Saturday, March 30, 2013

Got Leftover Ham?

If you're like me, you probably have leftover ham from Easter! I made a smoked ham butt and I saved the bone with about 1/2 lb of meat attached! This is my favorite ham & bean soup...or hambone soup, as I usually call it! I found this recipe on This recipe says to cook the soup for 8 hours but it was perfect after only 4 hours! I served it with homemade cornbread. A great hearty, filling soup!

Ham and Bean Soup
**Click Here For Recipe**

And for a quick and delicious cornbread to go with the Ham and Bean soup, I used this recipe because it was simple and I had all the ingredients in my pantry! This cornbread was nice and dense, which was perfect for dipping into the soup!
Excellent and Healthy Cornbread
**Click Here For Recipe**

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sausage Chips

If your looking for a new, unique snack or appetizer, try these sausage chips! They were so easy and just like potato chips, you
can't eat just one!

I made these using Johnsonville fully cooked smoked sausage. I served them with a creamy cheese sauce for dipping! We were dipping and licking the plate clean with this snack!

This was a recipe I wanted to try for my brand ambassador program. I found this recipe here on the Johnsonville recipe site through their Pinterest board.

1 package Johnsonville fully cooked smoked sausage
 Freeze the sausage for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
 When sausage is firm, but not completely frozen, cut on diagonal into very thin slices.
Place slices on 2 parchment lined baking sheets.
Bake for 15 minutes, then turn each slice over and bake another 10-15 minutes or until nicely browned. Blot on paper towels.
While the sausage is baking make the cheese dipping sauce.
Ready for the oven

                                      CHEESE DIPPING SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
2 Tbls. butter
2 tbls. flour
1 cup milk - I used 1% low fat
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add in the flour and cook while stirring for about 1 minute. Then slowly add in the milk, letting the milk thicken while contantly whisking.
Then add in the salt and pepper. Now add in the shredded cheese and continue whisking until nice and thick. When the cheese sauce has thickened reduce heat to the lowest setting to just keep warm until ready to use. Cover pan with tin foil and whisk before serving.
 Serve warm with the sausage chips for dipping.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Apple Danish Roll-Ups

This is a quick easy dessert that tastes like it came from a fancy bakery! I've seen many recipes with apples rolled in store bought refidgerated crescent biscuits, but that wasn't good enough for me! Noooo, I had to tweak it and change it to make it into something different!

I was so very happy with how these turned out! I love the sweet, firm apple inside the soft, puffed crescent! And the sweet almond flavored cream cheese with the toasted almond topping just brought it all together! I can't wait to serve these to guests someday! But it's a good thing there weren't any guests at my house on this day because I ate 3 of these roll-up before they had a chance to get cold! This recipe only makes 8 roll-ups, so maybe I'll double the recipe when guests are coming over!

1 apple - peeled, cored and sliced into 8 equal pieces
1 - 8oz. container of reduced fat Pillsbury crescent rolls
3 Tbls. cinnamon sugar
lemon juice- fresh squeezed - about 2 Tbls.
4 oz. cream cheese - I used fat free- softened
3 Tbls. white sugar
1 Tbls. honey
1/4 tsp. pure almond extract
toasted almond slivers - crushed -topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Seperate the crescent rolls into 8 individual pieces.
Place 1 slice of apple at the widest end of each crescent piece.
Sprinkle with about 1 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon sugar.
Also sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp. of lemon juice.
Roll up as you would to make a crescent roll.
Do this with all the rolls.
Sprinkle the outside of each roll with about 1 tsp. of cinnamon sugar.
Bake until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.
While the crescents are baking make the cream cheese topping.
In a small bowl combine cream cheese, white sugar, honey and almond extract until smooth.
When roll-ups are done baking dip the tops of each one, while still warm, into the cream cheese mixture and sprinkle with toasted almond slivers.
Serve warm or room temp.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chicken Scampi

I love a good shrimp scampi! My kids...not so much! They're just not a fan of shrimp! So I decided to switch the shrimp for chicken! It worked...they loved this! So, that's how this chicken scampi was created! The only difference is that I needed to cook the chicken much longer than I would the shrimp. But this was so very easy...I think I'll make this more often!

Chicken Scampi

3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts - sliced into thin 1 " strips
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbls. butter
5 large cloves garlic - minced
1 tsp. kosher salt or to taste
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 lemon - juiced
2 tsp. flour
3 Tbls. fresh minced parsley
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan or romano cheese
1 lb. cooked pasta - any shape

Heat a large oven safe skillet over medium heat.
Add olive oil and butter.
When butter starts to melt, add minced garlic.
Cook for 1 minute then add chicken, stirring contantly to cook evenly.
Season with salt, pepper and oregano.
When chicken becomes opaque, add lemon juice and keep stirring.
Then sprinkle in the flour to slightly thicken the juices.
Stir to evenly combine. Then remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place skillet in oven and bake uncovered for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile cook pasta according to package directions.
When pasta is done cooking drain and set aside.
Remove skillet from oven and add in the parsley. Stir to combine.
Plate pasta on a large platter or bowl and add chicken mixture ontop.
Sprinkle with fresh grated cheese. Serve warm.
Serves 4-6 people


Monday, March 25, 2013

Five Minute Chocolate Mousse!

When I have a chocolate craving I want something fast! So having this simple recipe is a joy! I didn't think it was possible to make chocolate mousse that fast! But after trying this recipe I was happy to see that it can be done!
This recipe was originally called 60 Second Chocolate Mousse but it really took slightly longer to make! It is so worth the extra 4 minutes!

My younger daughter is a chocoholic like me! She gave this recipe a big thumbs up! Wow...'chocoholic' is actually a word in spell check!
That literally gives new meaning to my obsession!
Here is how I made this Chocolate Mousse...

Five Minute Chocolate Mousse

1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
whipped cream - for topping
crushed chocolate chips - garnish

Place chocolate chips, egg and vanilla extract in a food processor or blender and chop.
Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan until small bubbles appear at edge. Do not boil.
With processor or blender running pour in hot cream.
Blend until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Pour into dessert cups and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in freezer for 5 minutes.
Serve with whipped cream and chocolate pieces ontop.
Serves 4

Recipe courtesy of


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Tastee Apple Giveaway!

I have been a big fan of Tastee Gourmet Apples for a long time! I buy them whenever I see them in my local food stores! These apples are always so juicy and decadent! You may have seen me blog about them a few times in the past!

Well Stacy Doak from the Tastee Apple Company was generous enough to send me these 3 giant gourmet chocolate covered apples! I have been very lucky to have received their chocolate covered apple creations, in the past!  So now I'm passing these three along to one of my lucky readers!  Under the layer of chocolate is a layer of caramel...a yummer!!!!

Go to the Tastee Apple website *here* to get all the info on these heavenly apple treats!

Each one of these huge chocolate covered gourmet apples serves 4-6 people. So these 3 apples can make alot of your family and friends very happy!

The Giveaway Info...

This is a very easy giveaway! No hoops to jump through!
 Just take a peek at the Tastee Apple Website. Then comeback here and tell me what you enjoyed reading about on their site!  If you want to, you can 'Like' their Facebook page from there also! I'm sure they would appreciate that! That's it! But you may not want to enter if you live where the climate is hot! Chocolate and heat don't mix!

 Giveaway ends March 23, 2013 at 5pm EST. Only one entry per person. US residents only. Anonymous entries can only apply if name is posted in comment. Winner will be chosen at random using this random line pick website.
 Leave an email address in your comment or subscribe to this post after you comment and make sure to comeback on March 24th to see if you're a winner! Winner must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. If you didn't leave your email address in your comment, the winner can privately email me their name and address to my email address listed in my 'About Me' section of this blog.
Prize will be sent out with 24 hours of receiving winners mailing info.

Thank you so much to everyone who reads my blog!
And Good Luck to everyone who enters!

March 23, 2013   7:11 pm
 And The Winner Is...
  *~*~*Sprinkle Some Sunshine*~*~*

March 26, 2013  9:30 pm

Sorry 'Sprinkle Some Sunshine', but I have picked a new winner because you have not responded in time!

The New Winner Is...
*~*~*Loralei Perozich*~*~*


All Free Casserole Recipes Website

I was very honored recently to have 3 of my casserole recipes posted on the All Free Casserole Recipes website! That site has so many interesting categories such as...

Foodie Review - a section where the editors tell us about food products that they've tried.

Featured Foodie - a section where they highlight certain food bloggers.

Free eCookbooks - a section where you can look through all the free eBooks they offer.

Plus sections for giveaways and grocery coupons! And of course, many sections of different casseroles such as chicken, beef, vegetarian, dessert and even diet casseroles!

These are my 3 casserole recipes that they published on their site...

Corn Dog Casserole
Click title to see recipe
The Sloppy Shepard
Click title to see recipe

One Pan Baked Potato Casserole
Click title to see recipe

I love the well written recipe descriptions they added to each one of my recipes!
Go check out my recipes and tell me what you think!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Breakfast Pizza

We love to have breakfast for dinner once a week, so this recipe came in very handy! This pizza is filled with so many fresh and flavorful ingredients like smoked chicken chipolte sausage, roma tomatoes, mozzarella, parmesan cheese, eggs and green onions! All baked on top of homemade bread! But you can use store bought bread. This is easy and very filling! The recipe is from the Johnsonville sausage company.    It is called Morning Terrace Pizza and you can find it on
 This is a very versatile recipe that can be made to suit your own tastes. You can use any flavor sausage and your favorite cheeses! That's what I did and it worked perfectly.
I loved the freshness of the roma tomatoes and green onion along with the spicy and smokey chicken chipolte sausage. And the bread had a nice crisp crunch! The eggs and cheese gave it creaminess and held it all together!
This was another one of my delicious brand ambassador assignments for I'm really enjoying all the Johnsonville recipes. I was only asked to make 2 sausage recipes but these sausages are so good that I wanted to make more! I have one more recipe I want to make...I'll be doing that next week. It will be my own creation! I can't wait to try it!
Take a look at the large selection of recipes on the Johnsonville Pinterest Boards! They have them all nice and neatly put into different categories like 'breakfast', 'lunch', 'dinner', 'appetizers' and soooo much more! When you click on any of the recipes from their Pinterest boards it will bring you to the Johnsonville recipe page. There you can rate and review the recipes you've made, for other cooks to see!  I love that feature on their recipe site!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

For St. Patty's Day!

I'm not Irish but I made this corned beef and cabbage for dinner last St. Patty's Day in honor of the holiday! 'Corned Beef and Cabbage I' ...and I followed what this reviewer said...
Reviewed: Mar. 6, 2008
"I take the corned beef out and while the cabbage, carrots and pot's are cooking in the liquid, I put the brisket in the oven for 30 minutes with this sauce that I combine on the stove until smooth. 1/3 cup of brown sugar,2 tblsp of butter, tbsp of prepared yellow mustrad, 1/3 cup ketchup, 3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar. I combine these ingredients till smooth, then pour over the brisket while the veggies are cooking. 30 to 40 mins. at 350 will do it. Hope you like it, all of my friends who hate corned beef will only eat mine!" By Tracey
 I was so lost on which recipe to use because there are a million recipes for corned beef and cabbage! I decided to just pick the recipe with the most positive reviews! 
I made the right choice...we loved this!

This recipe worked out PERFECTLY!! Look at how that delicious sweet and tangy glaze just glistens on the corned beef! Thank you Tracey, for mentioning your sauce recipe in your review!

 The only change I made was to add 3 large cloves of chopped garlic in the pot with the other veggies. I also used less potatoes than stated in the original recipe and I quartered the potatoes. The cabbage soaked up the flavor from the seasoning packet very nicely! I'll be using this recipe from now on!
YAY...I finally found a great corned beef and cabbage recipe!
 I'm showing the recipe with my changes and with the glaze mentioned by the reviewer name Tracey.

Glazed Corned Beef and Cabbage

3 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet
5 small red potatoes, quartered
5 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 large head cabbage, cut into small wedges

1. Place corned beef in large pot and cover with water.
Add the spice packet that came with the corned beef. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Simmer approximately 50 minutes per pound or until tender.
Then remove corned beef from pot and place in a baking pan. Cover the corned beef with the glaze shown below.

2. While the corned beef is baking in the oven with the glaze, add quartered potatoes, carrots, garlic to the pot that contains the cooking liquid from the corned beef
and cook until the vegetables are almost tender.
Add cabbage and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove meat and let rest 15 minutes.

3. Place vegetables in a bowl and cover.
Add as much broth as you want from the cooking liquid in the large pot.
Slice meat across the grain and serve with the vegetables.

Take the corned beef out of the pot and place on a baking pan, while the cabbage,
carrots, potatoes and garlic are cooking in the liquid,
Put the corned beef in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees F. covered in the glaze
shown below, that I combine until smooth, in a small saucepan, on the stove top. 

1/3 cup of brown sugar,
2 tbsp. of butter,
1 tbsp. of prepared yellow mustard,
1/3 cup ketchup,
3 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
Recipe adapted from 
This post belongs to My Recipe Journey food blog. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Unstuffed Greek Chicken Breasts

Oh how I love to make recipes as simple as possible! That's exactly what I did with this recipe! I'm not very good at stuffing things into pockets of meat! I can never get enough stuffing inside and the stuffing usually comes oozing out before it's done cooking! So why not just put the stuffing on top of the meat! Chicken meat, in this case! But I intend to do this with other meats also! And even with fish! I'm going on an 'unstuffed' recipe frenzy, so watch out!

This was so delicious! The stuffing is made up of garlic, onions, spinach, bread crumbs, feta cheese and spices! This was fast and easy! Done in less than an hour, including prep time. Here is how I made it...Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute the onions and garlic until tender in a medium size skillet. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and oregano. Then remove from heat and add in the spinach and feta, stirring well. Now add in the the bread crumbs and mix again to combine. Let cool enough to handle. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper. Place the thin cut chicken breast on the baking sheet. Place even amounts of the spinach mixture on each chicken breast, covering the entire breast. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until fully cooked and stuffing is browned. Serve warm.

4-6 boneless skinless chicken cutlets - if they're very thick, slice in half lengthwise
3 tbls. olive oil
4-6 large cloves garlic - minced
1 medium onion - chopped fine
10 ozs. frozen chopped spinach - thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 cup plain bread crumbs
6 0zs. feta cheese - crumbled
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Saute the onions and garlic until tender in a medium size skillet. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and oregano. Then remove from heat and add in the spinach and feta, stirring well. Now add in the the bread crumbs and mix again to combine.
Let cool enough to handle.
Line a large baking pan with parchment paper.
Place the thin cut chicken breast on the baking sheet.
Place even amounts of the spinach mixture on each chicken breast, covering the entire breast. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until fully cooked and stuffing is browned.
Serve warm.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Chocolate Cobbler!

This is some kind of wonderful...yes it is!  And this is what great songs are made of! I was happy dancing to that song as I was eating this perfectly fabulous chocolate dessert!

I'll try to put into words, what this tastes like! It is like a combination of a perfect cake brownie on a bed of the most splendidly light chocolate pudding! Some foodies have compared this recipe to a lava cake, but since I've never eaten a lava cake, I can't make that comparison! I just can't believe how delicious this turned out with so little effort and such simple ingredients! And what is even better is that it doesn't contain much butter and doesn't contain any eggs!
I even used low fat milk! So I would consider this a low fat dessert!

I found this recipe *here* on a food site called 'What2Cook', but I tweaked it slightly because I didn't have self rising flour. This is how I made it...

3/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbls. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk - I used 1% low fat
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 Tbls. melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all the above ingredients together and spread into a greased 11" x 7" baking pan.
Then make the topping mixture below.
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups hot water
Mix together topping mixture and just pour over batter in pan, but do not stir in the pan.
 It will look like a soup, but will bake up nicely!
Bake for 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and let set for 15 minutes before serving to let the chocolate on the bottom thicken slightly.
Tastes great served warm.
Can eat plain or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

~~ Update ~~
March 15, 2013
Don't make this in a smaller pan than stated in the directions.
I tried to use an 8"x 8" pan and it took longer to bake plus the chocolate sauce didn't thicken until it was totally cold.
So stick with the 11" x 7" pan even though the mixture will be spread pretty thinly.

The Liebster Award!


I was recently honored to be nominated for this award from a fellow blogger named Summer at Mallow and Co. This award is to recognise the efforts of fairly new bloggers who fall into the category of having less than 3000 followers...that's what I found out when I researched this award on Google! I love Google! The Liebster award seems to be a very popular award in the blogging industry!

The word 'Liebster' is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.  All good stuff! And I'm so grateful that Summer would consider me or my blog to be any of those things!

This award doesn't come easy! There is a lot of work involved, but it's all fun work! Here are the rules for anyone who accepts this award...

* Tell 11 random facts about yourself
* Answer the 11 questions the nominator has asked you.
* Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 3000 followers) to pass
the award to and link them in your post.
*Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
*Go back to their page and tell them about the award.
*No tag backs.
Okay, here is a list of 11 random facts about myself...

1.) I don't like driving over bridges.
2.) I can't share food off my plate with anyone. Not even my own kids!
3.) I love garden fairy statues.
4.) I totally dislike the smell of wet dog, to the point where I lose my appetite!
5.) I do not like ANY sports except for boxing.
6.) I wish I had better handwriting.
7.)  I never saw the movie 'Titanic'...I know, I know, I really should watch it someday!
8.) A crab running sideways really freaks me out! And I live on an island, no less!
9.) I wish I knew how to knit! But it's just too boring to try to learn!
10.) I don't 'text' and I never will because it's so much easier to just talk!
11.) Now that I'm a blogger I wish I would have taken typing classes in school.

And here are the 11 questions from Summer...

1.) What are your hobbies or things you do in your spare time?
My hobbies are cooking and food photography.
2.) What is your biggest pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is clutter! I like to have things put away! I'm the total opposite of a hoarder!
3.) What's one of your favorite blogs of the moment?
'Made From Pinterest'...they test things that they find on Pinterest!
4.) Salty or Sweet?
I like a combo of the two! But if I had to pick one it would be 'sweet'...I have dessert every night!
5.) What is a goal you have for 2013?
To not sweat the small stuff!
6.) How many kids are in your family?
I have 3 older brothers and one younger sister.
7.) What is your dream job?
To get paid to test recipes!
8.) What is the hardest thing about blogging?
Using correct grammar and punctuations! Have you noticed that I just love exclamation marks!
9.) What is your favorite restaurant and why?
P.F. Chang's China Bistro because they make the best Mongolian Beef! And great cocktails too!
10.) What would your touchdown victory dance look like if you were in the NFL?
**See 'Random Fact List' above and read #5...but I'd pick the Chicken Dance!
11.) What's your favorite season and why?
Winter, because it's so much easier to get warm than it is too stay cool!

Thanks Summer! Great questions!

My list of 11 blogs that I would like to nominate for the Liebster Award are...

Smoked 'N Grilled
Oh Abby Day
No-Frills Recipes
Menu Musings of a Modern American Mom
Cookie Rookie
Hungry Couple
A Couple in the Kitchen
Chachi Joan
Made From Pinterest

My 11 questions for the above nominees are...
1.) What is your most popular recipe, among your family and friends, that you've created?
2.) How much time do you spend working on your blog each day?
3.) If you could live anywhere, where would you live?
4.) What's the furthest you've driven for a good meal?
5.) What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
6.) What do you do to relax?
7.) What is your favorite cooking show?
8.) Who is the biggest fan of your cooking?
9.) Who or what inspires you to cook?
10.) What is the most you've spent on a single ingredient and what was it?
11.) What is your favorite and most used spice? 

I hope the nominees, who accept this award, will be as honored as I am and have as much fun as I did, with their tasks!



Monday, March 11, 2013

Sausage and Brew

This is another recipe that I adapted from as part of my assignment as a brand ambassador. I found this recipe called Beef and Brew and tweaked it to work with Johnsonville smoked sausage. I mentioned this fun assignment yesterday in this post *here*. I used the same sausage to make the egg rolls in that post!

This Sausage and Brew recipe was just what I had hoped it would be...thick, hearty and full of great smoked sausage and vegeatble flavor! I'll have to double the recipe next time because my family was scraping their plates and looking for more! I love it when that happens!
I'll be making 2 more sausage recipes for the brand ambassador program this month! If they turn out as well as these first 2 did, I will post them this week!

This Sausage and Brew recipe was very easy and quick to make!
It was done in less than 40 minutes!

Sausage and Brew

1 Tbls. butter
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup beer - I used a dark beer, but not a stout
3/4 cup water divided
1 bay leaf
13.5 oz. pkg. Johnsonville smoked sausage
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbls. all-purpose flour
1 lb. egg noodles, cooked
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the all the vegetables and saute for 10 minutes, or until tender. Add the beer, 1/2 cup water, bay leaf, thyme, ground black pepper and salt. Simmer and stir for about 10 minutes. Add the sausage and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Remove bay leaf.
In a separate small bowl, combine the flour and remaining 1/4 cup water. Mix well, making sure the flour is completely dissolved. Stir this mixture into the meat mixture.
 Cook until thickened and bubbly.
Serve over egg noodles or rice.
This recipe was adapted from Beef and Brew

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Smoked Sausage Egg Rolls

**Click Here For Recipe**
I thought I would try a unique spin on the average Chinese egg roll by using smoked sausage instead of ground pork! I was very happy with the results! These egg rolls are just as good as traditional egg rolls but are easier and less expensive to make! These are baked egg rolls, so they are healthier also!

 The reason for using smoked sausage is because Johnsonville is one of the sponsers this month for the brand ambassador program, of which I am a proud member! This months assignment is to make some recipes from the large selection of Johnsonville sausage recipes posted on the Allrecipes website. I was surprised to see such a vast variety! Check out the Johnsonville sausage recipes *here* on As a brand ambassadors I was also asked to take any beef recipes, of my choice, from the Allrecipes website and substitute Johnsonville sausage for the beef! I love these kinds of creative cooking assignments! So that's how my Smoked Sausage Egg Rolls were created! I took a recipe for beef egg rolls and tweaked it using the smoked sausage.

The Johnsonville sausage company was so very generous to give all the brand ambassadors a wonderful and very useful gift. Each brand ambassador (about 150 of us) were given this quality stoneware bake set from Sur La Table. Plus 4 free coupons for any Johnsonville sausage products! I was so happy to see that Johnsonville has such a huge selection of sausages! I'm not a fan of  ground pork sausages. But when I saw that they also had a line of  ''Fully Cooked Dinner Sausages' such as chicken sausages, brats, chipotle sausages, smoked sausages, and so much more, I was relieved!
Look at their sausage selection **here**  You can also comment on their Facebook page. There you can also see lots of sausage recipes being made by other Allrecipes brand ambassadors! Johnsonville is kind enough to post those recipes directly onto their Facebook wall! Your recipe photos can be on there also! Just post the recipe that you've tried, with a photo, and the recipe link, to their wall. They appreciate feedback from happy customers!
I was very pleasantly surprised at how delicious the Johnsonville fully cooked smoked sausage tasted! This is the one I chose for my recipe above. The flavor reminded me of a good quality smoked kielbasa...and I love kielbasa!
I have a few more fun and unique sausage recipes to try this month!  I'll be posting those creations in the very near future!
 I look forward to many more delicious dinners using Johnsonville sausage!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sweet Garlic Chicken

This recipe is so VERY easy and so tasty! And it only has 4 ingredients...well 6, if you count the salt & pepper! I love garlic and would put it on almost anything! But I never thought that combining garlic with brown sugar and olive oil could make such a flavorful recipe!

This chicken was so tender and juicy! This meal was done in less than an hour! It was sweet and two favorite flavors!

I found this recipe here on I made some slight changes because I doubled the recipe and didn't cook it at such a high temperature. My chicken breasts were very thick and needed to be cooked longer. They would have burned at 500 degrees for 30 minutes.

This is how I made this delicious recipe...

6 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 large cloves garlic - crushed
8 Tbls. brown sugar
6 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to season both side of chicken breasts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt & pepper and set aside.
In a small skillet saute the garlic with the olive oil until tender.
Remove the skillet from the heat and add the brown sugar, mix thoroughly.
Place the seasoned chicken breasts in a very large baking dish lined with tin foil.
Pour the brown sugar/garlic mixture over the chicken.
Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes or until cooked through.
If the chicken starts to overly brown before it is fully cooked, cover it loosely with tin foil and continue baking until fully cooked.
Pour pan juices over chicken before serving.
Goes great with potatoes and a green vegetable.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Island Dream Cocktail

       ~*~*~* TGIF Everyone *~*~*~
My inspiration for this new cocktail creation came from this recipe *here*. I first saw the recipe on Pinterest. I was looking for a good way to use up a banana and some coconut milk. This seemed to be a great way to do that! I didn't have all the ingredients for that recipe, so I improvised! I was very happy with the results!
This is a creamy and light drink that reminds me of the kind of cocktail you would have while on vacation in the tropics!
Yes, I can picture myself sitting on the balcony of a fancy island resort, sipping this drink and gazing into the crystal clear blue ocean, while happy couples stroll hand in hand on the shore and seagulls fly over head! back to reality!
2 ozs. sweet vermouth or sherry
2 ozs. rum
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1/4 tsp. coconut extract
1 ripe banana - mashed, but save 1 slice for garnish
Pour all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.
To chill this cocktail quickly, just pour it into a cocktail shaker filled 1/2 way with ice.
Then shake, shake, shake!
Strain into a pretty glass of your choice!
I like stemware for fancy drinks!
Garnish the rim of the glass with the sliced banana.
Sip and Enjoy!
Makes 1 cocktail

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ham and Bean Stew

I recently met a very talented food blogger with a real knack for taking amazing food photos! She's not a professional photographer but you would never know it by looking and her pictures! Her name is Judith Hannemann. Her food blog is called The Midnight Baker.

That's where I found this next recipe. This one stood out to me because I love smokey bean soups! But I never saw such an easy one with so few ingredients! So this is one I just had to try!

Judith Hannemann called this recipe Northeast Hearty Bean Soup. I renamed it Ham And Bean Stew because it truly reminds me of a stew. The carrots, onions, celery and beans, all cook down to create such a nice thick gravy! This is such a simple,  flavorful recipe, no matter what you call it!

Here is how I made it...
1 - 16 oz. bag of dried great northern beans - soaked in water overnight
3 carrots - chopped
1 medium sized onion chopped
2 stalks celery with their leaves - chopped
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. liquid smoke
1 1/2 lbs. smoked ham steak (low sodium) - remove bone and dice ham
2 cans vegetable broth
Place the beans in a large bowl and fill with water. Let soak overnight. Then drain water.
Put the soaked beans in a slowcooker with all the other ingredients.
Cover and cook on high for 5 hours.
Stir and serve warm.
Serves 4 - 6
How easy is that! I served mine with the pretzel rolls that I posted recently!
 It was all good!