Tag Archives: Homemade

Spicy Instant Pot Chicken

The instant pot is certainly the new craze these days. Dinner in under an hour, yes please! Some folks are intimidated by this new machine, but just remember that it’s much like it’s grandfather the crock pot – you can dump whatever you have in your kitchen and voila, dinner is served. This recipe has become a favorite and a staple in our house:

Begin with 3-4 trimmed chicken breasts. Then I grab all the peppers I have on hand plus an onion.

Chop or slice everything into big pieces.

Turn your instant pot on to the brown cycle. Season your chicken generously with your favorite seasoning. We love Weber’s Garlic Habanero. Once heated, add some EVOO to the bottom before browning your chicken on both sides.

Toss in your veggies first. I love adding corn cut from the cob but canned works fine.

Now add in your canned goods. We love hot Rotel, fire roasted diced green chiles, fire roasted diced tomatoes, tomatillo salsa, chipotle in adobo sauce, beans, etc….literally, you can’t go wrong here. Then add 8oz of cream cheese (we prefer the Greek yogurt variety).

Put the lid on and let it cook for 40 minutes. Then shred the chicken inside the pot. We love to serve this over quinoa, but it would be great over rice, potato, or pasta – your pick.

Avocado (and maybe some jalapeño slices and hot sauce) make the perfect topping. Enjoy!

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Louisiana Shrimp Dip

I love shrimp and I love dips, so immediately I wanted to try this one. I made it for the Super Bowl yesterday and it was exactly what I was hoping for. I used local shrimp – I think the better quality shrimp you can use, the better.

After cleaning and deveining the shrimp I cut them into about 1 inch size pieces. Warm a tablespoon of butter over medium high heat. Toss in a diced red pepper and cook for a couple of minutes. Now add in your shrimp, a handful of chopped, green onions, and about a teaspoon of Creole or Cajun seasoning.

Cook until shrimp begins to turn pink. You don’t want to overcook them since they will have more cook time in your oven. Set aside.

Combine 8oz of cream cheese (I prefer the Greek yogurt variety), 1/3C mayo, juice of 1/2 of a lemon, and 1tsp Worcestershire sauce. I used a hand mixer for this step, but a wooden spoon would work also. Now stir in 1/2tsp red pepper flakes, 1tsp Creole or Cajun seasoning, 1/3C grated Parmesan cheese, and 1.5C shredded mozzarella. Once combined, fold in your shrimp mixture. Grease an 8×8 pan and spoon in your dip.

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

Serve with tortilla chips or a baguette. Enjoy!

Adapted From: Spicy Southern Kitchen

Spinach Lasagna

Here is yet another version of Lasagna that I love. This is perfect for a rainy, meatless Monday, or a cozy Sunday dinner (like we had last night). In fact, when I started dating my husband 12 years ago, this was one of the few things that I knew how to make; and it’s still a favorite.

Begin with your marinara sauce. Homemade is always better (my recipe is on this blog), but jar is fine if you are in a pinch.

Now you will need the following: 1 box frozen chopped spinach (thawed), 16oz of ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella, 1 cup grated parmesan, 1tbl minced garlic, and 1 egg (slightly beaten).

Ring out your spinach well in a kitchen towel before combining everything into a medium mixing bowl.

Cook your Lasagna noodles according to the package instructions (al dente). I like to use multi-grain but that’s totally up to you. Lay out your assembly.

Layer marinara, then noodles, then mixture. Repeat a second time, finishing with a layer of noodles, more marinara, and top with mozzarella and shredded parmesan.

Bake at 350 degrees covered with foil for 10 minutes and uncovered for another 15 or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with garlic or cheese bread and enjoy!

Classic Chicken Parmesan

We love comfort food in my house and this ranks right up there with all things warm and cheesy. It’s so simple, anyone can do it.

Begin with a couple of large chicken breasts and slice them horizontally. Make an assembly line of 1C of flour, 3 beaten eggs, and 2C Italian style Panko bread crumbs.

Salt and pepper your chicken and dredge them through the flour (pressing the flour in tightly), then the egg, and finally the breadcrumbs. Lay them onto a plate and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

Now I like to prepare my homemade marinara that is super easy and about a million times better than the store bought variety. That recipe is also on this blog. If you are short on time, the jar variety is just fine.

Warm a few tablespoons of EVOO over medium heat in a sauce pan and add in the chicken. Cook 4-6 minutes per side until the chicken is cooked through.

Transfer the chicken into a prepared baking dish. Slice fresh mozzarella onto each piece.

Set oven to broil and cook until cheese is melted and bubbling.

Prepare the pasta of your choice – I like angel hair with this dish but anything is fine. Lay a spoonful of marinara on top and some shredded Parmesan cheese.

Now place a piece of chicken on top with more marinara, cheese, and parsley. Serve with garlic bread and a Caesar salad. Enjoy!

The Best Ever Holiday Stuffing 

With the holidays upon us and Thanksgiving less than a week away, I’ve decided to share the sides that are a MUST in our house. Ryan is in charge of frying a turkey, smoking another, and the oysters, but I’m in charge of the sides that he feels are mandatory. 

I think we can all agree that stuffing is a must-have with the Thanksgiving spread. It happens to be one of my absolute favorite sides too, so several years ago I set out to make the most epic stuffing possible. I think I’ve achieved it – try it and see for yourself.😋

Begin with a couple large loaves of good, soft, unsliced bread. I use a combo of white and wheat. You’ll need about 9 cups total of bread cubes. Lay them out on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Set aside. 

Sauté over medium heat in 3/4 cup of butter the following: 1.5C diced celery, 3/4C diced onions, and 1C mushrooms (optional) until soft. Now stir in 1/2tsp salt, 1/2tsp sage, 1/2tsp thyme, 1tsp poultry seasoning, and 1/4tsp pepper. 

Toss seasoned veggies with bread cubes in large mixing bowl. Add in 1C chicken broth to moisten. 

Transfer into a greased 9×13 baking dish and bake at 350 (uncovered) for 35-40 minutes. You can thank me later – Enjoy!!

Inspired by – Chef In Training 

Most Epic Chocolate Chip Cookies 🍪 

In honor of National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, I feel like I should share the last “chip” recipe you’ll ever need. I say “chip” because I have made these with milk chocolate, toffee, mint, peanut butter, and white chocolate chips and all are heavenly.

I use my Kitchenaid Mixer but I think you could possibly get away with using a decent hand mixer. 

Begin by sifting 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons of cake flour, 1 & 2/3 cups bread flour, 1.25 teaspoons baking soda, 1.5 teaspoons baking powder, & 1.5 teaspoons coarse salt. Set aside. 

With paddle attachment cream together 2.5 sticks unsalted butter (room temp), 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, & 1.25 cups light brown sugar until light and fluffy – approximately 5 minutes. 

Reduce speed and add 2 eggs & 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. 

Slowly add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in your chips. 

Refrigerate for 24-36 hours – DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. 

When ready, drop by the spoonful and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes – Cool on a wire rack. 

You will be the hit of the bake sale, the cookie swap, & the neighborhood Christmas party. You are welcome!🍪

Adapted From: I Am Baker

Tomato Pie🍅

There are only a few ways to respect a perfectly ripe, garden fresh tomato. A tomato sandwich with baked white or sourdough bread, Hellmann’s Real Mayo, and salt/pepper is a classic favorite. I would even put a toasted BLT in this catagory. However, if you want to take it up a notch, tomato pie is absolutely a little slice of heaven. 

There are a million ways to make a tomato pie, but this is one of my favorites. For those who don’t know my cousin (remember, the one with the unbelievable shrimp and grits recipe?!), she’s quite the cook also. This is her recipe that has come down from her mom’s side of the family. Her mom (my aunt) is one of the best cooks and bakers I know. Period. 

You obviously want to begin with the most perfectly ripe tomato slices you can find. These came from our garden. 

Slice a large vidalia onion and sauté it with a tablespoon of EVOO over medium heat. I like to let the onions cook way down until they begin to caramelize. 

Rinse and pat dry about 15 basil leaves. 

Now here is where this recipe stands out from the rest. Instead of using cheddar cheese, combine 1 cup of shredded Parmesan and 1 cup of mayonnaise. Set aside. 

Cook your pie crust according to the package instructions and let cool completely. Layer your tomatoes and generously salt and pepper them. 

Now layer in your onions and basil leaves. Repeat 2 more layers of each, ensuring you salt and pepper each tomato layer.

Top with your cheese and mayo mixture. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Pairs well with fresh corn and a mixed green salad. Enjoy!

Adapted From: Catherine Ballard Logan 

Amazing Chicken Fajitas

We obviously love Mexican inspired dishes in my house. Here is a new fajita marinade that I made yesterday and the result was spectacular. Wow. 

Whisk together 1/2 cup of good Italian dressing, 1tsp cumin, 1/2tsp brown sugar, 1/2tsp black pepper, 1/4tsp salt, 1/8tsp garlic powder, and 1/8tsp chipotle seasoning. 

Pour marinade into a gallon size freezer bag and add 2-3 chicken breasts. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight). Slice peppers (bell are fine, we used sweet peppers and the were divine!), mushrooms and onions. 

We grilled the veggies first on a griddle and then grilled the chicken. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before cutting it diagonally into strips. 

Using fresh flour tortillas, layer in Greek yogurt, your chicken and veggies. 

Top with salsa, avocado, jalapeños, hot sauce, or whatever you prefer. Delish!

Eggplant Lasagna

We LOVE eggplant at my house. One of my 2 year old’s favorite things besides Eggplant Parmesan is my Eggplant Lasagna. This low carb meal can be served meatless or with the ground meat of your choice. Essentially the eggplant replaces the pasta, and the flavor goes through the roof!!The easiest way to slice the eggplant is with a mandolin, and I use the largest setting (1/4 inch). (Peel them first!)

Warm a couple tablespoons of EVOO in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Sauté salted eggplant slices for a couple of minutes on each side until they soften. I only do a couple at a time and then place on a paper towel lined plate. Once you finish sautéing all of your eggplant, prepare the sauce of your choice. Construct just like lasagna:

Eggplant Slices ~ Ricotta ~ Sauce ~ Mozzarella ~ Shredded Parmesan ~ Repeat

Finish with a layer of eggplant topped with cheese.😋

Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for about an hour until browned and bubbly.☺️

We grow lots of eggplants. Most of the veggies we use come from our garden during the summer months including the eggplants I use in my freezer meals. So much fun!


Look how beautifully the eggplant slices replace boring ole lasagna noodles.


Fresh from the oven. It’s impossible not to have seconds. 🍆🍆🍆

Salsa. No party is complete without it. 

Whether it’s football game days in the fall or barbecues in the summer, chips and salsa are another staple in our house. Want to impress your friends with a super easy restaurant style salsa? My husband used to always make this salsa for us, but now that I use it in my Ranch Enchiladas & Enchilada Casseroles, I’ve taken over. This one is always a huge hit!!💃🏻

~ 1 undrained can of salsa style diced tomatoes

~ 1 undrained can of original Rotel

~ 1/3 of a yellow onion, diced

~ 4-5 green onions, chopped

~ Handful of cilantro, chopped

~ Juice of a lime

~ Pinch of oregano

~ Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, & Onion Powder to taste