with meringue, sealing to the edges. Bake as directed in the recipe, or in a preheated 450 degrees F (220 degrees C) oven until golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes.

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Meatballs

It’s been a while.  I’ve been missing this blog like an out of town friend.  Isn’t summer wonderful!  Cooking dinner has been low on the totem pole when going on walks, licking popsicles, and riding bikes just seems more fun in the summer.   It’s great to have some easy slow cooker meal recipes on hand to simmer while you’re at the pool or chillin’ on a lawn chair in your front yard.  I scored this great recipe from Six Sisters Stuff.  Their book is full of awesomeness and I highly recommend it. You can buy it HERE.


Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Meatballs

1 (10 oz.) jar sweet and sour sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

2 lbs. frozen meatballs

2 bell peppers chopped up

1 medium onion, cubed

1 (20 oz.)can pineapple chunks, drained

Spray inside of slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.  Place all ingredients inside the slow cooker and stir gently.  Place lid on slow cooker.  Cook on low 7-8 hours or on high 4-5 hours.  Serve over rice as a main dish or serve with toothpicks for a yummy appetizer.


Apple-Carrott Muffins

Despite what you may think when you look at my last post, I have been eating better lately.  I was introduced to this recipe a little while ago and can’t stop making it.  It’s healthy, low calorie, and an energy filler.  Love it!  I’ve made some alterations that I’ve written beneath the original copied post.  CLICK HERE to find some more great healthy recipes from the blog I got this from.


Apple-Carrott Muffins

1 cup baking flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups coconut yogurt
1/4 cup melted vegan butter
1 1/4 cups shredded apple (about 1 large)
1 1/4 cup shredded carrots (about 2 large)
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
*1/2 cup chopped golden berries
Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare the muffin pan by coating it lightly with coconut oil and sprinkling with wheat flour.

In a large bowl mix the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Fill the muffin tins about ¾ full with batter.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Let them cool for about 15 minutes before removing them from the pan and serving.

(I used all purpose flour for both cups of flour, because I was out of wheat when I took this picture, so you’re muffins might look a little darker.  I ended up using 2 apples and dates instead of golden berries)


Tator Tot Taco Casserole

We’re fans of the Tator Tot Casserole and we’re also big fans of Tacos, so when I came across THIS I had to try it.  IT was delicious!  Thanks I’m loving a new good casserole.

Tator Tot Taco Casserole

1 lb. ground beef

1 small onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 packet taco seasoning mix

1 (16oz) bag frozen corn

1 (12 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 bell pepper, cut into small pieces

2 cups  shredded Mexican cheese blend

1 package (16 oz) frozen tator tots

1 (12 oz) can enchilada sauce

In a skillet brown the beef.  Add in the taco seasoning, corn, drained beans, onion, garlic, and bell pepper.  Cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring occassionaly.  Pour in about half the enchilada suace in the bottom of a 9×13 pan.  Then pour the meat mixture and tator tots over the sauce.  Mix up a bit and pour cheese on top.  Pour remaining sauce over it all.  You can freezer or refrigerate it at this point if you’d like to save it for later.  Otherwise, bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Happy cooking!

Crunchy Oriental Chicken Salad

I LOVE this salad, especially when served right after making it because the coleslaw is still crisp.  My husband also loves this salad, but prefers it on the second day when it’s not so crunchy.  It’s a hit either way:).

Crunch Oriental Chicken Salad

2 chicken breasts (apx 2-3 cups of chicken)

Asian garlic and herb seasoning

2 Tbsp. butter

1 pkg. ramen noodle soup mix

2 Tbsp. sesame seed or sunflower seeds (depending on your taste preferences)

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup vinegar

1 Tbsp. oil

1/2 tsp. lime juice

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup chopped nuts (peanuts or cashews are best)

1/4 cup green oinions, sliced

1 bag coleslaw mix

opt. 1 can mandarin orange segments, drained

Place thawed chicken breasts in skillet and cover with the Asian seasoning. Pour about 1/4 cup water in skillet to keep from drying out.  Cover the skillet and cook on medium heat for about 7 minutes.  Turn chicken over, sprinkle seasoning over breasts and cover, cooking for apx 5 more minutes or until cooked through.  Remove chicken from skillet and cut into strips.  Set aside.

Rinse the skillet, then place back on the stove.  (No use in dirtying more dishes then necessary!)  Melt the butter over medium heat.  Break apart the block of noodles into bite-size pieces and stir into butter.  Sprinkle ramen seasoning packet over the noodles.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, remove from heat.

In a large bowl, mix the sugar, vinegar, oil, lime juice, and pepper.  Add the noodle mixture and then all remaining ingredients.  Done. Yum.  Enjoy!




Ice Cream Cake

My second little man turned five this last week and he was VERY specific about what he wanted his special birthday cake to be.  His request: Chocolate cake with ice cream and cookies inside and sprinkles all over on the top with a big 5 candle to blow out.  I was so glad that I totally nailed it and it was A-MAZ-ING!  I’m excited to try this with different kinds of cake and ice cream combinations.   It was so worth making rather than spending $30 for an ice cream cake at Baskin & Robbins that wasn’t half as good:).

Chocolate and Cookie Ice Cream Cake

1 Chocolate Cake Mix pre made in a round pan***

Cookie Dough Ice Cream

1 Tub Chocolate fudge frosting



This takes a few steps.  It’s easy to make but takes time.  Once the cake is cooled off  place it on some waxed paper on a plate and put in the freezer for a couple of hours.  Take the ice cream out to soften a little bit and then scoop it into the bottom of the pan, that once had the cake in it, so that it’s about 1-2 inches thick.  Smooth it out as best as you can and put it back in the freezer.  After a couple of hours, take the cake and ice cream out of the freezer.  Cut the cake in two with a long serrated knife.  Put one half of the cake on the serving dish. (I crumpled up some Oreos and put it on the dish so the cake wouldn’t stick to the plate)  Put a warm washcloth on the outside of the pan holding the ice cream so that it melts a little bit and can slide out easily.  Plop the ice cream layer on top of the cake bottom and then place the top half of the cake on top of the ice cream.  It looks like a big oreo:).  Cover in a few layers of foil and stick in the freezer for a few hours or over night.     Carefully frost the cake.  It won’t look super neat, but that’s okay.  Cover the sides with cookies to cover the imperfections and cover the top with sprinkles or crumbled up cookies.  Numm Num Num!  Enjoy!

***I used Dark Chocolate Fudge Mix with the high elevation instructions and replaced the oil for applesauce.  Be sure to spray the pan really well so that the cake will slip out easily.  I have a springform pan with a drop out bottom that made it even easier to make.

PS: We did have a big ’5′ candle on the top.  It made my little man’s day to have exactly what he asked for.  :)

Turkey Apple Salad

I’ve been trying to eat healthier this year.  This is one of those great dishes that you wish you ate more of after you put your plate in the dishwasher.  This would be great to eat around Christmas time because of its coloring.  On Thanksgiving the Hubby and I made two turkeys; one for eating on the big day and one for shredding and putting in freezer bags to save for a rainy day.  I was so glad I decided to pull one of those bags out for a yummy turkey dinner night.   I got the original recipe from pinterest, but made quite a few changes to it so now the recipe is mine.  I apologize because my measurement aren’t really exact, because I don’t always measure everything, but they are pretty good estimates.  Happy eating!

Turkey Apple Salad

apx. 3 cups shredded turkey

1 large Granny Smith or Gala apple chopped into little pieces

2 stalks celery, chopped

1/4 cup onion flakes

1/2 cup parsley flakes

1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

1/4 cup craisins

1 cup greek yogurt, plain

1 avacado, pureed

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. chili sauce

red pepper flakes to taste ( I put in about 2 tsp.)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

salt and pepper to taste

(serve with lettuce, Pita’s, and some hot sauce)

Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another.  Combine them both and refrigerate until ready to eat.  Voila! Num num num num.