28 Delicious Thanksgiving (and Thanksgiving Leftovers) Recipes for 2016

Thanksgiving 2016 2

It’s that time again; time for the annual Thanksgiving post. After almost 6 years of blogging, I have accumulated quite a few recipes that work in this category, so I have to cull some out so as to not end up with a post with 50 different additions. ๐Ÿ˜›

Let’s start with entrees. Because…turkey…ham. Yummy. ๐Ÿ˜€

This Orange Marmalade Brown Sugar Glazed Ham is my absolute favorite way to make a ham. The ham turns out so moist and tender with such a delicious sweet/salty flavor you’ll keep coming back for.Orange Marmalade Brown Sugar Ham-001This Sesame Soy Turkey Breast is fantastic if you’re a cook who’s willing to leave the traditional box a bit on Thanksgiving. This glaze can also be used on a whole turkey, a chicken, game hen, you name it.

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

I know that a lot of families like to serve a pasta dish as one of the main dishes so I’m including our favorite, this Cheesy Sausage And Meatball Pasta Bake. This makes a LOT, so it’s perfect for Thanksgiving, when a lot of people are there, with everyone getting as little bit of each dish.Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta BakeLet’s move on to appetizers; those little bits you put out to keep everyone from storming the kitchen begging for food. ๐Ÿ˜›ย  One of my favorite easy dips (and when I say easy, I mean it) is my White Trash Dip. I know; such a classy name, lol. But it is great for appeasing the hungry mongrel hordes and quick to throw together, which is always a plus on Thanksgiving.
White Trash Dip
I have adored Boursin Cheese for years, but man, that stuff is expensive for the small amount you get. So I started making my own years ago. This is soooo good and always a hit. It’s creamy, great with veggies like celery sticks as well as crackers. If you have any left over, it also makes a great stuffing for chicken breasts.

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Ahhhh, side dishes. What would Thanksgiving be without 50 side dishes to serve with the turkey and ham? One of my all time most popular posts here at From Cupcakes To Caviar is my Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac And Cheese. This makes a HUGE pan of mac and cheese, so it’s perfect for the holidays.Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac & CheeseYou can’t have turkey without mashed potatoes, right?
I was never a mashed potato fan until I made up these Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes. I totally love these. They are creamy, buttery (boy, are they buttery) and with a subtle tang from the cream cheese.

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

If you want to go a little different, you can’t beat these Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables. The potatoes and veggies get all crispy on the outside and all soft and tender inside. So, so good.

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

I was never a cold pasta salad sort of a person until I made up this Chilled Caprese Tortellini Salad a few years ago. It’s great during the holidays for people who may want something a little lighter (and with no meat in it, lol) but still full of flavor.Chilled Caprese Tortellini Salad
I have a major thing for Winter squashes. To me, they stand so far above the ubiquitous Summer squashes. I took one of my favorites here and stuffed it to come up with Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries. This is a fantastic addition to the holiday meal or a great light entree on it’s own.

Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries

Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries

You can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without cranberry sauce, right? While I admit to a secret love for the kind that slithers out of the can with a loud plop, I also love homemade cranberry sauce and make a large batch every year. My Spiced Spiked Cranberry Sauce is a perfect foil for all the rich dishes you’ll be serving. The brandy is completely optional so don’t let that turn you away from it. Spiced Spiked Cranberry Sauce

Now we come to the breads. I’m not normally a big one for breads, but hot and fresh on the holidays? I tend to go for them more at that time. And these Angel Biscuits have become a family favorite. Since they have baking powder in them as well as yeast, they are fairly foolproof, which is great for the less experienced cooks out there.

Angel Biscuits

Angel Biscuits

The rolls I have been making for years are these Oatmeal Yeast Rolls. They are so fluffy and soft; perfect hot spread with butter or later as a mini turkey sandwich (Yes, I know this is a bad photo. The post is an old one, when my photography skills were sub-par, to say the least. The rolls however, are amazingly good)

Oatmeal Rolls

Oatmeal Rolls

I love to make a few loaves of bread for Thanksgiving as well as rolls. They are so good with dinner and make fantastic sandwiches the next day. I particularly love to make my Loaded Baked Potato Bread, The flavors in it go wonderfully with a turkey sandwich!

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Here in the south, a lot of people like to make cornbread to go with dinner, even on the holidays. My Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread is a favorite. It’s fluffy, not at all dry like so many cornbreads can be, with just a touch of sweetness.

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

Then, of course, we have the part of dinner that everyone looks forward to; dessert! And man, you know I have some desserts to share with you! I have to start with the classics, of course, so here is my favorite- my Decadent Extra Creamy Pumpkin Pie. This one is posted with a really good cornmeal crust, but you can use your favorite crust. Just make sure it’s a deep dish one. Decadent Extra Creamy Pumpkin Pie In A Cornmeal Crust
That pumpkin pie tends to be my husbands favorite. Mine however will always be Pecan Pie. I love it slightly warmed with heavy cream poured over it. So bad for me, but so delicious!Deep Dish Pecan Pie

The last few years, my favorite pecan pie has had to vie with this Cranberry Apple Cake. I can’t say enough good things about this cake. It’s absolutely delicious and I can’t imagine the Thanksgiving meal without it now. It’s sweet, tangy, crispy, just a wonderful dessert that I look forward to all year.

Cranberry Apple Cake

Cranberry Apple Cake

If you want a classic (not to mention, heavenly chocolate goodness ๐Ÿ˜€ ) you’ll want to make this wonderful Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing This is a favorite with pretty much all age groups, and even those people who say Thanksgiving should be all about the pies. I’m not even normally a cake person and I love it!

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

If you want to do a different apple dessert, my Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce would be a great choice. It’s easy to throw together the day before you need it and then just warm up the sauce when ready to cut and serve. Again, I’m not huge on cakes, which is why if you see me posting one, you know it MUST be good.

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Or maybe you prefer a classic apple dessert? I find myself going for this Old Fashioned Apple Crisp all year round, but it’s a delicious choice on Thanksgiving!Old Fashioned Apple Crisp 2

I have a couple of desserts for you that are a bit more elegant, plus not as heavy. The first is one I love; my Elegant And Easy Lemon Almond Cake. This cake is light and filled with the flavor of almond and lemon; perfect for the family members who want a little something for dessert, but don’t want the heavier sweets.

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

The other one is one of my more recent creations- these Skillet Pears With Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce. These are wonderful if you have a smaller gathering. The pears end up tender and juicy and the caramel sauce is fantastic.Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce 9

So, what to do with leftovers once Thanksgiving is over? When you tire of just making a plate of leftovers, I have some things you can do with some of them. If the title says chicken, obviously you can sub in that leftover turkey staring you in the face.

We love Mexican food in my house. Yes, I know that much of what we all call Mexican food has been totally Americanized, but it’s still delicious, so who cares? One of my family’s favorites are these Cheesy Chicken (Turkey) And Chorizo Enchiladas. They have the perfect mix of creamy, spicy and cheesy. I make them all year round, but they are a perfect way to use up leftovers.Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas 2

Everyone makes soup after Thanksgiving. But I have one here that doesn’t need to have you simmering stock for hours on end. I can eat a boatload of my Quick And Easy Turkey, Bacon And Cheese Chowder. This is comfort food at its best and it doesn’t have to cook for hours.Quick & Easy Turkey, Bacon & Cheese Chowder

Along the Mexican lines again, I almost always make a pan of White Chicken (Turkey) Enchiladas in the week after Thanksgiving. These are soooo darn good and everyone scarfs them down.

Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas

Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas

You may still have some turkey left even after those (I know I will; I always buy too much!) so my Cheaters Easy Chicken (Turkey) And Dumplings never fails me. It’s warming, comforting and filling and tastes great!

Cheaters Easy, Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

Cheaters Easy, Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

If you have leftover cranberry sauce (and you know you will), make a loaf of my Pumpkin Cranberry Bread. It’s an easy way to use up some of those leftovers and it makes a yummy breakfast or light snack.Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Breadthanksgiving

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Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

I have a writing pad that I write recipe ideas in. It’s totally not pretty; just a typical notepad. Half the things in it are so scribbled that I’m the only one that can read them. My writing is atrocious at the best of times (leftie here!), but when I get an idea for something at 3am (yes, this is a curse of food blogging), it is even worse. When I finally try to create what my mind thought up in the throes of sleep, it gets crossed off of the list. The list, however, is NEVER going to get finished, because I keep adding to it. One of the things that was in there for ages was to try to recreate one of my favorite dishes, which is chicken cordon bleu, as a pasta dish. I love it the regular way, but it’s such a pain in the tush to make; pound the chicken down, roll it up with the ham and cheese, get it breaded, fry it, and then do the clean up. Ugh.

So, while I realize it’s not new; you can find 50,000 versions of this online, this is MY version of a chicken cordon bleu pasta. My family really enjoyed this one. It made a pretty full pan of pasta, but other than a little bit my husband took to lunch the next day, it ALL got eaten. Of course, I live with all males, two of whom are 19 and 21, but still…

This turned out quite well, if I do say so myself. Tender pasta filled with chunks of ham, slices of chicken (I cheated and use the packaged slices; SO much easier!), all in an ultra creamy Swiss and Gruyere cheese sauce with a little bit of peas mixed in for color and to convince myself that this is chock full of nutrition instead of fat and calories. ๐Ÿ˜€ย  So, so delicious!

You know the drill… ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

  • 10 ounces of your favorite pasta (I used fusilli just cause they are a fun shape), cooked and drained (reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water just in case you need to thin the sauce) and poured into a large bowl or pot
  • 16 ounces cooked, cubed ham
  • 12 ounces cooked, sliced chicken breast (I cheated and used the prepackaged slices in the lunch meat/deli area of the grocery store)
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed (leave them sit out for ten minutes… they’ll be thawed enough)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 3/4 cup milk (I used whole. I don’t suggest trying this with skim or 1%)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded and combined with
  • 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded, and
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (the REAL stuff, not the cheap canned type)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (taste the sauce before adding salt. Some Parmesan can be pretty salty and you may not need as much or even any at all)
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter an oven safe pan or medium sized dutch oven. In a medium heavy bottomed saucepot, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Slowly whisk in the milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. When you have all the milk in, switch over to a spoon or rubber spatula and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, JUST until the mixture comes to a light boil.
  3. Slowly whisk about 1 cup of the milk mixture into the beaten eggs. You’re trying to temper the eggs (heat them up slowly) so that they don’t scramble when added back into the rest of the milk. Once the full cup of milk has been whisked into the eggs, slowly pour the eggs back into the milk mixture, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat for about a minute.
  4. Pull out 1/2 cup of the mixed cheeses and reserve to top the pasta with. Dump the rest of the combined cheese into the milk and stir constantly, until melted. Take the pot off of the heat and stir in the dill weed, Dijon mustard and black pepper. Taste for saltiness and then add the salt if needed.
  5. Dump the ham, chicken and peas over the reserved pasta and stir. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta mixture and stir to combine. If the sauce seems too thick, use some of the reserved pasta water to thin it down.
  6. Spoon the pasta into the prepared pan or dutch oven and smooth the top. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Sprinkle with a little extra dill weed, if desired.
  7. Bake at 350 just until heated through and slightly bubbly around the edges, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

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Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

 

 

 

White Trash Dip (Recipe Re-Do)

White Trash Dip

White Trash Dip

Lovely name, ehh? But since when did I ever try to convince you that I was classy, prim and proper? You love me like I am, right? Low class, strange, and always doing my best (such as that may be) to give you a giggle.

The first time I made this dip was not long after I started the blog. Lately, I’ve been getting quite a few people coming to it and while that makes me happy, it has, yet again, one of those photos that makes me cringe, cry copious tears of embarrassment, and

want to gouge my eyeballs out so that I don’t have to see it again. Yes, it’s that bad. I love the post I made to go with it because it’s one of my funnier ones (has cuss words; you’re forewarned) but I know that the photo makes baby kitten throw themselves off cliffs. So, it was time to remake this one. Partly because I’ve changed it a little over the years and partly, well, that photo *cries more*

This is one of the worlds easiest dips to make. Why is it called white trash, you ask? Because it’s fairly cheap to make and uses canned chili ๐Ÿ˜€ and because this is so not something you’d serve at a classy party with champagne and caviar. This is more beer, chips and family and friends you love gathered together. Perfect for a game or for family movie night, for a Christmas buffet, what have you.

This is creamy, meaty, a little bit spicy (easy to adjust), cheesy, great for digging into when you have the munchies.

You know the drill…. ๐Ÿ™‚

White Trash Dip

  • 1 15 ounce can of your favorite chili
  • 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced jalapeno (omit if you use the typically spicy chorizo, unless you really like the bite) plus extra for garnish
  • 1 lb chorizo sausage, cooked and crumbled (you can also use bacon, which is how I originally posted it)
  • 4 green onions, plus extra for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 2 quart serving dish (I usedย  a souffle dish). Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, then scoop into the serving dish. Smooth top.
  2. Bake at 350 until browned on top and bubbly, about 15 to 20 minutes. Garnish with green onions and jalapeno. Serve hot.
White Trash Dip

White Trash Dip

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Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread



I am a Thanksgiving appetizer junkie.ย  By the time I finish cooking the actual meal, I am so filled up on appetizers that I have no interest in dinner. Of course, the taste testing I just HAVE to do *innocent smile* as I cook doesn’t help either. Mind you, none of this stops me from loading up a full plate just in case. I then eat three bites, cover the plate and become a total turkey pig a few hours later.

But nothing matches appetizers for me. I love small bites, love being able to pick and choose from nibbles of fun finger foods. One thing I particularly love is cheese. Combine that with what all of you know is one of my downfalls, something creamy, and I become a total glutton. Many years ago, I saw a recipe somewhere or another for Boursin cheese and just had to give it a try. The rest is history. Now I make it each Thanksgiving and Christmas. The original recipe has changed much over the years and I don’t even make it as per the recipe anymore.

This cheese is so darn good! If you love creamy spreads, you’ll love it. It goes great on crackers, veggies, and one way I love to use it to stuff chicken or pork chops with it. I’m a total peasant myself; this cheese spread and some Ritz crackers and I’m in heaven. Add in a glass of wine and yeah, baby, I’m good! ๐Ÿ˜€

This goes together so quickly you’ll think you missed a step. The most time consuming part; all of three minutes or so, is finely chopping the green onions and the garlic. Such a workout. :-p Then just put it into a pretty serving bowl, set out crackers and others dippers and watch your family and guests go crazy for it. You’re welcome. ๐Ÿ˜€

You know the drill….. <3

ย Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

  • 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/4 cup good quality Parmesan Cheese (not the grated stuff you sprinkle on spaghetti)
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced green onion (about 1.5 green onions should do it)
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon Fine Herbes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (do NOT use more without taste testing. This is a simple mixture and easy to over salt)
  1. ย In a medium bowl, combine the butter and cream cheese. Beat well on medium speed until creamy and fluffy. Scrape bowl once, and beat for another minute or so.
  2. Add in all the rest of the ingredients. Beat well to combine. Give it a small taste test for salt and seasoning. Keep in mind the saltiness of any dippers you may use before adding more salt to the cheese.
  3. Spoon into a serving bowl; smooth top. Serve immediately or refrigerate until about half an hour before serving time.

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Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

 

Bacon, Cheddar & Apple Scones With A Maple Drizzle

Bacon, Cheddar & Apple Scones With A Maple Drizzle

Bacon, Cheddar & Apple Scones With A Maple Drizzle



The idea for these scones came into my head around the beginning of June. But I knew if I put up this combo of flavors in the middle of what turned out to be an unbearably hot Summer in many places, no one would give them a second glance. And these deserve to be glanced at. Well, they deserve to be eaten, but it’s ok to look at them first. They aren’t the worlds prettiest baked good, but what scone is?

So I waited until the weather cooled to make them. They are a perfect breakfast with a cup of tea or coffee or a great afternoon snack when the “hangry’s” are making you growl. ๐Ÿ˜› All the flavors in here meld so well into the flaky, buttery scone.

When I first thought of them, I had no plans for a glaze. But they looked naked. So it occurred to me what goes well with both apples and bacon? Maple, of course. I was a little worried about the cheddar part, but it actually works great. I mean, everyone loves maple and apples, and who doesn’t smear their bacon through the syrup on their plate, right? Well, the cheddar can be our new secret cause it’s darn good!

These go together quickly. Mix it up and pat it out. You can do the typical wedge cut with these or, as I did, just use a biscuit cutter.

You know the drill…. ๐Ÿ˜€

Mrs. Cupcake, who just finished a lovely lunch of a scone and some tea.

Bacon, Cheddar & Apple Scones With A Maple Drizzle

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons chilled salted butter, sliced thin (yes, salted. I know I usually use unsalted, but I wanted to try the salted with this being a savory scone.)
  • 8 ounces bacon, fried until crisp, cooled and crumbled
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped apple, about 2 small apples (peels on or off, your choice. I left them on)
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Glaze-
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cream or half and half
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (plain old table syrup like Mrs. Butterworth or Log Cabin is fine)
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets or line with silicone mats.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Use a pastry cutter to cut in the cold butter; just until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Whisk together the heavy cream and the egg. Pour this all at once into the center of the flour/butter mixture. Use a wooden spoon to mix it, getting all the dry flour off of the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Dump the bacon, apple and cheddar into the dough. Stir well to combine. Dump it all onto a lightly floured board or counter and gently knead it a handful of times, just to incorporate the add ins. It may seem dry, but the moisture from the apple and the bacon will soften it up within just a minute or so.
  6. Pat the dough into a large circle of about 3/4 inch thick. Then either use a sharp knife to cut it into wedges or use a biscuit cutter to cut out rounds. Cut as closely together as possible if doing that, because when you reroll the scraps to make more, they can get tough. I got ten scones using a biscuit cutter.
  7. Bake at 375 until golden brown and firm, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on the pan for a minute, then let finish cooling on a rack.
  8. For the glaze, simply combine the powdered sugar, syrup and cream. Whisk until creamy and relatively lump free. Either drizzle over the scones or dip the tops of each scone in the glaze, depending on whether you want a light or heavy coating.

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Bacon, Cheddar & Apple Scones With A Maple Drizzle

Bacon, Cheddar & Apple Scones With A Maple Drizzle

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake



Sometimes, you just want easy. You either aren’t up to or don’t have time for pasta sauce made with organic home grown tomatoes and fresh basil. You don’t want to fuss with rolling tiny meatballs using beef that you raised yourself, slaughtered humanely (not even sure what that MEANS) and added freshly grated Parmesan to…from cheese that you made yourself.

You just want….easy. Quick. Tasty. Get me in the kitchen and out. Maybe even make enough at once that I can freeze some for another time when I’m feeling extremely lazy too busy to fuss with a huge multi course meal.

So you cheat a little. You buy some good quality jarred sauce for your pasta and doctor it up. You buy meatballs from the frozen aisle at the grocery store. You add in some spices, some delicious Italian sausage, toss it all with your favorite pasta and voila… dinner for tonight and if you make the whole recipe of what I’m about to share, dinner for 2 to 3 more nights in the future, all nicely frozen. Just wrap tightly in foil, label and freeze. Then the next time you don’t feel like cooking because you instead want to veg out in front of netflix and an orgy of Criminal Minds… I mean, next time life gets busy and you are teaching little Suzy to play the Cello while also supervising little Tommy’s soon to be award winning science fair experiment, you’ll have dinner ready to thaw and toss in the oven.

You’re welcome.

You know the drill…..

Keep in mind that this makes a lot deliberately. if you want just enough for one meal with maybe leftovers for lunch, cut it in half.

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

  • 2 lbs of your favorite tube type pasta (I used Rigatoni), cooked according to package directions, drained and set aside
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 2 lb bag frozen Italian style meatballs, thawed
  • 1 lb Italian sausage links, cooked, then coarsely chopped or sliced thin
  • 2 24 ounce jars of pasta sauce (just use your favorite flavor)
  • 1 15 ounce jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/4 pounds Mozzarella cheese, grated (please don’t use the pre-grated stuff. it doesn’t melt as well)
  • Parmesan cheese for grating on top
  • If making full batch, foil pans and foil for long term freezer storage
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 13×9 dish (I personally prefer glass because it doesn’t leave any ‘off” tastes in food) with cooking spray.
  2. Pour the olive oil in a LARGE pot. Add in the chopped onion, green pepper and minced garlic. Saute over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the veggies are limp and tender, but not browned. Dump the meatballs and Italian sausage in and stir for just a minute or two.
  3. Pour in the pasta sauce, the Alfredo sauce and the red wine. Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning and give it all a good stir. Let come to a simmer, stirring occasionally.ย  Now, here’s why I had you use a LARGE pot.
  4. Dump in the cooked pasta. Use a large wooden spoon to stir it all up and get the pasta all coated with sauce.
  5. Sprinkle about 3/4 of the Mozzarella cheese into the pasta, about half of that amount at a time. Stir to combine and then after it is well mixed, add the next part.
  6. Scoop or pour about 1/4 of the mixture into the prepared 13×9 baking dish. Divide the rest between two to three greased square foil pans.
  7. Sprinkle the one you’re using now with the remainder of the grated Mozzarella cheese as well as some grated Parmesan and bake in a 350 degree oven until browned and bubbly, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  8. Wrap the foil pans tightly in a double layer of foil, label the contents and freeze. To reheat them, just set the pan in the fridge early on the morning you want to make it, then about an hour before you’re ready to eat, place in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for about 35 minutes, still wrapped. Unwrap the dish, sprinkle with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and continue baking until browned and bubbly.

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Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

Bacon Wrapped Faux Chicken Cordon Bleu

Bacon Wrapped Faux Chicken Cordon Bleu

Bacon Wrapped Faux Chicken Cordon Bleu



One of the things I loved when I lived in Germany many moons ago was the food. Lots of pastries and beer everywhere; what’s not to love, right? But they had excellent “real” food also. There was one restaurant my ex husband and I used to go to that served an amazing cordon bleu. This sucker was so thin and tender and filled up the entire plate with cheesy, hammy goodness. But know what? I’m rarely that ambitious ๐Ÿ˜› I’ve made the real thing before as well as it’s cousin, Chicken Kiev and maybe at some point I will actually post those delicious recipes.

But the other night, I was tired and just wanted something a bit quicker, but still tasty. So I took the boneless skinless chicken thighs I had, schmeared them (gosh, I love the word schmeared. It’s so fun to say! Lol) with horseradish mustard (use your favorite flavor of mustard), shoved ham and cheese inside, folded them in half, then wrapped them in bacon. Then I sprinkled them with some Parmesan and baked them up. There you go. You don’t even need a recipe. ๐Ÿ˜› I pretty much just gave it to you. Yes, it’s that easy.

But, since I love you all (not you…go away), I will make it an official recipe. Then, I feel all professional and all that rot and you all have something to print out besides my rambling. Cool with you? Alrighty then. Lets get to it.

When I made this, I used a full 9 chicken thighs because I live with pigs… I mean males. But I’ll cut this down to six for the recipe. Thing is, this is so easy, it’s simple to make it with however many you have on hand. Just increase or decrease the amounts of cheese, bacon and ham to go with the thighs.

You know the drill… get to cooking! Well, go…shoo!

And yes, I know the last thing I did was bacon wrapped, but c’mon…bacon!

Bacon Wrapped Faux Chicken Cordon Bleu

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, excess fat trimmed off
  • 1/4 cup horseradish mustard
  • 6 slices good quality deli ham (please don’t use cheap crap.I’ll cry.)
  • 6 slices Swiss, Provolone or Mozzarella Cheese (just use your favorite. I thought about using Muenster which is a favorite, but mine had molded *sobs)
  • 12 ounces good quality bacon
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or at least decent store grated)
  • Toothpicks to hold meat closed
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking dish with non stick foil.
  2. Take a chicken thigh and lay it open and flat. Drizzle the desired amount of mustard on top of the thigh. Take a slice of deli ham and lay a slice of cheese on it, then fold it in half.
  3. Lay the ham and cheese on top of the chicken thigh. Fold the chicken thigh in half and wrap it in bacon so the open side of the meat is sealed off with bacon. Secure with toothpicks if needed.ย  Set in the prepared pan.
  4. Repeat with each chicken thigh.
  5. Bake at 375 until the bacon is browned and the chicken thigh is fully cooked, about 35 to 40 minutes. You can run the dish under the broiler for a minute if the bacon doesn’t get crispy enough. Thighs are a bit more forgiving than breasts when it comes to overcooking.
  6. Let sit in the pan for about five minutes so they aren’t so oozy that you have no cheese left inside the chicken when you cut it. Serve.
  7. These are also really good later, when cold, sliced thin and arranged on an onion bun with some mayo!

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Bacon Wrapped Faux Chicken Cordon Bleu

 

Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas

 

Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas

Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas



Do you have those things that your family wishes you’d make more often, but for whatever reason, you just don’t make more than once in a blue moon? Yeah. Me, too. My family loves enchiladas, but for some odd reason, when I’m not actually in the process of making them, my mind tells me they are a chore to make. Mind you, they aren’t a quick 30 minute meal; not if you’re doing them correctly, but neither are they as tedious as my lazy, I’d much prefer to sit in my recliner, read and eat Cheetos mind tells me they are.

That said, don’t expect to start these at 4pm and expect to have dinner on the table by 6. Don’t ask me how I know this, please. Thank you. Seriously though, when I make enchiladas, I do two things- I make a large batch like this is and I make them over two days. Why? Because I’m lazy and this way we can eat delicious enchiladas for two days straight or I can freeze half of them. Easiest way to do this? Get your meats and veggies cooked the first day, then just cool, mix with the cheese and shove it into a bowl and chill it till the next day. Then the next day, all you have to do is make the sauce, then put all the separate components together and THEN you can have a quickly put together dinner. My lazy womans version of OAMD ๐Ÿ˜›

These are probably the best enchiladas I’ve ever made. The filling is mildly spicy, but not so much that wimps, I mean, the spice averse, in your life can’t handle them. They have a nice amount of cheese in the filling, but I was a good girl and didn’t do my usual overkill with the cheese, which is a bad habit I admit to having. Then on top, it’s smothered in a creamy, cheesy sauce. Say “yum” with me, class. And yes, there are a lot of ingredients, but nothing earth shattering or hard to work with.

You know the drill…

Remember, this will make two pans… I usually make one 13×9 and one 8 inch square pan with it, so feel free to halve it if it’s too much.

Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas

  • Filling-
  • 2 cans good quality chicken broth ( do NOT discard after cooking chicken)
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno (leave the seeds if you want it spicier)
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 pound chorizo, casing removed if in links, then crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 4 ounce can chopped mild green chilies
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Spice Hunters Mexican Seasoning (you can get this straight from their site or you could sub the more readily available McCormick Southwestern Seasoning)
  • 8 ounces Queso Quesadilla cheese, shredded (a mild white melting Mexican cheese. You should be able to find it at any good grocery store)
  • Sauce-
  • 2 cups of the reserved cooking broth, strained
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup half and half (you can use a less rich milk… but I’ll cry. Plus, the results may be watery)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Spice Hunter Mexican Seasoning (or the aforementioned McCormicks Southwestern seasoning)
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • salt to taste
  • 12 6 inch (or 8 inch) corn tortillas
  • 12 8 inch flour tortillas
  • 1 cup of your favorite cheese for the top of the pans. (I used Colby-Jack)
  • Green onions, salsa and a squeeze of lime for garnish
  1. Make your chicken first- combine the broth, onion halves, garlic and jalapeno in a medium pot with the chicken thighs. The broth should just about cover them if you push them down a little. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Try not to let it boil, cause that toughens meat.ย  let cook for about an hour, until nice and tender, but not falling apart.
  2. Let the meat cool in the broth until cool enough to handle, then take it out and cut into bite sized chunks. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer and discard solids. I then put the broth into a couple of jars and just put it up until the next day when I finish, but if you’re doing it all in one day, just pour 2 cups of broth into a measuring cup and set aside for now.
  3. While the chicken cools, cook your veggies and chorizo. In a large pan, cook the crumbled chorizo until it is browned. Scoop the meat out and put it into a large bowl, leaving the drippings behind.
  4. Add the chopped onion, chopped green pepper, garlic and jalapeno to the chorizo drippings. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the veggies are soft and lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Dump into the bowl with the chorizo. Add in the cubed chicken. let cool for about 20 minutes, then add in the green chilies and the Queso Quesadilla cheese. Stir well; add in the Mexican seasoning. Stir to combine and give it a taste to see if you think it needs more Mexican seasoning or a touch of salt. Now, you can either cover this and continue the next day or get the sauce made. If making now, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  5. For the sauce, put the 5 tablespoons flour into a medium pot. Slowly add in the half and half, stirring the whole time to prevent lumps. After all the half and half is incorporated, pour in the strained broth and stir well. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, heat the mixture until it thickens up, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove form the heat, then stir in theย  Monterey jack cheese and the 1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican seasoning, stirring until the cheese is melted. taste for seasoning, adjust if needed (more Mexican seasoning, more salt) then put a lid on the pot (the condensation from the inner lid helps stop a skin from forming on a sauce) and set aside.
  6. Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan (I prefer glass) and an 8 inch square pan (not necessary if making a half batch). Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and then warm them for 2 minutes in the microwave to make them more pliable.
  7. Take one corn tortilla and layer it on top of one flour tortilla. Scoop up (I just use my clean hands) a small handful of the meat/veggie mix and spread it down the middle of the layered tortillas. Roll the tortillas tightly and lay them, seam side down, in the prepared pan. Repeat until both pans are filled.
  8. ย Pour the sauce over the enchiladas (you’ll obviously use more on the bigger pan, so don’t try to divide evenly) and then sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake in a 350 degree oven until bubbly and lightly browned on top, about 25 minutes. Serve hot with green onions and salsa for garnish and a squeeze of lime juice over the tops.

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Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas

Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas

Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks

Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks

Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks



I think if it were left up to the guys in my house, every day would be a day devoted to seeing how many carbs and how much cheese they could stuff into their bodies, veggies be damned. I on the other hand would happily live on veggies and meat, with dessert afterward of course. I love cheese, but I’ve said before I prefer my carbs in sweet form usually. Thus why this blog is overwhelmingly sweets and not non-sweets.

The rare times we can manage to go out for dinner, they love places that have pizza, with Gatti-Town being a favorite…unlimited pizza, pasta, breadsticks and then games. What more does any male need, right? I am pretty sure that when the cooks see them go up for their 14th plate of cheesy carbs, they groan and wish they worked somewhere else. I’m never worth the price of the buffet myself. I usually manage two slices of pizza and a saladย  and that’s about it.

Right now, it’s a rough patch financially, so I wanted to give the guys a treat I knew they’d love that we can’t afford to get out. What better way than one of their favorite buffet foods, made fresh at home?

Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks

Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks

I think they were happy with these. I mean, really… cheese…bacon. Bacon is one of Gods gifts to mankind ๐Ÿ˜€ I managed to eat one and it was quite yummy. I hid one for myself for later too, hehe. They inhaled the rest of them for an early dinner. Not traditional, not even particularly nutritious, but my guys enjoyed the treat.

These are extremely easy to make. it’s a SIMPLE yeast dough you can do in a stand mixer (or even by hand if you want). Then you roll it out into a rough rectangle, cut it, let it rise, sprinkle with the goodies, then bake and eat the cheesy, carby goodness. Nuthin’ to it. You can add a bit of thinly sliced red onion to this or a bit of green pepper… just use your imagination and put what makes you happy.

You know the drill….

Mrs. Cupcake… who feels the need for a fresh salad now

Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks

  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (about 112 to 117 degrees)
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • olive oil (or just use some of the bacon drippings)
  • 8 ounces bacon, cooked to chewy crispness and crumbled
  • 8 ounces Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces mild cheddar, shredded
  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the 1/4 cup warm water in a bowl; stir to mix then let it sit for about five minutes. The mixture should start to get foamy.
  2. Place 4 cups of the flour, the butter, sugar, salt and 1 1/4 cups water in the bowl of a stand mixer (again, you can mix by hand. It will take longer, but it’s definitely doable). Pour the yeast mix in and beat on low speed, with the dough hook, for about five minutes, until the dough comes together in a slightly sticky ball.ย  If it is too sticky to work with, add in another 1/4 cup of flour, then mix again until the dough comes together in a ball.
  3. Grease a large baking sheet or cookie sheet. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured board or counter and give it a few quick kneads just to bring it together well. Roll it out into a more or less rectangular size (it doesn’t have to be perfect- you’ll just be laying it out on a baking sheet) of about 15 x 11. Carefully roll it up halfway over the rolling pin or your hand and transfer it to the baking sheet. Stretch out any wrinkles you may have made in it during the transfer.
  4. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to score the dough into long strips, then again down the middle to cut the strips in half. Don’t separate them, just leave it like that. Let rise in a warm place until puffy and almost doubled, about 45 minutes. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees while it rises.
  5. Brush dough lightly with either olive oil or bacon drippings. Sprinkle with the garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Sprinkle the cheese on top of that, then the bacon.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees until the edges are golden brown and the cheese is browned and bubbly, about 25 minutes.
  7. Let rest for about 5 minutes, then use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the breadsticks through the score lines you made earlier.
  8. Serve to hungry males with pizza sauce. Take in the accolades and cheese scented kisses.

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Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks 3

Easy Stove Top Four Cheese Mac And Cheese

Easy Stove Top Four Cheese Mac And Cheese

Easy Stove Top Four Cheese Mac And Cheese



I was looking through a friends blog the other day and I realized that she had not one, not two, not even four, but FIVE mac and cheese recipes on her blog. I immediately got jealous, knowing I was failing in the mac and cheese category. All I have is this one with 300 lbs of cheese, this one with bacon and caramelized onions and this one based on French onion soup plus one other that has such a hideous picture, I can’t bring myself to post it here. So, being the insanely (insanely being the key part of this sentence) competitive person that I am (more proof of that being that in the game Monster Busters, I have now replayed one level 512 times because I’m number 2 in it, not number 1), I had to post at least one more. Yes, yes I do need therapy.

I wanted to do a stove top version because pretty much everything I have up is baked mac and cheese. While I love that type, there are times that you either don’t have the time, it’s too darn hot for the oven or you just don’t feel like going to that much trouble. So stove top it was.

This one is pretty simple. Ok, it’s wonderfully simple. The hardest part is grating the cheese. But I have complete faith in your cheese grating abilities. This is creamy, not so rich you’ll pass out, but rich enough to satisfy and makes perfect leftovers for lunch the next day. Please use the best quality cheese you can… it honestly makes a difference in a dish where the cheese is the main component.

You know the drill….

Easy Stove Top Four Cheese Mac And Cheese

  • 12 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions and drained
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce (optional, but it adds some pizzazz)
  • 2 cups sharp or extra sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Bleu Cheese, crumbled (if you are adamantly against Bleu, just omit it)
  1. Melt the butter in a large pot. Sprinkle the flour on top and let it cook for about three minutes, stirring the whole time. Slowly whisk the milk into the flour mixture a little at a time to prevent lumps. Whisk in the Dijon mustard and the hot sauce. Cook over low to medium heat until the mixture just barely comes to a boils and thickens up a bit, about 7 minutes or so.
  2. Change over to a wooden spoon and dump all the cheeses into the sauce. Stir constantly until they are melted. Taste a little bit of the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and toss to combine. If it is a little thick for you, just add a small amount of hot water to loosen it up.

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