It's his turn

I got my first CL in the mail a few weeks ago and immediately found a recipe I wanted to make - Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole. My plan was to make it on Sunday, since I knew I'd be too busy to cook all week. Well the husband failed to inform me he wouldn't be around for dinner (even after I'd asked him) so I figured I'd have to wait to make this. Well he decided to help me out on Thursday and make this. It was quite funny:

Him: So, should I put Parmesan, Monterrey or Cheddar on the chicken?
Me: Um honey, it's called PARMESAN Chicken and Rice Casserole.
Him: Oh, right. Man, this is complicated. I'd rather make some hot dogs.

Anyway, this turned out pretty good, I'm pretty sure we'll have it again. Sorry my picture sucks, my camera died 2 seconds after I took this picture, so there were no other chances for a pretty picture.

Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole
Total Time: 37 min

Cooking Spray
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (3 1/2 ounce) bags boil-in-bag brown rice he used minute rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 3/4lb) he used chicken breast
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 tbsp whipping cream he used skim milk
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 - Preheat oven to 450

2 - heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; saute' 2 minutes. Add garlic; saute' 30 seconds. Remove rice from bags; add to pan. Saute' 30 seconds. Stir in wine; cook 30 seconds or until liquid almost evaporates. Spoon rice mixture in an even layer into a 13x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3 - Arrange chicken in a single layer over rice mixture; sprinkle evenly with thyme and salt. Combine broth and cream, stirring well; pour over chicken and rice mixture.

4 - Bake at 450 for 15 min. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until chicken is done (ours took a little longer)



I know I haven't posted in a while, but work and school are absolutely kicking my butt. The past two weeks have been the "whydidIdecidedtogobacktoshcoolthisuscks" type of weeks. Anywho, the Spectacular Nemmie was recently tagged for a meme and she decided to tag the KC gals. . Sarah (who is also spectacular!) tagged me months ago, but I never played along, so I need to throw in a few extras for her too. I love meme's with pictures so I threw some of those in too. Here goes.....

Some Things You Might Not Know About Me

1) The first meal I ever cooked for my husband (then boyfriend) consisted of Lasagna Hamburger Helper, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, and a Salad. We had strawberries and Cool Whip for dessert. He even bragged to his friends about how great I was because of it! hahahaha! In college, this became the staple meal of our relationship.

2) The night DH proposed our meal consisted of the above minus the salad + a can of cream corn. Romantic - Nope, not one bit. It was very fitting though since that was "our meal" in college. (Note: I'm very happy HH isn't a staple in our diet anymore)

3) I lived with the same roommates all through college. I don't know of anyone else who had the same roommates for 4 years. We had a blast. I miss those times so much.

4) I LOVE cheerleading. I cheered in high school and college. In College we went to the National Championships my Sophomore Year and Senior Year. I would love to relive those weeks. Someone found a mullet wig that we would sport during the games, here is me modeling the wig.

5) I played powder puff every year in college, I was a corner. My junior year I went to intercept the ball, a prefect spiral. In stead of catching with my hands, that perfect spiral hit me directly in the eye and I had a nice shiner. You can't really see it too well, but here are some pics of it...

6) I used to want to work for CNN. I was going to have a tailor made major of Political Communications. (I was a poli-sci major, thanks to my advisor not letting me take Ed classes early enough!) My senior year of college I was supposed to have an internship at a TV station, but I got in an accident and totaled my car. Sine I went to school in Smalltown, KS, the closest TV Stations were 45 - 60 mins away. With no car, I had no way to get there. One of my teachers had a contact at CNN and he said he could get me in there the summer after I graduated. I didn't want to be that far from M, so I turned it down. I often wonder what life would have been like if I wouldn't have turned it down.

7) The only time I've ever been out of the country is last year on our honeymoon to Jamaica. Ya, Mon. I want to visit Germany and Poland in the next 5 - 10 years. This pic is from our resort, it was heaven.

8) My brother and husband have the same name

9) I have an unhealthy (literally!) obsession with Hershey Kisses. Not the plain jane boring milk chocolate ones, but the Dark, Trio, and Caramel. The Trio are my absolute favorite. I have to eat at least 3 every day after lunch. I mean, come one, what’s not to love about a candy that has dark, white, and milk chocolate in one tasty bite. I also like the Peppermint, Hot Cocoa, (hubs fav) and Truffle. I had a bag of Coconut Cream in my hand the other day, but put it back when i realized I already had 3 bags of various flavors in the cart. I know there are better brands of chocolate out there, but I can afford this addiction!

Well folks, there you have it. Can you tell I miss my responsibility free days of college?!

I'm only going to Tag 4 people...

"5 Things" Meme Rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their Blogs.


I got the fever

Chocolate Fever. Besides the delicious roll-out cookies, I also made Chewy Chocolate Cookies this weekend. These are fabulous and super simple. They're also from Cooking Light so they're sort of good for you.... right!? Although I didn't follow the recipe exactly so.... I guess they aren't as good for me as I would have liked.

Chewy Chocolate Cookies
From: Cooking Light


1 (18.25-ounce) package light devil's food cake mix
2 tablespoons stick margarine or butter, softened
2 tablespoons water
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips I used 3/4 cup chocolate fondue
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer 2 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons (I used PC Cookie Scoop) 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

Nutritional Information:

CALORIES 50(27% from fat); FAT 1.5g (sat 0.6g,mono 0.4g,poly 0.2g); PROTEIN 0.7g; CHOLESTEROL 4mg; CALCIUM 9mg; SODIUM 79mg; FIBER 0.2g; IRON 0.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 8.4g

Spread the Love

I'm so busy with work and school lately, I haven't had time to bake or cook much during the week. A few weeks ago I remembered I had a bunch of heart, star, and cloud (I guess that's what the shape is) cookie cutters. I really wanted to use them on Valentine's Day but didn't have the time last week. So, this is my belated V-Day post.

On Friday, I found the recipe for these cookies on Cara's Cravings. I was going to add a bit banana to mine but, the hubster wanted to make banana Pancakes instead. These chocolate cookies are good enough on their own but amazing with Peanut Butter Frosting.

Chocolate Roll-Out Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting
Found on: Cara's Cravings
Orginally: Dorie Greenspan, via Epicurious.com

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sprinkles or other sugar decorations (optional)
Frosting/Icing of your choice. I used PB Frosting

Sift first 5 ingredients and cinnamon, if desired, into medium bowl. Stir chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Set aside. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat until mixture is pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and beat in vanilla and chocolate. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed just to blend.

Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Form each half into ball and flatten into disk. Wrap disks separately in plastic and chill until firm, at least 4 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before rolling out.

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper to 1/8-inch thickness for smaller (2-inch) cookies and 1/4-inch thickness for larger (3- to 4-inch) cookies. Using waxed paper prevents you from adding too much flour, which will make the cookies tough.Using decorative cookie cutters, cut out cookies. Cold dough is much easier to work with. If it gets warm as you're cutting out the cookies, place the dough—waxed paper and all—in the freezer for about 5 minutes.Use an offset spatula to peel away the excess dough and transfer the cookies to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Gather scraps, roll out dough, and cut more cookies, repeating until all dough is used. If not icing cookies, decorate with sprinkles or other sugar toppings, if desired.Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are firm on top and slightly darker around edges, about 9 minutes for smaller cookies and up to 12 minutes for larger cookies. Line baking sheets with fresh parchment as needed. Cool completely on rack.

Decorate cookies if desired.

DO AHEAD: Cookies can be made 4 days ahead. Store between sheets of waxed paper in airtight containers.


Just like a resturant!

Last night we had our friends Erin and Scooter over for dinner. I really, really wanted to do a 3 course fondue but, Erin is pregnant and meat isn't really agreeing with her anymore. I decided a Mexican theme meal would be good instead. I made Julia's Black Bean Enchiladas, Julie's Chicken Enchiladas, salsa and some Jose Peppers Espinaca. I planned on making my friend Stephanie's Gauc, but apparently I suck at gauc making so it didn't turn out. We also had fabulous Chocolate Fondue for dessert (I know it doesn't really go with Mexican, but damn, it was so good)

I forgot to take pictures last night but here is the recipe for Chicken Enchiladas. When I pulled them out of the oven everyone commented on how they look (and taste!) like they're from a resturant.

Chicken Enchiladas
my changes in italics

3 or 4 boneless/skinless chicken breast halves
1 can refried beans (I use fat free)
1 can hot enchilada sauce
1Tbs butter
1Tbs flour
1 8oz container sour cream (again, I use fat free)
¼ red or white onion chopped
1 jalapeno chopped
3 C. shredded cheddar (or cheddar/MJ blend) cheese
10 burrito size flour tortillas-
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped red pepper

Season chicken with salt & pepper, then cook in some vegetable oil in a pan until done (or youcan bake it if you prefer). Let cool slightly and shred with forks or your hands.

Combine enchilada sauce, butter and flour in small sauce pan and cook over medium heat untilbutter is melted, stirring often.

Combine sour cream and 1 C. of the cheese in another small sauce pan and heat over med-lowheat until cheese is melted, stirring often.

Combine refried beans, onion and jalapeno in a bowl and stir well (or you can just sprinkle thejalapenos and onions on the enchiladas individually)

Spread some of the bean mixture on each tortilla, top with shredded chicken, and roll up. Thenplace in a 13x9 glass baking dish.

Pour enchilada sauce over the top of the rolled up tortillas. Then pour the sour cream/cheese mixture over the top. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.



I saw these bad boys on Blonde Ambition in the Kitchen a while ago and didn't give them much thought. After I tried her Raggedy Top Bars though, I knew I had to give them a shot. As soon as I took my first bite of my very first blondie I started singing "Heaven.... must be Heaven". Seriously! AMAZING! Now, today by the time I stuffed my 4th blondie of the day in my mouth, I decided these are straight from the Devil.

This recipe is great because it is very versatile and super quick and easy. I've already bought more mix-ins for my next batch!

Chocolate Chip Walnut Blondies
From: Blonde Ambition in the Kitchen

Basic Blondies
8 TBS butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flourPinch of baking powder (about 1/4 tsp)
"Add in" (see below) I used 3/4 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup choped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8x8 pan with foil and lightly spray with PAM.

In a large microwave safe mixing bowl melt the butter. Allow to cool for 5 mintues. Mix the brown sugar with the melted butter and beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla.

Add salt, stir in flour and baking powder (if using). Mix in any additions (some ideas below).

Pour into prepared pan and use a greased spatula to evenly spread mixture in pan and level the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until set in the middle.

Cool on rack before cutting.

Add in ideas:
1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, white chocolate or butterscotch chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, almonds
1/2 cup M&M candies
1/2 chopped Reese's PB cups
1/4 cup toffee pieces
1/2 tsp mint extract in addition to, or in the place of vanilla extract


Not quite my mom's

This is one of my favorite things my mom makes. I haven't made it yet because it seems like when I try to make her recipes, they just aren't as good. This was no exception. I think part of the reason this wasn't as good was because M used too many noodles so the sauce wasn't as thick. Oh well, there's always next time.... or next time I visit home!

Hamburger Stroganoff

1/2lb wide egg noodles
1lb ground round (mom always made this with ground turkey, as did I)
2 tsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 med. onion - chopped
2 tsp AP flour
1/2lb sliced mushrooms (omitted)
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1 1/4 cup beef stock
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook and drain noodles as package directs (next time I will do this as I'm cooking the hamburger mixture)

Melt butter in heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion and mushrooms 5-7 minutes. Add meat and cook until brown. Stir often. Add Worcestershire sauce and S&P to taste.

Add flour and cook 1 minute, stirring often. Stir in stock and simmer until thickened. Stir in sour cream until heated.

Serve immediately over hot noodles.


A Soup Day

You know how some days are just perfect for soup? That would be today. When I woke up this morning to go to the gym it was storming. Thunderstorms in KS in February just seem weird.

I found this recipe on Ambers Delectable Delights a few weeks ago and have been dying to make it. Today I finally did. The soup is so good, perfect for a day like today. M loved it too.

Chicken Noodle Soup
Found On: Amber’s Delectable Delights
Originally From: elly says opa

2 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion, diced
1.5 cups carrots, sliced
1.5 cups celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 cups homemade or good quality chicken broth or stock I used 8 cups broth 4 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 (heaping) tsp. ground marjoram
1 tsp. thyme
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
4 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
5 oz. (about 1.5 cups) uncooked egg noodles I used about 2 cups of homestyle Amish noodles
fresh ground pepper, to taste

In a large stockpot or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook for about 3 minutes before adding the celery and carrots. Continue cooking a few more minutes before adding the garlic. Stir until fragrant.

Add the chicken, broth, bay leaf, marjoram, thyme, parsley and ground pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then reduce. Simmer lightly for 30 minutes.

Add the noodles* and simmer until cooked, about 8 minutes.

*Note: The noodles will continue to absorb the liquid as leftover sit in the pot/fridge. If you want to prevent your soup from thickening and becoming too chunky, you can reduce the amount of broth slightly and cook the noodles in a separate pot, combining with the soup in your bowl as you are about to eat.

Tastes Like December

It seems like M and I drink a ton of hot chocolate in December. At least a couple times a week we settle into the couch with a big mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows and whip cream, and watch a Christmas movie. Now that the holidays are over our hot chocolate drinking days are behind us. Don't get me wrong, we still enjoy it, just don't drink it was frequently.

I found this recipe last week on Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. Yesterday when I needed a break from homework this was the perfect way to procrastinate. I was nervous about making this for a few reasons: 1) This recipe is from the Peabody, very intimidating for a novice like myself. 2) I've never made a chocolate cake from scratch and 3) I didn't have the correct size pan. Luckily, it turned out very good and brought the husbantor and myself back to the days of December.

Hot Chocolate Cake
from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. You must go here to see her pictures, they're fabulous!

3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup prepared hot chocolate(your favorite kind)
1 TBSP butter
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325F.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until very thick; the batter should fall from the beaters in a thick ribbon. Beat in the vanilla.

While you’re beating the eggs and sugar, heat the hot chocolate and butter in a small saucepan to just simmering. Add the hot chocolate mixture to the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream as you continue beating.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring until they’re just combined.

Pour the batter into a lightly greased 9 inch cake round. I used an 8inch round Bake for 50 minutes, or until the cake is a deep golden brown and starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Remove the cake from the oven and cool it in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the pan.

I topped this off with whip cream and dark chocolate sauce.... Divine!

Chicken Enchilada Dip

Last night M and I went to a birthday party for a friend. It seems like I always make the same old appetizers for parties so I decided to switch it up and bring Julie's Chicken Enchilada Dip. This stuff is delicious and super addicting!

Chicken Enchilada Dip

2 boneless/skinless chicken breast halves, cooked and shredded
2 8oz packages of light cream cheese, softened
4 green onions, chopped
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chopped cilantro (dried is OK)
1 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika

In a non-reactive bowl, combine all ingredients. (I used a food processor so the chicken pieces are really small, making it easier to dip. Or you can just shred with forks if you like the chicken pieces bigger.) Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Serve with tortilla chips - Julie suggests the lime flavored ones. I just served them with regular Tostitos.