Category Archives: original recipes

Sausage and Black Olive Pizza Dip

Sausage and Black Olive Pizza Dip because not everyone loves pepperoni pizza!

Sausage and Black Olive Pizza Dip because not everyone loves pepperoni pizza!

Have you seen “pizza dip” before?  Have you noticed that it almost always includes pepperoni?  Despite the fact that pepperoni is, in fact, one of the more popular varieties of pizza, I know for another fact (because I take very scientific surveys!) that not everyone orders pepperoni on their pizza.  I happen to have a few of those people living right under my roof.  This sausage and black olive pizza dip is for them, for you, for anyone who doesn’t want plain pepperoni anymore. Continue reading

Bacon Cheeseburger Dip

Bacon Cheeseburger Dip: it’s like a fast food burger on a chip!

Bacon Cheeseburger Dip

I have made a lot of good dips lately, but this one has my entire family’s vote as the best one yet.  Seriously, folks, this dip tastes like something you would by in the drive-thru under a pair of arches or giant burger signs.  It has the basic dip ingredients of cheese, cream cheese, etc, but then it has all of the components of a loaded burger, like ketchup, mustard and even a little bit of dill pickle!  Continue reading

Seafood Curry over Spaghetti Squash #BeeHealthy #CG

It’s the new year and with remembering to write 2015 on my checks also comes a wave of personal goals that I want to accomplish.   My family purchased a gym membership in December so we could all do more exercising.  My husband has requested that I serve more fish and seafood for dinner.  For my own personal health, I am stepping closer and closer to a grain-free lifestyle.  With an eye still on my food budget, I am adding meals of seafood without grain by using Bumble Bee® seafood products like their Fancy Lump Crab and Tiny Shrimp Seafood Curry with crab and shrimp over spaghetti squash #BeeHealthy #CG Continue reading

Warm Lit’l Smokies Chile Dip

Warm Lit’l Smokies Chile Dip is another hearty meat and cheese dip, this time with a little kick of chiles, too.

Warm Lit'l Smokies Chile DipI am at it again.  New Year’s isn’t even a week past and I am thinking about eating more dips.  This time, however, these are pure game watching foods.  Football is gearing up for it’s epic final games of the 2014-2015 year and we need munchies.  We need comfort food at it’s best and have I got a couple of wonderful warm dips for you, starting with this Warm Lit’l Smokies Chile Dip.

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Christmas Tree Cinnamon Twists

Turn traditional cinnamon rolls into  memorable Christmas Tree Cinnamon Twists!Christmas Tree Cinnamon TwistsSo many of us serve cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.  I thought it was just my family, but then I married into The Good Guy’s family and realized that it was a much more wide-spread tradition.   As I have grown older and talked with friends about their holidays, it seems like many people serve something sweet while presents are being opened.  So, after I found a photo of a Christmas tree shaped cinnamon roll with no directions, I set about fixing that problem.  This Christmas Tree Cinnamon Twist is sure to put smiles on everyone’s faces!

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Apple Pie Granola

Apple Pie Granola: pecans, dried apples and cinnamon make this granola a special way to start the day.

Apple Pie Granola: pecans, dried apples and cinnamon make this granola a special way to start the day.

In November, I cannot get enough apples.  I eat a fresh one topped with peanut butter every single day while they are in season.  I supplement that regiment with pies, crisps and cakes, but those are mostly for my family.   This year, I decided to add a little extra apple goodness to some homemade granola.  The resulting Apple Pie Granola is something I am going to enjoy all year round because it uses dried apples instead of fresh. Continue reading

Pumpkin Pie Banana Pudding

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

This #thankfullysweet fusion of Pumpkin Pie and Southern Banana Pudding is a one-of-a-kind Autumn dessert that will have you sittin’ up and sayin’ “howdy, ya’ll!”

This fusion of Pumpkin Pie and Southern Banana Pudding is a one-of-a-kind Autumn dessert that will have you sittin' up and sayin' "howdy!" #ThankfullySweet #ad

One of the interesting things I noticed upon moving to Florida three years ago, was that most restaurants serve Banana Pudding for dessert.  In fact, some restaurants only serve Banana Pudding for dessert, especially if they also serve barbecue.  Those two foods go hand and hand in the South.  It was only fitting, therefore, that when coming up with an Autumn dessert, that I chose to make a variation of this very popular local dessert. Continue reading

Roasted Balsamic Broccoli with Mushrooms

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Frozen Food Foundation for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

The University of California, Davis, in partnership with the Frozen Food Foundation, conducted a study that revealed that frozen fruits and vegetables are most often (or generally) nutritionally equal to – and in some cases better than – their fresh counterparts. For the study each fruit and vegetable was analyzed under the following conditions: frozen (analyzed within 24 hours of harvest and after 10 and 90 days of storage in a freezer) and fresh-stored (analyzed within 24 hours of harvest and after three and 10 days of storage in a refrigerator)Roasted Balsamic Broccoli and Mushrooms #frozenvegetables #easysides Continue reading

Simple Dinner: Barbecue Grilled Cheese and Turkey Sandwiches #RollIntoSavings

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

My kids are all about big flavors.  It doesn’t matter if I am making steak or beans, if the dish has enough flavor, they will like it.  With a big family like mine, I try really hard to make meals for less than $20.  It just isn’t feasible to spend oodles of money on big ticket food items for every single dinner.   We are big on budget meals…as long as they taste good.  It almost doesn’t matter what I serve, as long as it is tasty.

 Barbecue Grilled Cheese and Turkey Sandwich: a lot of flavor without having to spend a lot of moola #RollintoSavings #shop Continue reading

#Manwich Sloppy Joe Lasagna Brings the Family to the Table

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Manwich for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Ah school; I love it and I hate it.  I love that the kids are busy, but I hate that the kids are busy.  That busyness floods the family’s schedule with homework, unscheduled trips to stores, school meetings, sports and so much more.  I have to pack up my summer laziness and find my inner organization mojo for another year.  It also means that I need to start making hearty, delicious meals that will bring the family to the table. Manwich is one of my little helpers. With its kid-stopping power, my family is sure to put down their homework, get up from the computer and come in from the yard to sit down to a #Manwich meal, especially if its a sloppy Joe lasagna.

#Manwich Sloppy Joe Lasagna makes an easy weeknight meal Continue reading

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

I have never made a skillet cookie or brownie or cake before. I have seen many all over the internet. I have also seen little mini-skillets sold in stores attached to cookie and brownie mixes. While I have been tempted by these awesome looking treats, I have been reluctant to dig out my cast iron because it involves sitting on the kitchen floor and removing about ten pans that are kept in front of them.Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie Continue reading

Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie

No matter how old I get, I show no signs of outgrowing my love and adoration for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  These days they are served up on toasted gluten free bread with unsweetened peanut butter and all-fruit jam.  As I was making up smoothies this week, I got to thinking that a Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie would taste pretty good.  I was SO right!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie: high in protein, low in sugar Continue reading

Honey Lemon Lime Raspberry Yogurt Pops

How is that title for a delicious mouthful?  I couldn’t shorten it because all of the flavors of honey and lemon and lime, plus the big bites of raspberry swimming in Greek yogurt all needed mentioning.  These are some great snacks: healthy, full of protein and real fruit.  I even got my harshest critic, The Thinker to enjoy them!Honey Lemon Lime Yogurt Pops with Raspberries: a cool and healthy treat Continue reading

No Bake Chocolate Cookie Smoothie

No Bake Chocolate Cookie Smoothie: peanut butter, coconut, chocolate YUMOh how I love smoothies.  They make filling breakfasts and they taste amazing.  However, I draw the line at anything “green.”  I prefer to chew my veggies, thank you very much.  Instead, I opt for protein filled “dessert” type smoothies like this No Bake Chocolate Cookie Smoothie with oatmeal and peanut butter!

No Bake Chocolate Cookie Smoothie: peanut butter, coconut, chocolate YUM

5.0 from 1 reviews
No Bake Chocolate Cookie Smoothie
  • 1½ Tbsp unsweetened peanut butter
  • ⅔ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 cubes ice
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp real maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp gluten-free oats
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve immediately.


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Tried and True Marinated Grilled Pork Chops

Tried and true recipe for grilled pork chops marinated and seasoned to perfection.When my kids asked what meal I’d like for Mother’s day, I said grilled pork chops.  They looked at me a little blankly, because they were hoping I’d say something like frozen pizza and boxed macaroni and cheese.  I rolled my eyes at them and said, ” Don’t worry, I’ll make it myself!”  They let out breaths of relief and said, “Thanks, Mom, you’re the best!  Happy Mother’s Day!”  They let me make my own birthday cakes, too.  Aren’t they great?

Grilled pork chops marinated and seasoned to perfection.

In my mind, there is nothing like marinated, grilled pork chops.  This particular marinade came about because my husband and I realized we had 5 open bottles of mustard in our refrigerator.  Desperate to use up the two Dijon’s , I created this concoction.  It  was such a hit that I had to go out and buy more Dijon.  We eventually ate the 2 bottles of regular  yellow mustard up with hot dogs and hamburgers, so I can proudly say that we only have three open bottles of mustard now.  (don’t ask me to give up my Saucy Mama Smoky Garlic mustard; it stays no matter what).

Tried and True Marinated Grilled Pork Chops
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil (or any kind of oil that doesn't solidify in the fridge)
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 6-8 pork chops
  1. Whisk together the marinade ingredients.
  2. Place pork chops in a glass 9x13 pan.
  3. Pour the marinade over the chops, moving the meat around to coat both sides.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30-60 minutes.
  5. Heat up the grill and cook the chops about 7 minutes on each side (longer if thicker meat, less if thin).


Peach Cobbler Smoothie

Have you noticed healthy foods sound more appealing if they have a dessert in the title?   Case in point: would you rather drink something entitled Rabbit Food Healthy Drink or Carrot Cake Smoothie?  Exactly.  You will totally understand, then if for the next few weeks, I throw some healthy smoothies at you with desserts in their names like today’s Peach Cobbler Smoothie.

Peach Cobbler Smoothie Continue reading

Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin Roast

My son’s motto is “bury me in bacon.”  He would eat it every day, if it weren’t for his mama.  When he sees a package of bacon on the counter and me getting pots and pans out to make dinner, he asks if we are having bacon.  He has learned, however, to follow that question up with, “is it going in something?”  It is the bane of his existence that I use bacon as an ingredient instead of as a focal point.Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin Roast Continue reading