Cover Photo

Cover Photo

Saturday, January 25, 2014

BBQ Smokies

Now here is an awesome recipe for the upcoming Super Bowl game! These little smokies are so good and a great snack for parties. I have made these for many a Super Bowl and events. 

What You Will Need:
2 packages of Little Smokies
2 bottles of Honey BBQ Sauce
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp yellow mustard
1 Tbsp liquid smoke

Combine all ingredients minus smokies into a large crockpot. Mix together until smooth. Add in smokies a little at a time until all are incoorproated. Put the lid on and cook on High for 3 hours or Low for 6 hours, or until heated through.

And thats it, quick and easy! Make sure you have some toothpicks or forks handy so your guests can gobble them up! 

You can use your choice of BBQ sauce, I just happen to like the taste of the honey BBQ. 

Well let me know what you think and if you make a changes, especially the BBQ sauce.

Well, I'm going to run some quests on World of Warcraft. Catch ya later!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Pizza Rolls

I have got to tell ya, this is one of the easiest recipes that I will probably post on here. I tell people all the time that kids could make these easily (with adult supervision of course). They are so delicious, flaky, gooey, and most of all tasty. And just like regular pizza, you can eat them cold the next day and they are just as good. 

Now I am going to share the recipe that will make 16 rolls but if you have a bigger family or you are making this for a party, it is very easy to double or even triple. I have made them for just me and Allen or even a party at work where I needed 40+. 

I have done this recipe with regular size pepperonis but I have come to realize that I like to use sandwich size pepperonis instead. This way I don't have to use as many pepperonis and it rolls all the way around the cheese. And you don't even have to use regular pepperoni, you could use turkey pepperoni, salami, ham, turkey, what ever you can think of. I haven't tried any of these.....yet, but I think it would work well.

All right, let's get to it!

What You Will Need:
2 rolls of refrigerated crescent roll dough
8 sticks of mozzarella string cheese, halved
1 package of sandwich size pepperonis (about 32 slices)
4 Tbsp butter (half a stick), melted
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cover baking sheet with foil and grease with cooking spray.

Take a triangle of crescent roll, lay flat on cutting board or smooth surface. Place two slices of pepperoni a the wide part of triangle, overlapping each other.

Place the cheese stick half on top of the pepperonis.

Starting from the top, roll the crescent, making sure that you keep the pepperonis and cheese in place.

Place onto baking sheet. I can usually fit about 8-10 on my big baking sheets. Bake for 10-14 minutes or until golden brown. 

While the rolls are baking, mix together the last 4 ingredients. Once the rolls are done, take out of oven and immediately brush butter mixture onto rolls. I love using my pastry brush to do this. Make sure you get the entire roll, even the tops of the bottom corners. This mixture really makes the rolls taste like pizzeria pizza. Of course if you want to go healthier, you can do without the mixture, they are still really good without it. 

And you're done!

See didn't I tell you that was easy! These are great to make for football parties, work parties, home movie night, or just for dinner.

Well, I hope you enjoy this recipe and let me know what you think. 

Well, I am going to read another chapter in Inferno. Catch ya later!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Chicken Pesto Pizza

Wow! December sure was a crazy month! Sorry that I didn't get anything posted. But man, have I got a good for you today. 

Pesto is probably the greatest invention food wise in human history. It is good on everything. To quote my cousin, "I could eat it on a flip flop!" I came across this idea on Pinterest and just had to try it. So let's quit wasting time and get right to it.

What You Will Need:
1 (12 in) prebaked pizza shell
1/3 cup prepared pesto
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 can of quartered artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Chop up your artichoke hearts.

Place pizza shell on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil.

Spread pesto evenly over the shell. Sprinkle chicken over the top getting to the edges. Sprinkle artichoke hearts on top of the chicken. Sprinkle the cheese over top of everything.

Bake for 10 minutes or until heated through and crust is crispy.

And that's it! So easy and so delicious!

Side Notes:
I found my pesto on the Italian food aisle (my store had a little refrigerated section on the aisle). I got the Buttoli brand. 

I cooked my chicken this time in the skillet. I just seasoned it with onion powder, garlic powder, poultry seasoning and ground pepper.

I hope you will let me know what you think of this and if you make any changes.

Well I'm going to get back to watching The Walking Dead. Catch ya later!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

Who doesn't love cookie dough and cheesecake? I always used to sneak a little bit of the dough when me and my mom were making chocolate chip cookies together when I was a kid. I used to get cookie dough on my ice cream all the time. Let's just say, I love me some chocolate cookie dough. 

I wanted to make more than one kind of cheesecake bars for Thanksgiving this year and when I saw this recipe I about fell on the floor. I knew I had to try it.

Here Is What You Need: 

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 Tsp unsalted butter, melted

Chocolate Chip Cooke Dough:
5 Tsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 Tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup chocolate chips

Cheesecake Filling:
10 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 325 F. Line a 8" square baking pan with parchment paper allowing for a little overhang and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside

Mix melted butter and graham cracker crumbs until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven for 6 minutes. Remove pan to cooling rack but make sure you leave the oven on. 

While the crust is cooling, prepare the cookie dough. In a bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla until smooth and thoroughly combined. Mix in the flour on low speed and mix until incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips. (this mixture will be dry, it is more like a crumble topping)

In a bowl cream together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in egg and vanilla on low speed just until incorporated. Pour the filling into the prepared crust, smoothing out to edges. Use your hands to crumble the dough topping in teaspoon size clumps onto the top the filling. Be sure to use all of the dough.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top feels dry and firm (cookie dough) and the entire pan looks set when given a gentle shake. Move bars to a cooling rack. Let cool for an hour then place in refrigerator to cool for a couple hours or overnight to finish setting. 

Once set, remove from pan using edges of parchment paper onto counter. Cut into bars and enjoy!

I doubled the recipe and did in a 9x13 pan and was able to cut into small squares and got about 24 out of it. 

These bars are so good. One of my managers at work described it as heaven, and that is saying alot coming from her. 

I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think. 

Well, I'm gonna kick back and listen to my Christmas music. Catch ya later!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars

So when I was a kid, my parents and I would go to this awesome Mexican restaurant called Casa Bonita. You would get you food and they would seat you at tables that were at all levels of the restaurant that was scattered around a large indoor waterfall. There were divers that would do amazing different kind of dives into the pool below and also a hilarious safari man and gorilla that would do a comedy sketch. The point to this story is that the best part about this restaurant was the sopapillas that they would bring out after you finished your meal. They were always so hot and fluffy and were amazing with some honey squeezed inside. 

If you don't know what a sopapilla is, it is like a Mexican doughnut but I hate describing it that way. Yes they are cooked alot like doughnuts since they are fried but they are way better than that. They are dusted with cinnamon sugar and like I said earlier they are amazing with honey squeezed inside. 

I was trying to come up with desserts that I could take to Allen's family's Thanksgiving and to work as a treat. Cheesecake bars are very popular and very easy to make. I found this recipe and tweaked it a little to make it taste more like a sopapilla. So without any further ado, the recipe for Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars.

You Will Need:

2 (8 oz) cans of crescent roll dough
2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese. softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar, divided
4 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, divided

Spray 13x9 pan with cookie spray. Open crescent rolls and unroll into the bottom of pan, pressing together seams to seal. 

In a large bowl, blend together cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until creamy. Mix in vanilla, egg, and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon until smooth. 

Spread evenly over dough, smoothing to edges. 

On counter, lay out parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Unroll second can of dough onto paper and using rolling pin, seal seams. Then flip over onto top of cheesecake mixture, pressing down at edges to seal in mixture. 

Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. 

Meanwhile, mix together remaining cinnamon and sugar. After done baking, remove bars from oven and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar while still hot. Let cool for an hour before putting in refrigerator overnight to completely set. 

Cut into squares. Depending on how many people you are making for will determine the size that you cut them. I cut mine small since I needed them for 3 events. I was able to get about 24 of them.

They are incredibly delicious and taste alot like a sopapilla to me. One of my friends at work said that they tasted like Cinnamon Toast Crunch (but of course she has never had a sopapilla before lol)

Well I hope you give them a try and let me know how you like them. I have another recipe to share this weekend that I also made for Thanksgiving. 

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. 

Going to finish my episode of Bones. Catch ya later!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pizza Pasta Casserole

Hello there again folks! One more day until Halloween! I am so excited about my costume for tomorrow! We are having a costume competition at work! I won't be revealing what it is until tomorrow so you will have to keep tuned. 

But anyways onto an easy dinner recipe. This can be thrown together and cooked right then or put in the freezer and cooked later. Kids and adults will both love this! Now onto the recipe!

What You Will Need:

1 pound of ground beef

1 small onion

1/2 clove of garlic

1 jar of spaghetti sauce

1 box of rotini pasta (cooked and drained)

4 cups of mozzarella cheese

3 bags of mini pepperoni

First, you want to brown the meat with the onion and garlic in a large skillet. (I also added some garlic powder and onion powder) Once cooked, drain and leave in the skillet.

Stir in spaghetti sauce and let it simmer for awhile so that the meat and soak up some of the flavor from the sauce. You can add a packet of zesty spaghetti sauce mix (I like McCormick)

Then mix in pasta,  2 cups of mozzarella and 2 bags of pepperonis to meat mixture until well combined. Pour  into greased 9x13 pan and smooth out. 

Sprinkle remaining pepperonis and cheese over the top of casserole.

Now you can either cook or freeze to cook later. 

If you want to cook now, bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until warmed through

To cook later, cover and freeze up to 3 months. When you are ready to cook it, thaw in refrigerator overnight and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until hot.

Nice and ooey gooey! Yes those are technical terms. Of course I am a fan of Parmesan cheese (aka stinky feet cheese) so I put some on top. Was very good and even better reheated. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Try it out and let me know what you think. Also let me know if you add your own twist on it. 

Well, I'm going to finish up my episode of Bones. Catch ya later!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Need A Book To Read?

I truly love to read. It is an escape from the real world and can take you to places you could never go or even imagine. I have always been a fan of reading ever since I was little when my father used to read to me and my mom every night before bed. I have been to the prairies of America, the country of Narnia, the world of Middle Earth and beyond. 

My friends are always asking for good book recommendations so that gave me an idea to compile a list of books and series that I have read and enjoyed. I will talk a little about each book or series and what ages they would be appropriate for. 

Let me start with the books for the older audience. These books are for adults, and just because I say that they are for adults does not mean that are romance novels. Some of these books have scenes that I would see as inappropriate for a teenager to read, but you can use your own judgement.

The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life at Rose Red
By: Joyce Reardon

This is the story of Ellen Rimbauer from Seattle, Washington and her life at Rose Red. She marries a rich man who builds her the house of her dreams only to find that not everything is as it seems with her husband.....or the house. I read this book after seeing the miniseries done by Stephen King called Rose Red. I wanted to see what the back story was and was pleased. I honestly can't talk too much about this book without giving away plot points. If you like horror stories or reading about haunted houses, this book is for you.

The Sabina Kane Series
By: Jaye Wells

Sabina Kane is a mixed blood, half mage half vampire. She has become an outcast with her vampire family that has raised her since her parents were killed. Her being an outcast makes her perfect to be an assassin. Her next mission will force her to choose which side she is on. Currently there are 5 books in the series. Each book has Sabina facing a new challenge as she struggles to find out who she is and what she is capable of. 

A Story of Fire and Ice
By: George R. R. Martin

Otherwise known as the Game of Thrones series, these books follow characters from the land of Westeros and the lands beyond the Narrow Sea. The many houses of Westeros including the ever ready Starks from the North, the rich but deceiving Lannisters, the proud Baratheons, and thought to be extinct Targaryens, and many more. From love to betrayal,  from horror to hilarity, from smiles to tears, these books cover it all. There are some gruesome and explicit scenes but very well written. But I will warn you, don't fall in love with a certain character because you never know what will happen in the next chapter. There are currently 5 books in the series.

By: Stephen King

Well you can obviously tell that this book will be gruesome just by the author's name. If you love "zombies" and post apocalyptic worlds, this is the book for you. This book follows Clayton Riddell, a comic book artist, who just landed a comic book deal of his dreams. One minute he is walking down the street on a normal day when all of the sudden The Pulse starts making people attack other, stripping them down to their basest nature. Clayton and the others that were not affected by The Pulse band together to find a possible safe haven but does it even exist? You definitely will not want to use your cell phone while reading this book.

By: Susan Kay

If you love Phantom of the Opera, you will definitely enjoy this book. It takes you deep into the back story of the Phantom, Erik and all the events that lead to him becoming the famous phantom. You will truly feel his pain and love throughout this book. I could read this book a hundred times and never get tired of it. 

Wicked Game
By: Jeri Smith-Ready

Ciara Griffin has just started at WMMP as the marketing intern to help out to save the station. She begins to notice that each DJ has their own style and choice of music that seems to only be from a certain era. She finds out that the dee jays are vampires and the music they play is from the era that they were turned. Ciara uses this to launch a new marketing strategy, changing the station name to WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock and Roll but of course no one falls for the fact that the deejays are really vampires. As things are starting to look up for the station, Ciara's marketing strategy begins to upset some older vampires. There are currently 4 books in this series. 

The Seducer Series
By: Madeline Hunter

This series is definitely one I have never seen. All the stories happen at the same time but all the stories are separate. I really like how Madeline Hunter did this. I love these books since they are period pieces, taking place around the beginning of the 19th century. Each book follow a different male and his part of this story. Truthfully I haven't read all of the books yet but what I have read so far is amazing. There are 5 books in the series; The Seducer, The Saint, The Charmer, The Sinner, and The Romantic. There are so two spin off novels; Lady of Sin and Lord of Sin. As you can guess these are romance novels so they do get explicit at times. 

The Mist
By: Stephen King

This book was actually a novella that was published as apart of his book "Skeleton Crew" but has now been published separately. Starts out like any other Stephen King book with a regular old storm, a trip to a supermarket, fog rolls in and chaos ensues. This book will keep you on your toes from beginning to end. I really cant explain anything more about this book without giving away key details. I just know that I will never be able to look at the spaghetti sauce section at the grocery store the same ever again.

The Robert Langdon Series
By: Dan Brown

All I can say is this series is addictive and so intriguing. Every time a new book came out I would get it and immediately wouldn't be able to put it down from page one. You may better know this series as Angels and Demons, Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol and Inferno. Each book follows Robert Langdon, a Harvard Symbologist, as he is asked to help with murder investigations that have puzzles or ciphers involved. He deals with the Illuminati, the Templars, the Masons, each a secret society. These books will make you think and truly make you believe that there is more than meets the eye. Dan Brown also has other books that do not follow Professor Langdon that are just as intriguing; Digital Fortress and Deception Point. These books do have gore and some language.

The Kitty Norville Series
By: Carrie Vaughn

Kitty Norville is a midnight-shift DJ and a closet werewolf. She gives advice to humans and supernatural beings alike on her show. All seems to be going well until a werewolf hunter shows up and then things get interesting. These books follow Kitty as she adjusts to being a werewolf and meeting all kinds of mythical creatures, some good and some just plain evil. I really enjoy these books. Kitty is such a hilarious and intriguing character that you become really attached to. As there are currently 13 books in the series, I obviously cant describe them all but I'll just tell you they are amazing and well written. These books do involve gore, language and explicit material.

Well I am going to stop there. This finishes out the truly adult books that I have read and enjoyed. I will also being doing a post about adult/young adult books and then books appropriate for adults and children alike.So stay tuned!

I'm going to finish reading a chapter in Feast For Crows (Fourth book of the Fire and Ice Series). 
Catch ya later!!!!!