Living a Pinterest Life

Salted Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cookies — February 24, 2013

Salted Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cookies

These cookies are going into my Stove of Shame category, not for the taste, but because they didn’t turn out looking like cookies. I refrigerated the dough for 5 hours, but the caramel still melted to the bottom and burned on the cookie sheet. When I tried to get the cookies off the cookie sheet they all squished together. This didn’t seem to stop our friend who came to stay with us this weekend, he ate about half of them. These are great cookied if you can get them to not squish together. Happy Eating!


Salted Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cookies

Recipe thanks to Vittles and Bits


1 C. butter (2 sticks) at room temperature

1 1/2 C. sugar

2 eggs

1 t. vanilla

2 C. flour

1/2 C. cocoa powder

1 t. baking soda

1/2 t. course sea salt

1 C. chocolate chunks (or chocolate chips are fine too)

1/2 C. chopped pecans

10 caramels*, chopped into fours (I chopped each caramel into 6 pieces)


In bowl of mixer, cream butter & sugar together.  Add eggs and vanilla & beat until fluffy.  In separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and mix until combined.  Gradually add flour mixture to mixing bowl and mix on low speed until combined.

Fold in pecans, caramel pieces and chocolate chips.  Refrigerate dough for 4-6 hours (or more – refrigerating is the most important part. If you don’t refrigerate, when the cookies go into the oven, the caramel pieces will sink to the bottom and stick to the cookie sheet).

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350, roll into balls and set on baking sheet.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely, and drizzle with caramel sauce if desired.  Makes about 2 dozen.

*Note: The caramels don’t get distributed all that evenly, so I ended up saving half the caramels for when I was about to bake the cookies. For each spoonful of dough, I pushed one or two pieces in the middle and formed the ball around the caramel. This way every cookie gets a caramel surprise 🙂

Potato Bacon Casserole —

Potato Bacon Casserole

No one likes to spend a lot of time cooking in the kitchen while there are guests at their house. This casserole was easy and quick to throw together. It had to bake for awhile, but I didn’t have to cook while I could be visiting with our friend who came to visit. This was like eating cheesy potatoes in a breakfast version, yum yum yum. Happy Eating!


Potato Bacon Casserole

Recipe thanks to Nestle USA

Makes 6 servings


4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

8 ounces bacon or turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese

1 can (12 fl. oz.) * NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk

1 large egg, lightly beaten or 1/4 cup egg substitute

1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt


PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease 8-inch-square baking dish.

LAYER 1/2 potatoes, 1/2 onion, 1/2 bacon and 1/2 cheese in prepared baking dish; repeat layers.

Combine evaporated milk, egg and seasoned salt in small bowl. Pour evenly over potato mixture; cover.

BAKE for 55 to 60 minutes.

Uncover; bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

White Chicken Chili — February 22, 2013

White Chicken Chili

Yesterday Albuquerque got a couple inches of snow. To me that is nothing since I’m from Nebraska, but Albuquerque went crazy. Scotty’s work and all the schools had a two hour delay. Even though it wasn’t too bad of snow it was still a great night to make soup. This was awesome! Creamy and full of flavor. I’ll just forget about the stick of butter I put in it! I made half the recipe and it made enough for 4 servings. Happy Eating!


White Chicken Chili

Recipe thanks to The Girl Who Ate Everything


1 large onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2 cup flour

1 cup butter

4 cups half and half

1 1/2 cups of chicken broth

4 cans white beans (navy, great northern, or garbanzo), drained and rinsed

2-3 (4 oz) cans chopped green chilies

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cooked and sliced into small pieces

2 cups grated Monterrey Jack cheese

1-2 tsp. Tabasco sauce

1-2 tsp. of chili powder

1 tsp. cumin

1 cup sour cream (optional)


Cook onion and garlic in a couple tablespoons of butter until soft, not brown. Set aside.

Make a roux by melting the butter and whisking the 1/2 cup of flour in. Boil for 3 minutes stirring constantly.

Add the onion and garlic to the roux.

Add the half and half and chicken broth. Simmer 3 minutes or until thick.

Pour mixture into a crockpot then add the white beans, chilies, chicken, cheese, Tabasco sauce, chili powder, and cumin.

Simmer 20 minutes. Right before serving add salt and pepper to taste and sour cream (optional).

Garnish with cilantro.

Chicken and Black Bean Green Enchilada Rice Bake — February 20, 2013

Chicken and Black Bean Green Enchilada Rice Bake

Yum Yum Yum! This was delicious and will definitely be making another appearance in my kitchen. It tasted like a creamy enchilada minus the calorie filled tortilla. I used leftover rotel tomatoes with green chilies which gave this a yummy little kick. I made half the recipe and it made three big size servings. Scotty is actually excited to take it as leftovers tomorrow. He is going to put it in a tortilla with lettuce which sounds pretty yummy. Happy Eating!


Chicken and Black Bean Green Enchilada Rice Bake

Recipe thanks to Diary of a Recipe Addict


2 cups white long grain rice, uncooked

2 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast

One 15-ounce can mild green enchilada sauce

One 4-ounce can sliced black olives

One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Ground Cumin

One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Cook rice according to package directions.

Place chicken, enchilada sauce, olives, tomatoes, sour cream, salt, pepper and cumin into a large bowl, mixing to combine.

Pour cooked rice into prepared baking dish and layer beans on top of rice.

Pour chicken mixture over rice and top evenly with cheddar cheese.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until cheese is melted and rice is hot.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Creamy Jambalaya Pasta — February 19, 2013

Creamy Jambalaya Pasta

I have had a big break from cooking dinner due to going out of town this past weekend. Most people would love the break, but I was missing it and ready to start up again. Call me weird, call me crazy, but I get kind of upset when I don’t get to cook!

This pasta was great. There was a little kick to it from the spices, but it wasn’t too much. I used smoked turkey sausage which to me tastes the same as regular. I didn’t even know they made smoked turkey sausage so I was excited to find it at the grocery store. It was a quick week night meal with flavors that tasted like it cooked for hours. Happy Eating!


Creamy Jambalaya Pasta

Recipe thanks to Plain Chicken


1/2 pound Farfalle pasta

1/2 lb smoked sausage, cut into bite-size pieces

1 cup heavy cream (or half & half or evaporated milk)

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1/4 cup chopped onion or 2 Tbsp minced onion flakes

1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup white wine

4 tablespoon tomato sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped parsley

Parmesan cheese


In a large pot, boil water for pasta. Salt water.  Boil pasta and cook until al dente.  Set aside.

Brown sausage in a small skillet over medium heat. Once browned, add onion and saute for two minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds or until fragrant.

Add white wine to skillet, making sure to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom.  Let wine reduce by half, about two minutes.

Stir in Cajun seasoning, paprika, salt, pepper and tomato sauce. Add cream and heat to almost bubbling, then reduce heat to low. Allow the cream mixture to reduce by half, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta and add to skillet. Toss with parsley and freshly grated Parmesan.

So Simple Red Beans and Rice — February 13, 2013

So Simple Red Beans and Rice

For Mardi Gras last night Scotty made dinner plans with his old boss and his wife so I wasn’t able to make my red beans and rice like I had planned. I had already bought everything to make the recipe so I made it on Monday for lunch and ate the leftovers all week. The leftovers tasted just like, if not better, than the first day I had it. I made mine in my crockpot and cooked it for two hours. This was super easy to make and something I looked forward to eating each day this week. Happy Eating!


So Simple Red Beans and Rice

Recipe thanks to Mommy’s Kitchen

1 (16 ounce) package smoked sausage, cut diagonally into 1/4 inch slices (I cut mine in half)
1 – small onion, chopped
1/2 – 1 green bell pepper, chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 – clove garlic, chopped
2 – (15 ounce) cans bush’s light red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 – (16 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped or pureed
1/2 – 1- 8oz can tomato sauce
1/2 – teaspoon dried oregano
Dash hot sauce, optional
salt & pepper to taste
cooked white rice

In a large skillet over low heat, cook sausage for 5 minutes. Chop up the onion, celery and green bell pepper.
Add the chopped vegetables and garlic; saute until tender. Add the beans, tomatoes with juice and tomato sauce into your crock pot. Season with oregano, salt and pepper and hot sauce if using.
Add the sauteed vegetables. Cover and cook on low for about 45 minutes. If using a crock pot set on low and cook for 2-3 hours.

Coast Toast — February 10, 2013

Coast Toast

While in California visiting Scotty’s brother, his brother and sister-in-law took us to their favorite breakfast place, The Brockton Villa Restaurant. They are famous for their coast toast. As we were leaving they gave us recipe cards for the coast toast. I decided to try it today for brunch. It was delicious after the 10K race I ran this morning. Happy Eating!


Coast Toast

Recipe thanks to The Brockton Villa Restaurant


1 loaf soft French bread (sliced)
1 qt. whipping cream
10 eggs
¾ cup orange juice
½ cup sugar
a pinch of salt
2 tbs. vanilla
2 tbs. orange flavoring


Combine liquid ingredients. Pour over bread slices. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour.

Remove bread and discard liquid. Spread butter on flat grill.

Cook bread until golden brown, then bake at 450° for 5 -7 minutes or until bread is puffed up like a soufflé. Dust with powdered sugar.

Serve immediately.

Serves 6

Chicken Cheesesteaks with Peppers — February 9, 2013

Chicken Cheesesteaks with Peppers

I’m happy with any meal that makes Scotty say, “This is so good,” multiple times during the meal. I changed the recipe around a bit. I chopped up all the veggies and chicken and stir fried it on the stove instead of broiling it. I also added mushrooms and diced jalapenos. I put all the veggies and chicken in the hoagie, laid the cheese on top and then broiled it for one minute. The hoagie was toasted on the outside and the cheese was melted perfectly. Happy Eating!


Chicken Cheesesteaks with Peppers

Recipe thanks to Martha Stewart


1 pound chicken cutlets

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Coarse salt and ground pepper

2 mixed bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced

1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

6 ounces sliced provolone cheese

4 soft hoagie rolls, split lengthwise

1/4 cup light mayonnaise


Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. On a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, toss chicken with 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Broil, without turning, until chicken is opaque throughout, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board (reserve baking sheet); let cool, and thinly slice. Set chicken aside.

On baking sheet, toss together peppers, onion, garlic, and remaining tablespoon oil. Broil, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender and slightly charred, 8 to 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add chicken to broiled vegetables; toss, and spread in a single layer.

Top chicken and vegetables with cheese; broil until cheese is bubbling, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Scoop out most of the doughy center from both halves of rolls; discard. Spread rolls with mayonnaise; fill with chicken and vegetables. Serve immediately.

Fuzzy Navel — February 8, 2013

Fuzzy Navel

Drink of the week this week is the Fuzzy Navel. This is a dangerous drink! Orange juice can mask the taste of any alcohol. I was making this drink and pouring it over ice when I decided it sounded better to blend it and I am glad I did that. It was frothy, cold, and so good. Happy Drinking!


Fuzzy Navel

Serves 1


2 measures vodka

1 measure peach schnapps

8 fl oz orange juice

4-6 cracked ice cubes


Shake the vodka, peach schnapps, and orange juice vigorously over cracked ice until well frosted.

Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

14 Days of Valentine’s Treats —

14 Days of Valentine’s Treats

I remember when I was in elementary school and I spent hours figuring out which valentine from the box I wanted to give to each of my classmates. I had to give the best one to my best friends and the one that signified “I have a crush on you” to the boy I liked at the time. Valentines Day is a little different now that I am older. I actually have a valentine for one! Here are some cute valentines to make for your sweetie! Enjoy!


1. Brown Sugar Blondies from Baked Perfection

2. Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction

3. Red Velvet Whoopie Love from Parents Magazine

4. Valentine’s Day Cake Pops from Pinster Sisters

5. Heart Kabobs from Parents

6. Valentine Chex Mix from Betty Crocker

7. Valentine Pretzel Buttons from Griffiths Rated

8. Cupids Arrow Cupcakes from Bakerella

9. Marbled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies from The Novice Chef

10. French Toast with Strawberry Butter from Land o Lakes

11. Red Velvet Nutella Cinnamon Roll Hearts from Yammie’s Noshery

12. Sweetheart Sandwich Cookies from Sweet Bellaroos

13. Vanilla Bean Valentines Cookies with Chocolate Hearts from Shugary Sweets

14. Valentines Dipped Rice Krispies Treats from Cooking on the Side

%d bloggers like this: