Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Easy Baked Ziti and Cheddar Cheese Pull Apart Rolls

Here are two tried & true recipes that were huge, and I mean HUGE, 
hits in my home for dinner last night....

All I heard coming from the table was "mmmmmm, this is so good," and "oh my gosh, I love this!"  Isn't that what every cook wants to hear!  Every single plate was clean as a whistle.  I mean clean!  If you are looking for a crowd pleasing meal, I highly recommend these two recipes!   

First recipe, Easy Baked Ziti from The Country Cook!  This recipe was so simple to make, so darn good.  Brandie (The Country Cook) never fails to deliver delicious recipes that are quick and easy!   This is another recipe I will be saving and making time and time again.   

Easy Baked Ziti 

  • Penne Pasta
  • Ground Beef
  • Garlic Alfredo Sauce
  • Spaghetti Sauce 
  • Onion (optional)
  • Mozzarella Cheese 
I followed the recipe as directed, using the same Alfredo and spaghetti sauce as The Country Cook.   The only ingredient I did not add was onion - but only because I didn't have one.  Next time I make this (which will be soon), I'll be adding onion.  I also sprinkled a little sweet basil on top of the mozzarella after baking.  

Head on over to The Country Cook for the full recipe, your family and friends will thank you!


Next recipe...Easy Cheesy Pull Apart Rolls from Family Fresh Meals!  Corey from Family Fresh Meals was not kidding when she said it was easy!  Only a 5 minute prep...pop them in the oven and they are ready in under 20 minutes from start to finish!   These rolls were devoured!  Devoured.

Cheddar Pull Apart Roll (Easy Cheesy Pull Apart Rolls)

  • Refrigerated Biscuits
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Olive Oil
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
I only made a few changes to the recipe, using what I had in the house.  I used Pillsburry Grands Homestyle Buttermilk Biscuits - 8 Big Biscuits and cut them in fourths.  I was able to make 10 large rolls, placing 3 "chunks" of dough mixture in each muffin cup (regular size muffin tin).  After filling 10 muffin cups, I had two chucks of dough left over, so I made another roll that was a little smaller.  I didn't have fresh parsley, so I sprinkled on some dry parsley from my spice rack.  Next time I make these, I'll be using fresh parsley!  Yum!  

Head over to Family Fresh Meals for the full's awesome!  

A big thank you to Brandie and Corey for two wonderful recipes!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Copycat McDonald's Sweet Tea

Sweet Tea fans, here is a great recipe that is sure to hit the spot on a hot summer day!  According to my girls and their friends, it tastes just like McDonald's Sweet Tea! Sweet, smooth, refreshing....summer in a glass!

A few years ago, I stumbled onto, looking for a way to make iced tea smooth and less bitter.  Who knew all it took was a PINCH OF BAKING SODA!!!  Don't be scared of the baking soda (I was), you'll be telling everyone this tip!  The baking soda also helps to keep the tea clear.  So long bitter, cloudy tea!   

Today's recipe is being shared by request from my youngest daughter's friend -  she loves my sweet tea and recently moved.  I told her I would post the recipe so she could make it in her new home.  As promised, here it is  ...

Copycat McDonald's Sweet Tea 

Print Recipe 
Ingredients (Makes 4 quarts = 1 gallon)
  • 3 Family Size Lipton iced tea bags  
  • pinch of baking soda 
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 12 cups cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
Drop a pinch of baking soda in the bottom of a heat-proof, one gallon pitcher (plastic pitchers are best when working with boiling water).  In a small sauce pan, bring 4 cups of water to boil.  Remove from heat, add tea bags and allow to brew for 15 minutes, dunking tea bags up and down a few times while brewing. Remove tea bags, pressing out excess tea with a spoon.  Transfer hot tea to pitcher, add sugar, stir and allow to dissolve completely.  Add 12 cups cold water and stir.  Store in fridge until chilled. Serve over ice.   Enjoy!   

  • Plastic pitchers work best - NEVER pour boiling water in glass pitcher that is not heat-proof, it may shatter.  
  • Adjust sugar amount to desired taste.  My girls like a little more sugar, but I always use less. 
  • Try different flavored tea bags, like peach. YUM!
  • If you like stronger tea, add an additional tea bag(s).
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Mixed Berry Salad

Today's recipe is another great one from my sister's kitchen...

This salad is simply wonderful...refreshing...delicious!  What's great about this salad, you can change it up and make it your own!  Even better - it's so simple to make. Throw some grilled chicken on top and you have a meal!  

Mixed Berry Salad

Ingredients (adjust quantity of each to liking)
  • 5 oz bag spring mix salad 
  • 1-2 cups Romaine lettuce (for texture/crunch)
  • 1-2 cups fresh sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 11 oz can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 5 oz Feta cheese, crumbled 
  • 1/2 cup candied walnuts or pecans
Bottle of Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette  - so good!

Wash and dry lettuce, place in large salad bowl.  Top with fruit, cheese and nuts. Lightly dress with Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette, toss and enjoy!  

  • Blackberries and raspberries are a delicious addition.
  • Substitute feta for Gorgonzola or blue cheese. 
  • Make your own homemade vinaigrette dressing, like Raspberry Vinaigrette
  • Add grilled chicken on top for a meal.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Smile, It's Friday!

Free clipart - right-click to copy and paste and save to your computer!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

I'm back with a great dish I have been wanting to try forever, Chicken Parmesan Casserole!  This recipe was a cinch to make and so good!   

I have seen this recipe a number of times over the years and decided to try a version from  You can check out the great reviews here.    

With just a few ingredients and only minutes to throw together, dinner was ready in about an hour....winner!  It was gobbled up tonight, with only one serving left that my husband is more than happy to take to work tomorrow for lunch.  

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Olive Oil
Minced Garlic
Hot Red Pepper Flakes
Spaghetti Sauce
Fresh Chopped Basil
Mozzarella, Shredded
Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
Garlic Flavored Croutons

Head to for the full recipe!


I cut my chicken breasts in thirds.  I've seen other recipes that cut the chicken into bite size pieces.

I decided to cover my casserole 10 minutes into baking because the cheese was starting to brown and I didn't want it to burn.  I have a brand new oven and I'm still getting used to it - I'm also getting used to cooking and baking in high altitude.   You may want to check your casserole while baking, to make sure your cheese doesn't burn.    

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Hi Everyone!   

We made it Colorado and are slowly getting settled.  Moving is never easy, we are really missing our family and friends.  With views like this just steps from our front door, it has made it a little easier...

(Photographs courtesy of my very talented 17 year old daughter)

I'll be back soon...very soon, with recipes and lots more to share - PROMISE!  

Cheers!  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Egg Free Chocolate Chips Cookies made with Cream Cheese!

Today is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day and I could not let it pass without making a batch!  I am married to Cookie Monster after all!

We are still in the process of relocating - counting down the last couple of weeks until our big move to Colorado.  Over the last month, I've been trying to use up all the food in the pantry and things are getting pretty bare.  Tonight I wanted to make cookies the whole family could enjoy, so the recipe needed to be egg free and include ingredients I had in the house.  I found a great recipe on Jen's Favorite Cookies Blog - WINNER!!! The recipe called for cream cheese - CHECK - I had that!  The recipe also only called for 1/2 cup of brown sugar...whew, that's all I had! husband loved them and my girls said they were awesome and asked if I would make them again.  These will be the last homemade cookies baked in our home in Ohio, and will be the first cookies I bake in our new home in Colorado!  Thanks for the great recipe, Jen!

Egg Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • butter
  • cream cheese (real stuff, no reduced fat or fat free)
  • sugar 
  • brown sugar
  • vanilla
  • salt
  • baking soda
  • flour
  • chocolate chips (I used an entire 12 oz bag of Toll House semi-sweet choc chips)
Head to Jen's Favorite Cookies for the full recipe!  

I'll be back soon with new recipes once we're settled in our new home!
Thanks for stopping by!