Friday, November 30, 2012

Gumbo with Chicken Sausage, and Shrimp

By now you know about my obsession errr love for soup. You also know that my dear boyfriend does not share this love with me. In fact it has gotten to the point that I don't even mention I am making soup until the last minute. That way he can't try to figure out something else to make for dinner! This little dilemma has led me to try to compromise a bit here and there. There either needs to be meat in the soup or I need to make something else on the side. 

Once I let this idea sink in (and stopped pouting because I wanted things to just go my way), I realized this wasn't such a bad idea. I have been asked for more sandwich recipes, and soup and sandwiches is a nice casual dinner or lunch idea right? I mean I love going out and getting the soup and sandwich combos. So I started writing ideas and looking online and through my books/magazines for even more. Gumbo just popped into my head as a great place to start. I have been wanting to make it for one, and there is a ton of meat in it. I mean how could he argue with a meal that has chicken, sausage, and shrimp in it? Right, he can't!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Maple Bourbon Pork Chops and Whipped Potatoes with Apples and Onions

Maple Bourbon Pork Chops and Whipped Potatoes with Apples and Onions

Do you ever have those moments when you are doing something and out of the blue ideas for something else just pop into your head? This has been happening to me quite often lately. When I am driving ideas for a recipe will just BANG hit me,which is awesome right? Well it would be if my ADD wasn't so dang bad. I mean just driving is a serious challenge for me at times. I have been known to be driving somewhere that I have been to a million times before, and at some point take the wrong exit on the freeway or turn down a wrong road. It is bad enough when I am alone, but when someone is with me it is a tad bit embarrassing! SO when these ideas pop into my head I have to say the ingredient list out loud over and over to try and help me remember. Again, not so bad when you are alone but if you have passengers they really think about exiting the car once it slows down to about 30 MPH!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Parker House Rolls with Sea Salt

Today is a bit of a rough one for me because it is the first anniversary of my Dad's death. I knew it would be hard, and it is. Kevin says that I have to be happy that he isn't here and sick anymore, and I am. But I would sure give anything to bring him back healthy. He was a wonderful man and a terrific supportive father. I know he would be so proud of me for what I am doing. I miss you Dad!!!

Ok, I was not trying to be Debbie Downer with that. The reason I told you is so you would understand the meaning behind this post. I mean I know I had talked over and over about wanting to tackle (and win) bread making. So far I have made pizza dough twice and both times it has been fantastic. But bread? Not so much. Up until this try I was 0 for 3. I mean I have just seriously been getting my butt kicked by a bowl full of dough! It is really quite sad when you think about it. I mean come on Bobbi, you can make pizza dough...sheesh!!
So when I started planning Thanksgiving I knew I was going to give the bread making one more shot. Why you ask? Oh and you aren't the first to ask, Kevin thought I was completely insane for trying it when I was already stressed out from planning a meal for 14 people. The answer? I am completely insane.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

Well, we made it through Thanksgiving with very little stress actually. I was very proud of myself. I am usually a wreck by the big day worrying about the food coming out right and on time, everyone being comfortable and entertained, etc. 

You know the feeling, by the time dinner is ready you are so stressed out you can't eat and want to go hide with a bottle of wine, or two! Truly I expected to lose my mind because I had 12 people here and most of them were my son's girlfriend's family. They have been together for almost a year now, but the families have only gotten together a handful of times, so it was a true test of my sanity (and I always choke on test day).

Monday, November 26, 2012

Manic Monday Party #19

Hi everyone and Happy Manic Monday! "Tis the season, at least at our house, to decorate the house as bright and crazy for Christmas as possible. Oh nothing like this picture, but I have been know to come very close. Below is what I did to the apartment I was living in a few years ago. The neighbor used to bring her daughter by every time I decorated (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas) because she said it  made her smile.

It is also "Cyber Monday" so I am multi tasking today, decorate, work, shop. Crazy manic day here for sure, and I still have to figure out what to make for dinner. Kevin is a bit tired of Thanksgiving leftovers (although he may still be getting some). But I could definitely use some last minute ideas for a quick meal! So let's get to our wonderful features from last weeks party!!

Smoky Red Shredded Chicken Enchiladas from Sumptuous Spoonfuls  

Cranberry-Cheddar Quick Bread from What's Cooking?

What a wonderful group of recipes we had last week! It was hard to find the top three because everyone loved everything!! I can't wait to see what you all come up with this week.

So let's get down to business. If I have ever needed some manic Monday ideas today is the day so load me up with your last minute meal ideas!! 

As usual, the rules are;

Link up the picture to the post not your main blog page
Please link back to this page on your blog post.
Make sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Pintrest. I will be tweeting, pinning, and posting your recipes all week long. 

Leave up to 3 recipes that will help with the last minute Manic Monday scramble, or fit in with the weekly subcategory if applicable.

Please grab one of my buttons from above or the side bar and add it to your post or a special linky party page if you have one.

Don't forget to leave me a comment. I love to know who is here and spread the word, the more the merrier!!

Remember to vote for your favorites and please don't forget to click on the other recipes and show them some foodie love too!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New York Style Cheesecake Cupcakes

This year I have vowed to overcome my baking issues. Oh don't get me wrong, I can bake a mean chocolate chip cookie, but anything more complicated than that and I have trouble. And bread? Oy don't even get me started on my issues with bread! But like I said, I am determined to conquer this. I am even planning on making homemade Parker rolls for Thanksgiving *crossing fingers* so pray for me, I know I am going to need it!!

I found these cupcakes on Pintrest. There were several blogs that had made them, so I picked the one that had the prettiest picture, hey you eat with your eyes first right? I know when I see a picture that makes me drool that it has to be a recipe I can at least work with. I just need to get better with my photography.

The family has been pretty happy with my baking plans though. I have only, knock on wood, messed up one batch of cookies so that is impressive for me. Plus the goodies I have made are disappearing very quickly. Now I am getting phone calls asking what I am making next. Yay me!!

Now, about these little dreams, all I can say is YUM! I love cheesecake, it is hands down one of my favorite desserts, my Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake being my all time fave, and these did not disappoint my cheesecake sweet tooth one bit! Seth and Heather both said they were fantastic and Kevin, well where do you think the rest of the cupcakes went? Another thing is that the recipe is super easy. I mean if I can do it without muttering a few colorful phrases under my breath then you know you can do it!!

New York Style Cheesecake Cupcakes
originally found on My Favorite Things

1 cup of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup 
whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 graham cracker pie crust, finely crushed
cream cheese frosting  (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

Add the milk and vanilla and beat on medium speed until all the ingredients are well mixed, make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.

Add the egg to the batter and beat well for a few minutes.
Spoon the batter until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until light golden and the cake tops bounce back when touched. A tooth pick inserted in the center should come out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan before placing on a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.

When the cupcakes are cold, frost them and finish with a sprinkling of crumbled graham cracker pie crust.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, cold

Beat the confectioners' sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.

Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated.

Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy. This should take at least five minutes. However, be careful not to over beat as the frosting can quickly become runny.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

I know today is supposed to be Tinsel Tuesday, but I had several of my Facebook followers ask for this recipe when they found out I was making it yesterday. This year I am trying to get as many things done ahead of time so I am not in a time crunch on Thanksgiving day. I am entertaining my son's girlfriend's family, so there will be anywhere from 10 to 15 people here at the house. Small kitchen + lots of people = I need to try to de-stress as much as possible! I have a 26 pound bird to cook so that has me stressed out enough!

The whole time I was cooking up this gravy Kevin kept saying "Wow it smells good in here" and it did. It smelled like Thanksgiving in my kitchen! Talk about  making you hungry? I wanted my turkey right then and there. That is the downside of make ahead gravy. This recipe takes a bit of time but creates such a rich flavorful gravy it is worth it!! Kevin and I were dipping bread in the remnants at the bottom of the pot!! I think we could have easily made that dinner had there been much more in the pan (the gravy in the rubbermaid container was off limits!).

Monday, November 19, 2012

Manic Monday Party #18 Happy Thanksgiving!!

WOW, it is finally here. 3 more days and we will all be celebrating with our families. The stress of cooking will be passed and many of us will be in a turkey coma!! But when it comes to the next day we are faced with what to do with all of the leftover food. It is a perfect way to have some quick meals planned out. 

You can of course post whatever recipe you would like to share for Manic Monday, but this weeks sub category is What to do with Thanksgiving Leftovers. Do you have a family favorite, something that you always make with the leftovers every year? Or how about a new fresh idea to help people make some tasty treats out of that left over Turkey Day spread? Let's share them here!!

First lets share the top three posts from last weeks party....

BOOZIE BUNDT from Crumbs in My Moustachio

Pumpkin Pound Cake from Feed Your Soul

Sweet Potato, Chicken, and Apple Hash from Inspired by

There were so many great recipes shared for the last party. I want to thank you all so much! It the biggest party yet! But I know the best is to come because we know how to party right?

So let's get down to business....

Link up the picture to the post not your main blog page
Please link back to this page on your blog post.
Make sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Pintrest. I will be tweeting, pinning, and posting your recipes all week long. 

Leave up to 3 recipes that will help with the last minute Manic Monday scramble, or fit in with the weekly subcategory .

It would be really nice if you could grab one of my buttons from above or the side bar and add it to your post or a special linky party page if you have one.

Please leave me a comment. I love to know who is here and spread the word, the more the merrier!!

Remember to vote for your favorites and please don't forget to click on the other recipes and show them some foodie love!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Leftover Turkey Soup for What to do with #Thanksgiving #Leftovers #SundaySupper

I love the holidays. All of the food, family, and fun. One of the things I especially love though is leftovers! I like to take the next few days and use them in tons of different ways. Leftover turkey sandwiches, Turkey Croquets, Turkey Casseroles, etc. But one of the families all time favorites is for me to make my turkey soup.

I love curling up with a big bowl of this soup the day after Thanksgiving. Everyone is still pretty full and I am tired from all of the cooking, so it usually ends up a family movie night, and more often than not the movie is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. We all love that movie and it just kicks off Christmas for us. I give everyone a day off on Friday but I will have them out slaving away on Saturday putting up Christmas decorations LOL I mean I did feed them right? 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sausage and White Bean Soup

Yesterday was a cold, drizzly, windy day here in Western Washington. I know you are thinking "cold, drizzly, and windy in Washington? NO WAY!" But yes dear friends, it was miserable. On top of mother nature bringing me down, I felt like I was coming down with a cold. I wanted to curl up under the covers in my jammies, I wanted to watch cheesy 80's movies,I wanted my Mommy! But my jammies were in the laundry, and there were no 80's movies on TV so I knew I would have to settle with something warm and yummy in my tummy. I took up the challenge and I ransacked my pantry. I was very happy with what I found.

Ahhh soup, glorious soup. As you all know I am a lover of all things "soupish". Stews, Chowders, even Chili's make me such a happy camper during the cold dreary months here in the Pacific Northwest. Which by the way last pretty much from October to July so I have tons of soup days!

I know I have mentioned that Kevin does not share this love of mine. In fact it is quite the opposite. He looks at soup as maybe and appetizer? He is looking for the real meal that goes with it. Many a time he has to walk away disappointed, or with a grilled cheese sandwich to supplement his meal experience. 

This evening though was much different though my friends. On this evening he was not only perfectly content with the idea of this soup as the main meal, he went back for seconds and thirds!! I was afraid to get between him and the pot for fear of being stabbed with his spoon!!! I have to agree though, this really is one of my favorite soups. You have the meatiness of the sausage, the creamy white beans, and just enough heat to make your mouth warm and tingly but it doesn't blow the top off of your head. 

When a soup warms me, fills me up, and makes me want to curl up on the couch and purr with contentment, well I am just a happy happy camper!!

Sausage and White Bean Soup

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage
1 large sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
4 stalks of celery with leaves, diced
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
3 teaspoons dried oregano
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1 cup dry white wine
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 15-ounce cans cannellini beans 
1 quart chicken stock

In a deep soup pot heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and  brown well, breaking it up into little bits. Remove sausage from pot and reserve.

To the pot add the remaining olive oil, onions, garlic, chili peppers, celery, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add the white wine, scrapping the bottom of the pan to release any brown bits there might be. Return the sausage to the pot. Add the crushed tomatoes, cannellini beans, and chicken stock.

Bring to a boil, once boiling reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot and let it cook for 30 mins stirring occasionally.


Comments have been close to this post thanks to spammer (Thanks a lot guys!) Please feel free to contact me via my Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Roasted Ranch Potatoes

Do you sometimes get stumped about what to make for a side dish? I know I sure do. I always defer to potatoes or rice when that happens. But potatoes and rice can get pretty boring right? Sometimes I come up with ideas right off the top of my head, other times I head to my good old standby Pintrest!! I have a TON of things pinned so there is plenty of things to choose from. This was one of the times my creative juices were just not flowing. I fired up the computer, popped on to Pintrest, and found this dish that I had saved as one I wanted to work on.

When I say "work on" I mean I find dishes that sounds awesome to me but I want to lighten them up maybe, or use some different ingredients. This was one I wanted to lighten up. I was a bit nervous about taking out all of the "good stuff". I thought maybe it would lose the flavor. But boy was I wrong! There is the familiar zip of Ranch dressing but a lighter version. YAY!!! A winner!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tinsel Tuesday - Chai Sugar Cookies

Happy "Tinsel" Tuesday my friends. Yes, I know it is usually Tipsy Tuesday but I have decided to change that up just a bit for the Holidays. So Tuesday will be reserved for holiday themed posts. Cookies, cakes, side dishes, and yes, even drinks. Anything that puts you in a holiday state of mind.

I haven't really baked in about 5 years. In 2007 my daughter and I lived in a small apartment in San Diego. It had 4 apartments in each block of apartments. So that year I decided I would bake cookies for all of my neighbors and friends. I had bought countless magazines and cookie cookbooks, watched Food Network, and made notes like a crazy woman whenever I found anything cookie-ish. 

My daughter was on a Chai Tea Latte kick, so when she saw these beauties she begged me to make them. I actually made these and Chai Shortbread cookies. If you all are interested I will make those as well. They are great with tea or coffee!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Manic Monday Party #17

Ahhhh yes, Monday is here again. That pesky day that can send us all into a head spin, trying to balance work, family, etc. And somewhere in there a meal or two needs to be planned right? I don't know about you but especially at this time of year I wish I could clone myself because there just doesn't seem like there is enough of me to go around!!
That is why I am looking forward to this weeks Manic Monday. I have been doing a bit of baking this past week, which if you have been reading my blog for a while you know is a big thing. I have been baking cookies, cupcakes, and bread....well the cookies and cup cakes have been for a the most part good. The bread? I think it would have made a really good weapon but not sure anyone would want to eat it!! OH well, I will try again, I am determined this time!!
Enough about me, lets get on to this weeks features OK? After so many great shares these are the top three from last weeks party.

Savory Bread Pudding - Red Lobster Copy Cat Garlic Biscuits from Inspired by

Slow Cooker Sauerbraten Beef in Gingersnap Gravy from Love Bakes Good Cakes

Hertzoggie Cookies from With a Blast

Some fantastic food last week. Very drool worthy!! So let's do it again this week! As always you are invited to leave up to 3 recipes to help with the Manic Monday meal planning scramble. This weeks subcategory is 
Holiday gifts from your kitchen. Are you known for a certain cookie or candy that you make at the holidays? Do you enjoy making homemade treats to give away? I would love to hear about it and to have you share those recipes with us all!!

Now on to the rules.....

Link up the picture to the post not your main blog page
Please link back to this page on your blog post.
Make sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Pintrest. I will be tweeting, pinning, and posting your recipes all week long. I just love doing that!! 

Leave up to 3 recipes that will help with the last minute Manic Monday scramble, or fit in with the weekly subcategory .

It would be really nice if you could grab one of my buttons from above or the side bar and add it to your post or a special linky party page if you have one.

Please leave me a comment. I love to know who is here and spread the word, the more the merrier!!

Remember to vote for your favorites and please don't forget to click on the other recipes and show them some foodie love!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Baked Spaghetti

I know this isn't the prettiest dish I have presented to you, but it sure was a tasty one! I had no plans whatsoever to make this dish. It came about because I have been trying to be a good girl and use up all of my leftovers. I had marinara sauce left over from making the Caprese Meatball Subs, and the Pizza Balls, and I wanted to use it up. So into my fridge I went, digging for some ingredients to cook up a meal that Kevin would enjoy. Out I came with Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan cheese. I knew I could do something with that.

I had heard of baked spaghetti before but had never tried it. I do however love pasta carbonara and I figured I would go along those lines to try my spaghetti baking experiment errr experience. I wish there had been some parsley in my fridge, but it came out really good without it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Chicken Posole

I had been craving and I mean craving this soup for at least a month. But every time we went to the restaurant that has it on the menu we were there for dinner and I would always get side tracked with the Chicken Tostada, or Chili Rellenos. I know, I have the attention span of a flea at times, and next day I would be sad that I hadn't indulged in my nagging craving. But it just seemed that I was craving it at lunch time as I looked out my windows at the cold drizzly Washington days. 

Finally I decided that I was being crazy, which is not a new thing, and I got my rear to the store so I could buy the ingredients to make it myself. I of course got the "Are you seriously making more soup for dinner?" look, but I ignored him, like I usually do when it comes to meal discussions, and got on with the business of purchasing what I needed.

Posole has hominy in it and from what I have heard from people, hominy is something you either love or hate. I happen to love it. I mean it is like hyperthyroid corn really. Who doesn't love corn? Oh scratch that, Kevin's son hates corn. Picky men in that family I am telling ya!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Manic Monday Party #16

Welcome to another Manic Monday! I don't know about you, but I am getting more and more manic with the thought that Thanksgiving is only a couple of weeks away and then Christmas!! YIKES! Where does the time go? I have a big Thanksgiving meal to plan, cookies to bake, gifts to buy, I so wish I could clone myself!!! 

That is one of the reason I love Manic Monday. You all share such wonderful recipes and I pin them all so I can go to them for stress free meal planning. There were some wonderful dishes shared last week. Here are the top three.....

Bikini Tanned Turkey from My Recipe Roundup (I love it!!)

Chicken n' Dressin' Casserole from Southern with a Twist

Big Fat Yeast Rolls from Cooking with Mary and Friends

WOW some great stuff guys!! Thanks so much for sharing it all!! I can't wait to see what you have for this weeks party! Here we go.....

As usual you can post your meal ideas for Manic Mondays but today I thought we would have a Holiday Sweets theme as well, so post away. Share your favorite pies, cakes, cookies, etc, for the holidays!!

Now, As for the rules;

Link up the picture to the post not your main blog page
Please link back to this page on your blog post.
Make sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Pintrest. I will be tweeting, pinning, and posting your recipes all week long. I just love doing that!! 

Leave as many recipes as you want that will help with the last minute Manic Monday scramble.

It would be wonderful if you would leave me a comment. I love to know who is here and spread the word, the more the merrier!!

Remember to vote for your favorites and please don't forget to click on the other recipes and show them some foodie love!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Chicken with Herbed Dumplings

Chicken with Herbed Dumplings from

I love the fact that this is one of the recipes I make that when my kids hear what I am making I hear a resounding YAY!!! They refer to it as my "Famous" Chicken and Dumplings. Gotta say that makes me feel good. I have been chomping at the bit for Fall weather to arrive just to make this meal! So you know when I found out this weeks Sunday Supper theme was "Soul Warming Dishes" I jumped ALL over it!! This truly is a soul warming meal. It is the perfect comfort food to me. There is never a time (OK maybe if it is 80's degrees outside) that this doesn't sound good to me, and I know the family feels the same.

This is one of the fist recipes that I came up with and have the recipe in my head. It has become more "a little bit of this and ....... oh ya, some more of that......ok lets add this too vs a strict recipe. So you can imagine when I got down to the business of cooking I though "Hhhmmmm I had better pay attention to what I do so I can actually "write" a recipe. I was glad I caught myself from the beginning so I didn't have to back track and guess. I am sure you all wouldn't appreciate a recipe that was a "guess" more than an actual recipe. Nobody wants to cook an experiment when they are hoping for a good meal!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Redneck Eggs Benedict

When I came up with the idea for this dish, I knew from the start I wanted to call it Redneck Eggs Benedict. Why? Well because it just brought me back to my time living in the South, although I was concerned that the word "redneck" might offend some people. However, after speaking with many of my followers on Facebook and Twitter, and reflecting on my own experiences with the use of the word. I decided to go for it. I know in my mind, and the minds of the wonderful people I met in the South, redneck is not an insult, it is a way of life really. Rednecks work hard to provide for their families, they celebrate life, and put on no airs. They are who they are, plain and simple, take it or leave it. I respect that! I enjoyed my time in the South and honestly, life was much easier when you lived by those ideals. 

I love Eggs Benedict  It is probably one of my favorite breakfast foods right up there with frittatas, quiche, and a big plate of grits with cheese, bacon, and that yummy egg yolk from and over easy egg mixed in mmmmmm. I have had the "Seattle" version of Eggs Benedict with a salmon cake in place of the muffin, and I made salmon patties the other night, so my mind started mixing the two together. Salmon patties/cakes scream Southern to me, but I knew that I couldn't use them in an Eggs Benedict because that is just classic to the Pacific Northwest. So where do I go? My little mind started thinking and thinking of the things that would really bring back my Southern experience. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pizza Balls

This is another one of those recipes I saw on Pintrest and just felt like I had to put my own spin on it. Actually my daughter found it. She lives in California now so we both have boards on our Pintrest accounts for each other. If we find something we think the other one would like we pin it to those boards. It is kind of like a Pintrest Christmas. You open it up and SURPRISE look what I found for you!