Cheesy Chicken Pasta with Brussels Sprouts

Cheesy Chicken Pasta with Brussels Sprouts ~ 1 pan ~ seared chicken, brussels sprouts + gruyere/white cheddar cheese sauce topped with toasted bread crumbs.

Dinner | November 10, 2018 | By

Cheesy Chicken Pasta with Brussels Sprouts ~ tender pasta, bites of caramelized chicken and sliced brussels sprouts blanketed in a luxuriously creamy smoked gruyere-white cheddar cheese sauce.

Few foods are more comforting than pasta and gooey melted cheese sauce. This dish has both, plus bites of caramelized chicken and thinly sliced brussels sprouts and it’s all topped with toasted bread crumbs.

This is the sort of slow moving Sunday Supper that you whip up while wearing your favorite comfy pants but it’s so quick and easy to make you can have that kind of delicious comfort (and yes, the comfy pants too) any night of the week.

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Rum Caramel Banana Bread Sundae

Rum Caramel Banana Bread Sundae ~ homemade banana bread topped with rum caramel pecan sauce, ice cream and caramelized bananas.

Dessert | November 6, 2018 | By

Rum Caramel Banana Bread Sundae ~ sliced banana bread topped with warm rum-caramel pecan sauce, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and caramelized bananas.

Judging by the dessert-to-savory ratio on this site, you may think I don’t have a sweet tooth. The fact is, I love all sweets ~ in the way that Oprah professed to love bread. I even scope out the dessert menu before I order the entrée.

Last week we met for girls’ dinner at a local restaurant where we swapped and shared leaving room for dessert. We ordered two split between six of us. This Rum Caramel Banana Bread Sundae was one I wish I didn’t have to share . . .

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Caramel Apple Pomegranate Mimosa

Caramel Apple Pomegranate Mimosa ~ Fresh apple cider, pomegranate juice and caramel vodka topped off with champagne in a caramel-sugar rimmed glass.

Dinner | November 2, 2018 | By

Fresh apple cider blended with pomegranate juice and caramel vodka topped off with champagne in a caramel-sugar rimmed glass.

The hardest part about hosting a holiday dinner is deciding on a signature cocktail. I’m kidding! My hat is off to all the heavy lifters planning, shopping for and cooking a meal that takes weeks of preparation and mere minutes to devour.

Friends, life just ain’t fair, but I have you covered with a delicious, simple adult beverage that’ll get the party started.

Caramel flavored vodka, fresh apple cider and pomegranate juice topped off with champagne in a sugary, caramel rimmed flute.

If all that sounds good, it tastes even better and makes the ideal celebratory cocktail for the holidays, Sunday brunch or, hey . . .  just a very long Monday.

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Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes

Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes ~ creamy, buttery mashed potatoes flavored with smoked Gouda cheese. The ultimate side dish for the holidays.

Side Dish | November 1, 2018 | By

Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes ~ creamy, buttery mashed potatoes flavored with smoked Gouda cheese. The ultimate side dish for the holidays.

For a foodie, it doesn’t get much better than the Wine and Food Festival in Epcot at Walt Disney World but if you think it’s nothing but ‘park food’, think again.

Disney rolled out a foodie’s red carpet as only Disney can do. Inspiration was everywhere. We paced ourselves sampling so many delicious dishes but still weren’t able to taste everything we wanted to. I guess that’s the best reason to go back.

My favorite dish was lick-your-plate good: Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes that served as a base for fork-tender, Beer Braised Beef served in ‘Belgium’. When I got home I couldn’t wait to make both.

Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes ~ creamy, buttery mashed potatoes flavored with smoked Gouda cheese. The ultimate side dish for the holidays.

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Traditional Bread Sausage Stuffing

Traditional Bread Sausage Stuffing ~ classic recipe baked outside the bird with delicious fresh herb & sausage flavors. Serve with turkey, chicken or pork.

Side Dish | October 21, 2018 | By

Traditional Bread Sausage Stuffing ~ a classic recipe baked outside the bird with delicious fresh herb and sausage flavors. Serve with turkey, chicken or pork.

Whether you call it stuffing like we do in these parts or dressing because it’s baked outside the bird, this Traditional Bread Sausage Stuffing is the dish that says Thanksgiving. It’s not a holiday without it. I love the crispy bread parts best, but that doesn’t stop me from scooping into the moist center because it’s all flavored with the same fresh herbs, vegetables and sausage. Mmmmm.

I’ve been making stuffing more years than I can count, but I always cooked it inside the bird. Today that’s said to be a big no-no, but we never had any issues.

A couple of years ago my daughter started hosting the family Thanksgiving dinner and she opted to cook two turkeys  in the air fryer. Both delicious with crispy skin, juicy meat, one with traditional seasoning, the other Cajun. But that meant the stuffing needed to be baked separately in the oven without sacrificing all that crazy good taste. Challenge accepted. 

Traditional Bread Sausage Stuffing is the best stuffing I’ve ever eaten. I’ve perfected the recipe over the years. It’s simple, with classic flavors and the only recipe you’ll need.

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Turkey Sweet Potato Chili

turkey sweet potato chili ~ garnished with sliced avocado, includes black beans and corn.

Dinner, Soup | October 19, 2018 | By

Turkey Sweet Potato Chili ~ delicious ground (or leftover) turkey chili with bites of sweet potatoes, black beans, tomatoes, corn, bell pepper, onion and bold spices.

The level of intensity of a chili connoisseur when discussing chili preferences always amazes me. Beans, no beans. Meat ~ what kind? Do real men eat chili made with . . . ahem . . .turkey? And if they do, will their man card be automatically and immediately revoked?

There are, however a few guidelines most of us can agree upon. First, chili should pack heat. Serious heat and second, it should be thick, not wimpy; otherwise, it’s just soup.

From there the sky or (chili) pot is the limit. In my book, chili must have beans with the exception of the kind that blankets a hot dog. In that case, no beans. 

So go forth, slice up some jalapenos, add a protein, some vegetables and yes, beans. I beg of you. Beyond that, live your best chili life designing or redesigning this recipe as you like. 

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Boozy Brownies

Salted Caramel Boozy Brownies ~ fudgy boozy brownies drizzled with salted caramel. Starts with a box mix, ready for the oven in 5 minutes.

Dessert | October 13, 2018 | By

boozy brownies

This Boozy Brownies recipe was written by my daughter, Lauren Dezenski who was on her way to Peru in this photo. Lauren works in advertising, loves good food and wine and is always on the lookout for her next travel adventure!

Summer is my season, but I welcome fall and all that it brings: boots and scarves, all things pumpkin and tailgate season for those of us more interested in the social aspect of football. Which brings me to Boozy Brownies.

I’ll be the first to admit that I can get a little competitive when it comes to bringing food to a party. Let’s be honest…Pinterest has me and the rest of the world in a frenzy about bringing THE best dish.

Now everyone has access to everything from cutting edge fashion to must-see travel destinations, ways to get fit and of course a recipe for every occasion.

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Buffalo Ranch Snack Mix

This Buffalo Ranch Snack Mix recipe is the ultimate party snack combining crunchy and salty plus a marriage made in heaven, Buffalo and ranch.

Appetizers & Beverages | October 4, 2018 | By

This Buffalo Ranch Snack Mix recipe is the ultimate party snack combining crunchy, salty and that marriage made in heaven, Buffalo and ranch.

Snack mix, trail mix, Chex mix . . . whatever you call it, most of us have indulged in it over a cocktail or three. It has an almost addictive quality about it.  

I’ve found myself picking through premade snack mixes for my favorite parts and pushing aside others. Please don’t judge me; let’s stop the madness and make our own snack mix!

This Buffalo Ranch Snack Mix recipe couldn’t be faster or easier and the best part ~ you’re guaranteed to have it exactly as you like it.

Crunchy, salty and boldly spicy. Read on.

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Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

creamy cajun chicken pasta ~ cajun seasoned chicken bites, penne pasta, mushrooms, bell peppers in a creamy spicy alfredo sauce.

Dinner | September 27, 2018 | By

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta ~ bites of spicy Cajun chicken, pasta, sliced mushrooms and bell pepper in a creamy Cajun alfredo sauce.

There’s just two of at the dinner table most of the time these days so I try to create dishes we both like. Some days are more challenging than others.

That’s not to say my husband is a picky eater ~ he’s not. But in his world, food should be (a) spicy, (b) fried (c) smothered in gravy or (d) some combination.

This Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta falls into the spicy category but it was definitely not a hit with him. That’s okay. Just as he prefers a cold beer to my glass of wine, we don’t have to agree on everything we eat.

That said, I loved it. LOVED. It.  I ate it for dinner and leftovers for lunch the following day. I even found myself grabbing a couple of pieces of cold pasta right from the fridge.  I was happy to polish it off myself. Every last bite.

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Easy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Easy Chicken Lettuce Wraps: seasoned ground chicken sautéed with mushrooms and water chestnuts, nestled in lettuce leaf, topped with a spicy hoison sauce.

Appetizers & Beverages, Dinner | September 24, 2018 | By

Easy Chicken Lettuce Wraps ~ Asian seasoned ground chicken sautéed with mushrooms, green onions and water chestnuts, nestled in lettuce leaves and topped with a spicy hoisin sauce.

When I look back on old posts like this one, it reminds me of photos my kids come across of me that they find hilarious. “Those glasses ~ that hair!”. 

The old photos from the original Easy Chicken Lettuce Wraps post were just as awkward and cringe-worthy.

But what I had forgotten about this recipe because I hadn’t made it in a while is . . . dang! ~ it’s sooo good! I do remember how my husband and I almost arm-wrestled over the last wrap. He ended up eating it, but  I would have won. I totally would have won. 

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