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Category Archives: YUM (recipes)

Chicken Burger Recipe

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I have ANOTHER meat recipe to share with you!  I know you’re thinking… “but, Laurie, you don’t like meat”.  I know!  How crazy is that?!

This week my brother made the family chicken burgers.  He’s been talking about how good these are for quite some time, and I would just smile, nod and think yeah, right.  Ground chicken?  Yuck.   However… OMGoodness!  Chicken burgers really are delicious!  I mean really, really SUPER DELICIOUS!

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. ground chicken (We used Perdue.  One pound made 4 burgers.)
1/8 cup red pepper – finely chopped
1/8 cup yellow pepper – finely chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs or Planko (We used Planko)  This helps hold the chicken together.
Sprinkle garlic powder, onion powder, Lawry seasoning, pepper to taste.  (or your favorite seasonings)

DIRECTIONS

Add all ingredients together and make into patties.  Grill as you would hamburgers.
Optional: add cheese of choice

We topped our burgers with American cheese and ranch dressing.  Yum!!

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Chicken Parmesan Recipe

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Happy Friday!

I have a recipe for Chicken Parmesan to share with you.  It’s my family’s very favorite thing I make.  And it involves meat, which is a shocker if you know me.  (I’m not a vegetarian, I just think meat is generally yucky.)  But this recipe is FABULOUS! 😀

CHICKEN PARMESAN

Ingredients
3 chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 beaten eggs
1 cup or flour
1 1/2 -2 cups of seasoned croutons (use food processor to crush)
2 TBSP olive oil (add more if needed)
mozzarella, sliced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 large jar of spaghetti sauce.

Directions
Flatten chicken.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Put beaten eggs, flour and crushed croutons in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in flour, then the eggs, then the croutons.  Make sure the chicken is completely covered on both sides.  Brown slowly in the heated oil til golden brown.  (Heat oil on medium-medium high.)

Pour 1/4 – 1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce to the bottom of a 9 x 13 dish.  Lay chicken on top of the sauce, then add slices of mozzarella cheese on top of the chicken.  Add more sauce to the top of the chicken and cheese, then top with Parmesan cheese.

Heat oven to 350.  Cook covered with tin foil for 20 minutes, then an additional 20 minutes uncovered.  Serve over spaghetti noodles.

I heat the remaining sauce in a pan to have if needed.  I always serve this dish with garlic bread and a fruit salad.  ENJOY!

Cooking Craze

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Something amazing happened this week.  I made dinner TWO nights in a row!  AND the dinners were new recipes!  Yep.  It’s Ok.  I’ll wait while you catch your breath.

Are you breathing again?  Good.  My family is still in shock. 😉

Maybe you do this too? – Pin a ton of yummy recipes to your Pinterest boards and never make anything.  That’s me.  You’d think I like to cook if you saw my food boards.  The truth is I hate to cook.  Hate it.  It’s not really the effort to cook, it’s thinking about what to cook.

So what did I cook you ask?  Sunday night I made this…

TWO TIMIN’ PASTA BAKE

1 box penne pasta

1 (15 oz.) jar Alfredo sauce

1 (24 oz.) jar Marinara sauce

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

You can get the directions here.  It’s super easy and very yummy.

******************************************************************************

Monday night I made this…

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup in a Slow Cooker

You can get the recipe and directions here.  (Please forgive me if this is not the original source.  I’ve seen this recipe in so many places.)

The soup was a definite hit because my son said “This is pretty good”.  A true miracle, believe me!

I know my friends and family are thinking right now “WHO ARE YOU?”  Well, I like to shake things up a bit.  I can be wild and crazy.  But I do think cooking for the third night in a row might be going a little too bonkers.  I will have to see if I think the family can handle it. 😉

Salmon Bake With Pecan-Crunch Coating Recipe

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Happy Friday!  Here’s another recipe from my friend and fantastic cook, Crys at Dancing Moon Pilates.

Salmon Bake With Pecan-Crunch Coating

Ingredients

Try to make sure the pieces of Salmon are of equal thickness to ensure even cooking.

* 4 salmon fillets (about 1½ inches thick)
* ¼ teaspoon salt
* ⅛ teaspoon pepper
* 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
* 2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine, melted
* 1½ tablespoons honey
* ¼ cup soft breadcrumbs
* ¼ cup finely chopped pecans
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper; place, skin down, in a lightly greased 11 x 7 x 1-1/2-inch or 9-inch square baking dish.

Combine mustard, butter, and honey; brush over salmon. Combine breadcrumbs, pecans, and parsley; spoon evenly across top of salmon. Bake, uncovered, at 450 for 12-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Garnish, if desired.

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup Recipe

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Happy Friday!

This recipe for Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup was found by my good friend, Crys, who is also my Pilates torturer instructor.  (I will post the source as soon as I find it!)  She has a blog called Dancing Moon Pilates where she shares her inspirations, recipes, fitness tips and DIY projects.  Crys is also my thrifting, antiquing, home improving buddy, a.k.a. partner in crime, when it comes to home projects.  She’s an AWESOME cook too!  Check out this soup recipe.  It looks delicious!

From Crys at Dancing Moon Pilates:

Since it is winter (even though it’s going to be 70 degrees this weekend) I thought a soup recipe would be a good one to start with. Growing up one of my favorite comfort foods  was always a Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Tomato Soup. As an adult I still love the meal but prefer a more “grown up” version of the soup. This delicious recipe requires a slow cooker. Enjoy!

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup in the  Slow Cooker

Makes about 2 quarts (about 8 servings)
2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano
1 T dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
4 cups chicken broth
½ bay leaf
½ cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup butter
2 cups half and half, warmed 
 (or skim milk if you’re trying to cut some calories)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

1.  Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker.

2.  Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.

3.  About 30 minutes before serving prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper.  Add additional basil and oregano if needed (the slow cooker does a number on spices and they get bland over time, so don’t be afraid to always season to taste at the end).

4.  Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.

Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

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Happy Friday Y’all!

Here’s something that doesn’t happen every day…  I’m sharing a recipe that contains MEAT!  Pick your jaws up off the ground and keep reading.  😉  This is a recipe for Turkey Meatloaf.  My lovely friend and neighbor took pity on me when my Hubby was out of town and offered to feed me and the kids.  When she told me she was cooking turkey meatloaf, I have to say I was a little nervous.  She’s a great cook, but meat??  (I’m not a vegetarian, I just don’t like meat.)

It was AMAZING, FABULOUS, YUMMY!  I even asked for seconds!  This recipe came from a cookbook (I will find out which one), but she tweeked it a bit, using lean turkey instead of ground beef.

RECIPE

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground turkey
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (two heals)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 8-oz. can Hunt’s Tomato Sauce
1 egg
1 1/2 tsps. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup water
2 Tbs. brown sugar, packed
2 Tbs. prepared mustard
1 Tbs. vinegar

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, lightly mix turkey, bread crumbs, onion, 1/2 can Hunt’s Tomato Sauce, egg, salt and pepper.  Shape into loaf in a shallow baking pan.  Combine remaining Hunt’s Tomato Sauce with rest of ingredients; pour over loaf.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/4 hours.  Baste loaf several times.  Makes 5-6 servings.

ENJOY!

Nutella Hiatus

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That feeling of true happiness…I am addicted to Nutella.  Seriously.  When I’m stressed out… A spoonful of Nutella.  Chocolate craving?  A spoonful of Nutella.  Happy or sad?  A spoonful of Nutella.  Walk by the jar?  A spoonful of Nutella.  Why am I gaining weight?  I have no idea! 😉

I can’t buy it anymore though.  I will eat the whole jar within a week.  Or less.  My favorite breakfast, snack and sometime dinner is whole wheat toast with peanut butter and Nutella on top.  It’s fabulous!  But I’m on a Nutella Hiatus for a while.  I must be strong.  I must have Hubby do the grocery shopping so I won’t be tempted!

But that’s not stopping me from sharing these yummy looking recipes I’ve pinned over the past year.  I haven’t made these recipes, but the pictures say it all.  Please, if you try any of them and I’m still in my Nutella Hiatus, tell me they’re horrible.  Be kind.

These aren’t all the recipes I’ve pinned.  If you want to take a look at even more crazy delicious looking recipes, check out my Nutella Pinterest Board.  Enjoy!

Click on the picture for the website and recipe.

Nutella Banana Cookies

Peanut Butter Nutella Cookies

Nutella Smores Crepes

Nutella Mousse Trifle

Pie

No Bake Nutella Cheesecake

Nutella Stuffed Cinnamon Sugar Muffins

Mexican Layered Dip Recipe

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Today I’m sharing a Mexican layered dip recipe.  I have been making this recipe for years (a Laurie original) and it’s always a hit.  It’s my go to recipe for bunco, block parties and holidays.  It’s YUMMY!

Layered Dip

Ingredients

1 can of refried beans (I use Fat Free)

1/4 cup salsa

1 cup of sour cream

1/2 cup of mayo

1 taco seasoning packet

shredded lettuce

2 cups of shredded cheddar or Mexican mix cheese

grape tomatoes, sliced or chopped

9 x 13 dish

tortilla chips to dip

Directions

1st layer:  Mix together beans and salsa.  (The salsa helps make the beans more spreadable.)  Spread mixture in the 9 x 13 dish.

2nd layer:  Add 1 -2 cups of shredded lettuce on top of the bean mixture.

3rd layer:  In a small bowl, combine sour cream, mayo and packet of taco seasoning.  Using a spoon, carefully add mixture to the top of  the lettuce.

4th layer:  Sprinkle shredded cheese to the top of the sour cream mixture.  (More is better, to me, when it comes to cheese!)

5th layer:  Add tomatoes to the top of the cheese.   Use can also add scallions and olives to the top as well.

Serve with chips.  ENJOY!

Oatmeal Craisin Cookies Recipe

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Happy Friday!

Today I am sharing my favorite cookie recipe, Oatmeal Craisin.  I have had this recipe for a while and always used raisins, but recently switched the raisins to craisins.  It’s FABULOUS, if I do say so myself.  Hope you enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

Oatmeal Craisin cookie recipe1 1/2 cup Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon Salt

3/4 cup soft Butter

3/4 cup Brown Sugar

3/4 cup Sugar

2 Eggs

1 teaspoon Vanilla

3 cups Quaker Old Fashioned Oats

1 cup Craisins

DIRECTIONS:

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  In separate bowl, beat butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla.  Slowly add flour mixture until blended.  Mix in oats and craisins.

Cook at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes

Pumpkin Bread Recipe

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This pumpkin bread recipe is so delicious, I’m posting it again.  Fabulous I tell you!  Make it today!  You’ll have a yummy breakfast, snack or dessert for the weekend.  You will be so happy and in love with this pumpkin bread that you will want to make it for guest, holidays, teachers, or just because!  This recipe came from my friend Kerry.  Enjoy!

Ultimate Pumpkin Bread Yields 2 Medium Loaves

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp ground cloves 2 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground nutmeg 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp baking powder 3 cups granulated sugar 1 cup butter, really soft, half melted really 3 large eggs 1 16 oz can of pure pumpkin 1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

FROSTING:

1 1/2 cups powdered Sugar 2 Tbsp. melted butter milk  (as much as you need for desired frosting thickness)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F and spray two medium loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, spices, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the wire whisk attached, dump in the sugar. Take the butter and put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, so that it is half melted. Dump it into the sugar. Add the eggs. Cream these three ingredients together on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until fluffy. Add the pumpkin, and vanilla and combine well.

4. In three batches, add the dry ingredients and mix gently until each batch is just incorporated. Scrape the sides between each batch.

5. Pour half of the batter into a one of the prepared pans. Fold the pecans into the remaining batter and then pour it into the other prepared pan. Bake side-by-side for about one hour or until an inserted toothpick or knife comes out clean and the top is golden.

6.  Remove from pans and cool completely before frosting.  (I like to let the frosting run down the sides of the loaf.)

Pineapple Cheese Casserole Recipe

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Happy Friday!  Today I’m sharing another favorite recipe.  But before I do, I’m just going to say this once again…  I’m not a foodie.  I don’t like to cook.  Sometimes I don’t even like to eat.  So the recipes you see on my blog are so absolutely fabulous that I feel compelled to come out of my non-domestic shell and spread the recipe love.   Here we go…

This recipe came from my BFF’s mother-in-Law.  The first time I heard about this recipe, I was less than thrilled to give it a try.  I mean, cheese and pineapple together?  Really?  And hot??  But I put my big girl pants on and gave it a try.

OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!  It’s unbelievably delicious!  I personally would eat this for a meal.  I need nothing else.

This casserole is a staple for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter dinners.  But don’t wait for a holiday to try it.  It’s an anytime dish.  You will thank me. 😉

(I don’t have a picture of the casserole.  There are pictures of the web if you want to see what it looks like.)
INGREDIENTS

3 (15 ounce) cans pineapple chunks
2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
8 tablespoons pineapple juice
8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
30 buttery round crackers, crushed (I use Ritz)
1/2 cup butter, sliced
DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl combine pineapple chunks, cheese, pineapple juice, flour and sugar. Spoon into a 9×13 inch baking dish.
Top with crushed crackers and butter slices.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Favorite Vodka Drink Recipe

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Happy Friday!  Today I’m going to share with you my favoritest alcoholic drink.  🙂

My friend, Janet, introduced vodka and tonic drinks to me, made with citrus flavored Vodka.  They are indeed yummy!   My Hubby liked them too, and started making them at home.  

Then we ran out of tonic!  Did my Hubby panic?  Did he run around the house screaming “why oh why?!?”  (oops, sorry, that was me.)  Noooo!  He decided to use what we had instead… Fresca.  Oh my goodness!!!  It’s even yummier than the tonic!  Hubby upped it a notch and served it with a slice of orange.  (Hubby says to squeeze the slice of orange into the drink to get the right taste.  Then you may add a slice to the side of the glass to get the “look”.)  Genius I tell you!  I married an absolute genius! 😉   This drink is so refreshing and delicious!  And Fresca has zero calories!  It’s like HAPPY on a diet! 

Drink carefully and enjoy!

Mardi Gras Punch Recipe

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Better Home and Gardens America's Best-Loved Community Recipes

Better Home and Gardens America’s Best-Loved Community Recipes

When I first got married, many, many moons ago, I received this recipe book as a bridal shower gift.  (I don’t even think the internet was up and running for us back then to look up recipes!)  I didn’t cook much back then.  Not much as changed really, but that’s neither here nor there. 🙂

Anyway, there are two recipes from this book that ALWAYS gets rave reviews from friends and family.  The one I’m sharing with you today is a recipe for the best punch ever!  I make this punch for birthdays, bunco, family gatherings, in the summer and winter, it doesn’t matter.  It a huge hit every time!  I have made one slight change to the original recipe only because I can never find the right size of concentrated juice it calls for. 

MARDI GRAS PUNCH

1 – 6 oz can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed (I buy a 12 oz. can & use the whole thing.  This is the slight change I mentioned.)

1 – 6 oz can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed (again, I buy a 12 oz. can and use the whole can.)

1 cup water

Fruit pieces, such as cut up oranges, strawberries, limes, blueberries, kiwi

1 quart chilled apple juice

2 quarts chilled ginger ale (I use Schweppes ginger ale, it’s my favorite.)

DIRECTIONS

Combine the orange juice and lemonade concentrates.  Refrigerate half of the concentrate mixture.  Add the cup of water to the remaining half of concentrate. 

To make ice cubes, place bite size pieces of fruit in each section of an ice-cube tray.  Pour in orange juice-lemonade water mixture.  Freeze the ice cubes overnight.

TO SERVE: In a large punch bowl, stir together the chilled juice concentrates and the apple juice.  Slowly pour the ginger ale down the side of the punch bowl.  Add the fruit filled ice cubes and serve.

NOTE:  For a more festive (alcohol) punch, I discovered champagne is an excellent added ingredient! 😉 

ENJOY!

Cake Secrets

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Yesterday was my son’s birthday.  That means a few things.  1.  He is getting older.  2.  I’m still not.  3.  I baked him a birthday cake.

I make the best cakes ever (so I’m told).  My son’s favorite is chocolate cake with vanilla frosting.  I’m not a “make from scratch” kind of girl.  I buy Devils Food from Duncan Hines and creamy vanilla from Duncan Hines.  But I’m going to share a little secret with you…  If you follow the directions on the box, it turns out moist and amazing!  Who knew, right?  Ha!  Seriously though, the box says mix on low for 30 seconds then beat at medium for 2 minutes.  TURN ON THE TIMER FOR THOSE TWO MINUTES.  You will be amazed how inaccurate you are at estimating 2 minutes.  You won’t even be close.  That’s my trick.  My oven cooks fast, so I always bake at the minimum time it says.  To all my peeps who can’t get over how yummy my cakes are, now you know my secret. 🙂  It’s on the box!

Here is another fabulous thing I discovered.  When I was young and my mom made a cake, she would buy 1 box of cake and 1 can of frosting to go with it.  Guess what?  Now that I’m a grown up, I buy TWO cans of frosting for one cake!  I know!  I didn’t know it was allowed.  It’s one of those great grown up moments.  Like moving out on your own and realizing YOU are the one in control of the thermostat now! 🙂  It’s empowering!

 

 

Pistachio Cake Recipe

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Okay, here is another FABULOUS recipe!  This cake is so yummy, it’s beyond words.  Maybe even better than Nutella!  (Shocking I know!) 

The recipe came from my BFF, Kerry.  It was introduced to her by her Mother-in-law.  When Kerry goes for a visit, she knows at least two Pistachio Cakes are waiting for her!   Lucky girl!!

You must make this delicious cake.  You will thank me! 🙂

Pistachio Cake (aka Green Cake)

Ingredients

1 box white cake mix
3/4 cup cold water, with a few drops of green food coloring added ( I use 4 drops)
1 tsp. almond extract
1 (3 oz. ) pkg. pistachio instant pudding
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs
6 oz. (half bag) of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease & flour the bottom of a bunt cake pan.

2. Mix white cake mix with dry pudding mix in a large bowl.

3. Add the water,oil, and almond extract to the dry cake mixture. Mix until just combined.

4. Add eggs one at a time at low mixer speed. When ingredients are combined, increase speed of mixer and continue mixing for 2 minutes.

5. Add the mini chocolate chips to batter and gentle fold in by hand.

6. Pour into prepared bunt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. Place on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool and then drizzle top of cake with icing.

Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk (may use more or less depending on how thick or runny you want the icing.)
A splash of almond extract

Mix all together. If you need to thicken icing, add more powdered sugar or vice a versa.

Cashew Brittle Recipe

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TRY THIS RECIPE!!!  This cashew brittle recipe was given to me 8 years ago by a friend of mine.  I believe she found it in Southern Living magazine, but not positive.  (There are several sites with this recipe, but the cook time and the way they add the ingredients are slightly different.)  

This is a fast and easy recipe perfect for holidays, teacher gifts or parties.  Or, if you are like me, make it “just because”! 

Cashew Brittle Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups salted cashew halves (Laurie’s Note:  A 8 – 9 oz. can of cashews is the perfect amount)
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • In a 2 qt. microwave-safe bowl, combine the cashews, sugar and corn syrup. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 3 minutes; stir. Heat 2 minutes longer.  Stir in butter and vanilla.  Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes or until mixture turns a light amber (mixture will be very hot).
  • Using oven mitts, remove mixture from microwave. Quickly stir in baking soda until light and foamy and baking soda is thoroughly mixed. Immediately pour onto a greased baking sheet and spread with a metal spoon or spatula. Let stand for 20-30 minutes or until set; break into small pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Awesome Salad Recipe

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Happy Friday!

I’m not a “foody” by any means.  If a recipe doesn’t start with Nutella, then I’m not all that interested!  Ha!  So if I ever post a recipe on my blog, then you know that it is absolutely fabulous!

I didn’t make this salad myself, my BFF did. She brought it over for lunch one day.  It’s super easy to make (even I could make this!) and so delicious that any salad you order from a restaurant can not compare! Truly.  Here it is…  Enjoy!

Cranberry-Avocado Salad with Candied Spiced Almonds and Sweet White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Click on the picture for the recipe.

Smoothies and Nutella Obsession

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Although my house changes on a daily basis, I’m a creature of habit.  I suppose that means my habit is to constantly change my house.  But that’s not what I mean here.

When I find something good to eat, I will have it daily until I can’t stand the sight of it anymore.  I know, I’m weird.  But at the moment, and for a couple of months now, my favorite thing to eat for Breakfast is a fruit smoothie.  I know there’s a million recipes out there, but this one is my own.  Drum roll please…

LAURIE’S SMASHING SMOOTHIE ; )

1 banana

1/2 – 1 cup of frozen fruit.  (My favorites are berry mix, cherry berry mix and peaches.  Frozen Pineapple is delicious too!)

1 container or 6 oz of plain Greek yogurt (It’s loaded with protein)  I found that plain Greek yogurt taste better in this smoothie than vanilla.

1/3 cup of Quaker Oats old fashion oatmeal

1/3 cup of milk (I use 1%)

I usually let the frozen fruit sit in the blender for a bit.  Then blend away.  It should be smooth enough to drink through a straw.  My daughter and BFF are hooked on it now.  You get loaded up with fruit, yogurt and oatmeal all in one drink.  And it’s filling.  This will make one serving (for me).  It will fill up a tall water glass to the top.  You can share, of course, but after you taste it, you won’t want to. ; )

And then for Lunch One piece of whole wheat or multi grain toast spread with peanut butter and Nutella.  I’m addicted to this.  I must have it everyday.  The weather here was awful.  Tornado warnings, high winds and all that yucky stuff.  But I HAD to go to the grocery store.  I was out Nutella deliciousness #Nutellaof Nutella!  I was getting edgy and shaky thinking about lunch without it!

You would never know that I’m a mature, rational, fairly sane individual reading about my Nutella addiction.  But I promise that I am.  And you will see no recipes on this blog that is not 100% Laurie tested.  This girl is not a foodie.  If you are reading about, it’s delicious!

Christmas Brunch

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Wow!  Can you believe it’s only three days til Christmas?  It’s time for making my list and checking it twice!  I just finished writing my grocery list for Christmas brunch.  There will be ten of us this year.  Can’t wait!  I like to do brunch instead of a big dinner because it allows all of us to relax the rest of the day, enjoy company, and the kids can play non stop without the inconvenience of pausing for food.  (That’s the story I’m telling cuz I don’t like to cook.  But don’t tell anyone!)  In my own defense, when I do apply myself in the kitchen, it’s usually edible.  I’m just not dancing around singing a happy tune like I do when I’m using power tools.  ; )

Almost everything on the menu this year is new to us.  The recipes were found on Pinterest and they look delicious!  And all but one recipe can be made the day before.  So no slaving away in the kitchen on Christmas morning.  Not that I’m ever slaving away in the kitchen.  If I ever look exhausted while standing in the kitchen, it’s because I’m cleaning up my mess from boiling water.

Here’s the menu:
Baked Pear French Toast
http://pinterest.com/pin/186688347023023022/

Cinnamon-Apple Grill Cheese (made with raisin bread)  http://pinterest.com/pin/186688347023023009/

Christmas Brunch casserole
http://pinterest.com/pin/186688347023023017/

For Dessert…
Banana Cake with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting!http://pinterest.com/pin/186688347023008129/

And Yummy Family and BFF Recipes…
Meatballs in BBQ sauce
Orange Pineapple Jello Salad
Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cake

Okay, off I go.  The grocery store awaits.  If anyone has an easy, fantastically delicious, make the day before recipe they would like to share, please feel free!  Nothing is set in stone until all the grocery stores are closed! ha!

Pumpkin Bread Recipe

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I’m not a fan of cooking or baking.  Yes, I do feed my family at least two out of three meals a day, sometimes even seven days a week.  But it’s not my thing.  So, if you ever see a recipe on my blog… you can be sure it’s awesome and worth making!

This recipe came from my friend Kerry.  She loves to bake and share her recipes.  Enjoy!

Ultimate Pumpkin Bread
Yields 2 Medium Loaves

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter, really soft, half melted really
3 large eggs
1 16 oz can of pure pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

FROSTING:

1 1/2 cups powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp. melted butter
milk  (as much as you need for desired frosting thickness)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F and spray two medium loaf pans with nonstick cooking
spray.

2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, spices, salt, baking soda, and baking
powder and set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the wire whisk attached, dump in the
sugar. Take the butter and put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, so that
it is half melted. Dump it into the sugar. Add the eggs. Cream these three
ingredients together on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until fluffy. Add
the pumpkin, and vanilla and combine well.

4. In three batches, add the dry ingredients and mix gently until each batch
is just incorporated. Scrape the sides between each batch.

5. Pour half of the batter into a one of the prepared pans. Fold the pecans
into the remaining batter and then pour it into the other prepared pan. Bake
side-by-side for about one hour or until an inserted toothpick or knife comes out clean and the top is golden.

6.  Remove from pans and cool completely before frosting.  (I like to let the frosting run down the sides of the loaf.)

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