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

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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Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadillas

Yum

Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla

Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla

Yesterday was….interesting. Russ and I had to go get some grocery shopping done so we decided to brave the snow and hope for the best. Mannnn, were we naive! First off, my car (his is totally snowed in and not going anywhere) was parked 1/2 mile away at a little general store that let him park it there. Why was it there, you ask? Because, the other day when he tried to get up our 1/4 mile driveway, he got stuck. Some kind strangers pulled my car back out to the road and he drove to the store and asked to keep the car there. Thank God for small town hospitality. Anywhere else would have had it towed, but they let him leave it there.

Sooo… we traipsed through the foot high snow, me in just a long sleeved shirt and a sweater, because I don’t own a coat and I don’t have gloves because the boys played with them and lost them. Did I forget to mention that it was 6 degrees with a wind chill of -2 out when we did this? You may now groan and feel pity for me. I’ll take the sentiment gladly. ๐Ÿ˜› So, we got to the car, got to the main road, which was clear and made it into town, about 20 minutes away. Did our shopping and headed home. It was dark by this time. Now, the stupid part was our hope that we would be able to get the car up the driveway. Why did we think this when not a darn thing had changed since last time? I have absolutely no idea. Call it hunger induced idiocy… cabin fever induced idiocy. Whatever.

Well, we made it home. I had Russ let me off at the edge of the driveway so that I wouldn’t make him nervous gripping the dashboard and whimpering as he tried to get up the driveway. Then I slogged through to the house, and since I heard NO car following me, I grabbed a flashlight and went straight back out. By now the temp was about -1 with a wind chill of “Oh, crap, I can’t feel my face.” I made it back down to the car, which was stuck (gee, imagine that) about 30 feet in. We tried to get it out; no luck. So Russ went over to our neighbors house (the driveway belongs to both of us, with their house being up front near the road and ours way back). he has a truck, so we begged for him to chain us up and pull us home. He agreed. BUT… of course there is a but here…. he managed to get us about 35 yards or so from the house and that was it. He was afraid of getting stuck himself if he went farther in. So there we were; a trunk and back seat full of groceries at a distance that, at that moment, seemed like far enough to qualify as being in another state, with about 352,000 bags of groceries to get in. Uphill. Both ways. Did I remember to mention that it was about -400 with a wind chill 0f -2000? It seriously is uphill getting to the house though; thus one reason the neighbor was afraid of getting stuck. So we managed, after about 4 trips each, crawling on our hands and knees, as polar bears snapped at our heels to get the food and the blizzard raged around us (Yes, yes I AM planning on writing a nice fantasy story. Why do you ask?), to get the groceries back to the house.

I have never been…so cold…in my life. Sweater, hat, no gloves, sneakers that held out not one bit of snow or cold. My poor feet and hands threatened to divorce me and find another body to live on if I ever did that again. I didn’t blame them.

And…. we have another storm on the way that will bring either significant amounts of snow or significant amounts of ice. Woo….hoo…

These quesadillas were nice and warm however. Both heat wise and spicy wise. Right now, I so love the words warm and heat. If I had a raw habanaro in front of me, I’d eat it just to embrace the inner heat. These are crispy crunchy on the outside, cheesy and chickeny (think I’ve used enough c words now?) inside with wonderfully browned onions and peppers. Plus, there is a touch of heat from the jalapeno. Nothing major though. These are also extremely easy.ย  I have it set for three servings but this is simple to change amounts on.

You know the drill….

Love…. Mrs. Cupcake… who will never be warm again.

Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadillas

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced jalapeno pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced chicken breast (I made it easier and used the store bought chicken for tacos and the like, found in the lunch meat section. Feel free to use what makes you happy.)
  • 6 8 inch flour tortillas
  • vegetable oil
  • 3/4 to 1 cup shredded Colby jack cheese.
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Slice your onion in half, then cut it into thin half moon slices. Do the same with the green pepper.
  2. Pour the 2 tablespoons oil into a medium non stick pan. Add in the onions, green peppers, jalapenos and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the onions and peppers have gotten soft and browned, about 5 minutes. Put in a bowl, cover and set aside.
  3. Heat the sliced chicken in the same pan and heat just until warm. Set in the bowl with the veggies. Leave the pan over the heat while you prepare the tortillas.
  4. Brush one tortilla lightly with oil. You don’t want it dripping but you want enough on there to help crisp the tortilla. Lay it in the hot pan and immediately top it with a third of the veggies and meat and the desired amount of cheese. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Top with another tortilla and carefully brush that one with oil. Carefully slide a spatula under the bottom and lift to see if it is as browned as you want it to be. If so, carefully flip it over (hold the top one lightly with your hand as you flip) to brown the other side.
  5. Cook to desired doneness, remove to plate and cut into 4 wedges.
  6. Repeat with the other tortillas; serve with sour cream, salsa or picante sauce and some green onions.

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Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla

Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla

Overstuffed Pizza Potato Skins

Overstuffed Pizza Potato Skins

Overstuffed Pizza Potato Skins



 

Ok, I mentioned these like a week ago on my facebook page. Oops. I kinda forgot to post them or even make them until tonight. Can I blame old age, senility, six kids and the damage they have done to my brain cells? My husband and his snoring? Global warming? I got spit on by a camel at the fair once? Some psychological issue that hasn’t yet been discovered and named?
Ok… sorry. I’m done now. But all of the above are still perfectly valid excuses. Just sayin’.

Back in the day, I think I’ve mentioned before, I worked at T.J.Applebees (now just Applebees). One of the things they did then were ten cent wings and ten cent potato skins. Yes, grasshopper, I am so old that wings and potato skins used to go for a dime during happy hour. Excuse me while I go take my Geritol. They also did one dollar pitchers of margaritas and I have many very vague memories of sitting with the other waitresses and drinking a pitcher or six. Ahhh, good times, good times. I think.

Theirs were the typical skins; cheddar cheese, bacon bits, green onions. Yummy as can be, but c’mon, do you REALLY think I’m going to make them that way? I’m the woman that made these potato skins. After all this time, you all know I can’t be normal.

So, me being me, as opposed to me being say Sandra Bullock or Michelle Pfeiffer because God decided that I should look more like the love child of Phyllis Diller and Tiny Tim, I made them differently. I had been craving pizza recently and we couldn’t afford take out, so I used some ingredients I had here at home to make…well, the love child of potato skins and supreme pizza. My husband was like “I don’t know about this… I’m not much on potato skins”. He’s had four in the last 30 minutes. I am of course, gloating. Marital gloat…. it’s almost better than chocolate.

These have a few steps, but they’re quite easy to make, even for multi step. Each step is simple stuff like sauteing veggies or scooping out potatoes. I have faith that you can handle it. :-p I made this for 8 potatoes (16 skins), but it’s easily increased or decreased. If you end up with a little bit extra cheese and/or meat/veggie mixture, it makes a wonderful pizza omelet.

You know the drill… ๐Ÿ™‚

Mrs. Cupcake… who is bloated from too much cheese.

Overloaded Pizza Potato Skins

  • 8 medium potatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 small onion, sliced in half, then thinly sliced into half rings
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon squeeze basil (available in the produce section)
  • 1 5 ounce package mini pepperoni slices
  • 1 4 ounce package Italian Sausage crumbles (by the lunch meats)
  • 3 small Roma (plum) tomatoes, cut into bit sized pieces
  • 1 15 ounce can or jar of pizza sauce ; use your favorite.
  • 1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and mixed with
  • 1/2 lb Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Rub each potato lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt. Pierce each one to prevent a lovely little steam explosion in the oven, then place on the middle rack of the oven. bake until a fork can easily pierce the center of the potatoes, about 40 minutes.
  2. Remove from the oven, cut each potato in half and let sit until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes.
  3. Use a small spoon and carefully scoop out the insides of each potato half, being sure to leave a thin shell around the edge so the potato isn’t too fragile to handle. Reserve the scooped mashed potato for another use- This is a good recipe to use it for
  4. Turn the oven to 450, then smear the edge and inside of each potato half with a small amount of olive oil. Place back in the oven and let bake until the edges of the potatoes are getting crispy and lightly browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium pan, pour 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add in the sliced onions, sliced green peppers and garlic. Saute over medium heat , stirring occasionally, until the veggies are soft and the onions are lightly browned. Add in the sausage, squeeze basil and the pepperoni; continue cooking until the meats are heated through. Add in the tomatoes and cook just enough to heat them; you don’t want them getting mushy. Set aside when heated.
  6. Remove the potatoes from the oven and turn oven back down to 350. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the insides of each skin with pizza sauce, about a teaspoon or so in each.
  7. Sprinkle each one with a small amount of the mixed cheeses, then spoon some of the meat/veggie mixture into each one. Lay directly next to each other (they help support each other and it prevents them from toppling over in the oven) in a baking dish. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the tops of the skins.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot, with the remaining pizza sauce warmed and served on the side as a dipping sauce.

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Easy Cheesy Baked Spaghetti

Easy Cheesy Baked Spaghetti

Easy Cheesy Baked Spaghetti



(Sorry; I know that’s not the best photo ever. By the time I realized that, half the dish was already gone and it was too late. But that should say something about the taste at least ๐Ÿ˜€ )

I’ve never been a person for making New Years resolutions. They seem a perfect way to set oneself up for failure and turn yourself into an emotional punching bag- “Man, I resolved to lose 40 pounds this year and look at me! I gained weight instead! I’m such a loser!” (Not that I haven’t done that to myself; just not because of a resolution) or “I resolve to sock away 15% of my income this year and use it for a family vacation to Disney Land”, and then the car breaks down or you need to call a plumber and all your savings (of which there wasn’t much anyway because..well, life) are gone and you again feel like you failed.

I did however, a few weeks ago (so, before the new year; neener neener) make a decision about something; a decision I truly hope I can stick with and that doesn’t have that pesky little thing called life interfering. I realized that I need to spend more time here with all of you. More than once a week or less. I want to post at the very least two times a week, preferably even more. I want to promote my little blog on social media better as well as just chat on Facebook with all of you, though with facebooks plans later this month to basically hide all small page owners pages, I’m not sure how well that will work. But I want to try. I love my blog; I love those of you who faithfully follow my ramblings, but I don’t show it enough. So call it a resolution if you will…. but I am HOPING to be more of a presence in your lives from now if you’ll have me. It will be me, you, and you, and you, and lots of fat and calories. Ok, ok, at times I’ll be nice and throw something lower fat and lower calories your way, but c’mon, I’m a baking blog primarily. I bake. With butter. LOTS of butter. And sugar. It’s how I keep sane. Fine; semi sane.

I also plan to add a recipe index here. But that will take time, so bear with me during my renovation. ANDDDDD… I want to start doing a bit of non food posts; things like body scrubs, lotions, fun stuff for the ladies. ๐Ÿ™‚

Did I mention that today is NOT one of those low fat, low calories sort of days? I’m assuming the photo made that clear, however. ๐Ÿ˜€ This is cheesy, it’s gooey, it wonderfully messy and it’s also extremely easy. You could make this even quicker if you wanted to by subbing in jarred sauce for the homemade. But really, there’s no need to. This is pretty quick.

Easy Cheesy Baked Spaghetti

  • 12 ounces spaghetti, cooked as directed (just until al dente), drained and set aside in a large bowl
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic (hey, I like garlic. Use more or less as desired)
  • 2/3 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 lb ground beef, cooked, crumbled and drained (you could also sub ground turkey or chopped chicken, add some sausage or even use no meat at all; make this your own)
  • 2 15 ounce cans diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted- use your favorite)
  • 1 14.5 ounce jar of Prego Alfredo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons squeezable Basil paste (found in the produce section of the grocery store)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (cuts the acidity of the tomatoes)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, tossed with
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Lightly grease a 3 quart baking dish.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a medium pot. Over medium heat, stirring frequently,saute the chopped onions, garlic and green pepper until soft and tender, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add in the ground beef, the 2 cans of diced tomatoes, the Alfredo sauce, the basil, oregano and the salt and sugar. Stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a simmer over just barely medium heat, stirring often to prevent sticking to the bottom.
  5. ย Simmer for about ten minutes, just long enough to let the flavors meld. Pour the sauce over the pasta and carefully stir to combine them.ย  Add in half of the cheese mixture and stir again.
  6. Pour the mixture into the baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle with the rest of the combined cheddar and mozzarella, then sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake at 350 until bubbly and lightly browned on top, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  8. Serve with garlic bread and lots of napkins ๐Ÿ˜€

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

While you’re here, don’t forget to go to this post and enter my giveaway! You could win a Hamilton Beach Stack and Snapโ„ข 10 Cup Food Processor! Believe me when I say this is a handy dandy appliance to have!