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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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!

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Jalapeno Popper Pigs in a Blanket

Jalapeno Popper Pigs in a Blanket ~ smoked cocktail sausages wrapped in warm, flaky, golden crest dough, filled with 2 kinds of cheese, spicy jalapenos and crispy bacon.

Appetizers & Beverages | January 28, 2018 | By

Jalapeno Popper Pigs in a Blanket ~ mini smoked cocktail sausages wrapped in warm, flaky, golden crest dough filled with two kinds of cheese + spicy jalapenos and crispy bacon.

I actually do kind of enjoy the football part of the Super Bowl even though our home team wasn’t even close to being there, but let’s face it, the commercials and the food come in 1st and 2nd in my book ~ and not necessarily in that order.

Football food is pretty much the best food around, especially on Super Bowl Sunday, which gives us license to eat all sorts of food we try to stay away from the rest of the year. 

On Super Bowl, home cooks become as competitive as the players on the field with first string recipes like Chorizo Queso Dip or Sausage Wonton Cups and Jalapeno Popper Pigs in a Blanket ~ mini smoked sausages wrapped in crescent dough and filled with two kinds of cheese, jalapenos and bacon then baked until lightly golden and flaky.  They’re a combination of the classic Pigs in a Blanket and Jalapeno Poppers, but better. So much better. . .

(more…)

BBQ Chicken Pizza Dip

bbq chicken pizza from A Gouda Life just out of the oven served with Stonefire naan dippers

Appetizers & Beverages | January 23, 2018 | By

BBQ Chicken Pizza Dip ~ tender tasty bites of barbecue chicken, 3 kinds of gooey, melted cheese, bell peppers and red onion all scooped with warm, lightly toasted bread.

You don’t have to know a lot about football to know that football food should have its own category on the food pyramid and if there’s justice in this world, that category would be at the very bottom of the triangle. Can I get a high five on that one? 

So even if you’re not going to be wearing a game jersey at your Super Bowl party if you’re like me, there’s a good chance you’re assembling an arsenal of MVP recipes like this BBQ Chicken Pizza Dip, Chorizo Queso Dip or maybe a batch or two of Sausage Wonton Cups. Basically all things cheesy, indulgent, cheesy and a little spicy.

Did I mention cheesy?

(more…)

Baked Sausage Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner

Baked Sausage Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner ~ just 30 minutes to delicious fresh sausage, tender potatoes and earthy brussels spouts flavored with olive oil, honey, Dijon and fresh herbs.

Dinner | January 18, 2018 | By

Baked Sausage Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner ~ cooks in just 30 minutes in one pan ~ delicious fresh sausage, tender potatoes and earthy brussels spouts with amazing flavor blend from the juice of the sausage plus a light olive oil, honey, Dijon, fresh herb blend. Some good bread or rolls and you’ve got dinner.

I’ve been meaning to get this recipe on the blog for a while now. Actually, since Thanksgiving when I started the post with “if you can’t eat even one more bite of turkey leftovers but still want delicious comfort food in minutes, this is your dish”. Okay, so I’m a tad behind, but it’s here now and every bit as delicious as it would have been then.

The hardest thing about making Baked Sausage Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner is that you’ll be smelling it almost from the minute it goes into the oven (thankfully it’s just in there 30 minutes!) but once it comes out, oh man ~ juicy sausage, bites of tender red skin potatoes and rustic, earthy brussels sprouts with little crispy bits (my personal favorite). Trust me on this ~ you’ll be ready to dive right in.

(more…)

All American Beef Sliders

Appetizers & Beverages, Dinner | January 14, 2018 | By

 

Classic All American Beef Sliders ~ mini ground beef patties infused with the flavor of caramelized onions then topped with even more plus a tangy pickle or two, gooey melted cheese slid between Pepperidge Farm Slider Buns.

All American Beef Sliders ~ ground beef topped ~ and infused ~ with caramelized onions, cheese, pickles, ketchup and mustard all on timeless, unpretentious Pepperidge Farm slider buns.

With the Big Game coming soon, you may have been all over Pinterest looking for that game-winning recipe because let’s face it, while some are counting down to kickoff, others (me!) are checking out the food that’ll be served because where else do you find a better spread?

Classic All American Beef Sliders ~ mini ground beef patties topped ~ and infused ~ with caramelized onions ~ warm melted cheese, plus tangy pickle slices all slid between Pepperidge Farm Slider Buns are crowd-pleasers; bet you can’t eat just one!

All American Beef Sliders ~ ground beef topped ~ and infused ~ with caramelized onions, cheese, pickles, ketchup and mustard all on timeless, unpretentious Pepperidge Farm slider buns.

(more…)