Wow, it’s been a while – and a few Super Bowl snacks!

I promise, I never intended to take such a long break. But, the holidays kind of got in the way and then a vacation and then a sickness … and here we are! I hope that you all had the most fantastic holidays imaginable. Mine was great!

Every year is different – because every year, my daughters are older. Christmas with small children is very different than with adult (and almost adult) children. But, still magical none the less. One tradition that we’ve had since my girls were little is that I make them Christmas PJs every year. I’ve tried to stop doing it – but, they insist that I continue. That said, I thought that I would share a picture of their 2019 PJs. Rae Dunn inspired!

Now – onto a few snacks for the super bowl. To be fair, these were actually things that I made around the holidays – but, they work GREAT for a Super Bowl (or any) gathering.

The first is a sour cream dip that has to be one of my most favorite ‘snack’s ever. And, it is so simple! Just a few ingredients and you have one of the most delicious dips that you’ll ever taste. All you need is: 1 large container (I didn’t have a large container, so I used 1 1/2 of the normal sized containers) of sour cream (you can use fat free if you like, but full fat is definitely the most tasty!), 1 can of RoTel tomatoes and 1 packet of ranch dressing mix.

Just throw it all in a bowl (don’t drain your tomatoes), mix well – chill and serve with ruffles!

The second is something that we’ve been making for Christmas gatherings for as long as I can remember – but, also, great for a Super Bowl gathering. Again, just a few ingredients: 1 packet of flour tortillas, 1 container of whipped cream cheese (you can use regular cream cheese, but if you do, make sure that it sits out for a while to soften), deli ham slices and green onions.

All you do is lay out each tortilla, cover it with the cream cheese, lay ham on top and one green onion.

Roll them up as tight as possible. Put the rolled tortillas in the refrigerator for a couple hours.

After they have chilled for a while, just cut them into rounds and serve! Apologies that I don’t have a ‘final’ picture – I suspect we were running late to a family gathering, and I didn’t think to get the picture.

Well – those are a few of my options for a Super Bowl gathering! If you try any of them, I would love to hear about it!

And, despite the fact that I’ve been away, I have cooked some – and will be adding more recipes. I just have to get back into the swing of things! I hope to be back, regularly, soon!!

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!!

Chicken and Gravy Over Rice

Sometimes you just want comfort food. I think I do at least a couple times a week. This recipe is definitely a comfort food.

I’ve been thinking about this dish for about a week and finally got around to making it. I knew I wanted chicken. I knew I wanted gravy. And, I knew I would serve it over either potatoes, pasta or rice. Rice won out.

I, personally, love jasmine rice and eat it almost exclusively as far as rice goes. But, it is starchy and it will be sticky if you don’t take the time to rinse it. For me, that isn’t a big deal – as I don’t mind sticky rice – but, just be aware in case you make jasmine rice for the first time. In case anyone wants to know, this is how I cook my rice. I use 1 cup of rice to 1 1/3 cup of water. After rinsing my rice, I add it to the water, along with some salt – cover and bring it to a boil. Once a boil is achieved, I turn it down to the lowest simmer possible (or, if I have time to wait, I sometimes just turn it off – but, if you do – keep the pot covered!). Your rice is done when all water has been absorbed.

For the gravy, I diced up 2 chicken breasts and seasoned with salt, pepper and umami seasoning. Since the chicken breasts are lean, I used a little bit of avocado oil spray in the pan. I cooked the chicken until it had a nice sear on it.

To the chicken, I added chicken stock, a can of cream of chicken soup and one packet of brown gravy mix.

I stirred the mixture until everything was well mixed and let it cook for a bit. Toward the end, I added in some heavy cream.

I wanted the gravy a little thicker, so I added a slurry to the pan at the very end.

Then served it over rice! It is an easy comfort food that I’m certain I will cook again.

Chicken and Gravy Over Rice

2 chicken breasts, diced
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 1/2 cups chicken stock (save 1/2 cup for slurry)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 packet brown gravy mix
1 tbsp umami seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Avocado oil spray (or oil of choice)

Rice, cooked as directed

  • Dice chicken
  • Add chicken to a hot pan that has a little avocado oil in it – add in umami seasoning
  • Saute chicken until it is seared
  • Add in 2 cups of chicken stock, cream of chicken soup and gravy mix – stir until well mixed
  • Let the chicken and gravy cook for about 10 – 15 minutes
  • Add in heavy cream and mix through
  • If your gravy isn’t thick enough, use the reserved chicken stock to make a slurry and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the gravy thickens
  • Serve the chicken and gravy over rice

Chocolate and Walnut Waffles

One of the kiddos wanted waffles for breakfast Sunday – so, waffles is what she got.

To make the waffles, we use the same batter as when we make pancakes – take a look at the post for my banana pancakes. For these waffles, just leave the bananas and cinnamon.

Then, just add in the amount of chocolate chips and walnuts you want (or any variation thereof) and you’re good to go. Cook the waffles in your waffle iron, per the instructions and serve with butter and syrup, if desired.

Homemade Salmon Stew

Few things go better with a cool, rainy night than stew of some kind. Salmon stew is one that we haven’t made for a while – so that is what we landed on.

There are just a few simple ingredients – milk, butter, potatoes, corn and of course canned salmon. Speaking of canned salmon, have I just been out of the loop or has canned salmon gone up in price, tremendously? I think it was like $4.50 a can.

I didn’t get pictures throughout the process, but I’ll just walk you through it. You’ll want to start by prepping your potatoes and onions. When choosing your potatoes – you need to decide if you want a starchy potato (it will make the stew a little thicker), like a russet or a waxy potato (it will hold his shape more), like a red potato. I, personally, prefer a more starchy potato – but, to get rid of the red potatoes we had – we used those in this stew.

In order to amp up the fragrance and flavor of the onions, they were sauteed in 1tbsp of the butter and set aside, while the cubed potatoes were being boiled. This is also a good time to pick the bones and skin out of your salmon.

Once the potatoes were nearly done, they were drained and added back into the pot – along with the remaining ingredients. At this point, in order to keep the milk from scorching, you’ll want to ensure that you’re not on high heat and that you’re stirring constantly.

Once the stew has been brought up to a boil, without scorching your milk, you’ll want to turn the heat off, cover the pot and let it sit for about 30 minutes. This will finish cooking the potatoes and ensure that everything is perfectly warmed through.

Serve with saltines or oyster crackers and a little hot sauce, if you like!

Homemade Salmon Stew

2 cans salmon (remove any bones and skin)
2 cans corn, drained
3-4 medium potatoes (Russet potatoes are best, as they are more startchy)
1 small onion, chopped
5 tbsp butter
3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2/3 gallon of milk

  • Dice potatoes
  • Cut up onions
  • Boil potatoes until nearly done
  • Saute onions in 1 tbsp butter, set aside
  • Drain potatoes and return to pot
  • Add remaining ingredients to potatoes, bring to a boil – over medium heat – stir constantly so the milk doesn’t scorch
  • Turn off heat, cover and allow to sit for about 30 minutes

Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta

It seems like it’s been a while since I’ve made pasta for more than just one. But, that is exactly what I decided to do tonight – and, man oh man, did it hit the spot! It was a hit with everyone – and this is one that will definitely be making it into our normal rotation!

I started by prepping the ingredients – cubing the chicken, cutting the bacon and the asparagus.

I cooked the bacon first. Once it was done, I removed it from the pan and set it aside.

Then I added in the chicken and the umami seasoning and cooked it until the chicken was almost done. There is just something about cooking chicken in bacon fat – you just can’t go wrong!

Finally I added in the asparagus and sauted it for a few minutes.

Then I added in the chicken stock, salt and pepper – and allowed this to cook, covered, until the chicken was fully done and the asparagus had started to soften.

To finish the sauce, I added in the heavy cream and the parmesan cheese. I stirred the mixture well, allowing the cheese to melt.

While working on the sauce, I cooked the pasta (in well salted water!) until it was about 1/2 done. After the cheese had melted in the sauce, I added the pasta to the skillet, along with about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

The dish then cooked until the pasta was fully done and the sauce thickened.

Just before serving, I added in the bacon and mixed it through.

This was a delicious meal and one that I know we’ll repeat time and again!

Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta

2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 slices thick cut bacon, cut into smaller pieces
1 box pasta (a short pasta will work best)
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 – 3/4 cup pasta water
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp umami seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

  • Prep chicken by cutting into 1 inch cubes
  • Prep asparagus by cutting into 1 inch pieces
  • Prep bacon by cutting into small pieces
  • Cook bacon and remove from pan
  • Add chicken to pan and season with umami seasoning, cook until almost done
  • Add in the asparagus and saute for a few minutes
  • Add in the chicken stock, salt and pepper – cover and cook until chicken is well done and asparagus is starting to get tender
  • Add in the heavy cream
  • Add in the parmesan cheese and melt
  • Cook pasta in well salted water, until it is about 1/2 way done
  • Add pasta to the pan, along with 1/2 – 3/4 cup of pasta water
  • Cook until the pasta has finished cooking and the sauce has thickened
  • Add bacon in at last minute

Easy Prosciutto Appetizers

I mentioned a few posts back that I like to keep puff pastry on hand. The kind I buy has two sheets in the package. I used one sheet to make these cinnamon rolls. The other sheet was used to make something delicious and savory!

I started by letting the pastry thaw out, until I could easily unfold it and roll it out a little bit. Once the pastry was ready, I decided on what I would use in my rolls – prosciutto, Swiss gruyere cheese and gouda cheese. I found these three ingredients at my local Aldi’s.

I started by layering on the prosciutto until the puff pastry was covered side to side, almost touching the edges.

I then sprinkled on the cheeses. I didn’t measure, but I would guess that I used between 1/4 – 1/3 cup of each cheese, give or take.

I then rolled the pastry up into somewhat of a log and then cut into 8 rolls. I then placed them on parchment paper, on a baking sheet.

They were baked in a 400 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes (until they were golden brown).

The flakiness of the pastry, coupled with the savory cheeses and prosciutto were a great combination.

These would make great appetizers for your holiday gathering (or even just a snack). They would also be great for brunch! They reheated nicely, as well.

My Take on Philly Cheese Steak

There used to be a Philly cheese steak place that I really enjoyed. But, it’s been closed for years. I’ve never been to Philly – but, I’m told this place made cheesesteak as authentic as I could get, locally. I still think about those sandwiches. Now that I’m thinking about it, I need to find another local place that sells delicious cheesesteak, in the meanwhile – I decided to try my hand at making it at home.

In my house, we don’t all always get to sit down at the table together – so I like to cook things that can be eaten in shifts. This recipe fits the bill.

I kept it pretty simple – just steak, onions and bell peppers. I seasoned it with McCormick’s Montreal Steak seasoning and a little salt.

I started by prepping my vegetables – I used 3 onions and 3 bell peppers. The vegetables will cook down quite a bit.

I used a thinly sliced beef sirloin tip steak. I cut the steaks into strips (cutting across the grain to keep the meet tender). The steak was seasoned with 1 tbsp of the steak seasoning and I let it sit, while I cooked the vegetables.

I used my cast iron wok to cook this (yes, it is for more than stir fry!), as it offered ample space for the volume of food that I was cooking and the cast iron gives such a great sear to whatever you cook! To ready the wok, I heated it over high heat and added some avocado oil.

I started the onions first – I added about a tsp of the Montreal Steak Seasoning to the onions.

I cooked the onions until they were nicely browned, then I added in the bell peppers.

I cooked the vegetables until they were good and done. Look at that color!! This is why I do love a cast iron skillet (or, in this case, a wok). Do note that the vegetables cook down quite a bit – this is why I used 3 onions and 3 bell peppers!

I removed the vegetables from the wok and set to the side. I added a little more of the avocado oil spray to the wok and threw in the beef.

Since this beef is sliced thin, it doesn’t take long to cook it through.

Once the beef was done, I added the vegetables back into the wok and seasoned it all with a little bit of salt. And let the vegetables and beef meld together for a bit.

Once the mixture was done, I served it up on a hoagie roll with some sliced white American cheese. I think recipes are sometimes hit or miss – this one was a hit. And, I love that it is so super easy to make!

Philly Cheese Steak

1 1/4 pounds thinly sliced sirloin tip steak
3 onions, sliced
3 bell peppers, sliced
1 tbsp McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning (plus 1 tsp)
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
Avocado Oil Spray
White American cheese slices

  • Prep onions and bell peppers by slicing, set aside
  • Cut the steak into strips
  • Season steak with the steak seasoning, set aside
  • In a hot pan, spray some avocado oil spray
  • Add onions and 1 tsp of the steak seasoning – cook until the onions start to brown
  • Add in the bell peppers and continue to cook the vegetables until they are soft
  • Remove the vegetables and set aside
  • Add a little more avocado oil spray
  • Put the steak in the heated pan and cook through
  • Add the vegetables back into the pan and toss everything together, add salt if desired
  • Allow everything to cook together for about 10 minutes
  • Serve on hoagie rolls, topped with white