Thursday, November 12, 2015


For a recent baby shower, I prepared mini cheesecakes, broccoli salad, and my favorite white cupcakes.  The cheesecakes were a hit! I love that they were bite-sized, so you didn't feel to guilty eating one.. or two... enjoy!

From Kraft Recipes

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar, divided
  • 3 tbsp butter or margarine, melted
  • 3 pkg (8 oz each) cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
Optional topping:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Mix graham cracker crumbs, 2 tbsp sugar and butter.  Press onto bottoms of 18 paper-lined muffin cups, lightly greased.

Beat cream cheese, vanilla and remaining sugar with mixer until blended.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended.  Spoon over crusts.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until centers are almost set.  Cool completely.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

For optional topping: Beat whipping cream with mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form; spread onto cheesecakes.  Top with blueberries and zest.

Slow Cooker Jambalaya

This recipe is great! I used to make jambalaya on the stove, but this has saved me a lot of time, and it is equally as delicious.  I hope you enjoy!

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs 
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 2-inch slices 
large onion, chopped 
large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped 
stalks celery, chopped 
(28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with juice 
cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups chicken broth 
1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole spice mix
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound extralarge shrimp, peeled and deveined 
1 3/4 cups long-grain rice 
Parsley, optional


Combine chicken, sausage, onion, green pepper, celery, tomatoes, garlic, chicken broth, spice mix, thyme and oregano in a large (5-quart) slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 hours.
Add shrimp and rice; raise heat to high and cook for 30 minutes more. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.

Cooking for Baby

Hello!  It's been awhile since I've blogged, but many people have been asking me what I cook or prepare for baby boy.  I thought I would blog what I did 6 months to now to give anyone a little inspiration.

I wanted to do Baby-Led Weaning from the start, but baby boy didn't catch on at 6 months, and I wanted to get some food in him.  I ended up doing a combination of purees and solid foods until he eventually caught on to solid foods at about 8 months.  Amazingly, he had no teeth and was able to gum everything.  Now at 10 months, he only has 2 and still eats only solid foods.  No purees!  Hooray!

This is the book I used to start.  LOVE IT!

I would spend about 2 hours every two weeks steaming, boiling, and blending food.  I used ice cube trays (which are 1 oz each cube) to freeze servings.  I discovered you can also freeze cooked oatmeal, quinoa, barley, and rice.  Once frozen, I popped them into labeled freezer bags.  The great thing about freezing 1 oz servings is when you start to mix flavors, you can just thaw servings together and stir.

Great combinations that baby boy loved:
Chicken & apples
Chicken & carrots
Sweet potato & carrots
Peas & carrots
Blueberry & banana
Blueberry & apples
Peach, mango & spinach
Mango & peas
Beef stew (stew meat, sweet potato, onion)
Squash, apple, & kale
Apples and cinnamon

Now, I still use my ice cube trays to freeze cooked sweet potato pieces, peas, and homemade apple sauce.

For when we were on the go, I used Infantino pouches.  Love them!!

I love that they are freezable, see-through (so you know they are fresh) and easy to fill.  The only down-side is that you have to use their "squeeze station" and they are not reusable.  But for only 5 cents a pouch, I think they are worth it!

Now that he's older, he eats chopped up portions of whatever we are having.  It has made me change our meals slightly to make sure we are serving him a healthy diet.  His favorites are bananas, pears, chili (beans, ground beef, and tomatoes), and grilled chicken pieces.  I do make certain things just for him, and freeze them for easy meals:

Zucchini Tots

Baby Cereal Pancakes (Plus blueberries or strawberries)

Blueberry Muffins (from Organic Purees book)

Homemade yogurt melts: yogurt mixed with a puree and frozen in drops.

Homemade applesauce: apples, cinnamon, and a splash of vanilla

I hope this is helpful!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Make-Ahead Chicken Pot Pie

It's been awhile!  I have been a little busy the past few months (okay, more than a little), but I have still managed to find time to try some new recipes.  I'm experimenting this week with prepping all my meals ahead of time and simply warming them up for dinner.  Night one = success!  Try this delicious chicken pot pie which requires hardly any preparation if you buy jarred gravy.  I used this recipe to also make one for a friend who just had a baby.  I hope you enjoy!

  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
  • Homemade gravy made from homemade chicken stock (I followed this recipe- doubled) or use (2) Campbells chicken/turkey gravy in jar
  • (2) Top & Bottom piece Pie Crust (I purchased pre-made ones in the tins for my freezer cooking, but you can make this homemade too)
  • Frozen Hashbrowns (diced) 16 oz. bag
  • Frozen Peas & Carrots combination 12 oz. bag
  • Onion, ¼ cup diced small (optional )
  • salt & pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  1. Take pie crusts out of package. If you have purchased the ones in the tins take one tin out and thaw on counter. Turn the second tin upside down as it thaws.
  1. While that it thawing mix together in a large bowl the shredded chicken, hashbrowns, peas & carrots, onion (opt) and gravy.
  1. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  1. When pie crust has thawed (15 minutes usually) add pot pie ingredients into pie tin with crust.
  1. Then take the upside down crust and gently place it on top of the pie carefully. Spread it out and pinch the two pie crusts together on the seams.
  1. Poke a few holes with a knife or fork on top of pie.
  1. Cover and FREEZE if you want this as a freezer meal, or place in oven at 350 degrees and cook for 35-45 minutes until top is golden brown and you can hear the inside is bubbling.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chicken and Corn Chowder

I love everything about fall, but mostly the comfort food this time of year.  I'm so fortunate that my husband is not picky, and he loves soups and stews, so that I can make all kinds of new dishes.  I'm stocking my freezer with meals for when baby boy arrives, so I've been able to make some delicious soups and stews lately.  This recipe originally called for turkey instead of chicken, which would be an excellent use of the upcoming leftover turkey from Thanksgiving.  I substituted chicken that was leftover from my Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker recipe, to make this wonderful chowder.  I hope you enjoy!

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter (I used about 1 1/2 sticks to cut down)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 qt chicken stock (homemade)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 lb turkey or chicken meat, cooked
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 russet potatoes, diced
  • 1 (15 oz) can sweet corn, drained
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • shredded cheddar cheese, bacon, green onions for garnish (optional)
  1. In a large stock pot, add your butter and allow to melt.
  2. Dice all the veggies (except corn) and saute for about 7-10 minutes.
  3. Add the flour, mix well, turn down the heat, and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes.  This is your roux, so if the mixture looks too greasy, add a little more flour to take the shine off.
  4. Dice your turkey or chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the mixture.
  5. Pour in the chicken stock, mix well to get incorporated.
  6. Add the milk and corn, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 30-45 minutes.  If the chowder appears too thick, add milk, water,  or stock.
  7. Add the heavy cream right before serving, and salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Top with cheese, green onions, and bacon for garnish, if desired.

Found here, through Pinterest!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

DIY Carseat Cover

My friend circle has had a baby explosion in the last year (10+ babies born and counting!).  I've become a self-proclaimed baby shower expert, and enjoyed making personalized gifts for each baby.  I've made this type of cover a few times now, but this is the first time I've added a trim.  It wasn't intentional, to be honest, but after not cutting the top material correctly, I had to add material to the bottom.  I followed the tutorial here.  You can do it!  Super easy even for the beginner seamstress.  

Creamy Spinach Tomato Tortellini

I made this wonderful pasta dish last week, so I thought I'd share.  Sorry there's no picture; I've seen it all over Pinterest lately.  I hope you enjoy!

  • 1 bag regular sized Barilla three cheese tortellini (8 oz) or 16 oz fresh tortellini in the refrigerated section of your grocery store
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon onion flakes
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Begin by boiling your tortellini noodles until they are al dente. Follow thedirections on the bag for boiling time.
  2. While the tortellini is boiling, chop the spinach roughly.
  3. Heat a large skillet using medium heat and put the two teaspoons of minced garlic into it. Sautee it briefly until fragrant, about thirty seconds or so.
  4. Add into the skillet the petite diced tomatoes (undrained), spinach, salt, pepper, dried basil, and onion flakes.
  5. Cook and stir over medium high heat until the mixture begins to bubble.
  6. In another bowl, combine the flour and half-and-half. Whisk until fairly smooth.
  7. Add the creamy mixture into the the skillet along with the parmesan cheese.
  8. Heat through and reduce the heat to medium low and continue to stir and cook until it thickens, about 5 minutes.
  9. Add the drained tortellini and mix together gently.
  10. Serve and enjoy!