Thursday, October 31, 2013

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

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Chicken Parmesan Meatballs | Delicious seasoned meatballs topped with cheese all on a mountain of spaghetti

Now that I'm finally a fan of chicken parmesan, thanks to PDub, I was super excited to try this chicken parmesan meatball recipe from one of my Secret Recipe Club Group D members, Melissa. I've really come around to being a superb meatball maker. If I am craving meatballs, it's one thing I don't need a recipe to make. However, it is nice to have a recipe to follow sometimes. What I particularly loved about this set of meatballs is the lemon zest. It added so much flavor to the meatballs and is definitely a staple in any meatballs I make from here on out.

Of course, you cannot go wrong when you add cheese to meatballs and make it all melty, ooey, and gooey. PLUS spaghetti. I just love any excuse to eat spaghetti!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes

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No hoagies and grinders here. It's all about the sloppy joes! Check out these Lunch Lady sloppy joes with a cheese stick surprise

I LOVE sloppy joes...but then I married a sloppy joe hater. Well...technically Nick doesn't hate sloppy joes. His mom used to make them, but she called them "hamburger doodles" and he gobbled them up. She's really clever that way! Of course, now that he's older it's hard to nickname foods and get him to eat them.

I saw the cheese stick and the hot dog bun and YES! Hot dog buns just taste better and having a cheese stick surprise that gets all melty and gooey under the meat portion of the meal - *sigh* The kids really loved that it was served up in a hot dog bun and had a cheese stick too! I think that I have convinced Nick to give this one a shot because the sloppy joe part isn't actually too tomato-y or mustard-y. The ancho chili powder gives it a good smokey flavor, as does the Worcestershire. It's kind of an adult version but with a kid-like twist too it. Do you ever really get too old for cheese sticks?

An added note, anyone else singing "Lunch Lady Lounge"?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Secret Recipe Club: Kahlua Brownies

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It's time once again for a Secret Recipe Club reveal! For those interested, the Secret Recipe Club is a group of food bloggers who are secretly assigned another blog to pick, make, and post a recipe on reveal day. This reveal marks my 2 year anniversary with the club - I've never missed a month (other than the months where the group takes off for the holidays) and I've had so much fun. I look forward to the surprise of someone making something from my blog - and making a recipe from someone else's :)

This month I was assigned to Shari's blog, My Judy the Foodie. Shari's blog chronicles learning how to cook through recipes of her late mother, Judy. I love the whole story of Judy and urge you to go read it. When I visited Shari's blog, the Kahlua Brownies were the very first recipe I saw and that was all the convincing I needed.

Kahlua Brownies | Fudgy chocolate brownies with a kick of #Kahlua coffee and rum liqueur

I made a Kahlua dessert for SRC a few months ago - and it was divine! I still had Kahlua leftover since I had only used it for that dessert (that I made twice), so Shari's mom's brownies seemed like the right decision. These brownies are delightfully fudgy which isn't something I typically get with brownies. Normally, I am more on the cakey side of brownies. I made a pan just for me, cut them, and froze them. It's been a few weeks and I take out one when I get a hankering for chocolate. They are just utterly perfect.

Kahlua Brownies | Fudgy chocolate brownies with a kick of #Kahlua coffee and rum liqueur

What do you all prefer: fudgy or cakey?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Crust Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

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Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Crust Philly Cheesesteak Pizza | The perfect #pizza for football season (or any season, really)!

It's becoming much more apparent that my husband and I are known for loving jalapeno popper anything. The other day he sent me a link to a psychology article about the habits of a happy couple - one of them was sharing common interests. To which, I was like enjoying FOOD together. :)

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Crust Philly Cheesesteak Pizza | The perfect #pizza for football season (or any season, really)!

Most Fridays, I make homemade pizza for dinner (sometimes we don't have pizza though, so most, not all).  I make a wicked homemade pizza. Even if I don't follow a recipe and just make what we're all wanting and craving for, it's still so much better (and bigger) than any pizza you could order out.

Nick, unfortunately, had to just look at the pictures for this pizza and talk about how jealous he was that I made it and that it better be the first pizza I make when he gets home. We've got a Philly Cheesesteak Pizza that is a go-to recipe, but I think he was blown away by a jalapeno popper stuffed crust. I really truly don't blame him. I was blown away by the idea too (thank you to the original blogger, even though their blog doesn't exist anymore). This was just the perfect pizza. There's steak and cheese and jalapenos! What more could you ask for?!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

To Die For Carrot Cake

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To Die For Carrot Cake | A classic carrot cake with coconut, pecans, and pineapple topped with cream cheese frosting #cake #dessert

To Die For Carrot Cake | A classic carrot cake with coconut, pecans, and pineapple topped with cream cheese frosting #cake #dessert

I was very excited to try this recipe for carrot cake. I just loved how the original was decorated! Carrot cake is one of my all-time favorite cakes and I was going to make it for my birthday cake in September, but ended up making it in July for our monthly "One-More-Month-in-the-Deployment-Done" cake.

My mom went to school for cake decorating, so when she paid me a compliment at how good the cake looked, I was very happy. I'm still working on my cake decorating skills and I really loved the outlet this particular cake gave. I need to get my hands on some orange food coloring to make carrots for next time I make a carrot cake :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Copycat Cyclone Pasta

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Copycat Cyclone Pasta | #outback #sundriedtomatoes #alfredo

I've never actually been to an Outback Steakhouse restaurant, so I cannot tell you how accurate this recipe is to the one served there. What I can tell you is that I loved it. The sundried tomato alfredo was especially delicious. I think the only thing that bummed me out is that I couldn't find proscuitto when I went to make this recipe - I am really new to proscuitto and adore it!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Classic Patty Melts

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Classic Patty Melts | This is what happens when a hamburger and a grilled cheese sandwich get together and have a baby #sandwich

It has been a long time since I've had a patty melt and I forget how much I love them. It's a grilled cheese burger, basically, and sealing the patty in between two pieces of cheesy bread make for a lot neater of a way to eat a burger. Plus you get grilled cheese and caramelized onions too - which are always welcome, in my mind.

Classic Patty Melts | This is what happens when a hamburger and a grilled cheese sandwich get together and have a baby #sandwich

It's a really simple recipe with really extraordinary flavors. I'm curious to see what kind of variations I can come up with. Does your family eat patty melts? What toppings to you put on them?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Caramel French Toast

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Caramel French Toast | Caramel Macchiato coffee creamer in your coffee and a little in your French toast #whatsyourid

Can I just say how amazed I am at how fast October is flying by? For those of you who don't know, Nick is in the tail end of his third deployment. This one is only 9 months long, thankfully, but with both kids in school and being busy volunteering and doing my bachelor's degree on top of regularly posting on two blogs - I seem to be losing track of days!

I've been working on getting back into making breakfast regularly which is literally the biggest challenge of my day. I'm a night owl and if I make an actual breakfast, it's like a miracle! French toast is a really simple fast breakfast that I don't make often enough. I was really excited to find a recipe that used International Delight coffee creamer - my absolute favorite. You best believe I will be trying many different versions of this recipe with all the amazing flavors that ID offers!

Caramel French Toast | Caramel Macchiato coffee creamer in your coffee and a little in your French toast #whatsyourid


Friday, October 18, 2013

Garlic Toasted Grilled Cheese BLT

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Garlic Toasted Grilled Cheese BLT | What more can you ask for in a sandwich?! #bacon #cheese

I have made many-a BLT and many-a grilled cheese. I've also made grilled cheese BLTs. I've also made garlic toasted grilled cheese sandwiches. So when you combine the three elements together, you know it's magic. And it totally was. Just wow! Next time you go to make a grilled cheese, fancy it up and go all toasted garlic and BLT on it! Promise?



Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Shells

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Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Shells | No more soggy leftover enchiladas with this great #recipe

I have been wanting to try variations of the stuffed shells for a long while. I thought I would try my hand at enchilada stuffed shells first because I love enchiladas, but I hate leftover enchiladas. The soggy tortillas...blehhhh!

I'm also really particular with enchilada sauce - red sauce - ew, green sauce - YUMMY! So I used green enchilada sauce for this recipe. I loved all the different flavors and it was a great excuse to buy a bag of Doritos :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

20-Minute Skillet Lasagna

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20-Minute Skillet Lasagna | A fast, easy, and delicious meal when you're crunched on time

If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that because I hoard recipes...I rarely make recipes twice unless they are really good. Even ones that blow my mind because they are amazing may not get made for another year or two. One day I will run out of recipes to try.

I made this one and forgot to take a picture the first time. I made it again a month later and nearly forgot to take a picture of it again! Ah, so much fun to try to be a consistent food blogger when you're super spaced out half the time.  I'm also starting to run out of daylight for dinner time and it's not quite dark enough to pull out my lightbox for a decent picture. *sigh*

Regardless, what I really love about this recipe is that there's no messing with lasagna noodles, no ricotta cheese, and sour cream! Sour cream boosts red sauces and makes them so decadent. I used that word yesterday, but it applies to this recipe too! This is a great recipe when you are in a rush or you just want to throw something together last minute ;)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cherry Cheesecake Pancakes

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Cherry Cheesecake Pancakes | Fluffy pancakes w/pieces of cheesecake inside topped w/a cream cheese frosting & more than one cherry on top!

Once upon a time, I avoided pancakes. Most of the time was sans griddle. My first one worked for a month and then abruptly quit. If I don't make pancakes in a griddle, I mess them up. All sorts of messed up. I'm not even sure why. My pans are nonstick and I know how to make pancakes. Now that I have a working griddle (that hasn't died on me - I swear I'm just not good with kitchen appliances), I've been exploring many variations of pancakes.

Cherry Cheesecake Pancakes | Fluffy pancakes w/pieces of cheesecake inside topped w/a cream cheese frosting & more than one cherry on top!

These cherry cheesecake pancakes are extremely decadent. If you're looking for a good breakfast, these fluffy pancakes with pieces of real cheesecake inside topped with a cream cheese frosting & more than one cherry on top - are IT!


Monday, October 14, 2013

The Ultimate Stuffed Crust Pizza

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The Ultimate Stuffed Crust Pizza | A meat and cheese stuffed crust pizza that is better than any pizza you can buy!

One of our favorite parts about going back home is the local Papa Murphy's. We almost always enjoy a pizza night with our family when Nick gets block leave and since my husband's family is not teeny tiny, the 5-meat stuffed pizza is usually the one we get. It's this beast of a pizza and it's incredibly filling. This pizza reminds me of that one except that the crust is stuffed instead of the pizza being stuffed. I am a sucker for stuffed crust pizzas and this one is definitely the best one I've had to date.

The salami was a welcome surprise too. I have only made two things with salami in my lifetime. One was a stromboli and, obviously, the other is this pizza. There is something so perfect about the saltiness of the salami. I think the only thing that could make this pizza better is bacon and pineapple. Maybe jalapenos. Or at least, I know bacon and jalapenos would be on the top of Nick's list of things to add.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Cookie Week: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

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I had to end my second cookie week with not only another fantastic snickerdoodle recipe, but a cookie that is very appropriate for the season. While the other cookies were totally addicting/ive, these pumpkin snickerdoodles are mega-turbo addictive. I can't even put into words how good these cookies are, but I'll try.

Like most snickerdoodles, they are soft, fluffy, and melt-in-your-mouth....but add pumpkin. And everything's better with pumpkin...unless, of course, you don't like pumpkin *cough Amber cough* Actually, find a friend or family member or sweet stranger who may be a little creeped out by the fact that you are asking if they like pumpkin or not...find someone who hates pumpkin, offer them a cookie, and then squeal in delight and go all cookie monster on all the cookies you are going to have to eat by yourself since your friend, sister, uncle, person you just met doesn't want one.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles | A must-try for all #pumpkin addicts out there! #cookies


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cookie Week: Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies - made famous by Jenny of Picky Palate #cookies

I have been meaning to make these stuffed cookies since Jenny originally posted them. I've made the s'mores stuffed chocolate chip cookies...but that's it. My next goal is to try out the Reese's cup stuffed cookies - because that sounds like a match made in heaven! Have you made any stuffed chocolate chip cookies??

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Cookie Week: Loaded Peanut Butter Cookies

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I don't really remember eating a lot of peanut butter cookies when I was little, but I do remember being very excited to have them when I did. You know, the traditional criss-cross ones? I have a few classic recipes for peanut butter cookies that I want to test out until I find the perfect one that screams "I ATE THIS IN MY CHILDHOOD"...but I was totally sidetracked by the recipe that also included Reese's candies in it. I mean...classic plain peanut butter or loaded peanut butter...which would you choose?

Naturally, I went down the loaded path. I have no regrets. NONE. Perfect chewy cookie with tons of different textures from the candies. My favorite was when you got a bite with a Reese's cup though. Ahhhh sweet heavenly goodness.
Loaded Peanut Butter Cookies | Classic peanut butter #cookies taken to the EXTREME!! #Reeses

Loaded Peanut Butter Cookies | Classic peanut butter #cookies taken to the EXTREME!! #Reeses


Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Cookie Week: Totally Addicting Snickerdoodles

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I made these a little over 9 months ago when my husband was in the field and the battalion was holding a family day event where all the soldiers got to come in and hang out for most of the day, eat some food, and maybe even grab a quick shower. I made 4 different kinds of cookies the night before and brought them. The snickerdoodles were gone in a flash.

I've looked up addicting and addictive. The word usage has always confused me. Apparently the two are interchangeable. I personally think addictive just sounds better and less wrong in all situations. So mini grammar lesson - use whichever you prefer! They are both right!

Totally Addicting Snickerdoodles | Bet you can't eat just one of these puffy, melt-in-your-mouth #cookies

Totally Addicting Snickerdoodles | Bet you can't eat just one of these puffy, melt-in-your-mouth #cookies

This recipe is slightly different than a recipe I posted in March 2012. I think this one is also slightly better. I don't really know how to explain it. They seem more puffy and light. More melt-in-your-mouth.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Cookie Week: Death by Chocolate Sea Salt Cookies

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I had a ton of cookie recipes saved up and ready to go on the blog, so I decided to do a second cookie week. It's actually been a few months since my last theme week - such a great way to bring it back. There are a ton of great cookies coming up this week, so be prepared :)

The first recipe up is inspired by my newest obsession with sea salt and chocolate together. I took Hayley's recipe and just slightly tweaked it.

Death by Chocolate Sea Salt Cookies - a devil's food cookie packed with 3 different kinds of chocolate and a touch of sea salt #cookies

Death by Chocolate Sea Salt Cookies - a devil's food cookie packed with 3 different kinds of chocolate and a touch of sea salt #cookies

Death by Chocolate Sea Salt Cookies - a devil's food cookie packed with 3 different kinds of chocolate and a touch of sea salt #cookies

These cookies are made with devil's food cake mix and contain not one, not two, but THREE different kinds of chocolate. They are chewy, soft, rich, and addictive. They are probably my all-time favorite cookie. The sea salt is also the perfect touch to offset the sweet chocolate.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Pepper Jack Smothered Chicken

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Pepper Jack Smothered Chicken | Tender, juicy chicken smothered in spicy melted cheese - only 3 ingredients!

Honestly going into this recipe, I didn't expect much. Not that it doesn't sound good or look good or smell good, it's just that there are only three ingredients and none of them are like turbo-awesome ingredients that automatically make everything taste better. I don't know what else to call ingredients when they make everything better...so turbo-awesome it is.

I was incredibly impressed by the flavor and tenderness of the chicken. It was juicy and just seeing the picture now makes my mouth water. Three ingredients is all you need for a good chicken dinner!

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Italian Breakfast Scramble

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Italian Breakfast Scramble | Scrambled eggs have never been so good - veggies, pancetta, and proscuitto included!

If you say Italian, I'm sold. If you tell me veggies and meat in scrambled eggs, I'm done for! This is the perfect way to jazz up plain scrambled eggs. I had only had Proscuitto one time prior to having this breakfast dish - but it's very delicious and I love channeling my inner Giada and pronouncing very Italian-like when I'm buying/cooking with it :) AND this scramble has my favorite veggie, zucchini, in it. So it's like all the best things in one recipe and it makes me want to actually eat breakfast.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

King's Hawaiian French Toast

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King's Hawaiian French Toast | A breakfast made for royalty!

I have never thought to use King's Hawaiian bread for French toast and when I saw the recipe on Tina's blog, I about died. I used to work at Kroger as a teenager and when I got my break, I'd go for either the snack slices of cheese or the mini pack of King's Hawaiian rolls. They are so soft and devilishly delicious. Really, they are the perfect bread for French toast and this French toast is probably the best I've ever had.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Cheesy Potato Burrito {Copycat}

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Cheesy Potato Burrito {Copycat} | Seasoned potatoes with ground beef, nacho cheese, and sour cream #TacoBell | www.fantasticalsharing.com

I think one of my favorite type of food at Taco Bell is their burritos. I need to do a dupe of the Cheesy Double Beef Burrito that was discontinued - you know the one with rice in it! YUM!  Their original bean burrito is good too, but I also love their cheesy potato burrito. It's basically their fiesta potatoes in a beef burrito. It's not too complicated of a recipe, although next time I'm going to try and get smaller diced potatoes. I also want to test out some of the Taco John's potato ole seasoning on it.

What's your favorite food to order at Taco Bell?