• Easy Chicken and Dumplings


    This is a tasty, hearty, and super easy version of the slow cooked classic: chicken and dumplings.  Be sure to use low sodium broth, and if you don’t I would suggest using half broth half water, otherwise it will be too salty (trust me–there is plenty of salt in the rotisserie chicken, cream of chicken soup, and dumplings).

    This dish makes for a great weeknight meal, as it only took about 30 minutes to prepare, and that’s from start to finish!

    Recipe is adapted from the January 2010 issue of Southern Living.


    • 4 c. LOW SODIUM chicken broth
    • 3 c. shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken)
    • 1 10.75 oz. can reduced fat cream of chicken soup
    • 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
    • 1 10.2 oz. can refrigerated jumbo buttermilk biscuits
    • 1 c. carrots, diced
    • 1 c. celery, diced
    • pepper, to taste


    1. Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.  Increase heat to medium-high and return to a low boil.
    2. Place biscuits on a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat each biscuit to 1/8 inch thickness; cut into 1/2 inch wide strips.
    3. Drop strips, 1 at a time, into boiling broth mixture.  Add carrots and celery. Cover and reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent dumplings from sticking.
    4. Season with pepper.

    Easy Chicken and Dumplings:


  • Chocolate Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies


    Have you seen the new dark chocolate mint chips by Nestle.  I absolutely love mint, so I knew these were right up my alley!  -s is the cookie baker in our house, so he found a chocolate chocolate chip cookie recipe on Food Network, and used that recipe to make these most delicious cookies!

    If you love chocolate and mint you’ll love these cookies!  If you love thin mints, you’ll love these cookies!


    • 2 1/4 c. flour
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 2 sticks butter, softened
    • 1 c. granulated sugar
    • 1 c. packed brown sugar
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1 TBSP vanilla
    • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
    • 1 10 oz. bag of dark chocolate mint morsels


    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. In a bowl stir together flour, salt, and baking soda.
    3. In another large bowl stir together butter, both sugars, eggs, vanilla and cocoa. Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture and mix until combined. Stir chocolate chips and stir to distribute evenly.
    4. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets and bake about 10 minutes. Cool on a baking rack.

    Chocolate Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies:


  • Jelly Donuts


    Who knew homemade donuts were so easy to make?  I surely didn’t, but I think we will make this an annual tradition.  It was so much fun and the kiddos all enjoyed decorating the donuts.

    Recipe adapted from November 2009 issue of Southern Living.


    • 1 (25 oz.) package of frozen yeast rolls, thawed according to package
    • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
    • 1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1/2 to 1 c. seedless raspberry or strawberry jam
    • powdered sugar


    1. Place rolls 2 inches apart on 2 lightly greased baking sheets.  Cover and let rise in warm place (85*).
    2. Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches into a deep skillet and heat to 350*.  Fry rolls in batches, 1 to 1.5 minutes on each side or until fully cooked and golden brown.  Drain on a wire rack over paper towels.
    3. Whisk together granulated sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.  Add warm donuts to sugar mixture, tossing to coat.  Let cook completely on wire rack, about 5 minutes.
    4. Make a small slit in the side of each donut, using a paring knife.  Place jelly in a zip-loc bag (don’t seal it).  Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole.  Pipe jelly into each donut.  Dust with powdered sugar.
    5. You can skip the jelly and top each with the sugar cinnamon mixture, or top with powdered sugar, or top with a glaze and decorate with sprinkles.

    Jelly Donuts:


  • Latkes/Potato Pancakes


    Last year I made delicious latkes.  This year I wanted to try a new recipe, and since -s remembers his mom making potato pancakes when he was little, we asked her for her recipe.  By the looks of the recipe it looks like it came with her 1970 Osterizer blender! 😉


    So what’s the difference between a latke and a potato pancake?  For me, a latke is more like formed hash browns, like the ones I made last year, and potato pancakes are smooth…more like pancakes.


    • 3 c. cubed raw potato
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 TBSP flour
    • 1/2 small onion
    • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. salt


    1. Put 1/2 c. potato cubes, eggs, flour onion, baking powder and salt into a blender; cover and pulse on chop mode until smooth in texture.  Add the remaining potatoes and pulse on chop mode until mixture is smooth.
    2. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  Put spoon fulls of batter into pan and fry until golden brown.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

    Latkes/Potato Pancakes:


  • Black Beans and Rice


    Black beans and rice are a great winter food.  They are warming and very filling.  They are also very healthy.  The key to this dish is to soak the black beans in water over night.


    • 1 lb. dried black beans
    • water
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 7 garlic cloves, smashed
    • 1-2 jalapenos, diced (can omit)
    • 2 TBSP dried oregano
    • 6-7 c. chicken or veggie broth
    • Hot cooked Rice
    • Pico de gallo to top the dish (simply mix some tomatoes, onion, cilantro, garlic, salt and lime juice together)


    1. Place black beans in a pot and cover them with water and soak overnight.
    2. Place soaked beans, onion, garlic, jalapenos, oregano, and broth in a slow cooker, and cook on HIGH for 6 hours or until beans are soft and tender.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
    3. Serve over hot rice and top with pico de gallo.

    Black Beans and Rice:


  • Creamy Jalapeno and Cinlantro Dressing/Sauce


    This dressing is so good.  It’s good on salads and fish tacos.  We loved this dressing on fish tacos so much that we had fish tacos 2 times in one week.


    • 1 c. mayo
    • 1/3 milk
    • 2 tsp. chopped cilantro
    • 1-2 jalapenos, minced
    • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp. onion, minced
    • juice of 1 lime
    • 1 tsp. white vinegar
    • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
    • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
    • 1/8 tsp. ground cumin


    1. Whisk all ingredients together.
    2. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
    3. Top your favorite salad or taco and enjoy!

    Creamy Jalapeno and Cilantro Dressing/Sauce:


  • Chicken and Broccoli Pad Thai


    I love Pad Thai, and the nice thing about this dish is that it is quick and easy to make.  It’s certainly a bit more adventurous than my kiddos are willing to try, so I just set aside some of the chicken for them, and they were happy with that.  You could also skip the chicken and make this a vegetarian dish.

    This recipe is adapted from a recipes in 30-Minute Suppers Winter 2010 by America’s Test Kitchen.


    • 1 lb. chicken breasts, sliced thin
    • 8 oz. rice stick noodles
    • 1 head of broccoli florets
    • 1 TBSP vegetable oil
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 3/4 c. water
    • 1/4 c. soy sauce
    • 1/4 c. lime juice
    • 2 tsp. Asian chili-garlic sauce
    • 1 c. bean sprouts
    • 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro


    1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add chicken and saute until cooked.  Set aside.
    2. Meanwhile blanch broccoli in boiling salted water.
    3. Cook noodles in boiling salted water.
    4. After chicken is done cook eggs, stirring constantly until scrambled.  Transfer to plate.
    5. Add water, soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, and chili-garlic sauce, and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.  Add chicken, noodles, broccoli, and egg; toss to coat.  Then add bean sprouts and top with cilantro.

    Chicken and Broccoli Pad Thai:


  • Sweet Chili-Glazed Tofu


    I picked up the America’s Test Kitchen 30-Minute Suppers magazine at the store, because I am always looking for quick and tasty meals to prepare.  There were a number of recipes that caught my eye, and this tofu dish did not disappoint.  We will certainly make this dish again.

    Recipe adapted from the Winter 2010 30-Minute Suppers by America’s Test Kitchen.


    • 1 block of firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
    • 1/2 c. Asian sweet chili sauce
    • 6 TBSP soy sauce
    • 2 TBSP grated fresh ginger
    • 1 tsp. cornstarch
    • 1 head of broccoli and/or snap peas (or any veggie), steamed or blanched
    • Hot rice


    1. Line a baking sheet with either paper towels or a clean kitchen towel; then place cut tofu on the towel; top with more towels; then top with another pan.  Drain tofu for about 15 minutes.
    2. Once tofu is drained, remove the towels, spray the tofu with cooking spray and bake in a 400* oven until tofu is crisp.
    3. Meanwhile steam or blanch the broccoli in salted water.
    4. Whisk chili sauce, soy sauce, ginger and cornstarch in a bowl.
    5. Heat skillet over medium high heat.  Add the chili sauce mixture and bring to a boil.  Add the baked tofu and the broccoli and toss to coat.  Serve over rice.

    Sweet Chili-Glazed Tofu: