Small Batch, One Bowl, Perfect Muffins

Small batch, one bowl, made from scratch perfect muffins! Simple ingredients and only take a few minutes to make!

I’m a huge fan of breakfast, it’s easily my favorite meal of the day.  My mom jokes that when I was a kid I would go to bed asking what was for breakfast the next morning.  I’m also a huge fan of quick, easy recipes that only take one bowl and come out perfect every time.  These Perfect Muffins are just that! …

Read More »

Lasagna Soup

Delicious Lasagna Soup- tastes just like the real thing, with half the effort!

For the entire month of April, I’ve been trying to utilize my slow cooker more and maximize my time in the evenings.  We’ve had some delicious meals so far- like BBQ Chicken Nachos and Southwest Chicken.  I originally planned to make this Lasagna Soup in the slow cooker, but decided to just make it on the stove instead.  Sometimes when you make pasta dishes in the slow cooker the texture can be a bit off, so it’s often recommended to cook the pasta separately.  Since I would have to brown the ground beef and cook the pasta separately (and broil the cheese!), it just didn’t make sense for me to use the slow cooker.

Delicious Lasagna Soup- tastes just like the real thing, with half the effort!

This soup was a big hit!  My husband loved it and my oldest ate a big bowl of it.  It’s a small extra step to broil the cheese in the oven before serving, but so worth it.  Look at that cheesy goodness.  It really does taste just like lasagna, without all the effort of layering.

Delicious Lasagna Soup- tastes just like the real thing, with half the effort!

Another secret to perfect, strings of cheese in every bite is to use sliced cheese instead of shredded.  This would be delicious served in a bread bowl.  It’s a hearty soup, but still nice for summer, especially with a light, fresh salad.

Delicious Lasagna Soup- tastes just like the real thing, with half the effort!

Lasagna Soup
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 32oz beef broth
  • 2 14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 15oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups broken lasagna noodles
  • Sliced mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Brown the ground beef with onions and garlic; drain well.
  2. Add the brown sugar, beef broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add noodles and cook until noodles are tender.
  5. When ready to serve, ladle the soup into oven safe bowls and top with mozzarella.
  6. Broil soups, 6-inches from heat, 3 to 4 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly.
Notes
Adapted from Paula Deen: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/tastes-like-lasagna-soup-recipe.html

 

emily_grace_signature3

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Nachos

The BEST Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Nachos. Such an easy weeknight meal.

I’ve been trying to incorporate more slow cooker meals into our weekly meal plans lately.  Partly because I’ve been in a dinner rut and feel like I’m making the same things every week, and partly because the evenings can get pretty hectic around here so I’ve been trying to free up some time.  Tonight’s meal was so easy and so delicious, I knew I had to post it right away.  If I made these Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Nachos week after week I don’t think anyone in my family would complain!

The BEST Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Nachos. Such an easy weeknight meal.

I always love using my slow cooker, but I especially love it when the recipe is one you can just dump in and walk away.  Toss three ingredients in there, no chopping or prepping, and cook on low for 4-6 hours.  DONE!  Layer your nachos in a skillet or on a baking sheet and pop in the oven just long enough for the cheese to melt into delicousness.  I wish we had some cilantro and red onion on hand tonight because that would have taken this recipe over the top.

The BEST Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Nachos. Such an easy weeknight meal.

My husband isn’t a big fan of BBQ flavors- he likes it when it makes sense (like for actual BBQ or ribs) but something like grilled BBQ chicken isn’t his favorite.  He was teasing that the whole house smelled like BBQ while this was cooking (Heaven) but we were both very surprised at the end result.  It’s not a -POW- BBQ flavor like you might expect, it’s a very subtle, smoky, sweet flavor.  My husband, my oldest, and I ate the entire skillet in no time flat.

We obviously served this for dinner, but this would be a perfect appetizer for a game day party or get together. 

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Nachos
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breast
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp Chipotle sauce (found in the Hispanic/Ethnic food section)
  • 8oz Chipotle Cheddar cheese (or Sharp White), shredded
  • Tortilla chips
  • Cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Red onion, sliced thin
  • Jalapeno pepper, sliced
Instructions
  1. Place your chicken, BBQ sauce, and Chipotle sauce in the slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours.
  2. When fully cooked, shred with a fork (in the slow cooker, with all the juices).
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  4. Fully cover a skillet or baking sheet lined with parchment paper with a layer of chips.
  5. Top the chips with chicken and cheese.
  6. Arrange another layer of chips, chicken, and cheese.
  7. Top with jalapeno, onion, and cilantro.
  8. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.

 

emily_grace_signature3

Creamy Havarti and Apricot Grilled Cheese

Mild, creamy havarti cheese pairs perfectly with tart apricot for a delicious grilled cheese sandwich

Did you know that April is National Grilled Cheese Month?  We are big fans of grilled cheese sandwiches in my house.  I can pretty much guarantee that I always have the ingredients on hand, and I know that my kiddos will always gobble it up when I make it.  We especially love grilled cheese sandwiches and soup for lunch on rainy days.

I decided to make a twist on the classic, with this sweet Creamy Havarti and Apricot Grilled Cheese.  The mild, creamy Arla Dofino Havarti pairs perfectly with tangy, slightly tart apricot preserves.  This would have also been delicious with some prosciutto or even some crispy bacon!

Mild, creamy havarti cheese pairs perfectly with tart apricot for a delicious grilled cheese sandwich

 This sandwich was amazing.  I love the sweet take on a savory favorite, with the creamy Havarti and bright flavors of Summer.  I could almost imagine myself at a beautiful outdoor picnic when I was enjoying it.

Creamy Havarti and Apricot Grilled Cheese
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 slices (or 2oz) Arla Dofino Havarti
  • 2 slices Eureka! Organic Bread
  • 1 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1-2 tbsp apricot preserves
Instructions
  1. Butter one side of each slice of bread.
  2. Spread apricot preserve on the other side of each slice of bread.
  3. Add one slice of bread, butter side down, to a skillet over medium heat.
  4. Top with cheese and other slice of bread, butter side up.
  5. Allow to cook until bread is golden.
  6. Flip, and allow to cook until other slice of bread is golden and cheese is melted.

 

Want to try it yourself? I’m giving away a $15 gift card so you can go buy the ingredients to make your own! Simply go to this website and tell me in the comments below which is your favorite grilled cheese recipe from those featured! I’ll pick a winner April 21! (US Residents only. Winner must be 18+ years.)

**If you like grilled cheese as much as I do, join me Wednesday April 8 from 8-9pm EST on Twitter for a Twitter Party!

How the Twitter Party works:
• Login into Twitter on Wednesday, April 8 from 8-9pm EST
• Follow @ArlaDofino, @TwoPeasandPod and @FoodieCrush
• Search for the hashtag #GooeyGoodness
• Join the conversation! Tweet using #GooeyGoodness so others see your comments!

twitter

emily_grace_signature3

Perfect Yeast Rolls

Perfect yeast dinner rolls

My husband makes these rolls for us every time we host special occasions at our house, or when I actually remember to remind him early enough for dinner. :)  They may not be quick 30 minute dinner rolls, but stick with me, they are worth the time!

Perfect yeast dinner rolls

These rolls need time to rise to perfection, but they don’t require a lot of fuss.  The result is a fluffy, yeasty, delicious roll.  This recipe can easily be doubled if you need to make a big batch for a crowd.  We always end up with a few extra, and they are delicious the next morning with sausage and gravy.  I like to sneak one fresh from the oven and drizzle it with honey.  YUM.

Perfect yeast dinner rolls

Perfect Yeast Rolls
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 18
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3½ cups flour, more as needed
Instructions
  1. Heat the milk in the microwave for one minute, stirring at 30 seconds.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the milk, let sit undisturbed for five minutes.
  3. Add sugar, salt, butter, and egg. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Gradually mix in the flour. Add additional flour if needed. The dough should no longer be sticky, but not dry.
  5. Cover; let stand one hour.
  6. Punch the dough down, cover, let stand another hour in a warm place.
  7. Punch the dough down again, cover, let stand another hour in a warm place.
  8. Punch the dough down, and pinch off into 18 equal portions. Should be slightly larger than a golf ball. Roll each portion of dough into a ball.
  9. Place in a greased 13x9 baking dish.
  10. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.

 

If you enjoy searching for recipes on Pinterest, be sure to check out a new site just for recipes called Yummly.  You can YUM recipes all over the web and save them to your recipe collections. Be sure to YUM my recipes and check out my collection on Yummly.

 

emily_grace_signature3

Garlic Tomato Basil Bruschetta

Delicious Garlic Tomato Basil Bruschetta- perfect summer appetizer

I’m hosting an Essential Oils party at my house this weekend and I’ve been trying to think of small bites and easy appetizers to serve.  It’s starting to warm up here in Texas (finally!) and I’m beyond ready for summer flavors, like my Strawberry Bread and Lemon Bars.  I wanted to serve some savory options as well, and these small, colorful snacking tomatoes were just begging to be used.

Delicious Garlic Tomato Basil Bruschetta- perfect summer appetizer

I’m all about making life easier, especially when it comes to prepping before parties.  I found this Mezzetta Everything Spread on the condiments aisle and thought it would be perfect for bruschetta!  Instead of taking the time to toast and mince my own garlic, this Mezzetta Savory Garlic spread does the trick!  This versatile spread will be handy to have in the ‘fridge to instantly add flavor to a variety of meals on busy weeknights as well.  Just mix it, toss it, blend it, stir it, spread it, top it, or dip it!

Delicious Garlic Tomato Basil Bruschetta- perfect summer appetizer

Mezzetta Everything Spread is now available in four mouthwatering flavors, Garlic & Parmesan, Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil, Hot Chili Pepper, and Olive, Garlic & Parmesan.  To find a store location near you or for more recipes visit Mezzetta.

Garlic Tomato Basil Bruschetta
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 jar Mezzetta Savory Garlic Everything Spread
  • 1 pint Red Grape Tomatoes, Halved Lengthwise
  • 1 pint Yellow Grape Tomatoes, Halved Lengthwise
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 16 whole Basil Leaves (chiffonade)
  • Salt And Pepper To Taste
  • 1 whole Baguette
  • 8 Tablespoons Butter
Instructions
  1. Add tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, basil, salt and pepper to a small mixing bowl.
  2. Toss gently to coat, cover, and set in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
  3. Cut the baguette into diagonal slices.
  4. Melt half of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and toast both sides of half of the baguette.
  5. Repeat with the remaining butter and baguette.
  6. When ready to serve, spread about 1 teaspoon of Everything Spread on each piece of bread.
  7. Top each slice with a generous spoonful of the tomato basil mixture.

 

Enter to win a Gift Basket from Mezzetta- Visit this link and comment below with which Everything Spread you are most excited to try.  (Giveaway ends 4/7/15, US residents only).  You can also get a second chance to win by visiting Mezzetta and taking a short survey.

emily_grace_signature3

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The International Housewares Association. All opinions are 100% mine.

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

I’m posting on the Inspired Home site today.

My husband isn’t a big fan of sweets. Usually when I bake a big batch of cupcakes or other dessert, he just loads it up and takes it to the fire station. My husband does occasionally like to enjoy a beer- especially craft beers- so I thought maybe he would be interested in cupcakes if I added a special ingredient to them. These Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner. Get the recipe on the Inspired Home site here.

Visit Sponsors Site

 

emily_grace_signature3

Bird Nest Easter Cookies

Today’s post is sponsored by Nestle Toll House, but my love for their Rolled & Ready Cookie Dough Sheets is all my own!

Use pre-made icing and refrigerated cookie dough to make these easy and adorable bird nest cookies! #Easter

These Bird Nest Easter Cookies just make me happy every time I look at them.  I love the bright colors, and I love how EASY they were to make.  All you need is some yummy Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and pre-made icing to make these adorable little treats.

Use pre-made icing and refrigerated cookie dough to make these easy and adorable bird nest cookies! #Easter

When I was growing up my Mom would make Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies for me regularly after school.  Looking back, she was probably bribing me with hot cookies so I would sit and tell her about my day.  Well played, Mom.  Needless to say, now that I am a Mom, Nestlé Toll House Refrigerated Cookie Dough has become a staple in my refrigerator.  The refrigerated dough makes it so convenient to just pop them into the oven a few at a time.

I thought it would be fun to dress up some cookies with a little Easter spirit for my girls.  I used pre-made icing and coconut tinted with green food coloring to create little bird nests for little marshmallow birds.  Just open the package of icing and mix in 2-3 drops of green food coloring with a knife.  Place 4-6oz of shredded coconut in a bowl with 3-4 drops of green food coloring and mix well with a fork.  Top each Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie (baked as directed on the package) with icing and coconut.  Set a cute little sugary marshmallow bird on top and voila!  These would be so cute for an Easter brunch or get together.

Use pre-made icing and refrigerated cookie dough to make these easy and adorable bird nest cookies! #Easter

My kiddos loved helping me make these easy Bird Nest Easter Cookies.  I love keeping products like this on hand that help me get creative in the kitchen, and make it easier to include little helpers.  Sophia loved breaking apart the cookies to bake them and topping each little nest with a bird.  For more Springtime baking ideas visit Nestlé Toll House and check out their new Rolled & Ready Cookie Dough Sheets

emily_grace_signature3

Hearty Chili with Beans

A hearty chili recipe with beef and beans #recipe #chili

We are a house divided when it comes to chili.  I am a don’t you dare put beans in my chili kind of person while my husband is the more beans, more better type.  I also like a strong kick of chili powder and a nice heat, but James prefers a subtle chili flavor and even more subtle heat.  (I’ve shared my homemade chili recipe here.)  I asked on my Facebook page a few weeks ago: Chili with Beans or Chili with No Beans?  I couldn’t believe the overwhelming response.  It was a landslide.  Apparently, I am the minority.  

A hearty chili recipe with beef and beans #recipe #chili

Imagine my surprise when my husband made this hearty chili with beans the other night and I ate TWO bowls.  I barely eat refried beans with my Mexican food, and I honestly can’t even tell you if I’ve ever eaten a pinto bean before.  The texture and spice of this chili are spot on.  It’s loaded with protein and fiber, and a delicious meal for a cold winter night.  Not to mention it serves a ton!  If you don’t plan to eat all of it, freeze some right away for another time.  My Mom likes to always keep small batches of chili in the freezer ready to go to add to a meal or throw on some hot dogs.

A hearty chili recipe with beef and beans #recipe #chili

Hearty Chili with Beans
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 lbs round roast
  • 2 15oz cans Ranch Style Beans
  • 2 16oz cans Pinto Beans
  • 2 10oz cans Original Rotel
  • 2 15oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1.5 tbsp chili powder
Instructions
  1. Cut the meat into bite sized pieces and trim the fat, if any.
  2. Cook the meat with the diced onion in a large stock pot until meat is browned and onion are soft; drain.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  4. Cook on low for four hours, or until meat is tender.

This chili was filling all on it’s own, but I’m hoping next time he makes some of my buttermilk cornbread to go with it! 

cornbread

emily_grace_signature3

Southwest Chili Mac

Southwest Chili Mac- delicious one pot dinner! #recipe

We’ve been in a serious dinner rut lately.  I’ve been slacking with my meal planning and my grocery budget has been suffering because of it.  Pasta is usually my go-to meal when I can’t come up with anything because it’s fast and fairly cheap.  James prefers that the meal includes some kind of protein though.  This Southwest Chili Mac is hearty and perfect for a cold night.

Southwest Chili Mac- delicious one pot dinner! #recipe

This recipe has quickly worked it’s way into our regular rotation.  I especially love that it’s a one pot meal and ready in under thirty minutes.  It’s cheesy and full of flavor.  Cumin and chili powder are two of my favorite spices to cook with, so this is right up my alley but still subtle enough for the kiddos.  I love to serve it with a big, crusty loaf of French bread… because, well, carbs.  So good.

Southwest Chili Mac- delicious one pot dinner! #recipe

Southwest Chili Mac
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1½ cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook ground beef until fully cooked. Drain if necessary.
  2. Add the spices to the meat and stir well.
  3. Add the tomatoes and bring to a slight boil.
  4. Add the macaroni; mix well.
  5. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, until noodles are tender.
  6. Stir in 1 cup of cheese, and top with remaining cheese.
  7. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.

 

Looking for more pasta recipes?

emily_grace_signature3