Thursday, March 31, 2016

Chicken in Crown Royal Cream Sauce

Hello All!
      I hope you had a wonderful Easter. I spent mine at work but that was okay it was still a good day. I gave up candy for Lent this year and for people who know me know I love candy. It was a long 40 days but I persevered. I will tell you the first thing I did on Easter was buy like 2lbs of sour gummy worms and eat them. No, not all of them. Don't worry, I was nice enough to share with my fellow coworkers. Next year I am thinking of giving up maybe French fries but that's going to be really rough. I love fries more than I love candy. I may try but I promise nothing. Hehe.
     This past week I have been trying out some recipes as well as brainstorming new recipes. First I started thinking what proteins I had in my house to cook. I decided on chicken but I didn't want just boring old chicken. I wanted something with pizazz, something to wake up my tired taste buds. Something that made me want to eat more than four bites. What can I say I eat chicken frequently and usually its either baked, poached, or grilled. Chicken is usually my go to meat in salads. Any way, I am rambling. I was also in the mood for pasta and then I thought about what I had in my fridge that needed to be used. I had half and half and parmesan cheese. I also had some Crown in my liquor cabinet and thought hey, why not try it in a dish? I have been wanting to cook with more alcohol to see how it affects the taste of the meal. So, be prepared to see more recipes featuring alcohol as an ingredient.
      I am really pleased with how this dish turned out. It was creamy and delicious and I will definitely make it again. Next time, I will try a different liquor, maybe Jack Daniels. This meal was easy to make and it did not take a lot of time so it is a good week night dinner. The most time was spent on prep. I hope this dinner appeals to your senses enough to make you want to try it.
Chicken in a Crown Royal Cream Sauce
  1. 1 lb. of chicken cubed
  2. 3 cloves of garlic minced
  3. 8 oz. of mushrooms
  4. 8 oz. of broccoli
  5. 1 yellow pepper
  6. 2 tsp. Italian Seasonings
  7. 1 tsp. of salt
  8. 5 T of salted butter divided
  9. 16 oz. of 1/2 and 1/2
  10. 1 T of olive oil
  11. 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  12. 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  13. 1/3 c. of Crown Royal
  14. 1/4 c/ shaved parmesan
  15. 1 lb. of favorite pasta ( I used penne)
  • Melt 2 T of butter with olive oil over medium high heat
  • Cook chicken until brown and almost cooked through -  about 6 minutes
  • Set chicken aside
  • Cook pasta according to package directions in well salted water
  • Add 1 T of butter to same pan you cooked the chicken in and melt, add peppers and broccoli with salt, pepper, and garlic powder for about 5 minutes or until they start to soften
  • Add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes and then add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant
  • Add the Crown and cook until most of the liquid cooks off
  • Add the 1/2 and 1/2 and 2 T of butter and bring to simmer and cook until sauce starts to thicken
  • Add parmesan and toss together with pasta
  • Serve with garlic bread if desired
  • Enjoy
     I think the Crown add depth to the flavor of the pasta. It was not just alfredo but better. The Crown took it to another level. I think next time I will add a little bit of red pepper flakes to give it a little bite. I am glad I experimented with the liquor it makes me want to cook with it more often. I am already thinking of other things to use it in like desserts. Sorbet maybe? I hope you are having a good week and I will talk to you later.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Ramblings

       Hello all!
Another week has passed and Spring has officially begun. This is one of my most favorite times of the year because everything is blooming and its not too hot yet. This week the weather has been so beautiful I just want to spend all my time outside. I also love spring because I feel like it is a time of rejuvenation and new beginnings. I am getting ready to start all of my spring cleaning and finally get rid of the clutter in my house. I really want to get new furniture because I am tired of the old drab furniture we currently possess. Baby steps I know.
      I am really excited about all of the new makeup being released. There are at least two eye shadow palettes I have been coveting and I would also like some new lipstick. The Too Faced Peach Palette looks beautiful and will be released on April 9th. I am hoping to get my hands on it because I know it is limited edition. I don't know why but when I hear limited edition it automatically fills me with a sense of urgency. I must get it. Haha.  One thing to know about me is I love eye shadow. Some people are lipstick junkies I am an eye shadow junkie. Speaking of eye shadow, did you know Mac has lowered the price of their refill pans from $10 to $6? I see an order in my future.
       Another thing I am excited about is taking a cake decorating class. I have always wanted to know how to decorate cakes on a more advanced level. This class should be fun and also help me with my decorating skills. The best part is my husband is going to take it with me. Can you believe he actually wants to take it with me? I know, unbelievable. I will keep you updated with our progression.  Anyway, I hope you have a fun and exciting weekend and a Happy Easter. I hope you spend it with loved ones and make great memories. I will talk to you soon.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Chicken Tortellini Soup

Hello All!
         I hope you are having a good day. Mine has been great. I did a little cleaning, napping, and I played in the kitchen. What more could you ask for on a fine Wednesday afternoon? Today was gorgeous outside. It was a little windy but the weather was nice. Finally, finally it feels like spring. It has been so hot these last few weeks, I thought we were skipping spring and heading straight for summer. That would not have been nice at all. I am beginning to think it my husband might be right and we should move to another state with a better climate. You know, one with four seasons. Here in Arizona we have three at best unless you live up north, which we do not. I just really do not want to move because I have good friends here and we have some family here. If we move to where my husband wants to go we would not have anyone. Been there and done that and hated every minute of it.
        In celebration of Spring officially beginning this past Sunday, I wanted something light but delicious. I started thinking I had not made many soups this winter because it really was not cold. So why not make one today since it was not 90 like has been the last few weeks. My husband and I love this soup and its so easy to make. Chicken Tortellini Soup is so easy but so good. Let's get to it.

Chicken Tortellini Soup
  1.  1 lb. of cubed chicken (breast or thigh)
  2.  32 oz. chicken broth
  3. 2 T of butter
  4. 2 bouillon cubes
  5. 4 cups of water
  6. 3 celery stalks sliced
  7. 2 T olive oil
  8. 3 carrots sliced
  9. 1 onion diced
  10. 3 cloves of garlic minced
  11. 2 bay leaves
  12. 15 oz. bag of cheese tortellini
  13. about 2-3 tsp. of salt (adjust to personal taste)
  14. about 2-3 tsp. of pepper (adjust to personal taste) 
  15. 2 tsp. of herbes de provence
  16. handful of spinach leaves
  17. parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top
  • Heat a stock pot over medium heat and then add the olive oil
  • Add the chicken and add salt and pepper and cook for 4-6 minutes until almost cooked through
  • It will finish cooking in the soup later when you add it back
  • Remove chicken from pan and add the butter
  • Melt butter and add the onions, celery, and carrots
  • Cook until they start to soften
  • Add the garlic and cook until fragrant
  • Add the chicken broth, water, bouillon cubes, bay leaves, herbes de provence, and cook for about 30 minutes over medium heat
  • Add the chicken back into the pot and then add the tortellini and cook it according to the package directions
  • Add the spinach into the pot until it wilts
  • Top the soup with parmesan cheese and add salt and pepper to taste if needed
  • Enjoy
        This soup is so easy to make and its tastes so light and delicious. It really does remind me of the essence of spring. Spring is one of my favorite seasons of the year. It hints of new beginnings and fills me with anticipation for things to come. I hope you give this soup a try. I am working on some new to recipes which I will be sharing in the near future but for now I will say goodbye.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Chicken Pot Pie

         Well, another week has come and gone and I am doing a lot better than last week. I am still stressed but I am not experiencing the same anxiety plaguing me from the past week.  It has been extremely busy at work and I do not think this will end any time soon. Do not get me wrong, this is a good thing but I am starting to feel a little burnt out. I hate when I feel like this. A little out of sorts but not quite sure how to get back into the swing of things.
         I started thinking about what could make me feel more relaxed and more like myself. And then it came to me. Comfort food. This is because it evokes feelings of nostalgia.. No responsibility, no stress, just being a kid. I had a good childhood filled with love and laughter and chicken pot pie transports me to simpler times.
        This recipe is so easy to make and does not take an enormous amount of time or energy. I kind of cheated a little by using store bought pie crust but I have made it with homemade and I think both ways are delicious. If you have a little time I would strongly suggest you give this recipe a try,
  1. 2 Pie crusts
  2. 1 lb. of chicken breast cubed
  3. 1 cup sliced carrots
  4. 1 cup of celery
  5. 1/2 c diced onions
  6. 1/2 c all purpose flour
  7. 1 c frozen peas
  8. 2 c chicken broth
  9. 3 cloves of garlic minced
  10. 1 1/2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
  11. 2 T of olive oil
  12. 2 T of butter
  13. salt and pepper to taste
  • Preheat oven to 400 F
  • prebake 1 pie shell in deep dish pan for 10 minutes
  • allow to cool while making the filling
  • Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat
  • Cook cubed chicken breast in oil with salt and pepper until just cooked through about 4-6 minutes
  • Remove chicken from pan and add the butter
  • Add the diced onions, celery, and carrots and sprinkle salt and pepper, cook until it begins to soften about 5 - 7 minutes
  • Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant and then add the flour

  • Cook for about 2 minutes before adding the chicken broth
  • Add the Herbes de Provence and the frozen peas
  • Bring to a simmer until it thickens up and then remove from heat, taste and adjust seasoning if needed
  • Fill the prebaked pie shell and top with the other shell
  • Cut off the excess dough, crimp the sides, then add slits to the top shell for venting steam
  • Bake for about 35- 40 minutes and let stand for 10 minutes before serving
        This made enough filling for two pot pies. You can bake one now and freeze on for later. If you freeze one, you bake it at 425 F for about 45 minutes without thawing.
         My husband loves this recipe and so do I. I hope when you make it, it evokes feelings of happiness and peaceful times.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Ramblings on a Friday

       Good afternoon all! How are you on this fine Friday? I am doing okay. I wish I was not working tonight but oh well. I just wanted to share some thoughts with you guys but first, I will get back to posting some new recipes next week when I get a new power cord for my laptop. Some how I broke mine so I can't charge it. This is the 4th time I have done this but somehow I did not learn from the first 3 times not to squish it? Squash it? We will go with squish it in my chair. I know you are asking yourself if I some how keep knives in my chair that cut through the cord but I assure you I do not.. or do I? Haha, I do not it some how just happens.
      Back to my ramblings for the week. Have you seen the new Too Faced Peanut Butter and Jelly palette? I'm in love so you know I have to have it. The colors are beautiful and straight up my alley. When I get it I will take pictures and give you a review. What else? Oh, I have been using the Benefit They're Real mascara and all I can say is it makes me look like I have 6 eyelashes. I will continue to try and make it work but as of right now I do not like it. I have been using the Origins moisturizer, GinZing, it kind of makes me itch a little. I think it's because of the other products I am using from my Dermatologist for my acne. Speaking of Acne I hate it because let's get real, it sucks. I tend to scar easily and somehow I have acquired adult acne and I guess because I did not have it as a teen nature thought it would be a good idea to give it to me now. I think the  products my doctor has prescribed me are working but very slowly. I will keep you updated.
       Here is my life update. It can be described in a few adjectives.... busy, stressful, exhausting, and time consuming. On the plus side I did have a break from this and was able to go to lunch with one of my besties for sushi. Sometimes it is the  little things that make  you happy. I love sushi and I love my friends and family.
      This is then end of my ramblings for this week. Next week I will share with you the book I am reading and also my ramblings for the  week as well as some recipes. I hope you have a good weekend. Talk to you later.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Pork Chops with a Mustard Cream Sauce

Hello All!
       I hope you are having a good week so far. Mine has been just okay. I have been having really bad anxiety this week. For those who do not experience it is not a good feeling. I have been unbelievably stressed out and have been feeling the effects of it. I am having trouble eating, sleeping, and sometime just catching my breath. It has not been fun. I know some of it I cannot do anything about but it still stinks. I guess if I had the answers I would not be feeling this way. The only thing I can do is find ways to cope with it. I know I have said it before but cooking does relax me. I have not been able to spend any quality time in the kitchen this week because of work but work is not the only thing making me anxious. I am not saying cooking is the cure for what ails me but it does help.
      Anyway, enough of the not so fun stuff let's get on with the good stuff. The dish I made, Pork Chops with Mustard Cream Sauce. This dish is so easy to make and it does not take any time at all to get it on the table. You are looking at about 20 minutes of cooking time so this makes it an ideal week night dinner. It really has simple ingredients. All you need is thin cut pork chops, cream, Dijon mustard, butter, chicken broth, garlic, and salt and pepper. Most of these items you probably have already.
Pork Chops with Mustard Cream Sauce
Adapted from Ree Drummond
  1. 4 thin cut pork chops
  2. 1 T of butter
  3. 1/2 c chicken broth
  4. 1/4 c heavy cream
  5. 2 T Dijon mustard
  6. 2 cloves of garlic minced
  7. salt and pepper to taste
  8. 2 T olive oil

  • Heat the pan over medium high heat and then add the oil.
    Salt and pepper the pork chops and add to the pan

  • Cook about 2-3 minutes per side until cooked through
  • Remove pork chops from pan and set aside
  • Add the butter to the pan and melt then add the garlic and cook for a minute
  • Add the mustard to the pan and whisk together
This is not in the pan because my husband decided to "help me" and put the pan in the sink with water. Oops.
  • Add the cream and the chicken broth and whisk together scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan
I added the juice from the cooked pork chops to the sauce and it added depth to the sauce. This is why cooking it in the pan the chops were cooked in is important
  • Gently simmer the sauce until it thickens. Pour the finished sauce over the pork chops and enjoy!

      This dinner was very easy to make and took very little time. It was simple but delicious and I will be adding it to our monthly rotation. My husband loved it. I think it would have been even better with the pan scrapings in the sauce but it was still delicious with the juice from the pork chops.
       I hope you give this dish a try. I promise, you will not be disappointed. I hope you have had a better week than me so far. I will talk to you soon.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Stir Fry Chicken and Vegetables

Stir Fry Chicken and Vegetables

Happy Saturday!
       Well today I was feeling super tired and worn out from my week at work. I feel like I am emotionally and physically drained and its a day for pajamas and no hair brushing. Cute, but gross I know. I am currently wearing my favorite penguin pajamas which how can you not love penguins? They are so cute and cuddly looking and they put a smile on my face. I digress again. Anyone else have days and or weeks like these? Come on. I can't be the only one. I feel like the crickets are the only ones talking to me at this point but that's okay. Anyway the point of this long, drawn out conversation is I am tired and feel like I need to recharge. I thought to myself, what is the easiest way I could do this that did not require a lot of time and energy? The answer is, in the voice of Barney Stinson, wait for it.... Stir Fry!!!  On days where I do not want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen but want something delicious, I feel like stir fry is the way to go. It is so easy to make. Just create your sauce add some of your favorite veggies and protein or no protein if that is how you are feeling and Bingo Bango dinner in 30 minutes.
Start with this
End up with this

        This dish is super easy to make and tastes delicious. I like mine to be extra saucy but you could definitely cut the ingredients in half and make less sauce. Serve it over brown rice, white rice, or noodles. That is what so great about stir fry it is a very versatile dish. I try to make it at least once a week when I need a quick and easy option. I think most of these ingredients you may have in your cabinet but if not they are readily available at most grocery stores.

Stir Fry Chicken and Vegetables
  1. 1/3 c soy sauce (I use the low sodium)
  2. 1/4 c oyster sauce
  3. 2 1/2 T rice wine vinegar
  4. 1 tsp. ground ginger (You can use fresh which I prefer but I was out, I would increase the amount to 1 T grated)
  5. 4 cloves of garlic grated
  6. 1 tsp. Chinese five spice
  7. 1/4 c chicken broth
  8. 2 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  9. 1 tsp. black pepper or to taste
  10. 2 tsp. sesame oil
  11. 1 lb. chicken cut in cubes
  12. 2 T. of vegetable oil
  13. 1/2 onion cut in slices
  14. 1 head of broccoli
  15. 2 carrots cut in slices
  16. 1 medium zucchini
* You can use any vegetables or meat you want. These are the ones I used for this recipe but they can be substituted depending on your preference


  • Mix the first 10 ingredients together in a bowl. This is the sauce for your stir fry
  • Heat up a pan over medium high heat and add 2 T. of oil. If you have a wok this would come in handy for you
  • Add the chicken and cook until almost cooked through about 5-6 minutes remove from pan and set aside

  • Add the onions to the pan and cook until translucent about 3-4minutes then add the rest of your vegetables. Cook until almost soft but has a little crunch it took me about 6 minutes

  • Add the chicken back to the pan and then add the sauce cook until it comes to a boil and the sauce thickens.

  • Serve over your choice of rice or noodles
  • Enjoy
       I hope you have a good rest of the weekend and also you give this recipe a try. I will talk to you soon. Bye!!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Mississippi Mud Cake

Hello all!
      Another week is drawing to a close unless you have a job like mine where you work weekends. I am dreaming about the day I have weekends off and nothing to do but play and relax. Oh, I can picture it in my head, my husband waiting on me hand and foot and the only thing I have to do I play in the kitchen and read. Haha! That will be the day. At least the waiting on me hand and foot part. Any way,  I digress. How is your week going? Mine has been stressful but at least I found some time for myself to relax. This felt like a chocolate dessert  is necessary to remove  all bad vibes from my life kind of week. If you knew me you would find this kind of funny because I hate chocolate. Okay hate is a strong word but I do not like it unless it is white chocolate. Crazy I know, but true. Why would I create something chocolate if I do not even like it you ask? Because my husband loves it and he was having a rough week as well. I just wanted to give him a reason to smile. Sappy but true.
                      Look at this and tell me it would not put a smile on your face if you were upset.


It's ooey, gooey, and delicious!
Bad week, good week, this dessert will put a smile on your face.
         I found the texture of these to more like a brownie than a cake. They were dense but rich and delicious. I had to try a few bites for research purposes. Really. I swear.
         I promised myself and you guys I would dust off my cookbooks and get back in the kitchen and I am finally doing it. I also purchased some new ones because I could not resist. What can I say? I have a problem. I can't help myself. I bet you are saying enough about me and my idiosyncrasies and on with recipe.
Mississippi Mud Cake
adapted from Cake Ladies by Jodi Rhoden
for the cake
  1. 2 sticks of butter melted ( 1 cup)
  2. 1/2 c cocoa powder
  3. 4 large eggs at room temperature
  4. 2 c of sugar
  5. 1/4 tsp. salt
  6. 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  7. 1 tsp. of vanilla 
for the topping
  1. 10.5 oz. of miniature marshmallows
  2. 1/4 c of butter
  3. 1/2 c milk
  4. 1/2 c cocoa powder
  5. 4 c powder sugar
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • spray a 9X13 pan with vegetable spray
  • Mix all of the cake ingredients by hand together with a spatula or spoon in order of ingredients listed until no lumps remain
  • Pour the cake into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake has little to no crumbs on it (I baked mine for 32 minutes)
  • After the cake finishes baking pour the marshmallows on top of the cake
  • Start the topping
  • Melt butter in a pan with the milk and cook until it begins to simmer
  • Remove from heat and add the cocoa powder. It will be a little lumpy.
  • Put it back on medium heat and cook until it is smooth, whisking the whole time
  • Add powder sugar one cup at a time, whisking the whole time until all the sugar is added and it comes to a simmer again.
  • Pour the mixture over the top of the cake, covering the marshmallows completely
  • Let it cool to room temperature before cutting
Don't they look delicious?
Makes you want to go out and make them today, huh?
So rich and chocolatey.
I think these are the cure for a rough week.
       I hope you find time and make these. You will not regret it. I wish you a good rest of the week. I will talk to you guys soon.


I could not resist one more picture of this goodness.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A beautiful Tuesday and Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Hello Everyone.
          Isn't it a beautiful Tuesday. Here in Arizona it is going to be in the 80's. I am sad that we did not get that much of a winter. Okay, practically no winter. I know I should not be complaining but I wanted to wear sweaters and boots more than what equates to one week this year. I wish we had all four seasons here or summers that did not feel as if you are going to burst into flames. No joke. That's how it feels. It makes it hard to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and for me that is one way I can unwind and relax after a long week. Anyway, enough of the rambling and on to the good stuff.
         Anyone who knows me knows I am kind of a picky eater. Okay, more than kind of. I try to eat as healthy as I can but some days you just want something that tastes really good but it is really bad. Am I right or am I right? My husband is a lover of macaroni and cheese and I can take it or leave it. It's not my favorite food. I would rather have vegetables or a salad for my side at dinner but last night I wanted something that reminded me of home. I am originally from Georgia and you know southern cooking is awesome but not exactly the healthiest thing you can eat. I digress. Back on topic. I am always looking for a good homemade recipe for mac and cheese. I have tried ones that have eggs in it and some without but last night I think I hit gold. Instead of just making a roux with milk and butter I added a mixture of milk, butter, sour cream and cream cheese. Let me just say...It was delicious!!! My husband was impressed as well. It was so good. I may change my mind about mac and cheese and eat it more than twice a year. This recipe was created by looking at other recipes, realizing I did not have half of the things for fancy mac and cheese and using what I had. This experiment was a success. As you know, all experiments do not end in success but extreme failure. Any way on with the recipe. You can decide for yourself it is a good as I say.

 Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
created by me
  1. 8 oz. of macaroni pasta
  2. 8 oz. of shredded cheese (I used Colby Jack) divided
  3. 5 T. of salted butter
  4. 2 T. of flour
  5. 4 oz. of cream cheese
  6. 2 T. sour cream
  7. 1 and 1/2 C of milk
  8. 1/2 tsp. of red pepper
  9. 1/2 tsp. of nutmeg
  10. tsp. of garlic powder
  11. salt and pepper to taste
  • Preheat oven to 350 F and spray a 2 quart oven safe dish
  • Boil pasta according to directions in well salted water. Drain and toss in 2 tablespoons of butter
  • In a sauce pan melt 3 T of butter and then add the 2 T of flour. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes. 
  • Add the cream cheese and stir until it half way melts then add the milk and continually stir until mixture is smooth
  • add the sour cream and keep stirring
  • add red pepper, nutmeg, and garlic powder
  • bring to a boil for about 4 minutes then remove from heat and add the cheese minus one cup
  • Stir until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth
  • Taste it and add salt and pepper to your liking
  • Put the pasta into the oven safe dish and pour cheese sauce over it
  • Stir until well mixed and then sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top
  • Bake for 25 minutes and the let stand for 10 minutes before serving
  • Eat up and enjoy!!
I promise you will love it. I hope you try this recipe. It is pretty tasty and I am so happy on how it turned out. I hope you have a good day and I will talk to you soon.