Mini Turkey Meatloaves and We Heart Cooking! Review

I received a free copy of We Heart Cooking to review and write about if I chose to, all opinions are my own.

These Mini Turkey Meatloaves are kid-friendly, made in cupcake pans, topped with bacon, and delicious!



I’ve been thinking a lot about my 5 year old daughter and her position on pretty much anything food recently. This post and the next one coming really reflect that. Just a few weeks ago, she started taking an interest in helping me cook. She became interested all on her own, I hadn’t been asking her just yet. So, I’ve let her do a few things, like help me mix a salad or stir something, but the one thing I can’t get her to do is eat! Even if she helps make it! Well, not my kid, but there are some kids who like to cook and eat.

Lily and Audrey Andrews are identical twin sisters, age 12, who love to cook! They started at age 3, helping out in the kitchen, and have since gone on to write We Heart Cooking! via Cooking Light. The book includes cooking tips that budding chefs should know, like how to measure ingredients, and how to cut vegetables ( with a grown-ups help). The last recipe section of the book is a section on party planning and themed recipes. Nutrition information is included for all the recipes in the cookbook, which is great!  There are recipes from appetizers to desserts, some of which are very kids friendly, while others are a bit more adventurous,  with everything in-between, and that ‘s where I got the recipe for these Mini Turkey Meat Loaves. Younger kids can help mix the ketchup and barbecue sauce, or add the milk and eggs, and older kids could help mix up the meat.

Mini Turkey Meatloaves


You can learn more about the girls on their website Twin Chefs, including info on their blog, the book, and all the fun they are having on their cooking journey.

Mini Turkey Meatloaves and We Heart Cooking! Review
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Mini Turkey Meatloves topped with bacon, barbecue sauce, and ketchup. Both kids and adults alike will enjoy these!
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: Serves 6. 2 mini meatloaves per serving
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • ½ small onion
  • ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk (I used whole milk)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I used 2 teaspoons dried parsley)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce
  • 6 slices center-cut bacon
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Finely chop onion to equal about ½ cup. Combine onion with ground turkey, oats, and Parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Mix well with your hands. In a small bowl, combine eggs, milk, parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes, pepper, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Pour egg mixture over turkey mixture and mix with your hands until combined.
  2. To bake in muffin cups lightly coat each cup of a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Place an equal amount of turkey mixture into each cup. To bake in a loaf pan, lightly coat a 4 x 8-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Place turkey mixture in pan and smooth top.
  3. Mix ketchup and barbecue sauce in a small bowl. Spoon evenly over turkey mixture, dividing it equally if using muffin cups. Top with bacon, cutting each strip in half crosswise or layering strips in a lengthwise layer over a large loaf or to distribute equally over muffin cups.
  4. Bake until a meat thermometer inserted into center(s) reaches 165 degrees, about 35 minutes for muffin-sized loaves and 55 minutes for a large loaf. Turn oven to broil. Broil 6 inches from heat for 3-5 minutes or until bacon is crispy and browned. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe from We Heart Cooking by Lily and Audrey Andrews for Cooking Light
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 Calories: 351 Fat: 15 g Saturated fat: 5 g Carbohydrates: 18 g Sodium: 927 mg Fiber: 1 g Protein: 37 g




Apple Cinnamon French Toast – Kickers Powdered Fruit Blend Review and Giveaway

I was provided with samples of Kickers Powdered Fruit Blend to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.


Kickers Powdered Fruit Blend is designed to enhance foods by sprinkling on a little extra flavor, but you can also add it into your recipes to give them flavor. It comes in four flavors, all of which are “kid-friendly”, Maple Banana Cream, Apple Cinnamon, Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana, and Strawberry Banana. They are an all-natural blend of fruit, spices, and sweeteners, containing no artificial ingredients. They are also gluten-free. They retail for $9.99 for a 25 serving pouch (1 teaspoon serving) or $1.39 for a double serving stick pack, but, guess what? I’m giving away two 25 serving pouches to one lucky winner this week! The blends are great for sprinkling on toast, cottage cheese, yogurt, anything you can think of.



I really didn’t want to bake anything, and besides plain toast I didn’t have anything on hand to sprinkle the powdered fruit blends on to try out, and it was lunch time, so I decided to make French toast. I thought that the Apple Cinnamon flavor would work perfectly, but admit to considering Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana French Toast. Would that be weird? Hmm…Anyway, I was happy with my Apple Cinnamon decision! The French toast tasted like sweet apples and cinnamon, without the work of dicing apples and making stuffed French toast.

Apple Cinnamon French Toast


Read on after the recipe for the giveaway info!


Apple Cinnamon French Toast - Kickers Powdered Fruit Blend Review and Giveaway
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Apple Cinnamon French Toast made with Kickers Powders Fruit Blends. All the flavor of fresh apples without the chopping!
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 2-3 slices
  • 2-3 slices of your favorite bread
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup Apple Cinnamon Kickers Powdered Fruit Blend
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  1. In a shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, powdered fruit blend, and milk until large lumps disappear and it resembles pancake batter in consistency.
  2. Working one slice at a time, dip the bread into the egg mixture, leave it sit for a minute or so, turn and leave sit again. Remove from mixture onto a plate for a few minutes.
  3. Melt two tablespoons butter in a griddle pan over medium heat. Place the bread on the griddle, cook for about two minutes, then carefully turn and cook for two minutes more.
  4. Serve hot.


Giveaway open to U.S. residents, 18 and older. You will receive two of the pouches pictured above. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ultimate Nachos with Easy Guacamole

A few years ago, shorty after I started this blog, I posted a recipe I called Fabulous Nachos. They are fabulous, but the photos were horrible, and I missed a few important steps in the recipe. Yep, basically I was a newbie! This is basically the same recipe, but improved! These Ultimate Nachos are easy to make, and you can add your own favorite toppings when assembling your plate.

Ultimate Nachos with Easy Guacamole


A little story, not that nachos need a story: My daughter LOVES tacos, but in reality she really likes the taco shell. My daughter’s grandmother (her dad’s mother) started calling tortilla chips tacos when she was a baby, and so it stuck. She’s five now, and can’t hold a full taco yet, so I break two shells up into “chips” and put the filling on top. So, tacos are nachos to her, and she loves these!

I often make Homemade Taco Seasoning, but for ease and speed I chose to use store-bought with these nachos. What I really should do is make a big batch of the homemade taco seasoning so I have it on hand all the time. However, my homemade taco seasoning recipe is a bit spicier than store-bought, so the store-bought is probably more kid friendly.

Start by browning the ground beef, then adding the taco seasoning and water, just like for tacos. Then layer black beans, the seasoning ground beef, salsa, and cheese in a baking dish greased with butter and bake in a 350 degree oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Yes, butter and cooked salsa, just trust me! I promise you won’t be sorry!


Baked Ultimate Nacho Topping


Place your favorite brand of tortilla chips on a plate, and top with a large scoop of the meat mixture, then your favorite nacho toppings such as shredded lettuce, additional shredded cheddar cheese, sliced black olives, and pickled jalapenos. And of course, Easy Guacamole! To make things simple, I replace finely diced tomatoes and onions in the guacamole with a tablespoon or so of salsa, then just add a splash of lemon juice and lime juice, and a little salt and pepper. Can’t get simpler than that without using store bought guacamole loaded with preservatives, right?

Ultimate Nachos with Easy Guacamole Close Up


These nachos are perfect for snacking on while watching the game, kids will love them and adding their own toppings, and they are filling enough to keep you satisfied!

Ultimate Nachos with Easy Guacamole
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Nachos loaded with ground beef, salsa, cheese, and your favorite toppings with a fabulously easy guacamole!
Recipe type: Snack/ Game Day Entree
Cuisine: Mexican American
Serves: Makes 6 or more servings
  • For the nacho topping:
  • 1⅓ pound 80% lean ground beef
  • 1 16 ounce jar salsa (any brand and heat you desire)
  • 1 15.5 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 ounces Mexican cheese blend
  • 1.25 ounce packet or homemade taco seasoning
  • ¾ cup water
  • Favorite brand tortilla chips
  • Additional topping suggestions: shredded lettuce, shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese, sour cream, sliced black olives, pickled jalapenos
  • For the guacamole:
  • 1 avocado, peeled and seeded
  • ¼ of a small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons salsa
  • splash each lemon and lime juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the ground beef over medium-high heat, drain, stir in water and taco seasoning.
  2. Grease a baking dish with butter. Layer black beans, seasoned ground beef, salsa, and cheese in the pan. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the guacamole and additional toppings.
  4. In a medium bowl combine peeled and seeded avocado, finely diced onion, salsa, lemon juice, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Mash with a fork or potato masher until well combined.
  5. Prepare the nachos by putting tortilla chips on a plate, topping with hot ground beef mixture, additional desired toppings, and guacamole.


Sweet and Sour Pepper and Olive Christmas Party Dip

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Price Chopper. All opinions are mine alone.

Sweet and Sour Pepper and Olive Dip


Am I really going to talk about Christmas already? I guess it’s good to plan ahead, it’s just never been something I’m good at. If you’ve seen my last two posts, you know I don’t do a lot of baking. Sometimes at Christmas I do some baking, but more likely, if I’m having a Christmas party I’m making finger foods and dips. This Sweet and Sour Pepper and Olive dip will be a hit with kids that like sour candies, and my husband discovered it makes a great spread when cold that the grown-ups would enjoy! I can’t really decide whether I prefer it hot or cold, so I would just eat both.

Price Chopper gives me a  #HolidayAdvantEdge when shopping for my Christmas groceries, and I want to thank #CollectiveBias for giving me the opportunity to share this recipe today.

First, I went to Price Chopper for my ingredients:



Crisco ® Oil Products and Lindsay brand Roasted Red Peppers and Sliced Black Olives.



Got home and gathered my ingredients (and forgot to put the olives in the photo),


put them in my slow cooker, and set it on high for about 45 minutes.


I only had to stir in once in a while, it didn’t take long before it was nice and creamy.

Sweet and Sour Pepper and Olive Dip


With a bit of a sour taste from the pickled roasted red peppers (rinse them before chopping!), a sweet addition of a little sugar, and the creaminess of the melted cream cheese, this dip is perfect for tortilla chips or crackers, or you can let it cool once the cream cheese has melted, refrigerate it and use it as a spread with toasted baguettes. I didn’t get a chance to try it reheated the next day, but I bet it would be wonderful after the flavors have time to meld.

Sweet and Sour Pepper and Olive Dip
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Creamy, sweet and sour dip with festive roasted red peppers, green peppers, and black olives.
Recipe type: Dip
Serves: about 4 cups
  • 2 8 ounce blocks cream cheese
  • 1 cup chopped green peppers
  • 12 ounces Lindsay Roasted Red Peppers, drained, rinsed and chopped
  • ¾ cup Lindsay sliced black olives, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon or less black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Crisco ® vegetable oil
  1. Heat the oil in a medium pan, add the chopped green peppers and saute until just softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Put the cream cheese, sauteed peppers, red peppers, olives, sugar, salt, and pepper in a slow cooker, set on high and cover. Stir occasionally, every 10 minutes or so, until the cream cheese is completely melted and the dip is hot. Serve hot. Alternately, allow to cool and refrigerate, covered, overnight and serve as a spread.


Baking Experiences: White Christmas Peppermint Cake

Yesterday I posted a review of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s new book, The Baking Bible along with a giveaway of the book and Rose’s Heavenly Cake Strips. In the post I mentioned for the millionth time that I’m not a baker, and so I thought I would share the experience with you here today. Let’s call this “what happens when a non-baker bakes”, or “The Three Day Cake”, or “how I can single-handedly turn my life into a disaster” along with a few moments of considering quitting blogging altogether.

If you read the review, you know I was asked to make the White Christmas Peppermint Cake. Please keep in mind that I am NOT blaming the recipe for the disaster this turned into, I am blaming myself! Let’s start at the beginning, it was Wednesday:

The cake strips. I, who last made a cake maybe ten years ago, had never heard of cake strips. I tried and tried fitting them around my 9-inch cake pans and couldn’t get it to work, so as a last resort I decided to go onto Amazon and read the reviews to figure out what I was doing wrong. As soon as I saw the picture I knew. The cake strips are supposed to go on the OUTSIDE of the pans, not the INSIDE!! I don’t know why I thought they went on the inside, but I did. Yeah.

Rose's Heavenly Cake Strips


So, that wasted 20-30 minutes. Next:

The list of “special equipment” in the recipe calls for parchment rounds and baking spray with flour. My regular grocery store carries neither, so I decided to make my own by cutting parchment paper into “rounds” as good as I could and then spraying with regular cooking spray, sprinkling with just a little flour ( I used cake flour, not regular flour), and rubbing it together with my finger to blend. Um, okay, I can’t cut straight.


Somewhere during all this I realized there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to finish the cake, white chocolate custard base, and complete the white chocolate buttercream before I had to get my daughter off the bus, do dishes, and make dinner, followed by the rest of our night. I decided to go ahead with cake anyway and cover it until the next day.

Making the cake itself was okay, I weighed EVERYTHING,  which is highly suggested in The Baking Bible. Of course, this is a huge part of why I don’t bake, I prefer cooking because I can add and subtract ingredients as I feel like, and even change my own recipes the next time I make them. You can’t do that so easily with baking. Like my friend Becca told me, you have to love formulas and math in order to love baking, and well, I hate both and pretty much failed them in school.

The cakes were made, wrapped, and refrigerated for the next day. Great, until the next day when I had already brought out my eggs and butter to come to room temperature, and they had already been out for over an hour, when I made the horrible discovery that I didn’t buy enough white chocolate for the buttercream! Are you kidding me??!! I had 8 ounces, and needed 13.2 ounces. There was nothing I could do about it right at that moment, and had to wait until that night to go to the grocery store.

Friday was Halloween. In the morning, I went to my daughters school parade with my sister and mother, then she had a half day so my sister stuck around to play with her while I made the icing. Well, I got it made, but realized I wasn’t going to have enough time to cut the cakes into layers, ice the cake, and take photos before trick-or-treating with friends. So I had no choice but to refrigerate the icing until the next day. This changed the texture of the icing, but it was still usable.

So Saturday came and by then it was either finish the cake or forget it, it wasn’t getting done. That’s when I made my next error. I knew I was going to have a problem cutting the cake into layers, but I thought I had the knife right in the middle. What I didn’t realize what that the tip of the knife bent up…and sliced right through the top of the cake. That layer fell completely apart when I tried to lift it, turning the cake into a 3-layer cake instead of 4. Good news, that meant the cake had extra frosting and peppermint pieces!

White Christmas Peppermint Cake


So there you have it, the true story of how making the cake turned out for me. I suppose it could have been much worse, I could have dropped the cake bringing it out to photograph it. Although, looking at these pictures, that might have been a good idea.   Please don’t let my experience deter you from trying the recipe yourself, I just wanted to be honest about what happened. I might even make this a semi-regular thing, I try a difficult (for me, not you, I know your laughing at me), likely baking, recipe and post about the experience. What do you think?

White Christmas Peppermint Cake-The Baking Bible Review and Giveaway

I received a copy of The Baking Bible Bible and Rose’s Heavenly Cake strips to review and try out a recipe. No other compensation was provided. All opinions, as always are my own. 

Recently I was given the great opportunity to receive a copy of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s new book, The Baking Bible, and was asked to make the White Christmas Peppermint Cake (p 31). Since I’ve admitted several (hundred) times here that I’m not a baker, I have to admit that until a few months ago I never heard of Rose Levy Beranbaum. A friend of mine got to interview her and mentioned it on Facebook, and I said “Who?” I could pretty much hear my friend laughing at me through Facebook. Turns out she’s an award-winning baker and author of many cookbooks, including The Cake Bible and The Bread Bible. So, imagine the irony when I was giving this opportunity a few months later.

Now, I’m really not joking when I say I’m not a baker. I’m also a horrible cake decorator. I could lie and say I loved making this recipe and the photos are great, but I won’t and they aren’t.



What I will say is this book is for the baking enthusiast, those that really enjoy baking! It would make a great Christmas gift for the bakers in your life (or yourself!). It includes all kinds of cakes, pies, cookies, candy, breads, and pastries. She even threw in a few recipes for preserves. The book also includes all kinds of tips to ensure success when making these recipes, or just baking in general, and the end of the book is a section on ingredients (what type to use, how to store, measure, etc).




Today I’m giving away a signed copy of The Baking Bible and a set of Rose’s Heavenly Cake Strips, made by Harold Import Company. The cake strips are designed to keep cakes from over browning, reduce doming, and keep cakes moist.



I plan on sharing with you how making the cake was for me, and have decided to include it in a separate post, which will be up soon. For now, I’ll leave you with the giveaway, and at the bottom of this post, you can find the PDF of the recipe for the White Christmas Peppermint Cake right from the cookbook, used with permission from the publisher. I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce you to my technical support assistant, Charles Smith. He’s been working with me behind the scenes for a few months now, doing all the technical stuff that I don’t have a clue how to do, and he’s responsible for helping me get the PDF readable for you.

And now the giveaway info. Open to U.S. residents only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


It appears you don’t have a PDF plugin for this browser. You can download the PDF here

Spicy Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken



Adapted slightly from From Away , as found on Meg’s Everyday Indulgence.

What is the best fried chicken you ever had? Around here the pickings are slim. We have a KFC, a few of them actually and I have to admit that I love them, minus one bad experience years ago but that was out of state so I digress, and a few local restaurants make it, plus there’s Walmart’s chicken, but none of them really stand out for me. This spicy buttermilk brined fried chicken is supposed to be like Popeyes, but I don’t know because I’ve never been to a Popeyes. A quick search just now tells me the closest one is 40 miles away.




I chose to by chicken already cut up rather than butcher my own (why butcher if you don’t have to, right?), brined it in buttermilk for several hours, coated it in seasoned flour, dipped the pieces in a hot sauce mixture, then back in the flour. Double coating in the flour makes the breading thick and crispy. I recommend letting the battered chicken sit for 5-10 minutes before frying. This ensures that the breading sticks! I don’t usually use peanut oil, but I love the flavor it gives fried chicken, so I did here. Most of the chicken will reach 165 degrees around 18 minutes, but if your breasts are particularly large….go ahead, snicker, I’ll wait…..okay, are you done yet?…..sorry, dirty mind….Anyhoo, they might take up to 25 minutes. As you can see by the platter the breasts are much darker than the rest of the chicken, but they aren’t burned, just extra crispy and I love it.

Spicy Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken


For my 5 year old, I took the breading off before serving it to her. It’s not overly spicy, just not suited for my picky little girl. It’s weird, at age two she was eating hot wings and raw onions, now she won’t touch anything spicy.

The breading on the chicken is amazing, the chicken itself is juicy with just a hint of buttermilk flavor, and my husband says it passes the “cold chicken” test. Just don’t reheat it in the microwave, or it will be soggy! I would put it in the oven at 350 degrees until just hot, 10-15 minutes.

Spicy Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Delicious Spicy Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Southern American
Serves: Serves 4, 2 pieces chicken each
  • 6 pounds chicken (breasts, wings, thighs, and legs)
  • 2 quarts peanut oil
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 4 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup cayenne pepper sauce ( I used Franks Red Hot)
  • ⅓ cup water
  1. Place the chicken pieces in a large mixing bowl or a deep baking pan, pour buttermilk over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate, turning at least once, for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  2. Combine flour, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a gallon size freezer bag. Steal the bag tightly and mix well. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, cayenne pepper sauce, and water.
  3. Working a few pieces at a time, remove the chicken pieces from the buttermilk, allowing excess buttermilk to drip off. Place the chicken in the bag, steal tightly, and shake well. Remove chicken pieces from the flour mixture, shake off excess, dip in cayenne pepper mixture, then back in the flour, shake again. Place on a large plate. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
  4. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (to keep chicken warm while frying remaining pieces). Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot like a cast-iron pot, over medium high heat to 350 degrees. Fry the chicken, a few pieces at a time without overcrowding, turning carefully several times, until golden brown and 165 degrees F. Remove to a large platter lined with paper towel to drain, then keep warm in the preheated oven until all the chicken is done.
Adapted from From Away


Beef Mushroom Stew

There are a few things you need for really good beef stew. The first is to simmer the stew meat for a long time. The second is wait to add the vegetables until the meat has been simmering for at least an hour. The third is, if you want potatoes in the stew, cook them separately rather than in the stew, and then add them only to the stew you are serving immediately. Or better yet, don’t put potatoes in the stew at all, instead serve them with Cream Cheese and Parsley Mashed Potatoes!

Beef Mushroom Stew


Stew isn’t the prettiest looking dish, instead it’s comfort food at it’s finest. Winter will be here before you know it, and this stew would be perfect for a snowy day.

Start by cutting up boneless chuck roast, trimming the excess fat off, into chunks no bigger than 1 1/2 inches. The smaller the pieces of meat, the quicker they will become nice and tender.




Then coat the meat in flour seasoned with salt and pepper, and brown in a dutch oven with some olive oil, removing once browned. Add in beef broth and red wine, scrapping up the browned bits at the bottom of the dutch oven, then return the browned meat to the pot, add some tomato paste, bay leaves, and thyme, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for an hour before adding your veggies. After an hour, add in chopped carrots and onions, but wait another half hour to add the chopped mushrooms and garlic. The mushrooms shrink really quickly!


Beef Stew Simmering


Simmer for half an hour more, then remove the bay leaves (I forget to do that ALL THE TIME!) and serve.

You might wonder why I used 1 and 1/4 cup of red wine here, instead of just 1 cup. It’s because that’s exactly what was left in the bottle of wine, and I didn’t think my husband would be too happy if I only left 1/4 cup of wine in the bottle! Or if I drank it instead, then I would just want more, and then I’d probably decide to forget about the stew, and dinner wouldn’t happen, and it would just be a big mess. So, yes, 1 and 1/4 cup red wine!

Beef Mushroom Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Tender beef stew with mushrooms, carrots, onions. Best served with mashed potatoes on the side.
Recipe type: Soup/Stew
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 3 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into chunks no bigger than 1½ inches
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups chopped baby portabella mushrooms
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1½ cups chopped red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1¼ cup red concord grape wine
  • ½ cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  1. In a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper. Place cut chuck roast on a large plate, sprinkle the flour mixture over the beef, tossing with your hands to coat evenly in the flour. Shake off excess flour. Add two tablespoon olive oil to a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot, brown the beef, working in batches, adding additional olive oil between batches. Remove browned beef to a large plate, set aside.
  2. Once all the beef is browned, add the beef broth and red wine to the dutch oven, scrapping up the browned bits from the bottom with a large spoon. Stir in tomato paste. Return the browned beef to the dutch oven, add the bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. After 1 hour, add the chopped carrots and onions to the dutch oven, continue to simmer, uncovered for ½ hour. Add the chopped mushrooms and garlic, simmer for an additional ½ hour, uncovered, or until the beef and carrots are tender. Remove the bay leaves before serving.


Cream Cheese and Parsley Mashed Potatoes #MusicalEats

Cream Cheese and Parsley Mashed Potatoes


Welcome to the very first Musical Eats!! What is that, you ask? It’s my new idea! I came up with the idea late last month when we came home from the Bloomsburg Fair. After eating awesome fair food all day long, my husband and I were talking and I realized that with almost every song I can think of, I can in some way tie food into that song. The song could have zero to do with food, and yet I can think of something! If you really think about it, foods or drinks are mentioned in lots of songs that aren’t “about” it, and if they aren’t you can just use your imagination to come up with something. Let me give you an example. When I decided to do this, I invited a group of my food blogging friends to join me in a group on Facebook and posted three songs to vote on for this month. The choices were “The Monster Mash” by Boris Pickett, “Welcome to My Nightmare” by Alice Cooper, or “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence, with these examples of ideas. “The Monster Mash” would be anything mashed, vegetable or fruit, “Welcome to My Nightmare” would be anything you don’t really like making at all, and “Bring Me to Life” would be anything that “wakes you up” like caffeine or your favorite breakfast.

Since I didn’t give much advanced notice about this idea, only three people voted, and I decided that for this month we could make a recipe based on the one we voted for. I went the easy route for the first month, voting for “The Monster Mash”. Originally I planned on making a kind of twice-baked potatoes, but then this week I made beef stew and debated whether to put potatoes in the stew or not. When you put potatoes in stews or soups and try to reheat leftovers, the potatoes turn to mush and you end up with some awful form of potato soup, and I really didn’t want that. I was making so much stew I knew there would be leftovers. So I was looking at various beef stew recipes on the web, and found one from The Pioneer Woman that included mashed potatoes with cream cheese in them, and that was it, I had to make a version of them. I mean HAD to!! They sounded amazing, and they were!  Thus, my “Monster Mash” was born.


Musical Eats Logo


Are you a food blogger that loves music? Does Musical Eats sound like fun to you? Join the Musical Eats Group to find out what songs we will be choosing from next month!  

Carla from What are you eating? made Classic Croissants based on “Welcome to My Nightmare” because she had been trying to get the recipe right for years!

Cream Cheese and Parsley Mashed Potatoes #MusicalEats
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Creamy mashed potatoes made with cream cheese and fresh parsley!
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: serves 6
  • 1½ pounds peeled and sliced potatoes (weighed after peeling and slicing)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  1. Peel the potatoes and slice about 1 inch thick. Put in a saucepan, cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, continue to cook for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Meanwhile, cut up the cream cheese and the butter. If using dried parsley, mix it with the milk and let it sit to soften.
  2. When the potatoes are soft, turn off the heat, drain the potatoes, and return to the burner with the heat off. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Add the cream cheese, butter, milk, parsley, and garlic salt. Turn the heat back on to LOW an continue to mash until desired consistency. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Potatoes will thicken while standing,
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Delicious, Creamy Mashed Potatoes


Chorizo Tortilla Casserole

Warning, this recipe is SPICY HOT! But, it’s delicious, and even better the next day! Spicy Mexican chorizo, pepper jack cheese, and an awesome cream sauce made with Campbell’s New Latin Inspired Creamy Poblano and Queso Soup. This post is in no way sponsored by Campbell’s, I just happen to love their products and saw this new soup on a recent grocery shopping trip and thought it sounded good. Then, I came up with this recipe off the top of my head one night about an hour before dinner time. I had tortillas left over from making Spicy Fish Tacos, chorizo in my freezer since it became my new favorite food, and I always have all kinds of cheese.


Chorizo Tortilla Casserole


Casseroles are exactly the prettiest dishes, but they can be fabulous. This dish is easy to put together, just lay down tortillas, top with chorizo, creamy soup mixture, more tortilas, and top with shredded cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, let cool for a few minutes, and dinner is served!


Chorizo Tortilla Casserole


This dish is easy to put together, just lay down tortillas, top with chorizo, creamy soup mixture, more tortilas, and top with shredded cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, let cool for a few minutes, and dinner is served!



Chorizo Tortilla Casserole
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Mexican chorizo filled tortillas in a creamy, spicy sauce. Filling and delicious, for the heat lovers!
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican/American
Serves: serves 4-6
  • 18 taco-size corn or flour tortillas
  • 1 pound bulk Mexican chorizo
  • 3 cups shredded pepper jack or pepper jack with jalapenos cheese, divided
  • 1 cup fresh diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Campbell's Latin Inspired Creamy Poblano and Queso Soup
  • ⅔ can whole milk
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Coat a large glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat, add the chorizo, breaking it up with a spoon, and cook until browned. In a medium bowl, whisk together soup and milk, stir in tomatoes and 1 cup of pepper jack cheese.
  3. Lay down half of the tortillas, overlapping slightly, spread the chorizo over the top in an even layer. Pour half the soup mixture over the chorizo. Top with remaining tortillas, overlapping slightly, then remaining soup mixture. Sprinkle remaining two cups cheese over the top. Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly.