Monday, December 2, 2013


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love getting together with family and friends and eating!  Sometimes the food is traditional, and sometimes it isn't. But normally, one thing is guaranteed to be on that dinner table: turkey. Somehow turkey has become a symbol for Thanksgiving! (I'm not complaining, I think its delicious!)
Actually, there is one other thing that is guaranteed at Thanksgiving: leftovers.
Now, I'm not that crazy about leftovers. I just don't like eating the same things over and over again. I like variety, its the spice of life! And I love spices.
So, I have come up with a solution for leftover turkey. No, its not a sandwich. No, its not a casserole.
Yes, its pizza!
I bet you're thinking, "What??? Pizza?!"
Yes, pizza. Barbecue Turkey Pizza. (Formerly known as Barbecue Chicken Pizza.)
Its so easy and so delicious! Here is the recipe:

Barbecue Turkey Recipe

Actually, this is one of those things you don't need a recipe for!
Start with a pizza crust, you can either use a store-bought or you can make your own (I use this recipe: I adore the Pioneer Woman)
Prepare it the way the directions say
Spread some of your favorite BBQ sauce on the pizza
Top with Turkey, chopped Cilantro, and red onions
Then finish it off with your favorite kind of cheese (I use a mixture of Monterrey Jack and Mozzarella)
Bake Pizza according to the packaging or directions

Monday, November 25, 2013

Southern Women

Cast Iron Skillet. 
I don't know about you, but when I think about a cast iron skillet, it always brings to mind a picture of either my mother or one of my grandmothers. These fabulous southern women certainly knew how to cook a delicious southern meal. And of course, that southern meal would probably involve using a cast iron skillet. Corn bread, sausage gravy, wilted lettuce, and you can't forget fried chicken! These are some of the things that I can picture (and taste) these southern women making.

While I am still a southern woman, I am also a modern woman. I like to let different cultures influence my cooking. One of my favorite influences is Italy. I love Italy! I have been twice and I can't wait to go back.
Speaking of Italy, have you ever had focaccia bread? Because it is so good. It is an Italian bread that normally has some sort of herbs or spices incorporated into it. Now, I never would have thought that I could make focaccia bread in a cast iron skillet, but I did! It might not be your traditional dish in the cast iron skillet, but don't count it out!
This Skillet Focaccia Bread is so delicious. And it only takes about an hour!

Here's the recipe:

Skillet Focaccia Bread


    For the Dough:
   3/4 c warm water
    1/2 tsp granulated sugar 
  1 1/2 tsp yeast 
  2 Tbsp olive or canola oil 
      2 c all-purpose flour ( divided ) 
   1/2 tsp salt 
    Parmesan butter brush:
    3 Tbsp unsalted or salted butter, melted 

    1 Tbsp grated parmesan
    1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (use fresh Rosemary if you can find it!)
    1. Place water and sugar in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Stir until sugar dissolves.
    2. Sprinkle yeast over the water and stir few times. Let sit until foamy ( about 5 minutes).
    3. Turn the mixer on low speed and add 1 cup of flour and salt. Mix until combined.
    4. Add oil and mix well.
    5. Gradually add as much of the remaining cup of flour as you can ( it can be only 3/4 of it) and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
    6. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 220 degrees F and when it's ready turn it off. Keep the door closed.
    7. Grease the skillet.
    8. Place dough onto a floured surface (use the remaining flour from the second cup or more if needed) and fold the dough few times until you feel it's smooth and not sticky anymore. Shape into a ball.
    9. Roll out the dough into a size of your skillet.
    10. Place in skillet. Stretch up the sides. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
    11. Take the skillet out of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Make indentations in the dough with your fingers.
    12. Mix melted butter, parmesan and seasoning in a small bowl. Brush the dough with half the butter.
    13. Place skillet with dough in the preheated oven and bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with remaining butter. Let cool until safe to the touch and slice. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tis The Season!

So I just want you to know something. Its November… November 19 to be exact. Where has this year gone??? Now, don't get me wrong, I love the Holiday season, but it just seems like this year has gone by so fast! Look at the catalogues that came to my house the other week: 
Yeah, I know, its crazy! And that was only from one day!

So, Thanksgiving is next week. Most people have forgotten about pumpkin by now and they have moved on to peppermint, but not me! I love pumpkin, plus it has a lot of health benefits. Also, you have to have pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving! Orrrrrrrrrrrr….. you could do something so much easier and so much guiltier. Muah hahahahaha! (evil laugh) That is why I am sharing this recipe with you today! Its called Pumpkin Dump Cake and it is super super super easy! (and sweet) Here are the ingredients:

I know what you're thinking: Only 8 ingredients??? No way!
Yes way! That is why this recipe is so wonderful! Its called a Dump cake because you literally dump all the ingredients together and bake it. You can make it really fast and people really love it! 
So here's how to make it:
Open the can of pumpkin (please use only pure pumpkin puree, if you use pumpkin pie filling it could turn out really weird!) and put it in a medium bowl. Add the can (or cans) of evaporated milk.

Next, add the brown sugar, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice. (Smells yummy right?!)

And mix it all together! Meanwhile, prepare a 9x13 baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350º. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared dish.
Next, take the cake mix and sprinkle it evenly over the top of the pumpkin mixture. Spread it out to ensure that it is even.

Evenly sprinkle the crushed graham crackers on top.

Annnnndddd then you add the glorious melted butter. Make sure you cover the cake evenly. You want that buttery goodness to be all over that cake!

Now its ready to bake! Pop it in the oven for 50-55 minutes.
When it is done (you might need to cut into it to make sure) cut and enjoy!

Here's the full recipe!

Pumpkin Dump Cake:

15 ounce can pumpkin puree
10 ounces evaporated milk
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
3 teaspoons pumpkin spice
1 cup butter (melted)
3-4 graham crackers sheets (crushed)
1 yellow cake mix
Optional add ons: toffee bits, pecans.

Preheat to 350
Spray 9x13" baking pan with cooking spray.
Combine pumpkin, milk, sugar, eggs and pumpkin spice. Stir to combine.
Pour into prepared pan, and sprinkle with cake mix, followed by the graham crackers and optional add ons.
Pour melted butter evenly on top.
Bake 50-55 mins until center is set and edges are browned.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mexican Fiestaaaa!

Just kidding, I don't speak Spanish. But I sure do love Mexican food! That is why the first post in my blog is going to be dedicated to one of my favorite dishes, Creamy Verde Enchiladas.

But seriously, Hello! Welcome to my blog! I am a college student who loves to try new recipes and tweak old ones. I rarely follow a recipe, and I encourage you to do the same (except with baking, use the recipe or weird things can happen there). Obviously, I love to lick the bowl, even better than I love the finished product. I don't cook for myself, I cook for the satisfaction of the people I love who enjoy my food. That is why I wanted to start this blog, to share the recipes that bring my family together. So I hope you enjoy and return! Maybe one day you will return to my blog and see that I have posted my famous recipe for my Chocolate Chocolate Coffee Chocolate Cookies :)

But back to those enchiladas! This is a recipe that I created (scary, right?!). I couldn't find a recipe that I liked for homemade enchiladas so I decided to create one! These are really flavorful and creamily delicious!

The cast of characters in this play:

And here's the recipe!
Creamy Verde Enchiladas

1 ½ Shredded chicken (you can bake or boil the chicken but I’m all for easy so I like to use a rotisserie chicken)
1 medium onion, diced
Half of a Jalapeno pepper, diced
One clove of garlic, minced
½ stick butter, unsalted
1 clove of garlic, minced
5 Tbs flour
2 cups Chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream
1 can green chilies, diced
1-cup sour cream
1-cup salsa Verde
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
¼ tsp smoked paprika
¾ cup Monterey Jack, shredded
¼ cup Cilantro
8-10 medium flour tortillas

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the diced onion and jalapeno and cook them until they are tender. Add the garlic and stir. Add flour and stir. Gradually add chicken broth until well incorporated.  Add heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Add the green chilies to the sauce, and then add both the sour cream and salsa Verde to the sauce. Add spices, then taste the sauce and adjust the spices if needed. Gradually add the shredded cheese. 

After the cheese melts, add enough sauce to a bowl and mix with your chicken. Warm your tortillas in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Take a tortilla and spread some chicken mixture in the middle. Sprinkle some Monterey jack on top and roll the tortilla up. Place seam side down in the pan. Repeat until there is no more room in the pan and the chicken mixture is gone. Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas and spread it out. Bake in a 375º oven for 20-30 minutes.