Mardi Gras falls on Tuesday, February 21 this year.  It’s traditionally celebrated on “Fat Tuesday” which is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent.  It’s a wonderful celebration filled with plenty of food and drink…New Orleans style!  We like to celebrate Mardi Gras every year with a fun and festive meal at home.  Sometimes we are with friends and family and sometimes it’s just us.  Either way, the drinks are flowing, and the food is plenty.  Any reason to make a themed meal, right? I like to have a big entrée that allows us to have plenty of leftovers.  This year we are making Spicy Gumbo.  To keep us lubricated, we’ll be enjoying a cocktail while we cook.  And for an appetizer and dessert, we’ll be snacking on a simple themed treat.  It’s an easy menu that I’ll walk you through how to make! Mardi Gras White Chocolate Covered Pretzels – These are a wonderful finger food … Continue reading

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Chicken Parmesan is a classic dish and meatloaf is a family tradition shared by many so why not combine the 2?  The result is Stuffed Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf.  It’s a wonderful dish for a cold winter night or when you are looking for an elevated weeknight meal.  The chicken is tender and perfectly seasoned, it’s stuffed with lots of cheese, and served with marinara sauce to coat every bite. The recipe can be found here. Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.  This will make removing the meatloaf from the pan easier once done baking. Add the ground chicken, ¼ cup marinara sauce, 4-5 minced garlic cloves, 2 Tbsp chopped parsley, Italian seasoning, onion powder, 2 Tsp salt, and black pepper to a mixing bowl.  Mix to combine then divide into 2 equal portions. To a separate mixing bowl, add the ricotta, ½ cup mozzarella, ½ cup parmesan, 2 … Continue reading

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Valentine’s Day is a few short days away.  Do you have plans or know how you’re going to celebrate?  A lot of people have set traditions each year and like to go out to dinner or prepare a fun meal at home with their friends and/or loved ones.  We prefer staying in and making a meal at home.  We feel less rushed, it’s fun to cook together, and we can make something special to celebrate the holiday.  Two things I like to focus on when creating new Valentine’s Day recipes is desserts and cocktails.  Both will enhance your dinner and make the event more memorable and are required to complete the meal (in my opinion).  So, let’s walk through my new recipes and hopefully something will catch your eye to prepare for Valentine’s (or Galantine’s) Day! I’m going to start with the cocktails because 1) they are easy to make, 2) they are delicious, and 3) you need … Continue reading

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Meatloaf is the epitome of comfort food.  And this time of year, we are all looking for something warm, hearty, and comforting to beat the cold temperatures.  What’s better than meatloaf?  Try Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf.  It has the traditional texture and shape of meatloaf but is made with ground chicken.  The hot sauce or buffalo sauce brings the heat, but it’s balanced by creamy blue cheese.  This is a dish that is perfect for a weeknight meal and makes great leftovers.  If you are buffalo sauce fan, I recommend you give it a try! The recipe can be found here. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.  Alternately, you can line the loaf pan with parchment paper to make removing the meatloaf easier. Add the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, celery, blue cheese, and onions to a large mixing bowl.  Mix until well combined and set aside. I’m not the biggest … Continue reading

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These low carb Hawaiian Pizza Chicken Tenders will be a new weeknight favorite!  They are all the flavors of a traditional Hawaiian pizza but without the crust.  Instead, the ingredients are piled on top of chicken tenders and baked to perfection.  The recipe is amazing!  The chicken is moist and tender, the Canadian bacon is lean and a little salty, the marinara sauce is fresh and herby, the pineapple adds a wonderfully sweet flavor, and the mozzarella really brings it all together. The recipe can be found here. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Season each chicken tender with salt and pepper or garlic powder.  This step is optional, but I think it’s necessary to add flavor to the chicken.  You could also use an Italian blend. Wrap one piece of Canadian bacon around each chicken tender.  Place, seam side down, on the baking sheet.  You can … Continue reading

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Open Faced Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches will be your next go-to meal for a busy weeknight!  They are easy to make, hearty, and perfect for a cold winter night.  These open-faced sandwiches are packed with tender rotisserie chicken that’s coated in marinara sauce (or tomato sauce) flavored with garlic and added seasonings and are served open-faced on crispy garlic Texas toast with plenty of melted cheese.  They are delicious and come together in about 20 minutes (including prep and cook time). The recipe can be found here. Start by removing the rotisserie chicken from the bone.  Shred it and set aside.  You will only need about ½ the rotisserie chicken for this recipe.  The recipe makes enough for 4 open-faced sandwiches.  If you need more than 4, adjust the ingredients accordingly.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and … Continue reading

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Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potato Soup is my new favorite soup.  It’s rich, creamy, and loaded with the perfect toppings.  It’s a made from scratch soup but it’s SO SIMPLE, so please keep reading.  It’s hearty, can be a main entrée or served as a side dish/starter, reheats well so it can be enjoyed for lunch throughout the week, and makes a lot.  When I first thought about making a baked potato soup, I thought this is just going to be like eating mashed potatoes.  But it’s not!  It has all the flavors of mashed potatoes but with a different consistency.  It’s yummy and perfect for this time of you. The recipe can be found here. Start by washing and peeling the potatoes.  I prefer to peel my potatoes but if you like to leave the skin on, that’s just fine.  Then, slice into 1-2-inch pieces.  Chop the onion and mince the garlic. Add the potatoes, garlic, onion, chicken broth, salt, and … Continue reading

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Festival Foods sells these wonderful extra meaty baby back pork ribs.  They are approximately 3lbs per package and have the most tender meat.  I bought 2 packs and cooked them in a slow cooker with different BBQ sauce recipes.  They were phenomenal!  The key is low and low for tender meat.  The meat falls right off the bone and melts in your mouth.  If you like ribs, you must try these recipes! Slow Cooker BBQ Dr Pepper Baby Back Ribs Slow Cooker BBQ Root Beer Baby Back Ribs Both are finger lickin’ good!  And super easy to make with only 5 ingredients each.  It’s a reasonably priced meal that will please anyone in your household.  Make sure to purchase the EXTRA MEATY ribs.  Let’s walk through how to make each recipe. Slow Cooker BBQ Dr Pepper Baby Back Ribs are sweet and tangy with a rich cola flavor. Start by seasoning both sides of the ribs with salt … Continue reading

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Bacon wrapped anything is good, but a variety of bacon wrapped appetizers to serve at a holiday gathering or tailgating party is even better!  You and your guests will devour each recipe I’m going to share with you today.  I don’t remember when the “bacon craze” started but it seems to be sticking around, and I’m here for it!  These recipes are all fairy easy to make, can be made ahead of time, are bite-sized / finger foods, and make a decent amount so you shouldn’t have to double or triple the recipes (but you can if you want). Here are the recipes and we’ll walk through how to make each one: Glazed Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts Bacon Wrapped Tater Tot Cups Brown Sugar Bacon Crackers Parmesan Bacon Crackers Brown Sugar Bacon Wrapped Lit’l Smokies   One thing I want to point out is you want to use normal, everyday bacon that is thin or … Continue reading

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We were craving chili this week and decided to try making Chicken Jalapeno Popper Chili.  It’s incredibly flavorful without being too spicy.  It’s loaded with tender chicken, beans, salty bacon, and creamy/brothy goodness.  And it comes together so quickly!  No slow cooking all day or simmering on the stove.  You basically combine all ingredients in a large pot or Dutch oven, simmer for a short while, and dig in.  It’s perfect when you want a warm and hearty meal but don’t have a lot of time.  It also makes great leftovers to enjoy the next day or to freeze for a future meal. The recipe can be found here. Start by prepping your ingredients.  This makes cooking go much faster and you are prepared to add ingredients when the recipe calls for them.  Remove the rotisserie chicken from the bones and shred.  You should have about 4 cups of chicken, which is the perfect amount for this recipe.  Cook the bacon … Continue reading

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