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.


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!




Barbecue Chicken Calzones

I got a great new cookbook this Christmas that I’ve been drooling over.  You can find the cookbook HERE if you want to drool too:).  Some of the recipes in the cookbook are also on their website.  This particular recipe is HERE.  I tried this out a few nights ago and it was a HUGE hit even with my kids, which is always a great surprise.  I’ve made a few alterations to the recipe but click on their website to get the original.  Thanks Six Sister’s!

6 slices bacon
olive oil
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
3 cups shredded, cooked chicken
3/4 (plus) cup Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce
2 Tbsp. broccoli florets
1 can refrigerated biscuits
1 cup + shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook bacon on an aluminum lined baking sheet for about 25 minutes or until somewhat crisp.  Than heat oven to 400 degrees.  Remove bacon from pan, blot with paper towels and cut into pieces.  Put onions and shredded chicken in a pan with a small amount of olive oil.  Saute over medium heat for a minute.  Stir in 3/4 cup barbecue sauce and add in the bacon and broccoli.  Remove from heat.
Flatten out biscuit dough on a greased cookie sheet.  Spread a dab of barbecue sauce on each biscuit.  Divide the chicken mixture between the biscuits, spreading on only half of each biscuit and keeping 1/2 inch away from the edge.  Sprinkle cheese over each biscuit.  Fold biscuits in half and press the edges together with a fork to seal. Sprinkle a little more cheese on top.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown.

Chocolate Pomegranate ‘muffins’

I was craving chocolate covered pomegranates, but I didn’t want to spend all the time covering each seed.  This was SO good and so easy.  It’s my new favorite pomegranate treat.  My picture is blurry but it looked so pretty in person:)

Chocolate Pomegranate ‘mufins’

1 Pomegranate de-seeded

melting chocolate (I actually used chocolate chips and they worked great)

mini-muffin pan

Spray your muffin pan with oil to help prevent sticking. Fill the bottom of your muffin cups with the pomegranate seeds. You want it just be one-two seeds thick, no thicker than that.  Melt your chocolate and spoon over the pomegranates.  Place in freezer for 20ish minutes.  Carefully flip the pan upside down.  Some will just fall out for you and be ready to serve.  Use a knife to gently wiggle the stuck chocolate edges off the pan of the remaining.  Enjoy!

Caramel Apple Pie Bites

Be careful these are scandalous on a number of levels.  I was making this up, and didn’t keep track of how much of the ingredients I used, so I apologize (kinda) if you end up having to eat some extra carmel or snickers bars afterward.  Enjoy!

Caramel Apple Pie Bites

1 double pie pastry crust (I made mine with THIS recipe)

2 small cans sweetened condensed milk (Find out how to make it HERE)

1-2 Snickers candy bar

1 apple (sour are better) cut into very small chunks

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Roll your pastry dough out on your counter and then use a small cup to cut out circles in the dough.  Gently push the dough circles into the muffin pan.  Bake for APX 12minutes.  Watch them, because I didn’t actually time how long I had them in.  (SO SORRY!  I’ll pay attention next time) You want them to be just slightly browning on the edges.  Let the crust cool for a few minutes and then place one or two of the little apple pieces in the bottom of each pie cup.  Then open up the caramel and spoon a dab in each crust on top of the apple.  You want it to be a full at this point but NOT overflowing.  This is not a lot of caramel, but I promise you will get the effect.  Then cut up that Snickers bar and place a piece on top of each pie.  The caramel settles in nice and smooth, so don’t worry about pushing it in or making it look nice.