Ground Beef Tacos

Ground Beef Tacos ~ bold, spicy Mexican flavored ground beef tacos with chipotle peppers. An easy recipe, perfect for tacos, enchiladas or nachos.

Dinner | April 22, 2018 | By

Ground Beef Tacos ~ bold, spicy chipotle flavored ground beef tacos from scratch. Also perfect for enchiladas or nachos and ready in under 30 minutes.  

When it comes to sharing recipes, sometimes I overlook the obvious, like these Ground Beef Tacos. Who doesn’t love a good taco (except maybe my grandkids who are in that ‘suspicious food’ state of toddlerhood). Crunchy or soft but always loaded with spicy meat, lettuce, cheese and fresh salsa.

You’ve probably made tacos using a packaged dry seasoning mix and if you’re happy with that, don’t rock the boat.

But I’m guessing since you’re reading this, you know in your heart of hearts there are better tasting tacos out there. If you’re also wondering (a) what’s actually in that seasoning package and (b) why your homemade tacos don’t taste as good as the ones in your favorite Mexican restaurant, I urge you to give this recipe a try.

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Charcuterie 101 + Tips for Hosting a Wine and Cheese Party

Charcuterie 101 + Tips for Hosting a Wine and Cheese Party ~ casual laid back entertaining iat home ~ perfect for wine and cheese lovers.

Appetizers & Beverages | April 13, 2018 | By

Charcuterie 101 + Tips for Hosting a Wine and Cheese Party ~ casual laid back entertaining at home ~ perfect for wine and cheese lovers.

GIVEAWAY!

When was the last time you had a girls’ night in? Your best girls at your house, good food, wine and of course plenty of laughs, catching up and sharing a little gossip. If you can’t remember when, it’s been too long.

Of course you can always meet at a restaurant, but that can be expensive and you lose the relaxed, ‘come as you are’ feeling of getting together in someone’s home.

Entertaining just got easier with step by step instructions for a drool-worthy charcuterie board, tips on how to host a wine and cheese party and if that’s not enough ~ a GIVEAWAY!

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Chili Lime Chicken

Chili Lime Chicken ~ tender, juicy chicken breasts exploding with bold flavor, topped with an easy sweet-spicy fresh pineapple salsa. Stove to table in under 30 minutes!

Dinner | April 7, 2018 | By

Chili Lime Chicken ~ tender, juicy chicken exploding with bold flavors, served with an easy sweet-spicy pineapple salsa.

We’re home from vacation and while it’s great to be home, let’s just say a teenage boy couldn’t have eaten more than I did while I was gone. Ugh.

The goal is to get back into the swing of things, starting with eating better and saying a hard NO to a midafternoon Rumrunner. Don’t judge me. It’s one of the best beach drinks around.

Anyway, it’s 30° today with a light dusting of snow on the ground, so I made this Chili Lime Chicken in a skillet. If it’s warmer where you are you can certainly fire up the grill and do this Chili Lime Chicken proud.

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Garlic Feta Dip

Garlic Feta Dip ~ loaded with the bold Mediterranean flavors of garlic and feta, balanced with fresh lemon and dill in a creamy dip. Serve with warm toasted pita and veggies.

Appetizers & Beverages | March 22, 2018 | By

Garlic Feta Dip ~ whipped ’til creamy, loaded with the bold flavors of garlic and feta, balanced with fresh lemon and dill, served up with warm, lightly toasted pita and veggies.

We vacation as a family in southwest Florida every year. My husband and I kick off the vacation and the kids join us a couple of weeks later.

Last week all the kids were in town and along with the volume and craziness they bring a wide variety of appetites. Meals range from Fruit Loops to hot dogs, to Chorizo Queso Dip and Chicken Tacos to and scallops and risotto for seafood night. In between there are rum drinks and wine but that’s for another post. 

We had a great time together with lots of laughs and swimming, kayaking, hunting for sharks teeth on the beach, catching some beautiful sunsets and even celebrating our granddaughter’s second birthday.

Garlic Feta Dip ~ loaded with the bold Mediterranean flavors of garlic and feta, balanced with fresh lemon and dill in a creamy dip. Serve with warm toasted pita and veggies.

My husband and I are here another week or so along with an odd assortment of food left in the refrigerator after the kids departed. I’m up to the task. I consider my personal challenge to use up *every* bit of it even if it kills me. That chicken though ~ vamoose. It somehow got shoved to the back of the fridge and really would kill me. 

Garlic Feta Dip ~ creamy, tangy feta, bold garlic flavor and the bright, fresh taste of lemon and dill has already used several ingredients plus some pistachios that became a garnish. This dip (insert sigh) is so delicious I’d ride this train ’til it won’t run any more.

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Mini Strawberry Pies

just 5 ingredients to delicious, simple, bite size pies loaded with fresh sweet strawberries in a flaky crust, topped with whipped cream

Dessert | March 4, 2018 | By

Mini Strawberry Pies ~ just 5 ingredients to delicious, simple, bite size pies loaded with fresh sweet strawberries in a flaky crust.

If you like strawberry pie, you’re in for a treat. My husband said these Mini Strawberry Pies took him back to the ones his aunt used to bring him as a special treat from Sanders where she worked when he was a little boy. They remind me of the mile high strawberry pie at Elias Brothers Big Boy’s, one of our favorite restaurants when our girls were small.

We spent a lot of Friday evenings in those vinyl booths scanning the menu only to order the same thing each time. It was a great way to wind down the week but the girls’ favorite part was after dinner when we’d head across the street to K-Mart so they could choose a new outfit for their Barbie (who already had an enviable wardrobe).

Maybe you’ll find some nostalgia in these pies, too. There are just 5 ingredients to make them and if you want to top them with whipped cream (they’re good either way), a total of 6. They couldn’t be any simpler to make and if you’re like me, you’ll agree everything better in a mini version.

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Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

or until the sauce thickens.

Dinner | February 24, 2018 | By

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie ~ the ultimate in comfort food with its buttery, golden flaky crust filled with tender bites of chicken, potatoes, carrots and peas and a creamy chicken flavored sauce.

I grew up on Homemade Chicken Pot Pie ~ not the kind you’re seeing here, but the mini ones from the freezer section of the grocery store. They were also baked to a golden brown and filled with chicken and veggies ~ some I liked (corn and potatoes); others (carrots and peas) I passed along to the family dog camped out under the dinner table. 

Today I love all the veggies that make up the rich flavors in this Homemade Chicken Pot Pie. It’s a million times better than the frozen one. Seriously, a comfort dream dinner.

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Honey Chipotle Glazed Meatloaf

Honey Chipotle Glazed Meatloaf ~ perfectly seasoned meatloaf with a slightly sweet, boldly spicy caramelized honey chipotle glaze baked on top and cheddar cheese inside.

Dinner | February 17, 2018 | By

Honey Chipotle Glazed Meatloaf ~ perfectly seasoned meatloaf with a slightly sweet, boldly spicy caramelized honey-chipotle glaze baked on top.

Honey Chipotle Glazed Meatloaf ~ perfectly seasoned meatloaf with a slightly sweet, boldly spicy caramelized honey chipotle glaze baked on top and cheddar cheese inside.

Meatloaf doesn’t always have the best reputation. It’s been known to be greasy, dry, flavorless. The stuff that’s passed by in the cafeteria line and sometimes even at home. Honey Chipotle Glazed Meatloaf is just the recipe to set all those outdated, preconceived notions about meatloaf aside. 

This meatloaf is perfectly seasoned with a slightly sweet and yes, boldly spicy glaze that with the magic of the baking process caramelizes ~ and as if that’s not enough to get you to the table on time, I added some grated sharp cheddar cheese, inside too.

My standard meatloaf is a classic recipe I’ve been making for years, smothered in mushroom gravy but the last couple of weeks I’ve been cleaning out the pantry and refrigerator before we leave on vacation, creating some new recipes with the ingredients I found.

A can of chipotle peppers in adobo was just what this Honey Chipotle Glazed Meatloaf needed to take it to the next level. As comforting as its classic cousin, but with sass. Lots of sass.

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Easy Black Bean Soup

Easy Black Bean Soup recipe ~ 5 ingredients, stove to table in 20 minutes. Loaded with flavor, protein and fiber, a delicious healthy any-night meal.

Soup | February 10, 2018 | By

Easy Black Bean Soup recipe ~ 5 ingredients, stove to table in 20 minutes. Loaded with delicious flavor, protein and fiber for a healthy any-night meal.

There are those days that just demand an easy, no-fuss meal and if you can find one that goes from stove to table in about 20 minutes, all the better. Easy Black Bean Soup is a delicious, healthy power-packed meal that does just that with only 5 simple fridge and pantry staples.

If you’ve been following for a while, you may remember this Easy Black Bean Soup I originally created after we got home from a trip to Key West where the breezes are balmy and the Rum Runners flow. Lately, I’ve been revisiting some of my older recipes and updating photos but when I saw this post I thought ~ huh? ~ all these ingredients don’t equal easy.

So I reworked the recipe and with the help of a jar of salsa verde the new, improved Easy Black Bean Soup still hits every flavor mark and a quick pulse with an immersion blender gives it just the right velvety texture.

It’s soup season. Let’s make soup!

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Vegetable Barley Soup

Vegetable Barley Soup ~ hearty, nourishing delicious comfort in a bowl. This soup is loaded with vegetables, beans and barley, packed with fiber and protein.

Dinner, Soup | February 5, 2018 | By

Vegetable Barley Soup ~ hearty, nourishing delicious comfort in a bowl loaded with veggies, beans and barley and packed with fiber and protein.

Most times when I make soup I don’t cook with a recipe. My favorite way is to let the ingredients in the refrigerator tell the story. Try it sometime; soup (unlike baking) is very forgiving. It’s practically goof-proof.

Last week a friend of mine called to see if I wanted to walk along the lake with her. My knee-jerk reaction was um no, it’s too cold, but she’s so dedicated to walking even when the temps are below zero, that I agreed if for no other reason than I didn’t want to be a wimp.

We even convinced another friend to join us and you know how it goes ~ three women walking and talking and before we knew it a few miles were behind us.

By the time I got home I was chilled to the bone and a pot of soup was the only solution ~ a pot of steaming, flavor loaded soup . . . the kind I already had all the ingredients for and that’s how this Vegetable Barley Soup was born.

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Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan recipe ~ tender bites of boneless chicken and broccoli in a silky, cheesy sauce served over rice. A family classic.

Dinner | February 1, 2018 | By

Chicken Divan ~ tender bites of boneless chicken and broccoli in a silky, cheesy sauce served over rice. A family classic.

When my kids were small getting a meal on the table that everyone would actually eat without complaints was a challenge. Who am I kidding? Even with just two of us left at the table most days, it’s still a challenge.

Chicken Divan was one dish my entire family would devour without a single complaint, whine or scrunched up nose, including my pickiest eater (you know who you are).

I don’t claim to have given birth to this recipe. It’s been around the block as many times as I have, but I put my own spin on it years ago and have made it many, many times since. From my family to yours, Chicken Divan.

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