Dinner is Served!

I know what you’re thinking.

Broccoli CheddarI should probably be a professional food photographer.  I’m not sure why I haven’t been approached yet but I feel it coming soon…

This soup is unfortunately not Transform30 approved, but I couldn’t help it.  I haven’t cheated in forever and it’s just so DANG cold outside.  And this is hands down our family’s favorite soup!

Broccoli Cheese Soup

6 tbsp butter, divided

1 cup carrot, chopped or shredded

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 cups milk

freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup onion, chopped

4 cups small broccoli florets

1/2 tsp onion salt

4 tbsp flour

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

In a large stockpot, melt 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add the onion to the pan and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the carrots to the pan and cook a couple minutes more.  Stir in the broccoli, chicken broth, onion salt and garlic powder.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

In a medium saucepan, melt remaining butter.  Add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden brown, whisking constantly. Whisk in the milk and cook until the mixture thickens and bubbles, about 5 minutes.  Once the mixture has thickened, whisk in the cheese until completely melted.  Remove from the heat and add the cheese sauce to the soup pot.  Allow to simmer until warmed through and broccoli is tender.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  If desired, puree the soup with an immersion blender for a smooth texture.



Meatball Sliders

Last night I made some yummy meatball sliders and wanted to share the recipe.  
But first things first.
My name is Mary and I have never made meatballs.
Glad to get that out there.  But now I don’t know why because it was so easy!  This recipe was easy, quick, and most importantly everyone loved them.  I got this from the Mix and Match Mama recipe blog.  She has such good ideas and this isn’t the first thing of hers I’ve made.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I came upon her blog after doing some research on an extremely important topic: Bachelorette spoilers.  This is actually Sean Lowe’s sister (if you watched last season…I’m almost embarrassed to admit this) and she was on a radio interview with him.
So now you all know how truly cool I am…your recipe is below…

1 pound of bulk Italian sausage (I used 1/2 a pound of ground beef and 1/2 a pound of sausage…so you could do that too…just don’t use all ground beef because you won’t get the same results)
2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 jar (24 oz) spaghetti sauce
1 jar (8 oz) store bought pesto sauce
12 dinner rolls, split in half

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl, combine your ground meats together (if you’re using more than one).  Roll the sausage mixture into a golf ball sized ball.  Take about a tablespoon or so of cheese and stuff it inside, smoothing the meat back over the top to seal it in.  Place each meatball on a foil lined baking sheet lightly sprayed with Pam.  Repeat until all of your meatballs are complete.

Bake meatballs about 16-18 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine your spaghetti sauce and pesto in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Once the sauce starts to bubble, lower the heat to low, cover and stir occasionally.  Once your meatballs are done, add them to your spaghetti-pesto sauce for a couple of minutes.

Take each dinner roll and top it with one meatball and a little extra sauce (we also added more cheese…because why not?).  And your sliders are done.

Chicken Enchiladas

Did you come here today looking for the best chicken enchilada recipe ever? Good! Because I have one.

Jessie made these for us a few weeks ago when Seth was gone. They were delicious! She warned me that they were a little time-consuming but I said I didn’t care and wanted the recipe.

Note: Do not make these unless you have approximately 2 hours to kill and children are nowhere to be found.

I decided to make these last night to blow off some steam after our day o’ screaming. I started at 8pm and finished at 10:15. :) But to be fair, I did make 3 batches to freeze so we had food on future days o’ screaming. I told Seth I even felt like a real Mexican woman (you guys know he’s the real judge) because I had to chop up so many vegetables and strain the sauce and cook the chicken in the sauce, blah blah blah. He asked if I used a pumice stone to chop those vegetables because that’s what real Mexicans use.

A pumice stone?

Like what you use on foot calluses?

I think he meant one of these mortar and pestle bowls…

Perhaps he’s not the best judge of Mexican-ism after all! :)

But I digress. Here is the recipe for the BEST chicken enchiladas. You won’t regret making them!

Chicken Enchiladas (courtesy of Annie’s Eats)


1 medium onion, chopped fine

2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped fine

1 tsp. canola oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cumin

1 tbsp. sugar

1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce

1 cup water

1 tomato, seeded and chopped

Salt and pepper

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, divided

1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese, divided

½ cup minced fresh cilantro

12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas

Cooking spray


Combine the onion, jalapeno and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar, and cook just until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Mix in the tomato sauce, water, and chopped tomato. Bring the sauce to a simmer, lower the heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the chicken is completely cooked through (160˚ F on an instant-read thermometer), about 12-20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside to cool.

Strain the sauce through a large mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing down on the onions and tomatoes to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer the reserved solids to a large bowl and set aside. Season the sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Shred the chicken into bite size pieces and add to the bowl with the onion mixture. Add in ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce, ½ cup of each of the shredded cheeses, and the cilantro. Stir to combine.

Preheat the oven to 425˚ F. Oil a 9 x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray. Stack the tortillas on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 40-60 seconds, until warm and pliable. Spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of a tortilla. Roll up the tortilla around the filling tightly, and place in the prepared baking dish, seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas.

Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for 7 minutes or until the tortillas start to brown slightly.

Reduce the oven temperature to 400˚ F. Remove the enchiladas from the oven and pour the sauce oven the top. Sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is browned. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.


Blackberry Goodness

This past weekend our neighbors gave us a big ol’ bag of fresh picked blackberries – YUM! I think they are one of our favorite fruits. Blackberries and dewberries are so good fresh, frozen, in baked goods, jam, desserts, etc.

I got up a little earlier this morning to make blackberry muffins and they did not disappoint! So in case you’re feeling a bit domestic, here’s the recipe (courtesy of Taste of Home). I might just have to have another as a snack this afternoon…


1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries (I would maybe cut these in half next time)


In a large bowl, cream butter and 1-1/4 cups sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually stir into creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Fold in blackberries.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffins cups two-thirds full. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Serve warm.

Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.

Happy New Year!

Today we celebrated the new year by cooking a 10 pound ham that Seth got as a Christmas gift from work.

Money would’ve also worked but I suppose the ham will have to do.

We invited Jessie & Andrea (two of my college roommates) and their families over for lunch…and if you’re wondering, we didn’t make a dent in that ham! But we had a great time with everyone and stuffed ourselves silly. Mostly due in part to the au gratin potatoes I made. And these weren’t just any ol’ au gratin potatoes. They were the Pioneer Woman’s recipe. So you know that means butter, heavy cream, and other things that clog arteries.

Since so many people start the new year with a resolution to lose weight, I thought I’d go ahead and post the recipe I used today :) It is so worth the pounds that may result.

Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin


4 whole Russet Potatoes, Scrubbed Clean
2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
1-½ cup Heavy Cream
½ cups Whole Milk
2 Tablespoons Flour
4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
1 teaspoon Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Freshly Grated

Preparation Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Smear softened butter all over the bottom of a baking dish.
Slice potatoes, then cut slices into fourths.
In a separate bowl, whisk together cream, milk, flour, minced garlic, salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
Place 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour 1/3 of the cream mixture over the potatoes.
Repeat this two more times, ending with the cream mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown and really bubbling. Add grated cheese to the top of the potatoes and bake for 3 to 5 more minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Allow to stand for a few minutes before serving by the spoonful. Delicious!

Chicken Enchilada Ring

I know this is confusing…I don’t post for a week and then I start slamming you with pictures and stories. I’m on some sort of blog-roll and I’m not even done yet! :)

I wanted to share this awesome recipe. Sorry for those of you I’ve already sent this to, but I just have to tell everyone because it’s so stinkin’ good. My sister, Emily, even said it was the best meal she’s ever had.

Granted she lives on Little Caesars Hot n’ Ready pizzas and cheese, BUT I think it’s a compliment nonetheless…


2 cups cooked chicken
1/4 cup chopped black olives
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 small can chopped chilies, undrained
1/2 cup sour cream
1 package taco seasoning
2 rolls of crescent rolls
1 small chopped tomato
1 lime (juice)
2/3 cup finely crushed tortilla chips

1. Chop chicken and add olives, cheese, chilies, sour cream and taco mix. Seed and chop 1 tomato and add 2 tablespoons lime juice; add to chicken mixture. Reserve 2 Tblsp. crushed chips and add remaining chips to mixture.

2.Unroll crescent dough and separate triangles. Arrange on round baking stone or cookie sheet making a circle with wide ends OVERLAPPING in the center and points toward outside. ( I did lightly spray oil on the cookie sheet I used). There should be a 5 inch diameter opening in the center.

3. Spread chicken mixture evenly onto widest end of each triangle.

4. Bring points of triangles up and over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough at the center of the ring.

Sprinkle with 2 Tblsp. crushed chips. ( I put shredded cheese all on top!)

5. Bake @ 375 for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with tomato and serve with salsa and sour cream.

I get excited just thinking about all the different things I could stuff into crescent rolls. Basically you could probably fill them with mud and they’d still be good, because hello…crescent rolls!

Sloppy Joes

I’m not one to typically get excited about Sloppy Joes. The name pretty much ruins it for me and Manwich is not exactly awesome.


Our friend, Martha Stewart, has a Sloppy Joe recipe that’s actually worth making! I wanted to share because we had it for dinner last night and it was YUM. Also, it was super easy to make…I think it took 20 minutes?


1 tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed and finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
1 lb ground beef
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted

In a large skillet, heat the oil and onion, pepper, celery and garlic, season with salt and pepper

Cook 5-7 min until veggies are soft

Add ground beef and cook 6-8 min until no longer pink

Add tomato sauce, ketchup and worcestershire sauce into beef mixture…simmer until thickened 6-8 minutes…season with more salt and pepper as desired

Mmm Mmm Good!

I realized I hadn’t posted any recipes in awhile and had a couple I wanted to share. Now, you probably don’t want to make these two together, but separately they are delicious!

I have searched long and hard for a good chicken salad recipe. This is one of those things that no two people make the same. And being a mayo hater, it’s a wonder I even like it. But I think a good chicken salad needs some fruit…definitely needs some nuts…can’t have too much mayo…and easy on the celery. Agreed? Kroger actually has a pretty good chicken salad in their deli so when searching for the recipe online, I found the one below. I tested it out yesterday and it was great!

Grape Chicken Salad (20 servings, about 1 cup each)

12 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
2 lbs red grapes, halved
5 1/4 cups diced celery
1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans; toasted
3 green onions; sliced
2 cups mayo
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup vinaigrette
1 tbsp prepared mustard

In a large bowl, combine chicken, grapes, celery, pecans, and onions. In a small bowl, whisk mayo, broth, vinaigrette and mustard until smooth. Pour over chicken mixture; mix well. Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving.

Obviously this recipe makes a ton. I made 1/3 of the salad and it was plenty! Also, throw in some celery salt for good measure. YUM!

Next up…pancakes! It always seems like breakfast foods are a specialty of the man of the house. And this house is no exception! We love cooking breakfast and probably have pancakes once a week. (Although I could probably eat them for every meal!) We can’t take credit for this super good spin on the traditional pancake (it’s on the side of the Bisquick box) but they are OH SO GOOD!!

Melt in Your Mouth Pancakes

2 cups Bisquick
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla

Stir ingredients until blended; pour on the griddle in your preferred size and shape.

Tastes like cake!


What Time Is It??

Don’t worry. I’m not losing my mind or prematurely getting my hopes up for an undefeated Aggie football season. I’m just reliving the glory days.

Or day.

To tell you the truth, this is just one of the first pictures that came up when I googled A&M football.

I have a point.

College football season officially started last night! This time of year always makes me so happy. Maybe because I know Seth is over the moon. Maybe because I know there will be less golf on TV. Whatever the reason, it’s exciting. Until about mid-October when I start wondering if I’ll ever be able to watch anything else on TV in my whole life. But I did my part. Seth was at school last night. I was in bed with a headache. But I still had the TV on as if I was watching Boise St vs. Oregon. Even though the blue turf bugs.

I really do have a point.

I noticed that BooMama was hosting a “Diptacular” on her blog. And it got me thinking. College football is really 40% football, 60% food. You know you agree. It’s hard to get irritated at the TV that is mysteriously stuck on ESPN when you have a nice hot bowl of queso and lots of chips. Or a plate of brownies. And a soda (or your drink of choice) is a MUST. Heck, I might even risk pulling out the cherry salsa.

Do I dare??

So in the spirit of the Diptacular, I wanted to share my own gameday dip recipe. Except it’s not my own, it’s Cara’s, but it’s still so very good and I reminisced about it the other day when asked for the recipe. This is an easy one that we often take to our Aggie tailgates (and one Seth will be taking solo tomorrow…almost a little sad here, folks!) and it gets eaten right up.

Andale Dip

(not to be confused with Anderle dip)

2 16oz cans diced tomatoes
2 4oz cans chopped green chilis
2 4oz cans chopped black olives
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp oil
4-6 green onions, chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Mix all together and serve chilled with chips

Easy and delicious. In fact, maybe I will start sharing a good gameday recipe every Friday!

Then again, maybe not.

Here’s hoping the Ags can pull off a victory tomorrow against New Mexico. Because it’s a new season, right?


p.s. We also need to discuss ESPN’s poor choice of using Kenny Chesney to sing their new college football song. Really? I mean, yes, I was as tired of the Big & Rich promo as you were, but Kenny Chesney??

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

1 lb chicken breast, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
10 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups grated monterey jack cheese or Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 (15 ounce) can chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilis
Chili powder

1. In frypan, cook chicken and onion together in oil over medium-high heat until chicken is just done. Add chili powder and cumin to taste.

2. Divide cooked chicken evenly between 10 tortillas; add 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese to each tortilla. (We shred the chicken first but that’s a personal preference!)

3. Roll enchiladas and place seam-side down in 9×13″ baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with no-stick cooking spray.

4. Melt butter in a medium saucepan; stir in flour to make a roux; stir and cook until bubbly; gradually whisk in chicken broth then bring to boiling, stirring frequently.

5. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and green chiles; pour sauce evenly over enchiladas.

6. Top with remaining 3/4 cup cheese (baking dish may be double-wrapped and frozen at this point) and bake at 400° for 20 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce near edges of baking dish is bubbly.