Category Archives: Cooking

Cinnamon Caramel Snack Mix

Last week was SUPER busy at work and I had no time for crafting or cooking. Thankfully this weekend brought 18 inches of snow and plenty of time to hang out inside and create :) I have lots of projects to share but I wanted to start this week off with a new recipe I tried out yesterday. Our friends Sarah and Dan had everyone over to watch the Super Bowl and I made Cinnamon Caramel Snack Mix and Buffalo Chicken Dip. The Cinnamon Caramel Snack Mix was a hit! Here is my recipe version for it:

Cinnamon Caramel Snack Mix

  • 4 c. plain, air popped pop corn
  • 4 c. Corn Chex
  • 2 c. pretzel sticks
  • 2 c. Cheerios
  • 1 can mixed nuts
  • 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 12 oz. bag of chocolate chips

Mix popcorn, Corn Chex, pretzels, Cheerios and nuts in a roaster pan; set aside. Heat sugar, butter and syrup to boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, baking soda and cinnamon. Pour over cereal mixture and stir good. Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread out on wax paper to cool. Melt chocolate over double boiler and drizzle over top of mix. When cooled, break up into smaller pieces and enjoy!


Leave a comment

Filed under Cooking

Apricot Fluff Recipe

    Located in the “Salads and Salad Dressings” section, Apricot Salad (or what my family calls Apricot Fluff), was my sweet treat of choice. This jello-based dessert  is great year round, but my family always makes it as a light refreshing side at holidays. I personally like it when the cream cheese is slightly chunky but if you prefer to whip it into a heavenly apricot state it will melt in your mouth!
    Apricot Salad
    Mrs. Robert Pavone
    As printed in Angels and Friends Favorite RecipesServes: 12

    1 6-ounce package apricot jello
    1 8-ounce package cream cheese (room temperature)
    1 large Cool Whip
    1 No. 2 can crushed pineapple (in juice)

    Mix jello with two cups hot water and the juice of the drained pineapple. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool. Refrigerate until slightly thickened. Add softened cream cheese, pineapple, and Cool Whip. Fold together and pour into 9 x 13 pan or a mold.


Filed under Cooking

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Thursdays have turned into my weekday cooking marathon day. Since my husband is still in law school and has night class, I have my parents over for a nice meal then my good friend Matt comes over to watch some TV… which of course requires snacks. With all of the activity, I have the opportunity to try out lots of new recipes.  Sometimes I come across a keeper… other times I’m sad I wasted the time and money to try out a dud. Last night was a win some, lose some kind of night.

Let’s start with the loser. I tried the Parmesan-Herb Popcorn recipe from the Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate Winter magazine. You think the fact that it called for parmesan cheese and it said that they used Kraft’s to test it would have tipped me off – I’m only a 1/4 Italian but I know that is not real cheese. Then, it called for a 1/4 cup of Italian Seasoning to 20 cups of popcorn, holy! I am not a huge fan of Italian Seasoning on a good day, so I used about half that – but that was STILL too overwhelming. The final product had a weird rosemary flavor and despite the fact that I baked it for an hour with olive oil like the recipe said, all of the cheese still fell off and floated to the bottom of the bowl. My dad took a bite and spit it out. Matt, who never says anything mean about anyone or anything, sealed it with a remark of disapproval. My mom smelled the bowl and passed on a taste test of her own. Clearly this is a not a recipe I will EVER be making again.

Enter original modern lady, Martha Stewart, to save the evening snack scene. Her recipe for Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies was the big winner of the night! I made two modifications to her ingredient list. First, I used salted butter instead of unsalted. (I’m salty by nature, so I don’t mind it.) Second, I used dark chocolate chips. I prepared everything just as her directions outline. The only other issue I had was that it definitely did not take 15 to 18 minutes for these in my oven, the first batch was a lot toastier than I wanted. The rest I cooked for 12 minutes and they had a crunchy outside and warm, gooey center. This giant chocolate chip cookie recipe is a keeper for sure! Perhaps my version of these little gems will make their county fair debut this summer :)

Leave a comment

Filed under Cooking

A Must Make Martha Cake

The original modern lady herself – Martha Stewart – (or more likely one of her many super talented peons) out did herself with this Chocolate Pudding Cake recipe! It is so AMAZING, I can taste the warm, chocolaty goodness just thinking about it.

I found this little gem last night while looking for a quick chocolate dessert. Turns out, Martha has a whole section of tasty treats on her website for people just like me. This particular recipe caught my attention because it only had 6 ingredients, all of which were idling in my kitchen at the time.

There is really nothing you can do to make this recipe any better… except serve it warm… with vanilla  ice cream on top :) I also think it would make for a splendid dinner party dessert if you served them in individual bowls rather than the large 2 qt serving dish Martha Stewart recommends.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cooking

Oven-Fried Chicken and Greek Potatoes – YUM!

I am always on the lookout for yummy new meals and when I found this Oven-Fried Chicken recipe from the Food Network it sounded like a winner. My hunt to find a side to accompany it that would be equally as delicious led me to this Greek Style Potatoes recipe. I prepared the Greek potatoes just as the recipe suggests and they were the BEST potatoes I’ve had in a long time. I made a few changes to the oven-fried chicken, here is my version of the recipe:

Oven-Fried Chicken Recipe

Cook Time: 30 min  Level: Easy   Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 1/3 cups Rice Krispies cereal (leftover from the treats I made the day before)
  • 2 1/4 cups Bagel Chips (plain)
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon hot paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I picked up Stonyfield Organic, the single serve package was the perfect size)
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts


  • Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  • Finely grind the cereal and bagel chips in a food processor and transfer to a large resealable plastic bag. Add 3 teaspoons olive oil, the paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste and toss.
  • Whisk 1/2 cup yogurt and the mustard in a shallow bowl. Add the chicken and turn to coat, then transfer to the bag; seal and shake to coat.
  • Place the chicken on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake until the chicken is crisp and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 160 degrees F, about 30 minutes.

The Food Network recipe adds scallions and a dipping sauce to this. I don’t like scallions so instead I made steamed asparagus as a side and sautéed it with a little bit of butter, salt and garlic before I served it.  The chicken, potatoes and asparagus made a great combination. I also served a Greek salad; definitely a meal worthy to be served at a dinner party.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cooking

Chocolate Dipped Rice Krispies Treats Recipe

I’ve been writing a lot about sewing lately, so I thought I’d take a break and share a sweet treat instead.

If it’s not chocolate, it’s not a dessert for my husband. So I’m always looking for ways to smother my baked goods in chocolaty goodness. Thus, this chocolate dipped Rice Krispies® treats recipe.

Like any loyal Paula Deen lover, I’ve enhanced the original Rice Krisipies® treat recipe with … more butter :) Other than that small change below, this is the same recipe as Kellogg’s. One other tip that makes this easier to work with is to use a non-stick silicone baking mat to press the mixture into the pan you’re using.


4 tablespoons butter
1 package (10 oz, about 40) regular marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies®

1 package (12 oz) Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate chips
Milk (if needed to smooth out chocolate)

Sprinkles or Candy for decoration (optional)


1.) In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

2.) Add Kellogg’s Rice Krispies® cereal. Stir until well coated.

3.) Use a buttered spatula and non-stick silicone baking mat to evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan coated with butter. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares.

4.) Place the chocolate in a simmering double boiler. Stir the chocolate frequently to keep it from burning or overheating. If needed, add in milk to smooth out chocolate.

5.) Dip half of each square into the chocolate. Set on cookie sheet to cool. Decorate with sprinkles or candy pieces immediately if you’re adding them on.

I generally serve these in a big glass cookie jar with a bow around it and a custom tag. They make a great hostess gift or simple birthday present. Rice Krispies Treats® are such a staple from childhood that you can help but smile when you a take a bite of these chocolate treasures.

1 Comment

Filed under Cooking

Recipe for Two Please: Savory Chicken with Peppers

 One thing I’ve learned in the last 6 months is I have a problem with portioning meals for two people. Personally, I think recipes for two are sort of hard to find on the Internet and I’m always up for trying new dishes. What I don’t want to do is try something new for six and get stuck eating it for a week – ugh! That’s why today I was pleasantly surprised to find that Pillsbury has a cooking for two recipe section on their website. Fabulous idea Pillsbury :)

I tried the Savory Chicken with Peppers recipe and I must say… it was pretty tasty. Although, I did make a few modifications. Here is my version of the Savory Chicken with Peppers recipe for two.


  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 tsp. Miller’s Chicken Flavored Soup Base
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small package fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced


In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper (I used a generous amount because I like a lot of flavor). Add chicken to the skillet, then onion slices. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, turning chicken once, until chicken is brown on all sides.

Add beer to skillet. Mix 1 tsp Miller’s Chicken Flavored Soup Base with 1/2 cup warm water and pour into skillet as well. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until chicken is fork-tender and juices run clear.

Stir in bell peppers and mushrooms. Increase heat to medium; cook uncovered 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally until peppers are crisp-tender and mushrooms are cooked through.

NOTE: I served the finished savory chicken and pepper dish over a bed of white rice.


Filed under Cooking