Saturday, December 28, 2013

Easy Blue Cheese Tapenade

Have you ever purchased a jar of tapenade? If so, I am sorry to inform you that you spent too much! My husband just taught me that Tapenade is so easy to make.  Plus, it tastes much fresher than any good jar you would purchase. Stop by your local deli and quickly assemble an award winning tapenade...I never knew what the olive bar was I know. 

Cheesy Broccoli Mash Cups

These little mashed potato cups make the perfect side dish or appetizer. If you are watching your waist you can easily control your portions and indulge with just a couple bites. These were super easy to make. You can use leftover mashed potatoes or whip up some instant potatoes like I did. The kids loved these.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cheesy Sausage Snowmen

Appetizer time in our house happens often. Its fun…what can I say!? This night I had kids, mommies and a few hungry men coming over. I knew my “health conscience” friends would be sure to bring some salads and veggies so I had to make sure we had something of substance on hand.

My friends are so creative, so I need to make sure I had something more than chips and dip. I came up with this crazy idea to make snowmen out of crescent roll dough stuffed with Italian sausage and fresh mozzarella.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Cookies are not my forte. But you can’t go wrong with the original NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe….with some modification of course! Soft chewy and not too sweet make these a favorite of mine. 

A dear friend of mine gave me a Dark Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Bar this holiday and I thought what better way to use than to cook with it! This wasn’t just any bar, this natural chocolate bar is certified Gluten-Free, Non-GMO and 10% of the profits are donated to endangered species protection.  

Monday, December 23, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Sweet Roll Sliders

Juicy chicken breasts are lightly breaded with a cracker Parmesan crust and dressed with buffalo sauce and creamy Havarti. Creamed with a Gorgonzola aioli and sandwiched between a Kings Hawaiian Sweet Roll, these sliders are a hit!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Backyard Pine Cone Holiday Ornaments

I am not crafty. Really I am not. Crafting is similar to baking. It takes precision, detail and patience – none of which are qualities I innately posses. I do however, love giving handmade gifts and that is a little difficult to do if you don’t make something.

This year I wanted to do something with the pine cones in the back yard. Our northwest pine cones aren’t the best looking for decoration but they served the purpose. Check out the step by step project below. Just make sure you give yourself a day in-between steps to allow for drying.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ginger Ale Glazed Petite Carrots

Another easy side dish comin’ at ya tonight! It’s so easy and so tasty I had to share. We get a little burned out on just salad or broccoli so these carrots break up the veggie monotony at our table. The ginger ale adds some extra sweet and creates a nice glaze finish. The chili powder adds a little contrast of spice.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Creamy Lemon Garlic Orzo

What a perfect side dish for any meal. So quick and I had everything on hand and readily available. What was even better? The kids loved it – phew! We enjoyed this simple and delicate dish with grilled pork tenderloin and green beans.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Salmon Chowder

Cold days call for hearty soups and chowders. Someone told me recently that they made my recipe for Salmon chowder and it was delicious, so I of course decided I had to have it. My salmon chowder was slightly adapted from a recipe my father makes and is filled with fresh flavors.

I actually was blessed enough to have a large piece of salmon in my freezer brought to me by my mother-in-law when she recently visited Alaska. The fish was caught by her nephew and apparently everyone there has freezer’s full of fish – wouldn't that be a dream come true!

After all of the prep work, this recipe comes together very easy. If you are someone who prepares in advance it would be awesome to have this on a weeknight if you had some of the chopping done of ahead of time!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Frozen Apple Pie à la Mode Bites

Those close to me know that baking isn't my specialty. Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking, but dessert is often an afterthought for me. In all seriousness, I would much rather have seconds than a dessert. There is however a couple of little people in my house that especially enjoy baking. They actually enjoy “helping” bake almost as much as eating baked treats.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Tortilla Chip Crusted Fish Tacos with Chili Lime Yogurt Slaw

I had been thinking about this recipe for a long time. Most namely the homemade tortillas, but my execution sucked! The tortillas were not good. I know why. I tried to use wheat flour. BOO HOO. Whaaaa. Seriously my first attempt at tortillas was not okay. They were gummy, hard and certainly not edible the next day as leftovers.

On the other hand, my tortilla chip crusted cod fish tacos with a jalapeño spiced chili lime yogurt slaw were to die for. Too bad we didn’t have any store bought tortillas to fix this meal! I am not sharing my fail, but I am however sharing this amazing taco recipe. Buy some tortillas or make some at your own risk!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Leftovers Taco Frittata

After a three day work trip I got home just in time to make dinner last night and whiped up our favorite Cheesy Baked Burritos. What can I say? I missed the kitchen and home cooked food. This morning I woke up and noticed we had some leftover filling from last night burritos. After assessing what we had I decided to take a stab at a Frittata and by was it a success. Leftovers from tacos or burritos + eggs = a super easy way to resourcefully make a meal – breakfast, brunch, dinner, you name it!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hodgson Mill ‘Have a Grain Holiday!’ Recipe Contest

Hodgson Mill is hosting a fun recipe contest for bloggers. The ‘Have a Grain Holiday!’ Recipe Contest provides bloggers with samples of their whole-grain non-gmo organic products to make a holiday dessert for the contest. The prizes are awesome!

The competition is a little exclusive as only 50 will be selected to compete, so you have to apply first to get chosen. Not interested? You can still enjoy a coupon to try them out!  

Have a "GRAIN Holiday" with a coupon good for $1 off any purchase of @ Hodgson Mill flour!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Nutty Teriyaki Chicken and Green Beans

I hate this dark weather. I have yet to perfect the inside picture. This picture doesn’t do this dish justice….so I guess I will have to paint a picture for you.

Think teriyaki chicken; add garlic and honey, lemon infused green beans, peanuts and a little bit of noodles - sweet and bold yumminess. You could actually lose the noodles and reduce sauce if you want. I added noodles for the kids.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Nutty Apple Sauced Baked Chops

I wowed myself with this recipe. Let me first admit that I am not a fan of sweet flavors combined with savory, but I had to come up with something for a contest I was working on. These parmesan, oat flour and breadcrumb coated and baked chops were juicy and loaded with flavor. The star of the show was most certainly the gravy made of drippings, apples, cashews and nutmeg.

I was really proud to serve this up for dinner and excited to enter it into the McCormick "Go 4 Gourmet Contest" with a theme of "Artisanal Autumn." This period the 4 required ingredients were apples, nuts, nutmeg and grains. Grand Prize: A Gourmet Pantry Refresh in a Box and a $500 American Express Gift Card.

See the contest here:

After the contest ends I will be sure to share the exact recipe! Or message me and I will send to you to try. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Slow Cooker Chunky Chipotle Beef Stew

Writing about this dish makes me chuckle. Not a giggle and certainly not a laugh…a chuckle. My husband asked if “we” could make a beef stew this week.” Of course,” I said. But…after I learned about a few contests coming I knew I couldn't just waste a Saturday afternoon making an ordinary beef stew. Who wants to be ordinary?!

Thinking quickly while grocery shopping I knew I wanted to do this stew in the crock pot and the clock was ticking! With the thought of adding spice I went with chipotles in adobo sauce to be the star flavor accompanied by the typical stew vegetables. Browning the meat before cooking helps sear in the juices, but the corn, sour cream and cilantro help balance it to a surprising level.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

“Orange” Pumpkins

Tasked at making a semi-healthy snack for the Montessori School Halloween Party, I turned to Pinterest. Apparently other people did as well! There were so many creative snacks I was so impressed.  Regardless of the other treats I was glad to provide this fruit snack to balance out all of the sugar!

Cheesy Hot Dog Mummies

Pinterest has done it again! We enjoyed these baked breadstick hot dogs for dinner tonight and it will likely become a Halloween tradition for at least a few years! Super quick and easy are these mummies and I am sure you could get more creative than we did!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Ginger Lime Low Mein Noodle Bowl

Lately I have been seeing pictures and articles about noodle bowls. There are so many possibilities so I wanted to try one out for myself. I love the spicy sesame flavors and the crunchy fresh veggies, but the cilantro and lime bring this dish up a notch. Other than slicing veggies, which you can do the night before, this dish only takes minutes. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Quick Creamy Meatballs

I was craving some good meatballs and immediately reminisced to myself about my grandmothers Swedish meatballs. Creamy sauce and full of flavor moist meatballs was the mission tonight. The pantry…um…not so pantry-like and missing some items to make a traditional Swedish meatball recipe. Oh what to do? Improvise of course!

Improvising is fun for me, but instills fear in the hungry guys in my life. “Relax guys!” Confidence isn't something I am missing, but maybe caution would help sometimes. Not in this case. I whipped up some quick meatballs the night before and conjured up enough ingredients in the pantry to make a quick creamy Swedish-like sauce. Try it out!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Maple Brown Sugar Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Everyone always says “you don’t roast your pumpkin seeds?!” Never have. Never wanted to I guess. But when I was carving pumpkins with the boys last night I came up with a different way to roast my seeds and frantically sifted them out of the carnage.

I say “we” were carving pumpkins as if they were doing some of the work – not really! The only part they played was to carefully instruct me on the look they wanted. Trying to extract the look they desired was a feat in itself!

Whether you like roasted pumpkin seeds or not, these are flavored quite different. Sweet and salty fall flavors make these a nice crunchy snack.

First Ever Giveaway! Win a Cuisinart Blender!

I am so excited to have my very own first ever giveaway! I won this blender and want to pass along the winning to a deserving Getting Stuffed fan! Plenty of ways to win, like, share, tweet, comment on a recipe and more! Do them all or just a few. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 14, 2013

Cheesy Beef and Bean Baked Burritos

I was planning my weekly menu…yes, I plan my weekly trip to the grocery store with every meal for the upcoming week in mind – don’t judge…I just hate going to the store multiple times a week. In an effort to come up with some easy, barely any cooking involved, meals I turned to my Facebook community for suggestions.

It seems like at least once a week we have pizza night and stir fry, but we all need inspiration after the daily grind. One suggestion was baked burritos. Hmmm…baked burritos…sounds interesting. The more I thought about it (plus I had a coupon for ground beef as well as tortillas), the dish sounded genius to me.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Slow Cooker Honey BBQ Ribs

Who needs another easy slow cooker recipe? I DO! 
How about one with less than five ingredients? I DO!

With school and sports in full swing, it’s that time of year where we are all scrambling for easy go to meals. Now that the grill is covered in wet leaves and the sun is missing, an obvious vessel to answer that prayer is the slow cooker. Some people call it a crock-pot (that’s a brand of a slow cooker). Whatever yours is, it’s time to dust it off.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Garlic Fried Rice

Leftover rice…what to do? FRIED RICE! Maybe you are way ahead of me on this, but I discovered fried rice in the last few years only to lament the fact I hadn't known this easy dish before. There is always extra rice (especially if you are watching your carbs). Shamefully, I can remember many times I wasted rice.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Oyster Lettuce Wraps

At the last minute, I entered the Washington OysterFest contest. My aunt insisted I enter a main dish like she did so we could hopefully compete against each other! Truth is…I am terrified of winning because I will have to cook in front of everyone (WITH A MIC ON ME) while I cook!

OysterFest in WA is small time BIG deal. Not only are their oyster food booths, there are games, microbrews and plenty of competitions. The biggest X factor is the weather as sometimes the rain and mud can ruin the party for some. For others, the rain is just part of the oyster season.

Most of the people I know camp out close that weekend and enjoy oysters many ways among other things. My dad goes every year and has even competed in the cooking contest in the past (don’t talk to him about why he didn’t win or he will get aggressive).  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Creamy Brie Basil Grilled Chicken Penne

Quick Fix Alert! Have a basil plant growing out of control right now? Make pasta! If you are like me, you have chicken breast, tomato, Parmesan and garlic always on hand. Bring creamy brie cheese and basil into the mix and you have a complete dish. We used and love mini penne, but you can use many other small pastas.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Panko Parmesan Crusted Yogurt Drumsticks

Despite the marinade and cook time, this recipe was easy! Some people marinate their chicken in buttermilk – I can’t stand the stuff. These puppies were marinated in plain Greek yogurt among other things listed nicely for you below. Baked in a seasoned Panko and Parmesan crust, they were delightfully crunchy and tasty.    

Sesame Citrus Broccoli

We eat broccoli several times a week. It’s the only green vegetable we can all agree on. We usually just eat it with margarine and Parmesan  My eyes were wide open when I read an article in Cooking Light that showed 10 different ways to dress up broccoli. This Sesame Citrus Broccoli is a modified version of one of the recipes I read. I never thought of all the possibilities of broccoli. This bowl of goodness is sweet and spicy with a citrus punch. Time to kick up your broccoli! 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Frozen Cheesecake Pudding Cookie Pie

Everyone knows I am not a dessert person. Even more so, I am not a dessert maker. With a birthday party to plan, I had to come up with something. This dessert was the easiest dessert ever PLUS I could make it in advance. You could really use any kind of cookie, but I used chewy chocolate with Reese’s Peanut Butter cups.   

Friday, August 16, 2013

Creamy Corn Bread Salad

It’s my husband’s birthday and that means it’s time for a Southern Cook-out. Not that I have any clue what that means. He grew up in Virginia most of his life and claims that is “the South.”  Last time I checked a map Virginia doesn't look too South to me! But, what do I know? I grew up in the Northwest my entire life. If you try to talk to him about it he will start spewing comments about the Mason Dixon Line…or something like that. Anyways…a Southern Cook-out sounded fun!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Garlic Dip

This secret has gone on too long (a secret not so secret to friends and family). Hands down the best dip ever is Garlic Dip. I shamefully admit that I am not sure who in my family started this tradition, but garlic dip is a staple in many of our households.

I am not talking about just backyard BBQ’s, camping trips and birthday parties. Garlic dip is used for more than just chips. You can use garlic dip as a mayonnaise substitute or dip crunchy veggies in it. I don’t drink milk, another shame of mine, but I do eat garlic dip on a regular basis.

So easy to make: blend 16 ounces of cottage cheese (any kind) with 2 cloves of garlic (more or less to your liking). That simple! Pour it into a bowl and watch your guests freak out. Literally they freak out. “What is this?” “This is so good!” “How do I make this?”

I would have posted step by step pictures, but there are none!   

Monday, July 29, 2013

Grill Roasted Goat Cheese and Sweet Onion Scallop Potatoes

Yes. Scallop potatoes on the grill. I never would have thought this would have worked. I just chopped it all up (what I had in the fridge), put it in foil, set it on the grill for about 45 minutes and opened up a masterpiece for dinner.

Sliced baby red potatoes mixed with sweet onion and turkey sausage is delish on its own, but this is really kicked up a notch with spinach, goat cheese, garlic and lemon juice. The moisture from the vegetables and sausage mixed with the melted goat cheese to make a beautiful sauce. This was really a full meal deal, prepped the night before and ready for the weeknight dinner table with no effort and barely any clean up.  

Sunday, July 28, 2013

STUFFED! Grilled Green Beans and Bacon Stuffed Onions with Gorgonzola

I thought I had a genius cooking moment when I thought up this one: sweet onions stuffed with green beans, bacon, garlic and creamy Gorgonzola cheese. Oh! Don’t get me wrong this tasted like genius. Roasted over the grill for a long time, the juices permeated the onion and stuffing. The creamy Gorgonzola paired so nice with the bacon and the green beans were soft to perfection.

If it was so perfect…what made it NOT genius. Come to find out many others have done stuffed onions before. Who would have thought? Well, I am not sure they did it like me. :-) You could really stuff an onion with anything and grill it. What about BBQ chicken? Ahhhh shoot! Another idea. Oh  well. Off to another idea.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Surf and Turf Burger

I think I have a winner! What would you do with $100,000? This competition is always juicy and since this is the third year I have had it on my radar it feels as I always have ideas swimming around my brain for this one.

It must be the prize amount that has me so intense about it. I have to admit that with most contests I don’t read all of the details before hand. Not this contest. The Sutter Home Build a Better Burger Contest has a grand prize of $100,000, not mention the other finalists win cash and prizes.

Allow me to introduce you to the Surf and Turf Burger. Well, it actually has a much more distinct and descriptive name but I am saving that for the judges. Shall I at least describe it for you?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

STUFFED! Balsamic Burgers with Goat Cheese Mayo

The 2013 Build a Better Burger contest is right around the corner. My first attempt was good, but not $100,000 good!

This juicy burger is infused with balsamic vinegar and garlic and stuffed with creamy goat cheese. Topped with sauteed Walla Walla sweet onions and cremini mushrooms, what makes this extra special is the balsamic and goat cheese mayo spread liberally on a Kaiser roll.

This burger was a 4th of July camping hit, but not quite ready for the contest stage. Tomorrow I will be kicking it up a notch for what I hope to be a big winner this year. Stay tuned for more burger action.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Chicken Salad Goat Cheese Melt

Working on the big Mezetta “Make That Sandwich” contest and I think I stumbled on a fabulous idea! Think tuna melt (like your mom used to make), but chicken salad with a kick, topped with creamy goat cheese.

I just love cheese and a sandwich is a great vehicle. This is an open faced sandwich seated on a 5 grain roll topped with a tangy Chicken Salad spiked with Jalapeno Sandwich Spread and chopped Peperoncini. Topped with fresh sliced tomato and creamy goat cheese this is not your typical tuna melt.

Baked and broiled to perfection. I had a household full of hungry movers and this hot sandwich hit the spot. After a week of eating on the road they were so grateful to eat a fresh homemade sandwich. Hopefully this recipe will make it to the finals this year. $25,000 up for grabs!

Thursday, July 11, 2013


WARNING: Not for children!

We have no clue if “Yucca” is the right spelling, but what we do know is that other people should know about this refreshing tequila drink called “Yucca.” This drink has been a family folk mystery until now, but recently we decided to take a stab at it and it was quite the refreshing hit at our camping trip.

Linguini & Clam Sauce

How about something simple and quick for dinner?

This recipe is often requested by all who have ever consumed. It is perfect for a week night because it is so easy to make and inexpensive to feed a family.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Camp Fire Trout

We have some of the best fishing spots in the Pacific Northwest. Trout are largely existent in our Washington lakes and there’s nothing like catching a big one on a camping trip with friends.

Our friend Wid caught a huge trout this last weekend camping and he was so proud to cook it for us. Can you believe he doesn't even like fish? Apparently an even bigger fish broke his line and missed the trip to the camp fire.

Monday, July 1, 2013

S'mores + Peanut Butter = you have been missing out

I keep seeing all of these fancy S'mores recipes on facebook and Pinterest. What about adding something simple to something that is already great?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Montreal Shrimp

Have you ever tried the Montreal seasoning marinade packets? We swear by them in our house. During the summer it is important to keep a good stash of marinades for quick meals.

I did a little research and came up with my own Montreal Seasoning. The trick with any marinade is to add a tablespoon of vinegar for better flavor infusion and juiciness.  I used my seasoning mix to marinade some sauteed shrimp and flavor my easy roasted Parmesan potatoes. 

Breakfast Pockets

Last and final leg of the Pillsbury Bake Off contest is fast approaching. Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts is the category this round. My breakfast is pizza pocket style filled with scrambled egg, chicken breakfast sausage, buttery corn niblets and fresh creamy mozzarella.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Black Bean Breakfast Tostado

On Saturday we finally enjoyed a family day! Early morning on the weekend’s mom is TIRED! And this Saturday I finally had some help. My husband was off work and home for the week because I traveled during the work week...which made me even more tired.

Even though Tanner was home all week with the kids, he got up before me and made pancakes for the kids. I could hear him trying to keep them quiet…very cute, but I could hear it all. He took care of the kids, so I felt it necessary to make our breakfast.